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Redbirds Fall in Four Sets Despite Otene’s Career Night

Written by on November 15, 2021

Photo Courtesy of goredbirds.com

CHICAGO, Ill.- Despite a career night from Sophomore Tamara Otene, the Illinois State volleyball team fell to the Loyola Ramblers in four-sets.

“In set one, it  was more indicative that they got the better part of us,” said Redbirds Head Coach Leah Johnson. “We just did not make good adjustments, and they played really well. They passed lights-out. They haven’t passed that well all year. They were really good. Congratulations to them.”

The Redbirds were able to come back after getting off to a slow start in set one to take it by a final score of 28 to 26. 

Despite getting off to a slow start in the first half, the Ramblers stayed composed to take the final three sets to split the season series 1 to 1. 

Illinois State finished the game with 57 kills, 9.5 blocks, and hit a .181 hitting percentage. They were led by Otene who set a new career high in kills with 27, just a week after recording 26.

Coach Johnson expands on Tamara’s performance tonight despite the team’s struggles.

“She’s phenomenal,” said Johnson. “I think she’s the best player in the league, and she’s the only one we had tonight offensively. It’s really hard to win matches when you have six attackers on the court and only one of them can get a kill for you. Everyone was trying, they did a great job. We got frustrated, and they won the out of system game.”

With their victory over the Redbirds, Loyola clinched a half of the Missouri Valley Conference regular season championship while Illinois State’s record moved to 16-13 with a 12-5 MVC record.

The Redbirds are back in action on Friday, November 19th as they take on rival Bradley for senior day at Redbird Arena with first serve starting at 6pm.