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Redbirds Outlast Ohio To Capture First Win

Written by on September 3, 2021

Image courtesy of goredbirds.com

NORMAL Ill.- Redbird volleyball entered Friday evenings matchup against Ohio searching for their first victory of the season and accomplished that task, although it did not come easily.

The Redbirds started the match firing on all cylinders. After facing some early turbulence in set one they prevailed by a score of 25-16. In the second set the Redbirds took control from the start and weathered a late Bobcat storm to take the set 25-18.

It was in the third set when things became tricky. The Bobcats busted out to a commanding lead right from the start and despite the Redbird’s best push at a comeback they took the set 25-21. The fourth set was a similar story with the Bobcats starting hot and stifling a late Redbird rally to win 25-23.

This set the stage for a winner take all fifth set. It was here the Redbirds led from start to finish and toppled Ohio 15-8.

“I love this team,” said ISU head coach Leah Johnson. “I love that we were tested, I love that we responded, I love that Ohio came out so hot in set three and four and made us adjust and challenged us. This is what we need to grow.”

Leading the way for the Redbirds were Tamera Otene and Sara Kushner with 16 and 13 kills respectively. Kaitlyn Prondzinski and Katelyn Leffler set the tone defensively, each with five blocks.

It will be a quick turn around for Illinois State who will face UIC tomorrow in their second match of the Red and White Invite.

“It’s all about recovery and playing within our strengths,” Johnson said. “It’s all about preparation and recovery and staying true to who we are.”

The match versus UIC will start Saturday at 11:00 a.m. with pregame on 103.3 WZND starting at 10:50 a.m.