Top-10 Redbird Sports Moments
Written by Anthony Ferretti on May 9, 2020
NORMAL, Ill. – Here are the Top-10 redbird sports moments from the 2019-2020 season as counted down by WZND.
#10: Jack Anstey Runs a Sub-4-Minute Mile
On February 21st Illinois State track & field standout Jack Anstey ran a sub-4-minute mile for the second time in his career. Running an imposing time of 3:59.93, Anstey joined elite company and was ranked 30th in the NCAA at the time.
“With a barrier like that it’s super intimidating so if you doubt yourself your chance of doing it is over,” said Anstey. “So, going into it I just had to stay locked in mentally.”
#9: Women’s Basketball Upsets #21 Missouri State
Head Coach Kristin Gillespie’s signature win came on February 27th when the Redbirds took down ranked opponent, the Missouri State Lady Bears 78-66. Overall the Redbirds kept the lead throughout the game. Missouri State got it to be close throughout the game but thanks to the likes of Tete Maggett (24 points) and Lexi Wallen (18 points) the Redbirds would stay in the lead.
This was ISU’s first ranked win since 1992, as they snapped a nine-game winning streak held by Missouri State at the time.
#8: Redbird Volleyball Wins MVC Championship as the #3 Seed
Despite coming into the MVC tournament as the #3 seed, Redbird volleyball defeated the #1 seed UNI panthers to claim the MVC tourney crown. This earned them an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament where they went on to face the University of Wisconsin in the NCAA tournament.
#7: Angelica Labat Named the Midwest Independent Conference Newcomer of the Year
Illinois State freshman Angelica Labat had an incredible first season as a Redbird starting off by winning the all-around in her first collegiate meet. Labat held season-high scores of 9.925 on both the vault and beam which were the highest marks by an individual in the MIC this season and her career-best all-around score of 39.325 was the second-highest in the conference in 2020. Aside from earning MIC Newcomer of the Year, Labat also was honored seven times by MIC earning Newcomer of the Week three times, Gymnast of the Week twice, and Performance of the Week twice.
#6: Redbird Football Upsets #4 SDSU
On November 9th, 2019 Illinois State’s football team upset the #4 ranked South Dakota State University Jack Rabbits 27-18. The Redbirds scored an unanswered 17 points in the second half to secure the victory. This was the first win for the Redbirds in Brookings, South Dakota since the year 2010.
#5: Kierston Farley-Sepe Named MVC Swimmer of the Year
Illinois State senior Kierston Farley-Sepe was named the Missouri Valley Conference Swimmer of the Year after winning three individual events at the 2020 Missouri Valley Conference Swimming and Diving Championships. Farley-Sepe is the first Redbird to win this award since Julie Cocks won it in 2004.
#4: Redbird Volleyball Upsets #14 University of Illinois in the Redbird Classic
Redbird volleyball on Friday September 14th winning 3 sets to U of I 1 set. ISU took control of the match right out of the gate with a 25-16 win. They dropped the second set losing 25-21. And ISU won the third and fourth set to upset U of I. Leading the way for ISU was Katelyn Martin, Stef Jankiewicz. Kendal Meier, Sydney holt, Monica Miller, and Allie Otten.
#3: Women’s Track & Field Wins the MVC Indoor Championship for the Third Straight Year
The Redbirds set a conference record for points by scoring 190.6 on day 2 of the meet. The team was led by first-place finishes from Charde Golliday (long jump), Grace Beattie (5,000 meter), Ariana Cranston (pole vault), Kameesha Smith (high jump), Rachel Hickey (1600 meter), Hattie Plumb (800 mile), and the distance medley relay. The Redbirds became the first team in conference history to win the meet three years in a row.
#2: Kate Del Fava Drafted by the Utah Royals
After finishing 8th in NCAA Women’s Soccer in goals with 17, ISU Senior Kate Del Fava turned her sights on the pros. The 2019 MVC player of the year was picked by the Utah Royals with the 12th overall pick. Once the NSWL season resumes, Del Fava will join U.S. National Team members Kelley O’Hara, Christen Press and Becky Sauerbrunn.
#1: Lexi Wallen’s 35-point game
When Lexi Wallen took the floor this valentine’s day, it was anything but a love affair between her and the Loyola Chicago Ramblers. The fifth-year senior dropped a season-high 35 points on an efficient 10-15 from the field and 13-14 from the charity stripe. Wallen’s arguably best stretch of the game was the last 39 seconds of regulation, where she caught fire and poured in 10 points including the game-tying three to force overtime. Two overtimes later Wallen would then sink two game-winning free throws to give the redbirds a narrow 86-85 victory over the ramblers. The star of the night logged a season-high 43 minutes of action, and her 35 points were the most by a redbird since Kristi Cirone in 2008.