Volleyball Defeats Bradley
Written by Leo Staudacher on January 25, 2021
Image courtesy of goredbirds.com
Story by Jake Fogal
NORMAL Ill.- Playing in their third match in four days, the Illinois State volleyball team made quick work of the Bradley Braves on Monday, sweeping their I-74 rival 3-0. Bradley had a night filled with errors, as crucial moments towards the end of each set cost the Braves. Kaylee Martin led the attack with 10 kills, but the Redbirds dominance was led on ISU’s front row defense.
Senior Sydney Holt credit’s her team’s efforts on offense over Bradley’s poor performance.
“Whenever another team makes an error, it does give us a little bit more momentum, but I also think we did earn a lot of our own points, and that’s what we’re going to continue to do,” said Holt.
Red-shirt freshman Nicole Lund led the Redbirds brick wall, totaling 10 blocks on the night. Four players assisted Lund on the block front. Looking back to last season, an injury plagued Lund from competing a year ago. From once being one of the team’s biggest cheerleaders from the bench, Lund now takes her place as one of ISU’s most dependent defenders. Yet, she hasn’t forgotten the energy boosters that dance on the sideline after every point is gained.
“You can definitely feel the cheers and support from the bench while on the court, and it feels amazing.” Redshirt freshman Nicole Lund said, “We know they’re there to back us up, and it really helps when there are no fans in the gym. They keep the arena loud, and it’s a better environment to play in,” said Lund.
Bradley enters this season with zero seniors on the roster but are undoubtedly following behind Hannah Thompson. Thompson had a double-double against the Redbirds, having 11 kills and 15 digs. Coach Leah Johnson claims herself as a big fan of Thompson.
“She is so good, I love how that athlete plays. She is crafty, she hits every corner and edge of the court. She is incredibly fast. She is a heck of a player and a local player at that, so I have followed her for a long time.
Expected to have the day off of practice tomorrow, ISU now points their focus towards Cincinnati. The Bearcats take on ISU at 4 p.m. on Friday.