GREEN BAY, Wis. — Courtney Pence registered 14 digs to break the Illinois State volleyball program's career record Thursday as the Redbirds swept past IUPUI in the first round of the National Invitational Volleyball Championship at the Kress Events Center.
Sydney Holt and Juma Armando had 12 kills apiece while Stef Jankiewicz totaled 38 assists for the Redbirds in a 25-18, 25-12, 25-16 triumph.
ISU improved to 22-12 and advanced to face host Green Bay in Friday's 6 p.m. second-round matchup. The Phoenix (16-15) outlasted Bowling Green, 25-21, 32-30, 18-25, 16-25, 16-14.
Pence, a junior libero, moved her career total for digs to 2,063, which ranks sixth in Missouri Valley Conference history.
“It was a great performance,” said ISU coach Leah Johnson, whose team posted a season-best .365 hitting percentage. “We knew early on that it was going to be competitive, but if we could find a break and get in a flow, we could really take off, and we saw those windows.
“It’s fun to be in the postseason and it’s fun to win in the postseason, but we’re already getting focused on scouting this next match.”
Gabby Fisher had six kills to lead the Jaguars (16-15), who hit just .054.
IUPUI scored the first two points of the match, but the Redbirds closed a back-and-forth first set on a 7-2 run. ISU never trailed in either of the last two sets as consecutive kills by Armando finished the match.