Early deficits in the first and third sets couldn't keep the Illinois State volleyball team from scoring a straight-set win over Valparaiso in a Missouri Valley Conference match on Friday night at the Athletics-Recreation Center in Valparaiso, Ind.
Jaelyn Keene led ISU with 12 kills with Ella Francis and Juma Armando contributing 11 each in the 25-21, 25-20, 26-24 win. Stef Jankiewicz recorded her 13th double-double of the season with a match-high 45 assists and 16 digs.
Courtney Pence had 27 digs for the Redbirds, who improved to 16-11 overall and 9-5 in the Missouri Valley Conference.
"We had a great team effort tonight," said ISU coach Leah Johnson. "Stef ran a very balanced and efficient offense, creating solo blocks for her attackers. We were very steady and battled for each point."
The Redbirds fell behind by as many as eight points early in the first set before an 8-0 run with two kills each from Ali Line and Armando turned a five-point deficit into a 23-20 lead.
Valparaiso raced to an 11-4 lead in the third set that featured eight tie scores and five lead changes. ISU fought off set point at 24-23 with a kill from Sydney Holt before back-to-back kills by Francis and Keene gave the Redbirds the win.
ISU returns to action at 7 p.m. Saturday against Loyola at Gentile Arena in Chicago.
Soccer players all-MVC: The ISU soccer team gathered several All-Missouri Valley Conference honors as announced by the league office on Thursday.
Senior Kelli Zickert and sophomore Kate Del Fava received All-MVC First-Team honors, with senior Emily Dickman selected to the second team. Sophomore Mikayla Unger received honorable mention.
Zickert led ISU in points and assists with four goals and six assists. Del Fava was the anchor of the Redbird defense, picking up Defensive Player of the Week honors on Oct. 9 while also scoring two goals. Dickman was second on the team in points with four goals and four assists. Unger played in all but one game, recording four goals and two assists.
Freshmen Ashley Santos and Sarah LaFayette, a University High graduate, were selected for the MVC All-Freshman team. Santos was a staple in the Redbird midfield, playing in every game and starting all but one. Lafayette scored four goals, including three game-winners.
Greve, Sertkaya lead men's tennis: Led by Christoffer Greve and Egehan Sertkaya, who both went 3-0 on the day, the ISU men’s tennis team began the second annual Redbird Invitational on a good note Friday at the Bloomington Tennis Center.
The Redbirds won 13 matches in all, including doubles victories by the teams of Cameron Petersen-Brandon Lew, Andreas Boers-Sertkaya and Greve-Manuel Bernhard.
Greve and Sertkaya each posted two singles wins as well. The Redbirds wrap up their fall schedule with the final day of competition Saturday beginning at 10 a.m.
Volleyball upended in CCIW tourney: The No. 11 nationally-ranked IWU volleyball team dropped a straight-set decision to Carthage in the semifinals of the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin tournament at Decatur.
Senior Kyleigh Block had 12 kills, 15 digs and five assists in the 25-23, 30-28, 25-21 loss. Tyler Brown added eight kills and 14 digs with sophomore Kira Jackson contributing 16 assists for the Titans (22-7). IWU's Heidi Dague had eight blocks, one short of a three-set school record.
IWU now awaits a decision of the NCAA selection committee about its inclusion in the field for the Division III championships. Selections will take place on Monday at 11:30 a.m.