- (RV) Missouri State def. Illinois State, 3-1 (25-20, 22-25, 25-22, 25-18)
- Missouri State improves to 18-5, 10-0 Missouri Valley; Illinois State falls to 14-10, 7-4 Missouri Valley
- Springfield, Missouri
- Attendance: 1186
- Box score
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – In a defensive battle that featured 55 digs combined in the first set, Missouri State won its 11th straight match and 26th consecutive MVC victory in four sets over Illinois State (25-20, 22-25, 25-22, 25-18). Missouri State also won every major statistical battle, including kills (58-56), digs (107-99), hitting percentage (.213-.137) and blocks (7.5-6.5).
Lily Johnson had a team-high 18 kills and finished her double-double with 27 digs. She also added 3 aces and 3 blocks to her well-rounded effort. Lynsey Wright and Aubrey Cheffey got in on the double-digit kill party with 12 and 10 kills, respectively. The Bears ran a 6-2 offense, with Daniele Messa leading the way with 27 assists and finished her double-double effort with 18 digs of her own. Emelie Orlando added 15 assists on the night. Libero Emily Butters contributed a match-high 35 digs to lead the defensive effort. Butters nearly had her own double-double with 9 assists.
For the Redbirds, they were led offensively by Juma Armando with a match- and career-high 22 kills in her second career start. Double-digit kills were also earned by Jaelyn Keene and Ella Francis with 12 each. Keene, Francis and Ali Line contributed 3 blocks each to the defense at the net, while libero Courtney Pence finished with a team-high 34 digs to anchor the back line. Stef Jankiewicz had Illinois State’s lone double-double with 46 assists and 20 digs.
Lily Johnson continues her climb up multiple career boards. With her 55 swings on the night, Johnson moved into second place all-time in the NCAA in career attacks with more than 6,100.
Courtesy of Missouri State Athletics
SPRINGFIELD — On the strength of 35 digs from Emily Butters and 27 more from Lily Johnson, the Missouri State volleyball team won a defense slugfest against Illinois State Saturday evening by a 3-1 (25-20, 22-25, 25-22, 25-18) final at Hammons Student Center, extending its winning streak to 11 matches and improving to 18-5 overall and 10-0 in Missouri Valley Conference play.
Butters tied an MSU single-season record with her fourth match of 30 or more digs in 2017, posting the seventh-best match total in school history on the heels of a 44-dig performance for the No. 2 spot just eight days ago.
The Bears and Redbirds (14-10, 7-4) combined for 55 digs in the first set, with the difference being 12 attack errors from ISU compared to one for Missouri State. The home team did not trail after a 5-0 run made for an early 9-6 lead.
Illinois State jumped ahead 3-0 in the second set and kept the margin between two and five points until Aubrey Cheffey‘s kill made it 20-19. Lynsey Wright scored for a 21-21 tie, and ISU countered with a 3-0 run to seal the win.
The Redbirds led for the majority of the third set, and the Bears went ahead for good on a Lauren Boone kill for a 19-18 advantage. An ISU error followed, and the teams sided out to the finish with the exception of a Cheffey kill for a 24-21 MSU lead.
Johnson had three kills and an ace during MSU’s 8-2 start to the fourth set, but the Redbirds fought back and took a 15-14 lead with an ace. Cheffey responded with two kills during a 3-0 run that swung the score in MSU’s favor for good, and the Bears closed on an 8-2 run to clinch their 26th consecutive conference victory.
Missouri State held leads of .213-.137 in hitting percentage, 58-56 in kills, 107-99 in digs and 7.5-6.5 in blocking. Johnson scored 18 kills and climbed to second in NCAA history in career attacks with more than 6,100, Wright hit .333 with 12 kills and Cheffey reached double figures with 10 winners.
Courtesy of Illinois State Athletics
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A career night from Juma Armando helped Illinois State push league-leading Missouri State to four sets, the Redbirds ultimately fell short Saturday night at Hammons Student Center, falling by scores of 25-20, 22-25, 25-22, 25-18. The loss snapped Illinois State’s season-best five-match winning streak.
“The score doesn’t indicate how long each rally was,” head coach Leah Johnson said. “It was defensive, offensive, and strategic. We made adjustments and executed the game plan. I’m really proud of how we played. This is our bar now. If we continue to improve, I’m confident in where we’ll be at the end of the season.”
In her second career start, Armando led the Redbirds’ attack, posting a career-high 22 kills in the match. Jaelyn Keene and Ella Francis chipped in 12 kills apiece. Stef Jankiewicz logged her 11th double-double of the season, assisting 46 with 20 digs. Courtney Pence anchored the Redbird back line with a team-best 34 digs.
“We took a risk this weekend, changing our lineup,” Johnson said. “We had position tournaments this week in practice for the starting spots and Juma won the spot. She made the adjustments and competed well tonight.”
For the Bears, Lily Johnson sparked the offense with 18 kills, while collecting 27 digs. Setter Daniele Messa logged her third double-double, assisting on 27 kills with 18 digs.
The Redbirds led early, taking a 6-4 advantage to start. However, the Bears went on a 5-0 run and didn’t look back. Illinois State fought to keep the score within two, but a Lily Johnson service run propelled the Bears to the 25-20 victory.
Illinois State (14-10, 7-4 MVC) jumped to a 4-1 lead to begin the second frame. A block by Francis, Ali Line, and Jankiewicz, before a Jankiewicz ace, gave the Redbirds an 8-4 lead and forced Missouri State to take the first timeout of the set. The Bears called their second timeout as Illinois State extended its lead to 14-10. Missouri State (18-5, 10-0) managed to tie up the set at 21-all, but a Francis kill sealed the 25-22 win to even up the match.
The Redbirds picked up where they left off, taking a 4-1 lead in the third set. Missouri State and Illinois State battled throughout the set with neither team taking more than a two-point lead after the 10-point mark. Armando led the Redbirds in the frame, reaching a new single-match career-high kills total in the set. Despite the career night, the Bears persevered to claim a 25-22 win in the third set.
Missouri State took a commanding lead to begin the fourth set, forcing Illinois State to use both timeouts early. The Redbirds fought back to tie up the frame at 14-all and 15-all, but the Bears pulled away to clinch the 25-18 win, extending their Valley win streak to 26 matches.
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