WICHITA, Kan.- The Wichita State volleyball team defeated Illinois State 3-2 on Friday night inside Charles Koch Arena in the semifinals of the Missouri Valley Conference Championship. The Shockers won by scores of 25-18, 18-25, 25-16, 20-25 and 15-11.
Ashley Andrade led the Wichita State attack with 18 kills, hitting .500. Sam Sanders and Elizabeth Field added 13 and 11 kills, respectively. Chelsey Feekin added 53 assists and Dani Mostrom had 20 digs.
Back-to-back kills by Sanders and Feekin gave the Shockers an early 6-4 lead in the first set. Illinois State came back to take a two point lead of its own, 10-8, but Wichita State rattled off seven straight points, capped by a block from Sanders and Andrade, to go up 15-10. Later in the set, the Shockers went up 23-18 on a kill by Ashlyn Driskill to force a Redbird timeout and went on to win the set, 25-18.
Down 4-3 early in the second set, Wichita State went on a 6-0 run fueled by two kills from Field to take a 9-4 lead. Illinois State fought back however, and tied the set at 11. The two teams traded points, until the Redbirds scored seven-out-of-eight points to take a 23-17 lead and go on to win the second set, 25-18.
Andrade came out firing in the third set for Wichita State, giving the Shockers a 5-2 lead with a kill early in the set and back-to-back kills later in the set for a 10-6 lead. A block by Driskill and Field capped a stretch that saw Wichita State score four-out-of-five points and move its lead to 17-11. A service ace from Mostrom captured the set for the Shockers, 25-16.
The Redbirds took an 8-2 lead to being the fourth set to force a Wichita State timeout. Four consecutive points by the Shockers forced Illinois State to take a timeout of its own as the lead was cut to 10-7. Down 17-11, Wichita State scored six-out-of-seven points to fight their way back into the set and cut the Redbird lead to 18-17. The Shocker comeback fell short however and Illinois State tied the match up at 2-2 by winning the set 25-20.
Down 5-3 in the final set, Wichita State went on a 4-0 run capped with a kill by Field to take a 7-5 advantage. A kill by Driskill put the Shockers up 10-7 and forced an Illinois State timeout. Back-to-back kills by Andrade and Katie Reilly pushed the lead to 12-9, and Wichita State went on to win, 15-11.
The Shockers will face Southern Illinois in the finals of the MVC Championship on Saturday inside Charles Koch Arena. First serve is set for 4:37 p.m.