BRADLEY 3, CHICAGO STATE 1 (25-17, 25-23, 23-25, 25-22)
Behind career performances from Silan Demirkol and Hannah Thompson, Bradley escaped with a hard-fought four-set victory over host Chicago State in the first round of the 2021 Women’s NIVC.
Demirkol tied a career high with 16 kills on .333 hitting, while Thompson added 11 kills but was everywhere defensively with a career-high 27 digs. As a team, Bradley’s defense racked up 76 digs in the four-set match and held Chicago State to just .189 hitting as a team.
Bradley took the first set by a relatively comfortable margin, 25-17, but the last three sets were anything but. Bradley trailed 19-13 in the second set, but quickly rattled off a 7-2 run to close the game to 21-20. Then, trailing by two, Bradley scored three-straight points to take the lead late in the set and held on 25-23.
The third set was close throughout the entire frame, with neither team gaining more than a three-point lead. The third frame featured 13 ties and five lead changes in total, before Chicago State was able to take the set 25-23 to extend the match to a fourth set.
The fourth set played out much like the third set did, this time with 10 ties and five total lead changes. Again, neither team could create separation of more than a couple of points. Chicago State held a 19-17 lead, and then 22-21, and looked primed to extend the match to a fifth set, but Bradley responded with a 4-0 run to close the game and win the final set.