Illinois volleyball advances to Sweet 16

By Kate Munson

For the first time since 2003, Illinois volleyball is headed to the Sweet 16.

The No. 9 national seeded Fighting Illini defeated the University of Cincinnati in straight sets (26-24, 25-20, 25-22) at Huff Hall on Saturday.

With the Bearcats winning the team blocking battle with 7.5 to the Illini’s three, it was the Illinois offense that carried the load.

After an unusually slow offensive performance Friday, outside hitter Laura DeBruler rebounded to lead the way for the Fighting Illini on Saturday. The sophomore tallied 18 kills while hitting .349 on the night. And junior outside hitter Kylie McCulley made her presence felt again Saturday with 11 kills.

The Fighting Illini now have another week of practice before traveling to Penn State where they will play No. 8 national seed California next Friday.