Illini volleyball defeats Tennessee in Stuff Huff match


Illinois’ Michelle Bartsch (6) smiles after a point won during the match against Tennessee at Huff Hall. The Sept. 2nd match was for the State Farm Illini Classic held that weekend.

By Ros Dumalo

Michelle Bartsch said it felt like 200 degrees on the court as the Illinois volleyball team played in its sixth annual “Stuff Huff” match.

Amid the heat, the senior recorded a double-double Friday that landed her in the record books and led Illinois to its fourth win, defeating Tennessee (3-1) in four sets.

Bartsch had 21 kills and 23 digs, for just the third 20-20 performance by an Illini since 2002. It puts her behind former Illini Laura DeBruler and Kylie McCulley, who each had one in 2008.

The Lady Vols kept the No. 7 Illini on their toes throughout the first three sets as the two teams traded points to keep the match tight.

After 31 tied scores and 10 lead changes, Illinois held on and took the first two sets, 31-29, 25-23.

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Tennessee fought back in the third with a 25-23 win.

After enduring the heat inside the packed gym, with temperatures outside nearly reaching 100 degrees, the Illini ended the night with a 25-19 win in the fourth.

Illinois returns to Huff Hall on Saturday at 10 a.m. to take on Houston, and then Dayton at 7:30 p.m.