Illinois volleyball defeats Northwestern to extend winning streak to five matches

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Sydney Laput

Outside hitter Megan Cooney and middle blocker Kyla Swanson rise above the net to block a spike against Northwestern on Saturday night at Huff Hall. The Illini won their game in their fifth straight victory.

By Claire O'Brien, Sports Digital Content Editor

Illinois won its first home game in conference play Saturday night against in-state rival Northwestern, 3-2. The Illini defeated Iowa, 3-2, Wednesday night in Iowa City.

Sophomore outside hitter Raina Terry led the Illini with 19 kills, and senior defensive specialist Taylor Kuper had 13 digs.

Illinois fell behind early in the match with an 8-3 deficit during the first set. Illinois rallied and took the lead briefly in the set, which went to the Wildcats, 25-23. The second set went much more favorably for the Illini, and Illinois always led in that set, winning 25-17.

The Illini kept up their momentum in the third set, and that ended with an identical score of 25-17 for the Illini. Illinois went on a 5-0 run toward the end of the set and kept Northwestern’s scoring to a minimum.

Illinois’ momentum slowed in the fourth set, and the set was relatively competitive, with both teams taking narrow leads. Northwestern pulled away at the end, winning the set, 25-21.

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    In the fifth and final set, Illinois took a quick 3-1 lead and took a 5-2 lead before Northwestern called a timeout. The Illini climbed to a 9-5 lead, before a second Northwestern timeout. Illinois continued to control the game, and won the set 15-9.

    The Illini travel to Purdue Friday for their next match.

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