Illinois volleyball suffers second sweep of season in 3-0 home loss to No. 9 Nebraska


Sydney Laput

Illinois sophomore outside hitter Raina Terry hits the ball during the team’s match against Nebraska on Thursday night at Huff Hall. Terry registered a match-high 12 kills in the Illini’s 3-0 loss to the No. 9 Cornhuskers.

By Claire O'Brien, Sports Digital Content Editor

The No. 25-ranked Illinois women’s volleyball team lost to No. 9 Nebraska Thursday night in 3 sets, 25-20, 25-20, 25-21, at Huff Hall. The Cornhuskers remain the only team to sweep the Illini this season.

Sophomore outside hitter Raina Terry had 12 kills, and senior defensive specialist Taylor Kuper had 18 digs. Junior middle blocker Kennedy Collins had seven kills and one block.

“They are a consistently good serving (team),” said senior defensive specialist Taylor Kuper. “I think we kind of gave up a few points here and there, credit to their servers. I think we could just clean up a few points, then we could turn a little bit.”

Illinois entered the game coming off a 3-1 win against then-No. 13 Penn State last weekend, while Nebraska came off a 3-2 loss at Minnesota. Nebraska has been the only team so far to sweep Illinois this season, as the Illini dropped a 3-0 match to the Cornhuskers in Lincoln on Oct. 16. Heading into Thursday, it was also Illinois’ most recent loss.

Nebraska opened the game on a 3-0 run and set the pace for much of the rest of the evening. In the middle of the first set, Nebraska took an eight-point lead, 14-6, and Illinois called a timeout. The Illini closed their deficit to five to make it 17-12 but called a second timeout when Nebraska pushed the lead back up to 7.

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    Illinois again cut the lead to five, 19-14, and went back-and-forth with Nebraska for a few points after that. Illinois cut Nebraska’s lead to four, 22-18, late in the first set, and the Cornhuskers called timeout. After the timeout, Illinois cut the lead to three, 23- 20, but Nebraska scored the last two points to win the set, 25-20.

    In the first set, Terry had five kills, and Kuper had four digs for the Illini.

    Illinois had a stronger start to the second set, taking a 5-1 lead before Nebraska called a timeout. The old timeout trick worked for one play, as Illinois made a service error and then got the next point back. Nebraska cut the lead to two, 7-5, during the set before Illinois was able to take a five-point lead, 12-7. Illinois had a healthy lead throughout much of the second set but called a timeout as Nebraska cut the lead to 3, 16-13.

    The momentum went in Nebraska’s favor after that, and the Cornhuskers took a one-point lead after a 4-0 scoring run, 19-18, and Illinois called a timeout. Illinois promptly tied it up, but dropped the next point to Nebraska. The Cornhuskers then took a four-point lead, 23-19, and went on to win the set, 25-20.

    In the second set, grad student Megan Cooney had four kills, and Kuper had six digs.

    Like the preceding set, Illinois got off to a strong start in the third frame with a 3-0 lead before giving up a couple points to Nebraska. Illinois took a five-point lead on a second 3-0 run, but then Nebraska cut the Illini’s lead to one in the third set.

    Illinois led by 4, 16-12, in the third set, but the momentum once again was in Nebraska’s favor to close out the night. The Cornhuskers went on a 6-0 run to take a 23-20 lead.

    Ultimately, Nebraska won the final set, 25-21, and remains the only team to have swept Illinois this season.

    Collins’ block came during the third set, and six of Terry’s kills came in the final set.

    “So good match, you know, overall, from an attacking standpoint,” said head coach Chris Tamas. “We distributed well enough to be dangerous. We just couldn’t execute.”

    Looking to bounce back from its second 3-0 loss of the season, Illinois welcomes No. 11 Minnesota to Huff Hall on Saturday night.



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