Illinois sweeps Rutgers in midweek Big Ten bout


Sydney Laput

Senior middle blocker Kennedy Collins (1) and redshirt freshman setter Brooke Mosher (22) go to block the ball during the game against Rutgers on Wednesday. The Illini sweep the Scarlet Knights, 3-0.

By Adam Rosen, Staff Writer

Illini volleyball (9-8,4-3) hosted the Rutgers Scarlet Knights (7-12, 1-6) on Wednesday night at Huff Hall as they looked to earn a midweek win during Homecoming Week. The Scarlet Knights looked to spoil the festivities, but it was the Illini who would come out victorious, winning in a straight sweep.

The first set started as a battle, but soon ended as an easy one for the home side. The Illini cruised to a  25-16 set win. Redshirt freshman setter Brooke Mosher continued to play well out of position, with four kills for the Illini while senior middle blocker Rylee Hinton tallied three blocks and two kills in her home debut this season.

The Illini looked to carry their momentum on in set two, but the Scarlet Knights made it as difficult as possible, leading for a majority of the set until the Illini stormed back to win it. Again, Mosher stood out as she added three more kills while junior outside hitter Raina Terry began to heat up as well.

As Illinois looked to pull off a sweep over Rutgers, the Illini used the energy from the crowd to win set three 25-17, as they swept the Scarlet Knights. Mosher and Terry were stellar all night for the Illini. 

Head coach Chris Tamas spoke about the team’s ability to play so well on short rest after just three days in between Illinois’ loss to Penn State.

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“When you don’t have that much time, you just have to talk about the mentality about how you approach games,” Tamas said. “I thought for the most part we played pretty well and that we were making some really good swings.”

Mosher talked about how the team has helped her a lot, coming in as a setter and playing this entire season as an outside hitter. She spoke about how their relationship with each other has been helpful during the season.

“It definitely helps a lot,” Mosher said. “Knowing that your teammates have your back even when you mess up, having them behind you is something that is huge, especially in volleyball.” 

Creating the right team atmosphere is an important thing for all team members. Terry added to that by discussing how fun it is to be playing with a group that she genuinely loves being around.

“I love playing next to my best friends,” Terry said. “It shows in our team that we have such a strong relationship together, and it’s hard to play when you don’t have that.”

The pair ended the match with 22 kills total, Mosher with 12 and Terry with 10. Every match together bar one, the pair have each managed double digit kills.

The Illini move on to face the No. 10 Minnesota Golden Gophers (9-6, 4-3) on the road on Saturday. The match on Saturday begins a stretch of four straight matches with ranked opponents. 



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