Illinois volleyball picks up second win of the week with 3-1 win over Rutgers

Redshirt+senior+Diana+Brown+%285%29+and+senior+middle+blocker+Kennedy+Collins+%281%29+attempt+to+block+the+ball+against+Maryland+on+Sept.+23.+

Sydney Laput

Redshirt senior Diana Brown (5) and senior middle blocker Kennedy Collins (1) attempt to block the ball against Maryland on Sept. 23.

By Adam Rosen, Staff Writer

The Illini (11-11, 6-6) visited the Rutgers Scarlet Knights (7-16, 1-10) on Sunday for the second matchup between the two squads this season. The Illini won handily at Huff Hall on October 12, and Sunday was no different, as the Illini took down the Scarlet Knights, 3-1.

The Illini and Scarlet Knights battled close for the first set, with neither team able to get a safe lead. However, the Scarlet Knights pulled away to win the set 25-21, taking a 1-0 lead in the match. Senior middle blockers Kennedy Collins and Rylee Hinton led the Illini with three kills each.

The Illini had to respond if they wanted to avoid a 2-0 deficit against a struggling Rutgers squad. The Illini did just that, as they won the set 25-18 to tie the match up at 1-1. Collins added a trio of kills to go along with her pair of blocks in the match.

In a pivotal set three, both teams looked to get an edge over the other looking to pin the opponent against the wall. The Illini came out dominant in the set, winning 25-12 led by junior outside hitter Raina Terry who began to heat up, and had six kills in the set.

The Illini looked to complete a season sweep over the Scarlet Knights, as they led the match 2-1. The Illini, led again by Terry and her seven kills in the set, took it 25-19, winning the match in four sets. 

As she has all season, redshirt senior setter Diana Brown recorded a plethora of assists (46) and moved to 5th all-time in assists by an Illini. Brown spoke about how she has worked to create connections with her teammates this season.

“This is probably the closest I have been with the other setters,” Brown said. “Brooke (Mosher) and I have a really special relationship and she trusts me.”

Though set one was a loss, the team fought back and thoroughly dominated the rest of the match. Head coach Chris Tamas spoke about the team getting healthy and gaining momentum at the right time in the season.

“We are getting to a point where we are getting healthy,” Tamas said. “It is good to see and we are able to get a few more pieces back in there, we have some players playing really good volleyball.”

The Illini host the No. 7 Wisconsin Badgers, (17-3, 11-1) at Huff Hall on Thursday, in their next quest for a ranked win. The Badgers come in on a 10-match win streak, including an upset win over No. 1 Nebraska.

 

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