No. 3 Wisconsin volleyball sweeps Illinois in second meeting this season

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Sidney Malone

Libero/defensive specialist Carolina Barnes rushes to save the ball from Purdue on Sept. 30. Despite the Illini’s recent defeat against Wisconsin today the team intends to keep a positive mindset towards the future of this season.

By Adam Rosen, Staff Writer

Illinois volleyball (11-12, 6-7) looked to add another ranked win to its resume, hosting the No. 3 Wisconsin Badgers (18-3, 12-1) in the second matchup between the teams this season. The Illini once again fell short as they were swept by Wisconsin, (25-22, 25-19, 25-22.)

Huff Hall was a sea of orange as set one tipped off, as the defense of both sides showed up early in a heated set one. The Badgers initially looked ready to cruise to victory, especially after two Illini timeouts, but Illinois remained in the set due to some fortified floor defense. However, the Badgers held on to win 25-22. Junior outside hitter Raina Terry got off to a slow start after last Wednesday’s 24-kill performance, with just three in the first set and hitting negative overall.

The Illini looked to carry the momentum from their resilient effort in set one over to set two. However, the Illini still struggled to get consistent hitting as Wisconsin pulled ahead via a 8-1 run, finishing with a 25-19 set two win. Illinois had a .065 hitting percentage as a whole.

Illinois looked to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Badgers in set three, and to do so, they needed to improve on some struggle-filled hitting performances in the first two sets. While the hitting performance in set three was much improved, the Badgers took the match via sweep, winning set three 25-22.

Sophomore libero Caroline Barnes spoke on the team’s ability to constantly stay in matches and how that bodes well for the team going into their next matches. 

“We hung with them, we didn’t back down — we were close in every set,” Barnes said. “Taking that going into Minnesota, if we have that same resilience and we can turn a couple other points, we’ll be good to go.”

The Illini have dropped 12 matches now this season. With another on the board after tonight, head coach Chris Tamas said that the mindset remains the same.

“Keep moving forward,” Tamas said. “Gotta take the good and run with what you see with the good, and try to take out the bad.”

The Illini have another top-10 ranked matchup against the No. 9 Minnesota Golden Gophers (13-7, 8-4) on Sunday as they continue on their quest for the tournament.  

 

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