The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

Illini volleyball horrifies Hoosiers in 5-set home victory

Jack Larson
Graduate middle blocker Kennedy Collins in the fourth set against Rutgers on Oct. 15. Collins’ delivered five aces in Illinois’ victory against Indiana on Thursday.

Illinois volleyball was victorious on Wednesday night in Huff Hall after five sets against Indiana.

The Illini advance to 11-10 on the season with a 6-5 record in the Big Ten. Receiving votes this week in the American Volleyball Coaches Association poll, the Hoosiers dropped to 16-8, 6-5 in conference play.

Head coach Chris Tamas and the Illini looked for revenge against the Hoosiers after losing to them in four sets last month. Tamas now holds a 10-2 record over the Hoosiers with tonight’s victory. All with double-digit kills, senior outside hitter Raina Terry, graduate middle blocker Kennedy Collins and freshman middle blocker Cari Bohm led offensively for the Illini. Bohm also certified a career-high performance with 10 kills. Indiana’s Camryn Haworth leads the nation in aces with 53, but lock-down Illini defense held her to zero in tonight’s match. Junior libero Caroline Barnes and graduate defensive specialist Vanessa Pan smothered the floor, recording 21 and 19 digs.

“We work on it in practice all week, dig in, and I was ready for it,” Barnes said. “It was kind of a revenge game for us. We started off the season with a loss and wanted to take it back.”

A tight first set showed a tied score at three before Terry’s ace gave Illinois the lead. Collins tied the score at five with a kill, followed by a perfect sequence of a tough dig from Terry and Bohm’s set to assist fifth-year outside hitter Jessica Nunge’s kill. An ace from Pan and a kill from Terry gave the Illini an 8-5 lead. Indiana worked to tie the score at eight, and both teams battled until the media break, where Indiana led 15-12. Neither side let up as the score tied at 21, and Indiana took a timeout. Collins and sophomore setter Brooke Mosher combine on a block to tie the score at 22. Collins then hit a clutch kill followed by an ace that forced another Hoosier timeout. Indiana came back to tie the score at 24, but a kill from Terry returned the Illini lead. At set point, Mosher served a top-spin laser that deflected out of bounds off the shoulder of a Hoosier, winning the set 26-24.

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The Hoosiers came back strong in the second set, striking a 10-5 lead after two 3-0 rallies and forcing a timeout from Tamas. Collins cut the deficit to three with back-to-back kills, but roofs from the Hoosiers gave them a 16-10 advantage. Illinois took another timeout down 12-19 and regrouped with a 3-0 run. Indiana called a timeout of their own at a 16-22 scoreline and snatched the second set 25-18.

Junior outside hitter Kayla Burbage led off the third set with a kill, and another ace from Pan led to a tie score at three. The score showed 14 ties and six lead changes in this set. Illinois took a timeout down 4-6, and a strategic kill from Mosher followed. The Illini worked towards a 16-14 lead after an ace from Collins, but the Hoosiers tied it up again. A Mosher kill and a huge roof from Nunge put the Illini up 18-16. The score tied at 23 before Mosher terminated the ball, giving set point to Illinois, and Collins finished off the third set with her fifth ace of the night.

“We just had a go-all-out mentality and came in with the mindset that we need to beat this team,” Collins said. “I trusted my training today and just went for it. I didn’t let up, I didn’t think about it too much, and that’s when I serve better.”

Bohm kicked off the fourth set with two kills and Illinois led 4-2 early on. The Illini hit a slump as Indiana strung together an 8-0 run, but Collins struck the ball to kill their momentum. A 5-0 run from the Hoosiers forced an Illinois timeout, but they were unable to regroup and lost the set 25-10.

“After that fourth set I wasn’t very happy with how our energy was on the court, and sometimes a team comes and takes it to you and it’s not your ideal set the way you want it to unfold,” Tamas said. “You need a really clean fifth set to come out on top.”

“He just fired us up,” Collins said. “He’s a calm coach and doesn’t yell a lot, but that time he did, and that’s what got us fired up.”

The Illini needed a surge of momentum to finish out their third straight match to reach five sets. Bohm struck first again in the fifth, followed by a block from Burbage and Collins to put the Illini up 2-1. Points were traded down the stretch as Tamas challenged an attack error called on Nunge and won it, reversing the point to give Illinois a 5-4 lead. A kill from Burbage tied the score at 8, and the Hoosiers called a timeout after multiple errors with the score 11-9, Illinois. Indiana scored after the timeout, but Collins and Terry put a roof over the Hoosiers with the Illini up 12-10. A kill from Terry landed just inside the line and went under review, Huff Hall roaring when the call stood. Terry proved the ball doesn’t lie by terminating it again and solidifying Illinois’ 14-10 lead with a Hoosier attack error to close out the thrilling match.

Fans can look forward to another Huff Hall outing this Saturday versus Purdue at 6 p.m.


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Jack Larson
Jack Larson, Audience Director
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