The Daily Illini

Illinois volleyball on the road to face Nebraska, Iowa

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Illinois volleyball on the road to face Nebraska, Iowa

Illinois' Danielle Davis passes the ball during the match against Northwestern at Huff Hall on Saturday, October 15. The Illini won 3-0.

Illinois' Danielle Davis passes the ball during the match against Northwestern at Huff Hall on Saturday, October 15. The Illini won 3-0.

Austin Yattoni

Illinois' Danielle Davis passes the ball during the match against Northwestern at Huff Hall on Saturday, October 15. The Illini won 3-0.

Austin Yattoni

Austin Yattoni

Illinois' Danielle Davis passes the ball during the match against Northwestern at Huff Hall on Saturday, October 15. The Illini won 3-0.

By James Boyd, Staff writer

Bob Devaney Sports Center is home to the Nebraska volleyball team, and when Illinois visits this Friday, the team will look to end the Cornhuskers’ six-game winning streak.

This weekend’s match will be the second meeting between the two teams this season. The Cornhuskers outplayed the Illini in the first outing, handing them their only straight-sets conference loss this season, 25-18, 25-22, 25-21.

Illinois has played seven matches since then, earning five wins — including a straight-sets victory over Michigan State.

Head coach Kevin Hambly said that his team has improved since the lopsided defeat but added that Nebraska is not the same team, either. Earlier in the season, he called the Cornhuskers the best pass-serve team that his squad would face, and before this latest matchup, he said his squad would have to be ready to compete.

“There’s not much you can do about that,” Hambly said. “If they hit a good serve, you can’t change anything. But if you don’t serve aggressive at them and don’t get them out of (their) system, you’re going to be in trouble, so we’re going to serve more aggressive.”

Hambly said that slight adjustments would be made with his team, especially following its five-set loss to Purdue. 

The Illini can expect to play in front of a huge crowd in Lincoln, Nebraska. The Cornhuskers have sold out 181 consecutive games and average nearly 8,000 attendees per contest.

When Nebraska played at Huff Hall on IlliNOISE night, the fans set a new sound record for the facility with a reading of 112 decibels. Despite the probability of Nebraska’s gym being packed, Hambly does not expect it to be as loud as it was when the Illini played at home.

After Friday’s match against Nebraska, Illinois will travel to Iowa City, Iowa, to take on Iowa. The Hawkeyes are on a three-match losing streak and are .500 in Big Ten play.

This will be Illinois’ only conference match with the Hawkeyes this season.

“Even though we had a tough loss to Purdue, (Hambly’s) message was that now we have to keep getting better,” senior Danielle Davis said. “It was kind of a wake-up call. We’ve won in three sets, but we’re not peaking right now, and we definitely have a ways to go.”

 

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