The Daily Illini

Illinois middle blockers prepare for spotlight

Sophomores Kyla Swanson and Kennedy Collins block a spike during the match against Tennessee on Sept. 1, 2019. Collins and two of her teammates stayed in touch last semester to workout over zoom.

By Wes Hollenberg, Staff Writer

October 26, 2020

In recent years, Illinois volleyball has developed a rich history of excellence at the middle blocker position, with players like Ali Bastianelli and Ashlyn Fleming leaving marks on Illini record books. Now that they’ve both graduated, the team’s next generation of middle blockers — sophomores...

Tamas prepares young team for spring season

Volleyball head coach Chris Tamas watches from the sidelines during the game against Penn State on Nov. 15. Tamas remains optimistic about the extended offseason and the opportunity for new player improvement.

By Wes Hollenberg, Staff Writer

October 8, 2020

On Sept. 21, the NCAA Division I Council approved pushing the volleyball season to the spring, with a regular season start date of Jan. 22 and a 48-team postseason tournament rather than the typical 64. While many players and fans were disappointed to have the season flexed to the spring, the extra time ...

Shorter practices may be Illini’s secret to success

Head volleyball coach Chris Tamas speaks with current senior Megan Cooney during the game against Tennessee on Sept. 1, 2019.

By Wes Hollenberg, Staff Writer

September 30, 2020

A typical Illinois volleyball practice looks different from most college programs across the country for one key reason: brevity. Head coach Chris Tamas has brought a ‘less-is-more’ philosophy to the program and now has the results to back it up. One of Tamas’ goals when designing practices is to match th...

Megan Cooney ready for final run with Illini

Then junior Megan Cooney speaks to her team during the game against Marquette at Redbird Arena on Sept. 14, 2019 in Normal, IL.

By Wes Hollenberg, Staff Writer

September 23, 2020

Illinois senior Megan Cooney is a true veteran. The easy-going outside/opposite hitter has seen Illinois volleyball at some of its highest and lowest points over the past few years, but now she may face her toughest challenge: adapting to change within the program.  Illinois volleyball has changed in quite a f...

NCAA board approves postponement of fall championships to spring

Then seniors Ashlyn Fleming and Jacqueline Quade attempt to block the ball during the game against the Pacific Tigers on Sept. 20, 2019 in Indianapolis, IN.

By Gabby Hajduk, Sports Editor

September 22, 2020

The NCAA Division I Board of Directors approved the postponement of fall sports championships to the spring, with the exclusion of football, on Tuesday. The postponement was originally recommended by the NCAA Division I Council last month after several Division 1 conferences halted their fall sports season...

Diana Brown looks to grow into leadership role

Redshirt sophomore Diana Brown sets the ball during the Orange vs Blue Scrimmage on Aug. 24, 2019. Following her redshirt season, Brown has looked to establish leadership on the court.

By Wes Hollenberg, Staff Writer

September 21, 2020

To some, redshirt sophomore Diana Brown might be labeled as over-competitive or too intense. After all, she models her leadership style after famous star athletes like Michael Jordan and LeBron James and has a self-described “type-A” personality. To Illinois, however, her volleyball savvy and stron...

Newcomers bring new look to Illini volleyball

Redshirt freshman Ellie Holzman officially commits to the University of Illinois on Nov. 29, 2018. Holzman is expected to fill some of the gaps left by the prior seniors.

By Wes Hollenberg, Staff Writer

September 14, 2020

When Illinois volleyball returns, there will be some big shoes to fill due to the loss of four seniors who graduated last year. With the exit of Jacqueline Quade, Caroline Welsh, Beth Prince and Ashlyn Fleming, the team is now beginning to look substantially different from Illinois’ 2018 Final Four rost...

Volleyball goes on without Big Ten, Pac-12

Former Illini Jordyn Poulter sets the ball during the Final Four match against Nebraska on Dec. 13, 2018. Although the Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences were canceled this fall, the NCAA still plans on holding a tournament in the spring comprised of Power-5 conferences.

By Wes Hollenberg, Staff Writer

September 8, 2020

Volleyball, along with all other fall sports, has come to a halt in the Big Ten and Pac-12.  The three other Power-5 conferences, however, plan for sports to continue. Though the women’s volleyball national championships have been pushed to the spring of 2021, there is now the possibility of a se...

Illini sports continue practice following postponement of season

Redshirt freshman Isaiah Williams throws the ball during a drill at football practice on Aug. 7.

By Claire O'Brien, Staff Writer

August 25, 2020

Huff Hall, Demirjian Park and Memorial Stadium are going to be empty this fall. The Illini won’t be competing against other Big Ten schools after the conference announced the cancellation of all fall sports Aug. 11. The Pac-12 conference followed suit later that day, and the remaining “Power 5...

Dosunmu, Quade win Dike Eddleman Athlete of the Year awards

Senior Jacqueline Quade and Sophomore Ayo Dosunmu were named Dicke Eddleman Athletes of the Year on Wednesday.

By Carson Gourdie, Assistant Sports Editor

May 14, 2020

Illinois men’s basketball guard Ayo Dosunmu and women’s volleyball outside hitter Jacqueline Quade were named Dike Eddleman Athletes of the Year for their past season performances. The award is named after Dike Eddleman, who garnered 11 varsity letters at Illinois. Dosunmu became the first male b...

Best Illini Uniforms: Orange with blue stripe ranks at top of 2019 volleyball jerseys

Junior Kylie Bruder sets the ball during the match against Loyola Marymount on Sept. 21, 2019.

By Brendyn Jones, On-Air Editor

May 13, 2020

Any Illini fan that has ever been to an Illinois volleyball game at Huff Hall knows how great the atmosphere is. At full capacity, Huff Hall is aggressively loud, and combined with when the fans all come in the same color, the home-court advantage Huff Hall gives has to be great. The aesthetic of the ...

All-time starting six highlights Illini volleyball greats

Senior Michelle Bartsch serves the ball during the NCAA Championship against UCLA on Dec. 17, 2011

By Josh Pietsch, Staff Writer

May 8, 2020

Over the years, the Illinois volleyball program has had many impressive seasons. One national championship appearance and four Final Four’s headline their achievements. The Illini have had so much success due to the skilled individuals that have passed through the program. Here are the all-time sta...

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