The Daily Illini

Former volleyball player Viliunas brings energy to women’s hoops

Illinois' Alexis Viliunas bodying Northwestern's Pallas Kunaiyi-Akpanah during the game against Illinois at the State Farm Center on February 4. The Illini lost 69-59.

By Daniel Dexter

February 29, 2016

Tweet: Former #illini volleyball player Alexis Viliunas added energy and excitement in her first and only season on the Illinois women’s basketball teamCheck out Brian Heidegger's Radio Story on Alexis Viliunas here.Thunderous applause typically accompanied the entrance of senior Alexis Viliu...

Poulter regains starting setter position

Jordyn Poulter sets the ball during a game against Iowa at Huff Hall. Poulter is this week's Illini of the Week.

By Daniel Dexter

November 9, 2015

Illinois freshman Jordyn PoulterCC returned to the starting setter position Saturday after she was replaced a week earlier by senior Alexis ViliunasCC.Poulter was put into the match against Northwestern on Wednesday. When she came in, the Illini were down 23-20 in the third set. The team would go on to lose the set ...

Illini volleyball freshman Ali Bastianelli used to fighting for what she wants

(left) Naya Crittenden and (right) Ali Bastianelli jump to block and attack during the game against Michigan State at Huff Hall on Friday, Oct. 30. Illinois won 3-1.

By Eli Schwadron

November 5, 2015

Freshman Ali Bastianelli is a 6-foot-3, tough-as-nails middle blocker who leads the Illinois volleyball team with 98 blocks on the season.The source of Bastianelli’s toughness behind the net may come as a surprise. She’s a black belt in Karate.The Marysville, Michigan native participated in martial arts fo...

Illinois volleyball looks to capture first road win against Northwestern since 2012

By Eli Schwadron

November 4, 2015

Tweet: No. 18-ranked #Illini volleyball looks to keep win streak alive at Northwestern on Wednesday night.By Eli SchwadronStaff writerIllinois volleyball hasn’t won on the road against Northwestern since 2012. No. 18 Illinois is looking to change that Wednesday night in Evanston.The Illini (15-8) fa...

Viliunas earns starting setter role for Illini volleyball

(left) Naya Crittenden and (right) Ali Bastianelli jump to block and attack during the game against Michigan State at Huff Hall on Friday, Oct. 30. Illinois won 3-1.

By Daniel Dexter

November 2, 2015

Tweet: #illini volleyball gets strong performances from Vilunas and Bastianelli in team’s weekend wins.After being subbed in early in both of last week’s matches, senior Alexis Viliunas was given the starting setter role in Illinois volleyball’s two weekend wins.Viliunas recorded respective assist tot...

Illinois volleyball cruise to a sweep of Texas Southern in Sun Devil Invitational

Illinois' Ali Stark (13) spikes the ball during the game vs Louisville  at Huff Hall on Friday, Aug. 28, 2015.  Illinois won 3-0.

By Daniel Dexter

September 21, 2015

The No. 6 Illinois volleyball team opened the Sun Devil invitational on Friday with a masterful sweep of Texas Southern (25-13, 25-7, 25-11).The Illini (9-2) defense stifled the Tigers’ (2-9) offense, limiting them to a negative hitting percentage throughout the match. On the other end, Illinois’ ...

Illinois faced new challenges against Kentucky

Illinois' Michelle Strizak (4) bumps the ball during the game against Minnesota at Huff Hall, on Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014. The Illini won 3-0.

By Daniel Dexter

September 14, 2015

The No. 6 Illinois volleyball team (7-1) swept its weekend competition, but its biggest challenge came from No. 24 Kentucky (5-5).According to outside hitter Michelle Strizak, the Illini had to adjust to the tough blocking presence that the Wildcats presented. Kentucky scored off 13 blocks — si...

Illini of the Week Nov. 5: Jocelynn Birks

Junior outside hitter dominates in both road victories over both Big Ten Michigan schools, first since 2003.

November 5, 2014

Jocelynn Birks is a terminator. At least that’s one of head coach Kevin Hambly’s nicknames for her. Hambly, who comes up with creative nicknames for the junior outside hitter, called Birks a “terminator” earlier this season in regards to her ability to put away kills, but she means so much mo...