The Daily Illini

Illinois moves onto the Sweet Sixteen after four-set victory over Louisville

Illinois moves onto the Sweet Sixteen after four-set victory over Louisville

By Daniel Dexter

December 6, 2015

After dropping the first set against Louisville in a hostile environment, Illinois volleyball head coach Kevin Hambly had a message for his team: Calm down.Frantic play has been a cause for concern for the Illini over the course of an up-and-down regular season. But in their second-round NCAA tournamen...

Illini volleyballers nab several All-Conference awards

Illini volleyballers nab several All-Conference awards

By Lucas Wright

December 1, 2015

The Illini volleyball team earned its third-straight trip to the NCAA Tournament and its sixth in seven years with head coach Kevin Hambly at the helm.Based on records, this year is one of Hambly’s weakest teams, entering the tournament with only 19 wins as opposed to 26 wins in 2014 and 32 in 2011MD....

Illinois volleyball decimates Rutgers in three sets.

Illinois volleyball decimates Rutgers in three sets.

By Daniel Dexter

November 15, 2015

The Illinois volleyball team plays some of the best teams in the country week-to-week — that’s the nature of the Big Ten — but playing Rutgers is a bit of an exception.Saturday, the No. 17 Illini (18-9, 9-7)JT dismantled the struggling Scarlet Knights (4-24, 1-15)JT in three sets. Illino...

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

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

By Eli Schwadron

November 4, 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 3, 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...

Illinois volleyball looking to end losing streak against Iowa, Nebraska

Illinois volleyball looking to end losing streak against Iowa, Nebraska

By Daniel Dexter

October 14, 2015

The Illinois volleyball team’s schedule has been grueling thus far, and it doesn’t get much easier from here on out.The No. 13 Illini (11-6) will have a chance to end its four-game losing streak Friday against lowly Iowa (10-9), winless in six matches against Big Ten teams. It will be the first non-ra...

Illinois volleyball coach Hambly wants more “emotional investment” from team

Illinois volleyball coach Hambly wants more “emotional investment” from team

By Daniel Dexter

October 13, 2015

Illinois volleyball head coach Kevin Hambly put together a video of missed opportunities on Monday.The video consisted of 75 moments throughout the weekend that Humbly thought his team should have scored points on. His message was that he wanted greater emotional investment from everybody.“The margins are too thin to miss...

Illinois volleyball team drops two matches at home

Illinois volleyball team drops two matches at home

By Daniel Dexter

October 11, 2015

On the precipice of being swept at home Friday night, the Illinois volleyball team (11-5) found its game, if only for a moment.Penn State (15-2) had its way for the majority of the match and looked to put the No. 13 Illini away in the third. But with match point at 24-21, outside hitter Jocelynn Birks...

No. 9 Illini to face Maryland and Rutgers this weekend

No. 9 Illini to face Maryland and Rutgers this weekend

By Eli Schwadron

September 23, 2015

Rutgers and Maryland are out for revenge.Illinois swept Maryland and Rutgers at Huff Hall in the opening two matches of conference play last season. Double-doubles from outside hitter Jocelynn Birks (15 kills, 10 digs, .444 hitting percentage) and setter Alexis Viliunas (14 assists. 10 digs) spearhe...

Illinois faced new challenges against Kentucky

Illinois faced new challenges against Kentucky

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...

Volleyball looks to carry momentum into Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge

Volleyball looks to carry momentum into Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge

By Eli Schwadron

September 2, 2015

Fresh off finishing first among four schools in the Illini Classic this past weekend, the No. 6 Illinois volleyball team (3-0) will travel to University Park, Pa., to compete in the Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge.The Illini’s first test is No. 2 Stanford on Friday. Then, head coach Kevin Hambly’s squad w...

Illinois volleyball features two elite freshmen in starting lineup

Illinois volleyball features two elite freshmen in starting lineup

By Daniel Dexter

September 1, 2015

The first time Illinois volleyball head coach Kevin Hambly met his starting setter Jordyn Poulter, she was 12 years old.Eight years later, she and fellow freshman middle blocker Ali Bastianelli find themselves in the starting lineup for the No. 6 volleyball team in the country.Their impact, both positive and ...