The Daily Illini

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.
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...

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

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...

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.
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...

Illinois goes 2-0 over the weekend against Michigan’s Big Ten teams

Michelle Strizak spikes the ball during the game against Michigan State at Huff Hall on Friday, Oct. 30. Illinois won 3-1.
November 1, 2015

This weekend, the No. 21 Illinois volleyball team accomplished a feat it hasn’t done since Sept. 26: win two consecutive matches.The Illini (15-8) returned to Huff Hall this weekend to take on Michigan...

New VERT jumping sensors help Illinois volleyball players get higher

October 27, 2015

Tweet: #Illini volleyball uses VERT technology to track vertical leap and jumps per practiceNot-so-breaking news: The Illinois volleyball team can jump high.Michelle Strizak hovers around 37 inches on...

Illinois seeks help of Viliunas, goes 1-1 on weekend

October 25, 2015

The No. 18 Illinois RBvolleyball team struggled to connect on passes early in both weekend matches, so head coach Kevin Hambly called upon a familiar face to help revitalize the team: Alexis Viliunas.The...

No. 18 Illini back on the road to face Indiana, No. 19 Purdue

Brandi Donnelly sets the ball during the game against Iowa at Huff Hall on Friday. Illinois won 3-0.
October 21, 2015

There’s no rest for weary volleyball players, especially not in the Big Ten.After a 3-0 loss to Nebraska Saturday, the No. 18 Illini (12-7)JT is looking to bounce back in their two matches slated for...

Oregon transfer Naya Crittenden settling into increased role for Illini volleyball

(right) Naya Crittenden stuffs an Iowa attack during Illinois' 3-0 win at Huff Hall on Friday.
October 20, 2015

Naya Crittenden hadn’t played a single set of volleyball until her sophomore year at Peter Johansen High School in Modesto, California.Crittenden was a track star whose athleticism carried over naturally...

Illinois volleyball looking to end losing streak against Iowa, Nebraska

Illinois' Naya Crittenden (9) spikes the ball during the match against Ohio State at Huff Hall on Saturday, Oct 10, 2015. Illinois lost 1-3.
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...

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

Jocelynn Birks spikes the ball during the game against Penn State at Huff Hall on Friday, October 9. Illinois lost 1-3.
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...

Illinois volleyball team drops two matches at home

Illinois basketball players (top left) Khalid Lewis, (bottom left) Mike Latulip, (middle) Alex Austin, (second from right) Jaylon Tate and (right) Kendrick Nunn cheer on the women's volleyball team during their game against Penn State on Friday at Huff Hall.
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...

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