The Daily Illini

Illinois volleyball run at NCAA tournament begins with Wisconsin

Illinois' Katie Stadick (12) and Jocelynn Birks (7) attempt a block during the game against Rutgers at Huff Hall, on Saturday, Nov. 14th. The Illini won 3-0.

By Lucas Wright

November 18, 2015

It’s hard for the Illinois volleyball team to not look ahead.The program has had lots of success in recent years under head coach Kevin Hambly, and NCAA tournament appearances are a common experience for the Illini.Yet, this year Illinois is situated firmly on the bubble with four regular season matc...

Our kind of thing: a Fighting Illini family

Our kind of thing: a Fighting Illini family

By Alexis Casati

November 17, 2015

Being a student-athlete is a tricky thing. It’s an emotional thing, it’s a mental thing, and it’s a physical thing.And as surprising as this may sound, I haven't found many outside of college sports that are able to do justice to just how amazing an experience it is.But balancing all of these feeli...

Illinois volleyball decimates Rutgers in three sets.

Illinois' Ali Bastianelli (5) attempts to spike the ball during the match against Northwestern at Huff Hall on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015. Illinois won 3-1.

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...

Illinois volleyball looks for redemption at Ohio State

By Lucas Wright

November 11, 2015

The Illinois volleyball team goes on the road to Columbus, Ohio, to take on Ohio State Wednesday. However, the Illini are bringing some extra commendations with them.Aside from riding a four-game winning streak into the Ohio State matchup, which is the team’s second-longest of the season, senior J...

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 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.

By Daniel Dexter

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 State (14-9) and Michigan (16-7) on Friday and Saturday, respectively. The team found the consisten...

New VERT jumping sensors help Illinois volleyball players get higher

By Eli Schwadron

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 her vertical leap. On her best days, she can reach 40 inches – or 3 1/3 feet off the ground. Teammate...

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

By Daniel Dexter

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 senior setter started the weekend road matches against Indiana and No. 19 Purdue RBon the sideline, a spot...

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.

By Eli Schwadron

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 this weekend. Friday night, Illinois faces Indiana (12-8)JT before traveling to No. 19 Purdue (15-4)JT for a no...

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