Illini volleyball defeats Ohio State in 3 sets

After defeating Ohio State in straight sets, the No. 1 Illinois volleyball team can now focus on No. 8 Penn State.

The Illini downed the Buckeyes 25-22, 25-12, 25-22 Friday night in Columbus, Ohio.

Senior Colleen Ward posted a match-high of 14 kills, especially in the second set, when she had eight kills and an .888 hitting percentage. As a team, Illinois hit .633 in that set alone.

Senior Michelle Bartsch had 12 kills for the night, while freshman Liz McMahon added 11 kills and hit .588. Junior Annie Luhrsen paced the Illini’s offense with 40 assists and also recorded nine digs and three blocks.

With Jennifer Beltran adding 13 digs, the Illini out-dug the Buckeyes 44-41 and out-blocked them 9-4.

Ohio State fell to 12-6 and 2-3 in the Big Ten, while Illinois improved to 16-0, 5-0 and will put its undefeated record on the line Saturday night against Penn State – the four-time NCAA champions and eight-time Big Ten champions.

Illinois hopes to capture its first win at Rec Hall, a gym it hasn’t won a single match in since 1995.