Illini volleyball tops Wisconsin in 4 sets

The Illinois volleyball team responded to its first loss of the season with a 3-1 win over Wisconsin on Friday night, 25-21, 20-25, 25-17, 25-20.

However, it may not have been the best match to start off the second half of the Big Ten season for the No. 3 Illini (21-1, 10-1 Big Ten).

Both teams were strong on the attack in the first set, hitting over .350. But the Illini saw that figure dip to .179 in the following set.

Wisconsin, led by a freshmen-heavy lineup, got Illinois out of sync, forced it to commit seven errors and eventually took the second set.

In response to the Badger’s athleticism and quickness, the Illini replaced freshman Liz McMahon with sophomore Jazmine Orozco.

Orozco received her longest playing time on the court all conference season, ending the night with two kills and two block assists.

In a match filled with long rallies, Illinois managed to finish on top. Senior Colleen Ward (12 kills, .294 hitting percentage) and junior Annie Luhrsen (five kills, .715) led the Illini offense.

After negative hitting in her last time out, redshirt freshman Anna Dorn was potent Friday on both ends with nine kills and eight block assists.

Illinois out-blocked and out-dug Wisconsin, 12-4 and 67-65, respectively.

Wisconsin falls to 13-10, and 5-6 in the conference.

Illinois returns to Huff Hall on Saturday to take on No. 15 Minnesota (12-8, 5-6), which lost to Northwestern on Friday.