CHAMPAGNE – On a sentimental seniors’ day at Huff Hall, the Illinois volleyball team triumphed over Iowa in straight sets to record the Illinois’ eighth win of the season
The Fighting Illini’s fourth straight win helped the team move up to 15-13 overall and 11-8 in Big Ten play. Iowa fell to 8-21 and 2-16 against conference opponents that year.
The Illini started the game slowly, with the Hawkeyes taking an early serve 3-1 after the orange and blue failed to serve. Three kills in a row Jessica Nunge helped the Illini sneak past to within a point and an ace Becca Sakoda joined the opening movement with nine apiece. A four-point turnaround followed for Iowa, leading to a timeout in Illinois while they were 13-9 behind. A Brooke Mosher Kill sparked a 4-0 rally for the Illini, leading to an opposition timeout with Illinois holding onto the 15-14 edge. The Fighting Illini added a pair after the break, but Iowa didn’t quietly walk away, climbing back by a score. A back-to-back three for the Illini, however, thwarted the Hawkeyes’ comeback attempt and forced the opposition to burn their last time-out with the Illini leading, 22-18. Nunge set the set point for Fighting Illini and although the Hawkeyes fended off two tries, Mosher saved a 25-23 win in the opening set with a kill.
The second set started as a back and forth battle but a 5-0 run that made up an ace and an ace Diana Brown resulted in a timeout in Iowa with the Illini leading 12-9. The Fighting lliini drove on and went on a 4-0 run to lead 19-11 late in the set before the Hawkeyes capitalized on their final time-out. A 3-0 rally gave Illinois the set point and a Kyla Swanson The kill from the middle ended the Illini’s 25-15 triumph in the second verse.
Illinois fell behind early and called a time-out after back-to-back kills that gave Iowa the 11-7 advantage. The Hawkeyes extended their lead with three unanswered points, which Orange and Blue covered 17-11. The Illini charged back and stringed together a 3-0 run to fall 22-19 behind late in the set. Another 3-0 turn favored Illinois with Mosher and Raina Terry Kills leading to Iowa’s final timeout, with Orange and Blue trailing 23-22. The teams continued to fight by one block KennedyCollins and Mosher tying the set. Though Iowa hit set point first, the Illinois scored three straight hits and an attacking error by Iowa ended Illinois’ 26-24 win in the final frame.
Terry and Nunge led the squad with 11 kills each. Brown added 52 to hernd Career double-double as she led the Illini with 28 assists and 13 digs. Collins and Mosher each counted six total blocks for Orange and Blue.
Appetizers: KennedyCollins, Rylee Hinton, Diana Brown, Jessica Nunge, Caroline Barnes, Raina Terry and Brooke Mosher
All five Illini seniors appeared in the match
Illinois has won its home regular-season finals for nine straight years, dating back to the 2014 season.
The Illini wore long-sleeved white jerseys for the fifth time this season and are now 3-2 in them.
Illinois is 67-14 all-time against Iowa with a 37-4 record at home
Participation was requested with 2,256