Youth and resilience categorize 2012 season
Annie Luhrsen named Setter of the Week, Birks garners Co-Freshman of the Week honors
This is Birks' second weekly honor in the past three weeks
The Illini will honor their five seniors following Saturday's match
Second-set lead erased as Illini fell, 3-0
Photos from the Illini's 5-set match in West Lafayette, Ind.
2012: Big Ten Freshman of the Week (10/15) ... Appeared in seven matches as a true freshman, making four starts ... Totaled 163 assists, 10 blocks, 10 kills and six service aces while hitting .556 on the year ... Started her first collegiate match at Michigan State, where she led the Illini to a much-needed, come-from-behind, 3-2 victory over the Spartans ... Registered a double-double in her first career match, scoring 49 assists, 14 digs, three kills on three swings, and a block assist ... Named Big Ten Freshman of the Week on Oct. 15 after her Illini debut, becoming the first Illinois freshman ever to win a Big Ten weekly award for her first appearance ... Recorded her second-straight double-double against Northwestern, matching her debut with 49 assists and 14 digs, adding two kills and four block assists ... Entered the Purdue match in the fifth set when the Illini trailed 5-0, assisting on three-straight kills to close the gap to 5-3 ... Came in when the Illini trailed 11-1 to Penn State in the third set, and won 13 of the final 27 points ... Did not commit an attack error all season, hitting 1.000 in three matches.
2011 Illinois Gatorade Player of the Year ... 2011 Chicago Sun-Times Player of the Year after earning 2nd team all-state honors by the paper in 2009 and 2010 ... 2011 Chicago Tribune Player of the Year ... 2011 News-Gazette First Team All-State after earning 2nd team honors in 2009 and 2010 ... 2011 Suburban Life Player of the Year after earning all-area honors by the paper in 2009 and 2010 ... 2011 Mizuno Volleyball Magazine First Team All-American ... 2011 Under Armor Second Team All-American ... Rated the No. 34 best "Senior Ace" in the class according to prepvolleyball.com ... Named West Suburban Silver All-Conference honors in 2009, 2010 and 2011 ... Named first team all-area by the Doings in 2009 ... Four-year starter ... High school coach was Joann Pyritz ... Lyons reached the IHSA Class 4A Elite Eight all four years, winning the state title in 2010 and placing second in 2009 ... Lyons won the West Suburban Conferene Silver title in 2009 and 2010 ... Holds Lyons Township High School record for most assists (2,202) ... Her senior stats include 320 kills, 43 blocks, 300 digs, 644 assists, 54 aces and an attack percentage of .499. Has played club for 1st Alliance since 2003 ... Named an AAU All-American in 2009 and 2011 ... Named a USAV All-American in 2010 and 2012 ... Named to USA Select Team in 2009.
Born on Jan. 26, 1994 ... Daughter of Ed and Cheryl Viliunas ... Brother, Eddie, is a tight end on the Illinois football team ... Leaning toward a major in business ... J. Kyle Braid Leadership Award recipient ... Members of the Spanish Honor Society and National Honor Society ... Enjoys photography, baking, knitting,and shopping.
K: 3, 2x, last vs. Nebraska (10/21/12)
TA: 7 at Wisconsin (10/26/12)
Pct: 1.000, 3x-last (1-0-1) at Penn State (11/8/12)
A: 49, 2x, last vs. Northwestern (10/17/12)
SA: 2, 2x, last at Wisconsin (10/26/12)
D: 14, 2x, last vs. Northwestern (10/17/12)
BA: 4 vs. Northwestern (10/17/12)
TB: 4 vs. Northwestern (10/17/12)
Fun Fact: I'm a national champion in cheerleading.
Favorite Movie: The Blind Side
Restaurant you have to get to when going home: Portillo's
Favorite Midnight Snack: Chocolate milk
Secret Talent: Baking
Three things on your "bucket list ": Live in L.A. for a year, pet a squirrel, run a major corporation.
If you were to win $10 million, what would you buy? A yacht to travel the world.
Book you've read in the past year: The Hunger Games
Favorite quote: You only live once (YOLO).
Favorite Sundae Topping: Hot fudge
Favorite Athlete: Tom Brady
Favorite Professional Team: Chicago Bulls
Favorite TV Shows: Pretty Little Liars
Favorite Musical Group: Lady Antebellum
If I could visit any place in the world, where would you choose and why: Italy because the food rules!
Favorite Subject in School: Math
Favorite Game: Clue
Crazy thing you dream of doing someday: Singing a duet with Justin Bieber.
Who did you idolize growing up: My brother.