2013 Illinois Volleyball Year-In-Review
Jennifer Beltran garners All-America Honorable Mention
Purdue defeated Illinois, 3-0, to advance to the NCAA Regional Final
Jocelynn Birks, Jennifer Beltran and Liz McMahon (HM) named to All-Northeast Region teams
Illinois will face Big Ten-foe Purdue Friday at State Farm Center in the NCAA Regional Semifinal
Photos from the Illinois vs. Minnesota match at Huff Hall.
Photos from the Illinois vs. Michigan State match at Huff Hall.
Photos from the Illinois vs. Ohio State 'Workout for a Cure' match at Huff Hall
Photos from the Illinois vs. Penn State match at Huff Hall
Photos from the Illinois vs. Nebraska match at Huff Hall
2013: AVCA Third Team All-America ... AVCA All-Northeast Region ... Unanimous All-Big Ten selection ... Long Beach State Mizuno Invitational All-Tournament MVP ... NCAA Regional All-Tournament Team ... Preseason All-Big Ten ... Started all 33 matches at outside hitter, playing all six rotations and appearing in all 124 sets ... Led the team with 500 kills, 570 points and 28 service aces, adding 278 digs, 76 blocks, 20 assists, and led all regular serve receivers with a .956 reception percentage ... Became just the third Illini ever to post multiple 500-kill seasons ... Finished her sophomore campaign ranked second in the nation among active players in career attacks per set and ninth in career kills per set ... Ranks third among active underclassmen with 1,010 total career kills ... Placed fifth in the Big Ten in both kills and points per set on the season, ranking fourth in both categories and seventh in service aces during Big Ten play ... Finished 38th in the NCAA in kills on the season and 40th in points ... Her 1,584 attack attempts ranks fourth all-time at Illinois, and her 500 kills ties for 13th ... Already ranks 11th all-time at Illinois in career attack attempts, with 3,042 through two seasons ... Registered 11 double-doubles on the season and eight 20-kill matches ... Ranks fourth all-time at Illinois with 19 career 20-kill matches; her eight in 2013 ranks 10th on the single-season chart ... Named the Most Valuable Player at the Long Beach State Mizuno Invitational after leading the tournament with 58 kills, adding 15 digs and six blocks ... Tallied 22 kills against both No. 18 Florida State and No. 17 Kentucky to move into seventh all-time at Illinois with 13 career 20-kill matches. Her 22 kills and 25 points against Florida State were the most in a 3-set match since the move to 25-point rally scoring in 2008 ... Led the Illini in kills in both matches at the Iowa State Challenge, totaling 29 over two matches to go with 13 digs, three blocks and an ace ... Registered two double-doubles at the Illini Classic, including 21 kills, 12 digs and three aces against No. 2 Texas ... Had a season-high 17 digs at Duke, ranking second in the match behind Beltran ... Had a solid all-around match against Iowa, tabbing three aces, 10 digs and two blocks despite being limited to nine kills ... Was lights-out at No. 14 Michigan, slamming 21 kills and eight digs while hitting .288. Hit .529 with nine kills and no errors in the first two sets, then went 5-for-11 in error-free play in the crucial fifth set ... Notched her second-straight 20-kill match at No. 20 Purdue, earning a double-double with 22 kills, 10 digs, three blocks and an ace ... Hit a season-high .406 at Indiana, registering 15 kills, eight digs and three blocks ... Had back-to-back double-doubles against No. 4 Penn State and No. 17 Ohio State, adding seven blocks and an ace on the weekend ... Notched her third-straight double-double at Northwestern with 14 kills, 11 digs and three blocks ... Earned her fourth-straight double-double at No. 16 Wisconsin, totaling 15 kills, 10 digs and a season-high five blocks ... Tallied 18 digs in the 3-set victory at Iowa, adding 11 digs for a double-double ... Notched her 17th career 20-kill performance against No. 17 Michigan, cruising for 22 kills, 11 digs, six blocks and two aces ... Registered her second-straight 20-kill match against No. 13 Michigan State, leading the Illini to victory with 21 kills and 10 digs ... Led the Big Ten in service aces on Nov. 15-16, tallying three vs. Indiana and two against No. 18 Purdue, adding 22 kills, 12 digs and three blocks on the weekend ... Tops on the team in kills at both Ohio State and Penn State, tallying 15 kills, five blocks, nine digs and an ace against the Buckeyes, then recording her 19th career 20-kill match with 22 at Penn State ... Hit .316 with 16 kills and two aces to lead the Illini past Northwestern in three sets ... Hit .308 with 16 kills and 12 digs against Morehead State, then overcame a slow start to tally 19 kills, eight digs, three aces and three digs against Marquette to lead Illinois to the NCAA Regional ... Registered her 1,000th career kill in the NCAA Regional against Purdue, and became the third Illini ever to record two 500-kill seasons ... Named to the NCAA Regional All-Tournament Team after leading the Illini with 12 kills, nine digs and an ace against Purdue.
2012: All-Big Ten Honorable Mention ... Big Ten All-Freshman ... Four-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week (9/17, 11/5, 11/19, 11/26) ... Big Ten Player of the Week (9/17) ... Big Ten/BIG EAST Challenge All-Tournament Team ... Time Warner Cable Texas Invitational MVP... Tallied 510 kills, 1,458 attacks, 262 digs, 27 aces and 60 blocks (seven solo) on the season, ranking 10th all-time at Illinois in single-season kills and sixth in attacks ... Finished sixth in the Big Ten and 44th in the nation in kills, and seventh in the Big Ten and 52nd in the NCAA in points ... Third in the nation among freshmen in kills and fifth in points ... Led the Illini in kills and aces, was second in digs and third in solo blocks ... Had the second-most kills in an Illinois collegiate debut with 16 vs. Dayton ... Registered 25 kills against Cincinnati on Sept. 7 and was named to the Big Ten/BIG EAST Challenge All-Tournament team ... Named MVP of the Time Warner Cable Texas Invitational after leading the tournament with 60 kills, including 20+ twice, and recording a double-double in all three matches ... Named Big Ten Player and Freshman of the Week on Sept. 17 after her performance in Texas ... Registered the 31st 20-20 in Illinois history against Penn State (20k, 23d), becoming the 17th overall and fifth first-year player to achieve the feat ... Recorded 14 kills in the third set at Michigan, the most in a single set since at least 2002 ... Tops on the team with a personal-best three aces against Northwestern, including back-to-back aces early in the crucial third set ... Served up three aces again against Purdue on Oct. 31 ... Set Big Ten personal marks with 23 kills and a .392 clip against Indiana, leading to her second Big Ten Freshman of the Week nod ... Named Big Ten Freshman of the Week for a third time after averaging 5.22 kills against MSU and Michigan, notching 22 vs. MSU and tying her then-career high with 25 kills vs. Michigan ... Garnered Big Ten Freshman of the Week once again on Nov. 26, her third honor in the month of November and fifth overall, after averaging 5.9 kills, 2.8 digs and 0.6 blocks at Northwestern and Iowa, including a career-high 28 kills against the Wildcats ... Had 11 20-kill performances (sixth-most all-time) and 13 double-doubles on the season ... Led the team in kills in 22 of the 30 matches on the season, tabbing the most attacks in every match of the year.
2011: Used the season as a redshirt year.
Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Sun-Times all-area performer in 2010 after being named the Suburban Life all-area MVP in 2009 ... Named to the ESPN All-America second team ... Named News-Gazette state Player of the Year ... Ranked 26th in prepvolleyball.com's list of Senior Aces ... Named all-West Suburban Conference Silver Division ... Helped Lyons Township to the 2010 state title and to second in the state in 2009 ... Led the Lions with 18 kills in the state championship game ... Her 467 kills rank second in Lyons Township history for a single-season ... Named Lyons Township Female Athlete of the Year ... Played for the 1st Alliance Club team that placed fifth at the USAV Nationals in the 17 silver division, fifth at the JVDA National Championships and third at the AAU National Championship ... Tallied 441 kills, 47 blocks and 130 digs in 2009 and 419 kills, 38 blocks and 292 digs ... Named an AAU and Under Armour All-American ... Named the best passer at Under Armour All-Americans ... Coached by Joann Pyritz at Lyons Township and Beth Keck at 1st Alliance.
Daughter of Jeff and Jeanette Birks ... Has three brothers, Justin, Jeffrey and Jeremy ... Received the Diamond Achievement Award ... Plans to major in elementary education ... Enjoys coloring.
K: 28 at Northwestern (11/21/12)
TA: 80 at Northwestern (11/21/12)
PCT: .452 vs. Dayton (8/24/12)
A: 3 at Minnesota (10/28/12)
SA: 3, 6x-last vs. Marquette (12/7/13)
D: 23 vs. Penn State (10/6/12)
BS: 2, 2x-last at Long Beach St. (8/30/13)
BA: 6 vs. Michigan (11/6/13)
TB: 6 vs. Michigan (11/6/13)
Nickname: Jock, Jozzy, Josu
Career Plans: Elementary Ed Teacher
Fun fact: I secretly love to dance.
Favorite Movie: Justin Bieber's Never Say Never
Three things on your "bucket list: "Swim with a killer whale, Ride an elephant,Shoot hoops with Justin Bieber.
Famous person you admire and why? Justin Bieber, he uses his popularity to help people in need, and he RULES.
If you were to win $10 million, what would you buy? Some cars, a house on the beach, and probably a tiger.
Book you've read in the past year: The Time Travelers Wife
Favorite quote: "Never let the fear of striking out; keep you from playing the game."
Your favorite sundae topping: Chocolate
Your weirdest quirk: I enjoy making really obnoxious noises.
Favorite athlete: Michael Jordan
Favorite professional sports team: Chicago Blackhawks
Favorite TV Show: Pretty Little Liars
Favorite Musical Group: Lady Antebellum
Lucky number: 24
Favorite subject in high school: English
Crazy thing you dream of doing someday: Having an exotic animal as a pet
Who did you idolize growing up: My mother, Jeanette.