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    White Tops Orange Team at Exhibition Match
    Ali Stark led the white team to a five-set victory over the orange team tonight, recording 21 kills and 14 digs.

    Ali Stark led the white team to a five-set victory over the orange team tonight, recording 21 kills and 14 digs.

    Aug. 18, 2012

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    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Ali Stark had 21 kills and 14 digs and Liz McMahonhad 16 kills and eight blocks to pace the white squad to a five-set victory over the orange squad Saturday night in front of 1,490 fans at Huff Hall. The final set scores were 25-21, 22-25, 23-25, 25-21, 15-12.

    "I thought tonight we were a little sloppy," head coach Kevin Hamblysaid. "We have a lot of work ahead of us. We have a week to prepare. It is exactly what we expected with all the young players. I thought we played hard on defense, blocked pretty well and our transitions were okay."

    Stark led the white squad as the redshirt-freshman hit .250 in 48 swings on the night. Sophomore Jocelynn Birks also played well, recording 11 kills, four aces and three digs. As usual, Illinois played a defensive minded game with several long rallies. The Illini had 159 digs on the night, paced by junior libero Jennifer Beltran's29 digs.

    The Illini were also eager to see how the Illinois freshmen would respond, as they were led by Kathryn Polkoff's five kills while Alexis Viliunasadded 23 digs.

    "We have talented kids," Hambly said. "We are going to have to get a lot of experience and matches. Every year is its own year so I'm just trying to focus on this one right now."

    Tonight also served as alumni night as 10 former Illini players were recognized including recent graduates Rachel Feldman, Hannah Deterding, Michelle Bartsch and Laura DeBruler. Johannah Bangert along with Mary Coleman Hambly, Kristine Anderson, and Rachel Hendersonalso returned. Patricia Albee Beam and Kelly See Finet were also part of the alumni group honored.

    The Illini will be back in action next weekend as they compete in the Dayton Flyer Classic on Friday, Aug. 24 and Saturday, Aug. 25.

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