Illinois Defeats Manhattan in Straight Games
Sept. 12, 2003
Storrs, Conn. -
The Fighting Illini volleyball team opened play at the 2003 Connecticut Invitational today by routing Manhattan College in straight games by the score of 30-13, 30-22, 30-19. With the victory, the Illini have now won four straight matches and improve to 5-1 on the season, while Manhattan falls to 2-5 overall.
Senior middle blocker Lisa Argabright was sensational for the Illini in nearly breaking the school record for single-game attack percentage. Argabright erupted for 15 kills with no errors in 16 attempts vs. Manhattan, good for a career-high hitting percentage of .938 that also ranks as the second best percentage all-time at Illinois. Just how close was Argabright from the school record? The answer: three one-thousandths of a point from the single-game record .941 attack percentage set by Nancy Brookhart vs. Michigan on Oct. 23, 1987.
"I had no idea we were close to the record," Argabright said following the match. "Erin (Virtue) was putting the ball right there for me and I just kept hitting it. The credit has to go to our defensive specialists. They made perfect passes all night and Erin had all the hitters as options. She had the confidence to go to me and we were really clicking tonight."
Illinois hit an amazing .475 as a team for the match, with 56 kills and just eight errors. The Illini started off hot, hitting .792 with 20 kills and just a single error in the 30-13 game one victory. The Illini outblocked Manhattan 8-to-1 and outdug the Jaspers 41-to-34. Junior setter Erin Virtue directed the efficient Illini offense, tallying 39 assists while nailing three aces. She also led the defensive effort with a match-high 10 digs.
Junior Jessica Belter hit .500 with nine kills while freshman Meghan Macdonald had seven kills in just one game of action to hit .700 on the night. Senior Shelly O'Bryan and sophomore Rachel VanMeter each added eight kills.
The Illini have two matches remaining Saturday at the Connecticut Invitational. Illinois will face Akron at 1:30 p.m. CT and host UConn at 6:30 p.m. CT.