Melissa Vandrey had 15 kills and a season-high 11 digs in Illinois' win over Connecticut.
Sept. 13, 2003
Storrs, Conn. -
The Fighting Illini volleyball team capped off another successful weekend by defeating the host UConn Huskies in straight games by the score of 30-15, 30-23, 30-22 to win the championship of the Connecticut Invitational. With the victory, the Illini have now won six straight matches and improve to 7-1 on the season. Connecticut, meanwhile, falls to 4-5.
Leading the way for the Illini against the Huskies was senior outside hitter Melissa Vandrey. Vandrey was firing from all cylinders from the left side, ripping a match-high 15 kills with only two errors in 31 swings, good for an impressive season-high attack percentage of .419. Vandrey made it a double-double on the evening by adding a season-high 11 digs.
Two other Illini players joined Vandrey in double figures in kills as junior Jessica Belter and sophomore Rachel VanMeter recorded 10 kills apiece. Belter hit .500 for the match while adding five blocks. Senior Lisa Argabright had a season-high eight blocks as the Illini held a commanding 13-to-6 edge in team blocking. Illinois outhit UConn .319-.031 and outdug the Huskies 58-46.
Following the match, Illinois accepted its championship trophy and had two players earn individual recognition. Argabright was named the MVP of the Connecticut Invitational after averaging 4.5 kills and 1.4 blocks on combined .580 hitting during Illinois' three victories. Junior Erin Virtue was named to the All-Tournament Team after averaging 12.8 assists and 4.2 digs during the weekend while leading the team to a combined hitting percentage of .301 for the three matches.
The Illini are in action at home Tuesday night, hosting Loyola-Chicago. Match time is set for 7 p.m. at Huff Hall.