Sophomore Laura DeBruler led the Illini with 11 kills and six digs in the sweep of the Buckeyes on Friday night.
Oct. 10, 2008
COLUMBUS, Ohio - In the first match of an important road swing, the No. 19 Illinois volleyball team dominated the Ohio State Buckeyes on Friday night at St. John Arena, 3-0 (25-17, 25-23, 25-16). In the three set sweep, the Illini were led by sophomore Laura DeBruler who tallied 11 kills and six digs. The Illini block came alive in the match with 12 total team blocks against the Buckeyes.
With the win the Illini improve to 12-4 overall and 3-2 in conference play, while the Buckeyes drop to 10-7 overall and 1-4 in the Big Ten.
"We did a great job of rolling with our middles when we were connecting tonight," Illinois head coach Don Hardin said. "Abby (Nelson) was unstoppable at times and Johannah (Bangert) did a great job connecting for us in the middle. That gave us more weapons and more people to go to and really alleviated a lot of the stress. I was impressed with our passing tonight. Our passers really kept us in system throughout the match."
Nelson had eight kills and two service aces, while Bangert tallied nine block assists on the night. Sophomore Hillary Haen added 24 assists and was part of the forceful Illini block with two block assists for the Orange and Blue.
In the first set, the Illinois block came on fire, with the Illini out blocking the Buckeyes, 6-4. Bangert, sixth in the nation in blocks per set, had six block assists in the opening set alone. The Orange and Blue held a .226 to .062 hitting advantage over the Buckeyes in the first set.
The two teams traded points back and forth in a second set that saw eight ties and three lead changes. The Illini hit .171 with a balanced attack edging the Buckeyes, 25-23, to take a 2-0 lead into the break.
It was all Illini in the third set as the Orange and Blue rolled, hitting a match high .231. The Illini took an early 5-4 lead over the Buckeyes and never looked back. Illinois stormed out to a 25-16 win to take the set and the match.
Illinois continues its Big Ten road battles tomorrow night as it takes on No. 23 Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich., at 5 p.m. CT at Cliff Keen Arena.