Illinois Defeats Ohio State in Four Games
Oct. 11, 2003
Champaign, Ill. -
In front of a season-high crowd of 1,511 fans at Huff Hall, Illinois defeated Ohio State in four games tonight by the score of 30-17, 30-26, 27-30, 30-26. The win marks Illinois' first victory over Ohio State since Oct. 3, 1999, breaking a seven-match losing streak to the Buckeyes. With the win, Illinois improves to 13-3 on the season and moves into a tie for third place in the Big Ten with a league record of 4-2. Ohio State, meanwhile, drops to 7-7 overall and 1-5 in the conference.
The Illini outhit Ohio State .306-to-.180 and outblocked the Buckeyes 14-to-10. In a match that featured outstanding back row defense by both teams, Illinois won the battle of the digs by a 69-62 margin. Three UI players tallied double figures in digs, led by junior Kathleen Bazzetta's match-high 16 digs.
Sophomore Rachel VanMeter led the Illini with a team-high 18 kills while senior Lisa Argabright finished with 17 kills and hit a match-high .417. Argabright also tied her season high with eight blocks. Junior Erin Virtue provided another gutsy performance, leading Illinois to its .306 hitting for the match. Virtue finished with 57 assists while adding 13 digs and four aces.
"This is a great way to cap off the weekend, especially when it comes against two teams like Penn State and Ohio State who have two totally different styles of play," Head Coach Don Hardin said. "Ohio State is a great defensive team and it really was a tension filled night for our team. We found ourselves in a new position tonight, where we were expected to win. Following through and getting the job done with that burden on our shoulders is a big step forward for this team."
Illinois is on the road next weekend, at No. 16 Michigan State on Oct. 17 and at Michigan on Oct. 18. Both matches begin at 6 p.m. Central Time.