Lisa Argabright had 16 kills to lead the Illini past Northwestern.
Nov. 12, 2003
Champaign, Ill. -
The 25th-ranked Fighting Illini volleyball team kept its perfect home record intact tonight by rolling past the visiting Northwestern Wildcats in straight games by the score of 30-22, 30-28, 30-27. Illinois is now 10-0 at Huff Hall this season and more importantly wins its 20th match of the year, improving to 20-5 overall. The Illini also move to within one-half game of first place in the Big Ten standings at 11-4, trailing only league leader Penn State (11-3). Northwestern, who entered the match having won five of its last six matches, drops to 16-11 on the season and 7-8 in the conference.
The victory marks the 16th time in school history and the third time under Head Coach Don Hardin that Illinois has reached the 20-win plateau in a single season. Hardin, meanwhile, is now averaging 20.5 wins per year in his 16 seasons as a college head coach.
Illini senior middle blocker Lisa Argabright led the Illini, registering match-high totals of 16 kills and a hitting percentage of .400. Argabright has now reached double figures in kills in 22 of 25 matches this year. She also tallied three blocks to share the team lead with fellow senior middle blocker Shelly O'Bryan.
Melissa Vandrey and Jessica Belter added 11 kills apiece as three Illini players finished in double figures offensively. Illinois held a commanding 55-39 advantage in digs, led by a match-high 13 digs from junior libero Lauren Harks and 11 digs from both Kathleen Bazzetta and Erin Virtue. Virtue finished with her third consecutive double-double and 12th of the season, tallying 40 assists in addition to her 11 digs.
Next up, Illinois concludes its four-match home stand with a huge match Saturday night against No. 23 Wisconsin. The Badgers are 18-7 on the year and just a half game behind Illinois in the conference standings at 10-4. Match time is set for 7 p.m. at Huff Hall.