Shelly O'Bryan had 10 blocks, the most by an Illini player this season, as Illinois defeated Wisconsin.
Nov. 15, 2003
Champaign, Ill. -
The 25th-ranked Fighting Illini volleyball team had Huff Hall rockin' tonight as a season-high crowd of 2,438 fans watched Illinois sweep No. 23 Wisconsin by the score of 30-19, 30-26, 34-32. With the win, the Illini extend their winning streak to four in a row and improve to 21-5 on the season and 12-4 in the Big Ten. The Badgers, meanwhile, drop to 18-9 overall and 10-6 in the conference. Illinois and Minnesota are tied for second place in the Big Ten standings, trailing league-leader Penn State by just one match with four left to play.
Illinois kept its perfect home record intact tonight, improving to 11-0 at Huff Hall this season. Illinois is the only team in the Big Ten that remains undefeated at home.
"I can't say enough about our crowd," Head Coach Don Hardin said. "The outstanding defensive play from both teams made for some great rallies and our fans really fed off that and created an incredible atmosphere tonight.
"I think our clutch play as a team all starts with the heart of our setter, Erin Virtue,"Hardin added. "She loves the competition and really works so hard to put this team in position everyday to succeed. She's a fighter."
Erin Virtue led the Illini with her 13th double-double of the season, setting 41 assists and recording 11 digs. Virtue also joined in on the fun offensively, tying her career high with five kills on seven swings for a hitting percentage of .714.
The Illini had a balanced attack on offense, led by sophomore Rachel VanMeter's match-high 16 kills. While VanMeter was the only UI player to reach double figures, five others notched at least five kills. Lisa Argabright had nine on .471 hitting, while Melissa Vandrey added eight.
Senior middle blocker Shelly O'Bryan was another bright spot for the Orange and Blue. She erupted for a season-high 10 blocks, the most by an Illini player this season. In addition to her blocking, O'Bryan tallied seven kills on .357 hitting.
Illinois outdug Wisconsin 68-57 as four Illini reached double figures in kills. Lauren Harks led the way with a match-high 15 digs, her 18th match this season in double figures.
After concluding its four-match home stand tonight, Illinois now must prepare for its final road trip of the regular season next weekend. The Illini travel to Indiana on Friday, Nov. 21 and Purdue on Saturday, Nov. 22. Both matches begin at 6 p.m. Central Time.