Junior Lisa Argabright returned to the lineup against Michigan State, registering nine kills on .529 hitting.
Nov. 22, 2002
Champaign, Ill. - The Illini volleyball team had Michigan State on the ropes throughout the evening but could not put the Spartans away in critical rallies as Michigan State eventually prevailed in four games. Illinois dropped the match by the score of 30-22, 27-30, 28-30, 30-32. With the loss, Illinois falls to 11-15 on the season and is in ninth place in the Big Ten at 5-12. Michigan State meanwhile improves to 17-10 overall and 9-8 in conference play.
Illinois won game one 30-22 after opening with a sizzling attack percentage of .455. The Illini tallied 22 kills and just two errors in the opening game en route to the efficient hitting.
The theme of games two, three and four was unfortunately a familiar one for the Illini as the Orange and Blue relinquished leads late in each game. Illinois led 27-26 in game two before the Spartans answered with the final four points to even the match at 1-game apiece. The Illini let a 26-23 lead slip away in game three as MSU went on a 7-2 run to close out the game and take a 2-1 lead in the match. Illinois had three game point opportunities (29-27, 29-28 and 30-29) in the fourth game, but Michigan State survived each time and finished with the game's final three points to close out the match.
Illinois outhit Michigan State .250-.236 for the match while outblocking the Spartans 17-7.5. But Michigan State outdug the Illini 88-57 and enjoyed a 77-69 advantage in kills. Illinois had five aces in the match compared to none for MSU. But the Illini also racked up 14 service errors, eight more than Michigan State's six.
Junior Melissa Vandrey was one of four Illini players finishing in double figures in kills, registering a team-high 15 on the evening. Freshman middle blocker Rachel VanMeter played well, tallying 10 kills on .400 hitting with six blocks.
After missing the past six matches due to mono, junior Lisa Argabright returned to the lineup tonight and performed admirably. In two games of action, the middle blocker recorded nine kills and no hitting errors in 17 swings, posting a match-high hitting percentage of .529.
Michigan State was led by the duo of Kim Schram and Jenny Rood. The two players combined for 51 of MSU's 77 kills, as Schram tallied a match-high 26 and Rood added 25.
Illinois returns to action tomorrow night for the final home match of the season, taking on the Michigan Wolverines (15-12, 9-8). It will be senior night tomorrow, as the Illini honor its two departing seniors, setter Betsy Eiserman and outside hitter Sue Webber. Action starts at 7 p.m. at Huff Hall.