Postgame Notes - Illinois 3, USC 2
Dec. 16, 2011
No. 3 Illinois 3, No. 7 USC 2
-- Tonight's semifinal attendance was 10,525.
-- A total of 120,470 people have attended the tournament so far. 71,334 attended matches at first and second round sites, while 38,611 attended regional matches. This is just the second time in tournament history that tournament attendance has exceeded 120,000.
-- This was the 15th time that a conference (Pacific-12) has provided two of the four teams in the Finals. The Pac-12 holds the record of sending three teams to the Finals, achieving the feat four times.
-- Illinois is appearing in the Championship match for the first time.
-- Illinois has won all seven of their five-set matches this year.
-- Illinois has now won three of the five meetings against USC. They last met in 2004.
-- Senior outside hitter Colleen Ward had a team and season-high 27 kills and added a career-high 22 digs. It was her 20th double-double of the season.
-- Senior outside hitter Michelle Bartsch also had a 20-20 match with 22 kills and 22 digs for her 19th double-double on the year. She also added four blocks.
-- Junior setter Annie Luhrsen notched her 11th double-double of the year with a match-high 66 assists and 11 digs.
-- Sophomore libero Jennifer Beltran led all players with 32 digs.
-- Illinois' 95 digs tied the fifth-best total for a five-set match in NCAA Finals history.
-- This was just USC's third loss in their last 31 matches. They finish the season 29-5.
-- After winning back-to-back titles in 2002 and 2003, USC has lost in the national semifinals the last four times that it has reached the Finals (2004, 2007, 2010 and 2011).
-- First Team All-American Alex Jupiter led all players with 32 kills. That ties the fourth-best mark in NCAA Finals history for a five-set match. She added 12 digs for her 13th double-double of the year.
-- Senior setter and First Team All-American Kendall Bateman dished out a season-high 65 assists. She finished her career as the school's all-time leader with 4,510. She added 13 digs for her eighth double-double of the season, while also tying her season-high with four blocks.
-- Sophomore libero and First Team All-American Natalie Hagglund notched a team-high 31 digs.
-- Third-Team All-American and senior middle hitter Lauren Williams hit .448 and slammed a season-best 18 kills.
-- Junior outside hitter Katie Fuller and sophomore outside hitter Sara Shaw chipped in with 11 kills and 18 digs, respectively.