Illini bring No. 7 ranking into preseason opener
Aug. 23, 2012
| Illinois at Dayton Flyer Classic
| Illinois vs. Dayton
||Friday, Aug. 24, 2012 | 6:00 p.m. CT
| Illinois vs. Pepperdine
||Saturday, Aug. 25, 2012 | 9:00 a.m. CT
| Illinois vs. Ohio University
||Saturday, Aug. 25 | 4:00 p.m. CT
||Frericks Center (5,000) | Dayton, Ohio
||Illini Sports Network (PBP: Dave Loane; Analyst: Mike Koon)
| Live Stats and Video
||Tournament Central Home Page
| Live Audio
||Dayton Match | Pepperdine Match | Ohio Match
| Game Notes
This year marks the seventh straight season that Illinois and Dayton have squared off in volleyball. Illinois brings a three-match winning streak into the match.
Illinois defeated Dayton in four sets in the second round of the 2009 NCAA Tournament at Huff Hall.
The Flyers won the only meeting between the two schools in Dayton in the championship match of the 2007 Dayton Flyer Classic. Illinois had two match points in the fourth set before the Flyers scored four straight points to win the fourth set 31-29 and went on to win the match in five sets.
DAYTON-ILLINOIS SERIES (IL 7, DU 3)
9/24/1976 N L, 0-2
9/23/1977 H W, 2-0
9/14/1979 N W, 0-2
9/15/1979 N W, 1-2
9/12/2006 H W, 3-1
8/25/2007 A L, 2-3
9/12/2008 N L, 2-3
12/4/2009 H W, 3-1
12/10/2010 N W, 3-0
9/3/2011 H W, 3-2
ILLINI COMING OFF NCAA RUNNER-UP
Illinois had its best season in school history in 2011, reaching the NCAA championship match for the first time in school history. The Illini topped No. 1 ranked USC in five sets in the national semifinal match before falling in four sets to UCLA in the championship match.
Illinois has made 20 NCAA Tournaments, 13 Sweet 16s and three Final Fours in school history.
Illinois has made been a national seed in the NCAA Tournament four straight years. The Illini were the No. 9 seed in 2008, the No. 5 seed in 2009 No. 8 seed in 2010 and the No. 3 seed in 2011 (the highest by the Illini since national seeding began in 1998). Illinois has reached the Sweet 16 in 1985, `86, `87, `88, `89, `92, `95, `98, 2003, `08, `09, `10 and `11.
ILLINOIS HAS FORMIDABLE SCHEDULE
Illinois plays the first of its four matches against NCAA Elite Eight teams from a year ago when the Illini take on Pepperdine this weekend.
Illinois plays 13 different teams (eight of them twice) that made the tournament. Of those, 12 advanced to the second round, eight reached the Sweet 16 and three were in the Elite Eight. In total, the Illini play 14 matches against Sweet 16 teams.
The schedule features 13 matches against teams who finished in the final AVCA Coaches poll, including eight against top-10 teams. Those ranked opponents are Texas (4), Pepperdine (6), Iowa State (8), Penn State (9), Purdue (10), Nebraska (12), Minnesota (15), Michigan (20) and Ohio State (23). Dayton, Michigan State and Cincinnati also received votes.
WE MEET AGAIN
When Illinois plays Pepperdine it will mark a reunion between the Illini and former team member Jazmine Orozco
. The Lakewood, Calif., native played a big role in Illinois' season opening victory over BYU last year, but missed much of the season with post-concussion syndrome. She tranferred to Pepperdine to be closer to home. Orozco appeared in 30 matches as a freshman at Illinois, totaling 239 kills and 28 blocks.
Illinois won the only meeting with the Waves 15-9, 15-9, 15-13 on Sept. 9, 1988 as part of the Wahine Classic in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Pepperdine came within an eyelash of the national semifinals last year, losing a heartbreaking five-setter to USC in the regional final.
OHIO PART OF FIRST CHALLENGE
This year marks the fourth and final year of the Big Ten/Big East Challenge which annually pits Illinois and Purdue against Cincinnati and Louisville. Each school has taken a turn at hosting the event. In its first year of 2009, the Illini were already scheduled to meet Cincinnati so Ohio was the replacement in the event held at Purdue. The Illini defeated the Bobcats 27-25, 25-15, 25-20. That was the only meeting between the two schools.
Illinois will raise its National Runner-up Banner on Friday, Aug. 31 prior to its home opener with Iowa State as part of the Fighting Illini Classic. It also marks the 7th Annual Stuff Huff match. Illinois will play Iowa State, a team that took on Saturday afternoon as well.
Illini HAS quite a home court edge
The Illini ranked 10th in the nation in home attendance at 2,475 in 2011. The Illini had their second biggest crowd in Huff History with 4,261 vs. Purdue on Oct. 1, a night after drawing 3,108 vs. Indiana.
A crowd of 4,021 saw Illinois defeat Michigan State. That marked the first time since 1992 that the Illini have had two crowds of 4,000-plus in the same season. Capacity crowd at Huff is listed at 4,050.
Illinois was 16-1 at home in 2011 and 57-6 in front of the home crowd the past four years. Two of the losses have come to No. 1 Penn State.
In the years the Illini have qualified for the NCAA Tournament, they have a 258-47 home record (.846).
Illinois is 22-3 all-time at home during the NCAA Tournament.
HAMBLY PRODUCING ALL-AMERICANS
Illinois has 23 All-America honors among 14 players in school history. Of those, 11 (among six players have come with Kevin Hambly
on staff. Three of the five first-team All-Americans have come under Hambly (Laura DeBruler
, Colleen Ward
, Michelle Bartsch
ILLINI NO. 7 IN PRESEASON AVCA POLL
the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) has ranked Illinois No. 7 in its preseason poll.
Illinois is one of seven Big Ten teams in the preseason rankings. Penn State (3), defending Big Ten champion Nebraska (4) and Purdue (9) join the Illini in the top 10 with Minnesota (16), Michigan (23) and Ohio State (24) also making the top 25.
The Illini will get a chance to test its spot early in the year, facing three of top-11 teams during the non-conference season. Illinois opens its home schedule with a pair of matches against No. 10 Iowa State on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1. The Illini travel to Texas for the Time Warner Texas Invitational on Sept. 14-15, facing the host Longhorns, who start the year at No. 2. In 2010, Illinois halted then No. 2 Texas' 25-match non-conference home court winning streak with a straight sets win that tournament. Pepperdine, who plays the Illini in the season-opening Dayton Flyer Classic, is No. 11.
Defending national champion UCLA begins the season at No. 1 followed by Texas, Penn State, Nebraska and USC. Stanford. Illinois, Hawaii, Purdue and Iowa State round out the top 10. Illini opponents Dayton, Michigan State, Louisville and Cincinnati are also receiving votes.
BELTRAN, McMAHON NAMED
PRESEASON ALL-BIG TEN
Illinois junior Jennifer Beltran
and sophomore Liz McMahon
have selected preseason All-Big Ten by the conference coaches. Both Beltran and McMahon or former members of the All-Big Ten Freshman Team, but this is the first All-Big Ten honor for both.
Additionally the conference coaches ranked the top six teams in the league and Illinois checked at No. 5. Defending conference champion Nebraska is the pick to repeat followed by Penn State, Purdue, Minnesota, Illinois and Ohio State.
A two-year starter at libero, Beltran ranks fifth on the Illinois career digs list with 1,194, having posted the top single-single digs marks for the program in the last seasons (623 in 2010 and 571 in 2011). She had 32 digs vs. USC in the national semifinal match
The 6-6 McMahon made a splash as a freshman, starting on the right side. She was named to the all-tournament team at the Big Ten/East Challenge. She hit .545 with 13 kills in a win at No. 23 Michigan and hit .407 with 14 kills combined in the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament.
2012 PROMOTION SCHEDULE
Illinois has a 57-6 record at Huff Hall over the past four seasons and the seventh-ranked Illini open the 2012 home schedule on Friday, Aug. 31 against No. 10 Iowa State. That night will include two feature events, the annual Stuff Huff promotion and the raising of the national runner-up banner. Fans who attend the match will also receive an NCAA Tournament keepsake.
Once again there will be food offered to the first 2,000 students at the Huff Hall parking lot for that match. It will also include an appearance by the men's basketball team.
Stuff Huff is one of several promotions on the volleyball calendar this year. The Sept. 1 match against Iowa State will be Chinese-American Unity night with a special intermission performance by the Chinese martial arts group WuShu. The first 250 kids eighth-grade and under receive a folder for back to school.
The Sept. 21 match with Minnesota is Community Church Youth Group Night. All registered youth groups will have the opportunity to meet with the University of Illinois Campus Crusade for Christ organization who will host a discussion prior to the match about continuing your faith into college. Also on the night, the first 500 fans will receive an "Ace-Block" fan.
The Sept. 23 match with Wisconsin is Youth Day/Camper Reunion Day/Team Day. All 2012 summer campers who pre-register will receive free admission to the match. Organized youth volleyball teams may pre-register for free admission to the match as well. Prior to the match, the Decatur Scovill Zoo will provide a petting zoo for fans of all ages.
The Oct. 5 match against Ohio State is Breast Cancer Awareness Night. Fans are encouraged to wear pink to support those affected by breast cancer.
Men's volleyball shares the stage with the women on Sunday Oct. 21. Following the nationally-televised match against Nebraska, two of the top men's team in the nation square off as Lewis University meets Loyola (Chicago).
The Illini meet Purdue on Halloween night. Fans are encouraged to wear costumes to the match and participate in "spooktacular" events beforehand.
The Nov. 3 match against Indiana is Girl Scout Night. Whether or not they are scouts, girls eighth grade and below are invited to spend the night in the second annual lock-in following the match. Participants will enjoy dinner and activities, will sleep overnight at the University of Illinois facilities then wake up to an exclusive breakfast with the entire volleyball team.
Pending ticket availability, fans are once again able to use their ticket stub from the Illini football game for admittance to volleyball that night. Those are available for Sept. 1 (vs. Iowa State), Sept. 23 (vs. Wisconsin) and Nov. 17 ( vs. Michigan).
Pre-registration is required for the church youth group, camper reunion, team day and lock-in promotions. To register or for more information about any of our promotions or events, please contact Carrie Snyder in the marketing department at firstname.lastname@example.org or 217-333-6969.
STARK SHINES IN INTRASQUAD SCRIMMAGE
had 21 kills and 14 digs and Liz McMahon
had 16 kills and eight blocks to pace the white squad to a five-set victory over the orange squad Saturday night in front of 1,490 fans at Huff Hall. The final set scores were 25-21, 22-25, 23-25, 25-21, 15-12.
Stark led the white squad as the redshirt-freshman hit .250 in 48 swings on the night. Sophomore Jocelynn Birks also played well, recording 11 kills, four aces and three digs. As usual, Illinois played a defensive minded game with several long rallies. The Illini had 159 digs on the night, paced by junior libero Jennifer Beltran's29 digs.
The Illini were also eager to see how the Illinois freshmen would respond, as they were led by Kathryn Polkoff's five kills while Alexis Viliunas added 23 digs.