VB Match Notes: Illini Hit the Road for Indiana, Purdue
Sept. 27, 2012
Friday, Sept. 28 No. 21 Illinois at Indiana University Gym 6 p.m. CT
TV: Big Ten Network Mike Wolf and Audrey Flaugh
Radio: Illini Radio Network Dave Loane and Mike Trame
WDWS AM 1400 in Champaign Online
LiveStats: Presented by GameTracker
ABOUT INDIANA (8-6, 0-2 Big Ten)
The Hoosiers opened the season with four-straight wins, finishing the non-conference season with an 8-4 mark, but dropped a pair of matches to Michigan and Michigan State last weekend in Big Ten play.
Jordan Haverly leads the Hoosiers with 205 kills, ranking seventh in the Big Ten and 60th in the NCAA. Senior middle blocker Samantha Thrower is a force to be reckoned with at the net, leading the conference with 76 blocks (1.43/set) and ranking 18th in the nation. Freshman setter Katie Gallagher has been turning heads early in the season, ranking third in the Big Ten and 52nd in the nation with 552 assists (11.27/set). Junior defensive specialist Caitlin Hansen mans the back line, leading the team with 195 digs, which ranks eighth in the conference.
ABOUT PURDUE (11-2, 2-0 Big Ten)
The Boilermakers are off to a hot start, going 9-2 in the non-conference season with losses only to then-No. 12 Washington and then-No. 24 Louisville, and being one of just three Big Ten teams to open the conference slate 2-0. Purdue picked up 5-set wins at No. 25 Michigan State and Michigan this past weekend, falling behind 1-0 and 2-1 in both matches before winning the fourth and fifth sets.
Purdue has been an efficient team all season, ranking third in the Big Ten in opponent hitting percentage (.155) and sitting at 36th in the nation while attacking at a .257 clip. Freshman outside hitter Annie Drews ranks 16th in the nation with a .412 hitting percentage, while the veteran Ariel Turner leads the team with 180 kills and ranks 29th in the NCAA in points per set (4.86). Rachel Davis leads the team with 354 assists, with Val Nichol adding 137, and junior defensive specialist Carly Cramer has amassed 207 digs, good for fourth in the Big Ten.
THE ILLINI vs. THIS WEEKEND'S COMPETITION
The Illini are 56-18 all-time against Indiana and 22-6 in Bloomington. Illinois has won eight of the last nine contests with the Hoosiers. The Orange and Blue swept the season series in 2001, winning 3-1 at home on Sept. 30 and on the road on Nov. 15.
Illinois is 42-34 all-time against Purdue and 15-14 in West Lafayette. The Illini have won seven of the last nine matchups, but lost on the road in 2010 and 2011. The Orange and Blue defeated the Boilermakers, 3-1, in Huff Hall on Oct. 1, 2011, but lost in Holloway Gymnasium, 1-3, on Nov. 2.
LAST TIME OUT
The Orange and Blue opened Big Ten play at home this past weekend, hosting No. 12 Minnesota and Wisconsin. The Golden Gophers got the best of the Illini on Friday night, winning 3-0, but Illinois bounced back on Sunday to power through a 3-2 victory over the Badgers. Jocelynn Birks led the team with 34 kills on the weekend, including a 20-kill 11-dig double-double against Wisconsin. Liz McMahon recorded a season-high 19 kills against the Badgers, and Anna Dorn maintained her high efficiency, hitting over .475 in both matches.
ILLINOIS RANKED FOR 67TH STRAIGHT WEEK
Illinois maintains its national ranking this week, checking in at No. 21 in the AVCA Top 25. The Illini have been ranked for 67 straight weeks dating back to the first playing week of 2008. The Illini used opening-weekend wins over No. 23 New Mexico State and No. 11 Oregon to return the rankings for the first time since 2004.
BELTRAN MOVING UP DIGS CHARTS
In her first two seasons at Illinois, Jennifer Beltran marked the top two single-season digs performances in school history, ranking her fifth all-time in career digs entering the season (1,240). On Sept. 15, Beltran passed Lauren Harks `04, and into fourth all time, when she recorded her first career double-double (11a, 18d) against Cincinnati. She needs just 11 digs to move into third place and 44 to take over second.
Illinois career digs list