2011 VB Week 8 Match Notes
Illinois vs. #20 Michigan, MSU at Huff Hall
Illinois remained undefeated (17-0) and tied with Nebraska atop the Big Ten standings at 6-0 following road wins at Ohio State (3-0) and Penn State (3-2) over the weekend. The Illini return home for a midweek match with #20 Michigan at Huff Hall on Wednesday at 7 p.m. before hosting Michigan State on Saturday night at 7 p.m.
The Michigan match will be shown live on the Big Ten Network with Mike Wolf and Megan Bower on the call. The Michigan State match will be streamed live on fightingillini.com via the all-access platform. Both matches will be carried live on WDWS (AM-1400) with Dave Loane and Mike Trame on the call. The audio stream can be found at fightingillini.com by clicking on the match on the volleyball schedule page.
Illinois still nation's No. 1, only unbeaten
On Sept. 26, Illinois reached No. 1 for the first time in school history. After winning four straight since then, the Illini remained in that spot in the AVCA Coaches poll. Illinois received two additional first-place votes this week for a total of 58 of a possible 60.
Illinois is one of four Big Ten teams in the top 11 and seven in the top 25. The other ranked conference teams include Nebraska, 5; Penn State, 9; Purdue, 11; Minnesota, 14; Michigan, 20; and Ohio State, 24. Another non-conference opponent, Tennessee, checks in at No. 18 while Louisville, Dayton and Tulsa are also receiving votes.
On Oct. 1 in a match-up of the last two unbeaten teams in the nation, Illinois defeated Purdue in four sets to make the Illini the last unbeaten team in the country.
Illinois ends another Penn State streak
The five-set comeback win by Illinois over Penn State at Rec Hall in State College ended PSU's 68-match Big Ten home winning streak. The Illini also won in Happy Valley for the second time in 22 tries with the only other road victory coming in 1995. Last season, the Orange and Blue knocked off the Nittany Lions at Huff Hall in five sets, snapping Penn State's record 65-match Big Ten winning streak.
Ranked foes all over the schedule
Illinois is 5-0 against ranked opponents so far this year. With seven Big Ten teams ranked in the top 25, the Illini are in the middle of a 10-week conference schedule in which the Illini will play at least one team currently ranked for nine straight weeks.
Illinois against top-10 teams
For the third-straight season, the Illini have defeated two top-10 opponents on the schedule. Illinois has six wins over top-10 teams in the last three years -- #6 Michigan and #6 Minnesota in 2009, #2 Texas and #2 Penn State in 2010 and #9 Minnesota and #8 Penn State this year. That equals the combined total of top-10 wins from the previous 16 seasons, as Illinois had six top-10 wins from 1993-2008.
Ticket and Parking Info
Reserved and general admission tickets can be purchased in advance at the Athletic Ticket Office on the west side of the Assembly Hall or by calling 866-Illini-1 (to pick up your tickets at will call). Ticket prices are $7 for reserved, $5 for faculty/staff reserved, $4 for student/youth reserved, $5 for general admission, $4 for faculty/staff general admission and $2 for youth general admission while University of Illinois students are free at the door with a student ID. If general admission tickets remain, they can be purchased at the door.
The DIA will retain a certain number of tickets for use by Go Illini card patrons and U of I students based on averages for each category from prior 2011 home matches.
As of today, reserved tickets for the Michigan State and Penn State matches are sold out and only general admission tickets remain. The athletic department will update fans on the ticket sales on a weekly basis.
Football ticket redemption promotions will not be in place for the remainder of the season.
Free parking is available after 5 p.m. at Lot E12 (east of Huff Hall), at the grass lot south of Huff Hall or at the Law Lot (corner of Fourth and Pennsylvania).
Best starts in school history
Illinois is 17-0 on the season, their second-best start in school history behind only the 30-0 beginning to the 1985 season. A look at the best undefeated beginnings:
1985 -- 30-0
2011 -- 17-0
1995 -- 9-0
1986 -- 8-0
1997 -- 8-0
Scouting #20 Michigan, Michigan St.
No. 20 Michigan (14-4) enters Wednesday's contest on a three-match losing streak. After going 12-0 during non-conference play, UM sits ninth in the Big Ten at 2-4 after three weeks. Three of those losses came to top-15 teams in No. 7 Nebraska, No. 13 Purdue and No. 14 Minnesota while the other was to Wisconsin.
The Illini have five victories in the last six tries against Michigan and boast a 41-19 record in the all-time series against the Wolverines. Last season, the Illini split with Michigan, losing 3-1 in Ann Arbor and winning 3-2 in Champaign.
Heading into the weekend, Michigan State is tied for fifth in the Big Ten at 3-3, with all three losses coming to top-15 teams in No. 7 Nebraska, No. 13 Purdue and No. 14 Minnesota. They will play at Northwestern on Friday night before traveling to Champaign to face the Illini.
Illinois has won seven of the last eight matches over MSU, including three straight, while owning a 43-22 advantage over the Spartans in the all-time series. Last season, the Illini won in five sets in East Lansing before earning a sweep in Champaign.
Illini in the NCAA Rankings
Illinois ranks 22nd in hitting percentage (.261), 31st in blocks per set (2.56) and 37th in kills per set (13.79).
Individually, Annie Luhrsen
is 18th in assists per set (11.30) while Erin Johnsin is 19th in hitting percentage (.387).
Dorn honored by Big Ten after tying block assist school record
was named Big Ten Defensive Player and Freshman of the Week on Oct. 10, earning her first career conference honors following stellar performances at Ohio State and Penn State. The Munster, Ind., native recorded 13 block assists against PSU, matching the school record held by Kellie Hebeisen and Johannah Bangert, who did it twice.
Illinois single-match block assists list
1. 13 Anna Dorn 10/8/11
Johannah Bangert 10/23/09
Johannah Bangert 10/9/09
Kellie Hebeisen 9/14/91
5. 12 Johannah Bangert 8/30/08
Shelly O'Bryan 11/30/02
Paula Prentice 10/4/96
Illinois has out-hit every opponent this year, but one -- Purdue. The Boilers led in that category .191-.168.
Only three opponents have hit .200 or better against the Illini -- Dayton (.284), Tulsa (.320) and Louisville (.200).
A total of five different players have led the Illini in blocks this season -- Erin Johnson
, Anna Dorn
, Michelle Bartsch
, Collen Ward and Liz McMahon
The Illini have only been aced 56 times this season (0.84 assists per set).
Illinois has hit over .350 in four matches this season, with the latest coming at Ohio State, which included the Illini's best single set percentage in the second frame at .633 with 19 kills and no errors.
Bartsch moving up career charts
has moved into eighth on Illinois' all-time kills list with 1344. Bartsch is also fifth in career attack attempts.
Illinois career kills list
1. 1,833 Laura DeBruler 2007-10
2. 1,761 Mary Eggers 1985-88
3. 1,707 Mary Coleman 1995-98
4. 1,678 Rachel VanMeter 2002-05
5. 1,669 Nancy Brookhart 1986-89
6. 1,657 Tracey Marshall 1996-99
7. 1,484 Bridget Boyle 1986-89
8. 1,344 Michelle Bartsch 2008-11
9. 1,245 Betsy Spicer 1997-00
10. 1,228 Shadia Haddad 1998-01
Illinois career attack attempts list
1. 4,806 Laura DeBruler 2007-10
2. 4,511 Rachel VanMeter 2002-05
3. 4,374 Mary Coleman 1995-98
4. 4,208 Tracey Marshall 1996-99
5. 3,872 Michelle Bartsch 2008-11
6. 3,480 Bridget Boyle 1986-89
7. 3,417 Mary Eggers 1985-88
8. 3,329 Nancy Brookhart 1986-89
9. 3,297 Shadia Haddad 1998-01
10. 3,055 Kylie McCulley 2006-09
Big Ten honors Bartsch, Johnson
was named the Big Ten co-Player of the Week on Sept. 26, marking the second such honor this season for the senior from Maryville, Ill. Bartsch had a pair of double-doubles with 23 kills and 10 digs in a five-set victory at No. 9 Minnesota and 10 kills and 10 digs in a three-set triumph at Wisconsin. Bartsch shared the honor with Gina Mancuso of Nebraska.
Junior middle blocker Erin Johnson was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 26. Johnson hit .435 with 11 kills and a career-high 10 blocks in the win over Minnesota and earns the honor for the first time in her career. Johnson ranks third in the conference in hitting percentage at .387, which is on pace to rank among the best in school history for a single season.
Winning five-set matches
Illinois is 5-0 in five-set matches this season. In the first two contests that went the distance, the Illini won after dropping the first two sets, defeating Dayton to win the State Farm Illini Classic and bettering Tulsa to take the Middle Tennessee Invitational. A week later, the Illini out-lasted Louisville, another team receiving votes in the poll, in five sets. Illinois also owns two five-set wins on the road during Big Ten play with victories over Minnesota and Penn State after losing the first set.
Last year Illinois played nine matches that went the distance, posting a 5-4 mark in those matches, winning five straight at one point.
Bartsch posts 20-20 performances
had a pair of 20-20 performances at the State Farm Illini Classic with 21 kills and 23 digs vs. Tennessee and 24 kills and 20 digs vs. No. 21 Dayton. Prior to that there were only two 20-20 matches by an Illini in past nine years, both coming in 2008 (Laura DeBruler and Kylie McCulley).
Bartsch is just the sixth Illini with multiple 20-20 matches, joining Erin Borske (four times), Mary Coleman (six), Petra Laverman (four), Tracey Marshall (six) and Kelly Scherr (two). Two others did so back-to-back nights (Laverman and Coleman).
Near record crowd sees Illini top Boilers
A crowd of 4,261 attended the Illini' match against Purdue and an additional 500 people were turned away at the door. The mark was the second largest crowd in Huff Hall history for volleyball. The record of 4,316 was set on Dec. 11, 1992 when the Illini fell to Stanford in the NCAA Regional Final. Huff Hall has undergone some renovations and that has meant a loss in seats in the north balcony. Were it not for that, it most certainly would have been the record.
Illinois has had four crowds of 3,000 more during the last two years, including a sellout of 4,141 vs. Penn State on Sept. 24, 2010 and 3,108 in the Illini's win over Indiana on Sept. 30.
The largest home volleyball crowd in school history was 7,632 when the Illini defeated Minnesota in the Assembly Hall on Oct. 16, 2009.
Illinois creating quite a home court advantage
The Illini rank 12th in the nation in home attendance at 2,310, despite having two conflicts with Illinois football. 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. Capacity crowd at Huff is listed at 4,050.
Illinois is 7-0 at home in 2011 and 48-5 in front of the home crowd the past four years Two of the losses have come to No. 1 Penn State.
Not including 2011, in the years the Illini have qualified for the NCAA Tournament, they have a 244-46 home record (.841).
NCAA Attendance Leaders
Team Total Dates Average
1.Hawaii 92,756 14 6,625
2. Nebraska 39,024 8 4,878
3. Minnesota 15,679 4 3,919
4. Penn St. 31,811 9 3,534
5. Wisconsin 16,262 5 3,252
6. Florida 31,684 11 2,880
7. Missouri 10,853 4 2,713
8. Southern California 8,105 3 2,701
9. Texas 17,530 7 2,504
10. Iowa St. 14,397 6 2,399
11. Washington 18,784 8 2,348
12. Illinois 16,173 7 2,310
13. Colorado St. 16,106 7 2,300
14. Purdue 18,401 8 2,300
15. Wichita St. 15,983 7 2,283
Bartsch earns third tournament MVP
earned MVP honors at the Big Ten/Big East Challenge. That marked her third MVP honor of the season, also claiming that distinction at the BYU/Nike Invitational and the State Farm Illini Classic. Bartsch had 22 kills and 20 digs combined in victories over Cincinnati and Louisville.
Bartsch earns Big Ten Player of the Week, State Farm Illini Classic MVP
was named the Big Ten Player of the Week on Sept. 5 after earning MVP honors at the State Farm Illini Classic.
Bartsch became just the third Illinois player with a 20-20 performance since 2002 and the first in three seasons when she tallied 21 kills and 23 digs in a four-set victory over Tennessee on Friday night. It didn't take her long to repeat the feat, with 24 kills and 20 digs the following night in a thrilling five-set comeback win over Dayton to help Illinois to its sixth straight State Farm Illini Classic title. Bartsch nearly made it three straight 20-20s with 19 kills and 16 digs in a four-set victory over Houston Saturday morning, despite being subbed for several rotations in the third set.
Illini win State Farm Illini Classic
Illinois won its 21st State Farm Illini Classic in the 28-year history of the event. The Illini now have a 61-7 all-time record in the history of the tournament.
For the third time in the last eight years, the championship match against a ranked opponent went five sets and for the third time Illinois claimed the victory. Spotting 21st-ranked Dayton (4-2) a two-set advantage, the Illini stormed back for an 18-25, 20-25, 25-20, 25-23, 15-12 victory in a match that didn't end until nearly 11 pm.
and Colleen Ward
joined Bartsch on the all-tournament team. Johnson hit .324 with 32 kills and 11 blocks for the tournament. Ward hit .241 with 49 kills, 42 digs and six blocks.
Bartsch, Ward named to All-Tournament Team at BYU Invite
was named the MVP of the BYU/Nike Invitational. Bartsch and Ward each had 40 kills in three victories Bartsch had nine of her 13 blocks in the victory over St. Mary's and had 34 digs for the tournament. Ward added 32 digs in the 10 sets.
Illinois returns two All-Americans
Illinois brings back a pair of All-Americans from the 2010 season in seniors Michelle Bartsch
and Colleen Ward
. The duo also earned Preseason All-Big Ten accolades.
Bartsch, who earns the honor for the third straight season, was a third team All-America choice in 2010 as well as earning first team All-Midwest Region and All-Big Ten accolades. She was MVP of the Time Warner Cable Invitational following Illinois' victory over then No. 3 Texas. Bartsch ranked seventh in kills per set (3.56) and ninth in points per set (4.11) in the Big Ten and recorded seven straight double digit kills matches to end the season.
Ward was a second team All-America selection in 2010 and collected first team All-Big Ten and All-Midwest honors. She set Illinois' single-match ace record with nine vs. BYU and was named to three all-tournament teams. In the Big Ten, she ranked third in kills (3.99 per set) and points (4.50 per set) and tallied six matches with at least 20 kills, including 27 in the NCAA second round (4th most by an Illinois player in an NCAA match).
Who is that at libero?
Fans may recognize the face, but not the name at libero. Playing last year as Jennifer Bonilla, her birth name, the Reseda, Calif., native changed her name to Jennifer Beltran
right before the season. Beltran grew up in a tough area of Los Angeles and befriended her kindergarten teacher Gustavo Beltran, who got her on the right path and into volleyball. Over time, the young then Bonilla began living with Gustavo and his wife Virna and eventually adopted them as her parents. For the complete story visit http://www.fightingillini.com/sports/w-volley/spec-rel/090910aac.html.
Beltran was named to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team last year and set the Illinois single-season digs record with 623.
Other season notes
Sophomore Jazmine Orozco
, who missed much of the spring with a concussion, was valuable in a utility role at the BYU Tournament. Despite not starting, Orozco hit .714 with five kills and a block as a right side hitter vs. BYU. She played all four sets in reserve vs. UCSB, posting six kills and four blocks.
After having not played the entire match, Jazmine Orozco
came into serve in the final two points of the match against Purdue.
Illinois' height advantage shown vs. St. Mary's as the Illini out-blocked the Gaels, 16-3.5. Bartsch led the way with nine blocks while freshman Anna Dorn
added six. Overall, the Illini out-blocked their opponents 31-17.5 at the BYU Tournament.