Illinois volleyball match notes for Northwestern, Wisconsin
Oct. 15, 2008
Champaign, Ill. -
ILLINOIS AT AT GLANCEThird-place contenders meet Sunday
Illinois completed a dominating road trip over the weekend with straight set victories at both Ohio State and Michigan. Now Illinois and Wisconsin enter the weekend in a tie for third-place in the conference with a 4-2 mark. The 17th-ranked Illini and 19th-ranked Badgers do battle Sunday at Huff Hall.
Illinois holds a 37-28-1 advantage over Wisconsin, but the Badgers have won six in a row in the series.
Illinois-Wisconsin played extra in `07
Big Ten co-Defensive Players of the Week square off
Bangert won the honor after leading the Illini to road wins over Michigan and Ohio State. She had six kills, hit .364 and tallied six blocks vs. OSU then had nine blocks, five kills and a .714 attack percentage in the victory over Michigan. Kuzma averaged 5.4 digs per set in leading Wisconsin to wins over Northwestern and Michigan St.
Bangert moves up rankings
Bangert and the record book
Bangert's 12 blocks vs. New Mexico State are tied for the fourth most in a match in school history. Kellie Hebeisen holds the record with 15 vs. Georgia in 1991.
Illini-Northwestern meet Friday
Illinois opens the weekend with a 7 pm match Friday with Northwestern. The Wildcats are 6-11 overall and 0-6 in the Big Ten. Although Northwestern is still looking for its first conference victory, the Wildcats have only been swept twice and took Ohio State and Michigan State to five sets. Northwestern also has taken a set from no. 4 UCLA and no. 25 Wisconsin.
Illinois off to fast start
Illinois up to 8th in the RPI ratings
Illinois and the national rankings
Illinois continues to be one of six Big Ten teams in the national rankings. Defending national champion Penn State is first followed by Minnesota at no. 12, Illinois (17), Wisconsin (19), Purdue (21) and Michigan (23).
The Big Ten is second to the Pac 10, who boasts seven teams, including six of the top 11 teams in the rankings.
Big Ten teams were a combined 103-26 (.798) during the non-conference. This included eight victories over ranked opponents -- Penn State over no. 12 Hawaii and no. 6 UCLA; Minnesota over no. 21 LSU and no. 16 Cal Poly; Wisconsin over no. 23 BYU; Purdue over no. 14 Kansas State; and Illinois over no. 11 Oregon and no. 23 New Mexico State.
In addition to the five other Big Ten teams in the national ranking, two other Illinois opponents are ranked -- no. 4 Stanford and no. 6 Oregon. Saint Louis is receiving votes.
Illini block sets tone
To put the block surge in perspective, last season Illinois ranked 10th in the Big Ten last year at 2.23 blocks per, set keeping in mind that last year the teams played to 30 instead of 25.
Edinger on verge of digs record Ashley Edinger holds two of the top three digs seasons in Illinois history, including 564 last year. Edinger also topped 1,000 digs in just her 57th match of her career. Tracey Marshall, who is Illinois' all-time digs leader with 1,426, recorded her 1,000th career dig in her 80th match.
With 59 digs at the Tennessee Comcast Classic, Edinger moved past Beth Vrdsky into fourth on the all-time Illinois digs list and within striking distance of the record of 1,426 this year. She now has 1,332 within 14 of Lauren Harks for third.
She also had 35 digs vs Dayton, her sixth 30+digs match of her career.
2008 NCAA Division I Block Leaders Name Blocks Average 1 Emily Underwood, Memphis 134 1.63 2 Anna Breyfogle, Baylor 96 1.60 3 Ashley Benson, Indiana 105 1.59 4 Johannah Bangert, Illinois 101 1.58 5 Danielle Hepburn, Clemson 99 1.52 6 Lauren Gibbemeyer, Minnesota 97 1.52 7 Foluke Akinradewo, Stanford 81 1.47 8 Lecia Brown, Louisville 101 1.46 9 Christa Harmotto, Penn St. 74 1.45 10 Amber Simpson, New Mexico St. 88 1.44Bazzetta moves up Illinois assists charts
Lizzie Bazzetta began the season with 3,206 career assists -- 824 as a freshman, 1,241 as a sophomore, and 1,141 as a junior. With 325 assists so far this season, Bazzetta now needs 77 to move past Betsy Eiserman for fifth on the Illini career list and could become just the fourth Illinois player to top 4,000 for her career.
DeBruler chases 1,000 kills
At 4.41 kills per set, DeBruler ranks second in the Big Ten and 12th nationally in that category.
DeBruler now has 859 kills for her young career with a good chance to surpass the 1,000-mark this season. Illinois' all-time kills leader, Mary Eggers, had 906 in her first two seasons. Erin Borske holds the Illini record for kills in her two seasons with 1,192, but played just two years.
Last year, DeBruler led all freshmen nationally, while ranking 22nd overall in kills per set in 2007.
2008 NCAA Division I Kills Leaders Name Blocks Average 1 Yarimar Rosa, Florida Int'l 380 5.43 2 Erica Short, Indiana 320 4.85 3 Mackenzie Angner, SDSU. 286 4.85 4 Yun Yi Zhang, Temple 368 4.78 5 Jeanne Fairchild, New Mexico 279 4.73 6 Meagan Schoenrock, NIU 326 4.72 7 Angie Porché, Valparaiso 333 4.69 8 Marcela Gurgel, South Fla. 344 4.53 9 Emily Day, Loyola Marymount 275 4.51 10 Haley Larsen, Idaho 312 4.46 11 Hana Cutura, California 236 4.45 12 Laura DeBruler, Illinois 282 4.41 13 Hayley Hills, Eastern Wash. 254 4.38 14 Julie Rubenstein, Pepperdine 232 4.38 15 Ashley Adams, Samford 267 4.38
DeBruler posted the first 20-20 performance by an Illini in six years with 24 kills on a career-high 80 swings to go along with 22 digs. The last Illinois player to accomplish that was Sue Webber, who had 22 kills and 26 digs vs. Minnesota on Oct. 12, 2002.
DeBruler followed that with 21 kills and 15 digs in a four-set victory over Iowa on Saturday.
DeBruler now has seven 20-kill matches this season, including a 31-kill performance vs. no. 11 Oregon. That gives her 22 20-kill matches for her career, which moves her to third place on the Illini's all-time list.
Illinois career 20-kill matches 1. Rachel VanMeter (`01-'05) 29 2. Erin Borske (`94-'95) 28 3. Laura DeBruler (2007-08) 22 4. Tracey Marshall (`96-'99) 19 5. Mary Coleman (`95-'98) 18 6. Shadia Haddad (`98-'01) 16 7. Bridget Boyle (`86-'89) 13 Nancy Brookhart (`86-'89) 13 9. Betsy Spicer (`97-2000) 11 Petra Laverman (`88-'90) 11Nelson picking up steam
Sophomore Abby Nelson saw limited action in her first season with Illinois in 2007. This season Nelson has been a force.
She ranks 9th in the Big Ten in blocks per set (1.11).
Nelson had a big weekend against Michigan and Ohio State with 15 kills and hit .464 in a pair of road victories.
Nelson had eight kills and five blocks while hitting .667 in the victory over New Mexico State, all career highs. She topped that with eight blocks vs. Saint Louis. Nelson also hit .333 at the Billiken Invitational.
In the Tennessee Comcast Classic, Nelson had 24 kills and hit .403
She has hit over .300 eight times this season and over .400 six times.