Notes: Illini Head North This Weekend for Wisconsin, No. 10 Minnesota
Oct. 24, 2012
Wisconsin Badgers (15-8, 3-7 Big Ten)
No. 10 Minnesota Golden Gophers (17-4, 8-2 Big Ten)
ILLINI vs. THIS WEEKEND'S COMPETITION
LAST TIME OUT
CHANGING THE SET
Viliunas dazzled in her debut, keeping a calm sense of poise to lead the Illini all the way back from an 0-2 deficit to defeat the Spartans in five. The La Grange, Ill., native registered a double-double with 49 assists and 14 digs, went a perfect 3-for-3 on the attack, and stuffed a key block in the fifth to lead the Illini to victory. Viliunas was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week on Oct. 15 following her outstanding debut. She is the first Illinois freshman ever to earn a Big Ten weekly award for her first career appearance.
ILLINOIS DROPS OUT OF RANKINGS
BELTRAN MOVING UP DIGS CHARTS
Additionally, Beltran is the active leader in the Big Ten in career digs, and sits in 20th all time in the conference.
JOHNSON BREAKS INTO BLOCKING TOP TEN
ILLINOIS HAS BEST FIRST WEEK CROWD
• Illinois played Iowa State on Aug. 31 in front of the best opening night crowd in school history, where 3,770 fans filled Huff Hall. The Illini drew 3,269 the following afternoon. Those were the 10th- and 17th-best crowds, respectively, of all-time at Huff Hall.
• Through the first nine weeks of competition, the Illini rank sixth in the nation in home attendance, with an average of 3,002 fans per match.
• After No. 1 Hawaii, the rest of the top five are all members of the Big Ten (Nebraska, Penn State, Wisconsin, Minnesota). The same was true for the entire 2011 season (Hawaii, Nebraska, Penn State, Wisconsin, Minnesota).
• The Illini have pulled a total of 24,012 fans over eight home matches in 2012, for an average of 3,002 per match, which is second only to the 1992 season, when the Illini set a then-NCAA record for season attendance.
• Illinois was 16-1 at home in 2011 and is 60-11 in front of the home crowd since the start of 2008. 10 of the 11 losses came to teams in the top 20, including three 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.
2012 NCAA Attendance Leaders (as of 10/22)
Illinois' top all-time yearly attendance (by average)
ILLINOIS HAS FORMIDABLE SCHEDULE
• Illinois plays 13 different teams (eight of them twice) that made the 2011 NCAA 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 15 matches against teams ranked in this week's top 25, having already played 11 matches against teams ranked at the time of the match. Those ranked opponents are Penn State (1), Nebraska (4), Texas (8), Minnesota (10), Louisville (13), Dayton (15), Ohio State (20), Purdue (21), Iowa State (22), Pepperdine (23), Additionally, Michigan State received votes.
• The Illini are slated to face at least one ranked opponent in each of the first 12 weeks of the season. As the rankings currently stand, Illinois will face a ranked opponent every week until mid-November if neither Michigan nor Michigan State re-enters the rankings.
• The Illini's schedule features four teams in the top 10 in this week's RPI (#2 Penn State, #3 Nebraska, #4 Texas, #9 Minnesota). The Orange and Blue are 1-3 against them with two more contests remaining, including Sunday at Minnesota.
• Of Illinois' 18 opponents, four are in the RPI top 10, eight in the top 30, 12 in the top 50, and 15 in the top 100. #222 UCF is the Illini's only nonconference opponent outside of the top 100.
• All of Illinois' 10 losses have come to teams in the RPI top 40, and five of the Illini's 10 wins were over top 50 teams, including a 3-2 victory at #4 Texas.
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. Pre-registration is required for the lock-in.
When the Illini football and volleyball teams are home on the same weekend, fans may use their ticket stub from the football game for admittance to volleyball. This offer is available on Nov. 17 (vs. Michigan).