Complete Match Notes
Illinois opens second half of Big Ten
Illinois, coming off its first loss at No. 4 Nebraska, opens the second half of the Big Ten schedule by hosting Wisconsin and No. 15 Minnesota at Huff Hall. The Illini won in five sets at Minnesota on Sept. 23 and posted a straight sets win at Wisconsin on Sept. 25.
TV: Both matches will be streamed live on BTN.com. The Illinois-Wisconsin match will be replayed on the Big Ten Network as part of Student U on Oct. 31 at 11 a.m. with Bryce Jakobs and Oscar Grajeda on the call. The Illinois-Minnesota match will be replayed as part of Student U on Nov. 1 at 1 p.m with Spencer Turkin and Oscar Grajeda on the call.
Radio: Both matches will be aired live on the WDWS with Dave Loane and Mike Trame on the call with audio also on fightingillini.com.
Tickets: Tickets can be purchased at the Assembly Hall Box Office, by calling 866-Illini-1, or at the door. Reserved seats for Friday are sold out (general admission only). A spattering of reserved tickets are left for Saturday's match as well as general admission.
Dig Pink Match is Friday night
The Friday, Oct. 28 match with Wisconsin is Dig Pink. The event is in support of breast cancer awareness. Fans who wear pink will receive free admission. The Fighting Illini will be sporting pink jerseys of their own, each of which will honor one of 17 individuals selected by Coaches vs. Cancer auction winners. The Division of Intercollegiate Athletics will be accepting donations for the American Cancer Society at the match as well as unused blankets to help support the Comfort for Chemo organization that distributes blankets to local patients who are suffering from cancer.
Jersey auction nets over $4,000
Illinois volleyball auctioned off the pink jerseys the players will wear on Friday. A total of $4,421 was raised for Coaches vs. Cancer. Each jersey will bear the name of the winners choosing, many selecting a name of a friend or loved one that has been affected by cancer. After the match, the jerseys will laundered and given to the auction winners. The names on the jerseys Friday will be #1 Henkel; #2 Staughlin, #3 J. Beltran; #4 Nicely; #5 Dorn; #6 Bukovac; #7 Skonning; #9 Hough; #10 J. Wolfe; #11 S. Brennan; #12 Smalling; #13 Owczarski; #14 McMahon; #15 Hug; #16 Moore; #17 K. Stauffer; #18 Feeley.
"Safe Halloween" events on Saturday
The Saturday, Oct. 29 match with Minnesota will offer fans a fun "Safe Halloween" experience. All fans are encouraged to dress in costume for the event and the lucky winner of the costume contest will go home with an Illini blanket. From the time the doors open at 6 p.m., members of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), each dressed in costume, will staff various Halloween stations including mummy wrapping, bobbing for apples, face painting, pumpkin decorating, Halloween crafts and a candy corn guessing contest.
Illinois leads the RPI
Illinois continues as the top team in the RPI, the computer ratings index. It is the rating the helps determine seeding for the NCAA Tournament. Here are the top 10 plus Illinois opponents:
1. Illinois 20-1
2. Nebraska 17-1
3. Iowa State 16-3
4. Northern Iowa 22-1
5. Texas 14-4
6. Minnesota 12-7
7. Hawaii 21-1
8. Stanford 16-3
9. Florida State 17-4
10. USC 17-3
11. Penn State 15-5
13. Purdue 18-3
16. Tennessee 18-3
19. Michigan 15-7
22. Cincinnati 16-8
26. Tulsa 19-5
31. Michigan State 16-6
36. Dayton 17-5
38. Houston 16-5
43. Ohio State 15-8
48. Wisconsin 13-9
49. Louisville 16-6
53. Middle Tennessee 13-9
54. BYU 16-7
65. UC-Santa Barbara 12-10
75. St. Mary's 10-12
81. Cal Poly 10-12
97. Northwestern 11-10
112. Iowa 11-12
125. Indiana 8-14
Beltran approaches 1,000 digs
is on pace to surpass the 1,000 digs mark for her career. She set the single-season record with 623 last year and now has 918 for her career.
Illini fall to No. 3 in the polls
After four straight weeks at No. 1 in the poll, Illinois falls two spots to No. 3 this week behind Nebraska and California. The Illini now have seven straight weeks inside the top three and the entire season inside the top eight.
The Big Ten continues to have seven teams inside the top 25, including four of the top 11 -- No. 1 Nebraska, No. 3 Illinois, No. 8 Penn State, No. 11 Purdue, No. 15 Minnesota, No. 22 Michigan and No. 23 Ohio State. Non-conference foe Tennessee is No. 20 with Dayton, Michigan State and Tulsa receiving votes.
This is a big week for the teams in the top 10. No. 1 Nebraska has to travel to No. 23 Ohio State and No. 8 Penn State; No. 4 UCLA and No. 6 USC each travel to No. 2 Cal and No. 5 Stanford; and No. 9 Texas hosts No. 14 Iowa State.
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 finishes first half of Big Ten
Illinois finished the first half of the Big Ten at 9-1 for the second straight season. The Illini have finished second in the conference the last two seasons.
First Halves of Big Ten season for Illinois
1982 -- 3-4
1983 -- 3-4
1984 -- 3-4
1985 -- 9-0
1986 -- 9-0
1987 -- 9-0
1988 -- 9-0
1989 -- 7-2
1990 -- 6-3
1991 -- 7-2
1992 -- 9-1
1993 -- 8-2
1994 -- 7-3
1995 -- 6-4
1996 -- 3-7
1997 -- 3-7
1998 -- 8-2
1999 -- 8-2
2000 -- 2-8
2001 -- 6-4
2002 -- 3-7
2003 -- 8-2
2004 -- 6-4
2005 -- 2-8
2006 -- 4-6
2007 -- 4-6
2008 -- 7-3
2009 -- 8-2
2010 -- 9-1
2011 -- 9-1
had 20 kills and 20 digs while hitting .283 in just three sets as Illinois defeated Northwestern. That performance comes after amassing 22 kills while hitting .538 in a five-set victory over Michigan State.
That marked the third 20-20 performance by an Illinois player in a match. Michelle Bartsch had a pair of such matches in back-to-back days at the State Farm Illini Classic. Prior to this year, the last 20-20 match by an Illinois player came in 2008 and prior to that 2002.
The fact that it came in a three-set match made that all the more impressive. That has only happened three other times -- by Erin Borske (20 kills, 23 digs) vs. Minnesota on 10/21/95), Tracey Marshall (29 kills, 21 digs) vs. Louisville (9/13/96) and Tina Rogers (32 kills, 22 digs) vs. Southwest Missouri State on 12/1/93.
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.
Ranked foes all over the schedule
Illinois is 6-1 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.
Best starts in school history
Illinois is 20-1 on the season, their second-best start in school history through 21 matches:
1985 -- 21-0
2011 -- 20-1
1986 -- 19-2
1987 -- 18-3
1988 -- 18-3
1992 -- 18-3
2009 -- 18-3
2010 -- 18-3
1989 -- 17-4
1995 -- 17-4
2003 -- 17-4
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.
Illini in the NCAA Rankings
Illinois moved from 69th on Sept. 11 to 46th on Oct. 2 to 20th in the nation in blocks on Oct. 16. Currently the Illini are 25th in that blocks at 2.61 per set. The Illini are also 25th in hitting percentage (.257).
ranks 21st nationally in assists (11.18 per set) while Anna Dorn
is 32nd in blocks (1.27)
Winning five-set matches
Illinois is 6-0 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. Illinois took the first two sets from Michigan State, only to have battle to a fifth set to defeat the Spartans.
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 moving up career charts
has moved into eighth on Illinois' all-time kills list with 1,413. Bartsch is also fifth in career attack attempts with 4,068.
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. 1,413 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. 4,068 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
Near record crowd see Illini top Boilers
A crowd of 4,261 attended the Illini's 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 five crowds of 3,000 or 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.
Illini creating quite a home court edge
The Illini rank eighth in the nation in home attendance at 2,505, 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.
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 is 9-0 at home in 2011 and 50-5 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 Avg.
1 Hawaii 115,198 18 6,400
2 Nebraska 47,356 10 4,736
3 Minnesota 27,951 6 4,659
4 Wisconsin 28,157 8 3,520
5 Penn St. 36,495 11 3,318
6 Florida 33,725 12 2,810
7 Texas 23,926 9 2,658
8 Illinois 22,541 9 2,505
9 Missouri 16,890 7 2,413
10 Purdue 28,590 12 2,383
11 Iowa St. 16,567 7 2,367
12 Washington 18,784 8 2,348
13 Stanford 23,232 10 2,323
14 Wichita St. 15,983 7 2,283
15 New Mexico 17,614 8 2,202
Illinois top all-time volleyball crowds
1. 7,632 Minnesota* 10/16/2009
2. 4,316 Stanford$ 12/11/1992
3. 4,261 Purdue 10/1/2011
4. 4,211 Ohio State$ 12/3/1992
5. 4,141 Penn State 9/24/2010
6. 4,050 Ohio State 10/18/1991
4,050 Penn State 11/27/1992
8. 4,021 Michigan St. 10/15/2011
9. 3,513 Michigan St. 10/24/1992
10. 3,497 Penn State 10/15/1993
11. 3,419 Purdue 11/13/1992
12. 3,386 Michigan 10/23/1992
$NCAA Tourney; * At Assembly Hall
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.
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).
Illinois has out-hit every opponent this year, but two-- Purdue and Nebraska.
Only five opponents have hit .200 or better against the Illini -- Dayton (.284), Tulsa (.320), Louisville (.200), Michigan State (.200) and Nebraska (.361).
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 74 times this season (0.89 reception errors 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.
Illini boast nation's third ranked recruiting class
Illinois' 2011 four-person class is ranked No. 3 nationally by prepvolleyball.com, coming on the heels of the fifth-rated class in 2010. The members of the Class of 2007, who just completed their Illinois careers, were the sixth-best in the nation.
Illinois is ranked behind only Texas and four-time defending national champion Penn State. The Illini went 1-1 against both teams a year ago. Rounding out the top 10 are Washington, UCLA, California, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Pepperdine and USC. The Big Ten has six total teams in the top 30 - Illinois (3), Wisconsin (7), Nebraska (13), Purdue (14), Ohio State (24) and Minnesota (30).
Team loaded with Top 60 talent
The Illini have 11 players on the roster who were top 60 products in their respective classes. Liz McMahon
, the No 3 player inteh class is the highest ranked recruit in school history. McMahon (No. 3 in the class), Jocelynn Birks
(26), Morganne Criswell
(33) and Ali Stark
(53) joins middle blocker Anna Dorn
(6), outside hitter Colleen Ward
(7), outside hitter Michelle Bartsch
(16), outside hitter Jazmine Orozco
(33), outside hitter Jessica Jendryk
(45), middle blocker Erin Johnson
(57) and libero Jennifer Bonilla (60) as top 60 players.
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, 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.