Women's Volleyball
No. 6 Illini Begin Big Ten Second Half

Sophomore Michelle Bartsch ranks fourth in the Big Ten in blocks per set during conference matches.
Sophomore Michelle Bartsch ranks fourth in the Big Ten in blocks per set during conference matches.

Oct. 27, 2009


Complete Match Notes in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

Illinois takes to the road this week
Illinois begins the second half of the conference season at Indiana (Friday) and Purdue (Saturday).
TV: The match will streamed live on bigtennetwork.com with Dave Leno (play-by-play) and Erica Short (analyst) providing the call.
Radio: Both matches will air live on fightingillini.com. Friday's match will be live on WDWS (AM-1400) with Dave Loane (play-by-play) and Mike Koon (analyst) on the call. Saturday's match will be tape delayed on radio after football with Loane and Matt Wille (analyst) on the call.

Series Notes
• Illinois holds a 52-15 series advantage over Indiana all-time. The Illini have won 12 of the last 14 meetings, including both matches last year. Illinois won in four sets in Bloomington and in three sets in Champaign.
• The Illini defeated Indiana in straight sets on Oct. 10. Laura DeBruler had 12 kills and 14 digs while Johannah Bangert tallied six block assists.
• Illinois holds a 39-32 series lead over Purdue. The Illini have a four-match winning streak over the Boilermakers. Prior to that Purdue had won six of the previous seven meetings.
• The Illini won a hard-fought battle with Purdue on Oct. 9, winning 24-26, 25-21, 24-26, 25-18, 15-9. Laura DeBruler and Kylie McCulley each had 20 kills in the match while Purdue hit just .032 in the final two sets thanks to seven Illinois team blocks and 11 digs from Ashley Edinger.

Bangert ties record....again
Johannah Bangert had 14 blocks, including a school-record tying 13 block assists in the victory over Wisconsin. This is the second time Bangert has reached 13 block assists, having also done so vs. Purdue on Oct. 9.

Bangert earns Big Ten honor....again
For the second time in three weeks and fourth time in her career, Johannah Bangert was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week.
• Bangert hit .455 with seven kills and 14 blocks vs. Wisconsin, one shy of the school single-match total blocks record with one solo block and a school-record tying 13 block assists. That comes just a week after also putting up 13 block assists vs. Purdue. Bangert added eight blocks vs. Iowa, giving her 2.03 block assists during conference play, which is a commanding lead over the rest of the league.

Bangert leads nation in blocks, Illini block dominant in Big Ten play
Johannah Bangert now leads the nation in blocks at 1.67 blocks per set. Bangert led the country in blocks in 2008 at 1.60 blocks per set (For complete list, see page 5).
• Bangert has five of the top-eight block assists matches in school history.
• Bangert has 68 blocks in her last eight matches and leads the Big Ten at 2.03 blocks per set during the Big Ten.
Michelle Bartsch ranks seventh in the conference with 1.15 blocks per set and is fourth in Big Ten only matches at 1.26 bps.
• Illinois has out-blocked its opponents 124.5-68 in Big Ten matches, including a 35-13 advantage combined in wins last week over Wisconsin and Iowa.

Illinois moves to No. 6 in the nation
Illinois improved to No. 6 in the latest AVCA Coaches poll. The Illini have moved steadily through the rankings on the coattails of a seven-match winning streak. The Illini began the year ranked 10th, improved to No. 8 in the first regular season pool and dipped to as low as No. 15. Since then the Illini have improved to No. 12 on Sept. 28 and Oct. 5, No. 10 on Oct. 12, No. 8 on Oct. 19 and No. 6 this week.
• This is the highest Illinois ranking since opening the 1993 season at No. 6. The Illini finished the 1992 regular season sixth after reaching the Elite Eight.
• Illinois is one of four Big Ten teams ranked -- Penn State is No. 1, Minnesota is No. 7 and Michigan is No. 13. Two other opponents -- Florida State and Saint Louis are 17th and 24th, respectively.

Illinois winning streak up to seven
Illinois has won seven matches in a row dating back to Oct. 3.
• The marks the longest Big Ten streak for Illinois since winning seven straight from Oct. 9-Oct. 27, 2001. The Illini have not won eight straight Big Ten matches since ending the 1992 regular season on an 18-match winning streak.
• In the current streak, the Illini are out-hitting opponents .222-.117 and out-blocking opponents 88-42.

Illinois completes first half of Big Ten
Illinois finished the first half of the Big Ten 8-2 with its only losses coming to No. 1 Penn State and Michigan State. That marks the best first half since going 8-2 in 2003. Last season the Illini went 7-3 in the first half and 8-2 in the second of the conference season en route to a 15-5 mark.