No. 5 Illinois travels to No. 11 Purdue and Indiana
Illinois travels to Purdue and IndianaIllinois takes to the road this week with matches at Purdue and Indiana. The Illini meet Purdue in West Lafayette, Ind., on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. in a match televised live on the Big Ten Network. The Illini travel to Indiana for a 6 p.m. match on Tuesday night.
Video: The Purdue match will be shown live on the Big Ten Network with Mike Wolf and Megan Bower on the call. Saturday's match with Indiana will be aired live on BTN.com.
Audio: The match can be heard live on WDWS (AM 1400) with Dave Loane and Mike Trame on the call at Purdue and Dave Loane and Mike Koon on the call at Indiana. Audio is also available at fightingillini.com.
Illinois-Purdue notes Purdue is playing as well as any team in the conference right now. The Boilermakers are 20-3 overall and 9-3 and in fourth place in the Big Ten. Their only losses have come at Illinois and at Nebraska and at home against Penn State. They are led by this week's AVCA National Player of the Week Ariel Turner, who leads the Big Ten in kills at 4.85 per set. Tiffany Fisher paces the conference in hitting percentage at .405.
Purdue and Illinois both competed at the Austin, Texas, Regional a year ago with the #16 seed Boilers defeating top-seed Florida in straight sets to advance to the Regional Final. The Illini, the No. 8 seed, lost a tight battle with host and No. 9 Texas in five sets. The Longhorns advnaced to the Final Four with a four-set win over Purdue.
Illinois leads the all-time series with the Boilermakers, 42-33. The teams split matches in 2010, each winning on its home floor. The Purdue win in the final game of the regular season broke a six-match winning streak for the Illini in the series.
The match earlier this year, a four set victory for the Illini was tight in each set with the three of the four sets being decided by two points. The Boilermakers actually out-hit the Illini.191-.168. Michelle Bartsch led everyone with 15 kills.
The match starts a four-match homestand for Purdue, which ends next Saturday vs. #2 Nebraska. The last four Purdue matches are on the road.
Illinois-Indiana Notes Indiana enters the week at 8-16 overall and 0-12 in the Big Ten. The Hoosiers have taken two conference teams to five sets on the road -- Iowa and Purdue. Samantha Thrower hit 1.000 with 15 kills vs. Buffalo.
Behind 16 kills from Michelle Bartsch and 14 kills from Colleen Ward, Illinois defeated Indiana 25-15, 21-25, 25-19, 25-14 on Sept. 30.
Illinois leads the all-time series with Indiana 55-16. The Illini saw a six-match winning streak vs. the Hoosiers come to a halt with a 3-1 Indiana victory last season.
Indiana was one of six Big Ten teams in the Sweet 16 last year. The Hoosiers defeated Miami (Fla.) and Tennessee before falling to USC in the Regional Semifinal.
Illinois continues to lead the RPIIllinois 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:
Team Record 1. Illinois 21-2 2. Nebraska 18-2 3. Iowa State 17-4 4. Texas 15-4 5. Northern Iowa 24-1 6. Minnesota 13-8 7. Stanford 17-4 8. Hawaii 24-1 9. UCLA 20-3 10. Purdue 20-3 14. Penn State 17-5 15. Tennessee 20-3 19. Michigan 16-8 22. Tulsa 21-5 24. Cincinnati 18-8 34. Dayton 19-5 37. Michigan State 17-7 38. Ohio State 16-9 43. Houston 16-7 48. Middle Tennessee 16-9 49. Louisville 17-6 51. BYU 18-9 54. Wisconsin 13-11 59. UC-Santa Barbara 13-11 62. St. Mary's 11-12 78. Northwestern 13-10 91. Cal Poly 10-14 125. Iowa 11-14 133. Indiana 8-16
Jersey auction nets over $4,000Illinois auctioned the pink jerseys the players wore in Friday's Pink Event. A total of $4,421 was raised for Coaches vs. Cancer. Each jersey bears the name of the winners choosing, many selecting a name of a friend who has battled cancer. After the match, the jerseys were laundered and given to the auction winners.
Illini fall to No. 5 in the pollsAfter four straight weeks at No. 1 in the poll, Illinois fell to No. 3 last week and to No. 5 this week. The Illini have had seven weeks inside the top three and the entire season inside the top eight.
Illinois received one first-place vote.
The Big Ten continues to have seven teams inside the top 25, including four of the top 11 -- No. 2 Nebraska, No. 5 Illinois, No. 6 Penn State, No. 11 Purdue, No. 15 Minnesota, No. 22 Michigan and No. 23 Ohio State. Non-conference foe Tennessee is No. 16 with Dayton, Tulsa and Michigan State receiving votes.
UCLA becomes the fifth different team to be ranked No. 1 this season. Penn State, California, Illinois and Nebraska have all been at the top spot. The Illini's four-week reign atop the poll has been the longest.
Beltran approaches 1,000 digsJennifer Beltran 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 944 for her career.
Ward, Bartsch post 20-20 matchesColleen Ward had 20 kills and 20 digs while hitting .283 in just three sets as Illinois defeated Northwestern on Oct. 19. That performance comes after amassing 22 kills while hitting .538 in a five-set victory over Michigan State.
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.
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.
Bartsch had 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).
Illinois against top-10 teamsFor 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.
Best starts in school historyIllinois is 21-2 on the season, tied for its second-best start in school history through 23 matches:
1985 -- 23-0 2011 -- 21-2 1986 -- 21-2 1987 -- 20-3 1988 -- 20-3 1992 -- 20-3 2009 -- 20-3 2010 -- 20-3 1989 -- 19-4 2003 -- 18-5
Illinois ends another Penn State streakThe 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 2.63 per set. The Illini are also 29th in hitting percentage (.252).
Annie Luhrsen ranks 26th nationally in assists (11.07 per set) while Anna Dorn is 22nd in blocks (1.31)
Dorn is second in the nation in blocks among freshmen behind only Katie Dutchman of Northwestern (1.45 per set).
Ranked foes all over the scheduleIllinois is 6-2 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.
Winning five-set matchesIllinois 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 chartsMichelle Bartsch is 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. 1,443 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. 4,158 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 BoilersA 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 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. 43,677 13 3,360 6 Florida 33,725 12 2,810 7 Texas 26,651 10 2,665 8. Wichita St. 22,928 9 2,548 9. Illinois 27,099 11 2,464 10. Purdue 28,590 12 2,383 11. Stanford 28,375 12 2,365 12. Missouri 16,890 7 2,413 13. Washington 22,976 10 2,298 14. Iowa St. 18,327 8 2,291 15 New Mexico 22,071 10 2,207
Illinois top all-time volleyball crowds
Opponent Date 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
NCAA Tournament Information The NCAA selection show will be at 5 pm on ESPNU.
First and second round sites will be held on campus sites on Dec. 1-4.
NCAA Regionals will Dec. 9-10 at Gainesville, Fla., Honolulu, Hawaii, Lexington, Ky., and Minneapolis, Minn.
The national semifinals and finals are Dec. 15 & 17 in San Antonio, Tex.
Illinois will host an NCAA Regional in 2013 at Assembly Hall. Other 2013 Regional hosts are USC, Kentucky and Florida with the finals in Seattle
In 2012, NCAA Regional sites will be Nebraska, Purdue, California and Texas with the finals in Louisville.
In 2014, NCAA Regionals will be in Minnesota, Washington, Iowa State and Louisville with the finals in Oklahoma City.
Statistical Trends 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.
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.
Team loaded with Top 60 talentThe 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.