Women's Volleyball
Notes: Final Illini Homestand Features Michigan State, Michigan

 
Senior Jackie Wolfe leads all active Illini with 71 career service aces.
Senior Jackie Wolfe leads all active Illini with 71 career service aces.
 

Nov. 15, 2012

Illinois Match Notes (PDF)

Michigan State Spartans (21-7, 9-7 Big Ten)
Friday, Nov. 16 • 7 p.m. • Huff Hall • BTN.com • WDWS • WDAN

TV: BTN.com (Student U) • Max Tane and Jamal Collier
Radio: Illini Radio Network • Dave Loane and Mike Trame • Online
          WDWS 1400 AM in Champaign • WDAN 1490 AM in Danville
LiveStats: GameTracker • Mobile 

Michigan State's Match Notes (PDF)

Michigan Wolverines (21-9, 9-7 Big Ten)
Saturday, Nov. 17 • 7 p.m. • Huff Hall • Illini All-Access • WDWS • WDAN • Senior Night

TV: Illini All-Access • http://iurl.no/nqS
Radio: Illini Radio Network • Dave Loane and Mike Trame • Online
          WDWS 1400 AM in Champaign • WDAN 1490 AM in Danville
LiveStats: GameTracker • Mobile

Michigan's Match Notes (PDF)


The Last Meeting
Illinois3
#25 Michigan State2
October 13, 2012
East Lansing, Mich.
Illini Storm Back to Stun Spartans, 3-2
The Fighting Illini rebounded from down 0-2 to defeat No. 25 Michigan State, 3-2 (18-25, 23-25, 25-22, 25-16, 15-8). | BOX SCORE (PDF) |

The Last Meeting
Illinois0
Michigan3
October 10, 2012
Ann Arbor, Mich.
Illini Stumble in Ann Arbor, Fall 3-0 to Wolverines
Illinois dropped its first mid-week match of the year, 3-0 (25-16, 25-19, 26-24), at Michigan. | BOX SCORE (PDF)

ILLINI vs. THE SPARTANS

The Illini are 45-23 all time against Michigan State, and 22-7 at home. Illinois won the first 12 straight home matches against the Spartans, from 1977 to 1994, before dropping a 5-0 decision to the Spartans on Oct. 6, 1995, in a match with experimental TV scoring.

The Orange and Blue defeated Michigan State, 3-2, earlier this season on Oct. 13. Illinois dropped the first two sets, 25-18 and 25-23, but then stormed back to win the final three frames, 25-22, 25-16, 15-8, to snap a four-match skid. Alexis Viliunas made her first appearance for the Illini in the match, starting at setter.

ILLINI vs. THE WOLVERINES

Illinois is 43-20 all time against the Wolverines, and 23-5 at home. The Orange and Blue had won seven of the last eight matches against Michigan when they travelled to Ann Arbor earlier this season on Oct. 10. The Wolverines dominated the Illini in their first mid-week match of the season, defeating Illinois, 3-0 (25-16, 25-19, 26-24).

LAST TIME OUT

The Orange and Blue played one of their best defensive matches of the year last Saturday at No. 15 Ohio State, but came up just short, falling, 3-2 (25-23, 16-25, 25-23, 16-25, 17-15). The Illini won the second and fourth sets 25-16, but watched a pair of match points (14-13, 15-14) get erased, as the Buckeyes eked out their second 5-set victory this season. 

Julia Conard dazzled in the back row, nearly doubling her career high with 17 digs, and Anna Dorn hit .526 with 12 kills. Liz McMahon led the team with 20 kills and five blocks, and Erin Johnson put up another five block assists. Annie Luhrsen tabbed a season-high 63 assists, and earned her 17th career double-double with a personal-best 15 digs.

ON THE BIG SCREEN

The Illini have appeared on local, regional and national television 147 times since 1988, compiling an 84-63 (.571) overall record. Nationally, Illinois is 33-30, including 7-10 on ESPN/ESPN2 and 10-14 on the Big Ten Network. The Illini are 1-6 on television this season, defeating Texas on the Longhorn Network, but losing to Minnesota, Purdue (twice), Michigan and Penn State on BTN and Nebraska on ESPN2.

BIRKS EARNS SECOND BIG TEN FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK HONOR ON NOV. 5

Jocelynn Birks was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week on Nov. 5 after leading the Illini to a 3-1 victory over Indiana. I marked the second time she was named Freshman of the Week, and the third Freshman of the Week honor for the Illini this season. Birks hit .392 against Indiana with 23 kills, five digs and four blocks, and had a double-double against No. 22 Purdue on Oct. 31 with 15 kills and 10 digs. Additionally, she tabbed a team-best four aces on the week, including three against the Boilermakers.

FIVE-SET FRENZY

The Illini have found themselves in a tie-breaking fifth set 11 times this season. Eight of their 16 Big Ten matches have gone to five, and six of their 10 home matches have needed five sets to establish a winner. Illinois is 4-7 overall, 3-5 in the Big Ten, and 2-4 at home in 5-set matches.

The 11 five-setters ties the Illinois program record, after the Illini went 7-4 in five-setters in 2000. The last time the Illini had double-digit 5-set matches was in 2007, when Illinois went 1-9 in the tie-breaking set. Illinois' record for 5-set wins in a season is seven, set in 2000 and matched in 2011 (7-0). The Illini's nine 5-set losses in 2007 were the most in school history.

CHANGING THE SET

After the Illini fell into an uncommon four-match losing streak, Coach Hambly made a personnel change, starting freshman Alexis Viliunas over senior Annie Luhrsen at setter. Viliunas was on track to redshirt the season and take over setting duties next year, but in an effort to snap the skid and get the team where it needed to be, Viliunas entered the starting lineup on Oct. 13 at Michigan State.

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.

Viliunas and Luhrsen split time at Wisconsin on Oct. 26, with Viliunas starting the match and playing the majority of the first and third sets, and Luhrsen playing the second and fourth sets. Luhrsen returned to the starting lineup at Minnesota on Oct. 28, where she has remained ever since. The Illini are 9-13 with Luhrsen starting and 2-2 when Viliunas starts.

BELTRAN MOVING UP DIGS CHARTS

In her first two seasons at Illinois, Jennifer Beltran recorded the top two single-season digs performances in school history, ranking her fifth all-time in career digs entering the season (1,194). On Sept. 15, Beltran passed Lauren Harks `04 into fourth all time, when she recorded her first career double-double (11a, 18d) against Cincinnati. On Sept. 28, she vaulted over Mary Coleman '98 into third place, registering 12 digs at Indiana. One week later, on Oct. 5, Beltran passed Tracey Marshall '99 to move into second place, tabbing 25 digs against Ohio State. The junior libero has a ways to go before catching Ashley Edinger in the No. 1 spot (1,921), currently owning 1,614 career digs. In addition to the career charts, she is currently working her way up the season list for a third time, tabbing 420 digs in 2012.

Illinois Career Digs
1. 1,921 Ashley Edinger 2006-09
2. 1,614 Jennifer Beltran 2010-
3. 1,426 Tracey Marshall 1996-09
4. 1,393 Mary Coleman 1995-98
5. 1,346 Lauren Harks 2001-04

Illinois Single-Season Digs
1. 623 Jennifer Beltran 2010
2. 571 Jennifer Beltran 2011
3. 564 Ashley Edinger 2007
4. 562 Ashley Edinger 2008
5. 520 Beth Vrdsky 2005
6. 488 Ashley Edinger 2006
7. 466 Michelle Bartsch 2011
8. 465 Tracey Marshall 1998
9. 420 Jennifer Beltran 2012

Additionally, Beltran is the active leader in the Big Ten in career digs, and sits in 15th all time in the conference.

Big Ten Career Digs
1. 2,791 Paula Gentil, MINN 2000-05
...
12. 1,885 Caitlin Cox, IND 2008-11
13. 1,658 Christie Gardner, NU 2002-05
14. 1,632 Jenny Rees, IOWA 1987-90
15. 1,614 Jennifer Beltran 2010-

Active Big Ten Career Digs (11/12)
1. 1,614 Jennifer Beltran 2010-
2. 1,483 Beth Yeager, IOWA 2010-
3. 1,446 Julie Chin, NU 2009-
4. 1,390 Julianna Mandolfo, OSU 2010-
5. 1,227 Hannah Werth, NEB 2009-

JOHNSON BREAKS INTO BLOCKING TOP TEN

Senior middle blocker Erin Johnson has become one of Illinois' best blockers in school history, tabbing 26 solo blocks and 429 assists for a total of 455 blocks. She is currently in fourth place all-time in block assists and ranks seventh in total blocks, just one shy of Betsy Spicer '00 in sixth. She needs 13 block assists to move into third in BA. The Crystal Lake, Ill., native is also the active Big Ten leader in career digs.

Illinois Career Block Assists
1. 613 Johannah Bangert 2007-10
2. 452 Kristin Henriksen 1990-93
3. 442 Mary Eggers 1985-88
4. 429 Erin Johnson 2009-
5. 422 Michelle Bartsch 2008-11
6. 413 Betsy Spicer 1997-00
7. 401 Sara Sorrell 1996-99
8. 398 Nancy Brookhart 1986-89
9. 391 Denise Fracaro 1982-85
10. 339 Disa Johnson 1984-87

Illinois Career Total Blocks (450+)
1. 653 Johannah Bangert 2007-10
2. 562 Mary Eggers 1985-88
3. 550 Kristen Henriksen 1990-93
4. 522 Nancy Brookhart 1986-89
5. 497 Denise Fracaro 1982-85
6. 456 Betsy Spicer 1997-00
7. 455 Erin Johnson 2009-
455 Sara Sorrell 1996-99
8. 451 Michelle Bartsch 2008-11

Active Big Ten Career Blocks (11/12)
1. 455 (26-429) Erin Johnson 2009-
2. 409 (48-361) Alexis Matthews, MSU 2010-
3. 381 (48-333) Katie Slay, PSU 2010-
4. 380 (53-327) Jennifer Cross, MICH 2010-
5. 367 (51-316) Alexis Mitchell, WISC 2009-


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 12 weeks of competition, the Illini rank eighth in the nation in home attendance, with an average of 2,878 fans per match.

• Six of the top 10 teams attendance-wise are members of the Big Ten in Nebraska (2), Minnesota (3), Penn State (4), Wisconsin (5), Illinois (8) and Purdue (9).

• The Illini have pulled a total of 28,776 fans over 10 home matches in 2012, for an average of 2,878 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 61-12 in front of the home crowd since the start of 2008. 11 of the 12 losses came to teams in the top 25, 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 11/11)
Rk Team Total Dates Avg.
1. Hawaii 113,080 17 6,652
2. Nebraska 60,689 14 4,335
3. Minnesota 39,792 12 3,316
4. Penn State 42,606 13 3,277
5. Wisconsin 31,484 10 3,148
6. UNI 29,397 10 2,940
7. Wichita State 29,086 10 2,909
8. Illinois 28,776 10 2,878
9. Purdue 31,238 12 2,603
10. Florida 35,910 14 2,565

Illinois' top all-time volleyball crowds (4,000+)
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. 4,123 Nebraska$ 12/10/1992
7. 4,050 Ohio State 10/18/1991
4,050 Penn State 11/27/1992
9. 4,021 Michigan St. 10/15/2011
$ NCAA Tourney; * At Assembly Hall

Illinois' top all-time yearly attendance (by average)
Total (Average) Year Record
1. 52,666 (3,098) 1992 16-1
2. 28,776 (2,878) 2012 4-6
3. 34,539 (2,657) 1993 11-3
4. 42,068 (2,475) 2011 16-1
5. 31,381 (2,414) 1996 8-5
6. 32,856 (2,347) 1995 10-4
7. 31,391 (2,242) 1991 13-1
8. 33,279 (2,108) 1988 16-0
9. 29,480 (2,106) 2009 14-1

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 14 matches against teams ranked in this week's top 25, having already played 15 matches against teams ranked at the time of the match. Those currently-ranked opponents are No. 2 Penn State, No. 3 Texas, No. 9 Nebraska, No. 10 Louisville, No. 12 Dayton, No. 14 Minnesota, No. 15 Ohio State, No. 19 Iowa State and No. 21 Purdue. Additionally three of the Illini's opponents received votes in the most recent poll, with this weekend's opponents ranking 31st (MSU) and 32nd (MICH) and Pepperdine dropping out of the rankings to 28th.

• The Illini faced at least one ranked opponent in each of the first 12 weeks of the season. This weekend marks the first time that the Orange and Blue will not face a ranked opponent, but both teams did receive votes in this weeks poll to rank 31st and 32nd.

• The Illini's schedule features four of the top five teams in the RPI, in #2 Penn State, #3 Texas, #4 Nebraska and #5 Louisville. The Illini went 1-5 against them, with a win at #3 Texas.

• Of Illinois' 18 opponents, five are in the RPI top 10, 10 in the top 30, and 13 in the top 50. #185 UCF is the Illini's only non-conference opponent outside of the top 100.

• 14 of Illinois' 15 losses have come to teams in the RPI top 35, and four of the Illini's 11 wins were over top 50 teams, including a 3-2 victory at #3 Texas.

HEADLINES