#11 Illinois Claims 5-Set Thriller Over Northern Colorado

  0 Jil Price Igara | August 27th, 2018 | Big Ten, College - Women's Indoor, Division I Mid-Major, Mountain West, News

RV Colorado State def. UNC-Wilmington 3-0 (25-18, 25-18, 25-18)

Colorado State used a balanced offensive attack to earn a decisive victory in 3 sets over UNC-Wilmington for its first win of the season. The Rams hit .286, while holding the Seahawks to a .105 mark, and only trailed once in the first set.

In the first set, the Rams used a 12-4 run to take control and never gave up control for the early game one advantage, 25-18. Colorado State used another run, 8-3, to close out the second set, 25-18. The third set was a battle with the Rams holding to a slight edge 13-12, before regaining momentum to close it out, 25-18, and earn the sweep.

The Rams were led by junior Paulina Hougaard-Jensen, who logged 10 kills on the match, followed by freshman Sasha Colombo, who registered a career-high 9 kills and hit at a .467 clip. Redshirt junior Kirstie Hillyer also added 9 kills and was dominant defensively with 7 blocks. Junior Katie Oleksak distributed a team-high 37 assists, while redshirt sophomore Breana Runnels led the way with 9 digs.

For the Seahawks, senior Anna Moss led the way with nine kills on 19 attacks. Sophomore Brynn Montgomery dished out a team-high 14 assists and, along with freshman Rebecca Nuanez, added 5 blocks to her line. Senior Katie McCullough recorded a team-high 12 digs.

#11 Illinois def. Northern Colorado 3-2 (23-25, 25-23, 25-19, 20-25, 15-12)

Junior Jacqueline Quade guided the 11th-ranked Fighting Illini to a 3-2 win over Northern Colorado, their second 5-set thriller of the young season, with 22 kills, 14 digs and a career-high 5 service aces Saturday night inside Bank of Colorado Arena. It was her fifth career double-double and first of the season.

Joining her in double figures were sophomore Megan Cooney (career-high 19 kills) and senior Ali Bastianelli (11 kills). Senior Jordyn Poulter added another double-double with a team-best 58 assists and 11 digs, while sophomore Morgan O’Brien led the way with 23 digs.

The first set was a complete battle between the Fighting Illini and the Bears, however six Illinois service errors and timely kills by senior Kortney Lockey and sophomore Taylor Muff gave UNC the early edge, 25-23.

The second set was more of the same, as each team went back and forth early sparring for control. With the score knotted at 23-all, Illinois evened the match with a kill by Cooney and an opponent attack error.

Illinois hit its stride in the third set, hitting .310 and putting together several runs to tally the 25-19 win, but UNC was not ready to give up. The fourth set contained 5 ties and 9 lead changes before the Bears could edge the Fighting Illini with a kill by sophomore Jaydn McCartney.

The Bears brought the momentum into the fifth set, going up 5-0 before the Fighting Illini worked their way back into contention. Illinois put the match away with a 7-1 run to claim the final victory.

Lockey (team-high 15 kills, 14 digs) and Muff (13 kills, 10 digs) posted double-doubles for the Bears in the match. Redshirt sophomore Lauren Hinrichs (13) and McCartney (10) joined them with double figure kill numbers. Sophomore Daisy Schultz distributed 53 assists, while junior Taylor Els picked up a team-high 18 digs.

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