#4 Illinois Volleyball Prevails in Battle of the Unbeatens

  0 Jil Price Igara | September 22nd, 2018 | Big Ten, College - Women's Indoor, News

#4 Illinois def. #20 Purdue 3-1 (25-19, 23-25, 25-23, 26-24)

It was a barn-burner in West Lafayette, Ind., as a pair of unbeaten volleyball programs went at it in Big Ten-opening action. 4th-ranked Illinois emerged the victor, downing 20th-ranked Purdue in a 4-set battle.

Illinois has won 6-straight Big Ten openers and has now posted 5 wins over ranked opponents so far in 2018.

The Boilermakers outhit the Fighting Illini, .221 to .210, and outblocked their opponent, 12 to 7, in the match, but it wasn’t enough to secure the win. Illinois served up 12 aces and notched 51 kills to come away with the final result.

A total of 10 ties occurred in the opening set before Illinois used a 6-1 stretch to establish a lead. The Fighting Illini tallied 4 of the final 5 points to earn the 25-19 win.

In the second set, Purdue jumped out to a 10-3 lead. Illinois was able to rally back to knot the score, 18-18, however, the Boilermakers rattled off 3-straight scores to hold off their opponent. Purdue held the edge from there, evening the match with a 25-23 win.

The Boilermakers began the third set in a strong way, going up 9-3, before the Fighting Illini went on an 8-2 rally to tie it at 11. Illinois then used an 8-1 stretch to pull away and eventually claim the result, 25-23.

Trailing by 5 in the latter portion of the fourth set, Illinois responded with a 6-1 stretch to tie it up, 20-20. The Fighting Illini ended the comeback bid for the Boilermakers, 26-24, with a 5-1 closing run, with the final point coming on an overturned call via challenge.

Four players recorded double-figure kill totals for Illinois: Beth Prince (19), Megan Cooney (12), Ali Bastianelli (11) and Jacqueline Quade (11). Jordyn Poulter notched 52 assists, while Morgan O’Brien logged 20 digs and Bastianelli posted 6 blocks.

Sherridan Atkinson led the way for Purdue with 21 kills, 9 digs and a .333 attack percentage, followed by Blake Mohler who tallied 11 kills on a .400 attack percentage and a team-best eight blocks. Hayley Bush registered 40 assists, while Brooke Peters notched 21 digs.

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