- Illinois (10-5, 3-1 B1G) win five setter over Maryland (8-8, 0-4 B1G) (25-18, 22-25, 30-28, 23-25, 16-14)
The Illini fought hard to take down Maryland in a thrilling five set match, keeping the Terps win-less in Big Ten Conference play. Illinois out-blocked Maryland 17-9, but the Terps dominated from behind the line posting 11 aces compared to Illinois five.
Michelle Strizak led the way for the Illini with 20 kills and teammate Jacqueline Quade added another 18 kills. Naya Crittenden posted her season-best six blocks in the win.
For the Terps Kelsey Wicinski served a career-best six service aces and picked up 18 digs. Gia Milana led the way with 16 kills and Liz Twilley added 15.
Courtesy of Illinois Athletics
COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Senior Michelle Strizak and freshman Jacqueline Quade combined for 38 kills to lead the No. 24 Fighting Illini volleyball team to a 3-2 (25-18, 22-25, 30-28, 23-25, 16-14) win over Maryland on Sunday (Oct. 2) afternoon at the XFINITY Center Pavilion.
With the win, the Illini improve to 10-5 on the season and 3-1 in the Big Ten Conference, while the Terrapins fall to 8-8 and 0-4 in league play.
Strizak led the Illini with a season-high 20 kills on 46 attacks for a .283 hitting percentage, with Quade adding a career-high 18 kills in the win.
After taking a 2-1 lead with wins in the first and third sets, the Terps forced a decisive fifth set with a 25-23 win in the fourth frame.
The Illini jumped out quickly in the final set, taking a 5-2 lead on a kill from sophomore Ali Bastianelli and led 8-6 at the change following a kill from senior Katie Stadick. Despite the deficit, the Terps charged back to take a 13-11 edge on an Angel Gaskin score. UI then used a 5-1 run to secure a dramatic comeback after fighting off match point at 14-13 and winning on a ball handing error from Terp setter Taylor Smith.
The Illini block was out in full force as UI registered a season-high 17 stuffs to the Terps’ nine, with Bastianelli once again leading the way with 11 on the day, while also totaling a season-high four service aces. Senior Naya Crittenden also posted a season-high six blocks in the win.
Sophomore setter Jordyn Poulter recorded 47 assists while orchestrating the Illini to a .212 hitting percentage.
Defensively, junior Brandi Donnelly notched 18 digs, with senior Danielle Davis adding 16 and freshmanCaroline Welsh turning in 13.
Illinois continues its three-match road swing on Wednesday (Oct. 5) with a trip up to Evanston, Ill., to face Northwestern at 7 p.m. CT in Welsh-Ryan Arena.
Courtesy of Maryland Athletics
COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Sophomore libero Kelsey Wicinski served a career-high six aces and three Terps posted double-digit kills as the Maryland volleyball team (8-8, 0-4 B1G) challenged No. 24 Illinois (10-5, 3-1) in five sets on Sunday afternoon. The Terrapins fell by set scores of 18-25, 25-22, 28-30, 25-23, 14-16.
“This was a tough loss but we played hard,” head coach Steve Airdsaid. “I am proud of how we fought. We had a window to win, and in this conference, you have to capitalize on that. We will keep working and battling.”
Wicinski also tied for match lead with 18 digs and had no reception errors. Freshman outside hitter Gia Milana led the Terps with 16 kills while sophomore outside hitter Liz Twilley posted 15. Senior middle blocker Ashlyn MacGregor notched 13 kills on a .462 clip while leading the team with five blocks.
The match featured 39 ties and 20 lead changes. Junior defensive specialist Samantha Higginbothem set career highs with 15 digs and three service aces.
MacGregor served an ace and Milana tallied two kills as Maryland jumped to an 8-4 lead in set one. The Illini tied the set with two straight blocks at 11-11 and took a 15-14 lead. Illinois pushed ahead, 19-15. Twilley hit a kill before combining on a block with MacGregor to pull within two, 19-17. The Illini hit three straight kills before MacGregor hit one of her own down 23-18. Illinois closed the set with two straight points, 25-18.
Milana posted a pair of kills before Illinois went on a 5-0 run to take an 8-6 lead in set two. Junior Hailey Murray and freshman Taylor Smith combined for a block before Twilley posted a solo block to give Maryland a 9-8 lead. Wicinski served three straight aces to force an Illinois timeout at 13-9. Maryland continued to push ahead with the lead, taking a 21-17 advantage after two kills from Smith. Milana posted Maryland’s last two kills as the Terps took the set, 25-22.
The Illini took an early lead in set three before kills from Twilley and MacGregor and a Smith-MacGregor block pulled Maryland within one, 15-14. Wicinski notched a service ace to tie the set, and the teams tied a few times before the Illini took a 22-20 lead. The Terps notched the next two points to tie again, and Maryland reached set point at 24-22 on a Milana kill. The Terrapins were at set point three more times before Illinois put together three straight points to take the game, 30-28.
After a MacGregor kill, Higginbothem posted three straight aces as Maryland took a 4-0 lead in set four. The Illini pulled within one, 10-9, before taking an 11-9 lead. MacGregor posted a couple overpass kills and Milana notched kills as the teams continued to tie before a Wicinski service ace gave the Terps a 19-18 lead. The Terrapins and Illini continued to play closely before Maryland took set point at 24-21. Illinois extended the set twice before a kill from sophomore Angel Gaskin won the set, 25-23.
The Illini took a 5-2 lead in the fifth set but a Milana kill and a Murray-Smith block tied it, 6-6. MacGregor posted two straight kills before notching a block with Gaskin as the Terps took a 10-9 lead. MacGregor and Gaskin each posted kills as Maryland went ahead, 13-11, before the Illini came back to tie the set. The teams again tied at 14 before Illinois was able to get two points and win the match with a 16-14 fifth set.
The Terps hit the road again to take on No. 22 Michigan on Friday at 7 p.m. and No. 18 Michigan State on Saturday at 8 p.m.