Illinois Returns Home To Host Purdue, Indiana

  0 volleymob | October 05th, 2017 | Big Ten, College - Women's Indoor, News

Press Release courtesy of Illinois Athletics.

Match 16:
No. 18 Purdue
Friday, October 6, 2017 | 7 p.m. CT | Huff Hall | Champaign, Ill.
TV: BTN | Radio: WDWS 1400 | Livestats
Match 17:
Saturday, October 7, 2017 | 7 p.m. CT | Huff Hall | Champaign, Ill.
Video: | Radio: WDWS 1400 | Livestats
Full Match Notes Illinois | Indiana
Statistics Illinois | Purdue | Indiana
Series History Purdue: Illinois leads, 45-40 | Last: Illinois lost, 2-3, on 10/22/2016 | Streak: Lost 1 | Results
Indiana: Illinois leads, 66-17; Last Match: Illinois won, 3-0, on 9/20/2017; Streak: Won 12 | Results
Tickets BUY HERE
Social Media @IlliniVball Twitter Icon | #Illini Twitter icon | Facebook Facebook icon | @IlliniVBall  | YouTube YouTube icon



   » IlliNOISE Night – Help us break the noise record from the previous season for the Big Ten home opener!

   » Kids Court – All Fighting Illini fans 8th grade and younger are invited to serve volleyballs on the court following the match.


   » Earplugs (to help with the NOISE)


   » Season Ticket Holder Bring a Friend Night – Season ticket holders are encouraged to bring a friend to the match and help fill Huff Hall!


   » Students will have the chance to win an autographed volleyball


After opening the season with five of six weeks on the road – including the last two to open Big Ten Conference play – the Fighting Illini volleyball team returns to Huff Hall for four-straight home matches.

The homestand begins this weekend when the Illini hosts No. 18 Purdue on Friday(October 60 night for their fourth-annual IlliNOISE Night in a BTN-televised match, before welcoming in Indiana to wrap the season series with the Hoosiers on Saturday(October 7) night for Season Ticket Holders’ Bring a Friend Night. Both matches are slated to start at 7 p.m. CT.


The Illini lead in the all-time series with Purdue, holding a 45-40 edge against the Boilermakers. Last season both teams earned five-set road victories against the other, while the last-three matches between the Illini and Boilermakers have gone five sets.

Saturday’s match will be against a familair foe after the Illini opened the conference slate in Bloomington on September 20. The Illini, who hold a 66-17 advantage in the all-time series, made quick work of IU for a straight-sets win as a pair of Indiana natives – sophomore Jacqueline Quade and redshirt-sophomore Beth Prince – propelled the Illini to victory, with Quade totaling a match-high 13 kills, while Prince turned in 12 kills as well as a match and career-high seven stuffs on the night. Junior Ali Bastianelli joined the duo in double figures with 10 kills on a .615 hitting percentage and five blocks.

Junior Jordyn Poulter led the Illini to a team hitting percentage of .365, while posting 38 assists on the night.

With the win, the Illini improved to 23-13 in Big Ten openers and have won their last five conference starters, both overall and in road matches.


For the fourth-straight season, the Fighting Illini volleyball will be hosting its popular promotional event, IlliNOISE Night, on Fridayagainst No. 18 Purdue in Huff Hall.

It has been said by coaches, opponents, fans and media members alike that Huff Hall has the loudest volleyball atmosphere in the country, and later this week the Fighting Illini plan to prove it. The Marketing & Promotions Staff will take a decibel meter reading during the match to put a number to just how loud Huff Hall truly is.

IlliNOISE Night History

Year Decibel Reading Attendance
2014 105 dB 4,536 (official sellout)
2015 107 dB 3,997
2016 112 dB 2,911
2017 ??? ???

Touted “the best student section in the nation,” by Big Ten Network announcer Mike Wolf, the Spike Squad will be out in full force. Ear plugs will be available free of charge at all entrances for any fans with sensitive hearing when the Illini Faithful establish the mark of Huff Hall’s noise level.


Despite a hiccup on Friday night against then-No. 3 Penn State, the Illini have won six of their last seven matches, including 18 of 24 sets dating back to September 15.

Four of those matches have come on the road (Missouri State, Indiana, Northwestern, Rutgers), where the Illini own an impressive 6-1 mark. For the season, the Illini are a combined 12-1 in road and neutral-site matches.


The Illini continued their strong blocking game and rank fourth in the NCAA in blocks per set at a 3.20 clip as well as ninth in hitting percentage (.308), while also ranking 21st in total blocks (163) and 23rd in opponent hitting percentage (.157).

Individually, junior Ali Bastianelli paces the nation with 1.92 blocks per set, ranks second with a .496 hitting percentage and is eighth with 92 total blocks.

Junior Jordyn Poulter also ranks 28th with a 11.04 assists per set average and is 93rd with 563 total helpers.

Offensively, junior Blayke Hranicka also sits 38th with a .387 attack percentage and sophomore Jacqueline Quade ranks 86th with 4.17 points per set.


The Illini set a new season-high with nine service aces against Rutgers on Sunday as freshman Morgan O’Brien equaled her season-high with three – including back-to-back aces to open the match – while junior Jordyn Poulter and sophomore Annika Gereau each added two in the road win.

For the season, the Illini have registered five matches with seven or more aces, including a trio of contests with eight service aces against Chattanooga (September 15), Colorado (September 9) and Louisville (September 2).

Individually, O’Brien leads the Illini with 14 on the season, with sophomore Jacqueline Quadejoining her in double figures with 11 on the season.

Junior Blayke Hranicka holds the season-high for most aces in a single game after equaling her career-high with four against Chattanooga.


In their time in the Orange and Blue, senior Brandi Donnelly and juniors Jordyn Poulter and Ali Bastianelli have made a place for themselves in the Illini record books. Donnelly currently sits third in career digs with 1,816, just 105 off of Ashley Edinger’s second place mark of 1,921. Jennifer Beltran holds the record with 2,220 digs in her four years.

Meanwhile, Poulter ranks eighth in career assists with 2,841 helpers after passing former Illini Annie Luhrsen this past weekend and is 737 helpers from equaling Betsy Eiserman (1999-02) for seventh place. Melissa Beitz ranks first in program history with 5,797 assists from 1996-99.

After entering the top 10 for career block assists earlier this season, Bastianelli is currently tied for seventh with former Illini and current USA Volleyball team member Michelle Bartsch with 422 block assists. Former teammate Katie Stadick sits just 11 stuffs away in sixth place, while former player and director of operations Johannah Bangert owns the program record with 613 block assists from 2007-10.

Bastianelli entered the top 10 for total career blocks over the weekend and currently sits in eighth place with 460 blocks. She needs nine more to enter a tie for seventh with Erin Johnson at 460. Bangert also holds the career record for total blocks at 653.


The Illini set a new single-match hitting percentage school record en route to a sweep of No. 24 Western Kentucky on Saturday as part of the Cardinal Classic. Swinging .652 as a team, the Illini led by a .917 hitting percentage from junior Ali Bastianelli.

Topping the previous school record of .635 set back on September 1, 1992 at Northwestern, the Illini were hitting on all cylinders on Saturday morning, finishing each set with an attack percentage north of .600, with a first-set mark of .708, a second-set clip of .632 and a third-set .609 percentage. The best single-match team hitting percentage during the rally-scoring era, which began in 2001, was a .483 performance against Murray State at Huff Hall on September 17, 2016.


Following the departure of former head coach Kevin Hambly to Stanford in January, Director of Athletes Josh Whitman selected Chris Tamas as the new head coach of the Fighting Illini volleyball program on February 10, 2017.  He is the eighth head coach in the history of the program.

Tamas came to Illinois following many years learning from some of the game’s great coaches, including John Cook at Nebraska and former U.S. National Team coaches Hugh McCutcheon and Ron Larsen. In all, Tamas is in his ninth year of collegiate coaching including two years at Nebraska, two years at Cal Poly, two years at Minnesota and two years at UC-Riverside.

Tamas is a 2003 graduate of the University of the Pacific with a degree in sports sciences. He was a four-year starter for the Tigers and a unanimous AVCA All-American first team selection and team MVP during his 2003 senior season. In four years with the U.S. Men’s National Team (1999, 2003, 2005-06), Tamas made 34 appearances, and, in 1999, helped the squad to a silver medal at the World Junior Championships in Havana. As national team captain in 2003, Tamas helped lead the United State to a bronze medal at the World University Games in Daegu, South Korea.

A training camp invitee for the U.S. squad that eventually captured the 2008 Olympic gold medal, Tamas also helped U.S. teams to silver at the 2005 World Grand Champions Cup in Japan and, as a setter, to a gold at the 2006 NORCECA Championships in Mexicali, Mexico.

As a professional, Tamas competed for six years overseas with clubs Protect Eye Orion (Netherlands), Antigos Alunos (Portugal), Real Grupo (Spain), Erdemir (Turkey), Dionysos (Cyprus) and Isku (Finland). In Finland and Cyprus, Tamas helped his clubs to national cup championships.

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