- Champaign, Illinois
- Sept. 14-15, 2018
The No. 6 Fighting Illini opened their home season with a sweep of Northern Iowa to stay perfect at 9-0. Meanwhile, the Panthers and Creighton each topped Lipscomb in sweeps to round out Day 1 of the tournament.
Northern Iowa def. Lipscomb 3-0 (25-17, 25-20, 25-16)
- The Panthers outhit the Bisons .385 to .202, including a .517 effort in Set 3.
- UNI led the way in kills (47-36), aces (5-2) and blocks (6-2) as well.
- Karlie Taylor and Piper Thomas paced UNI with 14 kills apiece. Thomas also notched a team-best five blocks, while hitting .520.
- Carlyle Nusbaum was tops among the Bisons with a 13-kill, 11-dig double-double.
- The Panthers closed out the sweep on a service ace by Rachel Koop.
Illinois def. Northern Iowa 3-0 (25-13, 26-24, 25-21)
- Illinois outdid UNI at the net in kills (46-28), blocks (6-4) and hitting efficiency (.287 to .116). The Fighting Illini also served up six aces, while allowing just two.
- Illinois started the match with a .429 hitting effort in Set 1.
- UNI did not hit above .156 the entire night, hitting at low as .073 in Set 2.
- Jacqueline Quade led the Illini with 15 kills, eight digs and two blocks, while hitting .333. Megan Cooney added 10 kills at a .400 clip (10-2-20). Ali Bastianelli added four blocks, six kills and three aces.
- Jordyn Poulter notched 39 assists for Illinois, putting her over 4,000 for her career, making her just the fourth Illini player ever to reach the milestone.
- Karlie Taylor was the lone Panther to reach double-digit kills, turning in 11 to go with six digs and an ace. Jaydlin Seehase was next on the team with eight putaways.
- UNI boasted an 8-2 lead in Set 3 and boasted a two-point edge at 18-16 before Illinois turned things around to finish off the sweep with a 9-3 run. Quade notched three kills and the Illini had help from four Panther miscues down the stretch.
Strong start to the home schedule. 💪🏼#ILLINI pic.twitter.com/bNuJTkICG7
— Illini Volleyball (@IlliniVBall) September 15, 2018
Creighton def. Lipscomb 3-0 (25-23, 25-19, 25-23)
- Creighton held the advantage in every statistical category: kills (43-39), hitting efficiency (.230 to .158), aces (3-2) and blocks (8-6).
- Lipscomb led by as many as six in Set 3 (16-10), before succumbing to the Bluejays. Creighton tied it up at 18 en route to a 24-20 advantage. The Bisons staved off three match-point tries before a Naomi Hickman kill ended the night at 25-23.
- Jaali Winters and Madelyn Cole each posted double-doubles for Creighton. Winters notched 12 kills and 12 digs, while Cole added 38 assists and 13 digs.
- Megan Ballenger was second on the team with 11 kills, just behind Winters, while hitting at a team-best .579 clip (11-0-19).
- Creighton rookie Annika Welty made her first collegiate start and posted six kills, five digs, three blocks and an ace while hitting at a .429 clip (6-0-14).
- Megan Kuper carried the load for Lipscomb with an 11-kill, 10-dig double-double, the first of her career. Ca’Layci Coffey added nine kills and two blocks, while Maddie Phillips chipped in eight putaways and two stuffs.
- Lipscomb star Carlyle Nusbaum pulled up 10 digs, but notched just four putaways, while hitting a -.097 clip (4-7-31).