- Illinois (RV) def. Northwestern 3-0 (25-23, 25-19, 25-13)
- Illinois moves to 11-2, 2-0 Big Ten; Northwestern falls to 10-4, 0-2 B1G
- Evanston, Illinois
- Attendance: 1,092
- Box Score
EVANSTON, Ill. – Illinois hit at a .405 clip and had help from 20 Northwestern miscues in a sweep Saturday to move to 2-0 in Big Ten play.
Illinois outhit Northwestern .405 to .189, committing just seven hitting errors in the contest. The rest of the statistics were fairly even, as NU led 38-37 in kills, and UI edged the Wildcats 6-5 in blocks. Both teams served up five aces.
Sophomore outside hitter Jacqueline Quade and redshirt sophomore outside Beth Prince combined for 21 of the Fighting Illini’s 37 kills, posting 11 and 10 respectively. Prince hit at a .667 clip, with 15 errorless swings. Freshman outside Megan Cooney led the team with four blocks, while junior outside Ali Bastianelli and junior middle blocker Blayke Hranicka notched three stuffs apiece. Senior libero Brandi Donnelly added 10 digs.
Senior outside Symone Abbott tallied a match-high 13 kills and three aces, while freshman outside Nia Robinson added 11 putaways. Senior middle Gabrielle Hazen chipped in eight kills on a team-best .538 hitting effort, while adding two aces and two blocks. Sophomore libero Sarah Johnson pulled up a team-leading eight digs.
Northwestern scored four of the first six points in Set 1, including kills by Hazen and Abbott. Illinois answered with four straight, including a pair of NU miscues, and pushed ahead 12-8 on a block by Bastianelli and Cooney. The Wildcats rallied with a 7-0 run, including a trio of Abbott aces, to go up 16-12. Prince notched five kills at the teams played to a 20-all tie. The teams traded points, tying at 21 and 22, but a pair of service errors and a Quade putaway gave Illinois the 25-23 victory.
The Fighting Illini cruised to an 11-5 lead in Set 2 as Quade downed four kills. The Wildcats were within three at 11-8, but a handful of errors made it 18-12 Illinois. Robinson added three kills and Hazen chipped in a kill and an ace as Northwestern closed to with in two at 21-19. A kill and a block by Bastianelli and an ace by Hranicka contributed to a final 4-0 Illini run.
Set 3 was out of reach in the early going as Illinois led 11-4 early and 16-6 halfway through. Two kills each by Cooney and Quade aided the Illini in the opening rally. Hranicka added two kills and a block and Caroline Welsh served up an ace as the team cruised to the 10-point advantage. Northwestern would get no closer than eight the rest of the way. Two Bastianelli kills and three NU miscues lifted the Illini to a 24-13 lead and a hitting error clinched the victory.