Strong Offensive Showing For Nebraska Helps Them Past Illinois

  0 Carly DeMarque | October 22nd, 2017 | Big Ten, College - Women's Indoor, News

Match Results

  • #7 Nebraska def. Illinois 3-1, (25-19, 24-26, 25-20, 25-17)
  • Nebraska improves to 16-4, 9-1 Big Ten, Illinois falls to 16-5, 7-3 Big Ten
  • Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Attendance: 8,256
  • Match Stats

The #7 ranked Nebraska Huskers won its nation-leading 23rd straight home match in a four-set bout with Illinois.

Nebraska took an early 8-3 lead over the Illini with kills from Jazz Sweet, Briana Holman and Mikaela Foecke. The Huskers never let this lead go throughout the set, commanding a lead over Illinois until the end. Two Annika Albrecht kills ended the first set 25-19.

Illinois got out to the early lead in the second set at 13-9 and continued to hold this four-point lead at 16-12. Nebraska at this point began to chip back into the set slowly as they tied things up at 23s and then again at 24-24. Illinois finished the set off with two straight points on a kill from Jacqueline Quade and a block from Ali Bastianelli/Jordyn Poulter.

The Huskers got things rolling in the third set with a 14-8 lead over the Illini and stretched this lead to 23-13. With just two points to go, Illinois kicked in with a 6-0 run to bring the score to 23-19 on kills from Poulter and Bastianelli along with a number of Husker errors. Kelly Hunter ended the run with a kill while Foecke ended the set 25-20 on a kill.

The final set saw the Illini taking the early lead over the Huskers but not holding it for long as Nebraska bounced back to a 12-9 lead. Nebraska continued to chip away at the set with small runs over Illinois before taking the set on a Sweet kill at 25-17.

Four Huskers posted double-digit kills in the win – Foecke (17), Albrecht (15), Sweet (11) and Holman (10). Albrecht also picked up 14 digs to punch in a double-double while Hunter dished out 51 assists and 11 digs for the same feat. Kenzie Maloney picked up 17 digs while Sydney Townsend added another 13.

For Illinois, Bastianelli led the squad with 13 kills on 17 attempts and zero errors for a .765 hitting clip that also included five blocks. Beth Prince posted another 12 kills while Morgan O’Brien and Caroline Welsh each picked up 16 and 15 digs, respectively.

Press Release

Courtesy of Nebraska Athletics

The No. 7 Nebraska volleyball team completed the first half of its Big Ten schedule with a 3-1 (25-19, 24-26, 25-20, 25-17) win over Illinois on Saturday night in front of a Bob Devaney Sports Center crowd of 8,256.

The Huskers now stand at 16-4 overall and 9-1 in the Big Ten at the midway point of the conference slate, good for a tie for first in the league standings with Penn State. Nebraska won its nation-leading 23rd straight match at home behind six service aces and a .314 hitting percentage. Illinois (16-5, 7-3 Big Ten) hit .252 and had a 9-7 edge in blocks, but the Huskers led in kills, 68-52, and in digs, 66-54. After Illinois hit .308 through the first three sets, the Huskers dominated the fourth set by holding the Illini to .103 with seven hitting errors.

Mikaela Foecke continued her strong weekend with 17 kills and eight digs. Annika Albrecht had a double-double of 15 kills and 14 digs, and Kelly Hunter had a double-double as well with 51 assists and 11 digs to go with six kills.

Jazz Sweet posted 11 kills on .526 hitting, while Briana Holman finished in double figures with 10 kills. Lauren Stivrins had nine kills and a team-high three blocks and hit .467. Kenzie Maloney had a match-high 17 digs, and Sydney Townsend had 13.

Ali Bastianelli had 13 kills on .765 hitting for Illinois along with five blocks. Jordyn Poulter had 43 assists and four blocks.

Set 1: The Huskers went on a 6-0 run to take an 8-3 lead with Hunter stressing Illinois with her serve. Foecke had two kills in the run, while Holman and Sweet each had one. Illinois pulled within 12-11 before committing a service error and surrendering a dump kill to Hunter. After an Illini timeout, Foecke blasted a kill, Illinois hit wide and Maloney served an ace for a 17-11 Husker lead via a 5-0 run. Illinois trimmed the deficit to 19-17, but Albrecht earned sideout for the Huskers with a kill. After a kill by Sweet, Albrecht added another one and teamed with Stivrins for a block and a 23-18 lead. NU hit .395 in the 25-19 win with five players recording at least three kills.

Set 2: Holman and Albrecht tallied early kills to gain a 6-4 advantage for the Huskers. But Illinois used a 6-0 run to go up 12-8. Foecke got the Huskers out of the rotation with a kill, but the Illini held firm and pushed the lead to five at 15-10. The Huskers chipped away to get within 18-16 after consecutive kills by Sweet and Albrecht, but the teams would trade sideouts for the next 10 rallies to a 23-21 Illinois lead as NU struggled to get closer than two points. Finally, the Huskers held serve after an Illinois hitting error pulled them within 23-22. After an Illini timeout, freshman Hayley Densberger served an ace to tie the set at 23-23. The Huskers then hit long to give Illinois set point, but Sweet produced a timely kill to tie it at 24-24. But the Illini won 26-24 after a kill and a block to even the match.

Set 3: Foecke led the Huskers with three early kills as Nebraska jumped out to an 11-4 lead. Albrecht and Stivrins each had a pair of kills as well. Illinois cut the deficit to five on six occasions, but the Huskers had an answer each time. At 18-12, Foecke posted her 12th kill to restore a seven-point advantage. A kill by Stivrins sparked a 4-0 run that included kills by Hunter and Holman and a solo block by Hunter, and the Huskers led 23-13. Illinois sliced into that lead with a 6-0 run to make it 23-19 Huskers. Hunter earned set point for NU with a kill, and the Huskers won 25-20 on a Foecke kill. The Big Red hit .429 in the set.

Set 4: Illinois claimed a 4-1 lead, but Foecke got a kill, and Hunter sandwiched a pair of service aces around a solo block by Foecke to put the Huskers up 5-4. After Illinois got a sideout, Foecke added another kill and then served the Huskers’ third ace of the set for a 7-5 lead. The Illini answered right back with a 4-0 run to go up 9-7. NU regrouped after a timeout, and Sweet posted back-to-back kills before Stivrins and Albrecht combined for a block. Illinois committed an attacking error, and Stivrins got a kill for a 12-9 advantage on the 5-0 run. Illinois rallied to within 14-13, but the Huskers scored the next four after a couple of Illini errors, a Holman tip kill and a Maloney ace. Back-to-back kills by Foecke, one by Sweet, and a block by Foecke and Holman increased the Huskers’ lead to 22-15, which made it an 8-3 Husker spurt. Holman and Albrecht smashed kills to gain match point, and the Big Red finished off the Illini, 25-17.

Up Next: Nebraska heads to Michigan for a pair of matches next week. The Huskers play at No. 10 Michigan State on Friday at 7 p.m. (CT), then travel to play Michigan on Sunday at Noon (CT).

Press Release

Courtesy of Illinois Athletics

The Illinois volleyball team brought the battle to No. 7 Nebraska, before falling to the Huskers in four sets (19-25, 26-24, 25-20, 25-17) on Saturday (October 21) night in the Devaney Center.

The Illini (16-5, 7-3) were paced by junior Ali Bastianelli, who registered her fifth-straight double-digit kill outing and 12th of the season with a team-high 13 kills with no errors in 17 swings for a .765 hitting percentage to go along with a team-high five blocks. Redshirt-sophomore Beth Princejoined the middle blocker in double figures with 12 kills, while freshman Tyanna Omazic added a career-high nine kills and four blocks and sophomore Jacqueline Quadealso notched nine kills on the night.

Junior Jordyn Poulter orchestrated the Illini offense to a .252 attack percentage with 43 assists, while also posting seven digs and four blocks.

Defensively, freshman Morgan O’Brien led the Illini with 16 digs, with sophomore Caroline Welsh coming within one dig of a career-high with 15 against the Huskers (16-4, 9-1).

After a Bastianelli kill gave the Illini an early 3-2 lead, the Huskers strung together six-straight points to build an 8-3 lead. The Illini batted back with three-straight points of their own to cut the edge to one at 12-11, but five unanswered points pushed the Husker lead to 17-11. Back-to-back points from Omazic again closed the gap to two at 19-17, but Nebraska then finished off the opening set with a 6-2 run for the 25-19 win.

It was a tightly contested start to the second as the two teams traded the lead back-and-forth until the Illini used six-straight points to propel them from an 8-6 deficit to a 12-8 advantage. UI continued to hold the lead as Omazic and Prince teamed up for block to push the UI edge to 15-10, but the Huskers stayed close with back-to-back kills bringing the home team to within 18-16. With the Illini leading 23-20 after a Prince kill, the Huskers put together three-straight points to knot the score at 23-23. After the home team fought off the first Illini set point, a Quade kill set up the second set point, before Poulter and Bastianelli finished off the 26-24 set victory with a stuff and evened the match at 1-1.

Out of intermission, the Huskers used an early 6-1 run to build a 12-5 edge. After a NU hitting error brought the Illini within 15-10, the Huskers pushed their lead out to 23-13 on an 8-3 run. Despite the deficit, the Illini continued to battle by scoring the next six points and cutting the lead to 23-19, but the Huskers then closed out the set with kills from Kelly Hunter and Mikaela Foecke.

The Illini jumped out of the gate in the fourth as a Prince kill put the visitors up 4-1, before the Huskers came back to knot things at 5-5. Back-to-back points on a Quade kill and a block from Quade and Omazic gave the 9-7 edge, but five-straight points from the home team put the Huskers up 12-9. After a Cooney kill slowed the NU run, a Bastianelli and Poulter block brought the Illiini within one at 14-13. Nebraska answered back with four-straight points for an 18-13 advantage. The Illini closed within 18-15 with back-to-back points, but Nebraska wrapped up the match with a 7-2 run to take the fourth set, 25-17.

The Illini next head to Minneapolis, Minn., for a midweek Big Ten Network match-up against No. 5 Minnesota at 8 p.m. CT on Wednesday (October 25), before returning home to host No. 1 Penn State in Huff Hall on Saturday (October 28) at 7 p.m.

For more Fighting Illini volleyball news, stay tuned to and follow @IlliniVBall on social media: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook.

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About Carly DeMarque

Carly DeMarque

Carly DeMarque has been involved with competitive volleyball for the majority of her life, playing competitively at the club and collegiate level for 15 years and coaching club for five. Now a retired Division I volleyball athlete out of McNeese State University, she continues her volleyball enthusiasm by stepping back into …

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