In front a boisterous crowd of over 3,700 Illini fans, the No. 3 seeded and ranked Illinois volleyball team earned its second-straight trip to the NCAA Sweet 16 and ninth in the last 11 seasons with a hard-fought 3-1 (25-22, 28-26, 25-17, 25-18) victory over Louisville.
#5 Illinois made quick work of Maryland at home while #7 Nebraska dominated Ohio State on the road in Big Ten Play. In the match of the night, Northwestern outlasted (RV) Iowa in five sets on the road to collect its second conference win.
Minnesota remained perfect atop the Big Ten standings at 10-0 with a four-set win over Nebraska. Penn State, Illinois and Michigan all held rank in sweep of Rutgers, Michigan State and Northwestern respectively.
Penn State ended a seven-match losing streak against Nebraska, winning in five sets at home, while Illinois picked up a key home win over Wisconsin in four. Purdue, Minnesota and Indiana also won on Saturday.
Illinois snapped an eight-match losing streak against the Badgers with the four-set win and evened the season series after falling 3-1 in Champaign on Oct. 3.
No. 14 Michigan and Michigan State each picked up five-set road wins, while No. 3 Minnesota and No. 5 Wisconsin successfully defended their home courts in sweeps.
Minnesota increased its stranglehold on the top spot in the Big Ten standings at 7-0 with a home sweep of Illinois on Friday behind 15 kills by junior Alexis Hart.
Wisconsin rallied for a four-set win over Illinois, beating the Illini at their own game, winning the block 8-5 and denying Ali Bastianelli the career total blocks record for another match.
All four ranked teams came out on top via sweep as No. 4 Illinois remained undefeated at 14-0, No. 5 Nebraska won its 12th straight, No. 12 Penn State recorded its first Big Ten win of the year and Michigan stayed perfect at home (9-0).
After opening the 2018 season on the road for four of the first five weekends, the No. 4 Illinois volleyball team returns to Huff Hall for a four-match homestand beginning with contests against Iowa and #5 Nebraska this weekend.