Three Double-Digit Kill Efforts Lift Illinois (RV) Past Maryland

  0 Wendy Mayer | October 16th, 2017 | Big Ten, College - Women's Indoor, News


  • Illinois (RV) def. Maryland 3-0 (25-21, 25-18, 25-22)
  • Illinois moves to 15-4, 6-2 B1G; Maryland falls to 14-6, 3-5 B1G
  • Champaign, Illinois
  • Attendance: 2,306
  • Box Score


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – In a Big Ten battle of injury riddled teams, homestanding Illinois came out with a sweep on Saturday.

The Illini played their second straight match without senior libero Brandi Donnelly, but the team still managed to earn its third victory in a row. Freshman libero Morgan O’Brien and junior setter Jordyn Poulter held down the backcourt defense in her stead with 14 digs apiece.

Maryland libero Kelsey Wicinski also missed the match with an upper body injury. Freshman libero Samantha Burgio took her place for the second match in a row and came up with a team-best 10 digs alongside junior setter Abigail Bentz.

The teams were fairly even in digs (59-55 Illinois) and aces (3-2) Illinois. The match was won at the net as the Illini outdid the Terps 54-37 in kills and 7-3 in blocks, while also outhitting their foes .318 to .197.

Redshirt sophomore outside hitter Beth Prince, junior middle blocker Ali Bastianelli and sophomore outside Jacqueline Quade each tallied double-digit kill tallies for Illinois, turning in 14, 12 and 12 respectively. Prince hit at a .538 clip with an errorless effort in 26 swings. Bastianelli and Quade each added a team-best three blocks. O’Brien served up two of the team’s three aces, while leading the defensive charge. Poulter (14), Quade (9) and sophomore defensive specialist Annika Gereau (8) followed defensively.

Five Maryland players notched five or more kills with freshman outside Erika Pritchard and sophomore outside Gia Milana leading the way with eight apiece. Senior middle Hailey Murray (7), junior opposite Angel Gaskin (6) and freshman outside Samantha Drechsel (5) followed. Murray hit at a match-high .545 clip and served up one of the team’s two aces alongside Pritchard. Gaskin notched two blocks to pace the team at the net. Pritchard (9), sophomore setter Samantha Snyder (9) and Milana (8) followed Burgio and Bentz’s lead in the backcourt.

Maryland took the early lead as Drechsel, Milana and Pritchard notched kills to put the Terps up 4-1. Illinois caught up at 7-all, but the Terps stayed in front, going ahead 13-10 with help from four Illini miscues. Down 16-12, Illinois began chipping away and put together a 7-1 run to grab the lead. Two Bastianelli kills and a kill and a block by Poulter gave the Illini the 19-17 edge. A Tyanna Omazic ace eventually put Illinois at set-point at 24-20, then a Quade kill ended the 25-21 victory.

Illinois carried the momentum into Set 2, jumping out to a 9-4 advantage. Four players turned in kills and O’Brien served up an ace in the early run. A pair of Megan Cooney putaways helped the Illni to a 14-9 edge. A Gaskin kill pulled Maryland within three at 16-13, but Illinois answered with a 7-2 run, with three Terp errors, to vault ahead 23-15. A Quade kill set up the final point by Cooney in the 25-18 win.

The Illini again flexed their muscles early to the tune of a 6-1 lead in Set 3. Bastianelli and Quade each accounted for two kills and a block in the stretch. Maryland made it a three-point game at 11-8 with putaways by Milana and Gaskin. The teams split the next 20 points leading to a 21-18 score. Kills by Bastianelli and Cooney stretched the Illini lead to five, but Maryland answered with three straight, two on Illinois errors to cut it to two at 23-21. Bastianelli and Quade came through in the end to close out the 25-22 win and the sweep.



Courtesy: Illinois Athletics

The Fighting Illini volleyball team used a balanced team attack to earn their third-straight win with a straight-sets (25-21, 25-18, 25-22) victory over Maryland on the annual Pink Night match in Huff Hall on Saturday (October 14) night.

The Illini, who improve to 15-4 and 6-2 in the Big Ten Conference, had three players reach double figures in kills, with redshirt-sophomore Beth Prince pacing the team with 14 on a .538 hitting percentage, while junior Ali Bastianelli and Jacqueline Quade each turned in 12 on the night.

Junior setter Jordyn Poulter put together another strong outing as she registered her fifth double-double of the season and 15th of her career with 42 assists and tied for the team lead with 14 digs, while also adding four kills on a .800 hitting percentage and three blocks.

Poulter quarterbacked the Illini offense to a .318 hitting percentage, including hitting over .300 in the first two sets of the match.

After a kill from freshman Tyanna Omazic opened the match, the Terps (14-6, 3-5) jumped out to a quick 6-3 lead, but the Illini came back to knot the score at 7-7 on a Poulter kill. Three-straight UMD points pushed the visitors’ edge to 16-12, but the Illini again fought back to even things at 17-17 after a challenge from head coach Chris Tamas was overturned and took the lead on a Poulter kill. Back-to-back Prince kills then pushed the UI edge to 21-18, before the Illini finished off the first by taking three of the last four points of the set.

The Illini came out firing in the second as four-straight points gave the Illini an early 9-4 advantage. After the Terps closed with two at 10-8, the Illini responded by scoring the next three points, capped by back-to-back kills from freshman Megan Cooney. Leading by four at 18-14, the Illini then grabbed control of the period with four unanswered points for the 22-14 lead. The two teams then traded points as a Cooney kill sent the Illini to a 25-18 set win and a 2-0 lead heading into intermission.

It was all Illinois out of the break with the home team scoring the first six of seven points to start the third. The Terps cut the edge to 11-8, but a Prince kill stemmed the rally as the Illini used a 4-1 mini run – capped by an ace from freshman Morgan O’Brien – to take a 19-13 advantage. UI looked poised to finish off the match after back-to-back kills from Bastianelli and Cooney made it 23-18, but three-straight Maryland points cut the edge to two at 23-21. After trading points, Quade then sealed the straight-sets win with a kill and the 25-22 set three victory.

Defensively, the Illini defense held the Terps to a .197 hitting percentage, with O’Brien also contributing a team-high 14 digs and two service aces in the win.

The Illini totaled seven blocks on the night, with Bastianelli, Quade and Omazic joining Poulter with three stuffs each against UMD.

The Illini next head on the road for a three-match swing, starting with a trip to Iowa City, Iowa, to take on the Hawkeyes on Friday (October 20), before heading to Lincoln, Neb., to face No. 4 Nebraska on Saturday (October 21) night. Both matches are set for 7 p.m. CT.


Courtesy: Maryland Athletics

Outside hitters Erika Pritchard and Gia Milana each had eight kills but the Maryland volleyball team (14-6, 3-5 B1G) fell to Illinois (15-4, 6-2) in three sets (25-21, 25-18, 25-22) Saturday evening.

Senior middle blocker Hailey Murray added seven kills while hitting at a .545 clip.

Maryland led for most of the first set before errors helped Illinois climb ahead. Helped by an ace from Pritchard, the Terps went ahead 4-1 to start the match. The Illini tied at 7-7 but kills from Drechsel and Angel Gaskin put Maryland up 14-12. An overturned call on a challenge tied the set for the Illini, 17-17, and they were able to use a 6-1 run to take a 21-18 lead. Murray and Gaskin combined for a late block, but a 3-1 run sealed the set for Illinois, 25-21.

The lllini put up a 9-4 lead to start the second, but kills from Samantha Drechsel and Pritchard helped Maryland pull within three, 14-11. A late stretch of Terrapin attack errors put Illinois up 22-14. Murray posted a pair of late kills, but the home team was able to close the game, 25-18.

Out of intermission, Illinois went out to a quick 6-1 lead. Jada Gardner and Gaskin combined for a block as the Terps used a 5-2 run to pull within three, 12-9. A 4-1 run from Maryland kept the Terrapins within three, 20-17. A Murray kill and two Illini attack errors put Maryland within two, 23-21, before Illinois was able to reach match point. After a kill from Milana, the Illini finished the game, 25-22.

Junior setter Abigail Bentz posted her first double-double of the season with 11 assists and 10 digs. Freshman libero Samantha Burgio also had 10 digs while sophomore setter Samantha Snyder and Pritchard each had nine.

Maryland returns to College Park next week for a pair of tough matches. The Terps host No. 11 Wisconsin next Wednesday at 6 p.m. on the Big Ten Network before taking on No. 10 Michigan State next Saturday at 5:30 p.m.

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About Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer has worked in athletics media relations for the last 20 years. The Northwest Missouri State alumna is currently senior writer for after spending the last 15 years with Purdue athletics.

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