Mixed emotions filled Huff Hall this past Saturday night as the Fighting Illini dominated Indiana in three sets. While the win was embraced by Illinois and their fans, the match was bittersweet in the fact that it will most likely (but not yet certainly) be the last played at Huff by this year's seniors. "It was definitely important for us to come out there," said junior Outside Hitter Michelle Strizak. "They've given so much to the program. There's no way we can ever thank them enough for all their hard work and all they have given." Illinois has two more matches to play this season before their tournament fate is decided. "All that matters is that we got out with a win, and the seniors go out on a high note at Huff Hall," said coach Kevin Hambly. "I think that gives us a good shot to get in the tournament. Now we're fighting to still get a seed, which is going to be a lot to do, but we'll just keep battling and see what happens."
Illinois will travel to Nebraska this Wednesday to face the Huskers, currently on an 8 match winning streak, and to Michigan on Friday to square off against the Wolverines. The NCAA tournament selection takes place this Sunday at 8 p.m. and will air on ESPNU. Should Illinois earn a seed, round one action will begin on December 4th.
Illinois vs. Indiana: November 21, 2015
(25-23, 25-16, 25-20)
Defensive Specialist Allison Palmer warms up before the match.
The SInging Men of WGNN.
Libero Brandi Donnelly serves. Donnelly had 18 digs and 6 assists in the match.
Indiana's Megan Tallman sets.
Donnelly gets low for the pass.
Setter Jordyn Poulter prepares to pass.
Coach Hambly addresses his team.
Indiana's Allison Hammond receives the serve.
Outside Hitter Jocelyn Birks for the point. Birks had 8 kills on the evening.
Opposite Side Hitter Naya Crittenden on offense.
Setter Alexis Viliunas comes in to serve. Viliunas had 9 assists and 5 digs in the match.
Opposite Side Hitter Ali Stark keeps the point alive for Illinois.
Let our motto be... Victory!
Senior Defensive Specialist Julia Conard.
Senior Middle Blocker Kathryn Polkoff.
Defensive Specialist Danielle Davis.
Senior Middle Blocker Maddie Mayers.
Seniors Kathryn Polkoff, Alexis Viliunas, Jocelyn Birks, Maddie Mayers, Julia Conard, and Ali Stark.