No. 14 Illini Rally for Fifth-Set Victory over No. 7 Marquette
NORMAL, Ill. – Behind a full team effort, the No. 14 Illinois volleyball team stormed back from a two-set deficit to take a 3-2 (25-27, 12-25, 25-22, 25-21, 15-11) victory – the third of the season for the Illini – in the team’s Redbird Classic finale on Saturday (September 14) night at Redbird Arena.
UI (3-4) got contributions from multiple players with three Illini reaching double figures in kills with senior Jacqueline Quade earning her second-straight double-double and third of the season with a match-high 21 kills to go along with 11 digs. Junior Megan Cooney posted 16 kills , while redshirt-freshman Bruna Vrankovic notched her first-career double-digit outing with 10 kills.
Redshirt-freshman Diana Brown turned in her fifth double-double of the season with 52 helpers, 10 digs and four blocks. Senior Ashlyn Fleming was dominate at the net en route to registering a match-high seven blocks, while freshman Rylee Hinton contributed four stuffs on the night.
Despite dropping the first two sets of the match, the Illini continued to battle and came away with a 25-22 third set win after 10 ties and six lead changes. They continued their momentum into the fourth as Quade and Cooney propelled the squad to a 25-21 set win.
With the scored tied at 8-8 in the fifth, the Illini – who capitalized on a 81 sideout percentage and a .500 attack clip in the final period – used a 5-2 run to pull ahead at 13-9, before a Quade kill set up match point at 14-10. Brown and Fleming then combined for the Illini’s 11th block of the night to earn the five-set victory.
The Illini wrap up nonconference action next weekend at the Bulldog Brawl, hosted by Butler on September 20-21 in Indianapolis, Ind. The Illini will face Pacific on Friday at 11 a.m. CT, before taking on Loyola Marymount on Saturday at 8 a.m. CT to wrap the weekend.