Battle of Illini # 23 in a four-set loss at Michigan

ANN ARBOR, Mich. Illinois’ No.23 volleyball team struggled, before losing in four sets (17-25, 26-28, 25-23, 23-25) to Michigan on Wednesday, November 24. at the Cliff Keen Arena.

The Illini (19-11, 11-8 B1G) had three players with double-digit kills, led by 22 second-year kills. Raina terry – a single murder for a career high – to accompany nine digs, while a graduate student Megan Cooney shot in 16 kills on a .256 and junior hit percentage Jessica nunge added 12 kills on a .360 attack clip.

Redshirt-junior Diana brown scored his 38th career double-double and 14th this season with 49 assists and 10 digs, with the senior Taylor kuper posting a record 20 digs – the 16th game of 20 digs of his career and first year Caroline barnes also notching 10 digs in the game. At the net, the juniors Kennedy collins and Kyla swanson led the team with two blocks each.

After trading points to open the game, the home side used a 7-1 streak to take the 8-2 advantage, before increasing their lead to 13-3 with five unanswered scores. The two teams then traded points in subsequent rallies until the three consecutive UI scores started a 7-3 run to bring the visitors down to 22-16 after a Terry kill. The Wolverines responded by converting three of the last four points to take the first stanza, 25-17.

Michigan continued their run in second with a 5-1 lead early on, but the Illini’s four straight runs tied the score at 5-5. It was going back and forth from there until the two teams traded points as three back-to-back home team scores beat a 10-10, but the Illini came back straight away. following with a 3-0 run to tie the score again. at 13-13. Michigan then responded with a 4-0 rally to take a 17-13 lead. Trailing at 18-14, the Illini then came back with a 7-2 run to take a 21-20 advantage, evidenced by Nunge’s three straight wins. Michigan then took three of the next four points for a set point at 24-23, but back-to-back Illini points gave visitors a set point of their own. UM responded with back-to-back scores for their second stanza set point, but a Terry kill stalled the rally until two back-to-back Wolverine wins sent the home team 28-26 in the second. .

The Wolverines scored the first three points of the third set, but the Illini quickly leveled things off at 5-5, before the home side responded with a 6-2 run to take an 11-7 advantage. The Illini responded immediately with their own 5-1 run as an ace from Nunge tied the score at 12-12. From there, the period saw 11 ties until Illinois broke a 23-23 tie with a Collins solo combined with a MU typing error for a 25-23 win in the third.

Four straight points for Michigan started the fourth as the home team built a 9-4 advantage. Collins and Nunge’s back-to-back eliminations brought UI down to two at 9-6, but the Wolverines responded with a 7-2 run to move ahead to 16-8 in the middle of the period. Despite the deficit, the Illini used a 5-2 streak to reduce MU’s lead to five at 18-13. The Wolverines continued to lead at 20-14, but the Illini fought back again with another 6-2 run to come close to two at 22-20 after an ace from Kuper. After both teams traded serve errors, a UM kill set up a match point at 24-21. Terry and Nunge’s eliminations would fight two match points, before Michigan ended the set 25-23 and the 3-1 win with a knockout.

Illinois will then end their Michigan road trip on Friday (Nov. 26) as the Illini travel to East Lansing, Mich., To face Michigan State in the regular season finals at 6:00 p.m. CT.

concludes the regular season with a trip to Michigan State, traveling to Ann Arbor to face Michigan on Wednesday, Nov. 24, before traveling to East Lansing for a Friday night (Nov. 26) game against Michigan State. The first service for both matches is 6 p.m. CT.

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