CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – The No. 6 Illinois volleyball team put together another efficient performance as the Illini needed only an hour and 15 minutes to earn a 3-0 (25-14, 25-14, 25-19) sweep of Maryland in Huff Hall on Wednesday (October 24) night.
It was the fourth-straight win and second-straight sweep for the Illini (19-3, 8-3 B1G), who were paced by sophomore Megan Cooney, with a match-high 12 kills on a .455 hitting percentage, and junior Jacqueline Quade, who posted her eighth career double-double and fourth of the season with match-highs of 12 kills and 14 digs – with her 14 digs also tying a season-best.
Senior Jordyn Poulter directed the Illini offense to a .333 hitting percentage with 39 assists, while also adding seven digs, five blocks and four kills on the night. Junior Ashlyn Fleming led the team with six blocks and sophomore Morgan O’Brien added 12 digs to help hold the Terrapins (13-10, 4-7 B1G) to a .055 attack clip.
The Illini jumped on the Terps early as a Fleming kill put the home team up 9-3, before three-straight scores gave the Orange and Blue a 13-6 advantage following a Quade kill. UMD closed with 14-8, but the Illini used a 5-0 run to take a 22-11 lead on a Poulter kill as a Cooney and Fleming blocked finished off the first at 25-14.
The Illini opened the second by scoring the first six of seven points as a Quade kill made it 6-1, before a 7-0 run pushed the edge to 15- 6 on the serve of O’Brien. After back-to-back UMD scores, UI pushed its lead to 23-11 with an 8-2 run, including an ace from sophomore Kylie Bruder as Illini went on to take a 2-0 advantage as a Terp serve went long for the 25-14 set win.
It was a back-and-forth start to the third until three-straight points broke a 11-11 tie in favor of the Illini. Maryland responded with four-unanswered points of their own to take its first lead of the match at 15-14. With the score tied at 16-16, three-straight points from Poulter – including a pair of kills sandwiched between a block from the Aurora, Colorado native and Bastianelli – earned the Illini some separation at 19-16. Back-to-back Bastianelli kills then made it 21-17 as the two teams traded points until a UMD attack error sealed the 25-19 set victory and the 3-0 Illini sweep.
Illinois next heads to Lincoln, Nebraska for a Saturday (October 27) night match against the No. 9 Huskers. First serve is set for 7 p.m. CT on BTN.