Illinois volleyball exceeded everyone’s expectations in head coach Chris Tamas’ first season in Champaign. With a young team and first-year head coach, a tournament berth would have been good enough for most.
Instead, the Illini ended up in the Regional Semifinal and took a very talented Michigan State team to four sets.
Illinois got off to a good start in the first set and had 13 kills and a .242 hitting percentage, but five errors were too much to overcome in a narrow 25-23 loss.
The Illini were all over the Spartans in the second set, featuring 15 kills and only two errors. Illinois had its highest hitting percentage in this set (.419).
Michigan State never let Illinois get in a rhythm in the third set, winning it 25-18. The Spartans had 38 attacks in the set.
Illinois defeated Hawaii and No. 8 Washington last weekend to get to the Third Round.
More coverage forthcoming on Illinois volleyball’s excellent 2017 season, and what to expect coming next year.