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Illinois headed to Sweet 16 after defeating Louisville

The Illini took care of the first weekend.

Craig Pessman (

Don’t stop dancing.

Illinois defeated Louisville on Saturday night at Huff Hall in the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament in four sets. Now the Illini will be in the Sweet 16 next Friday morning in Huff Hall.

The Illini took the first set from the Cardinals, 25-22, behind a big play toward the end of the frame from senior setter Jordyn Poulter and a set-ending kill by Beth Prince.

Louisville took the second set, 28-26, after holding a slight advantage through most of the frame.

Illinois responded with a terrific third set, never trailing in a 25-17 win. The fourth — and final — set was similar with Illinois taking it 25-18.

The difference in the match was hitting percentage (.281 to .075 in favor of the Illini), and Illinois’ play at the net, finishing with 19 blocks to the Cardinals’ 5.

Illinois hosts Marquette in the Sweet 16 on Friday at 11 a.m. on ESPNU. The following game in the Champaign regional is Big Ten foe Wisconsin versus San Diego, with the winners of the two matches squaring off at 3 p.m. on Saturday for a trip to the Final Four in Minneapolis on the line.