CORALVILLE, Iowa — Raina Terry and crew made quick work of the Iowa Hawkeyes on Friday evening to get a win in the second game of their three-match stretch on the road.
“I think this team, regardless of the final score, we have a lot of belief in ourselves,” outside hitter Kayla Burbage said following last week’s loss at Wisconsin.
The belief seemed to have carried over into Iowa, as three hitters in orange recorded double-digit kills.
“Raina Terry’s doing a little bit of everything today,” is what John Evans, the solo man on commentary for Friday, said. She put up a 15-kill, 12-dig double-double as the Fighting Illini out-hit, out-served and out-played the Hawkeyes, winning 3-0 (25-20, 25-16, 25-13).
Illinois moves to 14-11 (9-6 Big Ten) while Iowa falls 8-19 (0-15 Big Ten).
HOW IT HAPPENED
The first set was the closest of all three. Despite the hosts hitting at a higher percentage, Illinois got the decisive shots off, putting up 17 kills to Iowa’s 13 to take the first set. Once they found their footing in a back-and-forth first set, it was relatively easy for Chris Tamas’s team.
The last two sets saw the Fighting Illini take control from the net and the baseline. While Iowa had more blocks than Illinois on the day, the Fighting Illini’s 50 digs to Iowa’s 36 prevented Hawkeye spikes from being converted into points.
Man was she good. She even tried to transition and get a swing after getting blasted in the face! https://t.co/FN2B2UdgWs— John Evans (@johnegolf) November 11, 2023
Ten of their 11 aces came in the second and third frames. Six of them came in the final set. Illinois’ .311 hitting percentage was the third-highest of the season and highest in Big Ten play.
Three Fighting Illini players put up double-digit kills in the match. In addition to Terry’s 15, Nunge had 12 and Collins had 10. The kills came easy thanks to the passing of the Illinois defense.
The Illinois defense passed well to setter Brooke Mosher, who put up 36 assists. The figure tied for her second-most this season in a three-set match.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Kennedy Collins is a strong hitter. We all know that. When she’s rising at the net, moving back might be your best move to dig under her hit. She knows that.
It was that kind of night for Raina Terry. After a frustrating one against Wisconsin, it was an impressively efficient night for the Big Ten’s kills leader.
The last set of the match started with Jessica Nunge earning two straight service aces. It set the tone for the Orange and Blue, who never trailed in the set and cruised to a comfortable finish.
Illinois will travel to the Bob Devaney Sports Center in Lincoln, Nebraska to take on the best team in the country. The Cornhuskers are coming off, well, 24 straight victories, though the air of invincibility may have been tested a bit in their 3-1 home win over Northwestern last Wednesday.
First serve will be at 2 p.m. The game will be broadcast on Big Ten Plus.