The Fighting Illini women's volleyball team continued their winning ways this past week, by defeating Michigan State in 5 games last Saturday, then traveling up to Evanston to sweep Northwestern to run their unbeaten streak to 20 games without a loss. Cementing their hold on the top ranking in the country hasn't been easy for Kevin Hambly's spikers, but they have done the best that they can. Colleen Ward had a monster game for the Illini, as she completed a rare double-double in volleyball, getting 20 kills, as well as 20 digs. The road doesn't get any easier for the Illini, as they travel to Lincoln, Nebraska to battle the #4 ranked Cornhuskers on Saturday evening (7:00 pm CT, Big Ten Network). This will be an epic matchup of two elite teams, and with the addition of Nebraska to the Big Ten, provides yet another hurdle in hopes of a conference championship. The Cornhuskers have been a perennial power in volleyball for many years, so when they joined the Big Ten, the conference itself got a whole lot tougher.
It's hard to believe, but basketball practice has begun, and in a normal year, people would be clamoring for hoops talk. But not this year. With the sudden success of the football team, basketball season takes a backseat for now, but soon the Illini will be taking the court, adding yet another sport in this crossover season of sorts. This should be an interesting season to say the least, with so many new faces. Your first chance to see the Illini in game action is this Sunday afternoon, when the annual Orange and Blue Scrimmage takes place at the Assembly Hall at 4:00 pm. Tickets are still available, which are general admission, and parking is free for the event.
Finally, the Illini women's soccer team is on a bit of a roll themselves, winning their last 6 matches. During this winning streak, they have shut out the opponent the last five times, including their latest, a 3-0 win over Northwestern on Thursday in Evanston. The Illini are 12-4-1 overall, and 5-2-1 in the Big Ten, and will travel to Lincoln, Nebraska to battle Nebraska on Sunday at 1:00 pm central time. After a rocky start to the season, it seems that Coach Janet Rayfield has her team turning the corner, and at the right time.