CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Coming off their Final Four run in 2018, the Illinois volleyball is back at it this weekend with their first practice.
Ten players return from last years team, but they lost Jordyn Poulter and Ali Bastianelli who were mainstays in the lineup for four years.
Chris Tamas added Champaign products Rylee Hinton and Mica Allison to the team, as well as Gatorade National Player of the Year Ellie Holzman.
While they know this team is different than last year, they’re still using that run to motivate them to get back to the Final Four.
“It’s extremely motivating, and I think it’s even motivating for the girls that weren’t on the team when it happened, it’s just was a crazy feeling, it was a crazy week, and just knowing what that feels like, and fighting to get back there is kind of a different motivation than we’ve ever had,” senior Beth Prince said.
“The expectations are the same every year, we’re going to get after it in the gym, and making sure that we’re going hard every single play and the Final Four is a result of that, not necessarily the end goal, and it always is to be champion at the end of the year, but we don’t get that if we don’t go hard everyday and we just had a really nice practice today,” Tamas said.
Their first match is August 30th at Tennessee.