CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Illinois Volleyball will host its annual Orange and Blue Scrimmage Saturday evening at 7.
The Illini are heading into their season ranked 12th in the nation. Under first-year head coach Chris Tamas, the team ended last season with an appearance in the Sweet Sixteen.
The team returns a pair of All-Big Tenn seniors in Ali Bastianelli and Jordyn Poulter. With just a week to go until the start of the season, the Illini said they’re feeling confident.
“There was maybe ten minutes this whole two weeks that I didn’t like practice and I really do like this group,” Tamas said. “They work hard, they get after it, they respond well to coaching. They work hard not only here on the court but downstairs in the weight room and then off the court they’re really good about getting their stuff done and so when you have that it’s really a lot easier to coach.”
“There wasn’t a whole lot of relearning when we came in this preseason, there was just more fine tuning and that’s what you kind of hope,” Poulter said. “You put in so much work in the spring and summer and the offseason and to be able to jump right in I think that’s given us a head up from where we were last year at this time.”
Illinois opens the regular season Aug. 24 at the Colorado Sate Tournament against UNC-Wilmington.