Illinois volleyball leaves for Texas, Sweet 16 with celebratory send-off


CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Fresh off its upset win over No. 7 seed Kentucky on Saturday, the Illinois volleyball team once again the hit road Tuesday, this time with a celebratory send-off. The Illini (22-11) knocked off the Wildcats on their home floor, punching their ticket to this week’s Sweet 16 for the first time since 2018.

“I think that’s four times in the last six years where you’ve had six teams advance to the Sweet Sixteen. If you’re going to make it through the conference, you’re going to battle tested, whether at home or on the road.”

Illinois will face No. 10 Nebraska Thursday night at 8:30 p.m. on ESPNU. The Huskers (23-7) have won five straight matches in the series between the two Big Ten teams, dating back to 2018 when Nebraska eliminated Illinois in the Final Four. The Huskers swept both matches from the Illini this season in Lincoln and Champaign.

“You know, I was talking to someone and they were like, ‘Who do you play?’ And I was like, ‘Nebraska.’ And he was like, ‘Oh.’ And I was like, ‘No, the mindset is it’s time. It’s time to take back that game, those games.’ I think that the tournament has a little bit different vibe and anyone can win on any given day.”

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