WCIA — Illinois volleyball will have to find out who they are early in the 2022 season, playing two teams in their first three games ranked inside the Top 10.

That is the way head coach Chris Tamas wanted it to be, as the Illini are coming off a run to the Sweet Sixteen. Raina Terry is back for her sophomore season, and was the only Illini on the preseason All-Conference team.

“Like any year I want to schedule tough to see what we’ve got,” Tamas said. “We got a lot of players returning, but we also have a few big replacements that we have to take care of.”

“I think we all kind of improved a lot,” Terry said. “We focused on a lot of the little nitpicky things. So I think we all saw some growth over the offseason.”

The Illini start the season on Aug. 27 against No. 9 Georgia Tech at the Ole Miss Invitational. Illinois will also play No. 8 Washington during non-conference play.