Iowa State and Nebraska both descended upon Huff Hall this past weekend. The Illini experienced the excitement of sweeping the match against the Hawkeyes on Friday, only to be swept by the Huskers the following night. With an overall record of 12-7 and a conference record of 3-5, Illinois moved from #16 to #18 in the NCAA rankings.

Illinois vs. Iowa State: October 16, 2015
(25-16, 25-16, 26-24)

Opposite Side Hitter Naya Crittenden was optimistic following the Illini win this past Friday. “We worked really hard in practice this week. I think tonight we all put our heads in it (the game) together,” she stated. “We feel like we’re finding it. Our rhythm.” Coach Hambly also welcomed the win, but he feels the team still has some work to do. “To get a win and shake some things off was certainly nice and makes us feel better going into tomorrow,” he said. “I thought we played better defense tonight. Offensively we made too many errors.” Illinois ended the evening with 45 kills, 18 errors, and 95 total attacks. “We weren’t as emotionally invested as we wanted to be, or that we need to be tomorrow,” Hambly said.

A Networker reviews his program prior to Coach Hambly's Chalk Talk:

Iowa's Loxley Keala sets.

Defensive Specialist Allison Palmer serves.

Iowa's Alyssa Klostermann.

Opposite Side Hitter Naya Crittenden goes for the kill.

Outside Hitter Jocelyn Birks makes the save.

Middle Blocker Katie Stadick and Setter Jordan Poulter go up for the block.

Outside Hitter Beth Prince.

Libero Brandi Donnelly serves.

Jerseys up for auction. Proceeds to benefit breast cancer awareness.

Defensive Specialist Julia Conard.

Middle Blocker Ali Bastianelli and Defensive Specialist Danielle Davis.

Crittenden and Stadick.

Coach Kevin Hambly.

Illinois vs. Nebraska: October 17, 2015
(22-25, 18-25, 19-25)

The Huskers handed the Illini their first sweep loss of the season on Saturday. “It was a Big Ten match. We played really hard throughout. And so did they,” said Outside Hitter, Jocelyn Birks. “We weren’t executing where we needed to.” Despite the disappointment of the loss to #3 ranked Nebraska, Coach Kevin Hambly praised his team’s effort and continues to look to the future. “We defended how we want to defend for the most part.  And we played with our hearts out there a little bit more.  And we fought. We just didn’t execute the way we need to execute to beat a team like that,” he said. “I was really happy that we fought back and we didn’t back down.” 

Nebraska's Olivia Boender.

Nebraska's Kelly Hunter sets.

Conard keeps the point alive.

Crittenden on offense.

Nebraska's Mikaela Foecke serves.

Outside Hitter Katie Rustio goes for the point.

Illini Networkers cheer the team on.

Nebraska's Kenzie Maloney.


Illinois returns to Huff Hall on October 30th to face Michigan State.