MADISON, Wis. — No. 3 Illinois cruised past Wisconsin 3-0 on Sunday afternoon for its fifth sweep of the season and joined No. 13 Purdue and Northern Arizona as the only undefeated teams remaining in the country. The Illini secured a second Big Ten road win after a long weekend in Minneapolis and Madison, placing them atop the conference standings at 2-0 along with Nebraska and Purdue.
“Time will tell how tough this road trip will be but it was huge to get two road wins to start the Big Ten,” head coach Kevin Hambly said. “I like this team’s ability to find a way to win and how they grinded out two wins this weekend.”
The Illini made quick work of the Badgers, winning 25-18, 25-17, 25-22 in front of 3,686 fans in attendance. After taking a 7-6 lead in the opening set, Illinois controlled the remainder of the match and never trailed again. The Badgers had double the amount of attack errors as the Illini (22-11) and posted nine service errors with zero aces. On the other side of the court, Illinois served strong with six aces, led by three from senior Michelle Bartsch.
“We served tough and got them out of system a lot,” Hambly said. “Wisconsin had more errors than they would have liked, and we kept ours downs which was the difference in the match.”
Senior Colleen Ward led the offensive attack with a match-high 12 kills while Bartsch turned in her 10th double-double of the year and third straight with 10 kills and 10 digs. The Illini out-hit the Badgers .213-.133 and held the advantage on the blocking front 7-6.5.
No. 4 Washington 3, Arizona State 0
TEMPE, Ariz. — A staunch defensive effort helped No. 4 Washington register a 3-0 victory against Arizona State on Sunday afternoon in front of 733 fans at the Wells Fargo Arena. The Huskies had fourteen blocks, their most in conference play, and held ASU to .000 percent hitting in the 25-13, 25-20, 25-13 win.
Washington improves to 11-1 on the season and 3-1 in Pac-12 play, and successfully navigated the Arizona road trip with a pair of victories.
“We did what we were supposed to do which was come to the desert and get two (wins),” head coach Jim McLaughlin said. “Now the most important thing is just getting a bit of rest and having a good week of training. We need a sharp focus on our emphases in order to improve. We don’t want to let the same old stuff happen, so we’ll look to upgrade.”
Senior Lauren Barfield had nine blocks, two solo and seven assisted, to lead the way at net. Fellow senior Bianca Rowland had eight kills (hitting .353), three service aces, and four blocks for a team-best 14 points. Freshman Krista Vansant had a team-best 10 kills, and junior Kylin Muñoz hit .500 with seven kills and had four blocks of her own. Arizona State dropped to 4-9 and 0-4 in the Pac-12 with the loss.
Tennessee 3, No. 6 Florida 2
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Tennessee edged No. 6 Florida in five sets 25-21, 20-25, 25-21, 19-25, 18-16, on Sunday evening at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. The Volunteers improved to 11-2 on the season, including a 4-0 mark in SEC play, while Florida fell to 9-3 (2-1 SEC).
Tennessee had four players with double-digit kills as sophomore Carly Sahagian led the charge with 19. Junior Leslie Cikra and sophomore Kelsey Robinson added 17 kills apiece while junior DeeDee Harrison contritubed 12 spikes to the offensive attack. Sophomore Ellen Mullins anchored the Volunteer defense as she recorded 14 digs on the afternoon.
Florida outhit the Lady Volunteers .295-.239 behind stellar hitting from its upperclassmen. Junior Betsy Smith had a career-high nine kills for a match-high .438 hitting clip, and seniors Cassandra Anderson, Stephanie Ferrell, Kristy Jaeckel and Kelly Murphy combined for a .310 hitting efficiency, providing 75 percent of the Gator offense against the Lady Vols.
Four different Gators notched double-digit digs in the losing effort led by Taylor Unroe’s 18. Jaeckel and Murphy each had 14 digs while freshman Madison Monserez added a career-high 11 in her first collegiate start.
No. 8 Minnesota 3, Northwestern 1
MINNEAPOLIS — After trailing in the first set, eighth-ranked Minnesota earned a 3-1 win against Northwestern on Sunday afternoon at the Sports Pavilion. The Golden Gophers topped the Wildcats by a 12-25, 25-23, 25-22, 25-22 count.
With the victory Minnesota (8-3 overall, 1-1 Big Ten) earned their first conference win of the 2011 campaign. Northwestern dropped to 9-4 overall and 0-2 in conference action.
Minnesota was led by Ashley Wittman, who had 20 kills and 14 digs. Kellie McNeil saw her first action at the setter position and had 33 assists in 36 attempts. Ariana Filho had eight kills and a team-best .333 hitting percentage as well as one solo block and six block assists. Steffi Sooter had a match-high 23 digs and Katherine Harms had a season-best six block assists. Hailey Cowles also recorded a double-double when she had 10 kills and 16 digs.
Game information and photos compiled from athletic department websites.