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Michella Chester | NCAA.com | October 8, 2019

No. 6 Minnesota vs No. 17 Illinois: Preview, statistics, how to watch

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The No. 6 Minnesota Gophers have two top-25 matchups this week and a chance to continue their nine-game winning streak. They travel to take on No. 17 Illinois on Wednesday. 

The Gophers are 10-2 this season with losses to Florida State and Texas, but they also have a big impressive win over Stanford and ranked wins over Purdue and Florida. 

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Illinois is 8-5 this season. They snapped their four-game losing streak in September with an upset over Marquette, and then their fifth loss came against Nebraska. They did, however, push the Huskers to five sets. Jaqueline Quade led the Illini with a double-double and 18 kills in the thriller. They lost the first set, and then won the next two, pushing past the 25-point mark in both of those. They then lost the next two sets but had a really strong showing against a top team. This proves the Illini have the capability to compete with top teams this year, and this matchup will be another great indicator. 

For the Gophers, Stephanie Samedy has been really strong, leading the team with 4.21 kills per set. Regan Pittman has also been performing well. She posted 14 kills and hit .583 percent in Minnesota's last win. 

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Minnesota is 4-0 in the tough Big Ten conference, and Illinois is 3-1. 

Minnesota vs Illinois: how they matchup statistically

tale of the table

  ATTACK  
0.274 Percentage 0.240
15.4 Kills/Set 13.4
  SET  
14.4 Assists/Set 12.4
  SERVE  
61 Errors 147
1.1 Aces/Set 1.4
  RECEPTIONS  
39 Errors 51
1 Errors/Set 0.9
  DEFENSE  
18.1 Digs/Set 12.8
  BLOCKING  
2.6 Blocks/Set 2.4

Illinois has played one more game than the Gophers when this stat comparison was made, so the important thing to look at here are statistics per set. The Gophers lead offensively with more kills per set and a higher hitting percentage. They also have a significant more amount of digs/set, which will give them more opportunities to earn points. 

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The Illini make a significant more amount of service errors. The number is slightly inflated since they've played one more game at this point, but even still, their service errors are higher than their opponents. The Illini will have to limit these to avoid giving the Gophers free points in the matchup. 

How to watch:

The match will be Wednesday, Oct. 9 at 9 p.m. ET. It will be on Big Ten Network and streamed online here. You can listen to the match here.

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