MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – The Cal Poly volleyball team pushed the No. 4 team in the nation to the limit, but it was not enough as Illinois prevailed in four sets. Set scores went 25-17, 26-28, 25-16 and 27-25. With the loss Cal Poly falls to 3-6 for the season and will return to action latter on Saturday when the team plays host Middle Tennessee.
Sophomore Kristina Graven led all players with 24 kills in four set match. Junior Jennifer Keddy added eight kills while Catie Smith chipped in with seven.
Freshman Allison Lee led the team with 15 digs with Lauren Law adding nine.
Sophomore Kate Walters handed out 29 assists while freshman Shannon Garrett added 17.
Four players had 10 or more kills for Illinois led by Michelle Bartsch with 16. Erin Johnson added 15 with Anna Dorn and Colleen Ward helping out with 12 and 11 respectively.
Illinois hit .301 in the win with 13 total team blocks while Cal Poly hit .165 and 11.5 team blocks.
In a set that was close late, 18-16, Illinois took it to the next level and closed out the set on a 7-1 run. During the set Illinois held its largest lead at 14-10 before the final run.
Illinois hit .419 in the set compared to Cal Poly's .167
Overall the match had 22 ties with nine lead changes.
In the second set the Mustangs held an early lead 6-5 on a Kill by Graven. The score was last tied at 12-12 and the Mustangs were as close as 20-18 on a kill by Smith.
Cal Poly battled back to tie the set at 24-24, but fell behind 25-24 before tying the set at 26-26 on a kill by Smith. An attack error by Illinois and a service ace by Megan McConnell gave the Mustangs the 28-26 second set win.
Illinois dominated in the third set winning 25-16 with the Mustangs limited to a .061 hitting percentage.
The fourth set was a battle that saw eight ties and five lead changes with Illinois prevailing 27-25.