Irini’s powerful attack boosts NCAA’s first round victory over mountaineers | Sports

Lexington, Kentucky — Volleyball crime in Illinois seemed destined for long afternoons and evenings.

West Virginia threw a three-pointer block in the first 10 points of the first round of the NCAA Tournament Round 1 match between Irina and the Mountaineers at the University of Kentucky Memorial Coliseum.

But for Chris Tamas’ team, the difficult times didn’t last.

Instead, Illinois has made life in West Virginia even more difficult. And the end result was that Irini went beyond the mountaineers 23-25, 25-12, 25-22, 25-20.

It was Illinois’s (21-11) first NCAA tournament victory since Illinois defeated Wisconsin in the 2018 Elite Eights match.

“They processed our serve to start the match,” Tamas said of the opposition. “After that first set, we calmed down a bit more, got it from the service line, and then turned a lot of important play.”

The main reason Illinois was able to send West Virginia (19-10) was that mountaineers were unable to continue to control Illinois.

Five different Illini ended with a double digit kill. Junior middle Kyla Swanson hit the match winning point in the fourth set and finished fifth.

Swanson’s 10 kills are on the double-digit plateau with 18 from second-year outside hitter Reina Terry, 15 from graduate outside hitter Megan Cooney, 13 from junior outside hitter Jessica Nunge, and Junior Middle Kennedy Collins. 11 people have joined.

West Virginia collected another seven blocks after the first spurt, but Illinois’s hit rate never fell below .255 in the last three sets.

This combination was perfect for Irini, whose red shirt junior setter Diana Brown’s 53 Assist was the key to the attack.

“We were able to run a lot of middles, and our middles were on fire,” Tamas said.

Previous NCAA tournament experience may have contributed to this result. West Virginia first appeared on this stage.

Meanwhile, Illinois boasts four athletes, Brown, Cooney, Collins, and senior defensive specialist Taylor Cooper, who competed in the program’s latest NCAA tournament match, losing five sets to Utah in the first round of 2019. I enjoyed it.

Another five current Irini were also on the 2019 roster.

“We’re trying to incorporate it one day at a time, one play at a time,” said Kuper, who piled up the team’s best 26 digs. “I’m really, really happy to win.”

The second round showdown at 4 pm on Saturday will be against No. 7 Kentucky (25-4), who will host the match. The active national champion knocked off southeastern Missouri 25-15, 25-14, 25-19 in another first round match on Friday in Lexington.

“I’m just looking forward to the fight,” Terry said. “Our team is full of the most competitive people I have ever met …. firing.”

Colin Likas is the preparatory coordinator for The News-Gazette.He can reach at, Or at @clikasNG on Twitter.

Irini’s powerful attack boosts NCAA’s first round victory over mountaineers | Sports

Source link Irini’s powerful attack boosts NCAA’s first round victory over mountaineers | Sports

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