Birks powers volleyball win

Birks powers volleyball win

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Illinois continued its mastery of Indiana on Friday.

Today awaits a bigger challenge across the border.

Jocelynn Birks had 15 kills and 12 digs, Liz McMahon added 11 kills and six blocks and Erin Johnson 10 kills and eight blocks for the 21st-ranked Illini in their 22-25, 25-12, 25-17, 25-20 win against the Hoosiers. It was the UI’s ninth win in 10 tries against Indiana.

“We struggled early but it never got to where I thought we’d lose,” UI coach Kevin Hambly said.

Tonight, the Illini (8-5 overall, 2-1 Big Ten) visit No. 13 Purdue, which shares the Big Ten lead (3-0) after Friday’s win against Northwestern.

“The girls are fired up,” Hambly said. “Purdue is a tough place to play. It will be fun. It seems every time we go there, it’s a scramble: two good defensive teams going after it.

“It will be interesting to see how we respond.”

With 12 digs, Jennifer Beltran moved into third place on the UI’s all-time list.

“I think that career mark of digs is going to be hers. I think she’ll put that away as long as she stays healthy,” Hambly said.

Anna Dorn had seven kills and seven blocks, and Annie Luhrsen had 43 assists.

Former Centennial standout Morgan Leach had two kills for the Hoosiers.

In women’s soccer:
Illinois 2, Indiana 1.
Freshman Amy Feher and Allie Osoba scored late for the Illini, who rallied in the second half in Bloomington.

Illinois, now 4-0 in night games this season, tied it in the 79th minute and took the lead on Osoba’s goals six minutes later.

In cross-country:
Yaeger leads way.
Courtney Yaeger continued her strong September push with a sixth-place finish at Friday’s Notre Dame Invitational. The reigning Big Ten Co-Athlete of the Week posted a personal-best 5K time of 16 minutes, 48 seconds. The Illini, who placed fifth, had six runners deliver personal bests, including redshirt freshman Alyssa Schneider (36th) and Katie Porada (38th).

In the men’s race, Hunter Mickow ran for the first time this season and finished 24th to lead 14th-place Illinois.