Johnson shines, but Penn State sweeps

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Erin Johnson recorded a match-high six blocks and eight kills, but Illinois lost 25-17, 25-17, 25-14 to second-ranked Penn State on Thursday night in Big Ten volleyball.

Johnson increased her career total to 417 block assists, moving to fifth on the school’s chart.

The Illini (11-14, 5-10 Big Ten) received 12 digs from Jocelynn Birks and 11 from Jennifer Beltran. Starting setter Annie Luhrsen had 15 assists, and Alexis Viliunas added six.

Beltran now has 407 digs this season, good for ninth all time at Illinois.

Illinois hit a season-low .034 with 26 kills, four aces and 35 digs.
 
In women's tennis:

White, Kopinski fall. Illinois’ Rachael White and Melissa Kopinski lost their second-round doubles match Thursday at the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships in Flushing, N.Y.

With the loss, White and Kopinski dropped to the consolation draw.

In men's tennis:

Gosea, Kopinski lose. Illinois’ Farris Gosea and Tim Kopinski dropped their opening-round doubles match at the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships on Thursday night.

Gosea and Kopinski will compete in the consolation draw today.
 

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PeterE wrote on November 09, 2012 at 9:11 am

Not the same team this year. Last year's team had more fight, fire & cohesiveness. Wonder if Hambly can turn it around with current cast of players coming back, or will need new blood.

sinfonian11 wrote on November 09, 2012 at 10:11 am

I don't know about fight and fire, but last year's team had two senior All-American outside hitters (Ward & Bartsch).  Tough to replace them with freshmen and expect the same results, especially in the toughest volleyball conference in the country.  That's why Orozco's transfer hurt, though you can't blame her for wanting to be closer to home after the concussion issues she dealt with last season.  Hambly's always recruiting more talent.  Combine that with these young players getting experience, and I'd expect a better season in 2013.

PeterE wrote on November 09, 2012 at 10:11 am

Hambly has recuited even better (at least more hyped/ranked) players than players that have left in recent years so I would expect them to perform even better. Penn State's sophs, redshirts and true freshman outperform our sophomores (for ex: McMahon), redshirts (Birks,Starks, etc) and frosh (Viliunas,etc). I have seen the most advanced and best underclassmen outperforming upper classmen (or women ;) so youth isn't always a limiting factor. Some players like PSU's Megan Courtney just walk right in and play almost like veterans. In any case, part of coaching is having class balance and experience from year to year. Also I expected more from players like McMahon this year, expected improvement. Oh well, there's always next year . .