How they matched up last time

By Aaron Graff, @Aarongraff_DE

Southern Illinois last played Illinois on Aug. 30, 2014. The Fighting Illini, which was ranked No. 11 at the time, won the match 3-0 (25-23, 25-13, 25-12).

No Saluki recorded double-digits in kills or digs. U of I had two players post double-digits in kills. 

Current Illini senior outside hitter Jocelynn Birks led the match with 12 kills. Senior opposite hitter Ali Stark followed with 10. Saluki senior middle hitter Taylor Pippen led her team with nine. 


Coach Justin Ingram said Illinois was a poised team that would make anybody pay for errors after the match.

The Dawgs had 13 attack errors and 11 service errors in the match, compared to the Illini’s nine attack errors and three service errors. 

SIU had a 19-14 lead in the first set of that match, but U of I went on an 11-4 run to win it. 

“We freaked out after the first game,” sophomore outside hitter Andrea Estrada said afterward. “It was 25-23, so we were like, ‘Oh my God, we can win against them.'”

The Salukis return all starters from the match except libero Alex Rivera, who graduated, and middle hitter Anna Himan, who is redshirting this season because of a hip injury. 

Rivera led the team last year with 478 digs. 

The Fighting Illini return all starters except Anna Dorn and Liz McMahon.


Dorn led the team last year with a .339 hitting efficiency. She was 18th in the nation in total block assists and 32nd in total blocks with 145 and 149 respectively. 

McMahon was an AVCA All-America and All-Big Ten Honorable Mention. She posted 396 kills, 110 blocks, 27 digs and eight assists last year.  

Aaron Graff can be reached at [email protected] or at 536-3397