ST. LOUIS, Mo. — The Omaha volleyball team opened the Billiken Invitational Friday afternoon, falling 3-0 (16-25, 9-25, 17-25) to Illinois at Chaifetz Pavilion. The Mavericks are now 2-10 on the season, while the Fighting Illini improve to 5-4.
Sophomore outside hitter Kayla Torson led Omaha in kills for the sixth time this season, finishing with 10 in addition to five digs.
Junior setter Sydney O’Shaughnessy put up 25 assists for the day, and freshman setter Hannah Angeli added six kills with two digs and a team-best two blocks. Junior middle blocker Amanda Conlin matched Angeli at the net, chipping in two more blocks as well as two kills.
Illinois was led by Jacqueline Quade’s 12 kills on .632 hitting with no attack errors, as well as a match-high six blocks from Ali Bastianelli. As a team, the Illini held the edge in hitting, .458 to .068, and blocking, 9.0-3.0.
In the first set, Quade hit .545 with six kills to pace Illinois, while Torson had five for Omaha. After an early 2-2 tie, the Illini never relinquished their lead, going up 14-9 before UNO called for a timeout. Illinois closed the set with back-to-back Quade kills, securing a 25-16 decision.
The Illini then hit .526 to win game two, 25-9, for a 2-0 match lead.
In the third set, Naya Crittenden was 5-for-5 on the attack with no errors, while Torson put up four and Angeli had three more for the Mavericks. Illinois worked out to a fast 6-0 lead, then extended its advantage to 15-6 before Omaha took another timeout. The Illini forced three Maverick errors to close the set, 25-17.
Omaha returns to action on Saturday, Sept. 17 at the Billiken Invitational. The Mavericks face host Saint Louis at Noon, followed by Murray State at 4:30 p.m. Live stats and audio, as available, will be linked on OMavs.com.