West Virginia volleyball’s historic run to the NCAA Tournament came to an end as the Mountaineers fell to Illinois in the first round three sets to one in Lexington, Kentucky on Friday.
WVU took the first set in a battle behind a massive offensive push from Adrian Ell. The squad slipped in the next two sets, however, unable to complete more than 20 percent of its hits. They fought in the fourth, but a late comeback was too little for the Mountaineers as the Fighting Illini held on to earn a spot in the second round.
Ell led the match with 19 kills and 21 points and finished with a .285 hitting percentage. She was the only starter to finish more than a fifth of her hits, while Athena Ardila came off the bench to add four kills. Kristin Lux was the only other Mountaineer to add double-digit points, notching 13.
Raina Terry was the star for Illinois, leading the Illini 18.5 points on 18 kills. She was one of five Illinois players in double digits.
Lacey Zerwas had 45 assists for WVU, while Diana Brown of Illinois led the game with 53.
Illinois now awaits the conclusion of the first round matchup between Southeast Missouri State and host Kentucky for its second round opponent.
The Mountaineers completed their season 19-10 and made history with the program’s highest-ever finish in the Big 12 Conference and their first-ever trip to the NCAA Tournament.