Tough schedule could pay dividends in NCAAs

Published 12/05 2013 09:31PM

Updated 12/05 2013 10:40PM

CHAMPAIGN -- The Illinois volleyball team will start it's NCAA Tournament run Friday night when they host Morehead State in the first round.  Illinois is the No. 13 seed and could play at home all the way until the Final Four. 

The Illini have a lot of things working in their favor this weekend.  The home court advantage is big, and so is the fact that they have won seven of their last nine matches.  But they say their regular season schedule, in which they played 19 matches against Top 25 teams could be their biggest advantage.

"I think the biggest things is we're not going to be surprised by anything we see," said head coach Kevin Hambly.  "We've played as tough [a schedule] as you can play.  We've played a wide variety of teams, so there's nothing we're going to see that we're going to have to scramble to adjust to."

Illinois and Morehead State start at 7:00 pm Friday night.  The winner will face either Louisville or Marquette is the second round Saturday.

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