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UI Volleyball Team Heads to San Antonio

The University of Illinois' volleyball team is on its way to San Antonio, hoping to put the exclamation point on a 31 and 4 season.

The team is seeking its first national title, and reached its first national semifinal in 23 years after a defeat of Florida on Saturday. Early Tuesday morning, the team boarded a charter bus to Chicago's Midway Airport. Sophomore Jennifer Beltran says it's nice to steal the spotlight from U of I football and basketball for once.

"It's great to see the support and just see the people come out and cheering for us," she said. "I mean, it is a big deal for the program and for the school, so it's nice that we can just be a part of it."

Beltran says reaching the championship game was a goal the team set at the very start of its season. Assistant Coach Jen Flynn Oldenberg says a Final Four berth became more evident as the season went on.

"You never know right away, but it's something we were preparing for and talking about the whole time," she said. "It's something that we were focused on, not in every game, point by point, but it's something that we thought about throughout the year."

The volleyball team takes on USC at 8 p.m. Thursday in San Antonio, following the matchup of UCLA and Florida State. The title game is at 7:30 Saturday night.

Categories: Education, Sports