“I Just Wanted to Say Thank You…”: Raina Terry Drops Bombshell on Senior Night About Her Future at Illinois Volleyball

Published 11/19/2023, 5:38 AM EST

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Illinois Volleyball set up its final home match against Michigan nicely after getting handed a defeat against Nebraska. In front of the home crowd at Huff Hall, Illinois clinched a straight 5-0 at the start. Along the way, the rest of the game became a cakewalk for the Fighting Illini. This much-needed victory helped them shift to 16-12 this season. That did not upset Minnesota’s journey in any way. Michigan Wolverines are already trailing the record by the margin of 7-20 in 2023. However, the night became truly orange and blue for many other reasons. 

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One of these celebrations was the enchanting event that the Fighting Illinis organized for its most senior members. Seniors Jessica Nunge, Vanessa Pan, Kennedy Collins, and Raina Terry were present to share in the glory. However, Maddie Whittington’s absence was notable, as she was already undergoing medical treatment. Despite this, Raina Terry emerged as the champion, setting multiple records on Michigan game night. The excitement escalated when she dropped a significant hint about her future with the club.

Raina Terry decides to enter her fifth year at Illinois Volleyball

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Raina Terry stayed at the top with a score of 17 kills against Michigan. That handed her a rare achievement of 500 kills this season. With that, the 6’3″ outside hitter became the 16th player for her club to achieve the rare feat. However, the best news of the night came later. On the official X handle, @IlliniVBall, Illinois Volleyball, released a video message of Raina Terry. In the message, Raina added, “… I think I have one year left in me, so I’M BACK.” The caption of the post goes hand-in-hand with the message Raina gave in the video. It read, “More fun is in store for Raina Terry and the Illiny famILLy!”. 

Soon after the video message, the volleyball community jumped into the celebration. Though, in the message, many formalities were opaque. Lincoln Arneal shed light on some of those formalities. The journalist from the Huskers Illustrated reshared Illinois Volleyball’s tweet on the return of Raina Terry. However, the caption stayed, “Raina Terry appears set to come back and use her COVID year of eligibility at Illinois.” 

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Among the other seniors, only Raina Terry had the luxury of using her COVID card to stay at Illinois Volleyball for another year. That came as a surprise to the fans of the Illini fighters. Their aftermath eruption of joy came as proof of that. 

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The road ahead for Raina Terry and Illinois Volleyball 

With big names like Jessica Nunge absent, the weight of responsibility on Raina Terry is inevitably growing. While Illinois has faced setbacks against teams like Iowa and Ohio, consistent defeats by the table-topping squads have altered the trajectory of their season. Nonetheless, Raina Terry has emerged as a beacon of hope for both the club and its fans. The success of the orange and blue jerseys against other Big Ten contenders has significantly hinged on her performances.

Record-Breaking Performance by Raina Terry Propels Illinois Women’s Volleyball to a Sweeping Victory Over Northwestern

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On the contrary, Raina Terry has set several records for her club. Her career-high score of 163 has positioned her as the fourth highest scorer in the all-time records for Illinois Volleyball. The next milestone to conquer is Mary Eggers’ score of 180, but Terry may have her sights set even higher. She seems to be aiming for the top spot on that list, which would require repeating her outstanding performance in the next season. Jocelyn Birks’ all-time greatness is just 500 kills ahead of Raina Terry’s current standing, a milestone she may aspire to surpass.

Watch this story: After Victory Against Mighty ‘Spartans’, Wisconsin’s Head Coach Sheds Light On The Ingredients That Brew Up The Best Team In Volleyball

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Written by:

Prasun Chakrabarty

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Hello there! I am Prasun Chakrabarty, an Olympics sports writer at EssentiallySports. Being an adrenaline junkie, I take a keen interest in creating insights about various avenues of the sporting realm. As an ardent swimming enthusiast, I take inspiration from the Baltimore Bullet Michael Phelps and love to create insights on various nooks and crannies around the turquoise turf.
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Edited by:

Suman Varandani

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