The place: Huff Hall.
"I know it’s cliché, since I’m a volleyball coach," Erin Virtue says, "but it is my favorite campus spot."
The date: Sept.11, 2004.
The matchup: Illinois vs. the two-time defending national champion Southern Cal Trojans, owners of a 52-match winning streak, the longest at the time in college volleyball for years.
Virtue, now coaching at Northwestern, picks it up from here.
"The Illini welcomed the Trojans to Huff Hall with open arms that night for the State Farm Illini Classic. I was a senior captain and remember that match like it was yesterday.
"As I walked into historic Huff Hall that evening, the smell of freshly popped popcorn filled the air. It was sure to be a battle, but little did USC know that we had a 12th man in our home crowd. Huff Hall was electric that night.
"My memories of that match are entirely tied to the atmosphere created that night in Huff Hall. Of course, we won the match in five sets and left a lasting impression on all who attended."