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This Week in Illini Athletics: Oct. 17-23, 2022

What a Home Sweet Homecoming.

Welcome to “This Week in Illini Athletics,” a weekly review of the past week of Illini sports and a preview of the week to come.

#18 Football (6-1 Overall, 3-1 Big Ten)

Last week:

(to the tune of “Row Your Boat”)

Sink, Sink, the Gopher’s boat

Gently down it goes

Merrily merrily, merrily, merrily thank you Bielema & Co.

Final: Illinois 26 - Minnesota 14

Full Game Recap:

This Week: It’s a bye-week for the boys as they celebrate their bowl eligibility. They will return to action against Nebraska on the road.

Women’s Soccer (7-7-2 Overall, 2-5-1 Big Ten)

Last Week: Homecoming week was not so giving to the Women’s Soccer team as it was to Football team.

  • vs. Nebraska - Illinois traveled to Cornhusker territory to compete under the lights Thursday night. The opening minutes saw the Illini on the aggressive — pushing the ball onto Nebraska’s side of the field. This forced the Huskers to be protective of their net, fouling up to 6 times early on. They couldn’t protect their net forever as Illinois’ Makala Woods fired one in for a 1-0 lead. The first half ended shortly after, but Nebraska wanted to give the Illini a taste of their own medicine coming out of half — and they did. 11 minutes in bang, the Huskers tied it up. 10 minutes later they struck again, taking a 2-1 lead in the 66th minute. The rest of the match the Illini were unable to muster up another shot on net. To add insult to injury, Nebraska then added a goal with 10 seconds left in the match.

Final: Illinois 1 - Nebraska 3

  • vs. #19 Ohio State - Ranked Ohio State came into town on a mission to continue their winning ways — and it showed after they struck first early. Down 0-1 only 14 minutes into the match, the Illini knew they had to answer quick and they did. After a Julia Cili save, the Illini were able to push the ball down field and fire two quick shots — Sydney Stephen’s found netting. With it knotted up at 1’s, both sides had their fair share of chances to take the lead. After consecutive corner kicks the Buckeyes took the advantage with a shot sliding past Illini’s goalkeeper. With the first half coming to a close, the Illini had to be feeling good with keeping Ohio State within striking distance — This however did not last long. 2 minutes into the 2nd half the Buckeyes shocked the Illini by putting 2 goals on the board. The Illini blinked and Ohio State ran away with it. They would go on to score two more insurance goals, as Illinois had no answer

Final: Illinois 1 - #19 Ohio State 6

This Week: The Illini have upcoming dates against Wisconsin and Minnesota this week.

Volleyball (9-9 Overall, 4-4 Big Ten)

Last Week: The season up to this point, has not what the volleyball team envisioned. With matches against B1G schools they looked to better their record.

  • vs. Rutgers - New Jersey to Huff Hall. Rutgers traveled quite a ways for this Big Ten matchup. The Illini however, did not give them the welcoming gift they preferred. Behind Raina Terry, Brooke Mosher, and Kayla Burbage the Illini were able to dominate the opening set; 25-16. During the 2nd set it seemed Rutgers finally got their footing, going stride for stride with Illinois and eventually taking a 20-18 lead. But with the help of a few service errors and timely kills, Illinois was able to come back and take the set 26-24. The last set was all Illini. Anytime Rutgers would gain any ground, their own mistakes would kill any momentum they had.

Set 1: Illinois 25 - Rutgers 16

Set 2: Illinois 26 - Rutgers 24

Set 3: Illinois 25 - Rutgers 17

Final: Illinois 3 - Rutgers 0

  • vs. #10 Minnesota - This matchup was against two evenly sided squads. Every set was back and forth with massive runs and great play. Minnesota in the 1st set had Illinois on the ropes when it took an 19-11 lead. The Illini were able to fight all the way back within five, but Minnesota would take the set; 25-19. The 2nd set was tight all the way through, with it being tied 20-20 Minnesota would pull away once again to take the set 25-23. With the Illini facing a possible sweep, they took an early lead in the 3rd set. The Gopher’s would go on a massive run taking 6 straight points. The Illini would then answer by taking the next four points. It would be like this all the way down the stretch until Minnesota reached game point. The Illini down four, slowly fought back holding Minnesota at the breaking point. However when Illinois reached within one, Minnesota took the game set point.

Set 1: Illinois 19 - Minnesota 25

Set 2: Illinois 23 - Minnesota 25

Set 3: Illinois 23 - Minnesota 25

Final: Illinois 0 - Minnesota 3

This Week: Tough road ahead as they go up against #5 Ohio State and #24 Michigan.

Women’s Golf

Last Week: The Women’s Golf team hosted their own Invitational this past week, placing 7th overall. Crystal Wang was in her bag once again, as she posted 67’s on the first two rounds and wrapping up with a 68. That was good enough to place 2nd overall in the tournament.

This Week: Women’s Golf is heading to the “Ally.” They will be facing off against other competing schools down at Mississippi State.

#6 Men’s Golf

This Week: After a week off, the Men’s golf team returns to action at the University of Dayton and will also start the Isleworth Collegiate down at UCF on Sunday.

Women’s Tennis

This Week: After a week off, some select few will compete in Ann Arbor at the ITA Midwest Regionals.

Men’s Tennis

This Week: Men’s Tennis will also be attending the ITA Midwest Regionals, only difference is that the Men’s will be hosted here in Champaign.

Cross Country

Last Week: Both Men’s and Women’s cross country team attended the Bradley Pink Classic in Peoria Illinois. The Men would place fourth overall behind some great running by Colin Yandel who placed 10th with a 20:45.3. The Women’s cross country team would place 2nd overall as they were led by Olivia Howell who had a PR of 20:09.8, 3rd overall.

This Week: The Illini Open will be this week, as both cross country teams plan to be hosting.

Women’s Swim & Dive

Last Week: The swim team was able to divide and conquer as they were able to win both matches against Southern Illinois & Illinois State. They beat Southern Illinois by a score of 189-110 and Illinois State 211-88. Impressive outings by Freshman Alexis Wendel in the 100 butterfly, and Senior Kaleigh Haworth in the 100 breaststroke lifted Illinois to impressive wins.

This Week: The Swimmers will have the week off before returning to the pools at Northwestern.