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.
#21 Football (7-2 Overall, 4-2 Big Ten)
Last Week: The Illini fall back down to Earth after a heartbreaking lose to Michigan State at home. With Memorial Stadium packed to the brim, the Illini had multiple chances to flip the game in their favor. Sadly, they were not able to capitalize as the Spartans take this one, 15-23.
Final: #14 Illinois 15 - Michigan State 23
This Week: If the Illini want the opportunity to snag the B1G West and have the opportunity to play in Indy for the B1G title, they have to beat Purdue this Saturday. Purdue is 3-3 in the conference, with most recently losing to Iowa by a score of 24-3. And if you know the Iowa offense, this one is a head scratcher. The game will be at 11 AM Central Time on ESPN2.
Volleyball (11-13 Overall, 6-8 Big Ten)
Last Week: I know last week did not go how the spike squad wanted it to go, but when you look at the competition they faced off against it’s understandable why they failed to pick up a win.
- vs. #5 Wisconsin - Huff Hall was rocking as the Fighting Illini took on the defending national champs. Set 1 the Illini rode off the crowd as they went point for point with the Badgers. With the score 13-12 in favor of Wisconsin, Illini service errors propelled the Badgers to a crucial 6-point swing. The service error bug then bit the Badgers. As the Illini tried to crawl back, the Badgers put them away before they had a say: 25-22. Set 2 saw the Illini take a quick 4 point lead... that demolished quickly. Once the Illini squandered the lead, they did proceed to follow close behind. It wasn’t enough to overtake Wisconsin however, as they dropped the set 25-19. The 3rd set saw 6 lead changes as both teams were fighting hard for breathing room. The Illini held a lead late (18-17) but sadly the Badgers go on to win 8 of the last 12 points to take the final set 25-22.
Set 1: ILL 22 - WIS 25 | Set 2: ILL 19 - WIS 25 | Set 3: ILL 22 - WIS 25 | Final: ILL 0 - WIS 3
- vs. #11 Minnesota - Another top team visited lovely Huff Hall as the Illini tired work for a better outcome. Minnesota opened up the match with a massive 11-4 lead, and the Illini had no chance to recover. Minnesota man-handed the Illini opening set, 25-15. With Illinois behind a set they came out determined to grab an early lead in the 2nd set. They did just that. The Gophers would only be able to get within one, as Brooke Mosher and co. ran away with this one, evening the match at one a piece. The advantage was up for grabs and both teams sought to snag it. Illinois acquired an early lead, but it was quickly erased by the Gophers. With it being knotted up at elevens, Minnesota would go on a run that would propell them a set win. With Illinois backs against the wall, they overcame a 8 point, 5 point and a 6 point deficient in the 4th to shock the Gophers; 25-23. The final set came down to the final point. Minnesota’s Jenna Wenaas sent the Illini packing with a game winning kill.
Set 1: ILL 15 - MINN 25 | Set 2: ILL 25 - MINN 16 | Set 3: ILL 19 - MINN 25 | Set 4: ILL 25 - MINN 23 | Set 5: ILL 13 - MINN 15 | Final: ILL 2 - MINN 3
This Week: Illinois will be taking a little getaway trip to Michigan as they get ready to take on both Michigan and Michigan State.
#23 Men’s Basketball (Exh. 1-0)
This Week: The regular season will kick off this week on Monday against Eastern Illinois. Let's get the season rolling boys!
Women’s Basketball (Exh. 1-0)
Last Week: The women’s basketball team in their opening action beat Quincy University in a exhibition match 78-43.
This Week: They will open up their regular season schedule agains LIU Brooklyn on Wednesday night. They will also play against Alcorn State to close out the week.
Last Week: The Women’s Golf went down to Coral Gables, Florida last week to compete in their final stint of the fall—the Hurricane Invitational hosted by the University of Miami. The team overall finished tied for 8th shooting a combined 870 (+6). They were led again by Crystal Wang who shot a 213 (+6) which settled for 8th best in the tournament. She was greeted in the top 10 by teammate Isabel Sy who finished tied for 8th.
That's a wrap on the fall season!— Illinois W Golf (@IlliniWGolf) November 1, 2022
Isabel Sy and Crystal Wang collect Top 10 finishes at the Hurricane Invitational!
The #Illini will be back in action on Feb. 12-14 in the Therese Hession Regional Challenge!
⛳️ | #HTTO pic.twitter.com/mdF2n1b5A8
Last Week: Illinois men’s tennis finished the 2022 fall tennis schedule in Gainesville, Florida, and Ann Arbor, Michigan. Hunter Heck, Kenta Miyoshi and Oliver Okonkwo competed in the Gator Invite while Tyler Bowers, Nic Meister, Mathis Debru and Lucas Horve competed in the Big Ten Singles and Doubles Championships.
Last Week: Women’s tennis wrapped up their fall in sunny San Diego at the ITA National Fall Championships. The duo tandem of Kate Duong and Megan Heuser competed and made it all the way to the sweet 16, where they eventually fell.
Last Week: The wrestling squad opened up their season at Michigan State. Junior Zac Braunagel put on a clinic for the Illini. He would go on to win the 197-pound championship over Gavin Hoffman from Ohio State in 4:20. Three other Illini wrestlers finished in the top three in their respective weight class.
This Week: They will be back in action at the Tiger Style Invite in Kansas City, MO.
Women’s Swim & Dive
Last Week: After day 1 against FIU, trailing 117.5-106.5, the swim and dive team was able to outscore the Panthers 123-101 to win the match 229.5-218.5. Outstanding Individual performances included the 200 freestyle relay team of Isabelle Guerra, Laurel Bludgen, Lily Olson, and Logan Kuehne who won with a time of 1:34:07. Suvana Baskar finished first in the 50 backstroke with a 26.61. And on the boards, Junior Taylor Michael led the way on the one-meter as she placed third respectively. Their next event is a month away,
This Week: Both men and women Cross Country teams will compete with their representatives at the NCAA Regionals in Columbia, MO.