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.
BASEBALL (10-11 Overall, 2-1 Big Ten)
Last Week: The Illini’s game against Bradley was postponed on Tuesday, but they made it up against Division III Wheaton College, winning 13-5 on Wednesday. Then over the weekend, Illinois took two out of three at Michigan State. Sophomore right fielder Danny Doligdale led the way in the Illini’s 11-3 blowout on Friday, tallying four hits — including a home run and a double — knocking in three runs and scoring two.
This Week: It’s Braggin’ Rights week as the Illini travel to Sauget, Illinois to take on Missouri on Tuesday evening at 6. Illinois then returns home for a three-game set with Purdue from Friday to Sunday.
SOFTBALL (14-12 Overall, 1-1 Big Ten)
Last Week: Illinois only played two games this week after its other two were canceled, splitting a two-game series at Purdue. Senior second baseman Avrey Steiner starred in the Illini’s 9-4 victory on Sunday, knocking in four runs on three hits including a double.
This Week: The Illini host Indiana State for a one-game set on Wednesday at 5 p.m. before traveling to Minnesota for a three-game series over the weekend.
MEN’S GYMNASTICS (4-3 Overall, 2-2 Big Ten)
This Week: On Friday and Saturday, the 5th-ranked Illini begin the postseason at the Big Ten Championships at Penn State.
WOMEN’S GYMNASTICS (4-3 Overall, 2-3 Big Ten)
This Week: The 19th-ranked Illini head to Seattle for the NCAA Regionals on Thursday, facing #4 Utah, #13 Oregon State, and either Stanford or San Jose State. If Illinois places in the top two on Thursday, it will advance to the Regional Final on Saturday.
MEN’S TENNIS (7-10 Overall, 1-1 Big Ten)
Last Week: The first week of conference play ended in a split for the Illini — Illinois was swept 4-0 at #3 Ohio State on Friday, but it turned around and swept Penn State in University Park on Sunday. Though the Illini could not secure the whole doubles point against OSU, the team of senior Olivier Stuart and junior Siphosothando Montsi went undefeated on the weekend.
This Week: Illinois plays the Michigan schools in its Big Ten home openers this weekend, hosting #5 Michigan on Friday at 3 p.m. and Michigan State on Sunday at noon.
WOMEN’S TENNIS (10-6 Overall, 3-1 Big Ten)
Last Week: Illinois finished out its homestand with a pair of victories, defeating Maryland 4-3 on Friday and Rutgers 7-0 on Sunday. Freshmen Megan Heuser and Kasia Treiber dominated over the weekend, each winning both matches in straight sets and conceding a total of just 10 games apiece.
This Week: The Illini travel west to take on Iowa on Friday afternoon at 3 and Nebraska at 11 a.m. on Sunday.
This Week: On Saturday and Sunday in Augusta, Georgia, #20 Illinois will compete in the annual Augusta Haskins Award Invitational.
Last Week: The Illini had a big weekend in South Carolina, shooting +28 over three rounds to place second at the 17-team Clemson Invitational, just one stroke behind #17 LSU. The orange and blue ended with four of the top 20 golfers at the tournament: freshman Lexanne Halama (+7, T10), sophomore Isabel Sy (+8, T15), senior Kornkamol Sukaree (+9, T19), and junior Siyan Chen (+9, T19).
This Week: Illinois gets the next two weeks off before its final tournament of the regular season at Ohio State’s Lady Buckeye Spring Invitational on April 15 and 16.
MEN’S and WOMEN’S TRACK & FIELD
Last Week: Illinois kicked off outdoor season in a big way over the weekend, winning seven event titles at the Ole Miss Classic. On the men’s side, freshman DeVontae Ford won the 400 meter hurdles (52.43), and he anchored the Illini’s winning 4 x 100 (40.51) and 4 x 400 relays (3:12.57). For the women, junior Jessica McDowell took home the 400 meter (53.24) crown and helped the Illini to victory in the 4 x 400 relay (3:42.94) as well.
This Week: Outdoor season continues this weekend for the Illini at the Stanford Invitational on Friday and Saturday.