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 (15-14 Overall, 7-2 Big Ten)
Last Week: Illinois split the four games on its road trip this week, falling to Illinois State on Tuesday and losing the first of a double-header to Iowa on Saturday, but it bounced back to take the final two games of the series from the Hawkeyes. The win over Iowa on Saturday came in dramatic fashion — the Illini were down to their final strike in the top of the 9th inning, but a Jacob Campbell single tied the game at 5 to send it to extra innings. Then, after innings 10 through 12 were scoreless, Illinois finally broke through in the 13th, scoring twice with two outs on a go ahead hit by pitch from Cam McDonald and a Ryan Moerman RBI single. Sophomore Joseph Glassey stayed in and struck out the side in the bottom of the 13th to earn his first win of the season.
This Week: A pair of in-state rivals come to Champaign, with Illinois hosting Illinois State on Tuesday at 6 p.m. and Northwestern for three games over the weekend.
SOFTBALL (22-13 Overall, 6-2 Big Ten)
Last Week: The Illini had a massive week, picking up run-rule victories (8-0, 11-3) over SIUE and Illinois State on Tuesday and Wednesday before sweeping Wisconsin in their Big Ten home-opening series over the weekend to go 5-0 on the week. Sophomore Tori McQueen stole the show in the double-header on Saturday, allowing a combined three runs in two complete games.
This Week: Illinois plays six games in its busiest week yet. It hosts Indiana State on Tuesday at 5 p.m. and #6 Northwestern for a double-header on Wednesday evening. Then, the Illini travel to Rutgers for a three-game series over the weekend.
MEN’S GYMNASTICS (4-3 Overall, 2-2 Big Ten)
This Week: The 5th-ranked Illini compete for a national title at the NCAA Championships in Oklahoma on Friday and Saturday.
WOMEN’S GYMNASTICS (4-3 Overall, 2-3 Big Ten)
This Week: Juniors Mia Takekawa and Mia Townes will compete at the NCAA Championships in uneven bars and vault, respectively, on Thursday in Fort Worth.
MEN’S TENNIS (9-13 Overall, 2-4 Big Ten)
Last Week: Illinois dropped a pair of close Big Ten matches on its road trip, losing 4-2 at Nebraska on Friday and 4-3 at Wisconsin on Sunday. Sophomore Hunter Heck swept both of his singles matches, winning 6-4, 6-2 and 6-1, 6-2.
This Week: Big Ten play continues for the Illini as they host Northwestern on Saturday at noon.
WOMEN’S TENNIS (13-7 Overall, 6-2 Big Ten)
Last Week: The Illini split their two matches this weekend, defeating Purdue 4-2 on Friday but coming up just short in a 4-3 loss at Penn State on Sunday. Junior Ashley Yeah and freshmen Megan Heuser and Kasia Treiber each went undefeated in singles play in the two matches.
This Week: Like the men, the Illini women host Northwestern this weekend, playing at noon on Sunday.
Last Week: The 23rd-ranked Illini picked up their first tournament victory of the spring, winning Purdue’s Boilermaker Invitational over the weekend. Junior Adrien Dumont de Chassart won the individual crown for Illinois, shooting -9 over three rounds. Three other Illini — Tommy Kuhl (3rd, -2), Jackson Buchanan (T4, -1), and Piercen Hunt (T9, +2) — finished in the top 10.
This Week: Illinois gets a week off before wrapping up the regular season at Ohio State’s Robert Kepler Intercollegiate on April 23 and 24.
This Week: The regular season comes to a close for the Illini at Ohio State’s Lady Buckeye Spring Invitational on Friday and Saturday.
MEN’S and WOMEN’S TRACK & FIELD
Last Week: The Illini men and women won nine event titles between them at their own Illini Classic on Saturday. Freshman Logan Neely won the women’s 400 meter hurdles with a time of 1:01.69, and she anchored Illinois’ winning 4 x 100 relay (47.78).
This Week: Illinois heads to Walnut, California for the Mt. Sac Relays from Thursday to Saturday.