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 (20-17 Overall, 11-4 Big Ten)
Last Week: Illinois went 1-3 on the week, losing 12-6 at Indiana State on Tuesday and dropping two of three at home to #24 Maryland. The one win, however, was an absolute thrashing. Illinois beat the Terrapins 19-1 on Friday, out-hitting the visitors 19-2. Five Illini homered in the win, and six doubled. Sophomore first baseman Justin Janas went 4-5 with a home run and a double, scoring five times and driving in three runs.
This Week: The Illini hit the road for four games, first traveling east to Bradley on Wednesday before heading the other direction for a three-game set at Indiana over the weekend.
SOFTBALL (29-16 Overall, 12-4 Big Ten)
Last Week: The Illini moved to #25 in the polls and split their six-game homestand. Two of Illinois’ three losses came in extra innings, including a 4-2 loss to Louisiana-Lafayette (8 inn.) on Tuesday and a 7-3 loss to Iowa (9 inn.) on Saturday. Between those games, the Illini run-ruled #7 Northwestern in game two of a double-header on Wednesday. Senior Sydney Sickels tossed a 5-inning shutout in the 8-0 win.
This Week: The penultimate week of the regular season is a four-game road trip for the Illini. Illinois plays DePaul at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday and then joins the baseball team in Indiana over the weekend for three games.
MEN’S TENNIS (13-13 Overall, 5-4 Big Ten)
Last Week: A 2-0 weekend extended Illinois’ winning streak to four, closing out the regular season with home wins over Indiana and Purdue. Senior Olivier Stuart swept both of his singles matches, winning 24 of 26 combined games.
WOMEN’S TENNIS (15-8 Overall, 8-3 Big Ten)
Last Week: The Orange and Blue earned a split of their Michigan road trip, losing 4-1 at #23 Michigan on Friday but rebounding on Sunday to defeat Michigan 4-1. The doubles team of junior Emily Casati and freshman Kasia Treiber won both of its matches over the weekend.
This Week: As the 5-seed, the Illini will open their Big Ten Tournament action on Thursday in Iowa City, playing the winner of Iowa and Michigan State. For as long as it’s winning, Illinois will play one match each day until Sunday.
Last Week: The 20th-ranked Illini completely dominated Ohio State’s Robert Kepler Intercollegiate over the weekend, posting (-30) over three rounds and winning by 13 strokes. Five of six Illini placed in the top 10 individuals at the tournament.
This Week: The postseason begins for Illinois this weekend at the Big Ten Championship at the Pete Dye Course in French Lick, Indiana from Friday to Sunday.
Last Week: The Illini, ranked 25th in the country, finished fifth of 14 at the Big Ten Championships in Pittsburgh over the weekend. Senior Crystal Wang placed sixth, tops among Illini, with a three-round score of (+2).
This Week: Illinois gets a couple weeks off to prepare for the NCAA Regionals from May 9-11.
MEN’S and WOMEN’S TRACK & FIELD
Last Week: The Illini celebrated their 23 seniors at Demirjian Park over the weekend, finishing out the home schedule strong. Illinois combined for 14 event titles at the meet, nine on the women’s side and five on the men’s.
This Week: Illinois travels to Iowa to close out the regular season at the Drake Relays from Thursday to Saturday.