Scott Richey

Scott Richey

QUICK HITS: Illinois falls 25-19 to South Florida

WHAT HAPPENED

Illinois' inability to finish drives with anything other than a Chase McLaughlin field goal left the door open for South Florida. The Bulls waltzed through it by scoring 17 points in the fourth quarter.

WHAT IT MEANS

LIVE! South Florida

South Florida 25, Illinois 19. FINAL

Illinois was one quarter away from its first 3-0 start since 2011.

But the Illini will have to wait another year if they want to reach that accomplishment.

Illini stay unbeaten in return home

CHAMPAIGN — Illinois volleyball's return to Huff Hall after three weekends on the road — even as successful as they were with eight straight wins away from home — was bound to provide some nervous energy the Illini would have to handle Friday night against Northern Iowa.

Thursday's highlights: Rogers sets O/SF soccer record

In volleyball
■ Argenta-Oreana 2, Arcola 0. Amaya Fox had seven kills and 11 digs, Camilyn Newbanks chipped in 22 assists and five digs and A-O (8-4, 1-0) topped Arcola in Little Okaw Valley Conference play. Arianna Warren had two kills and eight blocks for the Purple Riders (2-9, 0-4).

Thursday's prep highlights: Rodgers sets school record in O/SF win

In volleyball

Argenta-Oreana 2, Arcola 0. Amaya Fox had seven kills and 11 digs, Camilyn Newbanks chipped in 22 assists and five digs and A-O (8-4, 1-0) topped Arcola in Little Okaw Valley Conference play. Arianna Warren had two kills and eight blocks for the Purple Riders (2-9, 0-4).

Illini's Epstein is at full speed ahead

CHAMPAIGN — Rod Smith got in some good-natured ribbing on Mike Epstein after Illinois' 34-14 win against Western Illinois. Those 38-yard carries Epstein broke against the Leathernecks last Saturday night? Good, but they could have been better.

Home-court advantage? Illini believe they have it

CHAMPAIGN — Illinois volleyball enjoys a unique home court advantage at Huff Hall. A warm day outside makes for an even warmer experience in the gym. The close confines mean a big crowd is a loud one, and that's only amplified by the Spike Squad — the Illini student section — just a few feet from the court and the Illini band not much further away.

Illini secondary waits for key players to return

CHAMPAIGN — Illinois football has put the idea of "next man up" through its paces the first two weeks of the season with injuries and suspensions testing the Illini's depth. No position group had felt it more than the Illinois secondary by the second half of last Saturday night's 34-14 win against Western Illinois.

Illinois in Liddell's top three

CHAMPAIGN — Two down.

Three to go.

And yes, Illinois is one of the three schools still in the running to land reigning News-Gazette All-State Player of the Year and Illinois Mr. Basketball E.J. Liddell. The 6-foot-7, 220-pound forward out of Belleville West narrowed his list of possible schools — again — on Wednesday night.