Volleyball seniors go out in style

CHAMPAIGN — Jocelynn Birks’ double-double helped rally the Illinois volleyball team to a 22-25, 25-17, 25-23, 25-16 Big Ten victory against Michigan on Saturday night at Huff Hall.

The redshirt freshman outside hitter belted a match-high 25 kills — tying her career high — and had 16 digs.

Rayfield rates national honor

CHAMPAIGN — Illinois soccer coach Janet Rayfield was selected as the first female recipient of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America’s Honor Award.

The award, which has been given annually since 1942, is the most prestigious distinction the NSCAA presents to an individual. The award recognizes a person’s contribution to soccer and to the NSCAA.

Mike Davis picked in D-League draft

NEW YORK — Former Illinois men’s basketball player Mike Davis was selected fifth overall by the Reno (Nev.) Bighorns in the first round of the NBA Development League draft on Friday.

UI men run fourth at Big Tens

EAST LANSING, Mich. — The Illinois men’s cross-country team ran fourth at the Big Ten Championships on Sunday, the program’s highest finish in 16 years.

The Illini were led by Jannis Topfer, who finished ninth on the 8-kilometer course in 24 minutes, 6 seconds. His time, a personal best, was the 10th fastest in school history.

Lynn, Knight sparkle in pool

CHAMPAIGN — Erica Lynn and Kathleen Knight each won two individual events, but Illinois lost 169-131 to Northwestern in the season-opening meet Friday at ARC Pool.
Lynn won the 100-yard and 200 breaststrokes, and Knight claimed the 100 and 200 butterflies.
In the 100 breast, Lynn was clocked in 1:05.63. In the 200 breast, she was timed in 2:21.32.

Birks powers volleyball win

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Illinois continued its mastery of Indiana on Friday.

Today awaits a bigger challenge across the border.

DiBernardo secures win

SAITAMA, Japan — Illinois junior midfielder Vanessa DiBernardo scored a second-half goal, leading the United States' Under-20 National Team to a 2-1 quarterfinal victory against Korea in overtime Friday at the U-20 Women's World Cup.

Chioma Ubogagu scored in the 98th minute for the U.S., which advanced to its fifth semifinal in the event.

Illini hire cross-country coach

CHAMPAIGN — Jake Stewart, who spent last year as an assistant track and field/cross-country coach at Purdue, will lead the Illini cross-country team in the fall and head up the distance crew during the track season, UI head track and field coach Mike Turk announced.

Men's cross-country coach off to Ole Miss

Gavin Kennedy has joined a new coaching staff at Mississippi, leaving the University of Illinois after one season as men's cross-country head coach and assistant track coach.

Kennedy's departure means the Illini men's program will have its third different distance-running coach in as many years when school begins next month.

Illinois keeps shutout streak alive

CHAMPAIGN — Goals were in short supply Friday night at Illinois Soccer Stadium, but a typically stout Illini defense made sure one score was enough against Minnesota.
Notching its third consecutive shutout and fifth of the season, Illinois prevailed 1-0 on Vanessa DiBernardo’s first-half goal.