Illini can't hold off Redbirds

Illini can't hold off Redbirds

NORMAL — Willie Argo and his Illinois teammates thought things were going their way in the first inning against Illinois State, but the Illini's fortunes changed quickly Tuesday.

Argo, who broke the school's career stolen-base record (84) by swiping third in the opening inning, helped give Illinois a 5-0 lead. The Illini increased their lead to 7-0 in the third inning, but the Redbirds scored 16 unanswered runs to win 16-7 at Duffy Bass Field.

Davis Hendrickson (two RBI) and Jordan Parr (two runs) each went 2 for 4 for Illinois (11-10), which totaled eight hits.

John Kravetz (3-2) took the loss, allowing eight runs (seven earned) on eight hits in 32/3 innings.

In tennis:

Women ranked 21st. The Illini women rose 29 spots to No. 21 in the weekly Intercollegiate Tennis Association national team rankings, which were released Tuesday.

Michelle Dasso's team rocketed up the computer-based rankings after defeating three Top 30 opponents, including No. 9 Texas on the Longhorns' home courts.

Illinois, which has won four matches in a row, will take a 10-5 record into its dual meet Friday at Wisconsin.

The Illini men's team is ranked No. 17 this week.

In volleyball:

Team preps for scrimmages. Illinois' volleyball team will begin its spring competition Saturday in the Quad Cities. The Illini and Iowa State will conduct morning drills and scrimmage in the afternoon in an event that is open to the public. The scrimmage is at 2:30 p.m. at Bettendorf High School.

Illinois will conclude its spring schedule with a match against Tianjin, a professional team from China, at 7 p.m. April 17 at Huff Hall. Cost is $1, with proceeds going to the Illini Networkers.

In men's gymnastics:

Ruggeri earns silver. UI redshirt senior Paul Ruggeri won a silver medal on high bar at the 2012 World Cup in Cottbus, Germany.

Ruggeri recorded a 15.525 to finish behind Epke Zonderland (15.725) of the Netherlands.

"It means a lot to me to have medaled at this competition," Ruggeri said. "I've been a fan and a participant of gymnastics since I was a little kid, and to be able to participate at this level and to be medaling at this level is kind of unbelievable."