Tennis team cruises twice
URBANA — Tim Kopinski, Blake Bazarnik and Ross Guignon each won two singles matches, leading No. 6 Illinois to a 4-1 men’s tennis victory against South Florida and a 5-0 victory against Pepperdine on Friday at Atkins Tennis Center.
In men’s track & field:
Joseph, Fraker among elite. Illinois’ Vanier Joseph placed 10th in the 60-meter hurdles, narrowly missing a spot in the finals, and Davis Fraker claimed 14th in the weight throw Friday at the NCAA Indoor Championships in Albuquerque, N.M.
They earned second-team All-America honors.
Duchene delivers. Kevin Duchene (2-1) took a perfect game into the seventh inning, leading Illinois to a 5-1 victory against host Southern Illinois.
Duchene struck out six and scattered four hits in nine innings.
Schedule changes. The Illini announced several changes Friday to their schedule for next weekend.
Home games against Eastern Illinois on March 21 and March 23 were canceled, and a series versus Xavier at Illinois Field was expanded to four games.
Illinois will face the Musketeers at 4 p.m. March 21, at noon March 22 in a doubleheader, and at noon March 23.
The Illini’s home opener against Indiana State remains as scheduled for 3 p.m. Tuesday.
The UI also announced that the grass parking area adjoining Illinois Field will be closed for the start of the season due to effects of the winter weather.
Fans instead should park in either the State Farm Center northeast quadrant lot or in the Bielfeldt Athletic Administration Building lot. The latter is open to baseball parking on weekends only.
Admission to all Illini home games is free.
Johnson, Sanchez shine. Kylie Johnson and Brittany Sanchez each went 3 for 3 with three runs, leading the Illini to a 13-1 victory against Western Michigan in Illinois’ home opener at Eichelberger Field.
Johnson and Sanchez combined to drive in five runs.
Allie Bauch went 2 for 4, including a double, and Alex Booker scored twice and had an RBI single.
Jess Perkins smashed a three-run home run in the victory.
“We were just seeing the ball really well,” said senior Jenna Mychko, who singled, scored and drove in two runs. “We were excited to be at home, and we were ready to play. We were doing the little things, getting runners on, moving them over, and then hitting the ball on the ground to get our runners to score, and just doing everything we needed to do.”
The Broncos led 1-0 in the bottom of the first inning, but Illinois (8-2) scored 13 unanswered runs, including an eight-run fourth, in the third game of the Fighting Illini Classic.
“It’s always exciting to be home for games,” Perkins said. “After traveling for five weekends, we were really excited to get some nice weather out here and finally play on our home turf and be able to pull out a win.”
In women’s golf:
Postillion, Miller start strong. Illinois’ Sam Postillion carded a 1-over-par 73 Friday and was tied for first place after the first round of the Insperity Lady Jaguar tournament at Augusta, Ga.
Teammate Stephanie Miller was tied for third place at 74.
The Illini were in third place at 311.