Illini women's tennis falls in round of 32

Illini women's tennis falls in round of 32

LUBBOCK, Texas — A historic run of firsts for the Illinois women's tennis team has reached its end.

A bid for the program's first-ever trip to the NCAA quarterfinals fell short as Illinois suffered a season-ending 4-2 loss to No. 11 Texas Tech in Saturday's NCAA second-round match.

The Illini got a quicker start than in Friday's opening round, with the duos of Sasha Belaya and Daniela Pedraza-Novak and Mia Rabinowitz and Asuka Kawai each winning in doubles to claim the team's first point.

Unlike the first round, though, the Illini struggled through singles play, with freshman Emilee Duong's dominant 6-3, 6-0 victory being the lone bright spot.

"(Saturday) was a tough one to swallow," Illinois coach Evan Clark said, "but at the end of the day, these kids are responsible for turning in the best season in program history to date."

This year's Illini etched themselves into history with the program's best start to a season (22-5), highest national ranking (No. 5) and most wins against top 25 teams (three) all en route to reaching the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2012.

They also end their season as just one of three Illini squads to ever reach the second round of the NCAA tournament.

"The best news is that this is just the start," Clark said. "We know more great things are to come and we are always very proud to have the opportunity to wear the Orange and Blue."

In baseball

Series clinched. Grant Van Scoy sure picked a fine day for a career outing.

With Illinois looking to boost its RPI in its final two Big Ten series, the Illini junior smacked his first career home run and drove in a career-best five RBI against conference-leading Michigan to lift the Illini to a 10-4 series-clinching victory in Ann Arbor, Mich.

The win also secured a spot in the eight-team Big Ten tournament for Illinois later this month.

Van Scoy lined one over the left-field wall in the second inning to get things moving early for Illinois, which plated 10 unanswered runs through the first six innings. Zac Taylor added a three-run homer in the sixth.

Illinois left-hander Andy Fisher also carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning and finished with two runs on two hits and eight strikeouts in seven innings of work.

The Wolverines (31-16, 14-5 Big Ten) plated a run in each the sixth and seventh innings, tallying two more in the ninth, but suffered back-to-back home losses for the first time this season.

Illinois (29-16, 13-7) will go for the series sweep at 11 a.m. today.

In track and field

Wells shines. The Illinois men's track and field team added a few more names to the list ahead of today's finals at Big Ten Outdoor Championships.

Not only did Jonathan Wells earn his first Big Ten silver medal in the long jump with a leap of 25 feet, 3 1 / 2 inches, but the Illini junior also qualified for his first-ever 110-meter hurdles finals schedule to run about 12:35 p.m. today in Bloomington, Ind.

The four-time All-American clocked 14.06 seconds, good for third in his heat and seventh among the nine advancing.

The Illini men's team also sends two into today's 100-meter dash finals after junior Devin Quinn (10.41) and senior Molefi Maat (10.44) finished third and fourth, respectively, in their heat and both clocked qualifying times.

Meanwhile, Nicole Choquette became the first Illinois women's runner to qualify for today's finals with a time of 2 minutes, 7.99 seconds on Saturday in the 800 for the Urbana native.