Spartans too much for UI volleyball

Spartans too much for UI volleyball

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State and Illinois apparently are heading in opposite directions in volleyball.

The Spartans, who climbed six spots to No. 9 in this week’s American Volleyball Coaches Association poll, defeated the Illini 25-15, 25-18, 25-17 on Friday night.

“We didn’t execute,” UI coach Kevin Hambly said. “We played hard, but we didn’t execute at a high level, and we have to in the Big Ten, especially on the road. Michigan State is a good offensive team. We needed to be really good defensively, and we weren’t.”

Illinois (5-8, 1-2 Big Ten), which received 11 kills from Liz McMahon against the Spartans (14-1, 3-0), fell out of the Top 25 this week. The Illini’s McKenna Kelsay, who squared off against her sister Kristen at Jenison Field House, had 14 assists.

In women’s soccer:
Boilermakers blank Illini. Claire Wheatley recorded four saves for Illinois in its 1-0 road loss to Purdue.

The Boilermakers scored their goal in the first half.

“When you are in the situation we were in (Friday night), you need everyone to be their best,” UI coach Janet Rayfield said. “We got many people’s best effort, and you feel for them because they fought hard. But, unfortunately, we didn’t get everyone’s best performance when we needed it. I share the responsibility because my job is to make sure our entire team is prepared and ready to perform. That’s what we will be ready to do on Sunday.”

In men’s tennis:
Hiltzik continues march. Illini sophomore Jared Hiltzik advanced to the quarterfinals of the ITA All-American Championships at Tulsa, Okla., with his third consecutive straight-sets victory in the tournament.

The 14th-seeded Hiltzik defeated seventh-seeded Ray Sarmiento of Southern California 6-2, 6-2 in the third round. Hiltzik will faced 2011 champion Mitchell Frank of Virginia today. Frank is the highest remaining seed at No. 12. The winner will play later today in the semifinals.

Ross Guignon and Tim Kopinski won their consolation doubles match 8-5.

In men’s cross-country:
Toepfer finishes sixth. Senior Jannis Toepfer was sixth in 24 minutes, 36 seconds in the 5-mile race, lifting Illinois to 12th place at the Notre Dame Invitational.

In women’s cross-country:
Schneider shows way.  Alyssa Schneider was 17th in 17:30 in the 5-kilometer race, leading Illinois to 15th place at the Notre Dame Invitational.

In men’s gymnastics:
Team ties for fifth in poll.
The Illini men’s gymnastics team, which features 2013 NCAA vault champion Fred Hartville, was ranked fifth with Penn State in the GymInfo Preseason Coaches Poll.

Illinois was ranked in the Top 5 in the preseason poll for the sixth consecutive year.

Michigan, the defending NCAA champion, was the unanimous preseason No. 1.