UI roundup: Illini rally but drop top-10 match against Stanford

UI roundup: Illini rally but drop top-10 match against Stanford

CHAMPAIGN — Alex Brown ignited Illinois' rally.

Brown claimed his singles match 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 over Stanford's Sameer Kumar to chop Illinois' deficit to 3-1.

Aleks Kovacevic brought the Illini even closer with a thrilling 7-5, 7-6 (12-10) triumph against David Wilczynski.

But, the 10th-ranked Illini men's tennis team still dropped a 4-2 decision to the fifth-ranked Cardinal on Saturday night at Atkins Tennis Center.

In men's track and field

Barnes, Quinn stand out. Less than 24 hours removed from having four athletes win individual titles, Illinois finished up its stay at the Iowa State Classic on Saturday with a pair of runner-up results.

Illinois' top two finishes of the day came in the 60-meter dash and the triple jump, as juniors Devin Quinn and Ben Barnes each placed second. Quinn crossed the line in 6.75 seconds while Barnes leaped 48-8 .

"In the field events, Ben Barnes kind of stole the show today in the triple jump," Illinois coach Mike Turk said.

In women's track and field

UI wins relay. Illinois saved its best for last.

In the final event of the day at the Iowa State Classic on Saturday, the Illini's 4x400-meter relay unit of Chisom Nwoko, Briana Driver, Ololade Ayoola and Nicole Choquette held off a late charge by BYU to claim the title in 3:43.83.

"Nicole Choquette was a highlight," Turk said of the Urbana native who also shaved three seconds off her season-best time, crossing the finish line in 2:07.03 to take third in her heat for the 800 meter.

In softball

Illinois drops doubleheader. Illinois was one out away from getting back on track.

Aubrey Johnson dropped a two-out RBI single into right field and Central Florida rallied for two runs in the seventh inning and eventually won 3-2 on Saturday night.

In the eighth inning, Cassady Brewer notched a walk-off RBI single for the Knights, who are hosting the Friends of Jaclyn Invitational.

Earlier in the day, the Illini lost 10-3 to South Alabama. Illinois is 1-3 on the season.

In men's golf

Illini place sixth. An early-morning wake-up call didn't bother the Illinois men's golf team.

Neither did the foggy conditions.

The Illini claimed a 5-1 victory over Northwestern during Saturday's Big Ten Match Play Championship in Palm Coast, Fla.

Due to the conditions, matches were shortened to nine holes. The Illini's Dylan Meyer (2 up), Michael Feagles (1 up), Giovanni Tadiotto (2-and-1) and Bryan Baumgarten (1 up) all won their matches against the Wildcats.

Illinois, however, fell 3.5-2.5 against Indiana in the afternoon matches and finished sixth place in the tournament.

In men's gymnastics

Diab brothers shine in loss. The Diab brothers did everything they could to keep Illinois from dropping its first dual meet of the season.

Alex Diab and Max Diab locked up event titles on still rings (15.000) and vault (14.700), respectively.

It wasn't enough.

The fifth-ranked Illini dropped a 408.800-406.550 decision at No. 6 Minnesota on Saturday evening.

"Today we had a chance to put the meet away and we dropped the ball," Illini associate coach Daniel Ribeiro said. "This is an important opportunity for this team to come together and make the changes that need to be made so that this doesn't happen again."