Kennedy claims third at Big Tens

Kennedy claims third at Big Tens

EVANSTON – Jimmy Kennedy beat second-seeded Montell Marion of Iowa 9-6 at 141 pounds to claim third place at the Big Ten meet Sunday. The Illini finished sixth as a team.

B.J. Futrell (133) took fourth place, Eric Terrazas (149) finished fifth, Conrad Polz (165) took sixth, Jackson Morse (157) placed seventh and Joe Barczak finished eighth (197), with Futrell, Kennedy, Terrazas and Dallago qualifying automatically for the NCAA Championships.

"I was pleased with some of our performances and disappointed with a few others, but that's how this tournament always is," Illinois coach Jim Heffernan said.

In softball:

Oregon 2, Illinois 1. The Illini had the bases loaded with two outs in the seventh inning and the 13th-ranked Ducks on the ropes, but Hollie Pinchback lined out to end the game at the ESPN Citrus Classic in Kissimmee, Fla.

Danielle Zymkowitz drove in a run in the seventh for the Illini, who got a solid outing from pitcher Pepper Gay (seven innings, three hits, seven strikeouts).

Illinois (9-6) was held to two hits but kept pressure on by drawing five walks.

"We just started a little too late to compete at the plate," Illinois coach Terri Sullivan said. "We left runners on early in the game and had chances to earn some offensive momentum. We cannot start that late against a team of that quality."

In men's tennis:

Illinois 4, Iowa 3. No. 65 Abe Souza edged Will Vasos 7-5, 4-6, 6-4 in the final match as the fourth-ranked Illini held off host Iowa in a Big Ten opener.

Illinois (9-4, 1-0), which lost the doubles point, got singles wins from No. 62 Johnny Hamui, Stephen Hoh and Connor Roth to avoid the upset.

In women's tennis:

Texas 4, Illinois 3. Amy Allin and Breanne Smutko won three-set matches, and Allison Falkin also won as the Illini came up short against the 24th-ranked Longhorns in Urbana.

No. 92 Rachael White lost 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 to No. 16 Aeriel Ellis, and Chelcie Abajian also lost a three-setter for the Illini (3-6).

In women's gymnastics:

Illini cruise. Senior Day will certainly be a sweet memory for Allison Buckley. She collected four event titles Sunday – bars, beam, floor and all-around – to break the school career record. Buckley has won 59 crowns, breaking Nancy Thies' mark of 58.

The Illini posted a season-high 196.425 to beat Western Michigan (193.925).

Thies was on hand to congratulate the new record holder.

"It was a really special Senior Day," Buckley said. "It was so exciting to be able to do it in front of our home fans and with my family here. It was really cool to have Nancy's family here and be able to share the experience with them."

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