Spring, Maestas honored

Spring, Maestas honored

IOWA CITY, Iowa — The accolades keep pouring in for the Illinois men's gymnastics team. A night after the Illini won their fourth straight Big Ten championship, Justin Spring was honored as the conference's Coach of the Year for the third straight year and C.J. Maestas was named the Big Ten's Freshman of the Year as well as Gymnast of the Year.

The awards were handed out after Saturday's individual event finals at Iowa's Carver-Hawkeye Arena, where Maestas was second on the floor exercise, rings and high bar.

Illinois' Jordan Valdez was third on the high bar, but the meet belonged to Paul Ruggeri.

The fifth-year senior won championships on the rings and vault.

In women's gymnastics:

Illini third in regional. Oklahoma (197.025) and Stanford (196.675) finished 1-2 at an NCAA regional Saturday at the Assembly Hall, earning berths at the NCAA Championships later this month in Duluth, Ga.

Third-place Illinois (195.725) missed an opportunity to advance, though Alina Weinstein was the all-around champion and will head to the NCAAs as an individual.

Weinstein won the balance beam, tied for third on the vault and tied for fourth with teammate Amber See on the floor exercise.

In softball:

Illini offense struggles. Jess Perkins hit an RBI double in the fourth inning that plated Meredith Hackett, who also doubled earlier in the frame to account for Illinois' only hits in a 4-1 loss at Nebraska.

In men's track & field:

Illini finish fourth. Andrew Riley was second in the 110-meter hurdles and Davis Fraker was second in the hammer throw, leading Illinois to a fourth-place finish at the LSU Battle on the Bayou in Baton Rouge, La.

Riley teamed with Brandon Stryganek, Josh Zinzer and Stanley Azie to finish third in the 400 relay. Azie was third in the 100 and fourth in the 200. Dan Kremske (3,000) and Matthew Bane (pole vault) also had third-place showings.

In women's track & field:

Auffman, Spencer win. Maddie Auffman won the 3,000 steeplechase and Ashley Spencer was victorious in the 200, leading Illinois to a third-place finish at the LSU Battle on the Bayou in Baton Rouge.

Spencer was also a member of the victorious 1,600 relay team along with LaToya Griffith (second in the 400), Ryisha Boyd and Ashley Kelly.

Amber Stack finished second to Auffman in the 3,000 steeplechase.

In men's tennis:

Illini rebound with win. No. 18 Illinois bounced back from Friday's loss to Michigan with a 6-1 win against Michigan State, coach Brad Dancer's alma mater, at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex.

Dennis Nevolo, Roy Kalmanovich, Bruno Abdelnour, Stephen Hoh and Tim Kopinski all won their matches in straight sets.

The Illini (12-4, 6-1 Big Ten) won the doubles point thanks to wins by the team of Nevolo/Kalmanovich and Hoh/Farris Gosea.

In women's tennis:

Win streak comes to an end. Rachael White's win was the lone tally for 19th-ranked Illinois in a 6-1 loss to 15th-ranked Michigan in Ann Arbor. Illinois (12-6, 4-2 Big Ten), which had won six straight matches, lost the doubles point, but the team of White and Amy Allin won their match.

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