UI roundup: Illini pull upset of Texas

UI roundup: Illini pull upset of Texas

CHAMPAIGN — The Illinois women's tennis team broke a more than five-year drought, as the program collected its first win over a top-20 opponent since March 21, 2012.

Ironically enough, Texas fell victim to the Illini's last such upset. This time around, Illinois (4-1) upended the 11th-ranked Longhorns, 4-2, on Friday night at the Atkins Tennis Center.

"It was a great performance from our squad," Illinois coach Evan Clark said. "Anyone who has followed the program knows that we've been really close in the last year and a half. ... It's huge. We now know that we can play with anybody."

In doubles, the Illini pairing of Sasha Belaya and Daniela Pedraza-Novak topped Texas' Granic and Perez-Mur by a score of 6-2. Illinois' No. 45-ranked duo of freshman Emilee Duong and junior Jaclyn Switkes clinched the doubles point with a 6-2 triumph, as well.

In singles, after the Longhorns won the first two matches, Illinois mounted a comeback beginning with Duong's 6-3, 6-2 win over Fernanda Labrana.

Belaya regained the lead for Illinois with a 7-5, 6-3 victory against Marta Perez-Mur. Mia Rabinowitz clinched the Illini's win by defeating No. 32 Petra Granic, 6-2, 7-6 (2).

In wrestling

UI routs Hoosiers. No drama was required in Friday night's dual for the Illinois wrestling team.

The Illini routed the Hoosiers, collecting a 33-9 triumph in Bloomington, Ind.

Winning eight of the 10 matches, including each of the first six, Illinois (6-3, 5-2 Big Ten) won two matches by fall as part of four bonus-point victories.

Travis Piotrowski's match was a sign of things to come. In the first bout of the night, the Illini's 125-pounder pinned Indiana's Elijah Oliver in six minutes, 26 seconds.

Three matches later, Illini redshirt sophomore Eric Barone also won by fall, pinning the Hoosiers' Alejandro Raya in 6:32.

Kyle Langenderfer at 157 pounds won by major decision, 17-5, and 165-pounder Isaiah Martinez triumphed by technical fall, 21-5, to account for the remainder of the Illini's bonus points.

Dylan Duncan (133 pounds), Mike Carr (141), Andre Lee (197) and Deuce Rachal (heavyweight) all won by decision for Illinois.

In women's gymnastics

Balthazor keys win. Illinois had a narrow lead entering the final rotation, but held onto it thanks to a strong finish on floor.

Kylie Noonan hit a 9.850 in her floor debut for the Illini, who eventually collected a 195.325-195.150 victory over Iowa on Friday at Huff Hall.

Illinois posted a season-best 49.200 on bars, due in large part to Rae Balthazor's career-best score of 9.900. The Illini also had a season-best score of 48.975 on vault.

In men's tennis

Illini down Duke. No. 12 Illinois won 6-1 at No. 19 Duke on Friday at Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center.

The visiting Illini (3-0) swept the doubles matches, while in singles, Aleks Vukic, Aron Hiltzik, Aleks Kovacevic, Zeke Clark and Caleb Chakravarthi each won for Illinois.