Masheto a bright spot for Illini

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Lesiba Masheto gave the Illini something to smile about on an otherwise dreary day at the Big Ten Indoor Track and Field Championships on Sunday.

The sophomore won the 600-meter run title in 1 minute, 16.28 seconds – 0.09 off the Big Ten record – which gives him the No. 1 ranking in the world this year.

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UCLA rallies past Illinois in Chicago

CHICAGO – Third-seeded UCLA dominated singles play to knock off sixth-seeded Illinois in a quarterfinal match at Saturday's USTA/ITA National Men's Team Indoor Championships at the Midtown Tennis Club.

Host Illinois (7-2), which was looking to make its sixth consecutive semifinal appearance, won the doubles point. But only Ruben Gonzales won in singles as UCLA (7-1) rebounded with wins from 2006 NCAA champ Ben Kohlloeffel, Philipp Gruendler, Chris Surapol and Michael Look.

Dergo, Bond lead Illini to upset

MADISON, Wis. – Trailing by a point with two matches remaining, the ninth-ranked Illinois wrestling team turned to two youngsters in freshman John Dergo and sophomore Patrick Bond on Sunday against No. 6 Wisconsin.

Dergo, ranked 16th in the 184-pound weight class, put together a 9-4 decision against Wisconsin's Justin Peterson to put the Illini up 18-16, then the 20th-ranked Bond (197) capped off the 21-16 dual-meet upset with a 7-3 decision against No. 12 Dallas Herbst.

Mexicano powers Illini to season-opening wins

MIAMI – Coach Terri Sullivan's Illinois softball squad had a good start to its season Friday at the Diamond Fun & Sun Classic, topping No. 20 Louisville6-2 and Florida International 11-5.

In the Illini's season opener against the Cardinals, shortstop Angelena Mexicano went 3 for 4 with three runs and left fielder Makenzie Smith was 2 for 4 with three RBI. Reliever Ashley Wright allowed no runs on three hits in 4< 1/3> innings to earn the victory.

Illini complete sweep, gain dose of confidence

URBANA – A slow start didn't prevent Illinois from completing a weekend men's tennis sweep.

Bouncing back after losing the doubles point, the seventh-ranked Illini rallied past No. 41 Tennessee 4-3 on Saturday night at Atkins Tennis Center.

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Zollner, Whittaker hitting new heights

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – The Illinois men's track and field team earned three titles and 17 top-five finishes Saturday at the Blue Raider Invitational, but coach Wayne Angel said his squad still can improve.

"It was a solid performance for us today, although we've got a lot of work to do," Angel said. "We didn't show the amount of intensity that I was hoping for."

Johnson's wrestlers turn back Wildcats

CHAMPAIGN –Illinois wrestling coach Mark Johnson said he wants his 16th-ranked squad to get tougher as the season progresses.

If Friday night's 21-13 victory against No. 8 Northwestern is any indication, the Illini are well on their way.

Pomeroy, Yamauchi top the charts

CHAMPAIGN – Cara Pomeroy and Tyler Yamauchi were the top scorers Friday night at the annual Mixed Pairs Exhibition at HuffHall. The twosome finished with a score of 29.800, just ahead of the team of Michael Boyer, Kim Kruk and Nick Stango (29.700).