CHAMPAIGN — The Illinois soccer team opened the season receiving votes in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America poll. The Illini broke into the Top 25 for the first time this season Tuesday after a 1-1 start in Big Ten play.
Arcola’s Taylor Edwards stays busy during all three high school sports seasons, playing volleyball in the fall, basketball in the winter and splitting time between softball and track during the spring.
But the senior-to-be always has favored softball as her choice for a college sport. She made that choice official Tuesday night, when she orally committed to play softball at Illinois.
CHAMPAIGN — The swanky Colonnades Club at Memorial Stadium hosts 1,000-plus Illinois football fans on Saturdays in the fall.
In the offseason, the calendar is crammed with wedding receptions, rehearsal dinners and private parties.
Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase marries high school sweetheart Morgan in Kansas City, Mo., and has three Illini teammates serve as groomsmen.
Top Male Athletes
1. Jesse Delgado, wrestling. Back-to-back national champion at 125 pounds first to do so in Illini history at that weight class. Best news? He still has a year of eligibility left.
1. National champions don’t happen every year, but with Jesse Delgado winning one in wrestling and Jordan Valdez doing the same in men’s gymnastics, Illini could brag about those two accomplishments.
1. Kevin Hambly’s intense speech to his Illini volleyball team after it lost the first two sets to visiting Michigan on Nov. 6. With its postseason hopes seemingly evaporating, Illinois responded and dug deep to pull out a 3-2 win in the season-turning match.
Why a B: No repeat trip to NCAA tournament, but a solid Big Ten showing.
High point: Beating Indiana 2-1 April 26 at home to end Hoosiers’ 10-game conference winning streak.
Low point: Losing twice to Michigan State in three-day span at the Big Ten tournament, costing them an NCAA berth.
Big Ten finish: Third
Illini golfer Thomas Detry and his European teammates will begin play against Team USA on Thursday at the Palmer Cup in Surrey, England.
The Palmer Cup is a Ryder Cup-style event that features collegiate players from the U.S. and Europe.
CHAMPAIGN — Men’s gymnast Chandler Eggleston, a two-time All-American and Big Ten floor exercise champion, and women’s track and field standout Kandie Bloch-Jones, the Big Ten indoor high jump champion, were named Newcomers of the Year on Tuesday by the University of Illinois’ Division of Intercollegiate Athletics.