UI roundup: Illini dominate Senior Day

UI roundup: Illini dominate Senior Day

CHAMPAIGN — The Illinois wrestling team closed out its final home match of the year with an emphatic 28-9 win over Indiana at Huff Hall on Sunday.

Illini (9-3) seniors Zane Richards and Zac Brunson both picked up wins on Senior Day.

For Brunson, the victory Sunday over Indiana’s Garrett Pepple was the 100th of his career. He’s the 24th wrestler in program history to reach that total.

Richards had already reached the century mark earlier this month against Northwestern.

“It was pretty cool,” Illinois coach Jim Heffernan said. “Just the timing of it; it’s always hard on Senior Day. They’re good people. Zac’s in graduate school, Zane’s really grown up and become a great leader himself. As these guys are progressing they’ve gotten better at wrestling, they’ve gotten to be better people.”


In men’s tennis
Illini win on road. The Illinois men’s tennis team rebounded after losing the doubles point against Notre Dame on Sunday to pull away for a 5-2 win.

The Irish quickly took a 1-0 lead after winning on Courts 1 and 2 in South Bend, Ind.

In singles play, however,  Illinois (4-2) took five of six matches to secure the win, headlined by Aleks Vukic’s straight-sets victory over No. 34 Josh Hagar.

“I am always proud of our team when we gut out road victories,” Illinois coach Brad Dancer said. “Having said that, we have five distinct issues with (Sunday) and how we came at the matches. So, when we dig ourselves holes and climb out of them, as a coach, you have to love the effort and resiliency. But we can be better.”


In women’s tennis
Team splits doubleheader. After dropping a close decision against Notre Dame on Sunday morning, the Illinois women’s tennis team rebounded with a win over Eastern Illinois at Atkins Tennis Center.

The Irish’s No. 32-ranked pairing of Brooke Broda and Monica Robinson won on Court 1. However, the Illini (3-5) took the doubles point behind victories on Courts 2 and 3.

In singles play, all six courts went to three sets, but it was the Irish that came away with a 4-3 win.

“The Notre Dame match was a heartbreaker,” said coach Evan Clark. “With six three-setters, it was tough coming back from that. Really disappointed for the girls, but they competed really, really hard.”
The Illini followed up that performance with a dominating 7-0 win over Eastern Illinois.


In softball
Illini fall for first time. The Illinois softball team endured its first loss of the season on the final day of the Puerto Rico D1 Tournament, losing to California 9-5 on Sunday.

The Illini (4-1) held a 1-0 lead going into the fifth inning, but Cal’s offense took off by scoring nine runs in the frame.

Illinois starting pitcher Breanna Wonderly allowed seven runs, including four earned, over her 4 1/3 innings.

“It was a good weekend overall,” Illinois coach Tyra Perry said. “(Sunday’s) game was not the finish we were hoping for, but one tough inning put us in a pretty large hole. Cal is a very good team and we will get another crack at them in just a few short days at the Mary Nutter Classic.”

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