Volleyball sweeps Spartans

Successful day for men's, women's doubles teams

CHAMPAIGN – Laura DeBruler pounded 15 kills, Johannah Bangert chipped in eight blocks and the Illini volleyball team won its 11th straight match, 25-19, 25-12, 25-19 against Michigan State on Saturday night.

The Illini, who improved to 20-3 and 12-2 in the Big Ten, also got a team-high nine digs from Rachel Feldman.

"I think our block set the tone, then we started digging a lot of balls and finally we frustrated them and they started hitting them out of bounds," Illini coach Kevin Hambly said.

Next up for the fifth-ranked Illini: a trip to No. 1 Penn State, winner of 91 consecutive matches.

In men's tennis:

Nevolo, Czerwinski go on run. Illinois' doubles tandem of Dennis Nevolo and Marek Czerwinski won a pair of matches Saturday to claim the back draw-doubles title at the ITA national indoors at New Haven, Conn.

"We were both on in the first match and returned the ball well," Nevolo said. "That carried over into the finals, and we moved well together and played off each other."

The team bested Oklahoma State's Aleksey Bessonov and Oleksandr Nedovyesov – the top-seeded team in the back draw – 8-3 in the semifinals.

The Illini then registered an 8-3 win against Wisconsin's Moritz Baumann and Marek Michalicka in the finals.

"They were able to make the adjustments that were needed and it paid off," assistant coach Marcos Asse said. "It's a credit to their character in how they were able to bounce back and get better with each match. As a coach, you can't ask for much more than that."

In women's swimming:

Illinois 154, Southern Illinois 89. The Illini won seven individual events and swept the relays to knock off the host Salukis.

Kristen Manias, who was part of both relays, also won the 50 freestyle for the Illini, who won their sixth dual meet of the season.

In women's tennis:

Illini earn doubles crown. Amy Allin and Annie McCarthy teamed to win the doubles title at the Western Michigan Invitational in Kalamazoo.

Allin and McCarthy finished the event 3-0.

Allin, Christine Stromberg and Kristina Minor notched singles wins against players from Iowa State.

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