CHAMPAIGN – It didn't go the way Jim Heffernan planned. Not even close.
With a large crowd at Huff Hall, some of them high school wrestlers Heffernan hopes will one day be a part of the program, Purdue routed the Illini 25-11. On Senior Night, no less.
Former Illini shortstop Toby Gardenhire has received an invitation to spring training by the Minnesota Twins as a non-roster player. Gardenhire, the son of Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, played his senior season at the UI in 2005 after transferring from Southwest Missouri State.
CHAMPAIGN – No. 5 Minnesota got off to a fast start, winning the first five matches en route to a 27-13 wrestling win against No. 21 Illinois on Friday at Huff Hall.
No. 2 John Dergo (184 pounds) won his match by major decision and No. 14 Patrick Bond (197) beat 10th-ranked Sonny Yohn. They were the only two Illini to win matches. John Deneen (125) picked up a win by forfeit.
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Freshman Yoshi Mori won the all-around, parallel bars and high bar to lead top-ranked Illinois past No. 5 Ohio State in men's gymnastics Saturday.
CHAMPAIGN – Melissa Bates won the 200- and 400-meter dashes and also anchored Illinois' winning 1,600 relay as the Illini women's track and field team won Saturday's nine-team Carle/Health Alliance Classic at the UI Armory.
Bates' time in the 400 (54.74 seconds) provisionally qualifies her for the NCAA Indoor Championships.
AMES, Iowa – Illinois had a hard time getting started in its final tuneup for the Big Ten wrestling season.
No. 2 Iowa State dominated the Illini 33-9 before 2,812 fans at Hilton Coliseum.
Illinois senior Angela Bizzarri is a nominee for the Honda Sports Award for cross-country, the Collegiate Women Sports Awards announced Tuesday.
The eight-time All-American earned the nomination a day after winning the NCAA Championships in a school-record 6-kilometer time of 19 minutes, 46.8 seconds.
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.
Next up for the fifth-ranked Illini: a trip to No. 1 Penn State, winner of 91 consecutive matches.
Staff writer Jeff Huth's weekly review and preview of all things Illini:
IOWA CITY, Iowa – The block party continues for the Illinois volleyball team.
One night after blocking a season-high 19 shots, the No. 8 Illini stopped 16 more while sweeping Iowa 25-23, 25-15, 25-22 Saturday night. The victory was Illinois' seventh in a row, matching its longest winning streak of the season. The Illini (16-3) completed the first half of the Big Ten race in a tie for second place with No. 9 Minnesota at 8-2.