Right on the mark

IOWA CITY, Iowa – To mark his program''s latest head-turning accomplishment, Illinois men''s tennis coach Craig Tiley gathered his players after their record-tying 45th consecutive win Saturday.

And chewed them out.

Sky high

Eleven-thousand feet into turbulent air, Bruce Weber is at peace.

His cellular phone, a constant, chirping companion, catches a few rare moments of sleep.

They''re not highly touted, but ex-Illini still have pro dreams

You won''t find his name in Mel Kiper Jr.''s midseason draft prospectus. Frank Coyle, an NFL scout who runs, hadn''t heard of him.

Joe Bevis knows he''s the ultimate long shot to play in the NFL. The Illinois senior doesn''t have an agent and is working out on his own, so he knows the odds.

Semifinal setbacks leave Illinois scrambling

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Chances are Illinois wrestling coach Mark Johnson didn''t get much sleep Saturday night.

Johnson no doubt spent the night tossing and turning after watching his sixth-ranked team''s lackluster effort at Day 1 of the Big Ten wrestling championships at St. John Arena.

UI Roundup: Fortune, Coriddi steer streaking Illini in right direction

Amanda Fortune tossed a three-hit shutout against Tennessee Tech and Rachelle Coriddi had four hits against UNLV as Illinois on Saturday moved into the semifinals at the Speedline Tournament in Clearwater, Fla.

Katie O''Connell was 3 for 3 to support Fortune in a 3-0 win. Fortune (9-1) had nine strikeouts. Against UNLV, Jenna Hall had three RBI and Lindsey Hamma had two hits and two runs.

Fun Fest gives players, fans chance to get acquainted

They threw passes to 3-year-olds. And smiled. They signed autographs for 6-year-olds. And laughed.

Kind of hard to tell who were the players and who were the kids Saturday at the annual News-Gazette Football Family Fun Fest.

Destiny''s door open to Illinois

IOWA CITY, Iowa – There''s a framed article hanging in the Atkins Tennis Center office of Illinois men''s coach Craig Tiley, a story commemorating Illinois'' record-breaking Big Ten winning streak.

"I remember getting to about 30 and someone saying, ''You''re 11 from breaking the Big Ten record,'' " Tiley said. "I thought, ''Well, that''s pretty neat.'' I never would have dreamed we would have a chance to do the same thing nationally."

UI Roundup: Coriddi heats up for Illinois

Rachelle Coriddi went 5 for 8 on the day, leading Illinois to two wins Friday at the Speedline Invitational in Clearwater, Fla.

Coriddi went 4 for 4 and scored two runs in the Illini''s 6-0 victory against Villanova. In the UI''s 2-1 win against Hofstra, Coriddi was 1 for 4.

Ex-Boilermaker Painter keeping Southern Illinois on map

CARBONDALE – For five years, Matt Painter watched Bruce Weber pass out T-shirts at summer camps and unload bags from the team bus. Weber was a head coach acting like an assistant. A hungry one.

The lessons from the School of Weber have turned out to be handy for Painter. In his first year as head coach, Painter has led Southern Illinois to a 24-3 record, a Top 25 ranking and an almost-perfect Missouri Valley Conference record. Only a loss Monday at Northern Iowa kept the Salukis from finishing 18-0 and matching Oklahoma''s Valley record ... set in 1928.

Big Ten showing true colors to UI

Lately, it seems nothing can stop Illinois'' orange rush.

But Big Ten and NCAA tournament rules might put an end to one Illini streak.