DeBruler, Brown help Illinois take second place

DAYTON, Ohio – The future looks bright for coach Don Hardin's Illinois volleyball squad, but the present isn't cloudy, either.

Freshman Laura DeBruler recorded 62 kills at the Dayton Flyer Classic, leading the Illini to second place Saturday.

Purple Raiders ranked among nation's elite this season

One of the best high school volleyball teams in the United States will play this year in Champaign-Urbana.


Tate: Trip could bring good fall

CHAMPAIGN – With Bruce Weber's Illini leaving Friday for a five-game Canadian tour, it's time to shift our thoughts from recent recruiting disappointments to the 2007-08 Illini varsity.

There is no prolific scorer, no one to crack the 20-point barrier. Of course, in the last 17 years, only Brian Cook reached that figure, and he did it exactly at 20.0 in 2003. Hey, the No. 3 scorer in Illini history was Dee Brown, and he never averaged more than 14.2 points in a season.

Vega powers Maroons to comeback win

CHAMPAIGN – Champaign Central midfielder Ricky Vega scored a goal and assisted on another to lead the Maroons to a 2-1 season-opening win against Quincy on Saturday.

The Maroons trailed 1-0 at the half before Matt Bragg set up Vega's score midway through the second half.

Chargers, Leshoure pass test

NORMAL – Mikel Leshoure has beaten a lot of teams with his rushing.

On Friday, with Centennial locked in a struggle against Normal West, the senior tailback did it with receiving.

Allen's return for Danville one to remember

DANVILLE – The "signature play," as B.J. Luke calls it, had Daveon Allen's autograph.

Allen accepted a handoff from teammate Clowzell Adams and raced 83 yards down the west sideline with the opening kickoff Friday night at Whitesell Field to give Danville all the points it would need in a 21-0 first-game Big 12 Conference win against Urbana.

All's well for M-S Bulldogs in opener

FAIRBURY – Andrew Brewer rushed for 120 yards and scored three touchdowns on eight carries as Mahomet-Seymour steamrolled Prairie Central 54-0 on Friday night.

"If the kids do what they're supposed to do and don't get fat, dumb and happy, we'll have an opportunity to have a good season," M-S coach Tom Shallenberger said. "We have 28 seniors, and it makes a big difference."

Maroons' mistakes too much to overcome

CHAMPAIGN – If Champaign Central retains the gift-giving mood it displayed Friday, the Maroons will boast of many satisfied friends around Dec. 25.

Central lost four fumbles, had a punt blocked and gave up a touchdown when another punt snap sailed over the punter's head and was recovered by Normal Community in the end zone.

'Madness' begins basketball season

CHAMPAIGN – Illinois Madness, the Illini basketball team's first practice of the season, will be at 9 p.m. Oct. 12.

This year's event, which will serve as a fundraiser for Coaches vs. Cancer, features the first men's basketball scrimmage, a shooting contest involving the men's and women's teams and a dunk contest.

Luttrell, Fairchild power GCMS running attack

GIBSON CITY – It might have been a rainy night, but that didn't slow Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley's senior-dominated power running game en route to a 24-6 victory against Paxton-Buckley-Loda on Friday night.

After a few scoreless possessions by both teams, the Falcons' first score was set up by a 70-yard run by tailback Brenton Fairchild.