UI roundup: Volleyball team picked fifth in Big Ten

CHAMPAIGN — Big Ten volleyball is shaping up to be as competitive as ever this fall. Case in point, Illinois coming in at No. 14 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association preseason poll but still fifth when it comes to Big Ten teams. That held true in the Big Ten preseason poll released Tuesday.

Tuesday's prep highlights: SJ-O soccer powers past Monticello

In volleyball

Cissna Park Tip-Off

At Cissna Park
■ Armstrong-Potomac 2, Christ Lutheran 0. Holley Hambleton had two kills and eight digs and Madi Gayheart contributed nine assists and nine digs for the Trojans in their 25-12, 25-8 win.

Survey Says: Caleb Day and Man Berg

We asked the Illinois football players 10 questions about their likes and dislikes. We will publish their responses each day leading up to the opener against Murray State on Sept. 3. Today’s guests ...
Defensive back Caleb Day ...

Will the Cubs win the World Series?
Not a fan ... maybe.

Megginson, mates earn day of rest

CHAMPAIGN — For the first time this month, the Illinois football team has Saturday off.

“You kind of just lose track of days over camp,” Illinois offensive lineman Gabe Megginson said after Tuesday’s workout. “Some of the guys are like, ‘Is (the opener) this Saturday?’ ”

The Illini don’t play their first game until Sept. 3 against Murray State.

N-G Exclusive: Beckman might return to C-U

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — As the one-year anniversary of his firing at Illinois approaches, Tim Beckman has a new gig.

North Carolina officials confirmed Tuesday that Beckman is a volunteer assistant on Larry Fedora’s staff.

The Tar Heels play at Memorial Stadium in a prime-time game on Sept. 10.

No word yet on whether Beckman will be a part of the travel party.

STM's new AD makes himself at home

CHAMPAIGN — Ben Sankey had two bags for much of his 20s, and in those bags sat all of his belongings.

A call could come at any time that changed his life, whether that be a call to the coaches’ office or the ringing of his cellphone, telling him he’d been traded or a team was interested in his services. He had to remain ready.

Zilis' top area volleyball setters

Preps coordinator Anthony Zilis breaks down some of the area’s top setters this season:   

Mica Allison, Jr., St. Thomas More – The 6-foot Auburn commit ranks as one of the top setters in the nation. While splitting her time between hitter and setter last season, she piled up 356 kills at 4.14 per set.

Zilis' volleyball storylines: Michael wants to finish strong

Michael, Spartans set sights on postseason run

ST. JOSEPH — While her father, Tom Michael, makes the daily commute from St. Joseph to Eastern Illinois University every day for his job as athletic director, Kylie Michael doesn’t frequent Charleston nearly as much.

Who has questions?

Our college basketball beat writer Scott Richey will answer them Wednesday  — and nothing's off limits. Simply submit them by clicking here

Prep Soccer: SJ-O vs. Monticello 8/23/16

St. Joseph-Ogden vs. Monticello in a prep soccer match at Monticello High School on Tuesday, August 23, 2016.