The Morning Dump is back from a little illness-related vacation. It’s been a pretty good few days for Illini sports, starting with the Soccer team-Big Ten Tourneament champs!
Vanessa DiBernardo capped a heart-pumping Big Ten tournament run — one that included three straight overtime games — with a goal in the extra period to give the Illini a 2-1 victory against Penn State in the championship match.
11 straight unbeaten? Winners of three consecutive overtime games in the BTT? Seems like at least one of the fall sports is peaking at the right time! The Illini will host defending champs Notre Dame on Sunday.
The Fighting Illini swimming and diving team defeated both Illinois-Chicago (181.5-60.50) and Wisconsin-Milwaukee (146.5-95.50) to improve to 3-2 on the season Saturday afternoon in Chicago.
Three straight wins for the Aquatic Illini. They’re at home on Friday against ISU.
Juniors B.J. Futrell (133 pounds), Jordan Blanton (174 pounds) and Conrad Polz (165 pounds) each were victorious in their respective weight classes at the Loras Open on Saturday in Dubuque, Iowa, which came as little surprise to their head coach.
The Wrasslin’ Illini are coming off a disappointing season last year. However, they return a ton of talent as is evidenced by their strong start at the Loras Open.
“It’s still a long way to go, a work in progress,’’ Weber said. “I loved how aggressive the freshmen were.
“My biggest challenge is figuring out rotations. I guess it’s good we have a few more home games to figure it out before we go to Cancun and go to Maryland.”
Weber isn’t kidding. We’ve got a bit of a logjam in the backcourt as no fewer than five players (DJ, Paul, Bertrand, Maniscalco, and Abrams) have made legitimate arguments for starting spots! In the frontcourt, Shaw continues his strong play, though I still believe Griffey will be the starter. You can read the live chat transcript here . We’ll be doing this every game this year. Also, be advised, there will be an extensive individual player review with plus/minus stats up later today.