Sports in Champaign-Urbana are back! Is this a little soon? Absolutely, so let’s talk about it.
The University of Illinois athletic teams are trending upwards, I would like to think the majority would agree on this.
As of Sept. 19, the volleyball team is currently ranked 25 in the AP Top 25 poll, they have a record of 5-3 including a record of 3-1 in road matches. The Orange and Blue’s soccer team moved to an exciting 5-2-1, with a draw coming Sept. 11. The Illini have their second streak of three matches in a row without a loss this season. As for the men’s golf team, the Illini are ranked No. 11 in the preseason coach’s poll. The Fighting Illini always have a good men’s golf team. Wrestling, tennis, cross country, track and swimming all have not started yet.
Baseball also has yet to begin, however, the Orange and Blue finished last season 9-4 (including the two losses in the Big Ten Tournament), that season included a big 18-7 win over Penn State on May 19.
The basketball team is the one I’m most anticipating, considering it is not basketball season yet, well at least officially. The Fighting Illini are coming off a Big 10 championship and a second straight NCAA Tournament bid, the excitement for this upcoming season is sky high with the student season tickets being sold out within the first 36 minutes they became available.
Illinois has a reason for all of the excitement, having a 44-16 record in the Big 10, which is the best record for the past three seasons. Will Benjamin Donner be going to a game this year? The answer is: I hope so, I really hope so, and I am leaning toward a yes.
Illini football is back, well let’s be realistic, the team is playing outstandingly through the first three weeks of the season. They should very well be 3-0 going into their fourth game against Chattanooga on Thursday night, which happens to be the first Thursday night game held at Memorial Stadium. Sure, the Illini have been playing non-conference games, which they should have won. However, the Week 2 game at Indiana should have clearly been a win, and Big 10 commentators have said the same thing. This team is playing amazing football, however, I am not saying “I want Bama” or anything that ridiculous. I am just saying people need to watch out for the Fighting Illini.
As you could have probably imagined the Fighting Illini are my favorite college team. Also, I do believe Illinois’ sports are back to being a force to be reckoned with. Big 10 watch out! Until next time, I have been Benjamin Donner (Ben10), and I will see you all soon.
- Ben Donner lives in Streator and is a big sports fan. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.