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November 2011 Archives

Dear Alumni, Students and Friends,

I thank you for your support of Fighting Illini football during the 2011 regular season. Our team has become bowl-eligible for the second-straight season, making it the first Illinois squad to do so since 1992. I look forward to joining them and our fans at our third bowl game in the last five years. An announcement concerning the exact bowl, date and time that our team will compete will be made in the very near future. As with all the latest news, please check FightingIllini.com.

DeForest NCAA 100_3679.JPGFormer Illini Chris DeForest will look to earn his PGA Tour card over the next six days, as he is competing in the final stage of PGA Tour qualifying school from Nov. 30-Dec. 5 at PGA West in LaQuinta, Calif.  The 172 total qualifiers at the final stage will play six rounds at the Nicklaus Tournament Course & TPC Stadium Course, and the Top 25 will get their PGA Tour card. Follow the action by checking out the Q-School Leaderboard and the @illinigolf Twitter account.

Each week the Olympic Sports Update will provide a recap of all the Fighting Illini action from the previous week (Nov. 21-27). It was a light week for Illini Olympic sports over the Thanksgiving holiday with only volleyball and women's basketball in action. The volleyball team, who swept Northwestern and downed Iowa on Senior Night, tied for second in the Big Ten for the third year in a row and earned the No. 3 overall national seed in the NCAA Tournament. The women's basketball team competed at the San Juan Shootout and fell to Green Bay and Arizona State in Puerto Rico.

Illini in the NFL - Week 12

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Davis.jpgEach week the Illini in the NFL Update will provide coverage on how former Fighting Illini football players fared during the previous weekend. Brandon Lloyd scored a TD for the third week in a row, Vontae Davis nabbed his second interception of the season and Pierre Thomas had a touchdown and over 100 yards of offense to highlight Week 12. Read up on how the rest of the past Illini played and check out the links for video highlights.

Chip Shots with Nora Lucas

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Lucas.jpgGet behind the scenes of Illinois women's golf with Chip Shots, the online blog update for the squad. In this season's fifth edition, senior Nora Lucas recaps the fall season and provides an update on the team's preparation for the spring season.

Illini in the NFL - Week 11

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Lloyd-30-TD.jpgEach week the Illini in the NFL Update will provide coverage on how former Fighting Illini football players fared during the previous weekend. Brandon Lloyd found the end zone on a 30-yard TD catch and Arrelious Benn caught five passes to highlight Week 11. Read up on how the rest of the past Illini played and check out the links for video highlights.

Each week the Olympic Sports Update will provide a recap of all the Fighting Illini action from the previous week (Nov. 14-20). The soccer team ended its run in the NCAA Tournament after dropping a 1-0 contest to No. 4 Oklahoma State in Stillwater. The volleyball team split its weekend in Michigan, falling 3-1 to Michigan State before rebounding with a 3-1 win over No. 23 Michigan. The women's basketball team beat Memphis at home but fell to Oregon and Cal on the road. Jim Riddle and Jordan Hebert competed at the NCAA Cross Country Championships to close out the season while the wrestling team picked up a pair of wins over Lehigh and Clarion.



Joannides-Gray-Smile_0122.jpgGet behind the scenes of Illinois Gymnastics with Illini Ink - the weekly women's gymnastics journal. In this year's sixth edition, senior Kelsey Joannides provides an update on how the team is progressing in the gym along with plans for Thanksgiving break.

Senior Luke Guthrie will head to the 2011 Western Refining College All-America Golf Classic along with over two dozen of the nation's top collegiate golfers to play at the El Paso Country Club from Nov. 20-22. Guthrie is one of seven of the top 11 amateur golfers in the world traveling to the event, according to the R&A World Amateur Golf Rankings - Texas' Jordan Spieth, Washington's Chris Williams, Texas A&M's Jordan Russell, Arkansas Sebastian Cappelen, Stanford's Andrew Yun and San Diego State's J.J. Spaun. Check out what Guthrie had to say before heading to the event and find the tournament schedule below:



Each week the Olympic Sports Update will provide a recap of all the Fighting Illini action from the previous week (Nov. 7-13). The soccer team topped Notre Dame, 1-0, in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament and advanced to play Oklahoma State. The volleyball team won a pair of matches over top-25 opponents in No. 9 Penn State and No. 22 Ohio State. The women's basketball team opened its season by splitting a pair of contests while swimming and diving won its fourth meet in a row. Men's cross country advanced two individuals to the NCAA Championships while the women's team wrapped up the year at the NCAA Midwest Regional. The wrestling team also went 4-0 over the weekend.

Illini in the NFL - Week 10

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Mendenhall-2.jpgEach week the Illini in the NFL Update will provide coverage on how former Fighting Illini football players fared during the previous weekend. Rashard Mendenhall found the end zone twice, Brandon Lloyd caught his second TD as a Ram and Vontae Davis had his first interception of the year. Read up on how the rest of the past Illini played and check out the links for video highlights.

Each week the Olympic Sports Update will provide a recap of all the Fighting Illini action from the previous week (Oct. 31-Nov. 6). The soccer team won its first Big Ten Tournament title since 2003 after tallying three victories over Ohio State, Michigan State and Penn State. The volleyball team fell at Purdue in a midweek match but bounced back with a win over Indiana. Dennis Nevolo highlighted men's tennis action with a runner-up finish at the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships while the women's tennis team competed at Purdue. The swimming and diving team picked up three wins on the road, the women's golf team wrapped up its fall season with a second-place showing and the wrestling team kicked off its season.



Pieters-Spirit-Medal.jpg
Sophomore Thomas Pieters earned an individual gold medal at The Spirit International Amateur Championship after carding 13 birdies at the tournament. Pieters represented his home country of Belgium at the event in Houston and tied for the top spot in the men's individual competition with the most birdies over the four rounds at Whispering Pines Golf Club. He was one of six individuals to roll in 13 birdies along with Kelly Kraft and Nathan Smith from the United States, Carlos Ortiz of Mexico, Mackenzie Hughes from Canada and South Africa's Ruan de Smidt.

Illini in the NFL - Week 9

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Hayden.jpgEach week the Illini in the NFL Update will provide coverage on how former Fighting Illini football players fared during the previous weekend. A pair of past Illini, Pierre Thomas and Rashard Mendenhall, scored touchdowns, Kelvin Hayden picked off Curtis Painter and Neil Rackers was perfect on three field goals. Read up on how the rest of the past Illini played and check out the links for video highlights.

Sophomore Thomas Pieters will represent his home country of Belgium at The Spirit International Amateur Golf Championship in Houston, Texas, from Nov. 2-5 at the Whispering Pines Golf Club. The event, which was established in 2001, is a world class amateur golf event featuring 20 countries from six continents. Each country is represented by their two best men and two best women players. Pieters, the 2011 Belgian National Stroke Play Champion, will play with Thomas Detry, the 2011 Belgian National Match Play Champion, at the tournament, which can be followed through a live webcast. Check out what Pieters had to say before heading to the event along with other tournament information below:



Each week the Olympic Sports Update will provide a recap of all the Fighting Illini action from the previous week (Oct. 24-30). The soccer team ended the regular season by winning its eighth-consecutive game and will enter the Big Ten Tournament as the No. 2 seed. The volleyball team split a pair of matches, topping Wisconsin in the "Dig Pink" match before falling to Minnesota at home. Members of the men's gymnastics team helped the U.S. squad earn the bronze at the Pan American games while individuals from the men's tennis team competed at the Big Ten Indoor Championships. The cross country teams hosted the Big Ten Championships at the UI Arboretum while the swimming and diving team had its first road meet of the year.