Head coach Jim Heffernan has added duals with perennial NCAA title contenders Iowa State and Missouri to the 2009-10 schedule.
Oct. 14, 2009
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The University of Illinois announced its 2009-10 schedule Wednesday, highlighted by the addition of duals against Big 12 opponents Iowa State and Missouri to the always difficult slate. The Illini also will travel to Binghamton, N.Y., for the Journeymen/Asics Sprawl & Brawl duals, where they will face Pittsburgh, West Virginia and Davidson. In addition to a full slate of Big Ten duals, Midlands and the Las Vegas Invitational, Illinois' schedule will provide constant challenges throughout the season.
"I am pleased with the upgrades we have made to our schedule by adding two teams from the Big 12 in Iowa State and Missouri," head coach Jim Heffernan said. "Combined with our usually rigorous tournament and Big Ten schedule, I am confident this will help prepare us for the postseason."
Illinois starts the campaign strong, facing Missouri, which finished seventh at the 2009 NCAA Championships, in a dual on Nov. 12 at the Hearnes Center in Columbia, Mo. The next weekend, the Illini will send its dual starters to Sprawl & Brawl while other squad members return to Missouri for the Missouri Open. Two weeks later, the team will travel to the annually tough Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational.
The first home meet of the season will be against Findlay and McKendree at Huff Hall on Dec. 12 at noon. The Illini also will make their annual trip to Midlands during the holiday break on Dec. 29-30 at Welsh-Ryan Arena in Evanston, Ill. Just over a week later, Illinois will return home for a dual against SIU Edwardsville on Jan. 8 at 7 p.m.
The Orange and Blue enter the heart of their dual schedule with a final non-conference meet at Iowa State, which finished third at the 2009 NCAA Championships, on Jan. 16 before opening Big Ten action at Penn State on Jan. 22 and traveling to Michigan State on Jan. 24. The next weekend, Illinois visits Indiana and Northwestern for duals before returning home for four Big Ten duals in February.
The Illini host Minnesota on Feb. 5 at 7 p.m. and welcome Wisconsin to Huff Hall on Feb. 7 at 1 p.m. Illinois will face Ohio State, which finished second at the 2009 NCAA Championships, on Feb. 12 at 7 p.m. before wrapping up the conference dual season on Thursday, Feb. 18, against Purdue. Big Ten Championships will be held March 6-7 at Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor, Mich., with the 2010 NCAA Championships being held March 18-20 at the Qwest Center in Omaha, Neb.