The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

Will Payne

Will Payne, Assistant Sports Editor

Punter Blake Hayes on the sidelines during the second half of the game against the Rutgers on Oct. 30. Hayes and other players from the team receive All-Big Ten Honors.

Five Illini earn All-Big Ten honors

By Will Payne, Assistant Sports Editor December 2, 2021
Running back Josh McCray (0) celebrates with defensive lineman Roderick Perry II the teams victory against Penn State Oct. 23. The long battle was won with strong performances from the offensive linemen and running backs.

Explosive Illini running game proves vital to Penn State upset

By Will Payne, Assistant Sports Editor October 24, 2021
Kicker Will McManus commits to Illini Football as a tight end in line to replace kicker James McCourt once he leaves.

Kicker Will McManus commits to Illinois football

By Will Payne, Assistant Sports Editor October 20, 2021
Sophomore Chase Brown runs with the ball against Charlotte on Saturday. Chase Brown worked hard to get to where he is at with his coaches pushing him hard.

Chase Brown stuffs stat sheet against Charlotte

By Will Payne, Assistant Sports Editor October 3, 2021
The swim and dive team poses for a team photo outside of the ARC. The first event is on Oct. 9 at the ARC for the annual Orange & Blue meet.

Illinois swim and dive set for 2021-22 season

By Will Payne, Assistant Sports Editor September 27, 2021
Quarterback Brandon Peters prepares to receive the snap during the game against Maryland on Friday. After missing two games due to an injury, Peters returned on Friday, though an underwhelming performance drew concerns about the Illinis  quarterback situation.

Illini quarterbacks struggle to produce as losses pile up

By Will Payne, Assistant Sports Editor September 20, 2021
Quarterback Artur Sitkowski hands the ball off to running back Jakari Norwood during the game against UTSA on Sept. 4. With uncertainty at the quarterback position, the Illini will need consistent production from their running backs.

Illini running backs look to carry more of offensive load

By Will Payne, Assistant Sports Editor September 13, 2021
Illinois cornerback Nate Hobbs celebrates a fumble recovery and touchdown during the game against Rutgers.  Hobbs will be playing his rookie season with the Las Vegas Raiders in the NFL.

Former Illinois players look to impress during the 2021 NFL season

By Will Payne, Assistant Sports Editor September 11, 2021
Running back Mike Epstein flies through the air while clutching a football in a game against Minnesota. Epstein is returning for his fifth season with the Illini.

Epstein returns for another season in backfield with Illini

By Will Payne, Assistant Sports Editor August 20, 2021
Former Illini baseball player Nathan Lavender walks off the field after pitching three outs on April 18 against Purdue. Nathan Lavender will now be playing in the MLB with the New York Mets.

Former Illini Nate Lavender adjusts to life as a pro

By Will Payne, Assistant Sports Editor July 31, 2021
Aidan Laughery poses for a photo in Illinois gear. Laughery recently committed to the Illinois football family for the upcoming fall season.

2022 running back Aidan Laughery commits to Illinois

By Will Payne, Assistant Sports Editor July 14, 2021
Jayden Epps smiles while coaching kids participating in a free basketball camp at Fairlawn Recreation Center April 8. Epps recently committed to the Illinois basketball program for the upcoming season.

2022 guard Jayden Epps announces commitment to Illinois

By Will Payne, Assistant Sports Editor July 13, 2021
Senior Emilee Duong finishes up a match against Michigan State April 9 at Atkins Tennis Center. The team prepares to take on Purdue in the Big Ten tournament Thursday.

Illinois heads to Madison to compete in Big Ten tournament

By Will Payne, Assistant Sports Editor April 28, 2021
Athletic director Josh Whitman (left) poses with new head wrestling coach Mike Poeta at a press conference Thursday. Poeta takes over for recently retired coach Jim Heffernan.

Poeta begins new chapter in wrestling program

By Will Payne, Assistant Sports Editor April 25, 2021
New head wrestling coach Mike Poeta instructs a wrestler from the sidelines during the meet against Purdue on Jan. 22. Poeta was previously the assistant coach for four years but was promoted after previous head coach Jim Heffernan retired.

Mike Poeta announced as new wrestling head coach

By Will Payne, Assistant Sports Editor April 21, 2021
Senior Emilee Duong swings at the tennis ball during their match on April 9 against Michigan. The Womens Tennis team celebrates finishing their regular season by beating Northwestern.

Illinois pulls off huge upset against No. 7 Northwestern

By Will Payne, Assistant Sports Editor April 18, 2021
Freshman Kate Duong hits a ball during a match against Michigan State on April 9. The Illinois womens tennis team will play their final match of the regular season on Sunday against Northwestern at Atkins Tennis Center.

Illinois to finish off regular season against Northwestern

By Will Payne, Assistant Sports Editor April 17, 2021
Senior Asuka Kawai and sophomore Josie Frazier get ready to start the match against Michigan on Friday. The Women’s Tennis Team continues to keep their momentum up and won against Purdue on Sunday.

Illinois drops match to Michigan State, wins against Purdue

By Will Payne, Assistant Sports Editor April 11, 2021
Freshman Kate Duong celebrates after winning a point in her doubles match against Wisconsin Feb. 26 at Atkins Tennis Center. The Illinois womens tennis team will face Michigan State Friday in Urbana, Illinois, before traveling to West Lafayette, Indiana, for its match against Purdue Sunday.

Illinois prepares to take on Michigan State, Purdue

By Will Payne, Assistant Sports Editor April 8, 2021
Head coach Evan Clark waits for Kate Duong and Ashley Yeah to cool down before giving them some tips during their doubles match against Wisconsin Feb. 26. Clark has transformed the program since taking over as head coach in 2016.

Evan Clark takes women’s tennis program to new heights

By Will Payne, Assistant Sports Editor April 8, 2021
Senior Asuka Kawai begins a backhand swing during a match against Wisconsin on Feb. 26. The Fighting Illini women’s tennis team is scheduled to play Wisconsin and Minnesota this weekend in their respective cities.

Red-hot Illinois to visit Wisconsin, Minnesota

By Will Payne, Assistant Sports Editor March 26, 2021
Senior Emilee Duong celebrates after winning a point against Wisconsin on Feb. 26. The Illinois women’s tennis team defeated Indiana and Purdue this weekend at Atkins Tennis Center.

Illinois defeats Indiana and Purdue in Big 10 doubleheader

By Will Payne, Assistant Sports Editor March 21, 2021
Freshman Kate Duong returns the ball during a match against Wisconsin on Feb. 26. Illinois will face Iowa today.

Illinois hosts Iowa, Nebraska for Big Ten doubleheader

By Will Payne, Assistant Sports Editor March 13, 2021
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