Hall of Fame
i took my kids over to atkins last night. this is what i was able to observe between my oldest child asking me "did you see that dad?" and my twins hitting me up for coloring pages and crayons. in almost completely random order...Not sure what's going on with Illinois, but it's not good. Playing their usual killer schedule and....getting killed! Brown missed the Carolina trip so that didn't help. Clark is playing at #4 and struggling. The bottom half of the order used to be a strength, not so this season. Not sure what happened to Khilf? He could probably help out, maybe injured? At this rate it's going to be a disappointing season to say the least. Missing the 2 guys that transferred out of course, but even with those losses, they should be doing better.
And we're hosting the finals in 2022, unless recruiting picks up significantly looks like another missed chance to play at home.
...the illini picked up the doubles point (which is something i've read they had difficulty with last season). there were some different pairings for doubles and changes to the singles lineup from our last visit. "siphs" (montsi) rolled through his match. we sat a few courts away from it so i could follow it too closely but it didn't seem like his opponent had many answers for montsi's play. i saw a few lengthy points on court 3 but most of them seemed fairly brief and there didn't seem to be much "downtime". so at that point u of i was up 2-0 in the meet. freshman lucas horve has been playing 5 and 6 singles this season. i saw his first match of the season. he was fighting hard. iirc, it went to a 10 point breaker. at around 3-4 in the breaker, horve hit a shot straight into the tape that went straight up into the air...and came down on his side of the court. he would go on to lose that match. in retrospect that one point is a pretty accurate summary of the season so far. he's had some rough loses this season but it seems as if he may be finding his "legs" and if he can i could see him perhaps turning into a "mini-zeke" (if montsi hasn't already claimed that title). it seemed like the second set of every singles match was extremely competitive. iirc, it was 4 all in the second set of ab's match so there was a moment there when it seemed like he might start to battle back. budic had set points in the second set of his match. zeke clark pulled out the second set before it seemed like he hit the wall at 2-1 in the third. i thought when i was watching this live that the illini were on the verge of rallying in some of these singles matches but i was wrong. i couldn't quite tell if that was due to a letdown or if the baylor player just slammed the door.
when i watched this meet in person it seemed like many of the singles matches got off to a slow start from the home team's perspective. maybe that's an issue? maybe baylor is stacked this year? maybe there are some players who are inexperienced or rusty at the moment. while this isn't the spot a fan wants to see their team in, i believe dancer will right the ship. afterall, he's outlasted the likes of zook, beckman, cubit, weber, groce, walker and more i'm probably forgetting.