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Spring 2019 Club Sports Newsletter
Featured Club: Illinois Men's Volleyball Club

After a first semester that included tournament victories at Indiana University, Michigan State, Northern Illinois University and a second place finish at their home tournament, the Illinois Men’s Volleyball Club (IMVB) entered the spring semester ranked 12th in the nation.  Second semester had its share of ups and downs, beginning with second place finishes at the Hoosier-Illini Tournament in Indiana and a 2nd place finish in the Big Ten Championship, followed by “some lackluster performances at Purdue and NIU” says President Alec Horne.

The IMVB qualified for the 2019 NCVF National Championship which occurred from April 18th to the 20th in Denver, Colorado. Horne says “Entering nationals we found our footing and beat some really good teams along the way”.  After easy wins against Maryland and Kentucky the first day, the men played an intense three set match against the then #1 team in the nation, UC-Santa Barbara, losing just by just 2 points. The next day the team breezed past Delaware and lost to Cal Poly.

“The final day it was win or go home, which apparently lit a fire under us,” says Horne. IMVB beat the 2x defending national champs San Diego State University in three sets, Marquette in three sets to advance to the semi-finals, then beat #2 in the nation Liberty University in two sets to qualify for the championship game.  Regarding the finale, Horne said “The championship game provided a crazy environment with thousands in the audience, and we were set for another rematch with Cal Poly. We won the first set and went up in the second, but Cal Poly rallied back to take that set. The third set was back and forth the entire time, eventually ending in extra points with Cal Poly on top”.

After a very successful season, three players finished with first team All American honors, Horne, Wesley Blodig, and Matt Breitbarth. “It was an awesome way to end the season, and I'm super proud of all of our guys!” said Horne.

Illini Boxing Club

The Illini Boxing Club wins the USIBA Men’s Team National Trophy in 2019, becoming back-to-back National Champions!

On March 22-24, 2019, the United States Intercollegiate Boxing Association hosted its sixth National Tournament at Syracuse University. The Illini Boxing Club entered 17 male and 5 female boxers. We return with 7 individual belts, won at various weight categories and experience divisions, along with the Men’s Team trophy, beating out the likes of the University of California Riverside, Virginia Military Institute, Texas A&M, Cornell University, Syracuse, and many more! The Illini Boxing Club at the University of Illinois remains the gold standard for collegiate boxing clubs across the nation.

The team has multiple opportunities to compete in numerous events during fall and spring semesters. However, the USIBA National Tournament is the event the team trains and prepares for all year. The three weekly practices, early Sunday morning runs, tough sparring, all the extra work done outside of practice times, the blood, sweat, and tears; it was all worth it!

Many thanks to the Office of Registered Organization and Campus Recreation for providing the club’s practice space and foundation to remain a successful club sport at the University of Illinois.

This year's USIBA National Champions
  • Diane Pedro, 125 lbs Female Novice Division (uncontested) Champion
  • Shelby Harrison, 152 lbs Female Novice Division (uncontested) Champion
  • Cedric Vargas, 114 lbs Male Beginner Division Champion
  • Mateo Bautista, 132 lbs Male Beginner Division Champion
  • Jesus Moreno, 152 lbs Male Beginner Division Champion
  • Kevin Grygo, 201 lbs Male Beginner Division Champion
  • Alexandro Griffin, 225+ Male Beginner Division (uncontested) Champion

*uncontested signifies that there were no other boxers at that weight and experience division


The Women’s Team


(From left to right) Diane Pedro, 125 lbs, Novice; Maria Martinez, 152 lbs, Beginner; Shelby Harrison, 152 lbs, Novice; Natalie Mills, 119 lbs, Beginner; Demi Ramirez, 132 lbs, Beginner











The Men’s Team


Lower row: Mateo Bautista, 132 lbs, Beginner; Vinny Aranas, 165 lbs, Beginner; Sharan Karthikeyan, 132 lbs, Beginner; Cedric Vargas, 114 lbs, Beginner; Kevin Zhagui, 141 lbs, Beginner; Albert Lopez, 189 lbs, Beginner

Upper row: Alexandro Griffin, 225+ lbs, Beginner; Chaitanya Shiromany, 152 lbs, Beginner; Jack Loper, 178 lbs, Beginner; Evan Armstrong, 178 lbs, Beginner; Ryan Rowden, 152 lbs, Novice; Darion Wiggs, 165 lbs, Beginner; Mateusz Cikowski, 152 lbs, Beginner; Jesus Moreno, 152 lbs, Beginner; Kevin Grygo, 201 lbs, Beginner; Simeon Trendafilov, 152 lbs, Beginner; Nick Bobber, 189 lbs, Beginner (not pictured)





The Coaches


The team was lead this year through the tournament by it’s student coaches (from left): Ramon Barriga (junior, Economics), Allan Castellon-Perez (senior, Civil Engineering), Danny Ayala (senior, Civil Engineering), Konstantinos Koiliaris (PhD, Computer Science), Francisco Carreon (junior, Computer Science), and Hubert Gao (Agriculture Consumer Economics, graduate May 2018, not pictured).

Illinois Women's Lacrosse Club

The Illinois Women’s Lacrosse Team (IWLT) is a competitive lacrosse club that aims to give new and veteran players the opportunity to continue their passion for lacrosse.  Practices occur two times a week during the winter and three times at the outdoor Complex Fields during the spring semester.  This spring, the women competed in two Tournaments.

At Miami of Ohio the team was scheduled for three games, two of which were rained out.  In their lone match against UW Madison, the women ran away with a 9-0 victory. 

On April 7th and 8th, the IWLT hosted a tournament on campus against Northwestern, Michigan State, and Minnesota.  The team was very competitive through each game and hopes to use the tournament as a stepping stone for more success next year.  Senior President Kirsten Habermann says the women “played very hard and very well, against 3 of the best teams in our Division.”

The tournament, which occurred on Mom’s Weekend was a great opportunity for the women’s Moms and families to show support.  The team used the tournament as an opportunity to honor the current seniors with Senior Night.  Habermann says “The team got us thank you notes and Starbucks gift cards which was super sweet”.  For Habermann, the tournament was the first time her Mom got to see her play during college and also marked the end of lacrosse career. 

Looking forward to next year, the Illinois Women’s Lacrosse Team hopes to add a coach in order to help make the team more unified and practices more structured.  Their season will begin with practices in the Fall semester.

Illini Rowing Club

On Saturday, April 13th we held our 7th Annual Illinois Collegiate Rowing Invitational at Clinton Lake in Farmer City. Teams from all over the midwest made the trip to central Illinois for an amazing day of racing. These teams include: Grand Valley State University, Miami University, St. Louis University, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, Marquette University, University of Chicago, North Park University, Wheaton College, Drake University, University of Dayton, Murray State University, Colorado State University, Milwaukee School of Engineering, and St. Mary-of-the-Woods College. Each team raced in multiple events, each being a distance of 2,000m long. 

Our Men’s Novice 8+ and Men’s Novice 4+ took home silver medals. The Women’s Varsity 8+ got 4th overall. The Men’s 2x got 5th overall. The Women’s Novice 4+ got 7th overall. Our Women’s Varsity 4+, sadly, did not complete their B final race due to a boat malfunction.

Full results are available here: http://www.row2k.com/results/resultspage.cfm?UID=38DD2AFEF72227CEAEBC89E687326E62&cat=6 

More information on our club can be found here: www.illinirowing.com 

We are also on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @illinirowing 

Now the whole team’s focus has been shifted to what’s next, the American Collegiate Rowing Association (ACRA) Henley and ACRA MN

Illinois Women's Rugby Football Club

Illinois Women’s Rugby Football Club is just wrapping up our Spring semester with a game at ISU this past Saturday, April 27th, at a tournament called Pack the Pitch. In this tournament, we raise money to donate to breast cancer research and get to play our favorite sport against multiple teams. This season, besides friendlies, we also played in another tournament called IOWA 7s in Iowa City, where we did another form of rugby with about half the amount of players on the field (lots of running!). We have two seasons: fall semester where we tend to play singular games, and spring semesters where we play in tournaments. 

Apart from our games, this year some of our team participated in Habitat for Humanity’s Build-a-thon, where we had the opportunity to fundraise $320 to support building houses in and out of our community! After the fundraiser, we built a structure and spent the night on South Quad to empathize and recognize some of the difficulties with homelessness in our community. 

Additionally, the women on rugby tend to be very close to each other outside of our games. We host various social events, from socials to study groups to even a banquet at the end of the semester, which we look forward to in the beginning of this May.  We love meeting new people and having a good time in and out of the sport. If you have any interest in joining, please email athenaf2@illinois.edu.

Illini Swim Club

Illini Swim Club has had a busy spring semester, attending invitational meets at Indiana University, Northwestern University, and Purdue University, as well as Collegiate Club Swimming Nationals at Ohio State University. ISC came in 4th overall at the Indiana Hoosier Invite, with top 3 finishes in the 200 freestyle, 100 IM, 50 backstroke, 200 IM, and 100 backstroke.

From March 29-31, ISC traveled to OSU to compete against over 1,800 athletes from all across the country in the first CCS Nationals held outside of Georgia Tech. Finalists included Wilson Burton in the 50 free and Caroline Caton in the 100 free, who finished 19th overall in their respective events, as well as Michael Chan in the 50 backstroke. Burton also set a new ISC team record in the 200 IM with a time of 2:05.88.

Additionally, team members swam many personal best times at Nationals this year. With the conclusion of the spring semester, ISC is looking forward to the fall to add new members, swim fast times, and have a lot of fun!

Illinois Triathlon Club

Illinois Triathlon Club attended the University of Dayton Indoor Triathlon in January. Katie Sledz showed her huge potential competing in her first triathlon. Tony Sarussi made an immense comeback, killing the swim, with his first race since June of 2017. Corey Zeistra represented the club for the first time, despite being one of the fastest cyclists on the club. Overall, the club did great with many firsts.

The USA Triathlon Collegiate Club National Championships was April 6th. 13 members aggressively competed in the Arizona heat among 1100 other triathletes from various colleges across the nation. The race started with an open water swim from a tread and athletes fought for their place in the water. It continued with the bike portion that was very curvy and hilly, but with little wind and beaming sun. The race finished with a run in the brutally hot desert trails. The men missed some of the heat going first with a water temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Drew Schwartz came in 172nd for men with a bike average of 22.3 mph; Robin Tu came in 195th and swam a great open water time with a pace of 1:40 min/100m; Griffin Bojan came in 197th for men, running at a speedy pace of 6:08 min/mile;. The women fought the dreadful desert heat with Danielle Leyva coming in 103rd for women; Emily Erlenbach ran for gold at a pace of 7:45 min/mile during the 10K run portion; Ava Fiandaca biked at an impressive speed of 19.3 mph. Illinois placed overall 28th for men and 32nd for women out of 92 teams. The Mixed Team Relay consisted of Tu, Erlenbach, Bojan, and Emma Wu and was named “Powered by Corn.” The team fiercely competed with their newest member, Freshman Emma Wu.

Several members of the Illinois Triathlon Club plan to race and train for Ironman 70.3 Muncie this summer. The club is excited to welcome new members the following academic semester. Tri the Illini, the club’s annual race, will have its 10th anniversary on October 6, 2019.

Monthly Motivation

"Success isn't owned.  It's leased and rent is due every day."

J.J Watt

Upcoming Club Sport Deadlines

*5/1 (Available beginning 4/1)

11:59 PM


Re-Registration (through RSO Office)

To be completed by Fall 19 President & Fall 19 Treasurer (quizzes included)


11:59 PM

(or RSO Office for Event Facility Requests)

Fall Practice Space Requests

Should be completed by Fall 19 President. Only practice requests required at this time (unless you know your competition schedule in which case, submit these to the RSO office as well).


11:59 PM


End of Semester Reports

To be completed by Spring 19 President.


11:59 PM


Review & Edits of Constitution Due

Should be completed by Fall 19 President. Review current constitution. Make any edits and resubmit to Club Sports Office

Does your club want to be featured?

Send recent results, pictures, and any recaps of club social or fundraising activities to clubsports@illinois.edu for a chance to be featured in next edition of the Club Sports Newsletter!

Contact Information

Kristen LaFleur, Assistant Director of Club Sports & Risk Management - kristenl@illinois.edu

Tony, Club Sports Program Assistant -  clubsports@illinois.edu