Local college sports briefs

February 17, 2014 

Men's volleyball

Bearcats collects first-ever home win

LEBANON -- The McKendree men's volleyball team shook off a slow start to defeat Culver-Stockton College in four sets on Friday at the Harry M. Statham Sports Center. The Bearcats won by scores of 21-25, 25-10, 25-14 and 25-22.

McKendree collected its first-ever home victory in its inaugural season. The Bearcats move to 2-12 on the year.

Freshman middle blocker paced McKendree with 14 kills, while freshman outside hitter Mike Polizzi chipped in with nine attacks. Freshman right-side hitter Eric Abrolat put down eight assisted blocks up front for the Bearcats, while freshman outside hitter Dustin Borenstein handled a team-best 11 digs.

Freshman setter Jack MacLean handed out a match-high 42 assists for the Bearcats, who improve to 1-2 in home matches in 2014.

After dropping the first set, McKendree responded with a dominant performance in set two to knot the contest. As a team, the Bearcats hit .600 as they raced to a 7-1 lead. The advantage quickly grew to 17-5 as McKendree continued to rebound from the first-set loss. Patterson had five kills in the set for McKendree.

The third set was up for grabs before McKendree used a strong finishing kick to take a 2-1 lead in sets over the Wildcats. The Bearcats clung to a 12-10 lead before scoring eight of the next 10 points to build a 20-12 lead. Borenstein had a pair of kills during the decisive run for the Bearcats.

Culver-Stockton (2-9) led for most of the fourth set before McKendree pulled even at 20-20 thanks to another kill from Borenstein. That attack sparked a 6-2 run that closed the match for the Bearcats, which ended on a service ace from Borenstein.

Nick Regester had 14 kills to lead Culver-Stockton, while Sam Rabidoux added 10 kills. Grant Thompson handed out 34 assists for the Wildcats.

Men's wrestling

Cougars overpower Lindenwood-Belleville

EDWARDSVILLE -- Five Southern Illinois University Edwardsville wrestling seniors competed in their final home meet of the season with the Cougars earning a split at the Vadalabene Center.

SIUE, 4-14, overpowered Lindenwood-Belleville 54-0 and then dropped a 29-6 match to Indiana.

"We saw a lot of the things we had been working on in practice," said SIUE coach Jeremy Spates. "We're making progress and are working in the right direction."

SIUE senior Josh Wood said the home finale was emotional for the Cougars.

"For me and for every senior, I think it meant a lot," Wood said. "It's an emotional time knowing we won't be back in this same facility. That's why we came out, and we fought hard. We just couldn't get things going our way."

The seniors competing in their final home event were Wood, Deshoun White, Matt Lester, Logun Taylor and David Devine.

Wrestling in front of numerous SIUE wrestling alumni, including Hall of Fame coach Larry Kristoff, SIUE was dominant against the Lynx of Lindenwood-Belleville with six pins. The winning score was as close as any SIUE team has ever finished since the 1982-83 team blanked Truman State (then Northeast Missouri State) 57-0 in a dual meet.

Dakota Leach, Patrick Myers, Brandon Brindley, Jake Vitale, White, and Devine all recorded first-period pins against the Lynx. Vitale, competing in his regular season home debut, would get his pin the fastest with a 47-second victory over Josh Eidson at 165 pounds.

Leach and Jake Residori were the lone double winners for the Cougars.

Leach, a 125-pounder, defeated Indiana's Alonzo Shepherd 5-1 to go along with his pin over Lindenwood-Belleville's Zach Zvonar in 2:33.

Residori topped Indiana's Matt Irick 6-4 and took a 12-2 major decision over Lindenwood-Belleville's Zach Hausman at 174 pounds.

Six of the matches against Indiana were decided by four points or less.

The Cougars now embark on a five-day road trip that includes five Southern Conference (SoCon) teams. All of the matches will take place in the state of North Carolina.

SIUE faces Gardner-Webb and Campbell on Wednesday. On Saturday, the Cougars meet the Citadel and take on North Carolina in a nonconference event. On Sunday, SIUE closes out the regular season with matches against Davidson and Appalachian State.

"It's going to be a long, grueling trip," said Spates. "I think we want to go out and compete but stay healthy so we can be ready for the conference championships."

The SoCon Championships are set for Mar. 8 at Buies Creek, N.C.

McKendree bests Indianapolis in dual

LEBANON --In a matchup of two teams tied at No. 13 In NCAA Division II, the McKendree University wrestling team came out on top on 27-13 over visiting University of Indianapolis.

The Bearcats improved to 11-2 overall, including 3-0 at home this season.

The Bearcats got off to a fast start with back-to-back pinfall wins at 125 and 133 pounds to open the dual. Junior Jose Torres pinned Taylor Fee in 4:50 and senior Brenden Murphy followed with a pin over Andrew Frey in 2:00 to put McKendree in front 12-0.

The Greyhounds got on the board with a major decision win at 141 pounds, but graduate student Kyle Williams (Mascoutah) extended the Bearcat lead to 16-4 with an 8-0 shutout over Dylan Kavanaugh at 149 pounds.

Indianapolis cut the deficit to 16-10 following back-to-back decision winsat 157 and 165 pounds, but McKendree rattled off three-straight wins to jump out to a 27-10 advantage. Junior Luis Alba earned a 11-3 major decision over Shelby Mappes at 174 pounds, and junior John Vogtfollowed with a close 2-0 decision over Geroge Lopez at 184 pounds. No. 4 ranked Julian Smith then posted an 18-5 major decision over Jared Boehm at 197 pounds.

The Greyhounds earned a close 3-1 decision win at heavyweight to close out the dual 27-13.

Men's tennis

Cougars selected to finish seventh in OVC

EDWARDSVILLE -- Ohio Valley Conference tennis coaches have made their choices for the upcoming spring season with Sourthern Illinois University Edwardsville men's tennis selected to finish seventh among 10 teams.

SIUE junior Marten Jonsson was selected as a member of the OVC's Top Ten Players Rankings. Jonsson collected a team-leading 16 singles victories for the Cougars last season.

Austin Peay, the defending OVC champions, was picked to defend its title and received five first-place votes in the preseason poll. Eastern Kentucky was picked to finish second with three first-place votes. EKU was followed by Belmont, Tennessee Tech, Jacksonville State, Morehead State, SIUE, Eastern Illinois, Murray State, and Tennessee State in the poll.

Women's tennis

SIUE tabbed seventh in preseason poll

EDWARDSVILLE -- Ohio Valley Conference tennis coaches have made their choices for the upcoming spring season, having selected Southern Illinois University Edwardsville women's tennis to finish seventh among 11 teams.

SIUE sophomore Monique Krutakwas selected as a member of the OVC's Top Ten Players Rankings. Krutak led SIUE last season with a 16-4 record.

Eastern Kentucky, the defending OVC champions, was picked to defend its title and received eight first-place votes in the preseason poll. Eastern Kentucky was followed by Murray State, Jacksonville State, Eastern Illinois, UT Martin, Morehead State, SIUE, Belmont, Austin Peay, Southeast Missouri, and Tennessee State in the poll.


Powerful Oklahoma defeats Cougars

TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Southern Illinois University Edwardsvillesoftball team resumed play at the Arizona State Littlewood Classic, facing defending national champion Oklahoma at Farrington Stadium.

The Cougars fell 7-2 to the seventh-ranked Sooners, a day after suffering a 5-2 defeat at the hands of fifth-ranked Arizona State. SIUE is now 1-6 on the season but has already played four teams ranked in the top 25 nationally.

"I'm proud of how we competed (against Oklahoma)," Head Coach Sandy Montgomery said. "We weren't intimidated, and we kept at it. These games are good experience for us; hopefully they will pay off at the end of the season."

Rachel Keller delivered a two-RBI double in the seventh inning against Oklahoma, as the Cougars notched a season-high eight hits. Each of SIUE's eight hits came from a different player on the roster.

"We're starting to show what we're capable of offensively," Head Coach Sandy Montgomery said. "We still have a long way to go, but we're being more aggressive early in the count and we're taking quality at-bats."

Montgomery was also pleased with the way her team competed throughout the entire game against one of the top-ranked teams in the country.

"Scoring two runs in the seventh was good for us," Montgomery said. "We competed all the way through."

Against Arizona State on Friday night, the Cougars used RBI's from Alex McDavid and Allison Smiley to narrow the hosts' lead to 3-2 in the fourth inning. The undefeated Sun Devils responded when Bethany Kemp hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the fifth to seal the win for the hosts.

SIUE continues its five-game weekend when they take on third-ranked Washington Saturday night. The game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. CT.

"Washington is going to be tough," Montgomery added. "They're a very disciplined hitting team, and they're swinging the bats well. We'll keep competing tonight, and we'll try to play the way we want to play."

Women's lacrosse

McKendree falls in season opener

LEBANON-- The McKendree University women's lacrosse team dropped its season opener 21-4 to visiting Grand Valley State University.

The Bearcats fall to 0-1 overall on the season and will host Shorter University on Friday, Feb. 21 at 4 p.m.

McKendree found the back of the net three times in the first half on Sunday. Freshman attacker Hannah Schneider scored her first collegiate goal just under six minutes into the first half to cut the deficit to 3-1, and the Bearcats struck again with 13:18 left in the first half on a goal by sophomore attacker Rianne Holzmeyer off an assist by freshman midfielder Morgan Cremen to make the score 7-2.

Cremen scored her first collegiate goal with 1:30 left in the first half off an assist by sophomore midfielder Shirley Boland to make the score 10-3 at the half.

Boland scored an unassisted goal, her first of the season, with 7:37 left in the game.

Freshman goalie Amy Porta fell to 0-1 on the season and had five saves in the loss.

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