College Sports

Triad product receives all-region soccer honors

News-Democrat

Fontbonne University women’s soccer senior Natalie Sipole garnished 2016 National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-Central Region honors. Sipole, a midfielder from Triad High School, was named to the third team and is just the third Griffin to earn All-Region honors in the history of the program.

She was one of four St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference honorees on the women’s side and one of two midfielders.

Sipole recorded a team-high 11 assists in a season where the Griffins reached the SLIAC Tournament Championship game for the first time in 20 years. Those 11 assists are tied for first on the SLIAC leaderboard and puts her fourth all-time at Fontbonne for a single season.

This year Sipole was a first-team all-SLIAC honoree and was also named to the 2016 SLIAC all-tournament team. She was also named to the first-team all-SLIAC as a junior and is a member of the SLIAC All-Academic Team as a speech-language pathology major.

The Griffins finished the regular season with a 12-7-2 overall record and went 8-1 in conference play.

SIUE wrestling

Looking for its first win of the season, the SIUE wrestling team heads to Evanston for an 8 p.m. Saturday matchup against the Northwestern Wildcats.

Northwestern will be the third-consecutive Big Ten Conference opponent for the Cougars. SIUE dropped matches to Indiana 21-16 and Illinois 30-10.

SIUE head coach Jeremy Spates said he wants to see a big effort out of the Cougars.

“That’s the biggest thing that we have been preaching,” said Spates. “It doesn’t matter who you wrestle, just go out and compete.”

Jake McKiernan, Jake Tindle and Freddie Rodriguez all won their matches Wednesday against Illinois. McKiernan bested the No. 6 heavyweight in the nation and improved to 14-4 this season. Tindle is 9-3 at 197 pounds. Rodriguez, ranked No. 12 nationally, is 10-1 at 125 pounds.

Northwestern enters the match with a 4-1 record. The Wildcats’ first four wrestlers are freshmen. Mitch Sliga, a 184-pounder, is the lone Northwestern opponent ranked in his weight class. Sliga, Johnny Sebastian (174) and Jacob Berkowitz (197) are undefeated in their five dual matches this season.

McKendree men’s basketball

The McKendree Bearcats will continue its eight-game home stand Saturday evening by playing host to Trevecca Nazarene University. Tip-off for the non-conference affair is set for 7 p.m. at the Harry M. Statham Sports Center.

The Bearcats will be looking to get back to the .500 mark this season as they bring a 3-4 record into Saturday’s contest. McKendree rolled to an 84-60 victory Wednesday at home over Central Christian College. Senior guard Michael Jackson (O’Fallon) and junior guard Justin Blanks each notched a double-double in the contest as Blanks had 20 points and a game-high 12 rebounds, while Jackson contributed 20 points and 10 rebounds in the effort.

McKendree took a 38-24 lead at the half, then pulled away by shooting 55.6 percent from the floor over the final 20 minutes. The Bearcats also held a 48-32 margin in rebounding along with a 40-0 edge in bench scoring against the Saints.

Trevecca Nazarene brings a 2-7 record to the Statham Center on Saturday. The Trojans began a two-game road swing through the St. Louis area Thursday evening with a 78-65 loss at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Percy Blade led Trevecca Nazarene with 17 points and eight rebounds, while Donovan Donaldson netted 15 points in the contest. Devin Whitfield, who is the Trojans’ leading scorer this season, added 14 points and seven rebounds against the Tritons.

The Trojans also hold a slight 5-4 lead in the all-time series with the Bearcats.

Following Saturday’s game, McKendree will wrap up its pre-holiday schedule on Wednesday at home against Salem International University. The Bearcats will then have more than two weeks off before returning to action Dec. 30 at home against Robert Morris University-Peoria.

LU-Belleville men’s basketball

The Lindenwood University-Belleville Lynx continue their home stretch Saturday afternoon as they host Crowley’s Ridge College. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m.

The Lynx (8-2, 3-1 AMC) picked up their fourth-straight win on Wednesday night, cruising to a 96-73 win over St. Ambrose. The team shot 42.4 percent from the floor and sank 11 more 3-pointers, but what stood out was its performance on the glass.

LU-Belleville totaled a season-high 58 boards, including 45 on the defensive end. David Shepard had 12 points and a team-high 14 boards.

The last time the Lynx and Pioneers (1-10) squared off, LU-Belleville scored a season-high 126 points in a 28-point win back on Nov. 22.

SIUE men’s soccer

Three SIUE men’s soccer players picked up All-West Region honors from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA).

Senior defender Austin Ledbetter was selected to the first team. Junior forward Devyn Jambga earned a second-team selection. Junior goalkeeper Kyle Dal Santo was a third-team pick.

Ledbetter started all 22 games for the Cougars and finished second on the team in scoring with 13 points. He tied for the team lead with six goals. He was selected as the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year and Defender of the Year, as well as the Most Valuable Player in the MVC Tournament.

Jambga led the Cougars in scoring with 15 points on six goals and three assists.

Dal Santo played every minute in goal for the Cougars. He was second in the MVC and 15th in the NCAA with a 0.71 goals against average. He recorded nine shutouts this season and has 20 for his career, which is tied for second most all time at SIUE.

After advancing to the NCAA Tournament for the 23rd time in school history, SIUE men’s soccer knocked out No. 13 Michigan State and No. 11 Butler on its way to a berth in the Sweet 16. The Cougars’ run ended with a 2-1 loss to No. 2 Wake Forest.

LU-B football

The Mid-States Football Association All-Academic Team has been announced, and the Lynx had six players collect the honor.

To be eligible on the MSFA All-Academic team, student-athletes must be of at least junior academic standing, maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 or above and must be a starter or key reserve.

Picking up the award for LU-Belleville: Adnan Al-Amami, Clay Thomas, Armani Tufaga, Billy Arndt, Devin Jackson and Gavin Stevens.

LU-B men’s tennis

Lindenwood University-Belleville head men’s and women’s tennis coach Eric Sturgis has announced the signing of Facundo Agustin Franchi.

“Facundo will be a great addition to our team this spring,” said Sturgis. “Transferring from a strong program will make him prepared to help us achieve our goals.”

Franchi is set to join the Lynx after transferring from Tennessee Wesleyan University.

While at LU-Belleville, Franchi plans on majoring in Exercise Science.

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