College Sports

Local college sports briefs

Coomer steps down as SIUE tennis coach

EDWARDSVILLE Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Director of Athletics Brad Hewitt announced Tuesday that Jason Coomer will step down as the head coach of the men’s tennis program effective immediately to direct more of his attention to his administrative role with Cougar Athletics.

“Given the state of the higher education budget, Jason will be directing 100 percent of his time as an administrator and taking the lead in external fundraising for the department,” said Hewitt. “We knew when Jason was asked to take over the tennis program in 2010 that it would be for the short term. He has done a fantastic job of raising the level of competitiveness in the program, on the court, and in the classroom. The quality of the student-athletes he has recruited to SIUE has been outstanding.”

“It is definitely bittersweet to get to this point in the program’s history,” said Coomer. “While I will miss the day-to-day on court interaction that comes with a coaching role, I also understand it is time for this program to go to the next level, and the time that is demanded of the head coach should be the primary focus for our student-athletes.”

Hewitt said he will begin moving forward to fill the men’s tennis head coaching position.

LU-Belleville captures conference crown

In their first season in the American Midwest Conference, the Lindenwood University-Belleville Lynx men’s track and field made their mark, becoming the school’s third team this season to capture a conference title.

The Lynx took first place in the eight-team conference meet, edging out William Woods 198-194. The Lynx had 17 top-five finishes in the meet, including five first place finishes, from five different athletes.

Due to their efforts throughout the season and in the conference meet, Christian Herring (Belleville East) was named the Newcomer of the Year, Luke Joslin the Freshman of the Year, and Chris Sandefur was named the Coach of the Year.

The track and field teams will compete at the Dr. Keller Invitational, hosted by North Central College on Thursdayand Friday as the final tune up before NAIA Nationals on May 21-30th in Gulf Shores, Alabama.

Two Bearcats named to all-tournament team

Freshman attacker Paige Salthouse and freshman midfielder Dana DiPasquale were both named to the 2015 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference All-Tournament women’s lacrosse team.

In two conference tournament games, Salthouse scored four goals, and had three draw controls and two ground balls. DiPasquale had three goals with an assist and had four ground balls in two games.

The All-Tournament honor is the second postseason award for both players after earning All-Conference honors. Saltouse was a second-team selection, while DiPasquale was an honorable mention selection.

The Bearcats ended their season in the semifinals of the GLIAC Tournament with an overall record of 11-7. The 11 wins set a new program record for wins in a single season, eclipsing the previous mark of three during the 2014 season.

McKendree baseball season ends with losses

The McKendree University baseball team battled to the finish in both games of its Senior Day doubleheader on Sunday with Bellarmine University, but the visiting Knights came away with a pair of wins. Bellarmine rallied to take the opener 9-7 before holding off a late McKendree comeback in game two, 10-7.

McKendree ends its 2015 season with an overall record of 9-38. The Bearcats went 8-28 in Great Lakes Valley Conference play.

Following the first game of Sunday’s twin bill, McKendree honored its seven senior players in a special ceremony – infielder Pierce Borah (Mt. Vernon), infielder Jason Hobson, pitcher Vince Kiefer (New Athens), third baseman Jake Kline, outfielder Kyle Rutledge, pitcher Matt Sax and first baseman Jeff Tolliver (Salem).

Lynx add two players to men’s hockey team

The Lindenwood University–Belleville men’s hockey program and head coach Lindsay Middlebrook have announced the signing of Brady Bruneau and Dylan Bowerman for the 2015-16 season.

Bruneau is a 5-foot-9 forward from Calgary, Alberta. He played for the Strathmore Wheatland Kings of the Heritage Junior Hockey League. Bruneau scored five goals and seven assists in 42 games; including one short-handed goal and two game-winning tallies.

During the 2013-14 season, Bruneau played for his hometown Calgary Major Midget AA Blackhawks where he tallied nine goals and 17 assists in 26 games.

Bowerman is a 5-10 defenseman from Cochrane, Alberta. Bowerman joins the Lynx after finishing his junior hockey career with the Castlegar Rebels of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL). Bowerman was a veteran defenseman, posting eight goals and 26 assists in 130 regular season games with the Rebels over three seasons. The Cochrane, Alberta native also appeared in 30 playoff games for Castlegar netting a goal and seven assist.

Both players join this fall for the team’s second season of competition. The Lynx finished the inaugural season with a 29-2-1 record, with their only regulation losses coming to ACHA Division I Oklahoma.

McKendree’s Pearce named top field athlete

The McKendree University men’s track and field registered its highest-ever finish at the Great Lakes Valley Conference Outdoor Championships by placing third in the final team standings.

The Bearcats collected a total of 91.5 points to account for their third-place effort. McKendree’s previous best effort at the GLVC Outdoor Championships came in its first year as league members in 2013, when the team notched fourth place.

Freshman Ryan Pearce earned GLVC Field Athlete of the Year honors by dominating the throwing events at this year’s meet. Pearce won the shot put on with a long toss of 16.48 meters. That effort was a personal best for Pearce and also hit an NCAA Division II provisional qualifying standard.

Up next for McKendree is the Dr. Keeler Invitational, which will be contested Thursday and Friday on the campus of North Central College in Naperville.

McKendree freshman golfer is all-conference

The McKendree University men’s golf team narrowly missed one of the four spots available for match play at the 2015 Great Lakes Valley Conference Championship at Prairie View Golf Club in Carmel, Ind.

The Bearcats finished up the third and final round with a team score of 928, carding consecutive rounds of 309 to open the tournament before firing a 310 in the final round. McKendree finished fifth in the 14-team field.

Individually, freshman Keenai Sampson (Collinsville) finished in a tie for fifth place to automatically earn All-Conference honors at the GLVC Championship. Sampson posted a three-round score of 226, which was 10-over par.

Sampson is only the third Bearcat to earn all-conference honors.

Lynx men’s lacrosse season ends

In the semifinals of the GRLC Tournament, the Lindenwood University-Belleville Lynx lost 8-6 to the Missouri Baptist Spartans.

With the loss the Lynx finish the season with a 7-8 record. The Lynx finished the season winning five of their final six games.

Caston sets SIUE record in 100-meter hurdles

LaDonna Caston broke her own Southern Illinois University Edwardsville record in the 100-meter hurdles during day two of the Tom Botts Invitational.

Caston’s time of 13.40 seconds is now No. 15 on the NCAA West qualifying list and No. 39 in the NCAA overall.

Ahmad Evans broke his own personal best in the 200-meter dash and set a new No. 2 all-time mark at SIUE. His time of 20.97 is No. 30 on the NCAA West qualifying list and earned him first place.

Freshman Brittany Thomas added to the SIUE success by becoming the new No. 2 all-time at SIUE in the 200 with a time of 23.96, finishing in second.

The women’s throwing team continued to make big strides and set personal bests. Megan Lauzon sits No. 2 all-time at SIUE in the discus with her throw of 150 feet, 2 inches, a personal best for the sophomore by more than two meters.

The Cougars take next weekend off to prepare for the Ohio Valley Conference Outdoor Championships, which begins May 15 in Clarksville, Tennessee.

Anglers do well in McKendree Invitational

The McKendree University bass fishing team had four teams finish in the top five, including the tournament champion, at the McKendree University Invitational held on Lake Carlyle.

The team of Phillip Germagliotti (Highland) and Shane Campbell (Highland) beat out the other 16 teams with the only five-fish limit caught weighing in at 12.77 pounds. John Murphy and Austin Niggli (Highland) finished in third place with three fish weighing in at 7.55 pounds, while Brian McClanahan competed solo and finished in fourth place with three fish tipping the scales at 7.22 pounds. Reece Ellerbusch (Belknap, Ill./Massac County) and Trenton Robinson rounded out the Bearcats top five finishers with a fifth place finish with three fish weighing in at 6.34 pounds.

McKendree, currently ranked No. 8 in the Cabela’s School of the Year standings, edged No. 2 Murray State University, as well as teams from Eastern Illinois University, Missouri State University, and University of Dubuque.

The Bearcats will return to the water on May 20-22 for the Cabela’s/BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship held on Pickwick Lake in Florence, Ala.

LU-Belleville adds bowler for next season

The Lindenwood University–Belleville men’s bowling team and coach Kim Williams have announced the signing of Ryan Kirby for the 2015-16 season.

Kirby is a native of Oak Lawn, and is set to graduate from Oak Lawn Community High School this spring. During the 2015 season, Kirby led his team to a regional championship and a 12th place finish at the IHSA Finals. In 2014, Oak Lawn finished 13th at the IHSA Finals. Kirby averaged a 220 with Oak Lawn and a 233 in league play. His high game is a 299, with a high series of 762.

Kirby finished in third place at the Spartan Invitational and Tinley Park Invitational. He also finished in fourth place in the SSC Red Conference and sixth in the Brother Rice Invitational.

Frerking Named to OVC all-newcomer team

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville freshman golfer Madison Frerking has been named to the Ohio Valley Conference All-Newcomer Team. The award was announced during the banquet at the OVC Women’s Golf Championship.

“Coach (Lindsay) Wandrey and I are very happy for Madi for receiving OVC All-Newcomer Team honors,” SIUE oach Derrick Brown said. “She has worked very hard all season and it is paying off.”

Frerking’s scoring average of 79.4 is the lowest season scoring average in school history. She earned four top-10 finishes.

Five Lady Lynx softball team earn honors

The American Midwest Conference has announced afternoon that five Lady Lynx softball players have been named to the all –conference teams.

Taylor Winn, Michele Pilster, and Jamie Navarro were named first team all –conference, while Nicolle Miskowicz and Kaylin Stewart were named honorable mention. The Lady Lynx won the AMC regular season championship in just their first year in the conference.

The Lady Lynx finished the regular season with a 31-21 overall record and 19-5 record in conference play, before finishing 2-2 in the conference tournament.

Next up the Lady Lynx will take part in the NAIA National Championship Opening Round for the first time in program history. The Lady Lynx will find out on Thursday which host site they will be travelling to.

Cougar women finish eighth in OVC meet

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville women's golf shot a final round 322 and finished eighth at the 2015 Ohio Valley Conference Championship.

The Cougars finished with a 969 for the eighth-place finish. This season marks the third time SIUE has finished eighth in each of three years they have competed at the OVC Championships.

For the season, SIUE established a new team scoring average record. The Cougars finished at 320.69 for the year.