College Sports

SIUE’s Ilcewicz balances tennis, School of Pharmacy classes

No other student-athlete in Southern Illinois University Edwardsville history has achieved what Haley Ilcewicz has.

Ilcewicz became the first student-athlete at SIUE to complete her athletic eligibility while enrolled in the School of Pharmacy.

Head coach Amanda Pratzel, who assisted in recruiting Ilcewicz, knew this wouldn’t be an easy task for the Lockport native but was impressed at how she balanced school and tennis.

“Haley never once let the two affect each other,” said Pratzel. “She excelled in the classroom and on the court.”

Haley’s professors tended to agree with Pratzel, noting how well she communicated with them when there was a conflict between class and tennis competitions.

“She’s extremely hard-working and a real professional,” said Assistant Professor for Pharmacy Practice McKenzie Ferguson. “She’s dedicated to performing well. She exhibits all the traits you want to have in a student.”

Not only has Ilcewicz managed to stay in the School of Pharmacy while playing collegiate women’s tennis, she has thrived. She recently was inducted into Rho Chi, the national honor society of pharmacy school.

Rho Chi is an extremely selective group, choosing the top 20 percent of students within the program. The society promotes leadership, scholarship, and is a true academic honor society. At SIUE, 16 students were inducted this year. Students also must be approved by the dean in order to be accepted.

“Haley’s accomplishments speak volumes for the school and for the athletics department,” said Bill Wuller, the faculty advisor for Rho Chi. “It really says something that we can have athletes competing at such a high level and yet make it into a prestigious honor society.”

The School of Pharmacy at SIUE just underwent a rigorous accreditation process, receiving full accreditation, making it one of the most viable options for pursuing pharmacy in Illinois south of Chicago.

“We’ve been nationally recognized, and our student organizations continue to receive recognition,” noted Ferguson.

“We have a great program here at SIUE,” added Wuller.

Ilcewicz has been on the tennis court at SIUE for four years, amassing 46 singles victories, including 16 victories during Ohio Valley Conference play.

“Without question, Haley will be missed on the court,” said Pratzel. “I know the mark she has left will continue to make an impact on our success. She is the definition of a true student-athlete.”