From Staff Reports
In a rematch of last season's CCAC Tournament championship, Saint Xavier twice held a one-set lead but was unable to maintain it, as the visiting Trinity Christian Trolls won the non-conference matchup in five games, 19-25, 25-18, 24-26, 25-13, 15-9.
Rory Manion led the Cougars (8-4) with 18 kills on the night, earning her fourth double-double of the season. Libero Grace Murphy tallied 22 digs to anchor the defense, while setter Cassidy Wyman finished with 44 assists.
The Cougars opened with their strongest set of the match, leading start-to-finish after jumping out to a 9-3 lead. A Kate Bontrager kill a 5-1 run later in the set, putting SXU ahead by seven, 16-9. A block by Helena Atton and Sara Wellbaum followed by a hitting error from the Trolls (7-3) gave Saint Xavier game point, and Atton put the home team ahead with an opening set win, 25-19.
The closest game of the night came in the third, which started out with the Cougars taking a four-point lead at 6-2, the largest advantage for either team throughout the set. Later, with SXU in front 23-21 on a kill from Manion, the Trolls would tie the game with back-to-back scores. Bontrager's kill at 25-24 set up game point, which led to a 26-24 win on a Troll hitting error.
Trinity Christian responded in a dominant way in game four, jumping out to a 9-4 lead and eventually leading 15-6 after a run of six straight points. The Cougars never had a run of more than two consecutive points, and the Trolls would force a fifth game by scoring four of the last six points and taking the set 25-13.
The Cougars were unable to turn the momentum around in the decisive fifth set, falling behind 8-4 after picking up kills on the first two points of the game. Saint Xavier was unable to get back into the shorter set, as Trinity Christian went 8-for-8 in sideout points down the stretch.
Junior Matthew Clark (Nazareth) earned his first career tournament victory on Tuesday, shooting a single-round 70 (-2) to finished tied for first at the St. Francis Fall Invitational. Clark's victory is the first for the SXU men's golf program since 2012-13.
Clark shot a three-under 33 on the front nine, including key pars on the fourth and seventh holes, which scored as the most difficult throughout the course on the day.
As a team, the Cougars placed 5th in the nine-team field, with a team score of 315 (+27). Alec Martinez, of Orland Park, shot a 77 (+5) to finish tied for ninth, while Jeremiah Guernsey (Dowagiac Union) scored 82 (+10) and finished tied for 25th. Patrick Mangawang (Our Lady of Mercy Catholic) and Kristopher Boddie (Ocoee), the latter making his season debut, each finished tied for 39th with an 86 (+14).
Michael Gutierrez scored both goals for Saint Xavier, and the defense held off numerous set pieces late in the match as the Cougars earned a 2-1 victory over Aquinas (Mich.) on Sept. 15.
Gutierrez, a junior, led the attack for the Cougars (3-4), scoring in the early minutes of both first and second halves. Gutierrez now has three goals in three matches this season, and six in his SXU career.
The Cougars took the early lead on Gutierrez' goal in the 6th minute, scoring a header off of a long cross pass from Victor Valencia, a Mount Carmel graduate.
Aquinas (0-5) would find the equalizer about a half-hour later, scoring in the 39th minute on a run through the middle of the field by Conner Lund. The teams were tied 1-1 at halftime.
Gutierrez would put his team back in front again at the start of the second half, when Mike McLaughlin (St. Laurence) and Alex Noyola worked the ball inside the box, feeding Gutierrez with a low crossing pass in front of the goal in the 47th minute.
After the go-ahead goal, Aquinas held the majority of possession, and earned a total of 10 corner kicks over the final 35 minutes. Freshman goalkeeper Shane Badertscher made three of his five saves in the second half to secure the win.
Gutierrez made his first appearance of the season the preceding game, and put Saint Xavier in front with an early goal, but the Cougars were unable to hold off the visiting Northwestern Ohio Racers, falling 2-1 in double-overtime on Sept. 12.
Gutierrez scored in the 10th minute, heading in a corner kick that was sent in byOrlando Tapia (Crystal Lake South).
For nearly an hour the Cougars (2-4) held a lead, until the Racers (1-2-2) finally broke through in the 67th minute.
The visitors kept the momentum, throughout the end of regulation, taking five shots on goal after tying the game, but all five attempts were saved by freshman keeper Shane Badertscher (Plainfield Central). The reigning CCAC Defensive Player of the Week finished with a career-high 13 saves on the night, including seven in the second half and two in extra time to keep the Cougars in the game.
In the 105th minute, a red card was given to Northwestern Ohio, giving the Cougars a man advantage, but it was just 20 seconds after the card that the Racers found the back of the net for the second time. Two players found space inside the box, and a short pass across the goal was all that was needed to find the open net.
Grace Maletich (Downers Grove North ) and Gabriel Esparza (Eisenhower) led Saint Xavier for the second meet in a row, as Saint Xavier competed at the 50th annual National Catholic Invitational, hosted by Notre Dame on Sept. 14.
The men's team earned an eighth-place team result, winning a tiebreaker over Marian (Ind.) with 239 points in the 18-team field. The women finished 13th, scoring 314 points.
Esparza placed 50th overall, posting a time of 26:44.22. Sophomore Mario Scarcelli (Joliet West) finished 65th, posting a time of 27:08.86, an improvement of nearly two full minutes from his performance at the National Catholic Invite a year ago. Eduardo Martinez (27:45.22; 108th), Oak Lawn product Brian Baldwin (29:09.98; 166th), and William Fuentes (Bremen) (30:01.57; 187th) rounded out the top five for the Cougars.
Maletich would lead the women's team for the second week in a row, finishing 103rd overall with a time of 20:22.97. The next three Cougars posted season-best times, with Jacey Schickel (Lemont) scoring a 152nd-place result and a time of 21:32.46. Deandra Stokes (Thornwood) posted a time of 21:37.92 to finish 157th, and Lorena Garcia's (Eisenhower) time of 21:55.80 netted a 165th-place result.
Olivia Mergenthaler (Lincoln-Way North) (24:01.78; 196th) also recorded a season-best time, while Marist graduate Desiree Garcia (25:00.01, 69th) did the same in the JV race.
Saint Xavier returns to action on Friday, Oct. 5, when they compete at the Bethel (Ind.) College Pilot Invite, in South Bend. The event kicks off with the women's 5K race, scheduled to start at 4 p.m.
Facing a four-year university this fall the Cyclones had their hands full. They may have lost the effort 4-3 to North Central JV but came away with more good experience to help them in conference play.
Shepard alum Brooke Zielke (1st singles) took care of business with a win (6-2, 6-1) as did Jasmine Abunaim (Sandburg) at 2nd singles (6-2, 6-2). They also won at 1st doubles handily in an eight-game pro set (8-1). Communication and solid serves were key in dominating that match.
Shepard graduate Serene Itani (3rd singles) played against a consistent competitor but lost the contest (2-6, 1-6). The score, however, is not indicative of how well she played—pushing herself and keeping her challenger on her toes. At 4th singles, Audrey Stocklen (Shepard) lost (3-6, 4-6) but played smart and put up a good fight. She and Itani played 2nd doubles for the first time, taking a hit (1-8). This was a good learning experience for them on how to play against a pair at a different level. Mary Stocklen (Shepard) was consistent at 5th singles in her loss (2-6, 1-6).
“It was a good experience for all the players to see a program at a four-year institution. North Central was a good and challenging match as well as good practice for what’s to come when we face more teams in our conference,” said head coach Breanna Vollan.
The Cyclones continued their run Sept. 11, blanking yet another team. This time they took down Elgin Community College, 3-0.
Bryan Hurtado took control of the net this game, saving five and keeping the Spartans scoreless. Odunsi Adedolapo scored his first goal of the season in the 30th minute on assists from Daniel Kasaggoma and Tomasz Kulak (Stagg). The other goals came in quick succession in the second half from Kasaggoma and Ahmad Alassaf in his first of the season. Kulak, Omar Barragan (Reavis) and Rodrigo Gutierrez (Morton West) tallied assists.
The guys added another win to their record Sept. 13, shutting down Bryant & Stratton College 2-0 at home.
The first half went down with a number of goal attempts but a deadlock at halftime. It wasn’t until the 50th minute that Amin Mizyed knocked one in on assists from Adedolapo and Steven Maravilla . Romaric Lawson added insurance unassisted. Keeper Gustavo Flores notched five saves.
In their six games this season, the Cyclones have shut out five opponents and allowed just one goal. The latest to experience their dominance was Prairie State College, who Moraine rolled over, 6-0, at home Sept. 12.
Even with a number of key starters out due to injury, the Cyclones took off with energy and scored within the first 45 seconds of the game. They notched three more before halftime, then two in the second half and wouldn’t let the Pioneers get close to the net.
Veronika Stafira (Stagg) scored twice this game while Karen Montoya (Eisenhower), Yesenia Perez (Eisenhower), Anna Kois (Stagg) and Mairead Ruane (Lemont) each netted one.
Head coach Al Palar emphasizes that his team maintain a mindset that the opponent will not score, and it's not just up to the keeper and defense, but all 22 players. With a strong team on and off the bench, they have proven that attitude so far.
The Cyclones tallied another easy victory Sept. 12, taking three from conference rival Oakton Community College, 25-13, 25-22, 25-15.
Amanda Bulow (Oak Lawn) led the way with seven kills and 13 digs. Julia Elsouso (Richards) had seven kills and Maddie Fogarty (Queen of Peace) dug up 10. The team recorded eight blocks.
Among a talented field of golfers, Jimmy Goich (Lincoln-Way East) took fourth place overall in the Cyclones’ second Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference match Sept. 12 at Blackberry Oaks Golf Course.
Goich shot a 77, four shots better than his previous tournament.
“It was a great accomplishment for him as the field is loaded with so many talented guys. Anytime you can beat your previous tournament score, you must consider it a successful day,” said Cyclones coach Matt Lovelace.
Although the Cyclones played consistently on the links, scoring the same as their first conference match (330), they finished in fourth again.
“Some of the guys played better while a few of them struggled. We have identified problem areas for each individual and are planning to work hard to get things straightened out before our next match,” Lovelace said.
Sean McKernan (Andrew) was the second best Cyclone of the day with an 81. He also beat his previous tournament score by four.
“Sean skipped a year of competitive golf to play on the college’s tennis team last year. It is great to see him hop right back into the swing of things and find good form so early in the season,” Lovelace explained.
Rounding out the remaining slots was Peotone grads Thomas Rodriguez (82) and Paul Douglas (90) as well as Oak Lawn product Michael Rollberg (101).
Women's Basketball Tryouts
The Cyclone women’s basketball team is looking to add to their crew for the 2018-19 season. Tryouts are being held Wednesday, Sept. 26, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., in the Building G gym.
Any full-time Moraine Valley students are eligible to try out, but they must have completed a physical beforehand. They also need to complete paperwork in the Athletics Office, Building H, room H120.
For more information contact head coach Delwyn Jones at (708) 974-5557 or firstname.lastname@example.org.