EC men’s basketball continues to struggle, gets blown out in conference opener

Senior forward Caleb Mowry shoots over two Wheaton defenders on Saturday, Dec. 3. (Photo by Kivin Woods)

The EC men’s basketball team had high hopes on Saturday night as they matched up against the Wheaton College under (4-2). R.A. Faganel Hall was the setting, as the Bluejays (2-4) struggled with a shooting slump and dropped their CCIW opener, 82-69.

Wheaton set the tone early, jumping out to a 12-3 lead by the 16:45 mark of the first half. The Thunder did not trail outside the first minute of the game.

Forward Caleb Mowry led his Bluejay teammates once again, scoring 17 points and securing 3 rebounds in 22 minutes. e strong production leaves his season averages at 19.7 points and 9 rebounds per game.

Mowry is in the midst of a breakout performance in his final season in a Bluejay uniform. After spending three seasons in a reserve role, the senior has taken a significant step forward early on this season.

Mowry felt it was just an off day for the Bluejays.

“Honestly, I just think it might have been one of those days, you know? Our shots weren’t falling,” he said. “We are a really young team and it was our first conference game, so it’s a bit more pressure and whatnot.”

“I just think we are a young team. We’ll come around, I really think we will,” he added.

Mowry certainly has a valid point, as Bluejay shooters shot a mere 40.7 percent from the field, including 5-19 (26.3 per- cent) from 3-point range. Both figures were well below the Bluejay season averages of 49 percent on field goals and 34 percent from deep.

The slump saw a peak in the first half of play, during which the Bluejays could only convert 37.5 percent of their field goal attempts.

The Bluejays took their struggles with them to the charity stripe, posting a 48.5 percent free throw percentage on 33 attempts, well below the season average of 59 percent.

The young Bluejay shooters will need to grow up fast in order to compete during what is expected to be a grueling CCIW schedule this winter. EC will lean on its leaders, such as the aforementioned Mowry and fellow Seniors Jalen Loving and Nathan Rogers. However, underclassmen will need to step forward and contribute in order to lighten the load.

6’8’’ Freshman Devin Tennant could prove to be a factor in conference play after scoring 13 points during his first extended play time of the season. Tennant hit on 6 of his 7 attempts and added a pair of rebounds in addition to a pair of assists throughout his 18 minutes.

As he reflected on the loss, Mowry acknowledged that there were missed opportunities that could have helped turned the tide.

“We knew they were not a very good transition defense team, so we just could have pushed the ball a little bit harder and maybe put the press on a little bit earlier to turn the tempo up and speed them up a little bit,” he said.

The numbers certainly reflect that sentiment. Wheaton outscored the Bluejays following turnovers, with 23 points coming after takeaways versus 12 for EC.

Fast breaks were an issue throughout the game as Wheaton scored 12 points on the break while EC was shut out.

The lack of consistent points after takeaways proved quite costly late.

After entering the halftime intermission trailing by 14, the Bluejays scored a pair of baskets quickly and trimmed the Wheaton lead down to 10 points early in the second half. However, the next 5 consecutive Bluejay possessions ended with a turnover and Wheaton was able to capitalize, stretching their lead out to 18.

Combined with the lack of fast break scoring, the Bluejays offense became one dimensional and never seemed to find their timing, although they did outscore the under in the second half, 39-38.

Despite playing from behind for much of the game, the Bluejays showed their merit with the way they were able to compete for possession throughout the contest. EC out rebounded Wheaton 43-34 and held a respectable turnover differential with 17 takeaways versus 23 giveaways.

In addition to rebounding, the Bluejays also held a clear edge in points from their bench as EC reserves scored 32, a total only surpassed by the 36 point performance by the bench against Concordia-Chicago. Meanwhile, the Wheaton bench only scored 5 points.

While it failed to make a different versus Wheaton, sustained production from the bench would be a significant advantage throughout conference.

Looking forward, the Bluejays will head to Waukesha, Wisconsin on Wednesday, Dec. 7 for a 7 p.m. game against the Carroll University Pioneers.

The 4-1 Pioneers have been a stingy defensive team this season, allowing only 74 points per game.

Offensively, Carroll is led by junior Tanner Zaeske and senior Kyle Keranen. The duo averages a combined 36.2 points per game. The Bluejays will need to slow them down in order keep pace with the Pioneers.

This will be the first CCIW basketball matchup between EC and Carroll since the Pioneer’s return to the conference.

Women’s basketball win streak broken at six

Junior guard/forward Mikaela Eppard attempts a contested layup on Satur- day, Dec. 3. (Internet Photo)

After their best start in over 30 years, EC women’s basketball was beaten for the first time this season, falling 71-52 to rival Wheaton on Saturday.

After facing less than stellar competition their first six games, the Bluejays did not realize what was in store for them until it was too late, as they faced off against the no. 19 team in the country.

“This was definitely our first time in November [facing this level of competition], our competition was good but not as good as this,“ coach Tethnie Carrillo said after the game.

The game was knotted after the first quarter at 13 a piece for both teams, but during the second quarter Wheaton went on a thunderous 22-4 run.

In the second half the Thunder took over the game, creating a 27-point lead for themselves that the Bluejays were never able to diminish.

“Against a team like this you know you’re probably going to give up a little bit more [points],” Carrillo added.

“I think that [was] the biggest disappointment, we didn’t quite stick together as much as we needed to in the defensive end,” she added.

Despite losing by 19 points, junior All-American Mikaela Eppard believes the Bluejays are not a bad team.

“We have the opportunity to be top four in our conference, go to the conference tournament and come out of that [as champions],” Eppard said after the game.

Eppard leads the team in points and rebounds.

The CCIW tournament is a ways away and the Bluejays should turn their attention to their next CCIW opponent, undefeated Augustana.

EC will need to do a 180 from Saturday’s game if they hope to beat an Augustana team, that has already scored 100 points or more in half of their games.

“We really stressed in the locker room that we have to have two good solid practices before [facing] Augustana,” Carrillo said.

“Defense is what we’re going to live and die by this year,” she added.

Undefeated Augustana College will visit the Bluejays court on Dec. 7, with a 7 p.m. tip-off.

Luckily for the Bluejays they will have another chance at life next Saturday when Illinois Wesleyan visits the EC court with a 2 p.m. tip-off.

Athlete to watch: Mikaela Eppard

Mikaela Eppard is now seventh all-time in Bluejays eld goal percentage (Internet Photo)

In the Spring of 2013, a young Mikaela Eppard committed to EC as a basketball recruit, as she finished her high school career with over 1,000 points.

She played for a decently sized suburban school in Colorado called Cherry Creek High School. The school has 96 teams that play in 26 different sports.

Her Cherry Creek Bruins team did not win a state championship, but by the time Eppard graduated she had earned four varsity letters and first team all-league selections her last two years in high school.

In her senior year, she earned second-team all-state honors, and since then has only propelled her game.

Her freshman year at EC was stacked with success as she was named the CCIW Newcomer of the year and again earned second-team recognition, this time earning all-conference honors as a Bluejay.

It is evident that she knows where her game is. She attempted no threes the entire season, instead relying on her size and power inside the paint and around the basket to put up 370 points of the season.

Although young and new to the collegiate athletics learning process, Eppard lead the team in steals as well.

She finished her first year as a Bluejay with a team-leading .539 field goal percentage, averaging 14.2 points per game.

She followed all that up by earning first-team all-conference and all-region honors after starting all 26 games of her second season, now starting every game for the Bluejays.

Jump forward to present day and her progress is evident, as she leads the team in several categories after seven games.

Eppard’s isolation game is where she excels, offensively and defensively. She has been able to help and lead her team in many ways. She attributes this success to her coaches.

“My coaches help me with my one on one game, expanding my game and watching film to see where I need to improve,” she said.

EC sits atop the conference defensive rebounding, in large part to Eppard’s average of 8.3 boards per game.

Individually, she’s leading the entire conference right now in rebounding, as well as eld goal percentage.

Averaging 16.6 points per game now, she is fourth in the conference in scoring, and leads the conference in eld goal percentage at .598 which is a major improvement over her average from last season.

She is one of the most efficient players to ever play for EC, as her 53.9 field goal percentage currently places her in 7th place all-time for the Bluejays.

The only other current EC player to come close to Eppard’s scoring efficiency is Forward Kaela Jones, who is currently holding the number 10 spot in the conference at .482.

Eppard has essentially lead her team to victory in the team’s last three victories, which resulted in her being named the CCIW Women’s Basketball Player of the Week for the week of Nov. 28, 2016.

In that week alone, she averaged 21.9 points per game and 8.7 rebounds.

She was named MVP of the Colorado College Rock Mountain Tournament, which served as EC’s first tournament of the season.

EC was 6-0 before falling to Wheaton College, which had been the first time in thirty years the team had started the season so successfully, and at least three of those victories can largely be attributed to Eppard’s commitment to her team.

In fact, even though Eppard’s game is most successful in iso situations, she says her favorite part of basketball is the team efforts and the team’s success overall.

“I love the team aspect of sports, it’s why I play,” she said.

Although she is a great individual player, her contributions as a teammate are largely the reason that Elmhurst has the second most wins overall, only falling behind to the defending conference champs, Augustana College.

“Having a whole group of people to lean on for support and being able to win together and lose together,” she added as being part of her own enjoyment of team-play.

It was a team loss to Wheaton, as the Bluejays shot 34.9 percent overall, while Wheaton shot 51.9 percent.

Eppard added only 10 points and five boards, well shy of her average.

She says that it is part of her job to help the team move for- ward from losses, showing that she is not afraid to do more than just score points and snatch down rebounds.

“I think I help my team win by being a positive communicator and getting excited when things go well and help us move on when things don’t go our way,” she said.

The lady Bluejays will have their hands full when they host the undefeated Augustana Vikings on Wednesday, Dec. 7. Eppard reminds us that sportsmanship and being a part of something bigger than oneself is a big part of the game, and that it is not all about wins and losses right now.

“There is always someone there. The excitement it all brings is something you can’t replicate,” she said. “It is pure joy and being able to have that experience [and] those same emotions as a team is awesome.”

Passion for the game, love for her team, and skill on the floor will continue to propel Eppard’s game, which is why she is this week’s athlete to watch.

EC sports roundup: week of Nov. 7 - Nov. 13

Senior Nava Reed and sophomores Molly Brennan and Molly McGrath embrace each other and teammates on Senior Night at EC. (File Photo)

Women’s Volleyball

In a three set sweep over ninth-ranked Hope College, the EC women’s volleyball team advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division III Tournament on Nov. 10.

Currently, the lady Bluejays are ranked 23rd in the AVCA Division III Poll. The win was captured with 28-26, 26-22 and 25-20 victory.

After falling behind in the opening set, the lady Bluejays came back with a 6-1 run to take the lead at 13-1. With a tie at 26- 26, an error on Hope College gave EC their fourth set point. Senior Hannah Nimrick scored the kill to end the opening set.

In the second set, the lady Bluejays were able to score four straight points following the serve of senior Mary Lawrence to take the lead at 24-19. A kill from senior Melissa Nava ended the set for EC at 25-22.

In the final set, both teams were tied several times. With a final 5-2 run, the lady Bluejays took the lead at 23-19. Another kill from Lawrence and an attack error on Hope ended the set and gave the win to EC with a score of 25-20.

The lady Bluejays hit .183 for the match with 43 kills, 19 errors in 131 swings. Nava led with 11 kills and three block s while hitting a match high .526. Lawrence had a team-best with six blocks, while Nimrick added seven kills, 28 assists, and 14 digs.

Women’s Volleyball

In a season-ending defeat, EC faced UW-Whitewater for the third time consecutively in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in Whitewater, Wisconsin on Nov. 11. EC finished the match winning the first and the third set, but lost the first and last two, which resulted in a season record of 23- 13.

The Bluejays capitalized o two consecutive Whitewater errors after four set point ties to take the first set. Davis hit a winning kill to end the third set at 25-22.

EC finished hitting .157 on 62 kills, adding 28 errors in 217 attacks. Mel Lundin scored a team-high 18 kills and Nava added 12. Nava also put up four of her own blocks in addition to Lawrence’s five and Nimrick’s five. Nimrick herself added 53 assists, while Amy Schryver finished the match with 37 digs.

Women’s Cross Country

The EC women’s cross country team placed 31st by scoring 842 points at the NCAA Division III Midwest Regional Championships at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh on Nov. 12.

The top finisher for the Lady Bluejays was junior Alaina Nebel, who placed 43rd with a time of 22:57.2, Senior Kaila Konecki placed 182nd with a time of 25:32.2, and senior Liesel Metz placed 196th with a time of 25:53.9. Freshmen Becky Garcia placed 201st with a time of 26:06.1 and freshman Emma McSpadden finished in 237th place with a time of 28:04.5.

Men’s Cross Country

With a total of 628 points, the EC men’s cross country team placed 23rd out of 33 teams at the NCAA Division III Regional Championships at University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh on Nov. 12.

Top finisher for the Bluejays was sophomore Juan Castaneda who took 72nd place with a time of 26:21.5.

Sophomore Joe Rivas finished in 114th place with a time of 27:00.8.

Junior Dan Wiggin placed 120th with a time of 27:09.3, while junior Scott Blaszek placed 159th with a time of 27:47.3. Freshman Antonio Aguillera placed 180th in 28:35.9. Freshman Jacob Hubbard finished in 183rd in 28:39.9 and senior William O’Connell placed 201st with a time of 29:21.6.

EC football loses final game to North Central

Senior Connor Brewer, Sophomore Ben Halloway, and Sophomore Austin McKellar celebrate in the end zone after an EC touchdown. (File Photo)

Coming off a victory over Millikin in week nine, the EC football team had momentum on their side as they traveled to Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium to face the undefeated North Central Cardinals.

That momentum was promptly halted as the Cardinals (10-0) threw a 75-yard touchdown pass on their first play from scrimmage and led for the duration as they took down the Bluejays (5-5) by a final score of 59-17 on Nov. 12.

When asked about his team’s goals going into the game, EC Head Coach Ron Planz stated that, “We wanted to come in and play our style of game. We wanted to be physical. We wanted to try and get our athletes the ball in space.”

“We had a couple ways to get Kaylon Miller the ball,” he added. “We tried to get Jawan [Gaines] the ball, get Matt Brachmann involved. Get Orlando [Hernandez] running a little bit.”

The Bluejays managed to get on the board midway through the opening quarter when North Central fumbled away the possession on their own 13-yard line, which led to a Bluejay field goal to make the score 7-3.

Freshman wide receiver Jawan Gaines took a second down swing pass down to the Cardinals 1-yard line and a touchdown seemed likely, but a few Cardinal stops and a penalty forced the Bluejays to settle.

NC went on to add three unanswered touchdowns, ultimately heading into halftime with a commanding 38-17 lead.

When asked about the performance of his defense, Coach Planz remarked that, “We just wanted to be sound. We knew they’d be taking some deep shots. We tried to get some pressure, but they had good protection and got behind us a little bit.”

The Cardinals ended the day with 351 total yards and four touchdowns through the air, averaging 9.8 yards per pass attempt.

Overall, it was a long day for the Bluejays as North Central showed everyone exactly why they are such a highly regarded, nationally ranked program.

Watching them finish an undefeated season, Coach Planz shared his feelings on the Cardinals, “They’ve had some history and tradition. They’ve had a consistent coaching staff for a few years and that has helped them with recruiting.”

“Once you get the ball rolling a little bit, you’re able to keep it going,” he added.

“They’ve got great players and they’ve built a really good program and they’re going to be strong.”

The victory over the Bluejays marks the 18th consecutive Cardinal win in the series, a streak that dates back to 1999. North Central leads the all-time series between the teams, 55- 21-1.

The Bluejays did manage to battle throughout and found the end-zone twice.

Heading into the 2017 season, the Bluejays will plan on returning eight offensive starters who will provide a core that will be leaned on heavily, as the defense will lose nine senior starters.

Coach Planz had strong words for his senior group, “My message to my seniors is that I love them and I don’t know how we’re going to replace them. Everything they’ve done for this program is immeasurable [and] I appreciate their faith in me.”

After a pair of non-conference games, the Bluejays begin their CCIW schedule in week three at North Park University on September 16, 2017.

Basketball recap: Week of Nov. 15 - Nov. 19

Junior Mikaela Eppard shoots a free throw in a game against North Central College. (File Photo)

Men’s Basketball

The EC men’s basketball season is underway. The Bluejays got things started by dropping three consecutive games versus non-conference foes this past week.

EC will need to do better if they want to compete with the juggernauts of the conference. The Bluejays were predicted to finish sixth in the CCIW by conference coaches in their annual preseason poll despite the fact that EC is coming o of a CCIW tournament appearance in 2015-2016, finishing with a third place ranking and a 22-7 record (10-4 in conference).

In the first game of the season, EC visited Iowa to play the Loras College Duhawks. The Bluejays hung on closely; however, they ultimately fell to the Duhawks by a final score of 104- 102.

This contest featured a pair of 20 point EC scorers as freshman guard Jake Rhode (29 points, 4 assists, 3 steals) and senior forward Caleb Mowry (22 points, 12 rebounds) led the way for the Bluejays.

Rhode enters the starting line-up as a newcomer for EC. Rhode is a graduate of Mt. Carmel High School.

Mowry returns for the Bluejays after three seasons in a reserve role. The 6’5” senior will surely be leaned on as the season progresses.

Heading into the CCIW/SLI- AC Challenge tournament, the Bluejays dropped their second game of the season, this one in a 110-98 final against the Greenville College Grizzlies.

Mowry showed up again, scoring 29 points to go along with 9 rebounds in the loss.

Turnovers were the primary issue for the Bluejays in this one, giving away 37 possessions that led to 30 Greenville points. A second half push of 60 points came up short and the Bluejays fell to 0-2 in the season.

The next day brought up a new opponent in the Westminster Bluejays.The score was tied at the half, but Westminster ended up pulling away in the second half and won by a final score of 88-81.

EC battled throughout with five players reaching double digits in points and the team shooting 50 percent from the eld as a whole. EC outscored Westminster in the paint, 36-24, and outrebounded them 35- 31, but points o of turnovers proved to be a significant difference as Westminster turned takeaways into 33 points while EC struggled to only 17 such points.

Looking forward, EC will open their home schedule against Concordia University of Chicago at 7 p.m. on Nov. 22 at R.A. Faganel Hall.

After the match-up with CUC, the Bluejays will head out to Alma, Michigan to play the Alma College Scots on Nov. 27 in their last non-conference game before CCIW play begins.

Once they return home, the CCIW grind starts as the Wheaton College under visit R.A. Faganel Hall on Dec. 3 at 4 p.m.

Women’s Basketball

Coming o of a .500 record last year and a fourth place finish in conference, the EC women’s basketball team has entered this season with greater expectations and hopes of taking home a CCIW title.

With the 2017 season underway, the team needed a great start to their season and that is exactly what they got in the first week of the season, winning all three of their games by a combined score of 224-134.

The Bluejays (3-0) got things started with a trip to Indiana to face the Franklin College Grizzlies.

After leaping out to a 39-19 lead at the half, the Bluejays were able to put the Grizzlies away by a final score of 70-39.

Junior Guard/Forward Mikaela Eppard led the way with a double-double (17 points, 11 rebounds), shooting 7-9 from the eld and 3-3 from the line. Eppard was named to the 2015- 2016 CCIW All-Conference team and is poised for a big season for EC.

With Franklin behind them, the Bluejays made a weekend trip to Greenville College to take part in the CCIW/SLIAC Challenge.

The host Greenville College Panthers were the first team to face off with the Bluejays, as the teams met up on Friday afternoon.

EC came into the weekend with an outstanding offensive attack as they posted an early season high of 86 points in an 86-50 victory over the Panthers.

Eppard was excellent again, posting 14 points and Senior Guard Kalia Summerlin was 3-4 on three point attempts.

The bench added 42 points of their own and the Bluejays led by as many as 36 points late in the fourth quarter as they advanced to 2-0.

Day 2 of the CCIW/SLIAC Challenge saw a battle of the Bluejays when EC played the Westminster College Bluejays.

Junior Forward Kaela Jones hit five three pointers on eight attempts, finishing the day with 16 points. Eppard grabbed 11 boards, and Senior Guard/Forward Michaela Kumer dished out four assists during another dominating Bluejay performance with a final score of 68- 45.

The Bluejays are currently outscoring their opponents by an average of 30 points per game, shooting 44.8 percent from the field and 44.1 percent from three-point range, with an averaging about 10 eld goals from deep every game.

Perhaps more strikingly, the Bluejays also are also averaging a +14 rebounding margin and a +6.4 turnover margin, over all opponents. Ball control will be crucial if the Bluejays plan to continue their winning ways heading into conference play.

EC will visit Aurora University for a 7 p.m. tip-off on Nov. 22, then they will hit the road and head out to Colorado for a Thanksgiving weekend tournament during which they will face Colorado College and Concordia College of Minnesota.

CCIW Conference play will begin at home for the Bluejays on Saturday, Dec. 3 at 2 p.m. as they will play the two-time defending conference champion Wheaton under at home.

EC wrestling starts season 2-0, places at Concordia open

Jared Braun begins to pin an opponent during a match against Trine University. (Internet Photo)

In three appearances, the EC wrestling team has been undefeated for two weeks as the team looks to its next meet, visiting Concordia after the Thanksgiving break on Dec. 8.

The team started strong with a conference match-up hosting Wheaton on Nov. 9, defeating the Thunder 35-12. On Nov. 16 the team hosted Trine and sent them home nearly scoreless after the meet with a final score of 39-3.

EC was invited to the Concordia Open that took place on Nov. 19, and although there were no scores kept from this tournament, EC premiered exceptional performances from the new roster. Anthony Munoz is entering his junior year, and is starting for the Bluejays at 125 pounds.

Though he won by forfeit against Wheaton, Munoz convincingly defeated Trine’s freshman 125-pounder Brendan Stevens, adding a takedown to a near-fall, winning 10-3.

At the team’s first tournament, he performed well and lost to his own teammate, freshman Jabari Moody in the semi-finals.

Both Moody and Munoz look good at 125 pounds, and we should expect to see Moody doing big things sooner than later, after going 5-1 at Concordia and securing a third place victory.

Junior Jared Braun is starting at 133 pounds, and in two meets he’s been busy. He won by tech fall against Wheaton’s Josiah Fitzjerrells. It took him just over a minute to pin Trine’s Drew Clark. He followed that up at the Concordia Open, making a big statement by pinning North Central’s Marc Fleenor about 40 seconds into the contest. Braun took third place in the tournament, finishing 4-1.

Senior Ronnie Hauser started his season pinning Wheaton’s Senior Greg Manfredi at 141 pounds.

He led 12-3 in the first period of his match against Trine’s Jeffery Helm and went on to win 12-8. Hauser was EC’s best wrestler at the Concordia Open, falling by one point in the championship title match to

North Central’s Layten Binion, who went 4-0 in the tournament and is having a thunderous start to his own season. Hauser and Binion will meet again when EC visits North Central for the first meet and conference match-up of the new year.

At 165 pounds, senior Tim Noverini is making short work of his opponents. He majored Wheaton’s Isaac Odell 14-2, then he pinned Trine’s Brock Baker in 50 seconds. He spent this past Saturday morning going 5-1 at the Concordia tournament, adding up a pin, a tech fall and two majors.

Concordia has already hosted a tournament, visited a tournament and is 2-1 overall.

When the Falcons visit Langhorst in December, an important note to make will be how many points the meet is won by. If it’s another blowout for EC, we may be looking at a record start for the Bluejays.

EC sports roundup: week of Oct. 26 - Nov. 5

Senior Hannah Nimrick attempts a recovery during a game against Milikin on Wednesday, Oct. 26. (Photo By Matthew Westhaver)

Women’s Cross Country

The EC women’s cross country team placed seventh at the CCIW Women’s Cross Country Championship at Illinois Wesleyan University on Oct. 29.

Junior Alaina Nebel won the individual crown and is the ninth lady Bluejay to win the CCIW individual title. The last lady Bluejay to take home the title was Maria Mele in 2007.

With a time of 22:41.2, Nebel finished nearly 54 seconds faster than the second place finisher. Nebel also earned first-team all CCIW honors and was named the CCIW’s Female Cross Country Athlete of the Year.

Senior Kalia Konecki placed 43rd with a time of 26:14.3, while senior Liesel Metz placed 62nd in 27:28.3. Sophomore Maria Dugo placed 65th in 28:00.7, freshmen Emma McSpadden and Becky Garcia placed 66th in 28:13.4 and 68th in 28:27.8 respectively.

The lady Bluejays will compete in the NCAA Division III Midwest Regional on Saturday, Nov. 12.

Men’s Cross Country

With a total of 176 points, the EC men’s cross country team placed sixth at the 2016 CCIW Cross Country Championships.

With a 28th place finish, junior Dan Wiggin crossed the finish line with a time of 27:57.5. Junior Scott Blaszak placed 36th with a time of 28:26.7, while sophomores Juan Cataneda and Joe Rivas placed 39th with a time of 28:41.9 and 41st with a time of 28:55.4 respectively. Freshman Antonio Aguillera finished with a time of 29:31 and finished in 47th place.

Freshman Jacob Hubbard, senior William O’Connell and junior Nick Schulberg completed the group of top eight runners by finishing in 63rd place (31:11.0), 64th place (31:13.04) and 66th place (31:38.8).

On Nov. 12, the Bluejays will run in the NCAA Division III Midwest Regional Championships.

Women’s Volleyball

With a four-set victory over Millikin University, the EC women’s volleyball team moved to the top of the CCIW standings on Oct. 26. The lady Bluejays rank 18th in the latest AVCA poll, with a record of 20- 10 overall and 6-1 in the CCIW after the 25-23, 25-20, 13-25 and 25-18 victory. EC stands a half game in front of Millikin for the top spot in the CCIW.

Senior Melissa Nava scored a kill while senior Mary Lawrence scored an ace to seal the opening set for EC at 25-23.

In the second set, six points behind the serve of junior Amy Schryver along with three straight aces helped the Bluejays to close the set.

Stats for the contest included EC hitting at .211 with 47 kills, 17 errors and 142 swings. Junior Alli Rogers had 11 kills and nine digs while Nava had 10 kills. Juniors Mel Lundin and Hannah Davis each totaled eight kills. Lawrence scored six kills, six blocks and 11 digs, while Schryver totaled a match-high of 24 digs and five aces. Senior Hannah Nimrick totaled 36 assists, 18 digs and four kills.

Women’s Volleyball

On Oct. 28, the lady Bluejays swept Benedictine University in a 25-17, 25-23 and 25-22 win.

The lady Bluejays cruised to an easy win in the first set.

In the second set, consecutive kills by Nava, Rogers and Lundin put the lady Bluejays in front 23-20. Five points followed the serve of junior Ani Agbabian; Nimrick finished the set with a kill.

EC hit for .361, which included 18 kills and five errors on 31 attempts. With kills from Nimrick, Davis and a match-high 11th kill from Nava, EC took the match and win.

Nimrick totaled 30 assists and 14 digs, Rogers had 10 digs, while both tallied eight kills. Lawrence and sophomore Alyssa Olson had match-highs of three blocks, while Schryver totaled 19 digs.

Women’s Volleyball

In the final game of the regular season on Nov. 1, the lady Bluejays suffered a three-set loss at Illinois Benedictine University.

EC fell 16-25, 24-26 and 16- 25. As a result, EC’s record fell to 21-11 overall and 6-2 in the CCIW.

The lady Bluejays hit for .122 with 33 kills and 19 errors in 115 swings. Rogers totaled 10 kills and seven digs, while Lawrence tallied nine kills, nine digs and three blocks. Nimrick totaled 22 assists, seven digs and four kills, while junior Amy Schryver saw a team-best of 12 digs.

Women’s Volleyball

In the opening match, EC secured a spot in the CCIW Tournament championship match with a three-set sweep over Wheaton College on Nov. 4. The lady Bluejays took the match with a 26-24, 25-16, 25-18 win.

In the opening set, EC came from behind with six straight points behind Molly Brennan’s serve. A kill from Rogers and a block from Lawrence brought the Bluejays even at 24-24. Kills from Schryver and Nimrick ended the set at 26-24.

The second set featured an 8-2 run, while EC won the final four points to close the set. With a kill from Rogers, EC put the set away at 25-18.

EC hit for .245 with 41 kills and 17 errors in 98 swings. With 12 kills, Rogers led the offense. Lawrence, Nava and Davis totaled six kills a piece. Nimrick tallied a team-leading 28 assists and four aces, while Schryver totaled a team-leading 10 digs for the victory. Nine aces were served by the lady Bluejays and 10 blocks for the win.

Women’s Volleyball

EC entered the CCIW Tourna- ment as the No. 2 seeded squad (22-12) in the conference and lost to Millikin University (26- 11) in three sets on Nov. 5.

A statistical team comparison reveals a mostly even match- up and all three sets were well fought for, with close scores of 21-25, 22-25 and 26-28.

Lundin led EC with 11 of the team’s 37 kills. Nimrick led the team in assists with 29.

Millikin junior Erin Syversen led the game with 18 of the Bluejay’s 44 kills. Millikin junior Emily Mihalkanin was the game-leader in assists with 33, one shy of the total amount of assists EC was able to put up as a team in the bout.

EC football hands Millikin biggest loss of the season, honors seniors

Junior Tyler Hosman runs the ball upfield and prepares to juke a Millikin tackle on Saturday, Nov 5. (Photo by Kivin Woods)

The EC Football team had a game for the books on Saturday, as they hosted Millikin University at Langhorst Field.

Though it was Senior Day, sophomore quarterback Orlando Hernandez lead the Bluejays offense yet again. The senior-led defense created six turnovers as they dominated Millikin University, (56-14) handing them their largest loss of the season.

En route to the blowout, the Bluejays re-wrote history, earn- ing the seventh highest amount of points scored against an opponent ever.

The action started early as EC received the opening kick- off, the offense took the field

and the Bluejays went on a 6 play, 66-yard march across the Langhorst Field turf. The drive featured four successful passes from Hernandez, including a 47-yard touchdown strike to junior wide receiver Kaylon Miller.

After a quick three and out by Millikin, the Bluejays’ offense took the field again and added another score, this time by way of a 29-yard Hernandez touchdown run.

Hernandez had one of his finest days as a Bluejay. The Peoria native set a new career high with five total touchdowns through the contest (four on the ground and one through the air). He completed 7 of his 15 pass attempts, threw for 102 yards and ran for 54 more on 13 carries.

When asked about the offensive outburst, Hernandez mentioned that, “Everybody had a good week of practice and I’ve got to give all the credit to the big dogs up front.”

Those big dogs certainly de- serve a great deal of credit. The Bluejay offensive line was led by senior guards Sam Rathbun and Billy Schafer, who both entered this season as returning starters alongside junior center Garrett Underwood, junior tackle Pat Walsh and first-year starter, sophomore tackle Zach Dixon.

That offensive line was a major force all day long, clearing running lanes for Bluejay ball carriers, allowing Offensive Coordinator Kristopher Norton to call 43 running plays that accounted for 188 of the 283 total yards the offense gained.

Riding the momentum of the early lead, the EC defense was able to become aggressive and began what ultimately became the underlying theme of the ballgame when safety Tristan Bolas intercepted a Millikin pass and returned it 26-yards to set up the EC offense with possession near mid-field.

The offense capitalized on the takeaway with a 5 play, 54- yard scoring drive featuring four more rushing attempts, as the Bluejays built themselves a three-touchdown lead after only one quarter of play.

Those three scores were all EC would need as the Bluejay defense continued their harass- ing ways throughout the contest, leading to three additional interceptions, one forced fumble and a blocked punt that was returned for a touchdown.

It was an impressive performance that allowed for the Bluejays to score 35 of their points following takeaways throughout the game.

Hernandez appreciated the defensive performance of his teammates, “We definitely feed off of the other side of the ball,”

he said. “When they are doing well we want to do well for them and we just want to make the most out of a turnover”.

Head Coach Ron Planz kept his team focused and the Bluejays kept their foot on the gas as they continued to pour it on rapidly in the first half, entering the intermission with 35 points. A 50-yard Millikin run late in

the half provided the opposition with an opportunity to add a blemish against the Bluejays defense as a two-yard quarterback run on goal late in the second quarter gave Millikin 7 points, as well as hope for a comeback.

As the second half began, Millikin built upon the momentum they had gained, as they forced a Bluejay turnover and promptly turned it into 7 more points after they completed a pass deep down the field into the EC end-zone.

After holding what was once a five-touchdown advantage, the Bluejays were suddenly looking at a three-score game and possibly a tight second half battle with the Big Blue.

Entering the fourth quarter and looking for a spark, the Bluejays’ offense was prepared to take the field with their sights set on expanding the slimming lead. However, before they could get their hands on the ball the Bluejays’ defense made the play of the game.

With Millikin punting from deep within their own territory, the snap from the Millikin long-snapper went sailing over the head of punter Wyatt Fox and rolled towards the Big Blue end-zone. Bluejay defenders gave chase, but it appeared as though Fox would be able to get a kick away. Enter, EC linebacker Joe Nixon.

The junior defender sprinted past a Millikin blocker and got a hand on the football just after Fox made his kick and the ball was deflected back towards the end-zone, which is where sophomore linebacker Brandon Dominski found it as he rum- bled into the end-zone with his first career score.

The touchdown destroyed the momentum that Millikin had been building and effectively put the game out of reach at 42- 14 with 10:54 remaining in the fourth quarter.

The Bluejays added two scores later on as senior wide receiver Korey Partenheimer caught a pair of touchdown passes to make the final score 56-14, the 42-point differential being the largest the Bluejays have posted this season.

The victory leaves the Bluejays record at 5-4, assuring that their final record will be at least .500, which is a step forward from the 4-6 record that was held last year. However, when asked about this feat Hernandez had other thoughts, “5-5 is great, but when we started the season we did not set out to be an average team. We are an elite program. We truly believe that and next year it will show.”

Heading into the final week of the regular season, EC will have a challenge ahead of them as they travel to Naperville to face off against the Cardinals of North Central College, whom EC has not beaten in two years.

North Central will enter the contest holding a top 10 national ranking, a 9-0 record and a 12-game regular season winning streak dating back to last season.

The Bluejays will look to avenge the 56-21 loss that the Cardinals handed them last season.

EC will head to North Central College on Nov. 12 for a 1:00 p.m. kickoff.

EC Cubs fans fly the W as Chicago wins NLCS

EC students, alumni and faculty cheer on the Cubs in the Blume Board Room as they score a run against the LA Dodgers on Saturday, Oct. 22. (Photo by Stefan Carlson)

The Chicago Cubs capped a legendary regular season and League Championship Series by defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers in six games to win the NLCS on Oct. 22.

This marks a historic return to the World Series for the Chicago Northsiders, as the Cubs haven’t played in a World Series in 71 years.

The team is one of the original National League members, officially named the Cubs in 1903, but they have not won a World Series in 108 years. That’s the longest non-winning streak of any team that ever played in the MLB championship series.

Regardless of the longtime scarceness of post-season success, the Cubs had the best record in all of baseball by the end of September and it has stayed that way since.

On Oct. 2, the team was able to brush off their matchup against the Cincinnati Reds, taking their 103rd win of the season, tallying up the most wins the team has been able to achieve in one season since 1910.

That victory in Ohio secured the belief that the Cubs are going further than they have gone in a millennium.

Fans everywhere are going berserk in response to the success of the team, and ticket sales are already beeing sold for upwards of $3,500 on average. These are super bowl ticket numbers, and there’s going to be at least four games in the series.

EC may be 25.6 miles from Wrigley Field (if you take I-294 the whole way), but that has not stopped students and faculty from raving for the best team in MLB this year and visiting the Cub’s home field on Chicago’s north side.

Sophomore Wrestler Taylor Kistulinec was at Wrigley Field during the game against the Reds on Oct. 2. He recalls his experience being awe-inspiring.

“Appreciating other sports is a big part of being an athlete for me. I was lucky to have a friend who was selling his season pass tickets and I had no idea the game against the Reds would rewrite decades of history,” he said. “Being a part of the crowd, a part of the waves, a part of the cheering — a part of history, it was awe-inspiring for me.”

During his inaugural address earlier in the day, President VanAken announced that the sixth game of the NLCS would be streamed live in the Blume Board Room during his inaugural ball in Founder’s Lounge.

There were almost as many people watching the game in the Blume as there were students dancing and mingling in Founders.

The nail-biting game had trapped many party goers in the board room, as the Cubs dominated the Dodgers live on the projection screen.

Sophomore Michael Moore Jr. attended the ball, but felt compelled to check in on the score of the game every few minutes.

“I kept checking the score on my phone. I felt compelled, obligated even to keep up with the game,” he said. “ I kept making quick dashes to the [Blume] board room. When it was over, I was one of those people running around the room flying an invisible W.”

Even not-so-dedicated baseball fans were excited, one such fan being Sophomore Hermez Abraham.

“I’m not a huge baseball fan. But I’m a huge Chicago fan, and anytime our city in the championship, no one celebrates or supports harder than us [Chicagoans],” Abraham said. “We’re gonna fly that W again.”

The Cubs are facing the Cleveland Indians for the Commissioner’s Trophy, and neither team has tasted World Series fame in over 65 years, EC and the rest of the world’s baseball fans are ready for a historic series, and many of them will be “Flying the W.”

The first game of the series will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 25 at 7:08 p.m. at the Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio.

EC sports roundup: Week of Oct. 15 - Oct. 22

EC volleyball guard rise high to guard against an attack from the opposing team. (File photo)

Women’s Tennis

On Oct. 15, the EC women’s tennis team’s record fell to 6-7 from following a loss to Minnesota-Duluth (7-2), a NCAA Division II opponent, and a shut out by Chicago State (9-0), a NCAA Division I school.

Minnesota Duluth 7, Elmhurst 2

During the first match, the EC No. 1 doubles team consisting of sophomores Ava Kolman and Rachel Rettger, No. 2 doubles team of senior Tori Liewergen and sophomore Chiara Gaudio, and the No. 3 doubles team of senior Hannah Vaselaney and sophomore Kathryn Wheeler were all defeated by their opponents.

EC scored two points in singles play by Kolman, (7-5, 7-6) in the No. 1 position and Wheeler (6-3, 6-4) in the No. 6 position.

Chicago State 9, Elmhurst

In the second match, EC was shut out in all singles and doubles play against Chicago State.

Women’s Tennis

On Oct. 22, the EC women’s tennis team placed fifth at the 2016 CCIW Championships. During the three-day tournament, the lady Bluejays totaled 12 points and barely missed a top-four finish in championship play.

Kolman placed fourth in No.1 singles. Kolman opened with a 6-3, 6-4 win and finished with a 8-1 win in the consolation semifinals, but dropped the third-place match 8-6. Liewergen placed fourth in the No. 4 singles by taking the consolation round 8-3. Liewergen also took the consolation semifinals 8-6.

Gaudio posted a 1-2 mark in the No. 2 singles by taking the consolation round 8-1.

Rettger took third in the No.3 singles position with a 1-2 record and took her second match 8-3.

Wheeler posted a 1-2 mark at No.6 singles with a 6-4, 6-3 win in the championship quarterfinals.

Vaselaney competed at the No. 5 singles position and end- ed her season with a 0-2 record.

The EC No.1 doubles team of Kolman and Rettger finished with a 1-2 mark with a win in the quarterfinals of 8-1.

The No. 3 team of Vaselaney and Wheeler also finished with a 1-2 mark with a win against North Park of 8-1.

The No. 2 doubles team of Gaudio and freshman Dacey Maglaque posted a 0-2 mark in the tournament.

Women’s Cross Country

The EC women’s cross country team placed 29th at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh College Town Sports Invitational. Out of 36 teams, the lady Bluejays scored 856 points to finish in 29th place.

In a field of 500 runners, junior Alaina Nebel finished in the group of top-20 runners with a time of 22:27 to place 17th. With a time of 25:29:01, senior Kalia Konecki placed 279th while freshman Emma McSpadden finished in 328th place with a time of 26:03.5. In 397th place was senior Liesel Metz with a time of 26:58.3 and freshman Gabrielle Murdoch came in at 402nd place with a time of 27:05.6. To complete the lady Bluejays’ top seven, sophomore Maria Dugo placed 408th in 27:13.0 and freshman Becky Garcia, 410th place in 27:14.1. Men’s Cross Country

With a total of 839 points, the EC men’s cross country team also placed 29th out of 37 squads at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Kollege Town Sports Invitational.

In 136th place, with a time of 26:47.6, sophomore Juan Castaneda was the top finisher for EC. With a time of 27:14.6, sophomore Joe Rivas finished in 188th place, while junior

Scott Blaszak finished in 307th with a time of 28:12.6. In 326th place, freshman Antonio Aguillera finished with a time of 28:23.0 and senior William O’Connell placed 418th with a time of 29:29.2.

To complete the top seven positions, freshman Jacob Hubbard placed 459th with a time of 30:07.4 and junior Nick Schul- berg finished in 468th with a time of 30:26.0.

On Oct. 29, the Bluejays will run in the CCIW Championships.

Women’s Volleyball

The EC women’s volleyball team’s record now stands at 19- 10, following a win and a loss at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Tournament on Oct. 22. The lady Bluejays are ranked No. 16 in the latest AVCA Division III poll.

Oshkosh 3, Elmhurst 1

In their 10th loss of the season, EC fell to Wisconsin-Oshkosh with a four-set loss of 25- 23, 18-25, 19-25 and 26-28.

The lady Bluejays took the first set with a kill from junior Hannah Davis, which ended in a score of 25-3.

Losing the second and third sets, EC rallied with a lead in the fourth set. With a kill from junior Mel Lundin, EC was at set point. With four set points, the lady Bluejays faltered and lost the match.

EC closed the match with .187 hitting percentage with 53 kills, 26 errors and 162 attacks.

Senior Mary Lawrence had 15 kills, Lundin had 10 kills, and senior Hannah Nimrick and Davis both hammered eight kills for the match. Nimrick had 38 assists and 11 digs while junior Amy Schryver scored a team-leading 14 digs.

Elmhurst 3, Stevens Point 2

The lady Bluejays took three out of fives sets (25-22, 25-20, 22-25, 21-25, 15-8) to win over No. 12 ranked Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

Kills from senior Melissa Nava and junior Alli Rogers and an error by Stevens Point sealed the first set for EC 25-22.

Another kill from Rogers ended the second set and sealed the win for EC 25-20.

The lady Bluejays fell in the third and fourth sets to Stevens Point, but took control of the fifth set early in play. With an Ace by Nimrick, the fifth set and match came to a close with a win for EC.

EC hit .263 for the match with 73 kills, 21 errors and 198 swings. Lundin and Davis each had 16 kills while Nava had 13 kills and Rogers added 11. Nimrick totaled 10 kills, 52 assists and 18 digs. Lawrence captured seven kills, 11 digs and three blocks, while Schryver added team-highs of 31 digs and four aces. Ani Agbabian added 16 digs.

On Wednesday, Oct. 26, EC will host Millikin University.

EC men’s soccer goes 1-1 on the road

Freshman soccer player Didrick Cooper-Seip dribbles the ball down-field. (Photo by Kivin Woods)

The EC Men’s Soccer team visited Wheaton College and came away victorious with a 1-0 shutout win over the Thunder on Oct. 12.

The teams played to a scoreless tie early on in the contest and it remained that way until Alec Gnass found Josh Arvidson with a pass that led to Arvidson netting his third goal of the season around the 54th minute of the contest.

The Bluejays were able to limit Wheaton to taking only eight shots in 90 minutes, a mere three of them on goal.

Despite the momentum-win over Wheaton, the Bluejays traveled out to Loras College four days later and could not find a way to get anything going, as they were stifled by the Duhawks in a 3-0 loss.

The defense started strong in the match, however the pressure of the aggressive Duhawk offense was too much in the end as Loras scored three unanswered second half goals to walk away with the win. EC shot only 10 attempts, while Loras shot twice as many.

In need of a win, the Bluejays hosted Carthage for the final home game of the season at Langhorst Field on Oct. 19.

Unfortunately, the first Red Men showed everyone why they are the No. 14 ranked Division III team in the nation, outscoring the Bluejays 3-0 and outshooting them 21-5.

Needing a win to keep themselves in position to challenge for a spot in the CCIW conference tournament, the Bluejays fell to the Carroll College Pioneers 1-0 on Oct. 22.

It was another low scoring game for the Bluejays and the offense could not find the net as EC went scoreless for their third consecutive game.

Freshman defender and midfielder Luke Deel led EC with two shots attempted in the contest, and Gnass attempted his team’s only shot on goal.

The series of losses puts the Bluejays into 6th place in the CCIW at 2-4-1 with only one game left on the schedule. Due to their victory over the Bluejays earlier this season, Illinois Wesleyan holds any potential tiebreakers with EC, which effectively shuts the Bluejays out of the CCIW conference tournament.

The Bluejays will head to the city to face North Park in their regular season finale on Saturday, Oct. 29 at 7:30 p.m.

EC sports roundup: Week of Oct. 1-8

Sophomore Alyssa Olsen jumps to defend an attempted spike against Augustana on Tuesday Oct. 4 (Photo by Kivin Woods)

Women’s Volleyball

On Oct. 1, the women’s volleyball team scored a pair of victories at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Invitational. EC was among 25 squads in the tournament.

The lady Bluejays opened the invitational with a three set sweep of 25-20, 25-13 and 25-21 over No. 12 Wisconsin-Whitewater. The day ended with a win over No. 19 Wisconsin-LaCrosse with a score of 18-25, 25- 23, 19-25 and 15-1.

EC 3, Whitewater 0

In the first match, EC hit for .284, including .462 in the second set. In 81 attacks, the lady Bluejays had 35 kills and 12 errors. In the second set, Elmhurst had 13 kills and one error.

Junior Alli Rogers totaled nine kills and senior Melissa Nava had eight kills. Senior Hannah Nimrick and junior Mel Lundin each nailed six kills for the Bluejays, while senior Mary Lawrence totaled five.

Junior Amy Schryver added a team-best of 13 digs. Sophomore Selene Ushel added nine digs and a match-high of four service aces. Sophomore Alyssa Olson totaled four blocks for the victory.

EC 3, LaCrosses 2

The lady Bluejays boasted revenge against UW-Lacrosse for an early season loss by taking the match in five sets.

In the second match, the lady Bluejays had 61 kills, 21 errors in 172 attacks and hit for .233. Nava hit for 14 kills with three blocks, Lundin and Lawrence added 12 kills and three blocks each while Rogers added 11 kills for the win. Nimrick added six kills and 14 digs and a team-best of 49 assists. Schryver led with 27 digs and three service aces. Junior Hannah Davis finished with five kills and a pair of blocks.

With strong individual performances, Lawrence and Nimrick were named to the all-tournament team at the conclusion of the tournament.

On Thursday, Oct. 4 EC hosted Augustana.

EC 2 , Augustana 3

The No. 15 ranked lady Bluejays in the latest AVCA Division III poll suffered a five-set loss to Augustana College and dropped its first CCIW contest of the season.

Scores for the contest were 25-21, 24-26, 19-25, 25-16 and 11-15 with EC taking the first and fourth sets.

With a commanding lead and an 11-point cushion, Nimrick scored a service ace in the first set. Augustana moved within three points after 10 consecutive points, but a kill from Nava ended the set for the Bluejays.

The fourth set saw the lady Bluejays topple Augustana with a 25-16 win.

The lady Bluejays finished  the match hitting .176 with 63 kills and 31 errors in 182 swings. At the net, EC totaled 17 blocks. Lawrence led the Bluejays with 17 kills and eight blocks. Rogers had 15 kills and 16 blocks while Nava finished with 14 kills and five blocks. Nimrick had a match-high of 48 assists, 11 digs, six kills and five blocks. Schryver totaled a team-best of 22 digs.

On Friday, Oct. 7, EC traveled to University of Chicago.

Women’s Golf

With the conclusion of the fall season, the EC women’s golf team placed seventh in the 2016 CCIW Women’s Golf Championship at Naperbrook Golf Course.

EC finished with a three-round score of 1,139. On the first day of play, the lady Bluejays shot 393 and a 388 on day two of play. EC shaved off 30 strokes on Saturday Oct. 8, the final day of play, while carding a 358

Senior Brittany Stevens was the top finisher for EC with a 266 to tie for 26th place. Senior Madison Rankin finished with a 286 and tied for 33rd place. Senior Kayla Hansen carded a 296 to tie for 37th place while freshman Elizabeth Viken placed 42nd with a score of 323. Sophomore Brittany Zabel scored a 101 onThursday and a 92 on Saturday Oct. 8. Freshman Melissa Fidler shot a 98 on Friday and a 116 on Saturday. Zabe and Fidler did play all three days of the tournament.

Men’s Golf

With a total score of 302, the EC men’s golf team took first place at the Benedictine University Fall Invitational.

Out of 12 squads, EC placed first with four points more that the second place team, Aurora University.

In addition, EC scored top 10 finishes in the invitational. Senior Kyle Brenkman shot an even par of 72 and took home the individual title. Senior Wyatt Stickney finished two strokes behind and tied for third with a 74. In a tie for fourth place, freshman Dylan Ground carded a 75 while sophomore Curtis Geiger tied for ninth place with a score of 77.

Junior Tyler Ross took 18th place with a 79 and freshman Saphir Gohar tied for 41st place with an 87.

On Wednesday, Oct, 5, EC closed the 2016 season by playing in the Trinity International Invitational.

Men’s Soccer

EC 1, Millikin 2

With only 17 seconds left in the game, Millikin scored a game winning goal to give EC a 2-1 loss on Oct 1.

EC is now 5-3-3 overall and 0-1-1 in CCIW play for the 2016 season.

Freshmen Zach Clements scored his first goal of the season with an assist off of Didrik Cooper-Seip less than 11 minutes into the game.

EC outshot Milikin 12-11 with a 9-5 lead in the second half.

Junior goal keeper Nick King took the loss for EC by surrendering two goals and making four saves.

On Oct. 5 EC will host North Central College.

Elmhurst 3, North Central College 1

King had a season-high nine saves as the EC men’s soccer team defeated North Central 3-1. Junior JD Garnett finished the game with a goal and an assist to help seal the victory. Currently, the Bluejays’ record stands at 6-3-3 and 1-1-1 in CCIW play.

Garnett’s first goal put the Bluejays ahead in the 18th minute. Sophomore Austin Larsen kicked a cross that was headed by junior Alec Gnass. Garnett caught the ball with his chest and fired a second touch shot for his fourth goal of the season. In all, King exhibited stellar goalkeeping for the Bluejays.

In the second half, the Bluejays found the net within three minutes of game play. Garnett assisted with a diagonal pass to Larsen, who scored his first goal of the season. At the 69th minute, EC took a three-goal lead with a goal by junior Lucas Wetherby.

On Saturday, Oct. 8 EC will host Illinois Wesleyan University.

Men’s Cross Country

The EC men’s cross country team finished in seventh place at the Benedictine University Eagle Invitational. Out of 18 team, the Bluejays scored 191 points. North Central won the team title with 50 points.

As the top finisher for EC, junior Daniel Wiggin crossed the finish line with a time of 27:52.2 to take 35th place. Junior Scott Blaszak placed 48th in 28:15.5 and sophomore Joe Rivas placed 54th in 28:21.5. Freshman Antonio Aguilera placed 68th in 29:05.0 while senior William O’Connell placed 108th in 20:32.1.

Senior Nick Schulberg placed 117th in 31:00.2 while sophomore Zach Taylor placed 118th in 31:05.2, which rounded out the top seven Bluejay contenders.

On Saturday, Oct. 15 the EC Bluejays will run at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Invitational.

Women’s soccer takes three straight losses

Senior Allie Knightly regains ball possession and looks to pass in the game against Augustana University on Sept. 28 (Photo by Kivin Woods)

After a historic start to the season, the EC Women’s Soccer team is having mid-season trouble in the form of a three game conference losing streak.

After defeating Augustana on Sept. 28, the Bluejays have lost their last three games to Millikin, North Central and Illinois Wesleyan. The skid brings the Bluejays’ record to 8-4 on the season.

EC never trailed in the Augustana game, grabbing an early lead by way of Senior Defender Allie Knightly’s goal prior to the intermission.

Sophomore Midfielder Megan Mrazek added a second EC goal in the 44th minute and the Bluejays never looked back, with a Augustana goal in the 65th minute marking the only error in an offensive rout for the Bluejays.

The Bluejays then traveled to Decatur, IL on Oct 1 to face Millikin University(2-3).

Despite outshooting Millikin 11 to 3, EC did not muster up any offense as the visitors were shutout in a 1-0 loss. Senior Emily Gordon could not defend the net against one of the two shots she faced in 54 minutes.

EC returned home on Oct. 5th to match-up against the Cardinals of North Central College.

Outshooting the Cardinals 17-15 for the game, the Bluejays offense could not find the net and a pair of opportunistic early scores by North Central were all they needed in the 2-0 victory over the Bluejays.

Looking to recover from the previous two tough losses, EC played host to Illinois Wesleyan on Homecoming Saturday Oct 8.

The EC offense proved stagnant once again as Illinois Wesleyan established dominance early and often in the match, scoring once in the first half and twice in the second half as they cruised to a 3-0 win over the Bluejays.

As EC looks ahead at the remainder of their schedule it is clear that the Bluejays will need to find a way to win consistently on the road as they will be the visitors in four of their five remaining regular season games.

The first trip will be a short one as the Bluejays head west to Wheaton College for a 4:30 p.m. game against the Thunder (5-7) on Wednesday, Oct. 12.

With Wheaton coming off of a 3-1 home loss at the hands of Carroll University, both sides will be looking to rebound into the win column.

Bluejays football brings home win on homecoming weekend

An EC lineman clashes with a John Carroll University player on Saturday, Oct. 8 (Photo by Kivin Woods)

Nearly two thousand people gathered in and around Langhorst Field as John Carroll University visited EC to face the Bluejays, ending homecoming week with a win on Saturday.

Though it was Carroll’s third straight loss, the result allowed EC to get a two game winning streak started, beating the visitors 45-34 with assertiveness and ball control.

“The ball control combined with the big plays on offensive really helped. The play that set the tone of the game came because we were able to hit a bunch of deep passes and break off long runs we were able to control the clock and tempo,” said head coach Ron Planz after the game.

The tone setting play of the game came less than 30 seconds into the game, when senior wide receiver Korey Partenheimer caught a 65-yard touchdown pass from Orlando Hernandez, sophomore QB and last week’s Athlete To Watch.

Hernandez led the Bluejays offensive efforts throwing 275 yards and rushing for 127 yards weeks.

Offense alone didn’t win the game, as three defensive team members put up 22 tackles in the contest. Senior Linebackers Andy Warsen and Perode Charles brought down six and seven men respectively. Tristan Bolas tackled nine playmakers, recorded one sack and blocked a pass.

However, EC did have its share of defensive lapses. Immediately after earning the first touchdown in the game, EC allowed the Pioneers to complete a 63-yard touchdown pass for their first score.

Carroll did not score again until the second quarter, after a 70-yard drive ended up in the endzone. An EC defensive mishap led to a open screen pass, an a 47-yard carry for Carroll’s Senior running back Bennett Kothe.

EC would answer back with a field goal, with 10 minutes to go in the quarter after being brought to a halt and fourth down at the 20. But once again, the home team would crumble defensively, and allowed Carroll to make a 84-yard drive that ended with a quick pass for the team’s third goal.

By halftime, the Bluejays had taken a 10-point lead over the Pioneers, but it was not yet clear if the game was in the bag, and Athletic Director Paul Krohn

“We need our guys to assert themselves,” he said. “We need to be the aggressors, and play more physical against these guys for the entire second half. We’ll be looking to be more assertive after the break.”

Head Coach Planz felt that his team needed to meet Carroll on the field and feel them out before they would be able to figure out the way to the victory cheers.

“We know they’re a flavor of the week kind of team. We’ve anticipated a lot of variety in their offense today,” he said. “I think we’ve sort of figured them out now. Now we will be looking to come out after the break and defensively assert ourselves.”

And the defense was smothering for Carroll’s Pioneers. They would not score again until the fourth quarter, but it would be too late. By the time the Pioneer’s were able to add to their score, the Bluejays had already scored two more touchdowns.

Carroll’s offensive leader was senior quarterback Kyle Burlingame. In his face-off against Hernandez, he threw and completed five more passes in the game. He was the origin of every touchdown pass for the Pioneers, but it wasn’t enough.

In the process of keeping the Pioneers from outscoring them, EC was able to break a 47 year-old offensive record for the most yards ever earned by any of the past Bluejay squads.

The pioneers were held to 427 total offensive yards, while the home team collected the record breaking 607 yards.

The defeat delivered by the Bluejays marks their fifth loss of the season, while EC moved up to 4-2 for the season and 3-1 in the conference standings.

Coach Planz feels his team already has the tools they need to continue the win streak and the team’s success this season.

“Play smart and physical. That is the Bluejay way and that is where our success comes from,” he said.

EC will host Carthage for the Bluejays’ fifth conference game of the season on Oct. 15.

Women’s soccer team goes undefeated for seven games, loses streak to St. Catherine

Senior forward Shelby Stone leads an offensive play away from a Penn State Behrend defender at a game on Friday, Sept. 9. (Photo by Kivin Woods)

For the first time in 21 years, the EC Women’s Soccer team won seven consecutive games. The historic streak came to an end with a loss to St. Catherine University on Sept. 25.

Starting with a 4-2 victory over Dominican University, the Lady Bluejays quickly became an unexpected yet dominant force in the conference this year. Last year, the team finished 5th place overall in the conference, with a season record of 8-6-2.

However, it’s becoming clearer with every game played that this is not the women’s soccer team that fans are used to seeing from the stands.

“We’ve modified our attacking style, incorporating a similar philosophy we [utilized] four or five years ago,” said Head Coach Paul Webster, who has been coaching the team for the last 12 years.

Not only has the team changed up their offensive style of attack, but defense has been an even stronger point of emphasis this year, said Athletic Director Paul Krohn at the first game of the season against Dominican.

“We always have ambitions for the win, but this year we’re trying to aim for the learning process, especially the defensive learning process for our new and veteran players alike,” he said.

In seven games, the Bluejays have totaled 14 goals on opponents and effectively defended the goal, resulting in only two of the opponents being able to score against EC. These two teams were not able to score more than two goals.

To contrast this year’s defensive success, in the 2013-2014 CCIW Tournament game EC visited Wheaton College and lost in a shutout. Wheaton was allowed to score 8 goals, and were able to keep the Lady Bluejays scoreless for the entirety of the contest.

Webster highlights the efforts of a handful of players being instrumental to the team’s success so far.

“Many players have [stepped up] at different times,” he said. “Our goalkeeping has been very solid.”

Senior goalkeeper Emily Gordon has started in all seven games, playing 462 minutes and recording 18 saves. Freshman goalkeeper Sophia Tuliglowski has played in all but two games this season, playing nearly half the minutes Gordon has played and recording 15 saves.

Junior midfielder Kim Stanczak has also managed to score more than twice the amount of points than anyone else on the team.

“Kim Stanczak has been opportunistic in front of goal,” said Webster.

Sophomore forward Sidney O’Keeffe and sophomore midfielder Emma Krick are tied for second in points scored at six each.

The winning streak ended in a dramatic double overtime loss to St. Catherine University on Sept. 25. Despite losing to their 8th opponent of the season, EC still sits atop the women’s soccer standings with a 7-1 record. A St. Catherine goal scored by Iryana Talkachova with 24 seconds left on the game clock left the EC team stunned. Only managing to take 12 shots in 90 minutes, the offense was stagnant from the start for EC. Webster acknowledged that the team struggled and is look-

ing forward to the next game. “We’ve been struggling in a couple areas that were exposed today, but managed to stay in the game,” he said. “We need to use this game as a learning experience and not let it beat us again on Wednesday.”

Elmhurst will play Augustana College on Wednesday, Sept. 28.

Men’s soccer goes 1-2 after home opener

Junior mid-fielder/forward J.D. Garnett applies defensive pressure on a Loras player at a game on Friday, Sept. 16. (Photo by Stefan Carlson)


EC’s men’s soccer team lost their first game at home on Friday, Sept. 16 to the University of Chicago Maroons.

The visiting Maroons (6-0) used the strength of an impressive second half performance to move past the Bluejays (3-1-2) by a final score of 4-1.

Despite a quick pace of play, the game began with a strong display of defense. Both sides dismissed multiple shot at- tempts early on in the contest.

The game remained scoreless until the Bluejays managed to claim the lead when Junior J.D. Garnett scored his first goal of the season in the 35th minute. Garnett figures to be a large part of the Bluejays offense this season.

As the first half continued, the Maroons found the back of the Elmhurst net by way of a David McBroom kick, tying the game at 1-1. The score would stay that way into the intermission.

The second half did not go the Bluejays way. The Elmhurst defense broke down and allowed Chicago to strike quickly as they gained possession of the lead in the 51st minute.

Shortly after that the Maroons struck again when Max Lopez worked his way through the Bluejays’ defense and gave Chicago both the momentum and a 3-1 lead.

The trend continued later on as the Maroon added one more tally in the 68th minute to give themselves an insurmountable 4-1 lead late in the game.

The Maroons held the Bluejays’ offense in check for the better part of the second half through ball control. The Blue- jays seemed to struggle when looking for any kind of rhythm when moving the ball into the attacking zone. A fierce Maroon defense did an impressive job of interrupting any communication between the EC players.

EC attempted four total shots throughout the game, one making it on goal. The Maroons attempted 17 shots with eight of them on goal.


After a tough loss in their home opener, the Bluejays took to the turf at Langhorst Field on Sept. 20 as they battled the Falcons of Concordia University.

Despite another early lead, Bluejays’ efforts to rebound from the home opening loss were halted by Concordia, ultimately losing 2-1. With the loss, EC fell to 3-2-2. Concordia improved their record to 6-1.

The scoring began quickly, as the Bluejays jumped to a first half lead thanks to a goal from forward Didrik Cooper-Seip. The goal marked the first of his young career at EC.

As play continued, the Bluejays’ defense kept the team in front as they held Concordia scoreless through the duration of the first half of play.

Unfortunately, that changed in the second half when the Falcons netted a goal at the 52nd minute. This tied the score at 1-1.

In the 56th minute, Bluejay’s Midfielder Matt McNamara received a red card from Referee Andy Maratto’s squad. The ejection forced EC to play a man down for the rest of the game and gave the Falcons a massive advantage.

Despite the unfortunate situation, the Bluejays turned away 10 consecutive shots before the Falcons Iven Hernandez put Concordia ahead in the 71st minute, putting the falcons ahead 2-1.

The remainder of the second half went the Falcons way as they fired off 18 shot attempts against the Bluejays five.

In total, the Falcons attempted 23 shots in this contest, with nine on goal. The Bluejays countered with nine shots, three on goal. The leader for the Bluejays was junior Alec Gnass. The Michigan native matched his season high with three shots attempted and one shot on goal. Other strong contributors were Lucas Weatherby with his two shot attempts and goalie Nick

King, who made seven saves.


After a pair of home losses set the EC men’s soccer team back, the team earned a 3-0 shutout victory on the road against the Illinois Institute of Technology Scarlet Hawks on Sept. 23.

EC scored three goals and capitalized on strong defense on the path to a victory. The win improves the Bluejay’s season record to 4-2-2.

The scoring began with sophomore forward Sam Johnson. After receiving a pass from Lucas Wetherby, Johnson put the Bluejays ahead 1-0 with his first goal of the season in the 18th minute.

That score held into the second half of play, at which point Johnson tallied his second goal of the game after an assist from J.D. Garnett. With two goals, Sam Johnson equaled his season total from last year.

In the 55th minute, Junior Andrew Hicks continued the offensive push as he scored his second goal of the season.

The EC defense stifled the Scarlett Hawks all night long, leading to a shutout performance, the 5th of the season for the Bluejays.

In total, the Bluejays attempted 13 shots with nine on goal. Meanwhile the Scarlett Hawks could only muster up four shots with none of them reaching goal.

Other players of note in this contest were J.D. Garnett and Zach Clements, with two shots a piece. The defense as a whole played a strong game, as goalie Nick King was not forced to record a single save.

Langhorst Field will be the setting for the next EC Men’s soccer game, as the Simpson College Storm visit on Monday, Sept. 26 at 6:30 p.m. for a non-conference match-up.

Simpson College is 5-2-1 on the season, riding a two game winning streak. They should prove to be a challenge for the Bluejays, as the Storm offense is averaging 16.9 shots per game on the season with 18 goals scored.

EC Sports Roundup: Week of Sept. 17-24

Women’s Soccer

The Lady Bluejays extended their winning streak to seven when sophomore mid-forward Emma Krick’s header in overtime captured a 1-0 game win over Lake Forest College on Sept. 21.

The win was the fourth consecutive shutout win for EC.

In the fifth minute of overtime, Krick hammered a header for the game winning goal assisted by junior mid-forward Kim Stanczak’s corner kick.

EC outshot Lake Forest 10-7, including 6-2 in shots on goal. Senior goalkeeper Emily Gordon stopped two shots in the first half when freshman goalkeeper Sophia Tuliglowski took over in the second half and was credited with the win.

The Lady Bluejays will travel to St. Catherine University to play the Wildcats on Sept. 24.

Women’s Tennis

The EC women’s tennis team defeated Illinois Wesleyan University 8-1 in its second consecutive CCIW contest by sweeping the three doubles matches and five of the six singles matches at the Brune Tennis Courts on Sept. 18.

EC currently stands at 2-3 overall and 2-2 in CCIW play.

At No. 1 doubles, sophomores Ava Kolman and Rachel Retger toppled their opponents in an 8-4 win. Sophomore Chaira Gaudio and freshman Dacey Maglaque took their match 9-8 at the No. 2 position. Senior Hannah Vaselaney and soph- omore Kathryn Wheeler won their match in an 8-4 win at the No. 3 spot.

EC took 5-1 in singles play.

Elmhurst will play Wheaton College on Tuesday, Sept. 20.

Women’s Golf

The Elmhurst College women’s golf team took 10th place with a combined score of 792 at the Benedictine University Fall Invitational on Sept. 17 and 18.

In the opening round, the Lady Bluejays shot a 401 on Saturday and improved by 10 strokes on Sunday to score a 391 for a combined total of 792.

Sophomore Brittany Zabel was EC’s top finisher with a total score of 189 while tying for 32nd place. Zabel carded a 96 on Saturday and a 93 on Sunday. Freshmen Melissa Fidler and Elizabeth Viken tied for 40th place with an identical score of 196. Both golfers scored a 100 on Saturday and a 96 on Sunday. Senior Madison Rankin placed 47th with a score of 211.

The Lady Bluejays will compete at the North Central College Invitational on September 21.

Men’s Golf

The EC men’s golf team opened the 2016 season by taking second place at the Midwest Invitational at the Eagle Ridge Resort after shooting a 611 and finishing just two strokes out of first place.

Of 32 squads, EC tied for second place with Augustana and Carthage, while Luther College finished with a score of 609 to take first place.

The Bluejays shot a 305 on the first day of the tournament and a 306 on the second and final day of play.

Senior Wyatt Stickney was the top finisher for EC with a total score of 148 and finished in 10th place overall in the tournament, shooting 76 and 72 over the weekend.

Bluejays junior Tyler Ross and sophomore Curtis Geiger tied for 27th place, hitting 156.

Freshman Saphir Gohar tied for 100th place overall with a score of 166. Gohar carded 77 on Saturday and 89 on Sunday.

The Bluejays will host the EC Fall Invitational on Sept. 27.

Athlete to watch: QB Orlando Hernandez

Sophomore quarterback Orlando Hernandez scans the field for a receiver at a game on Saturday, Sept. 10. (Photo by Kivin Woods)

Sophomore quarterback Orlando Hernandez leads the Bluejays football team with offensive decision-making and ability. In a mere three games he has been named the CCIW Offensive Player of the Week for the week of Sept. 19, exemplifying his ability to be the offensive leader his team needs on the field.

A football quarterback must be quick, precise, and sturdy on his feet. He is the offensive mastermind, so to speak, on the field. If a team wants to score, it will do so through the quarterback more often than not. He must be able to see it all, think through it all and get the ball to it’s destination on every play with confidence, accuracy and power.

Proving that he can fulfill this role despite his youth, Hernandez had a game spectators will not forget for a while when he and his team welcomed North Park College to Langhorst Field in the CCIW opener on Sept. 17, also acting as the home-opener for the team.

He threw four touchdown passes in three quarters of play, throwing 50 percent for the game. He was also able to get away from the opponent’s defensive line and carry the ball 13 times, earning 62 rushing yards for the game.

Utilizing 255 in-game plays so far in the season, Hernandez and the team have been able to gain 1,084 yards against opponents. The team is averaging about 270 yards per game and currently places eighth in total offense overall.

Individually, Hernandez has been able to place seventh in the conference in total rushing yards and sixth in total passing yards. He attributes this to the power and skill of his offensive line.

“I’d like to consider myself a dual-threat QB, meaning I can both run and throw the ball effectively,” he said “My offensive line deserves much of the credit for that.”

As a sophomore, Hernandez has already been able to blow his freshman year stats out of the water. In the 2014-2015 season he was a backup player. He played in five games and started in four of them, which were the last of the season. He was able to pass for 164 yards and rush for 146 yards on 46 carries.

“I backed up three quarter- backs for most of the season, due to injury. When I was finally healthy again, I got the opportunity to [start] the last four games. My experience back in high school taught me how to fight through adversity and to keep pushing when times get tough,” he said.

In the four games that he’s started in the 2015-2016 season, he has already been able to pass for 604 yards and in 51 carries he’s gained 295 yards for his team, leading the entire offensive team in rushing yards, as a quarterback.

Hernandez also admits that another vital part of his success as a student, a player, and a leader is the support behind him.

“I have a large support system. I know that every coach on the team and all my team- mates believe in me, which gives me a boost of confidence in my ability,” he said. “My family especially plays a large role in my support system. My parents make it to every game, and my grandparents come to every home game from Indiana. They are all my backbone.”

All athletes at EC are held to and expected to achieve or exceed a standard. Academics are a huge part of any athletic team, and failure to maintain the standard will result in less or even no time on the field.

“Academically, I have been able to achieve the standard by managing my time most effectively. We do not have any football related activities scheduled on Mondays, and this is when I usually get all my school work done,” Hernandez shared.

In the next two years up to graduation, he hopes to do two things with the help of his supporters and his teammates.

“Before I leave I want to leave a standard of excellence here at Elmhurst. A standard that future players will follow to prove that we are elite, and [we strive to be] unmatched,” he said. “I want everyone to know that the Elmhurst Bluejays run an elite program and we are no team to be overlooked,” he said.

So far, he has done well in showing his teammates, his family and the fans of the EC Football program that as long as he is here, he will lead by example.

EC football team loses to rival Wheaton

Defensive and offensive lines collide at the beginning of a play at the EC vs. Olivet football game on Saturday, Sept. 10. (Photo by Kivin Woods)

Despite leading early in the contest, the EC Bluejays football team stumbled to a 10-6 loss at the hands of the Wheaton College Thunder (4-0) this weekend as they competed in their second CCIW Conference matchup of the season.

The Bluejays won the coin toss, elected to defer, and promptly sacked Wheaton quarterback Andrew Bowers on the first play off from scrimmage. Defensive end Cameron Hall was credited with the sack, as he set the tone for an afternoon that proved to be a defensive struggle.

That sack led to a three and out from the Wheaton offense, as they were forced to punt the ball from deep in their own territory. The punt only netted them 36 yards, and the Bluejays offense took over in great field position at their 41- yard line.

EC quarterback Orlando Hernandez found wide receiver Korey Partenheimer and they connected for a 26-yard gain on third and 11 early in the drive. After a pair of unsuccessful plays, Hernandez and the offense found themselves in another third-and-long situation, this time at the Wheaton 34-yard line.

Once again the Bluejays moved the chains by way of a Hernandez throw, as freshman wide receiver Jawan Gaines snuck open for a 15-yard gain down to the Wheaton 19- yard line. After a pair of rushes and an incomplete pass, the offense was faced with 4th down and 4 to gain from their opponents 13-yard line.

Facing his first tough decision of the game, Head Coach Ron Planz opted to play it safe as the field goal unit came on and freshman placekicker Blake Bailey converted his second attempt of the season into 3 points and an early lead for the Bluejays with less than 10 minutes remaining in the first quarter.

After trading unsuccessful possessions, EC delivered a 41 yard punt; however, a strong Thunder punt return gave Wheaton possession at the EC 42-yard line to begin their next drive.

Beginning the drive in four down territory, Wheaton proceeded to convert an early fourth and three into a first down and they appeared to be gaining steam. Their momentum was short lived as the Thunder were called for an illegal block on first-and-10 from the EC 24 yard line.

The penalty set them back into a first-and-17 situation. With a pass completion and a positive rush, they managed to put themselves into a manageable 3rd down and 4 from the Elmhurst 18-yard line.

Wheaton took to their passing game in hopes of continuing the drive, but the EC defense stood strong as the Thunder pass went incomplete.

Faced with a situation nearly identical to the one EC faced earlier in the game, Wheaton also decided to attempt a field goal. That plan went awry when the kick sailed wide right and the Bluejays kept their lead as they regained possession.

Defense continued to be the main storyline as the first quarter turned into the second quarter. After another field position swap, EC found themselves with the ball at their own 31.

Hernandez took charge and led the Bluejays down the field, completing three straight passes gaining for 61 yards. The third pass, a 26-yard completion, found the safe hands of senior Wide Receiver Connor Brewer and brought the Bluejay offense back into the red zone as he went out-of-bounds at the Wheaton 5-yard line.

Upon entering the red zone, the short field stumped the offense for a second time when Wheaton stuffed a first down rushing attempt, followed by a pair of incomplete passes. Coach Planz called for the sure points and Bailey came through again, giving the Bluejays a 6-0 advantage with just over nine minutes to play in the second quarter.

With a little over three minutes remaining in the half, Wheaton took over on offense.

Quarterback Bowers hit five straight passes for 49 yards and added 23 on the ground, bringing Wheaton down to the Elmhurst 6-yard line with 11 seconds to spare.

After a pass attempt aimed at the end zone fell incomplete, Wheaton was forced to kick a second down field goal which put them on the scoreboard heading into the half. Elmhurst 6 – Wheaton 3.

Elmhurst received the ball to commence the second half of play.

The third quarter proved to be inconsequential as neither team could manage much offensively and field position was swapped numerous times.

The fourth quarter of play got off to a tumultuous start when an Hernandez pass attempt was intercepted near midfield and was returned all the way to the EC 25-yard line.

The sudden change proved to be too much for the Bluejay defense to handle with Wheaton scoring the first touchdown of the ballgame on an 11-yard Bowers strike thrown to sophomore Thunder wide receiver Trey Hanley.

The extra point attempt was kicked through the uprights and Wheaton suddenly found themselves in front 10-6 with a little over 11 minutes remaining in the game.

Taking over possession with hopes of reclaiming the lead, despite their best efforts, the EC drive hit a wall after a Wheaton defender broke free and sacked Hernandez on a first-and-10 at the Elmhurst 48-yard line.

On the very next play, EC was charged with a holding penalty that brought them all the way back to their 34-yard line. Facing second-and-24, the Bluejays were unable to pick up the first down.

Facing another difficult decision, Coach Planz placed his faith in his veteran defense and sent on the punt team. That decision paid off as his special teams came through, pinning Wheaton back just inside their own 20-yard line.

On the ensuing Wheaton drive, the EC defense stood tall and quickly forced the Thunder offense off of the field. Provided with one final opportunity to find the end-zone, the Bluejays offense took over with a little more than three minutes left to play.

Looking to move quickly, the Bluejays dropped back to pass, but the Thunder saw it coming as they sent linebacker Caleb Ashby and lineman Chase Greenlee on a blitz and they took down Hernandez on a second-and-seven pass attempt.

A pair of incompletions followed and Wheaton regained possession of the football with a little more than two minutes to play. Bowers promptly ran for a 12-yard gain, giving his offense a first down and presenting his team with an opportunity to run out the remainder of the clock as Wheaton went on to seal the victory.

Despite the loss, the veteran EC defense proved its worth by holding an unbeaten Wheaton squad to a season low 244 yards of total offense and as well a season low 10 points scored.

The Bluejays will look to get back on track this weekend when they are scheduled to make a trip out west to Augustana College for their third CCIW Conference game. With both teams currently holding 2-2 records on the season, the Vikings will be a fair challenge for the Bluejays.

Kick-off is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. on the campus of Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois on Saturday, Oct. 1.