Theresa Hutto leads bowling team one strike at a time

Mia Riese
Sports Editor

 Theresa Hutto.  Photo from ecbluejays.com

Theresa Hutto. Photo from ecbluejays.com

The Elmhurst College women’s bowling team has had a rough start to their season going 4th of eight teams, 19th of 27 teams, 8th of 10 teams, 15th of 18 teams, and 18th of 24 teams in their past five contests.

Head coach Mike Nape shares that “the struggle comes from having a young team, which is a problem we have faced before,” and “the lanes have been very difficult this year.”

Despite the trials for the team that is comprised of mostly freshmen, there is one bowler that has made her mark. Captain Theresa Hutto has kept the team alive this season.

Her top performances this season in scoring were a 204 against Stephen F. Austin, a 203 against Sam Houston State, and a 200 against Mt. Mercy. Hutto is currently the second highest scorer on the team with a 165 average.

Not to mention, last season she earned honorable mention All-Conference awards from the MIAA and posted eight games of 200 or higher. She also scored a season high 267, which made her top four of all time scoring in a single game at EC women’s bowling history.

However, it is not just what her scores have been that put her in the spotlight. It is her team player attitude.

Hutto was described by coach Nape as “exactly what a coach wants in a college athlete” and “the nicest person” who “always has a great attitude and takes on any task you ask of her.”

The hottest players to look out for in the upcoming MLB season

Shalyn Brady
Sports Reporter

  Bryce Harper. Picture from NBC Sports

Bryce Harper. Picture from NBC Sports

The MLB offseason is just starting to heat up, and for Chicago baseball fans, that means rumors glore. Who is going where? Who is an early lock for the World Series? It is a fun time to be a fan because this year’s free agent market is glorious.

While the Cubs made a push towards the postseason at the end of 2018, the White Sox are still in full rebuild mode. Each organization has young talent waiting in the pipeline for their moment to shine, but patience is key when developing baseball players.

The winter meetings, a gathering each December of executives and personnel from each organization, is poised to be full of trades and signings. And for fans following along at home, it can be hard to determine what your team is looking for. We are here to give you some information to keep your eyes on as the offseason rolls on.

For Cubs fans, look for general manager and president of baseball operations Theo Epstein to make a move for either a strong starting pitcher or big outfield bat. Names like Patrick Corbin, Dallas Keuchel, and Nathan Eovaldi could be affordable and strong options. Bryce Harper, the biggest free agent on the market, has been linked to the Cubs on multiple occasions already, so look for him as a possible big ticket item on the North Side.

As for the White Sox, pitching is going to be where they need to focus as well. They have money, and they have plans to spend big this winter. J.A. Happ is another strong candidate, as well as Lance Lynn. Do not be surprised if they go after young stud Sonny Gray, a phenom early in his career with Oakland, but struggled in the New York market with the Yankees this past season.

As mentioned earlier, Bryce Harper, as well as Manny Machado, are the biggest names on the market in terms of position players. Both are asking for north of $200 million (in Harper’s case, it is rumored he is looking for $300 million minimum), and it could be a tall order to get them signed long term. But, if either the Cubs or the White Sox could work it out, it would be a franchise-altering move.

Harper is going into his age 26 season, with a .279 career batting average and 27.4 career WAR (wins above replacement, essentially a statistic that measures how valuable a player is to his team. The higher, the better). Machado is also entering his age 26 season, with a .282 career batting average and a 33.8 career WAR. Both provide depth in the batting order and are both regarded as reliable veteran players, despite little playoff experience.

Keep your eyes on the hot stove, because as the calendar moves into December, it is only going to get hotter—despite the snow outside.



Bluejays wrestling off to a strong start with Wheaton win

Mia Riese
Sports Editor

 Courtesy of ecbluejays.com

Courtesy of ecbluejays.com

The Elmhurst College wrestling team opened the 2018-2019 season with 30-22 win over CCIW opponent Wheaton College.

A rocky start for the Bluejays, Wheaton’s Carlos Fuentz pinned EC’s Antonio Bess at 125 pound weight class, resulting in the Bluejays trailing 6-0.

New to the EC team, transfer Zach McCullough, evened the score by pinning Wheaton’s Ethan Harsted at 4:26.

Jimmy McAuliffe took the Bluejays ahead 12-6 by quickly pinning Cameron Calabrese at 1:52. Christian Komitas, a freshman, scored a 22-7 technical fall against Andy Harrell in the 149 pound weight class. Komitas improved the Bluejays’ score to 16-6.

At the 157 pound weight class, Keone Derain scored 9-1 over Caele Manley, bumping the Bluejays score to 21-6.

Wheaton’s Jonavan Huggins battled back at the 165 pound weight class with a last minute pin over Howie Olson. With the score at 21-12, EC’s Nevian Brittain pinned Wheaton’s Jacob Murrie at the 174 pound weight class.

Then a tough decision was made by the coaching staff to forfeit the 184 pound weight class. The forfeit brought the score 24-18, but the Bluejays still held the lead.

Head coach Steve Marianetti explained, “We had a strategic plan to move Mark Miller up a weight, and he had to adapt to the last minute change to wrestle at 197.”

The move was the right decision, as Miller got the pin over Wheaton’s Max Gierke.

Wheaton’s Darien Miller took the 285 pound weight class pin over EC’s Karim Fuentes in the last match of the dual.

The Bluejays took a 30-22 victory over Wheaton. The wrestling team returns to action December 1 at the MSOE Invitational.  



2018 fall sports recap

Mia Riese and Shalyn Brady
Sports Editor and Sports Reporter

Women’s XC

With a heavily dominated sophomore team, the women’s cross country team came out hot by placing second at their first meet of the 2018 season, the Earlybird Invite.

At the second meet of the season, the Aurora Invite, the Bluejays captured a first place title. Top runners at the Aurora Invite were Emily Gilligan, Elita Spadlowski, Isabella Wolke, and Alisandra Mondrella.

Emily Gilligan was the top finisher for the Bluejays for Earlybird and Aurora Invitationals. Gilligan finished second at the Earlybird Invite and sixth at the Aurora Invite, resulting in her receiving CCIW Athlete of the Week.

The women’s XC team kept the 2018 season rolling with a fifth place finish at the Augustana Invite.

Becky Garcia was the Bluejays top finisher at the Benedictine Eagle. The team finished 11th without the majority of their regular top runners.

At the final invite of the season, the Pre-National Invitational at University Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Gilligan, Wolke, and Spadlowski led the Bluejays to a 33rd place finish.

Emily Gilligan and Elita Spadlowksi earned All-CCIW Honors.


Men’s XC

Graduating five seniors last year, the men’s cross country team had to rely on the freshmen class and a few seniors to carry them through the 2018 season.

The Bluejays opened up the season with a fourth place finish at the Earlybird Invitational. The team was led by Ashith Chirayath placing 30th and Juan Castaneda placing 32nd.

As the season continued, Castaneda and Chirayath were the top finishers for the Bluejays as the team finished 12th at the Aurora Invitational and 17th at the Augustana Invitational.

The Bluejays competed at the CCIW Championships, earning an eighth place team finish out of nine teams.

However, head coach James Akita explained the eighth place finish by saying, “We competed, and with 3 top 25 teams in the country in our conference, it can be tough to place high. On top of that, our number 5 runner, Armando Alvarez dropped out due to injury, which hurt our team score.”

Juan Castaneda placed 23rd at the CCIW Championships, being just three places shy of receiving All-CCIW honors.


Women’s Tennis

The Bluejays welcomed new head coach Tadd Matlby and assistant coach Terry Maltby to their coaching staff for the 2018 season.

The new coaching staff led the women’s tennis team to a 7-4 overall record and a 4-4 conference record.

The women’s tennis team cruised passed many of their opponents—only taking losses to North Central, Augustana, Carthage, and Wheaton.

Captain Rachel Rettger commented on the success of the team, “It was the team’s first winning season in 10 years, so that was something we were all proud of.”

The Bluejays wrapped up the 2018 season with a huge 9-0 conference win over North Park University. Doubles Kathryn Wheeler and Rachel Rettger, Chiara Guidio and Ysabel Gonzaga, Sarah Paist and Maddy Freeman swept all three double matches. The team also easily took all six single matches.

The women’s tennis team will be back in action for the 2019 spring season.

Football

The football team started the season off with a great 21-20 win over Aurora University. However, it stopped there.

After the first game of the 2018 season, the Bluejays struggled to get another win under their belt. The Bluejays lost all 5 of their home games and also lost on the road to Carthage, Illinois Wesleyan, and North Central.

Despite the team struggles, defensive player Brandon Greer earned CCIW Player of the Week two times this season. Kicker Blake Bailey also earned a CCIW Player of the Week honor.

The Bluejays wrap up their season Saturday, November 10 at Wheaton College.

Women’s Golf

The women’s golf team, made up of primarily freshmen and sophomores, struggled to stay afloat this season.

Three of the five tournaments the Bluejays finished in last place—one of those being the 2018 Women’s Golf CCIW Invitational.

However, the Bluejays earned a third place finish out of five teams at their home Invitational at Oak Brook Golf Course. Freshman Sydney Roberts led the way for the Bluejays at their home tournament shooting 82, which made her tie for second place. Sophomore Eva Toon shot 86 for a ninth place finish, and freshman Julia Shaver shot 99 for a 23rd place finish.

The women’s golf team has two spring 2019 Intiationals, April 8 and 16.

Women’s Volleyball

The women’s volleyball team finished the year with a 12-19 record, which falls just below the average for a .387 win percentage. From that 12-19, they only came away with two wins in conference play, losing six for a .250 win percentage in the CCIW. They dropped five of those 19 at home, winning only three matches in their home gym.

Despite the difficulty of finding success for this young and growing team, the Bluejays finished the season with back-to-back wins against Benedictine University and Lincoln College.

Junior right side hitter Bailey Brouwer led all attackers with a 3.05 kill per set average, racking up a total of 338 kills on the season, while junior setter Kelly Townsend led the charge all season long, accumulating 626 assists and a 5.91 assist per set average. Freshman defensive specialist Valerie Thomas finished her rookie season strong with 432 digs, a 4.32 dig per set average.

The women’s volleyball team is one of the youngest, with ten players currently on the roster who still have three more years left at EC.

Women’s Soccer

After falling to Wheaton College in the CCIW semifinals on October 31, the women’s soccer team wrapped up its season with a successful 9-6-2 record for a .588 win percentage. They went an even 4-4-0 in conference play, won five matches on home turf, and went 4-4-1 on the road.

Freshman MJ Lessila came onto the team and dominated from the start: she finished the season first in goals with six, second in points with 13, and fifth in assists with one. She also had a team-high three game-winning goals. Senior Sidney O’Keeffe contributed 14 points, three goals, a team-leading eight assists, and one game-winning goal in what was a strong final season.

After starting the season on a hot 5-0-1 streak, they surrendered their first loss on September 18, 19 days into their season. With losing ten seniors this spring, they welcomed in five freshman, all of who performed well in their first seasons on the team.

Men’s Soccer

The men’s soccer team dropped their final game of the season on October 27, a 1-4 loss to Illinois Wesleyan University. They ended the year with a 4-14 record and a .222 win percentage.

The team won just 2 at home and dropped 8, while going 2-8 on the road. In the process, the team fell to a 2-5 record in CCIW play.

Senior Keegan Thompson was stellar throughout the season, leading the team in every single category. 11 points, 4 goals, and 3 assists.


Men’s Tennis

In their first season under new head coach Jason Foreman, the men’s tennis team had a final record of 0-19. They won 14 of 149 total sets played, winning with just a .009 percentage.

The team of seven players will be losing two in Chris Wallace and David Demoll come springtime.


Men’s Golf

Playing in seven tournaments this fall, the team finished in top the five three different times, including one first overall victory.

Four players led the way in rounds played with 11, and two of those four had team lows of 68. Senior Curtis Geiger had one first place finish in the Judson Fall Invite—the same tournament in which the team came away with first place—and freshman Ethan Green ranked second overall in just his second tournament of the year, the Aurora University Invitational. At their annual Elmhurst College Fall Invitational, the Bluejays captured third place with an overall score of 302.



Soccer loses to Auggie

Mia Riese
Sports Editor

Homecoming weekend at Elmhurst College finished with the women’s soccer team (9-4-1) taking a 4-0 CCIW loss on a penalty kick by Augustana at Langhorst Field Saturday night, October 20.

EC’s key defensive player and captain Kennedy Irmen tore her ACL Wednesday, October 17 against North Central, and the Bluejays had to reorganize their back line for the Auggie game.

Auggie attacked early in the first half with header into the back of the net by Karissa Gottardo, assisted by Jordyn Sundberg.

The Bluejays went into halftime only trailing 1-0, but the Vikings came out with full force in the second half.

Anna Fank, for the Vikings, scored off of Abby Wendell’s corner kick 13 minutes into the second half. Then Andria Seria added another goal, increasing the lead to 2-0 for Auggie.

The Vikings went on to score another goal when Wendell sent a corner kick into the box, and then Seria scored off of an assist by Fank.

The Bluejays shuffled defense could not keep up with Auggie’s offensive pressure. Now, the Vikings had quite the opposite effect on the Bluejays’ offense.

“Auggie had a really solid back line, and that made it hard for us to penetrate and get into the box in order to get some dangerous attempts on goal,” explained senior MF Jami Lessila.

The Bluejays only had 6 shots on goal compared to Auggie’s 12.

In the final moments of the game, Auggie scored again when Fank converted on a penalty kick, resulting in Auggie cruising away with the 4-0 win over EC.

The Bluejays travel to Kalamazoo College Tuesday, October 23 for a non-conference matchup.  


Bluejays fall short at homecoming game

Mia Riese
Sports Editor

It was a bitter ending to the Homecoming game Saturday, October 20 when the Bluejays lost in the last six minutes after leading since the kick off.

The Bluejays’ offense came alive for the overflowing crowd in the first quarter when Jim Robley scored on an 18 yard pass from Jake Tahnaey. The drive took 5 plays for 82 yards. Kaiden Triniger kicked the extra point.

Millikin evened out the score in the second quarter with Jazontae Howard’s 6 yard touchdown run. The drive took 15 plays for 93 yards, and Raibley secured the extra point.

Later in the second quarter, EC broke the 7-7 tie with a 28 yard field goal by Kaiden Triniger. The drive was completed in 11 plays for 51 yards.

In the third quarter, EC stretched their lead to 13-7 after driving 54 yards in 11 plays to score with a 27 yard field goal by Triniger.

The Bluejays’ defense held off Millikin in the third quarter when Romaine Richards sacked quarterback Cal Pohrte on the 40 yard line on 4th down giving EC back the ball. Brandon Greer also helped the Bluejays’ defense in the third quarter with an interception in the end zone, which kept Millikin from scoring.

EC failed to get a first down on their next possession, and Millikin took the ball at midfield after the EC punt. In the middle of the fourth quarter, Pohrte found Tyrice Hines for a 33 yard touchdown pass, giving Millikin a 14-13 lead.

“With 5 minutes left on the clock, the hope was to drive down the field to get into field goal position [range],” said head coach Ron Planz’s about his strategy when Millikin took the lead.

However, at Millikin’s 45 yard line, EC turned the ball over with one minute left. This allowed Millikin to run out the clock and steal this year’s EC Homecoming football game.

The Bluejays travel to North Central College next Saturday, October 27 for another CCIW match up.


Bluejay volleyball defeated by Aurora

Shalyn Brady
Sports Reporter

After splitting a tough day on Friday, October 19 with a straight set loss to University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and a 3-2 hard-fought win over University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, the Bluejays fell in 3 sets to the Spartans of Aurora University on Saturday afternoon, October 20—their second straight set loss in two days.

Though comebacks would be had throughout the contest, the Spartans, led by outside hitter Karli Chambers, overpowered in almost every aspect of the game.

With a total of 49 kills, 2 aces, 7 blocks, 46 and 52 digs, the Spartans cruised through the 1st set, winning 25-17. The closest the score ever got was 15-12 when the Bluejays closed within three.

The 2nd set was a much closer game, with the Spartans barely escaping with a 26-24 win. The Bluejays stormed back from a tough 10-6 start, using a 6-1 stretch to bring the game to 23-21. But yet again, the Spartans rallied and closed it out in extra points. The 3rd sounded much like the middle set, with the Bluejays closing in on a win with a 20-19 lead. But the Bluejays ran out of gas, and the Spartans grabbed the 25-20 win, closing out the weekend with a sweep over the home team.

Though the Bluejays had a tough weekend at home, head coach Julie Hall had some positive things to say about her squad.

“Our team is super young, super inexperienced, and the goal for us is to get better every day, so even though we took a couple steps back, I think overall, we got better as the weekend went on.”

Junior right-side hitter Bailey Brouwer hung toe-to-toe with Chambers, notching 14 kills, while fellow junior setter Kelly Townsend had 37 assists to match Aurora’s 40 from setter Emily Lines. They currently hold a 10-17 record on the season.

The Bluejays have one more home game of the season against North Park on Wednesday October 24, and then they close out the season with a road game at University of Chicago on Friday, October 26, and with two against Lincoln College and Benedictine at Benedictine University on Saturday, October 27.


Bluejays rally against North Central

Mia Riese
Sports Editor

After graduating all six of their starting positions, the EC volleyball team had to started scratch. Still, the young team consisting of sophomores and freshmen rallied past CCIW opponent, the North Central Cardinals, on October 2 at R.A. Faganel Hall.

The first set went back and forth and was tied 9-9 until sophomores Taylor Zurliene and Kaye Lesure led a 4-0 run for EC. However, North Central countered back coming within 1 point of EC. Again, the Bluejays pulled away with a 5-1 run. The Cardinals trailed behind the Bluejays the rest of the set. The Bluejays won the first set 25-20.

The Bluejays came out hot in the second quarter, leading the scoring 12-5. The Cardinals could not keep up with EC’s pressure, and came no closer than 3 points the rest of the set, thus resulting in a 25-18 victory for the Bluejays.

In the third set, the Bluejays kept rolling and got an early 10-6 lead. The Bluejays then upped the score to 22-13, and North Central could not keep up. EC took the win in three sets.

“Even though they are young, they have experience,” said head volleyball coach Julie Hall on the team’s success. “They also have a willingness to get better, are coachable, and take it personal when things don’t go well.”

The volleyball team is back in action, Wednesday, October 10 at Carthage College.