Mia Riese and Shalyn Brady
Sports Editor and Sports Reporter
After a successful 2018 season, which saw the team go 22-17 overall and 11-12 in the CCIW conference, the BlueJays are looking to get their season started off on the right foot when they travel south to Jacksonville, Ill., and Anderson, Ind., for a nine game tournament on February 23 to open the 2019 campaign.
The team will not see CCIW action until March 30 when they take on Carthage College on their home field. They will play teams from the CCIW 16 times this season, with 14 coming from out of conference play.
Trey Compton, Jacob McMillan, and Alec Berry make up the senior class, with the rest of the roster filled out by 12 freshman, five sophomore, and 14 junior players. Head coach Joel Southern will begin his 13th season as the team’s leader.
Compton comes into this season after leading the BlueJays in batting average, with a .344 average in 157 at-bats. Berry owns the best record of current pitchers, with a 4-1 record and 3.71 ERA.
In what could be seen as a tough season, the women’s softball team are ready to open the 2019 season on a fresh start. Going 16-19 overall and 6-10 in the CCIW conference, the BlueJays will play two games at home before traveling to Clermont, Fla. for spring break (opponents, dates, and times have yet to be announced).
CCIW matchups begin on April 6 when, like the men’s baseball team, the BlueJays host Carthage College. In a bit of a shorter season than baseball, the women will face CCIW teams eight times, with out of conference games taking up over seven games.
A senior-heavy team will look to veteran experience to help right the ship in 2019. Eight seniors makeup a roster of 23 women, with nine freshman, three sophomore, and three junior players. Mike Paulo, the women’s head coach, is entering his seventh year at Elmhurst College.
Young outfielder Veronica Zahn leads the team with 115 at-bats and a .426 average in 2018. Senior Stefania Passarelli had a 4-3 record, while junior Emily Despain collected an impressive 3.25 ERA.
With just two tournaments during the spring season, the women’s golf team are hoping to find success right from the tee off. Both tournaments fall in the beginning of April, just one week apart: The Judson University Invitational (April 8) in West Dundee and The EC BlueJays Spring Invitational (April 16) on their home course in Oak Brook.
Nine women, in which only two are upperclassmen, shape the roster, with Todd Scheuerman entering his 13th season as the women’s golf head coach.
Sydney Roberts had the lowest round of the fall season, shooting an 82 through two events and finishing in the top 10 two times. Roberts is a returner on this season’s squad, a freshman from Buford, Ga.
Despite a tough start to the 2019 season, the men’s tennis team seeks to bounce back when they continue play on February 23 against Wabash College.
Opening 2019 with a 6-3 win over Lake Forest College, the Bluejays dropped their next two against Wartburg College (4-5) and Loras College (3-6). Saturday’s game will be their fourth of 17 this spring.
EC plays their first CCIW match on March 2, and from April 14 - 27, the BlueJays will only face conference teams. The team failed to pick up a match against a conference team in the 2018 season, going 0-7.
Seniors David Demoll and Chris Wallace hope to lead this BlueJays team back to success, with Jason Foreman continuing his rookie season as head coach. Foreman was a member of the men’s tennis team from 2009-12 and has become a tennis coach at all levels of the sport.
The Elmhurst College women’s lacrosse team had a rough 2018 season, earning a overall record of 5-10, and a CCIW record of 0-6.
Putting the past behind them, the women’s lacrosse team looks to take on the 2019 season with help from key returners, Yaziria Cisneros, Larissa Arvanites, Tessa Sellentin, and Theresa Marcello.
Head coach Allison Brady believes the team has “doubled offensive production and rebounding after a tough season with a very young team” and “expects that with the returning players and our new additions we will be even more competitive in our schedule.”
The Bluejays 2019 home opener vs. Wartburg has been postponed due to inclement weather. Now, they will open up the season vs. Cornell College at home on February 23.
Women’s Track and Field
The EC women’s track team enters the 2019 season with only one senior. However, only four meets into their indoor season, the young team has added 24 performances to the EC All-Time Ten Indoor Performance List.
Top performers for indoor 2019 so far have included sophomore Emily Gilligan (800/1500), freshman Briana Raysby (high jump), sophomore Yasmin Chavez (100/200), freshman Stacia Landry (200/400), senior Jami Lessila (800), sophomore Elita Spadlowski (5K/10K), and sophomore Ali Mondrella (heptathlon).
Head coach Jordan Bartolazzi believes the team is “still in a rebuilding phase, but there are several athletes who will give themselves good shots at earning All-CCIW Honors and competing for spots on the National Performance List.”
The women’s track team will finish their indoor season at the Carthage Final Qualifier and the NCAA Indoor Championships.
The outdoor season will open up at Hanover College on March 30.
Men’s Track and Field
The Bluejays only finished in the top five twice in the 2018 season. However, the men’s track team returns many strong All-CCIW Honorees.
The majority of strength this year, like last, comes from the team’s throwers. Last season, senior Jim Robley took 3rd in the Javelin, followed by senior Jacob Mammosser in 5th place. Senior Dave Michaels also earned All-CCIW Honors in the Shot Put by placing 5th place.
Sprints are led by juniors Jake Taheney and Chris Griffith. Seniors Juan Castaneda and Joe Rivas look to earn All-CCIW Honors in the 1500 and lead the team in distance.
Even though the majority of the team is comprised of upperclassmen, the Bluejays look to add depth with freshmen Justin Parbs, Brandon Godfrey, and Matt Tobin in Pole Vault.
Head Coach James Akita is excited about the 2019 season, and says the team’s “goal each year is to improve as a team and have every member improve as people and as athletes,” and “We have a great squad working hard, so I am confident this will happen.”
The men’s track team will finish their indoor season at the Carthage Final Qualifier and the NCAA Indoor Championships.
The outdoor season will open up at Hanover College on March 30.
The men’s lacrosse team had an incredible 2018 season, taking a 13-3 overall record and 5-1 CCIW record.
In the 2018 season, the Bluejays outscored their opponents with goals by period (236 to 211), took more shots by period (681 to 479), and took more shots on goal by period (438-271).
For the 2019 season, the Bluejays will be led by key returners senior Mac Harden, junior Ty Funderburk, sophomore Marcus Yandall, and sophomore Andrew Frerich.
The team rolled into the 2019 season with the same energy. They opened up their season with a 12-10 road win over Ohio Northern University on February 16.
The Bluejays are back in action February 23, hosting Hope College for their home opener.