BY GRANT RIGGS
Weekly sports recap and lineup: Nov. 7 – Nov. 13
Recap of previous week (Oct. 31 – Nov. 6)
On a week where McKendree’s overall athletic strength was on display, no star shined brighter than that of sophomore forward Sydnee Carroll and the women’s soccer team. With her game-tying assist and later game-winning goal in overtime, Carroll lead the Bearcats to the GLVC championship over Rockhurst University. This win, which was the first GLVC conference team championship in McKendree history, is extremely important because it sets the precedent for other teams to come. It also gives McKendree an opportunity to have a sports team perform on a national level, where McKendree has been sorely absent since making the jump to Division II.
Despite being overshadowed by women’s soccer, men’s basketball and women’s volleyball both picked up huge wins. Men’s basketball pulled off an upset over Division I opponent Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville. This win is certainly one of the biggest in recent memory and should give McKendree some much-needed momentum heading into the regular season.
Women’s volleyball also had a fantastic week, picking up two road wins (over Drury University and Missouri S&T) and extending their win streak to four in a row. Heading into the final week of the regular season, the volleyball team is one of the front runners for the GLVC conference title and will look to pick up McKendree’s second conference championship in as many weeks. All in all, this past week was a historic one for McKendree University. With McKendree soccer’s first team championship since joining the GLVC and basketball’s win over a Division I opponent, it was certainly one of the best McKendree sports weeks since we joined the GLVC.
This week at a glance
Tuesday, Nov. 8
Women’s Volleyball: 7 p.m. at home vs. University of Illinois-Springfield
Wednesday, Nov. 9
Women’s Wrestling: 5 p.m. at home vs. Missouri Valley College
Men’s Wrestling: 7 p.m. at home vs. University of Central Oklahoma
Friday, Nov. 11
Women’s Soccer: 1 p.m. at Legends Stadium in Quincy, IL vs. Davis & Elkins College
Women’s Basketball: 4 p.m. at Hillsdale College vs. Hillsdale (GLVC/GLIAC Crossover Tournament)
Women’s Volleyball: 7 p.m. at home vs. Bellarmine
Women’s Hockey: 7:30 p.m. away vs. Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO.
Women’s Wrestling: All day at Bill Ferrell International Tournament in New York City, NY.
Saturday, Nov. 12
Football: 1 p.m. at home vs. Truman State
Women’s Basketball: 3 p.m. at Hillsdale College vs. Lake Superior State University (GLVC/GLIAC Crossover Tournament)
Women’s Volleyball: 5 p.m. at home vs. University of Southern Indiana
Men’s Basketball: 8 p.m. at home vs. Robert Morris University-Springfield
Women’s Hockey: 8 p.m. away vs. Colorado State University in Fort Collins. CO.
Men’s Wrestling: 9 a.m. at Kaufman Brand open in St. Louis, MO.
Sunday, Nov. 13
Women’s Hockey: 11:30 a.m. away vs. University of Colorado in Boulder, CO.
After putting the caps on an incredible GLVC conference tournament run, women’s soccer will look to continue to make history, this time in the NCAA Division II National Tournament against Great Midwest Athletic Conference champs Davis & Elkins College out of West Virginia. Despite going just 8-9 in conference play during the regular season, Davis & Elkins is peaking at the right time and is riding their own momentum into the tournament. This is undoubtedly the biggest game of the week, as McKendree, the third seed in the Midwest region, will compete with 48 other teams for the DII national championship. The entire championship bracket can be found on the NCAA website.
Returning home after two straight road wins (one at Lincoln University, the other at Quincy University), McKendree closes out the regular season against a tough Truman State team that has clinched at least a share of the GLVC conference championship. Truman State is undefeated in conference play and is ranked 6th in NCAA Division II Super Region 4. That number six ranking is important because the top seven ranked teams of each Super Region (4 total Super Regions) make the playoffs. If McKendree were to knock off rival Truman State on Saturday, that could effectively knock Truman out of the top seven in region 4 and end their playoff hopes.
One final note: keep an eye on Lucky Baar, number 92 for McKendree. Baar is just one sack away from breaking the record for most sacks in a career by a Division II football player. Considering the fact that it is senior day and may be his final game as a Bearcat, expect him to wreak havoc all afternoon.
Following a big win over SIUE last Saturday, men’s basketball kicks off their regular season this Saturday with a home game vs. Robert Morris University-Springfield. McKendree should use that momentum to get a big win over a young Robert Morris team that only has one player that isn’t a freshman. McKendree could be on the heels of a huge turnaround from last season, especially with the emergence of redshirt freshman center Nolan Gerling. On Saturday, Gerling gave the Bearcats especially what they sorely lacked last year: a big time inside presence. Gerling put McKendree on his back last Saturday, with a 32 point, 14 rebound performance against SIUE. If McKendree can get that type of effort from Gerling during conference play, as well as steady wing play from veteran guards Nate Michael and Michael Jackson, then McKendree basketball could be on the brink of a special season.
With just three regular season games left, women’s volleyball is gearing up for a potential GLVC title run. With three straight home games this week, the volleyball team will look to improve on their already-impressive 13-2 conference record and gain more steam as the GLVC tournament looms.