Stars sweep Hannibal LaGrange, pull
out win against LCC on senior night
By Mark Brockett
Facing adversity, the UIS
volleyball team swept their final two games of conference and
regular season play, proving they will not back down to anyone.
The Stars opened their final week
with a three-game sweep of American Midwest Conference foe
LaGrange going 30-19, 30-23, and 30-27. Then, the Stars won out
in an action-packed five game attendance record-setting grudge
match against Lincoln Christian College, defeating the Angels
31-29, 24-30, 26-30, 30-16, and 15-8.
The wins weren’t without their
trials, however. The team suffered another injury before those
two matches, as freshman Lauren Sanders, a starting outside
hitter, was sidelined due to a concussion that she suffered
earlier in the week.
Stepping up to fill the void were
seniors Sarah Stratton and Ashley Crow, who made significant
contributions on the court, which pleased head coach Joe Fisher.
“We’ve been battling all year with injuries or illnesses and
these two have stepped in and done a good job for us with the
positions that they really aren’t used to,” said Fisher.
Junior setter Megan Leonard, who
tallied 30 assists in the match against Hannibal, commented on
how well she thought the team played in response to the injury
to Sanders. “We really pulled together tonight,” said Leonard.
“I know Lauren really, really wanted to play and we did really
well as a team for her tonight.”
In the match, the Stars were led
offensively by Danielle Crossen, who tallied 12 kills and two
aces. Stratton had 10 kills and 2 aces of her own.
With this final conference win,
the Stars’ main focus went to the Friday night match against
Lincoln Christian College. The Angels helped pack the UIS
gymnasium for what was the last regular season home match for
seniors Abby Kuntz, Jessica Lay, Gretchen Conlin, Carrie Bauer,
Crow, and Stratton. The atmosphere in the gym went eons above
anything that anyone had seen in quite some time due to dueling
cheering sections of the Angels and the UIS Blue Crew.
There were several momentum
shifts throughout the match, but none more important then a
questionable call at the end of the third game where there was a
replay of what was originally a Prairie Stars point. The team
ultimately dropped the game, but used that to spark a dominating
finish in games four and five. Leading the way for the Stars was
Crossen again, this time with a match-high 22 kills. Audra Roach
had 17 kills, and Stratton finished in style with 14 kills of
her own, including a couple during the final stretch of game
Falling Stars fizzle out
UIS men’s soccer ended its
season in a heart-wrenching 5-4 loss to conference rival
McKendree in the AMC Conference Play-In last Wednesday at a very
soggy Kiwanis Field.
The Stars found themselves in a
mighty big hole as the Bearcats jumped out to an enormous first
half lead of 4-1.
The first McKendree goal came
only 1:30 into the game as a corner kick was converted into a
goal after a sweet header by the Bearcats’ Nathan Dougherty.
The remainder of their first half goals was all scored within
the final six minutes of the half, leaving UIS goalie Chris
Schilling to wonder what was going on with the UIS defense.
“Until they scored those three
goals, I thought we were in control of the match,” said UIS head
coach Joe Eck. “But we dug too deep a hole.”
What would appear to have been
an insurmountable hole to dig out of became a challenge for the
Stars as they came out kicking in the second half.
UIS senior Paul Pianezza, who’s
stats aren’t indicative of his contributions to the team,
started a scoring drive that would see the Stars come within one
goal of McKendree.
Only 3:54 into the second half,
Pianezza received a pass from fellow Prairie Star Michael
Hutchinson in the middle and kicked a doozy of a shot into the
back of the net, rallying the Stars to 2-4.
UIS’ Todd Pierce made a diving
header look pretty in the net after Jose Burgos set him up in a
gaggle of players inside the box, bringing the Stars to within
one as the sixty-seventh minute ticked away.
Momentum appeared to be on UIS’
side and the best opportunity to tie the game came only :47
later, when Korey Baker nailed a hard shot just clipping the
McKendree would later score
another goal with 18:30 remaining, but once again the Stars
rebounded ten minutes later as Pianezza crossed the ball into
the middle for Baker to head the ball in just past McKendree’s
goalie leaving the Stars down 4-5. It would prove to be the
final goal of the season.
“We had them on their heels in
the second half,” said Eck, “When you’re down 4-1 at the half,
the game is over. We came back, and our boys didn’t quit.”
Aside from the Stars getting
behind the eight ball early, shoddy officiating seemed to be
another theme for the game. In on particular instance six
minutes after McKendree’s first goal of the night, UIS’ Ross
Pagliara had a gentle shot that appeared to be going right but
hooked back in. The ball appeared to cross the plain but
neither the linesman nor the middle called the potentially game
The Stars concluded their season
8-7-1 as McKendree improved to 12-5-2. The Bearcats continued
their postseason play against Missouri Baptist with a win,
sending them to the Region V Tournament.
While UIS came up short in the
goals department, they did have 10 more shots - 24-10. UIS also
had more corner kicks, 6-2, while Shilling made two saves versus
Look on the bright side of life
By Jason Stuebe
worry faithful readers, they didn’t cancel this column due to my
irreverence; I just decided to take a vacation what with such
fodder around here being so hard to find and all.
So, I got to talking with my
good friend Jason Kennedy a few days ago, and he said I needed
to make these columns happy again. Never one to ignore the
readers, I’ve decided to put a bit of a positive spin on life,
as it is Prairie Star land and look at all the good things that
have happened in just three short years!
Since many of you out there are
new to the institution, you won’t remember the days of the old
rickety wooden bleachers in the gym, which (uncomfortably) held
only 200. Those have since been replaced by the wonderfully
durable plastic bleachers, which boosted capacity to 535 with
handicap accessibility. Not to mention that they are convex to
make game viewing more pleasant to the human gluteus, and they
even spell UIS!
You might also not remember that
when T.V./web broadcasting of UIS athletic events began just two
short years ago, broadcasters Jared Jones, Mark Brockett, and
myself were using jerry-rigged T.V. trays in the stands –
suffice to say, this was bush league. Now, however, we have the
“perch” which sits high atop the gym and can now accommodate T.V.
or radio broadcasts – too bad the T.V. had to be cut.
Speaking of the T.V. and
webcasting of events, to the knowledge of many associated
individuals, UIS is the only school in the region, if not
nation, to have live webcasting with video and audio available
for free. Yes, that’s right, we actually set a standard.
Another area in which UIS
Athletics has improved is advertising and marketing. The most
notable change was to the antiquated Prairie Stars logo, which
looked as though it was stolen from a 1970’s flick featuring
gross improprieties, if you know what I mean. And while the
Prairie Star in and of itself is not all too frightening, at
least it is slick-looking.
Couple the new logo with new
marketing strategies including media guides, pocket schedules,
Pepsi cans, and the new rolling sign boards in the gymnasium,
and you get an increasing awareness of Prairie Star athletics
throughout the community and surrounding areas. World
domination can only be around the corner at the rate we’re
The most visible of changes,
however, was the addition of Men’s Basketball in 2002, and
Women’s Softball in the fall of 2003. These two new sports have
attracted a more diverse student population and breathed a great
deal of new life into the department and the campus.
So, while change may have come
with some costs, it also came with a heap of benefits that will
be felt and experienced for years to come. As always, go Stars!
Prairie Stars of the Week
You know, we are getting really
good at throwing our Prairie Star of the Week Procedures Manual
out the window every week. Sometimes, however, you just need to
give credit where credit is due – rules and precedents be
The past few volleyball seasons
have been seasons of growth and rebuilding, culminating in what
is sure to be a promising run in the postseason for the UIS
women pending the outcome of last night’s match. A major
component of the recent success has been the leadership
displayed by the Stars’ outgoing seniors.
Though only one has played their entire collegiate career for
UIS volleyball, all proved themselves to their team and adoring
fans. Last week’s regular season barnburner of a finale was the
beginning of the end for UIS seniors Jessica Lay, Gretchen
Conlin, Ashley Crow, Sarah Stratton, Abby Kuntz, and Carrie
Bauer, as all were honored before the match.
who played basketball in her three previous years of eligibility
at UIS, entered her final season on the same court but in a
different sport. Lay, an AMC All-Academic Team member,
possessed a drive and self-motivation that helped her adapt to
her new sport of choice and earn a season-high six digs in a
match against Harris Stowe State College.
joined the Prairie Stars from Centenary College, where she was a
starter for one year. Prior to that, Conlin played for Lake
Land College where she was named to the Second Team
All-Conference Tournament team. Though her season at UIS was
truncated by an ACL injury, Conlin managed to tally 204 kills,
26 service aces, and 31 solo blocks for a total of 55 blocks in
came to UIS by way of Lincoln Land Community College, where she
was a two- year starter. This year, Crow had 104 digs and 58
assists and was named to the Academic All-American Midwest
also came to the stars from LLCC where she led the Loggers with
506 digs her sophomore year, placing her 20th in the
NJCAA in digs for a season. Last year, Stratton led the Stars
with 42 service aces and 222 kills. This year Stratton chipped
in 82 kills, 35 service aces and 203 digs.
came to the Stars from Danville Area Community College, where
she was ranked second in the nation for assists per game and was
the MVP her sophomore year. Last year, Kuntz posted 781 assists
and was named to the AMC All-Academic Team. This year, Abby has
53 assists, 38 service aces and 256 digs.
was the first member of UIS volleyball to play all four years
consecutively. As a defensive specialist, her stats were not
reflective of the work and leadership that she displayed on the
court. Last year she was named to the AMC All-Academic Team.
In the past two years, Bauer has compiled 243 digs, including a
career high of 14 in a game against Benedictine College earlier
Suffice to say, UIS will miss
some of its more exciting and powerful players next year, but
their contributions to the rebuilding of UIS’ volleyball
tradition will be felt for years to come. Congratulations,
ladies, on a career well played and thanks for all the
UIS vs. Lindenwood (St. Charles,
The UIS men opened up their
third campaign with an 85-71 loss to Lindenwood last Wednesday,
and were 0-1 heading into last night’s game against the St.
Louis College of Pharmacy.
The Stars open their home season
this Thursday night against the Illinois Institute of
Technology. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at the Assembly
Taylor University Tournament
UIS vs. Taylor
The UIS women started their
2004-2005 campaign with a 70-63 loss to the Trojans of Taylor
last Friday night.
UIS vs. Ohio Dominican
The UIS women bounced back after
the previous night’s loss in a big way beating the Ohio
Dominican Panthers in a ______ barn burner.
The Stars, now 1-1, open their
home season tonight against Lindenwood University. Tip-off is
scheduled for 7:00 p.m.
The sports staff here at The
Journal wishes Nancy Simpson and Nick Adams the best of luck as
they take on new endeavors. For Nancy, enjoy your newfound time
to quilt and relax. For Mr. Adams…Go Terps!
Oops! Last week’s Journal
incorrectly reported that Melanie Cain was the 29th
women’s basketball player to vacate the program. First, the
number was incorrect in that it is actually 27. Secondly, the
number was not just limited to players as it also included
assistant coaches; Cain was in fact the 22nd player.
Campus Rec Sports
Basketball Shooting Contests will be held on Sunday,
November 14 at 4pm in the UIS Gym. There will be a men’s and
women’s division. Deadline to enter the contest is Wednesday,
November 10 at 11pm in the CRS Office. UIS students and Rec
Center Members with a valid i-card play for free.
Intramural 7x7 Flag Football
wrapped up this past weekend with The Replacements defeating
Cumberland United 50-41. Congratulations to IM Champions
Vincente Burchi, Joshua Mulvaney, Johnnie Mayer, Eric Goodin,
Brent Wise, Mike Broeckling, and Justin Kirchhoff.
the championship for the Intramural 4X4 Volleyball Tournament
on Saturday with an undefeated record. Congratulations to
Lara Stremsterfer, Stacey Liles, Mark Brockett, Mike Mester and
Jeave Reserva. KCOR defeated the Gang Stars in the final match
30-22, 30-20. In third place was the No Names defeating
GPSI’ERS in a closely contested match, 30-29, 25-30, 15-10.
Badminton Singles League
started. Anica Malabanan defeated Amber David 15-1, 15-1 on
Monday November 1st in the first of their best two
out of three matches.
OPEN RECREATION HOURS
Center will close early this Sunday, November 14. Note that the
rec facilities will be open from 2-6pm only.
classes will continue through November 22 in the UIS Gym on
Mondays and Fridays from 12:10-12:50pm. The Monday, November 22
class is the scheduled make-up class for the previously canceled
October 29 meeting.
you lost an article of clothing, jewelry, books, shoes, glasses,
etc. in any of the recreational facilities (Gym, Fitness Center,
Tennis Courts, outdoor fields)? If so, you might want to check
out the Lost & Found boxes located in the Campus Recreational
Sports Office. Chances are good we may have found it for you.
Our boxes are overflowing!
Men’s Club Volleyball team is practicing Mondays and
Thursdays from 7-9pm and Fridays from 5-7pm in the UIS Gym. Any
male UIS student interested in competing extramurally with other
college or USVBA men’s club volleyball teams is welcome to
join. Male students may be undergraduate or graduate; full time
or part time. If interested contact Club President Jim Brower
Frisbee Enthusiasts Club practices Sunday from 3-5pm at the
Sport Club Rec Field east of Kiwanis Stadium. The club
participates in Ultimate Frisbee as well as Frolf (Frisbee Disc
Golf). If interested contact Club President Colin Cook at
HOW CAN I LEARN ABOUT
CAMPUS REC SPORTS NEWS?
an Email to RecSports@uis.edu
to be included in the 2004-2005 Campus Rec Sports News List to
receive personal up-to-date information about future events and
activities. (2) Click on “Public Folders>All Public
Folders>UIS>Announcements>Campus” on your UIS e-mail account and
read the e-mail announcements sent out by UIS Campus Rec
Sports. (3) Check out the website at
www.uis.edu/recsports/. (4) Contact the Campus Recreational
Sports (CRS) Office located in the Fitness Center (SLB 118) or