Big Blue Game Updates for the Week

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Big Blue Game Updates for the Week

Morgan Vogels, Sports Editor

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Women’s Tennis

The women’s tennis team started out the season strong with a 9-0 victory over Monmouth College. The impressive sweep was completed by freshman Morgan Bettner, who defeated Monmouth junior Katherine Hinman in the no. 1 singles match in a tiebreaker.

The team took the court again on Saturday, September 3 for the Dorothy McClure tournament in Fairview Park, losing only two of 18 matches played against Rend Lake College, Illinois Valley Community College, and Olivet Nazarene University. The format of the tournament involved all singles players being put into a round robin bracket for #1-#6, meaning each player played three matches. Paige Bequette, Kelly Ruane, Melissa Donovan, and Madeline Delano all went undefeated on the day, while Morgan Bettner and Molly Angell were both 2-1.

The Big Blue tennis team also put in work on Labor Day, upsetting NAIA opponent Judson University. After winning the no. 1 doubles and no. 2 doubles matches, they led 2-1 going into the singles matches. Donovan won at no. 5 singles to give the Big Blue a 4-3 lead, while Bettner and Angell helped secure the victory.

Women’s Soccer

The Millikin women’s soccer team lost their 2016 season opener at Frank M. Lindsay Field to Franklin College. The Grizzlies broke an initial 0-0 tie in the second period with an unassisted goal by Jalynn Gorman. Franklin then took a 2-0 lead when Haley Lowe scored a rebound goal. Junior goalkeeper Anna Benvenuto had eight saves for the Big Blue.

In their second game, the Big Blue earned a 1-0 victory over Greenville College. Millikin senior Jenna Eaker scored the lone goal in the 71st minute of the game. In the goal, freshman Kaitlyn Garza recorded seven saves.

Volleyball

The Big Blue women’s volleyball team traveled to the University of Chicago on September 2 to participate in the Gargoyle Classic. Millikin took a loss in their first match against fifth-ranked Calvin College, 3-2. Junior Erin Syvesen led the team, tallying 14 kills and 27 digs, along with 20 kills and three aces.

The Big Blue then faced the University of Chicago. Sophomore Emily Seegmiller had a big day with 10 kills and 15 digs against the University of Chicago. Senior setter Emily Mihalkanin led the Big Blue in assists, with 21 against the University of Chicago and 35 against Calvin.

The Big Blue asserted their dominance on Saturday, September 3, going 2-0 on the second day of the Gargoyle Classic. In their first match of the day against Rockford College, they overwhelmed the Regents, defeating them 3-0 (25-13, 25-11, 25-12). Millikin was led by Erin Syversen with seven kills, while Kelsey Talkington and Marissa McElroy each recorded five kills. Against Dominican, Millikin was once dominant, defeating the Stars in three sets (25-21, 25-16, 25-21). Syversen led the Big Blue in kills with 17, and sophomore Cortney Bohn added 16. Syversen was named to the Gargoyle Classic All-Tournament Team along with senior libero Cassidy Kingery. Because of her outstanding performance, Syversen was also named the CCIW Hitter of the Week on September 6.

The Big Blue will travel to the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh for their next tournament on September 9 and 10 to play in the Pizza Hut Classic as the 22nd ranked team in the Division III Coaches Top 25 Poll.

Cross Country

The women’s and men’s cross country teams began their 2016 season at the Titan Opener at Illinois Wesleyan University in Normal, IL on September 2. Freshman Jack Haplin ran a 16:28.4 race, placing sixth, and sophomore Alexander Erickson finished in twelfth with senior Timee McElroy right behind him in thirteenth. The men took third in the overall team standings, just behind DePauw and Illinois Wesleyan. The women took fourth in the team standings. Senior Jamie Michl finished in fifth, with a time of 12:15.0. Other top finishers for the women included freshman Sarah Gompers in fourteenth, and senior Sarah Bradley in eighteenth with freshman Amber Johnson close behind in nineteenth.

Men’s Soccer

The Millikin men’s soccer team began their season with two non-conference victories. They traveled to Monmouth College on September 3 to open their season and claimed a 4-0 victory over the Scots. The Big Blue got off to a quick start with freshman Trey Knighton scoring 2:28 into the game. Two more first period goals, one by Ivan Lopez with an assist from Austin Taylor, and another 36 seconds later by senior Tucker Mathieson, added to their lead. The Big Blue scored once more, on a penalty kick in the second period by Michael Longo. In the goal, junior Trevor Creek recorded four saves for the shutout.

The men also dominated Lakeland College (Wisconsin) on September 5 in front of their home crowd at Frank M. Lindsay Field. The Big Blue scored two goals within the first minute and 16 seconds of the game, scored by Nicholas Hatfield and Ivan Lopez. Lopez scored again at the 7:25 mark off of a throw-in from Chris Clay. Lakeland’s Nwachan Nada scored once in the first period, but Millikin was too much for the Muskies. Austin Taylor, Gabriel Gil, and Tucker Mathieson all recorded first period goals, giving the Big Blue a 6-1 lead going into halftime. The final two goals were scored by Michael Longo and Ben Spelman. After these two hard-earned victories, Millikin looks to go undefeated in their non-conference schedule against some strong opponents before beginning their conference schedule.

Men’s Golf

The Big Blue men’s golf team teed off on September 3 and 4 in Lexington, Kentucky at the Transylvania Fall Invitational, taking fifteenth place with a three round total of 938 (316, 322, 300). Millikin’s Blaine Buente tied for a 37th place finish with a 229. The men then took on Illinois Wesleyan University in the Battle for Route 51 on September 5 at Decatur’s Red Tail Run Golf Course. In a tough match, the Big Blue lost 3-7. Earning victories for Millikin were sophomore Ryan Forrest (def. Will Hanson 3 and 2), senior Chris Lee (def. Kyle Eggenberg 6 and 4), and junior Bennett Jackson (def. Jonathan Nocek 3 and 2).

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