Colleges: Lewis programs enjoy wealth of success
By Dennis Nelson For Sun-Times Media October 3, 2013 9:06PM
Through its first eight matches, Lewis' women's soccer team compiled a 6-1-1 record. | Steve Woltmann/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 5, 2013 6:27AM
Lewis University is in the midst of what could be its best fall season of athletics.
“Our entire department is having an unbelievable fall,” sports information director Matt Brendich said. “This is my sixth year, and hands down, we’ve never enjoyed this much success.”
The highlights include (through Wednesday):
The men’s soccer team is ranked eighth in the nation, on a five-match winning streak and an eight-match unbeaten streak.
The women’s soccer team is 6-1-1 on the season and 4-1-1 in Great Lakes Valley Conference
The women’s volleyball team (8-4, 4-0 GLVC) is the only team in the GLVC unbeaten in the conference and are receiving votes in latest AVCA Poll.
The women’s tennis team swept the USTA/ITA Midwest Regional Tournament, winning both the singles and doubles championships.
Armand Levandi won the USTA/ITA Midwest Men’s Tennis Singles Championship to earn a spot at the National Small College Championships.
The men’s cross country team is ranked seventh in the region and the women’s cross country team is ranked eighth.
“You always want to start your season strong and build on that early momentum, and our teams certainly have done that,” Lewis athletic director Dr. John Planek said. “The confidence level and focus has really been exceptional. This season is really a tribute to the hard work of our athletes and outstanding coaching by our staff.”
St. Xavier placekicker/punter Spencer Nolen and senior linebacker Dave Marciano were honored by Beyond Sports Network as well as the Mid-States Football Association for their performances in Saturday’s 37-25 victory over St. Francis in Joliet. The win improved the Cougars to 3-1.
Nolen was named the MSFA Midwest League Special Teams Player of the Week and the BSN NAIA National Placekicker of the Week.
Marciano claimed the MSFA Midwest League Defensive Player of the Week and the BSN NAIA National Punt Returner of the Week.
South Suburban (22-7) has ripped off nine straight wins and is ranked No. 19, according to the latest NJCAA Division II poll. The Bulldogs have been ranked among the top 20 in the nation the last three weeks.
Since a loss to South Suburban and falling out of the top 20, Moraine Valley (17-5, 4-0 in the Skyway Conference) has won eight of its last nine matches.
Prairie State College beat Oakton 1-0, giving the Pioneers their first win over the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference rival since 2007. It was the first meeting between the two squads since last season’s NJCAA Region IV championship match (a 2-1 Oakton win).
“This feels good, very good, to say the least,” said Pioneers coach David Spataru, who earned his 80th career win at Prairie State and was drenched with water in the tilt’s aftermath. “Our chemistry took a big step with this win.”