The University of Illinois-Springfield volleyball team is off to a 14-4 start to the season, including an 8-1 mark in Great Lakes Valley Conference play, thanks to a pair of local 2016 graduates.
Sterling native Jay Borum has become the Prairie Stars’ most reliable defensive specialist, while Erie native Rachel Cobert clobbers kills and collects digs when called upon.
The Division II school picked up three GLVC wins in a 5-day stretch recently, while the former Golden Warrior etched her name into the school record books.
Borum recorded a single-match school record for digs with 43 last Saturday in a 3-2 home win over 10th-ranked Drury. The total now ranks in the top-10 all-time in GLVC history, and is the fifth-most in DII this season. For her effort, Borum, was named the conference’s Defensive Player of the Week.
Cobert did a little bit of everything against Drury, registering 15 digs, eight kills, three assists and three blocks. She also had 11 digs, nine kills and three blocks a day earlier in a 3-1 home win over Missouri S&T, while Borum chipped in 27 digs and three assists.
The Prairie Stars dominated Maryville in a 3-0 road win Tuesday, as Borum finished with 29 digs and two assists.
One of Borum’s former teammates at Sterling, Kaylee Martin, had nine kills and three digs last Saturday in Illinois State’s 3-1 home win over Missouri Valley Conference foe
Florida A&M picked up a pair of 3-1 road wins last Friday and Sunday thanks to a solid showing by Jessa Long. The Dixon grad collected nine digs and four assists against North Carolina A&T, and added eight digs and two aces versus North Carolina Central.
Tennessee-Chattanooga suffered two 3-0 defeats last Friday and Saturday. Mt. Morris native Gylian Finch recorded 10 digs, six kills and two aces against UNC Greensboro, and eight kills and four digs versus Eastern Tennessee State.
Division II DII Auburn University-Montgomery also suffered two straight-set losses, to Alabama-Huntsville last Friday and No. 15 West Florida a day later. Oregon grad and former Sauk Valley Community College standout Sommer Rhea had a combined nine kills, nine digs and two assists for the Warhawks.
Former SVM athlete of the year Makenzie Fink was limited to just four kills, four blocks, two aces and two digs last Friday in NAIA Northwestern College’s 3-0 home win over Doane, but slammed 16 kills a day later in a 3-1 home victory over 13th-ranked Hastings. The 2017 Eastland grad also had 14 kills, three blocks, two aces and two digs Tuesday in a 3-2 road loss to Morningside.
Northern Illinois earned a 26-23 double-overtime win last Saturday against Eastern Michigan, as 2016 Prophetstown grad Jack Heflin made two tackles for the Huskies. Stockton native Ty Harmston caught an 11-yard touchdown in the first overtime for NIU.
Two-time SVM football player of the year Arthur Cox had his best collegiate performance thus far for Division II Southwest Minnesota State last Saturday. The 2018 Dixon grad rushed 10 times for 38 yards, and caught two passes for 18 yards in the Mustangs’ 54-24 road win over the University of Mary.
Division III Central College is now 5-0 after last Saturday’s 62-20 home win over Buena Vista, thanks in part to a former EPC standout. Donny Groezinger made three receptions for 32 yards, including an 11-yard TD catch, and carried nine times for 27 yards.
Dixon grad Cody Mighell had eight carries for 40 yards and a 24-yard catch for DIII Loras College in a 49-42 home loss to rival Dubuque last Saturday. Fulton grad Jack Lemke averaged 54 yards on six kickoffs for the Duhawks.
Polo grad Juan Carreno made five tackles in DIII Aurora University’s 31-28 road loss to Eureka last Saturday.
West Carroll grad Kaleb Plattenberger made his collegiate debut for DIII Monmouth College last Saturday in a 49-0 road win over Lawrence University, making one tackle for the Fighting Scots.
Freeport native Steve McShane averaged 11.2 yards per carry (12 rushes, 134 yards) and ripped off a 75-yard TD run in Western Illinois’ 45-38 home win last Saturday over Missouri Valley Football Conference foe Youngstown State.
Former Dixon striker Lexy Langloss scored the first goal less than 9 minutes into NAIA Robert Morris University Illinois’ 3-0 road win over Holy Cross College on Tuesday. She took five shots against Holy Cross, and three shots (one on goal) last Saturday in a scoreless draw against Olivet
Langloss’ former teammate, Ellie Provo, made five saves for NAIA St. Francis in an 8-0 road loss to ranked foe Trinity Christian College last Saturday.
Andrew Tichler continued his strong play for NAIA St. Ambrose last Friday at the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Fall Preview.
The 2014 Rock Falls grad shared the clubhouse lead with three others at 2-over-par 74, as the Fighting Bees’ top total of 309 strokes was six shots clear of Holy Cross. Eastland grad Devin Hartman chipped in with an 87 for SAU.
Teams reported scores through nine holes due to three squads being unable to complete their rounds before darkness fell over Lemont’s Cog Hill Dubsdred Golf Course. Tichler’s even-par 36 through nine holes led SAU to first with a 147 total.
Women’s cross country
St. Ambrose finished 10th out of 31 teams last Saturday at the Louisville Cross Country Classic. Amboy grad Megan Grady finished 79th with a time of 19:37.5 on the 5-kilometer course for the Bees.