Fall sports preview 2009
Compiled by Samantha Cotten, Micah McVicker, Brittany Sweet and Konye Obaji Ori | Managing Editor & Sports Editor, Staff Writers
Find out how your favorite UIndy team sizes up this season!
Already off to a 14-1 start and a program-record No. 9 ranking, the University of Indianapolis volleyball team is far from content with their accomplishments thus far in the young season.
“They want it badly. They’re wanting to go as far as they can. [Our performance at the NCAA Tournament] left a bad taste in [our] mouth after last season. Our goal is to win the conference this year and we want to get to the Elite Eight,” said head coach Jody Butera.
At the Ferris State Invitational on Aug. 28-29, UIndy defeated two 2008 NCAA Tournament participants.
“They feel like they can contend for a national championship. Confidence is now high,” Butera said.
The team has their eyes set on much higher prizes, ones only earned in November.
“Every game, we’re 0-0. That’s our mind set. This is the highest ranking we’ve ever had, and it’s very crucial to us that we make sure we keep it in the back of our minds so we know we can always go forward,” said junior setter/outside hitter Cheneta Morrison.
Autumn signifies a memorable time of year, including going back to school, the changing of the leaves, and football. This year the Greyhounds are off to a current 1-3 record.
The Greyhounds opened the season against Kentucky Wesleyan, winning with a score of 31-3.
“We have an outstanding and very large group of freshmen that will have the opportunity to contribute a great deal to this program. In our first game victory, we had two true freshmen score touchdowns, wide receiver Marquone Edmonds and running back Joumeel McLaurine–that was an exciting first for us.”
The team returns home to face off against Michigan Tech on Oct. 17.
MEN’S CROSS COUNTRY
The men’s cross country team commenced its season at the Wabash Hokum Karem on Sept. 5 by tying Wabash College for the runner-up spot behind DePauw University. Senior Michael Landy and junior Josh Gornall paced the Greyhounds by finishing third as a duo.
“It was a great start for us. It showed our strength and our depth,” said head coach Kathy Casey.
On Sept. 18, the ‘Hounds competed at the Indiana Intercollegiates in Terre Haute. Gornall led the team to a sixth place overall with a fourth place finish in 26:15.
“At this point, we’ve got a strong top four. It should be a promising season,” Casey said.
The women’s tennis team is off to a 2-1 start after splitting the DePauw Invitational on Sept. 12. The ‘Hounds beat IUPUI 5-4 before falling to NCAA Division III ninth-ranked DePauw 0-9.
The team also hosted the ITA Regional Tournament at Center Grove High School Sept. 18-20. Results were not available as of The Reflector’s press time.
Leading the team this year is senior Aly Neidlinger, followed by a number of underclassmen.
“This season is going well. We’ve started off playing good, and I’m very excited for the rest of the season,” said freshman Katie Jackson.
WOMEN’S CROSS COUNTRY
The women’s cross country team is off to a strong start after winning their first meet at Hanover College. The team was led by freshmen Stephanie Kave and Katherine Wilhelm, who finished first and third respectively.
“Freshmen Kave, [Kim] Condra and Wilhelm all have proved to be very strong runners throughout practice and at our first meet,” said head coach Kathy Casey. “This year we have the numbers, the depth and the talents.”
The ‘Hounds traveled to the Indiana Intercollegiates on Sept. 18. Leading the team to its fourth place finish was Wilhelm. She placed ninth overall in a time of 19:36.
After an August training camp in Myrtle Beach, S.C., the UIndy dance team is in shape to entertain Greyhound supporters with aesthetic performances for the 2009-10 football and basketball seasons.
“We have finally built a solid team, so now we are really focusing on our technique and performance quality. Expect more variety in our dancing, and definitely look for us to be performing outside of just football and basketball halftimes, like we have done in the past,” said Jori Weber, vice president and co-captain of the dance ream.
The team has been bolstered with new talents since August and is scheduled to perform at all UIndy home games, as well as other events planned for the season.
The University of Indianapolis men’s soccer team dropped their record to 3-3-2 with a 1-2 loss on Sept. 20 against Northern Kentucky.
Despite the team’s early season success, head coach John Griffin’s goals for his young team are modest.
“Right now, I’m focused on growing my squad and improving my squad. Honestly, I’m not even thinking about the end product yet.”
The current roster features 17 freshmen and sophomores. Freshman forward Bobby Adkins leads the ‘Hounds with six goals. Fellow freshman forward Roger Lee is second on the team with two goals. The ‘Hounds also are young on the defensive end, with sophomore goalkeeper Justin Roberts.
“The guys are confident in that he [Justin] is going to be consistent. He’s more than capable of playing at a pretty high level in the collegiate ranks. He deals with stuff in the air very well,” Griffin said.
The UIndy cheerleading team is bolstered by five new girls from strong cheerleading backgrounds.
“The girls look sharp and outstanding. Last season was good, every year we get better, and so this year we are ready to lead the cheer,” said Diane Drumm, director of cheerleading.
This season, the team is planning a crowd-oriented touchdown cheer so the crowd can participate in the celebration of the Greyhound touchdown.
“The Community should expect to have a great time at the games this season. We are very excited about this season. We want all spectators at the game to be able to enjoy themselves in a family-friendly atmosphere,” said cheerleader Danni Grant.
The men’s golf team has already had a strong start with a fifth place finish as the Kiawah Island Intercollegiate and a third place finish at the John Piper Intercollegiate.
“Last year was one of the best seasons in school history, were just going to keep our expectations high and focus on making it to nationals,” said sophomore Aaron Monson.
The team is lead by senior Seth Fair, who won the Kiawah Island Intercollegiate in a sudden death match after shooting a two day total of 141. Junior Blair Webb paved the way for the ‘Hounds at the John Piper Intercollegiate by finishing in fifth place.
Despite losing last season’s top player, Joshua Greenlee, to graduation, the UIndy men’s tennis team is hopeful it can qualify for the NCAA tournament this season, following the arrival of new prospects to the team.
However, head coach John Venter believes his new team can cope without Greenlee.
“We brought in a pretty good freshman and a really good junior. Hopefully we can make it back to the NCAA tournament,” Venter said.
The women’s soccer team has begun its bid for a place in the 2009-10 NCAA tournament, with a record of 7-1-0, and claiming a record 12th place in the national rankings.
“There is high expectation from the team. We have been working hard on our defensive and offensive play, and our goal is to get to the NCAA tournament; one step better than we achieved last season,” said head coach Geoff VanDeusen.
Many of the players are optimistic that the team could do be better than it did last season, when they missed the NCAA tournament in an overtime loss to Northern Kentucky during the GLVC conference tournament.
“We have a chance of winning the Great Lakes Valley Conference tournament and going into the regional, and even advancing from the regional. This year is going to be a great year,” said assistant team captain Ashley Seehase.
Featuring a defending national champion on the roster, the women’s golf team finds itself in an enviable position to begin the fall season.
Senior Lyndsay McBride won last year’s individual national title, while the team tied for third among the 12 competing teams – the best in the history of the program.
McBride has picked up right where she left off. The Greyhound women’s team commenced their season with a resounding 24-stroke win at the Trine University Fall Invitational. McBride won medalist honors with a 151 during the two-day tournament.
Additionally, freshmen Megan Kiley and Lauren Vogt tied for third in their collegiate debuts. The two have top ten finishes at the Laker Fall Classic at Grand Valley State University.
“I have two freshmen that came out playing really well. Lauren [Vogt] was actually leading the tournament after the first day at Grand Valley,” said head coach Ken Piepenbrink.
With a defending national champion to mentor them, the ‘Hounds are poised to make a run at a team national championship.