Magazine for McKendree - Winter 2018

Sports Highlights


Austin Weltha was the 2017 Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) Defensive Player of the Year. The senior linebacker had a career-high 129 tackles and led the team with 12½ tackles for loss, five interceptions and three interception returns for touchdowns this year. In his four seasons, he recorded 287 tackles, third on the Bearcats’ all-time list. He also earned American Football Coaches Association All-America second-team, D2 Conference Commissioner’s Association (D2CCA) All-American second-team and All-Super Region first-team, and All-GLVC first-team honors.

Four other Bearcats joined Austin on the All-GLVC first-team, including senior defensive end Tobias Cook, senior defensive back Nate Powell, senior running back Shayeen Edwards, and junior offensive lineman Cole Foster.



Women's SoccerWomen’s Soccer

The women’s soccer team (15-3-3) was crowned the 2017 GLVC Tournament Champions for the second straight year after defeating the nationally ranked Quincy University Hawks 3-0 on Nov. 5 in Indianapolis, Ind. The team advanced to the 2017 NCAA Division II Tournament, before losing to Ohio Dominican University in the first round.

Junior forward Sydnee Carroll received All-GLVC First-Team honors and joined sophomore goalkeeper Zoe Brochu on the D2CCA All-Midwest Region secondteam and midfielder Liz Kaiser on the United Soccer Coaches (USC) All-Region first-team. Zoe, junior midfielder Jane Skaggs and freshman defender Karla Engels got USC All-Region second-team nods.



Bass FishingBass Fishing

Sophomore Trevor McKinney and senior Curtis Lilly won the Illinois Collegiate Ctate Bass Fishing Championship Tournament on Nov. 5 at Kincaid Lake in Murphysboro, Ill. and automatically qualified for the Bassmaster Collegiate National Championship Tournament in 2018. The duo were the only boat to catch their full five-fish limit. Their sack weighed in at 17.36 pounds. McKendree swept the top two spots as freshmen Joseph Bruener and Nate Doty earned a runner-up finish with their four-fish haul of 14.76 pounds.



Men's GolfMen’s Golf

The men’s golf team won two tournaments during the fall season. The squad captured first place at the Midwest Regional at Fox Run Golf Club in Eureka, Mo., with a team score of 589 and claimed top honors at the Music City Fall Invitational at Foxland Harbor Golf and Country Club in Gallatin, Tenn., with a team score of 600.






Women’s Wrestling

Women’s Wrestling

Senior women’s wrestler Megan Black placed first at the USA Wrestling’s U23 World Team Trials, earning a spot on the World Team. She went 4-0 in the 58kg weight class. In November, Megan and senior Brandy Lowe competed and won their respective weight classes at the National Wrestling Coaches Association All-Star Classic at Princeton University.

In addition, junior Alexandria Glaude competed at the Junior World Championships in Tampere, Finland and sophomore Andrea Sennett wrestled at the Junior Pan-American Championships in Lima, Peru in August.



Women’s VolleyballWomen’s Volleyball

Senior right-side hitter Amanda Geiger was the 2017 GLVC Player of the Year. She had 3.88 kills and 3.40 digs per set. Amanda was selected to the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division II All-American third-team, AVCA All-Midwest Region team, D2CCA All-Midwest Region second-team, and All-GLVC first-team. #5 seeded team in the Midwest Region (23-9), the squad received an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. before falling in four sets to Ferris State University in the first round.





Men’s and Women’s Water PoloMen’s and Women’s Water Polo

The men’s and women’s water polo program moved to NCAA varsity status this season. The men ended their season in November with a fifth-place ranking in the Mid-Atlantic Water Polo Conference (MAWPC) Western Region. They hosted their first match at the McKendree MetroRecPlex on Sept. 16 with a 14-8 victory over Monmouth College. Sophomore attacker Joseph Mahan was named to the MAWPC Western Region All-Conference second-team.

The women’s team will host a competition at the McKendree MetroRecPlex on April 7-8.




The women’s bowling team was invited to the White House on Nov. 17, one of 18 NCAA programs honored on National Collegiate Champions Day. The team won the 2017 NCAA National Championship last April. All nine members of the Bearcats’ title-winning squad, along with Coach Shannon O’Keefe, Director of Bowling Bryan O’Keefe, Graduate Assistant Coach Matt Farber and Director of Athletics Chuck Brueggemann ’88 attended the gathering. The McKendree bowlers included seniors Sarah Wille, Jessica Mellott and Nicole Fung Calleja; juniors Lauren Pate, Ashley Dunn, Ashley Hathaway and Christie Draper; and sophomores Breanna Clemmer and Taylor Bailey.

In January, Sarah and Matt earned their way onto Team USA at the Team USA Trials in Las Vegas, Nev. In addition, Taylor, Breanna and sophomore Bryan Hahlen will compete on Junior Team USA in 2018.




Volleyball Assistant Coach Christian Staple was a recipient of the 2017 American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Diversity Award.

Women’s Wrestling Coach Sam Schmitz was selected to the USA World Team coaching staff that led the U.S. at the 2017 UWW U23 World Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland, from Nov. 21-26. He also participated in the Cadet World Championships in Athens, Greece with USA Wrestling in September.

Women’s Bowling Coach Shannon O’Keefe earned a gold medal during competition at the 2017 World Bowling Championships in Las Vegas. Shannon was part of Team USA’s winning effort in trios competition at the World Championships, along with fellow Team USA members Kelly Kulick and Danielle McEwan. In September, she won the 2017 Smithfield Professional Women’s Bowling Association Tour Championship, the first major title of her career. She also won the overall title at the United States Bowling Congress Team USA Trials in January, earning a spot on the team for her 14th consecutive year.




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