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  • Dec 18, 2014 4:19:57Dec 18, 2014 -

    WISCONSIN DELLS, Wis. - The Olivet Nazarene University women's basketball team picked up a 116-110 win over NCAA Division III Buena Vista University (Iowa) on Friday, Dec. 18 in non-conference action at the JustAgame Holiday Classic. The Tigers improve to 11-4 on the season and head into a much needed break to enjoy Christmas with their families.

    Olivet had five players finish the game with double-digits in the point's column. The Tigers were led by junior Abbey Hengesbach (Westphalia, Mich.) and freshman Ally Giampapa (Bartless, Ill.) who each finished with 16 points. Hengesbach also added six rebounds, nine assists and six steals. Giampapa, meanwhile, added seven steals.

    Sophomore Ashley Freeman (Hartford, Wis.) finished with 14 points and three steals, while sophomore Carlee Nicolas (Momence, Ill.) continues to produce, finishing with 11 points. Nicolas also added two assists and three steals. Junior Jayne Stuart (Jackson, Mich.) added 10 points and four assists.

    The Tigers will take a 15 day break from action. They will return to the court on Saturday, Jan. 3 when they travel to Indiana University-Northwest. Tip-off is set for 5 p.m.

    Box Score

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    Dec 18, 2014 2:9:21Dec 18, 2014 -

    DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced Thursday that 319 football student-athletes have been named 2014 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes. Taylor (Ind.) led all institutions with 14 individuals on the list.

    In order to be nominated by an institution’s head coach or sports information director, a student-athlete must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale and must have achieved a junior academic status. 

    ONU had seven Tigers honored for their work in the classroom; Seniors; Keegan Block (Caddo Mills, Tex.), Jared Carl (Galesburg, Ill.), Jeff Glitz (Grand Blanc, Mich.), Ryan Smith (Elk Grove Village, Ill.) and Jonathan Fightmaster (Bourbonnais, Ill.). Zach Gross (Elgin, Ill.) was the lone junior awarded.  All but Fightmaster and Gross were named to the list for a second time; only  because they were not eligible.

    Complete List

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    Dec 18, 2014 7:46:6Dec 18, 2014 -

    CLEVELAND, Ohio - Cal State San Marcos leads in the second set of the NAIA Learfield Sports Directors' Cup fall standings.  The Cougars have accumulated 222 total points after placing ninth in women's soccer and 25th in women's volleyball.

    Olivet Nazarene currently occupies the second spot with 218.50 points after placing 17th in both men's and women's soccer and earning a 25th place finish in women's volleyball.

    The Blue Raiders of Lindsey Wilson are in third place with 217 points. They captured the women's soccer title and finished ninth in both men's soccer and women's volleyball.

    Southern Oregon currently occupies the fourth spot with 197 points due to a 13th place finish in women's volleyball.

    Rounding out the top five is Indiana Wesleyan with 195.50 points. They placed 13th in women's volleyball and 17th in men's soccer.

    Five of the six fall NAIA championships have been completed with the following institutions capturing titles: men's cross country - Oklahoma City; women's cross country - British Columbia (Can.); women's soccer - Lindsey Wilson; men's soccer - Davenport; women's volleyball - Park.

    The Learfield Sports Directors' Cup was developed as a joint effort between the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and USA Today.  Points are awarded based on each institution's finish in up to 12 sports -- six women's and six men's.

    The final NAIA fall standings will be released Wednesday, December 24.

    Please note, standings published midseason are unofficial.  Official standings will be published upon the completion of the fall season. Complete standings and the scoring structure can be found on NACDA's website at www.directorscup.org.  In addition, please visit www.thedirectorscup.com, like us on Facebook at facebook.com/lsdirectorscup or follow us on Twitter @lsdirectorscup.

    About Learfield Sports: Since 1972, Learfield has developed trusted, long-term relationships with some of the most revered institutions and associations in the world of collegiate athletics. Learfield Sports currently manages the exclusive multimedia rights to nearly 100 collegiate properties in the country and has prominence in all of the major conferences. Additionally, Learfield Sports offers its university partners with licensing and trademark consulting, web solutions, concessions and hospitality services, and professional ticket sales. The 2014-15 athletic season marks the company's seventh consecutive year to title the prestigious Learfield Sports Directors' Cup. For more about its history and complete collegiate portfolio, visit learfieldsports.com.

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    Dec 18, 2014 7:41:14Dec 18, 2014 -

    WISCONSIN DELLS, Wis. - With final exams in the books, the Olivet Nazarene University women's basketball team headed out on their annual Christmas Break trip. For a change of pace, the Tiger's headed north to the JustAgame Holiday Classic hosted by JustAgame Fieldhouse in the waterpark capital of the world, Wisconsin Dells. The two-day, four-team event began Wednesday, Dec. 17 with the Tiger's facing William Penn University (Iowa).

    Olivet (10-4) picked up a 120-103 non-conference win over the Statesmen, led by junior Abbey Hengesbach (Westphalia, Mich.). Hengesbach finished the night with 22 points, while dishing out a team-leading seven assists. She also accounted for seven rebounds and three steals.

    Freshman Ally Giampapa (Bartlett, Ill.) added 15 points and seven boards in the winning effort, shooting 5-of-12 from behind the three-point line to account for all of her points. Freshman Kaira Barnes (Westland, Mich.) finished with 14 points. She also added four assists.

    Junior Jayne Stuart (Jackson, Mich.) added 13 points, while sophomore Carlee Nicolas (Momence, Ill.) finished with 12. Freshman Tori Lemke (Brillion, Wis.) rounds out the double-digit scorers, finishing with 11. Nicolas also had three steals.

    The Tigers will face NCAA Division III Buena Vista University (Iowa) today at 1:30 p.m. at the JustAgame Fieldhouse. 

    *
    Dec 17, 2014 9:27:23Dec 17, 2014 -

    KANSAS CITY, Kan. - The National Soccer Coaches Association of America announced on December 15 that Olivet Nazarene University women's soccer head coach, Bill Bahr, has been named the 2014 NAIA Midwest Region Coach of the Year.

    Bahr led the Tigers to a 16-4-1 record, including a perfect 11-0 run en route to capturing the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Regular Season title. Olivet entered the CCAC Tournament as the top-seed, picking up two more victories to claim to championships.

    Olivet earned their fourth consecutive bid to the NAIA National Championship Opening Round with their conference title. For the third time in as many years, the Tigers earned a home field advantage. Unfortunately, they saw their 15-game winning streak come to an end in a 1-0 defeat to Hastings College.

    On the field, Bahr had three players earn NAIA Honorable Mention All-America honors, five players named CCAC First Team All-Conference and two receive Honorable Mention All-Conference. In the classroom, he had four named NAIA Scholar-Athletes and nine recognized at CCAC All-Academic honorees.

    Bahr will be formally recognized at the annual NSCAA College Coaches Reception, Thursday, January 15, 2015.  The event will be held in conjunction with the 68th annual NSCAA Convention, January 14-18 in Philadelphia.  

    *
    Dec 16, 2014 9:9:28Dec 16, 2014 -

    Box Score

    BOURBONNAIS, Ill. — A complete 40-minute effort was the answer the Olivet Nazarene University men’s basketball team had as they kept a nationally ranked opponent to 15 points shy of their season average. The Tigers defeated the No. 11 St. Ambrose University (Iowa) 89-68 at McHie Arena on Tuesday, Dec. 16, playing the defensive end as well as the offensive. Olivet shot 52.3 percent from the field while keeping St. Ambrose to only 39.0, leading to a second defeat of the Bees this season.

    Tonight’s nonconference win was the first for the Tigers (9-4) since Nov. 11 when they defeated the Bees (9-4) 76-74 in Davenport, Iowa. The Tigers scored their second highest total of the season and did so with 52 combined points from three starters (Davis, Larson and Wagner). Olivet was able to continue and push their 13-point halftime lead forward with a 57.6 percent field goal shooting clip and by making 8-of-10 free-throws.

    ONU had its largest advantage on the glass of the season 51 to 22 and had 19 offensive rebounds to only nine for the Bees. The Tigers used their 19 offensive rebounds to outscore St. Ambrose 24 to four in second chance points. Four Tigers had five or more rebounds, and ONU tallied seven deadball rebounds to help their total.

    Olivet is now 6-1 at McHie Arena this season and is 15-4 dating back to the beginning of last season. The Tigers have a 20.3 win differential in those games.

    Senior Austin Davis (North Augusta, S.C.) had a team-high 21 points on 7-for-17 shooting, going 4-for-11 from the three-point line and 3-for-4 from the free-throw line. He had six assists and five rebounds in 30 minutes.

    Junior Aaron Larson (Tolono, Ill.) had 17 points (12 in the second half) on 8-of-15 shooting, including 12 rebounds, three assists, two blocks and two steals in 30 minutes. He now has 1,081 career points and had his third double-double of the season in this game. Junior Zach Wagner (Roselle, Ill.) scored 14 points, going 7-for-9 from the field. He had one rebound with two assists in 20 minutes.

    Junior Alex Thorson (Philo, Ill.) had two points, five rebounds, five assists and five steals in 28 minutes. Junior Reid Farchmin (Mahomet, Ill.) had nine points, eight rebounds and three assists in 30 minutes.

    Off the bench, sophomore Tyler Crater (Hampshire, Ill.) had nine points on 4-for-9 shooting and had four rebounds in 18 minutes. Senior Hunter Jacobs (Champaign, Ill.) had eight points, five rebounds and two assists in 13 minutes. Senior Matt Ryan (San Diego, Calif.) had eight points in 12 minutes.

    Paul Beene led the Fighting Bees with 15 points on 6-for-13 shooting and 3-for-7 from the three-point line in 24 minutes. Darian White had 13 points on 4-for-8 shooting with 4-for-6 from the free-throw line. He added three rebounds in 30 minutes. Sam Ainsworth had 15 points, five rebounds and one assist in 19 minutes.

    The Tigers will be back in action Thursday, Dec. 18, at 5 p.m. (EST) against NAIA Division I No. 24 Evangel University (Mo.) at the Southeastern University (Fla.) Classic.

    *
    Dec 16, 2014 2:38:36Dec 16, 2014 -

    WACO, Texas — Olivet Nazarene University’s senior middle linebacker Brandon Ruemler (Williamsport, Ind.) has topped off an outstanding season and career for the Tigers with his selection to the 25-man 2014 American Football Coaches Association (AFCA)-NAIA All-America First Team, announced on Dec. 16 by the AFCA-NAIA All-America Committee.

    The AFCA has selected an All-America team since 1945 and currently selects teams in all five of its divisions. What makes these teams so special is that they are the only ones chosen exclusively by the men who know the players the best — the coaches themselves.

    Ruemler was selected First Team Defense for the first time in his career. He was one of three linebackers selected out of 11 total on the team. He joins Takari Johnson from Concordia University-Ann Arbor (Mich.) as first team selections, representing the Mid-States Football Association.

    He started all 11 games for the Tigers, leading the team in tackles for the fourth straight season with 103 unassisted, 68 assisted (171 total, career-high). He also led the team in tackles for loss with 23.5 for 68 yards. He finished with two sacks for 10 yards, six forced fumbles (led team), one blocked kick and one pass break up. He finished second in the MSFA and NAIA in tackles per game (14.9). He was second in the MSFA and third in the NAIA in tackles for loss (23.5). He also finished his career with 449 tackles (267-182), good for second all-time in Tiger history.

    Ruemler is the first Tiger since his former teammate, Andrew Muzljakovich, was named in 2013 to the distinction. He is the eighth overall in the history of the program.

    2014 AFCA-NAIA Coaches’ All-America First Team                                                                                             

    Defense                                                                                              

    Pos.       Name    Ht.          Wt.         Yr.           School   Hometown

    DL           Greg Haywood  6-3          230         Sr.           Saint Xavier (Ill.)               Oak Lawn, Ill.

    DL           Phil Latimer*      6-0          255         Sr.           Nebraska Wesleyan        Broomfield, Colo.

    DL           Kyle Connors     6-2          285         Sr.           Siena Heights (Mich.)     Tecumseh, Mich.

    DL           Ty Phillips*          6-2          270         Sr.           Missouri Valley East St. Louis, Ill.

    LB           Takari Johnson  6-1          235         Sr.           Concordia (Mich.)            Lansing, Mich.

    LB           Brandon Ruemler            6-0          208         Sr.           Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)     Williamsport, Ind.

    LB           Sean Blomquist*              5-11       235         Sr.           Carroll (Mont.)  Helena, Mont.

    DB          Justin Wohlert   5-9          189         Jr.           Northwestern (Iowa)     Hartley, Iowa

    DB          Adam Sauder     6-3          205         Jr.           Taylor (Ind.)       Grabill, Ind.

    DB          Carlos Cox           5-11       180         Sr.           Friends (Kan.)    Newark, N.J.

    DB          Marte Sears       6-5          220         Sr.           Faulkner (Ala.)  Fresno, Calif.

    **
    Dec 14, 2014 10:1:46Dec 14, 2014 -

    HUNTINGTON, Ind. - Despite a career-high 28 point performance by junior Jayne Stuart (Jackson, Mich.), the Olivet Nazarene University women's basketball team came up short in non-conference action on Saturday, Dec. 13 on the road at No. 16 Huntington University (Ind.). The Tigers had a 71-52 lead at the half, but found themselves on the short end of the 124-106 final with the Foresters.

    Stuart made a career-high nine baskets, including seven from behind the three-point line. She finished the night shooting 9-of-18 from the floor, 7-of-12 from behind the arc and 3-of-5 at the charity line. She also added a pair of steals and assists.

    Junior Abbey Hengesbach (Westphalia, Mich.) added 21 points for the Tigers while pulling down a team-high nine rebounds. Freshman Tori Lemke (Brillion, Wis.) added her sixth double-digit night to her career, finishing with 12 points. Freshman Kaira Barnes (Westland, Mich.) led Olivet with four assists.

    Olivet (9-4) found themselves with some foul trouble throughout the game, finishing with 33 personal fouls on the afternoon. The Foresters used the fouls to their advantage, hitting 44-of-52 of their charity shots. Huntington, in return, only committed 20 personal fouls.

    Olivet will head north to Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin for the two-day JustAgame Holiday Classic. The Tigers will open play against William Penn University (Iowa) on Wednesday, Dec. 17 at 3:30 p.m. On Thursday, the Tigers will face Buena Vista University (Iowa) at 1:30 p.m.

    Box Score

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    Dec 13, 2014 6:21:10Dec 13, 2014 -

    Box Score

    BOURBONNAIS, Ill. — It has been 13 seasons since the Olivet Nazarene University men’s basketball team has started a season with such a good win percentage. The Tigers won their eighth game in 12 tries with a 74-71 victory over Calumet College of St. Joseph (Ind.) in CCAC action on Saturday, Dec. 13. ONU hasn’t started so well since the 1999-2000 season when the Tigers finished in the NAIA Division Fab Four. Olivet was able to capture the win by shooting their highest field goal percentage of the season (.536) and had only 10 turnovers.

    The Tigers (8-4, 4-1) scored in the 70s for the eighth time in eight wins and were able to do so without ever letting the Crimson Wave (8-5, 1-2) lead during the game. ONU had to grind possession after possession because Calumet-St. Joseph was able to shoot 46.3 percent from the floor and make six more free-throws than the Tigers, recording only nine turnovers of their own.

    ONU had the advantage on the glass 34 to 26 and 14 to 10 on the offensive end. But besides that one specific stat, the game was almost identical except that the Tigers made five more field goals. ONU’s bench did outscore the Crimson Wave reserves 21 to seven.

    Olivet continues to have a stranglehold on the Crimson Wave as the Tigers have won all eight meetings over the last five seasons. This is the second closest result between the two teams.

    Junior Zach Wagner (Roselle, Ill.) scored a career-high 25 points, going 12-for-16 from the field. He had six rebounds with three assists in 29 minutes.

    Junior Aaron Larson (Tolono, Ill.) had 19 points (14 in second half) on 6-of-8 shooting and made 3-of-4 three-pointers, including four rebounds in 25 minutes. He now has 1,064 career points.

    Junior Alex Thorson (Philo, Ill.) had five points, seven rebounds and four assists in 29 minutes, including a three-pointer with under 30 seconds to make it a five-point game. 

    Junior Reid Farchmin (Mahomet, Ill.) had four points, two rebounds and five assists in 31 minutes.

    Off the bench, sophomore Tyler Crater (Hampshire, Ill.) had 11 points on 4-for-9 shooting and had three assists in 20 minutes.

    Franqlin Gatson led the Crimson Wave with 21 points on 8-for-13 shooting, and 3-for-7 from the three-point line. He had three rebounds, five assists and two steals in 37 minutes. Brian Brilmyer had 19 points on 5-for-15 shooting with 7-for-10 from the free-throw line. He added nine rebounds in 34 minutes. Michael Brooks had 12 points, two rebounds and two steals in 38 minutes.

    The Tigers will be back in action Tuesday, Dec. 16, at 6 p.m. against No. 11 St. Ambrose University (Iowa).

    *
    Dec 13, 2014 8:46:13Dec 13, 2014 -

    MIAMI, Fla. - A rush of adrenaline begins to well up inside your body as you feel pressure building inside your chest. The anticipation begins to build as the brevity between the beats of your heart shortens; each thump comes faster and faster with seemingly endless speed. You attempt to take deep breaths and calm your nerves as breathing becomes less controlled. These are not frightening feelings; they are what you crave, they are what allows you to thrive, they are what you expect as competition approaches.

    For many athletes sports is a way of life, they competed in the realm of athletics ever since the time they were able to be enrolled in youth league competitions. Athletics are a unique animal, they require individuals who can thrive under pressure and create something special.  The success of these athletes is often measured by a myriad of landmarks.

    One of the biggest indicators of athletic success is the privilege that is earned by participating in college athletics. No honor is greater than being recognized as having the skill to compete at the collegiate level. And few accomplishments compare to having the sustainability, and longevity, to complete four years of collegiate sports. 20 seniors finished their ONU Football career on November 15th. Many of these seniors were honored with awards for their achievements. A few of these young men were honored with the best thing they could ask for, another opportunity to play the game they loved.

    Senior linebackers Brandon Ruemler (Williamsport, Ind.) and John Litrenta (Orland Park, Ill.) accepted an invitation to play in a showcase this past Saturday, December 7th. The two seniors embarked on a trip last Thursday for Miami, Florida to participate in the National Bowl on the campus of Florida International University. The seniors were joined by athletes from various NAIA, NCAA Division 2 and Division 3 universities from around the country. To get selected was not easy; both of these men had storied careers for the Tigers.

    Brandon Ruemler is a three-time MSFA Midwest All-League selection at linebacker. Ruemler is a two-time second team selection (2012, 2013) and earned a first team selection this past season (2014). Ruemler has led ONU in tackles each of his four seasons. He has totaled 449 tackles in his career putting him second all-time. Ruemler is also the schools record holder for solo tackles in a career. Ruemler ends his career with 48 tackles for loss, six sacks, seven passes broken up, three interceptions, and eight forced fumbles.

    Litrenta finished this season as ONU’s 2nd leading tackler, having 77 on the year. Throughout his career Litrenta proved to be versatile in stopping both the run and the pass. Litrenta finishes his career with 209 total tackles, 21 tackles for loss, six sacks, seven passes defended, two interceptions, and four fumble recovers  with one returned for a touchdown.

    After receiving the invite, the two seniors spoke with each other and decided to follow in the footsteps of 2013 senior kicker Andrew Muzljakovich. Muzljakovich attended the 2013 game and was the special teams MVP.  This year’s invitees participated in the game, and although they did not leave with any awards like Muzljakovich, they still made an impact. Ruemler made his mark while carving a niche for himself as an outside linebacker. It was a new position and a new scheme, but Ruemler was able to show the crowd what Tiger Football fans have become accustomed to seeing from him over the years. Ruemler made a big hit early in the game that caught their attention.

    “When I hit him I heard the crowd, so I knew I got him pretty good,” said Ruemler.

    Ruemler also recorded a pass break up when the quarterback tried to get the ball to the running back out of the backfield. While Litrenta did not record any statistics, the experience is what he treasured the most.

    “The competition was a step up in terms of the athletes and speed of the game,” said Litrenta.  “It’s always fun competing with the best of the best”.

     The two players will certainly treasure the honor and will use the experience gained to spur them on in their next opportunity. The linebackers were also selected to compete in the D2 vs NAIA challenge in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina later in December. The game will take a similar style format, but this time they will be playing with players they have competed against over the year.

    When asked about the opportunities Litrenta was very grateful, “The best part for me is to be in the presence of NFL scouts for the weekend; it’s very humbling to be even selected to play in this game.”

     Although both men’s ONU career is over, the opportunities and recognition keeps rolling in. And even though they’ll have to hang up their cleats soon, it’s a great honor to continue to get to represent their university across the country, in any all-star games.  

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    Dec 12, 2014 1:38:19Dec 12, 2014 -

    DANVERS, Ill. - Head Coach Brenda Williams and the Olivet Nazarene University volleyball team are excited to announce the addition of Olympia High School standout Alex Ewalt for the fall of 2015.

    Ewalt, a 5-9 outside hitter, is a two-time First Team All-Conference honoree in the Cornbelt Conference. She served as team captain as a junior and senior and was named to the Central Illinois Traveling Tournaments All-Tournament team twice.  As a senior, she finished with 204 kills (3.0/game) and 267 digs (4.0/game).

    In the classroom, Ewalt is a member of National Honor Society and has been received High Honors distinction all four years. She also serves on student council, yearbook and Keyclub. As a junior she received the U.S. Army Reserve National Scholar-Athlete Award. She serves as on the senior class and bank boards.

    "Olivet ended up to be the exact college I was looking for. When I finally visited the campus and got to really feel the positive environment, I knew it was the place for me. I was looking for a university where I would have a chance to play volleyball but also a place to deepen my relationship with Christ," said Ewalt of the choice.  "I also chose it because of the great opportunities it will provide and the fun volleyball program! Everyone has been so welcoming and I am beyond excited to be a Tiger."

    Ewalt plans to major in business administration while at Olivet. She is the daughter of Eric and Mindy Ewalt and the sister to Addison and Andria.

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    Dec 12, 2014 11:22:1Dec 12, 2014 -

    CARLSBAD, Cal. - The Olivet Nazarene University volleyball team is pleased to announce the addition of Santa Fe Christian High School standout, Ellie Adamson. Adamson signed her letter of intent to join Tiger volleyball for the fall of 2015.

    Adamson, a 5-9 setter, served as team captain as a senior and was named Most Dedicated and Hard Working Player as a junior and senior. She finished her 95 set, two-year varsity career with 461 assists (4.9/game), 13 service aces, 141 digs and 20 kills. In the off-season, Adamson plays for the Coast Volleyball Club.

    In the classroom, Adamson is a member of National Honor Society and is a four-time Union Tribune San Diego All-Academic Team honoree. She also serves as the French Club treasurer.

    "I know ONU is the next step for me because God has confirmed this University in many ways, like my favorite high school math teacher graduated from ONU. I appreciate ONU's commitment to maintaining strong academics as well as athletically in volleyball," said Adamson of her decision. "Coming from a Christian high school, I was also looking for the right culture, which is why a Christian school was also very important to me. Olivet is the right fit."

    Adamson is the daughter of Robert and Tonilee Adamson and the younger sister of Robby and Emilee. While at Olivet, she intends to major in education and multimedia studies.

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    Dec 12, 2014 10:38:57Dec 12, 2014 -

    BOURBONNAIS, Ill. - The Olivet Nazarene University women's track and field team is excited to announce the addition of Danielle Wojciechowski. Wojciechowski has signed a letter of intent to continue her pole vaulting career and education as a member of the Tigers beginning in the fall of 2015.

    Wojciechowski is a three-time IHSA 3A state pole vault qualifier, finishing in eighth place as a sophomore with a height of 11'0". She was the DuPage Valley Conference champion in 2014 and also captured the sectional title. She placed second at the USATF Midwest Regional meet with a height of 11'9". Her personal best, accomplished in the summer of 2014 with the DuPage Track and Field Club, is an astounding 12'6" and she holds the high school record at 12'1". She was also a state qualifier in diving in 2013.

    In the classroom, Wojciechowski has been named to the High Honor Roll six times.

    Wojciechowski is no stranger to Olivet and the track and field team; she is the sister of sophomore cross country and track distance runner Andrea and the daughter of Diane and Bill. While at Olivet, she intends to major in exercise science.

    "I picked ONU because I was looking for a small Christian school with a competitive track team and ONU is just that," said Wojciechowski of her decision.  "I really wanted a Christian team that will encourage me in athletics along with my walk with Christ. The dynamic that ONU has is awesome and I'm really looking forward to being a part of the ONU family. Having my sister on my team is a major plus. It's always good to have family around when you need them."

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    Dec 12, 2014 10:19:1Dec 12, 2014 -

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Bison of Oklahoma Baptist are tied atop the ratings with SCAD Savannah (Ga.) in the first release of the 2014-15 NAIA Women's Swimming & Diving Coaches' Poll, the national office announced Thursday. Since the program's inception during the 2011-12 season, the Bison have been ranked among the top three in all 13 coaches' polls - including four-straight in the top-spot.

    SCAD Savannah - the 2014 runner-up - comes in tied for first. The Lady Bees, who collected one first-place vote and 55 points, are fresh off a second-place finish in the SCAD Invite that wrapped up on Dec. 6. Making waves for SCAD Savannah was Caroline Lepesant, who won the 500-Yard Freestyle with a time of 5:03.04 and was third in the1,650-Yard Freestyle with a total time of 17:29.65.

    Rounding out the rest of the top five is No. 3 Cumberlands (Ky.) (two first-place votes and 54 points), No. 4 Brenau (Ga.) (48 points) and fifth-ranked Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) (38 points). Both Brenau and Olivet Nazarene are guided by 2014 NAIA Women's Swimming & Diving Co-Coaches of the Year, Blair Bachman and Scott Teeters, respectively.

    The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches from the NAIA Swimming & Diving Coaches Association. The rating was expanded to 10 teams beginning this season. The second Top 10 poll will be released on Jan. 22, 2015.

    *
    Dec 12, 2014 10:15:38Dec 12, 2014 -

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Three-time defending national champion Oklahoma Baptist is the head of the pack in the first edition of the 2014-15 NAIA Men's Swimming & Diving Coaches' Poll, the national office announced Thursday. The Bison earned their No. 1 ranking courtesy of a strong start to the season after putting on a dominant display in last year's national championships in Oklahoma City on March 8.

    Reigning NAIA Men's Swimming & Diving Coach of the Year Scott Teeters and his Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) squad come in at No. 2 with 53 points. The Tigers - 2014 national runners-up - are paced by NAIA All-American Jake Anderson, who took home the title in the 200-yard Individual Medley in the 2014 championships. Most recently, Olivet Nazarene took fourth in the Eastern Michigan Invite on Dec. 5-6, in Ypsilanti, Mich.

    The rest of the top five includes: third-ranked Cumberlands (Ky.) (48 points), No. 4 SCAD Savannah (Ga.) (45 points) and St. Andrews (N.C.) is fifth (36 points).

    The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches from the NAIA Swimming & Diving Coaches Association. The rating was expanded to 10 teams beginning this season. The second Top 10 poll will be released on Jan. 22, 2015.

    *
    Dec 12, 2014 9:31:20Dec 12, 2014 -

    YPSILANTI, Mich. - The No. 5 Olivet Nazarene University women's swim team may have finished sixth of the six teams at the Eastern Michigan University Invite on Dec. 5-6, but the first five teams were all NCAA Division I and II institutions. The Tigers held their own against the big fish, recording numerous NAIA National Championship qualifying times.

    The Tigers achieved automatic qualification times in the following events:

    1650-yard freestyle

    • Haley Ronci (Goshen, Ind.), 18:38.44
    • Laura Bryant (Escondido, Cal.), 18.46.65

    200-yard backstroke

    • Tiffany Ray (Grandville, Mich.), 2:08.55

    100-yard freestyle

    • Eugenia Tofano (Caracas, Venezuela), 52.98 - just missed school record of 52.61
    • Deirdre Gerke (South Lyon, Mich.), 55.27
    • Rachel Jirik (Normal, Ill.), 55.64

    200-yard butterfly

    • Allison Zalinski (West Bloomfield, Mich.), 2:15.02
    • Madeline Miller (Hanna City, Ill.), 2:16.68
    • Ronci, 2:19.79

    400-yard freestyle relay

    • Gerke, Ray, Miller, Tofano, 3:42.67

    200-yard medley relay

    • Gerke, Whitney Whitehead (Grand Blanc,Mich.), Jirik, Kelsey Weener (Holland, Mich.), 1:54.49

    400-yard IM

    • Ray, 4:43.69

    100-yard butterfly

    • Jirik, 1:00.79

    200-yard freestyle

    • Tofano, 1:56.80
    • Gerke, 1:59.91

    100-yard backstroke

    • Mackenzie Anderson (Clifton, Ill.), 58.70

    800-yad freestyle relay

    • Gerke, Ray, Ronci, Tofano,7:58.16
    • Bryant, Meredith Lee (Hundsonville, Mich.), Zalinski, Miller, 8:29.15

    200-yard freestyle relay

    • Tofano, Gerke, Weener, Jirik, 1:39.37
    • Audrey Anderson (Chicago), Bryant, Ronci, Kathleen Berns (Peoria, Ill.), 1:47.27

    500-yard freestyle

    • Ronci, 5:23.05
    • Bryant, 5:24.03
    • Gerke, 5:26.45

    200-yard IM

    • Ray, 2:11.99
    • Anderson, 2:15.07

    50-yard freestyle

    • Tofano, 24.17
    • Jirik, 25.23
    • Weener, 25.55

    400-yard medley relay

    • Anderson, Ray, Jirik, Tofano, 4:05.20
    • Gerke, Whitehead, Miller, Weener, 4:15.98

    Eastern Michigan captured the overall team title, finishing with 908 points. Bowling Green State University (Ohio) was right behind in second place with 900, while Oakland University (Mich.) finished with 881.5. Ball State University (Ind.) took fourth with 643.5, followed by Wayne State University (Mich.) with 301 and Olivet with 85.

    Olivet doesn't return to the competitive pool until Saturday, Jan. 10 when they head to NCAA DII Lewis University for a dual meet. The event is set to begin at 1:00 p.m. in Romeoville, Illinois.

    *
    Dec 11, 2014 10:3:48Dec 11, 2014 -

    CHICAGO --- Averaging better than a point per minute in two wins during the week, Olivet Nazarene University's Abbey Hengesbach (Westphalia, Mich.) has been named the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Women's Basketball Player of the Week for the seven-day period from December 1-7, it was announced by the conference office on Wednesday morning.

    Hengesbach, a 5-9 junior guard, totaled 49 points in just 36 minutes of action over two games en route to averaging 24.5 points per game to go along with her 7.5 rebounding, 6.0 steal and 2.5 assist averages.  She also shot .500 from the field and .846 from the foul line.

    Hengesbach netted 17 points, eight rebounds, seven steals and two assists in a 101-78 victory over Clarke University (Iowa) on Wednesday.  She followed that up with a 32-point outburst in just 15 minutes of action in a 108-74 conference win against Holy Cross College (Ind.) on Saturday.  In the latter affair, she also totaled seven rebounds, five steals and three assists, while shooting .632 from the field (12-of-19).

    Among national leaders, Hengesbach ranks first in NAIA II in total steals (51), steals per game (4.6) and total points (289), while sitting second in points per game (26.3) and sixth in total assists (58).

    Olivet Nazarene, which is 8-3 overall and 2-1 in conference contests, is among others receiving votes in the latest NAIA poll. 

    Other Nominees: Christina Ekhomu (St. Francis), China Cordova (Calumet St. Joseph), Cassidy Deno (Purdue Calumet), Morgan Stuut (Saint Xavier).

    *
    Dec 11, 2014 9:50:38Dec 11, 2014 -

    BOURBONNAIS, Ill. - Santa Claus may have been in the lobby of McHie Arena while the Olivet Nazarene University women's basketball team battled Calumet College of St. Joseph (Ind.) inside, but the Tigers didn't need a wish to pick up a 121-61 win over the Crimson Wave.  The Tigers were just too much for the Wave to handle as Olivet improves to 3-1 in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletics Conference to take firm hold on second place in the South Division.

    Olivet (9-3, 3-1) had eight players hit the double-digit mark in the contest, led by sophomoreAshley Freeman (Hartford, Wis.) with 15. Freshman Tori Lemke (Brillions, Wis.) added 14, while junior Abbey Hengesbach (Westphalia, Mich.) finished with 13, sophomore Kayla Krassman (Hartford, Wis.) and  freshman Kaira Barnes (Westland, Mich.) and Rachel Losey (Otter Lake, Mich.) each had 12, freshmen Ally Giampapa (Bartlett, Ill.) added 11 andMaggie Schmidt (Eldridge, Iowa) rounded it out with 10.

    Junior Jayne Stuart (Jackson, Mich.) pulled in a team-high six rebounds, while sophomore Carlee Nicolas (Momence, Ill.), freshmen Capriana Christian (Vacaville, Calif.) and Schmidt each added five. Hengesbach dished out a team-high seven assists, while freshman Lauren Rouse (Mundelein, Ill.) lead the Tigers with four steals.

    Freeman paced the Tigers behind the three-point line, shooting 5-of-13 to account for all of her 15 points. Krassman finished 4-of-7, while Nicolas added a 3-of-6 night for her nine points. As a team, the Tigers shot 23-of-64 (.359) from behind the arc.

    Olivet will travel to No. 16 Huntington University (Ind.) on Saturday, Dec. 13 for a non-conference showdown with the Foresters. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m. (EST).  The Foresters are currently 8-2 on the season and play in the strong Crossroads League.  The two teams went head-to-head last season with Huntington coming away with a 121-101 win on the Tigers home court.

    Box Score

    *
    Dec 10, 2014 3:3:29Dec 10, 2014 -

    The world famous Harlem Globetrotters®, featuring some of the greatest athletes and entertainers on the planet, will bring their 2015 “Washington Generals’ Revenge” Tour to Olivet Nazarene University, Bourbonnais, Illinois. Enjoy this unrivaled family show on Tuesday, January 6, 2015, 7 p.m., at McHie Arena. This game night is presented by Olivet and Shine.FM radio network.

    The Globetrotters will face a great challenge this year as their rivals, the Washington Generals, are more determined than ever to match their historic last victory over the Globetrotters nearly a half century ago. It has been five years since the Globetrotters and Generals have faced off. The Generals have been searching far and wide for the best players to retool their roster and have been preparing for one thing: victory over the Globetrotters.

    In addition to the highly-anticipated matchup on the court, the Globetrotters, known worldwide as the Ambassadors of Goodwill™, will honor a Harlem Globetrotters Hometown Hero at this game — one of their 310-plus games in North America. The team is searching for active, wounded or retired members of the military who have made their community proud with their brave service and exemplary character. Fans can nominate a Harlem Globetrotters Hometown Hero at harlemglobetrotters.com. The Globetrotters will also play a portion of each game with a camouflage basketball as a sign of respect to all who protect our freedom.

    With a star-studded roster featuring Big Easy Lofton, Ant Atkinson, Hi-Lite Bruton, Thunder Law, Bull Bullard, Firefly Fisher and Moose Weekes — plus female stars TNT Maddox, T-Time Brawner and Sweet J Ekworomadu* — the Globetrotters’ one-of-a-kind show is unrivaled in the world of family entertainment. With incredible ball handling wizardry, rim-rattling dunks, trick shots, hilarious comedy and unequaled fan interaction, this must-see event is guaranteed to entertain the whole family. After the game, Globetrotter stars will sign autographs and be available to the fans for photos.**

    Tickets start at $20 and are available now at harlemglobetrotters.com, ticketweb.com or by phone at 866-468-3401. Information on group and scout tickets is available at harlemglobetrotters.com. Tickets will also be available at the McHie Arena box office the day of game.**

    *Rosters will vary in each city and are subject to change.
    **Subject to availability.
    **
    Dec 10, 2014 2:3:26Dec 10, 2014 -

    BOURBONNAIS, Ill. — Nick Fiene, a senior at Illiana Christian High School, has signed a letter of intent to continue his education and run cross country and track at Olivet Nazarene University. He is the first signee of the 2015 recruiting class among the distance squad, which recently finished third at the NAIA National Cross Country Championships.

    In cross country, Fiene led his team to a seventh place individual finish at the IHSA State Cross Country Championships in 2013, where his team finished second in Class 2A. As a senior, he was the individual champion in the 2A Wheaton Academy Sectional, and he contributed to his team’s third place finish at the state championships.

    On the track, Fiene was a member of the 2A state champion and all-time state record 4x800m team in 2014 with a time of 7:46.38. Individually, he has run 1:55 in the 800m (relay split), 4:22 in the 1600m, 9:35 in the 3200m and 14:50 in cross country for three miles.

    A native of St. John, Indiana, Fiene plans to major in biology with a pre-med emphasis. He is the son of John and Michelle Fiene and has two siblings: Mike, who is a sophomore on the ONU soccer team, and younger sister, Gillian.

    Fellow cross country teammate Thomas McGuire will also be joining the Tiger distance squad in 2015. Hailing from Lansing, Illinois, McGuire finished his high school cross country career with his best race at state, running a three-mile PR of 15:26. His role contributed tremendously to his team that won back-to-back state trophies in 2013 and 2014.

    Individually, McGuire garnered All-Conference, All-Regional and All-Sectional accolades as a senior. In 2013, he earned Illinois Milesplit’s No. 5 Runner of the Year award and was named All-Conference.

    McGuire has played baseball his whole life but will be a member of both the cross country and track teams at ONU. He is the son of Jim and Kristin McGuire and has a sister, Jensen, who is currently a sophomore at Illiana Christian. He plans to major in criminal justice.

    **
    Dec 10, 2014 11:13:42Dec 10, 2014 -

     

    The best teachers are not always seen. An interesting philosophy for a teacher who was just named the 2014 Outstanding Biology Teacher of Illinois this fall by the National Association of Biology Teachers. But that is exactly how Jennifer Pfannerstill ’01 MED runs her classroom.

    A peek beyond her door at North Shore Country Day School reveals pods of students coming to their own conclusions while she navigates the room as well as their ideas. And according to her peers, Pfannerstill’s strategy works. As she battles the belief that teachers belong in front of the class, she hopes that her unconventional way of teaching will continue to find a larger place in education.

    Life science on the lake

    Jennifer initially studied pre-med. “But the roots of teaching in my family changed my mind,” she says. “I knew in the end that I was supposed to be a teacher.”

    Biology was a natural choice for her. After growing up on a lake, Jennifer says, “I just had a natural love for being outside. We would go on hunts in the woods and that is one of the first things that drove me to life science.

    “And I always ask questions,” she adds.

    Jennifer graduated from Olivet’s School of Graduate and Continuing Studies with her master’s in education in 2001. She went through the program with her husband, Noel ’01 MED, at a time while they were both already educators.

    Noel is now a primary teacher, and Jen is the scientist in residence at North Country Day School in Winnetka, Illinois. They have three daughters: Kali, Meg and Haidyn.

    “I think going back to school when you’re a practicing teacher is different. We were thoughtful practitioners because we could try what we were learning,” she says. “A master’s program shouldn’t be theoretical.”

    Lessons in learning

    Jennifer was immediately able to apply what she learned at Olivet, just as she hopes her students can do in her biology classes. “We need to put students in authentic situations,” she says.

    “Teachers don’t have to be Google, and lessons don’t have to go perfectly. As teachers we need to remember that we are facilitators,” says Jennifer. “If we provide the questions and the means, what our students do with those questions is what drives the lesson.”

    Even though she may be hard to find in her own classroom, her students find her worthy of the award. “They were really excited,” she says. “They like hearing that we are doing something a little bit different and that it is being recognized.”

    *
    Dec 09, 2014 11:41:6Dec 09, 2014 -

    Marking the launch of the Catalyst Innovation Center for Kankakee County, Illinois, area business, education and community leaders gathered at the historic David Bradley Building in Bradley on Tuesday, December 9, 2014. Founded to provide comprehensive services and programs to support both business growth and entrepreneurial opportunities in Kankakee County, this business and research venture is a cooperative effort of Olivet Nazarene University, Riverside Healthcare and the Economic Alliance of Kankakee County.

    “Catalyst Innovation Center is the first of its kind in Kankakee County and neighboring counties,” said Dr. John C. Bowling, University president. “South of Chicago and north of Champaign, Catalyst is the only creative, entrepreneurial space for business and research that is available.”

    Other collaboration leaders for this venture are:

    • Phillip Kambic, president and CEO, Riverside Healthcare
    • Michael Van Mill, president and CEO, Economic Alliance of Kankakee County
    • Pat Martin, president and CEO, HomeStar Bank, and chair, Economic Alliance Board
    • Dr. Doug Perry, vice president of finance, Olivet Nazarene University
    • Dr. Jeff Williamson, director of corporate and community engagement, Olivet
    • Dr. Shane Ritter, chair, Olivet’s Department of Engineering
    • Jesse Erickson, director of Catalyst and project manager, Olivet’s Department of Engineering

    “The organizations and ideas that are bringing the Catalyst Innovation Center to life represent a commitment to creativity, innovation and growth for our community,” Kambic said. “Riverside is excited to be part of this collaboration.”

    The vision for Catalyst is to assist in creating local economic growth and diversity, business success, new employment opportunities and overall community enrichment. One of the outcomes of this focus will be growth of a culture that supports entrepreneurship in Kankakee County. Discussions about this initiative began in summer 2013. Construction will begin in early 2015. Full facility programming is scheduled to begin in fall 2015.

    The first phase of the launch utilizes 22,000 square feet located on the first floor of the five-story building with walk-in access from the east side. Open floor space will be utilized as collaboration stations for Olivet’s engineering students and faculty. The overall plan is to provide a creative educational and work environment while preserving the building’s history and integrity throughout the entire space.

    Future plans include:
    • More student and faculty workspace to be utilized by Olivet’s Department of Business
    • MakerSpace programming, providing workspace and tools for creating and building projects
    • Training, meeting and event space
    • Co-working facilities for business start-ups and small businesses
    • Partnerships with more local businesses to provide internships, full-time and part-time jobs for students and recent college graduates
    • Project support, workforce training and technical assistance for local businesses utilizing the expertise of Olivet students, faculty and staff as well as area professionals
    • Mentoring services to help businesses succeed
    • Dedicated space to house up to 35 small or start-up businesses
    • Riverside innovation design space and multi-discipline engagement projects, including student collaboration

    “The Economic Alliance has ambitious goals for small business and entrepreneurial development through 2019, as outlined in our Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy,” said Van Mill. “Catalyst will absolutely be a hub in not only our business attraction plan, but also for post-secondary graduate and Millennial retention in our community. We salute ONU and Riverside for this monumental investment in Kankakee County’s workforce and economic vitality.”
    **
    Dec 09, 2014 8:33:20Dec 09, 2014 -

    MASON, Mich. - Mason High School standout, Taylor Delbridge, has signed her letter of intent to continue her playing career as a member of the 2015 Olivet Nazarene University volleyball team.

    Delbridge, a 5-9 outside hitter, was a two-time captain for the Bulldogs. She was named All-Conference and All-Area as a senior, helping lead the team to league, district and regional championships. In the classroom, Delbridge is a member of National Honor Society.

    "From the first time I visited the campus, I knew that it was the school for me," said Delbridge of her decision.  "Every time I have been on campus, everyone has been very welcoming and made me feel like I really did belong at ONU. I also really value getting a quality Christian education."

    Delbridge intends to major in elementary education while at Olivet. She is the daughter of Lance and Tine Delbridge and sister to Cameron and Karsyn. 

    *
    Dec 09, 2014 8:22:38Dec 09, 2014 -

    BROWN COUNTY, Ind. - Lizzie Jackson, a three-time varsity letter winner from Brown County High School, has signed her letter of intent to continue her volleyball career and education at Olivet Nazarene University.

    Jackson, a 6-1 middle blocker, was named Western Indiana Conference (WIC) All-Conference as a junior and a senior. She was also selected as the Most Complete Player her senior year and played in the North/South and the East/West All-Star games as a junior.

    In her senior season, Jackson finished with 353 kills and 38 blocks. She recorded 29 service aces and on defense, finished with 80 digs. For her career, she finished with 731 kills.

    In the classroom, Jackson received the 2014 Superintendent Award and is an Illinois State Scholar. She is a four-year member of the honor roll and was inducted into National Honor Society in 2013.

    "I knew I wanted to be at a school where I could not only continue my volleyball career, but more importantly be challenged by academics and in my faith. Olivet embodies all of these things and more," said Jackson.  "I cannot wait to continue my future there."

    While at Olivet, Jackson plans to major in graphic design and marketing. She is the daughter of Tom and Carrie Jackson and sister to Will and Grace.

    *
    Dec 09, 2014 8:10:8Dec 09, 2014 -

    BOURBONNAIS, Ill. - Though the dust on the 2014 season has barely started to settle, the time has come for the Olivet Nazarene University volleyball team to start replacing the graduating seniors. Head Coach Brenda Williams and her assistants, Rachelle Wiegand and Morgan Fox have been busy, signing three new Tigers. The first to sign was Hannah Collins, a 5-6 libero/defensive specialist from Normal Community West High School.

    Collins is a two-time defensive player of the year for the Wildcats. As a senior, she was also named Big 12 Conference Honorable Mention and All-Area Honorable Mention.

    Off the court, Collins is a member of National Honor Society (NHS) and Mu Alpha Theta and is currently the class valedictorian. She has been recognized by the Big 12 and the IHSA as a scholar-athlete.

    "I chose ONU because it has a competitive volleyball program and a quality engineering program with a Christian perspective," said Collins of the decision.

    Collins plans to major in engineering while at Olivet. She is the daughter of Tim and Veronica Collins and little sister to Ben and Nick.

    *
    Dec 09, 2014 7:47:57Dec 09, 2014 -

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has revealed the 2014 NAIA Women's Soccer All-America teams, the national office announced Monday, Dec. 8.  The NAIA All-America Committee, which consists of the NAIA-Women's Soccer Coaches Association officers and seven additional women's soccer coaches, select the three 11-member teams and an honorable mention team.

    The Olivet Nazarene University women's soccer team had three players receive honorable mention honors: seniors Katie Smith (Spring Lake, Mich.) and Kenzie Hengesh (Canton, Mich.) and junior Betsy Hetrick (Plainfield, Ill.).

    Smith and Hengesh, both leaders on and off the field, roamed the mid-field helping to anchor the defense that allowed just 17 goals in 21 games. Smith finished with two assists, while Hengesh added two goals and three assists. Hetrick was second on the team in scoring, finishing with 31 points, accumulating 13 goals and five assists.

    The trio helped the Tigers to a 16-4-1 record, including a perfect 11-0 en route to claiming the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference regular season title.  Olivet also captured the CCAC Tournament title and made their fourth consecutive trip to the NAIA National Tournament Opening Round.

    *
    Dec 08, 2014 5:3:47Dec 08, 2014 -

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced the 2014 NAIA Men’s Soccer All-America teams Monday, Dec. 8. The NAIA All-America committee consists of the NAIA Men’s Soccer Coaches Association Executive Committee, the National Championship Games Committee and four men’s soccer coaches — selected based on geography. Each team — first, second and third — consists of 11 members.

    The All-America teams consist of 11 individuals covering all four positions on the field. Senior Tyler Gill (Plainfield, Ill.) was selected to the third team as a midfielder for the first time in his career, and he is the first to be selected in the 38-year history of Olivet Nazarene University men’s soccer. The CCAC First Team All-Conference selection started all 21 games and finished with a career-high 11 goals (led team) and three assists (25 points, second on team). He also led the team in shots on goal (26) and had two game-winning goals. During a 10-game stretch in the middle of the Tigers’ season, he had 10 of his 11 goals; ONU was 8-2 in those games.

    Gill helped lead Olivet to an unforgettable season, winning a third consecutive CCAC Tournament title and bid to the NAIA National Championship Opening Round.

    Also, the Tigers won a program-best 15 games en route to a CCAC Regular Season Championship, the first in the history of the team.

    For the complete list of award winners, go to: http://www.naia.org/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=27900&ATCLID=209800988

    *
    Dec 08, 2014 11:10:40Dec 08, 2014 -

    BOURBONNAIS, Ill. — Head Coach David Blahnik is excited to announce that Dair Smith, a senior at Greenville High School in Greenville, Mich., has signed a letter of intent to continue his career and education at Olivet Nazarene University. Dair will be a great addition to a Tiger soccer team that is coming off winning both the CCAC Regular Season Championship and the CCAC Tournament Championship. 

    Dair has been a key member and starter for the Alliance 97 academy team which has been ranked as one of the top club teams in the country. Some of their accomplishments include being the 2013 Region II Champions, 2013 Michigan State Champions, 2013 US Youth Soccer National League participants, qualifying for the 2013 National Championship Tournament, three time national finalists for SuperY league championships and being ranked as one of the Top 10 club teams in the country in 2013 by GotSoccer.com. He took a break from the academy this past fall to play his senior season for Greenville High School and helped lead them to their first winning season in years. For Greenville, Dair was named team captain, All-District, All-Conference and concluded the year with eight goals and 17 assists.

    Dair intends to study psychology at Olivet and pursue a career in industrial/organizational psychology.

    “I am very excited to add Dair to our program for next year," said Coach Blahnik. "He will be a great addition to our midfield, and brings great character and work rate to the team as well. He is a great fit for the Olivet and will represent the University well, both on the field and in the classroom.” 

    *
    Dec 08, 2014 11:6:7Dec 08, 2014 -

    REGISTRATION/WAIVER FORM 

    The Tigers will be hosting an instructional youth (ages 6-12) pitching camp over Christmas break. Youth pitchers will learn the basic fundamentals of pitching including mechanics, grips, drills, arm care/injury prevention and overall conditioning, along with competitions focusing on accuracy and velocity.  This would make a great stocking stuffer for any youth pitcher.

    The Tigers’ pitching coach Josh Rebandt will be the director of the camp. The camp will use the indoor facilities on campus. For further questions, you may contact him by email at jarebandt@olivet.edu

    Please mail your registration (attached) to: Olivet Nazarene University, Baseball Office, One University Avenue, Bourbonnais, IL 60914

    When:

    December 29-December 31

    8:30 AM  - 12 PM

    Location:

    Olivet Nazarene University

    One University Avenue

    Bourbonnais, IL 60914

    Who:

    Youth Baseball Players Ages 6-12

    Cost:

    $75 (includes snacks)

    Please make checks payable to ONU Baseball.

    Parent’s will need to sign a waiver form.

    What to bring:

    All personal baseball equipment.

    Purpose:

    To instruct youth pitchers on the basic fundamentals of pitching.

    *
    Dec 08, 2014 9:11:20Dec 08, 2014 -

     

    YPSILANTI, Mich. - What approach does the 2014 NAIA National Runner-Up Olivet Nazarene University men's swim team take to improving? Easy, in order to improve, you must swim against the big fish. On December 5-6, the Tiger headed north to the Eastern Michigan University Invite to go head-to-head with NCAA DI EMU, Oakland University (Mich.), Bowling Green State University (Ohio), Ball State University (Ind.) and DII Wayne State University. The Tiger's finished fifth overall, but came away with several impressive individual and relay finishes.

    Junior Calvin Price (Grahamstown, South Africa) recorded the highest finish, placing third in the 100-yard breaststroke (57.13). Senior Simon Pleasant (Alexandra, South Africa) took fourth in the 50-yard freestyle (51.57) and fifth in the 200-yard freestyle (1:42.76). Junior Jake Anderson (Clifton, Ill.) captured a fifth place finish in the 100-yard backstroke (51.57) and eighth in the 200-yard individual medley (1:56.52). Sophomore Frank Tapia (Clearwater, Fla.) also took seventh in the 100-yard butterfly (51.03) and eighth in the 500-yard freestyle (4:47.65).

    The Tiger relay teams also fared well on the weekend. Capturing fourth place finishes were the 200-yard freestyle relay team of Josh Lercel (Mishawaka, Ind.), Ty Jacobs (West Lafayette, Ind.), Anderson and Pheasant (1:24.56) and the 400-yard medley relay  team of Anderson, Price, Tapia and Pheasant (3:23.27). Taking fifth place were the 800-yard freestyle relay team of Charles Bennett (Edwards, Ill.), Joshua Bouma (Jenison, Mich.), Tapia and Pheasant (7:02.01) and the 200-yard medley relay team of Anderson, Price, Tapia and Lercel (1:33.95).

    EMU captured the overall team title, finishing with 1,156.5 points. Oakland took second with 940, followed by Ball State with 562, Olivet with 507.5 and Wayne State with 439.

    Olivet doesn't return to the competitive pool until Saturday, Jan. 10 when they head to NCAA DII Lewis University for a dual meet. The event is set to begin at 1:00 p.m. in Romeoville, Illinois. 

    *
    Dec 07, 2014 10:35:45Dec 07, 2014 -

    Boxscore:

    BOURBONNAIS, Ill. — Sometimes a coach's message is simply efficiency and effort. On Saturday, Dec. 6, the Olivet Nazarene University men’s basketball fully bought in and won a very important CCAC win. Trailing by 10 at the break and by as much as 12 in the second half, the Tigers played with determination on the defensive end. ONU allowed only 36 percent shooting for the Holy Cross Saints (Ind.) and won the rebounding battle 47 to 30, claiming a 72-69 win.

    The Tigers (7-4, 3-1) have kept opponents under 70 points in six of their seven wins this season. They kept the Saints (6-6, 1-2) to only 27 points in the second half, using a 10-2 run to start the second half through the first five minutes. They can attribute the difference in halves to a difference of 18 percentage points from the field. They scored 12 less points from behind the arc, and the Tigers shot nine more free-throws.

    ONU had their greatest advantage at the free-throw line of the season, scoring nine more points and attempting 15 more. They went 15-of-19 in the second half, getting six made free-throws from Reid Farchmin (Mahomet, Ill.). He finished with a season-high 10 points, a career-high 14 rebounds (third career double-double) and two steals in 28 minutes. In addition, Olivet shot their worst percentage from the field but did make 10 three-pointers, had only 14 turnovers (five in the second half) and 17 offensive rebounds (21 second chance points).

    Holy Cross played a very efficient offensive game, shooting 46.4 percent from the field and 8-of-15 from the three-point line and had only 12 turnovers. However, they had only three offensive rebounds and three points to show off those boards.

    Senior Austin Davis (North Augusta, S.C.) had a season-high 25 points on 9-of-22 shooting and made 6-of-17 three-pointers, including one rebound and two assists in 36 minutes. He now has 176 career three-pointers and is tied for 10th all-time in Tiger history.

    Junior Aaron Larson (Tolono, Ill.) scored 10 points on 3-of-6 shooting, went 1-for-1 from behind the arc and 3-for-6 from the free-throw line. He added 12 rebounds in 39 minutes, good for a second double-double of the season. He now has 1,045 points, good for 38th in Tiger history. He was honored prior to the game for reaching the career milestone back on Nov. 29. 

    Junior Zach Wagner (Roselle, Ill.) had 13 points, going 5-for-10 from the free-throw line, and had seven rebounds with four assists in 30 minutes. Off the bench, sophomore Tyler Crater (Hampshire, Ill.) had nine points on 3-for-8 shooting from behind the arc and had two rebounds in 17 minutes.

    Karl Columbus led the Saints with 21 points on 10-for-20 shooting, making an array of mid-range jump shots all game. He had three rebounds, three assists and four steals in 39 minutes. Drew Moore had 20 points on 7-for-16, shooting with 4-for-8 from the three-point line. He added two rebounds in 34 minutes. Zoe Bauer had 11 points, three rebounds and two assists in 24 minutes.

    The Tigers will be back in action Saturday, Dec. 13, at 3 p.m. against CCAC opponent Calumet College of St. Joseph (Ind.).

    **
    Dec 07, 2014 9:50:15Dec 07, 2014 -

    BOURBONNAIS, Ill. - In just 15 minutes on the court, junior Abbey Hengesbach did more than most players do on a career night playing the entire game. Hengesbach led the No. 25 Olivet Nazarene University women's basketball team to a 108-74 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference victory over Holy Cross College (Ind.) on Saturday, Dec. 6.

    Hengesbach (Westphalia, Mich.) finished the night with 32 points, while adding a team-leading five steals and three assists. She also pulled down seven rebounds. Ally Giampapa (Bartlett, Ill.) appear that she was born to play "the system"; the freshman added 13 points, her fifth time in double-digits just 11 games into the season.

    Freshman Rachel Losey (Otter Lake, Mich.) added a season-high 11 points, going 3-of-6 from behind the three-point arch and 2-of-3 at the charity line. Junior Jayne Stuart (Jackson, Mich.) and freshman Kaira Barnes (Westland, Mich.) each added nine points, while sophomore Carlee Nicolas (Momence, Ill.) and freshman Tori Lemke (Brillion, Wis.) added seven each.

    Stuart led TigerBall with six assists, while swiping the ball three times. Freshman Maggie Schmidt (Eldridge, Iowa) pulled in seven rebounds.

    Olivet (8-3, 2-1) will return to action on Wednesday, Dec. 10. The Tigers will face CCAC foe Calumet College of St. Joseph (Ind.) in McHie arena at 7 p.m. Last season the Tigers swept the two-game series, coming away with a 118-107 win on December 3 and a 121-75 win on February 12. 

    Box Score

    *
    Dec 07, 2014 9:27:44Dec 07, 2014 -

    SIOUX CITY, Iowa - The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced Friday that 455 volleyball student-athletes have been named 2014 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes. Two-time honoree Haley Hatalla led the Olivet Nazarene University team, joined by three first-time receipients.

    Hatalla, a senior from Manteno, Illinois, will graduate in May with a degree in English. She has played the role of libero for the majority of her four-year career as a Tiger.

    Receiving their first national scholastic honor are senior Tiffany Mardura and juniors Renee Enz and Hannah Reister. Madura, a native of Munster, Indiana, will receive her interior design degree in May.  Enz, a setter from Wilmington, Illinois, is majoring in biology with a minor in Spanish. Reister is earning her degree in business administration with a concentration in management. She is a native of Mason, Michigan.

    In order to be nominated by an institution's head coach or sports information director, a student-athlete must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale and must have achieved a junior academic status.

    *
    Dec 06, 2014 5:22:15Dec 06, 2014 -

    413 student-athletes honored

    Web Site Link

    By: Chad Waller, Director of Communications & Sports Information

    DELRAY BEACH, Fla. – The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced Friday that 413 men’s soccer student-athletes have been named 2014 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes. Great Falls (Mont.) and Hastings (Neb.) lead all institutions with nine individuals each on the list. Ashford (Iowa) is next in line with eight players recognized.

    In order to be nominated by an institution’s head coach or sports information director, a student-athlete must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale and must have achieved a junior academic status.

    Last year, 355 student-athletes were honored.

    Olivet Nazarene University had three Tigers honored this year: senior Kyle Reopelle (Elgin, Ill.), juniorJoel Andrade (Evergreen Park, Ill.) and junior Richard Paret (West Chicago, Ill.). Reopelle is a second-time recipient.

    *
    Dec 04, 2014 10:23:40Dec 04, 2014 -

    Boxscore:

    ROMEOVILLE, Ill. — Wednesday, Dec. 3, was a tough night for the road weary Olivet Nazarene University men’s basketball team, having played six of their last seven games away from McHie Arena. The Tigers were handed a fourth loss of the year at the hands of NCAA Division II Lewis University (Ill.) due to 20 turnovers and 36.7 percent shooting. ONU fell 75-49 with only 18 points in the first half, their worse defeat since December 2012 to the Flyers.

    The Tigers (6-4) had not scored less than 50 points since that same defeat (Dec. 6, 2012) at the hands of the Flyers (5-1) two seasons ago when ONU struggled with 21 turnovers and shot only 30.8 percent. In three of the Tigers’ four losses this year, they have scored 60 or fewer points and given up 75-plus in each of the four. The double digit win for the Flyers is nothing new as they have done so in all of their five wins this season.

    The Tigers struggled from the field, shooting under 40 percent and only 11.8 from behind the arc, a low for the season. The Tigers did win the free-throw battle but managed to make only 11-of-16.

    Lewis played a clean game with only six turnovers and grabbed 14 offensive rebounds, scoring 15 second chance points. At the same time, they were still able to win big, shooting 13 percent under their average and nine free-throws less than they do per game.

    Junior Aaron Larson (Tolono, Ill.) scored a team high 16 points on 5-of-10 shooting. He added six rebounds and six assists in 36 minutes. He now has 1,035 points, good for 38th in Tiger history. Junior Zach Wagner (Roselle, Ill.) had 11 points and six rebounds with three assists in 30 minutes.

    Off the bench, sophomore Tyler Crater (Hampshire, Ill.) had eight points on 4-for-10 shooting and had three rebounds in 23 minutes.

    Max Strus led the Flyers with 15 points on 6-for-14 shooting and went 1-for-5 from the three-point line. He had five rebounds in 28 minutes. Julian Lewis had 14 points on 5-for-6 shooting with 2-for-2 from the three-point line. He added seven rebounds in 29 minutes. Ryan Jackson had 13 points, three rebounds and three assists in 25 minutes.

    ONU will be back on the court Saturday, Dec. 6, at 3 p.m. against CCAC foe Holy Cross College (Ind.).

    *
    Dec 04, 2014 8:3:31Dec 04, 2014 -

    DUBUQUE, Iowa - The quickness of the Olivet Nazarene University women's basketball team was too much for Clarke University (Iowa) to handle when they hosted TigerBall on Wednesday, Nov. 3 in non-conference action. The Tigers used 22 steals and 34 Crusader turnovers to capture a 101-78 victory on the road.

    Olivet had four players finish with double-digits in the point column. The Tigers were led by junior Abbey Hengesbach (Westphalia, Mich.) who finished with 17 points, while adding a team-high seven steals and eight rebounds. She finished the night 6-of-17 from the field and a perfect 5-of-5 from the charity line.

    Junior Jayne Stuart (Jackson, Mich.) was not far behind, finishing the night with 15 points, while dishing out a team-high five assists and pulling in five boards. Sophomore Carlee Nicolas (Momence, Ill.) used the night to pick up a career-high 13 points, shooting 4-of-7 from behind the arch. Sophomore Kayla Krassman (Hartford, Wis.) added 10 points and eight rebounds.

    "Clarke was physically tough and had a good game plan against us. Anytime you take a long road trip there are a number of challenges that you face," said Head Coach Lauren Stamatis of the win. "I was proud of our girls for responding well to adversity and things that weren't going our way. Our girls really stepped up the last part of the second half. They made some big plays defensively that helped us gain some momentum to finish strong."

    Olivet (7-3) returns to action on Saturday, Dec. 6 facing Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference foe Holy Cross College (Ind.). Tip-off is set for 1:00 p.m. in McHie Arena. Last season, the Tigers picked up wins in both head-to-head matchups with the Saints. Olivet escaped a near upset on Dec. 7, coming away with a close 88-81 win before taking a more decisive win on Feb. 8, downing the Saints 125-92.

    Find complete box score here

    *
    Dec 03, 2014 9:56:57Dec 03, 2014 -

    For the first time in the history of the Reed Leadership Award, Olivet honored two individuals simultaneously: Trudy Dickinson and Jean Thomas. During a recent luncheon, they were inducted as Reed Leadership Fellows in recognition of their lifetime of achievement. This award and the Reed Institute for Advanced Study of Leadership were established by Dr. Harold W. Reed, who was president of the University from 1949 to 1975.

    “As business and science leaders, Trudy and Jean have shown us how to move from an idea to a product to an end result,” said Dr. John C. Bowling, University president, as he presented the award to Dickinson and Thomas. “This award honors the lasting legacy of both of you and Dr. Harold W. Reed.”

    Family members, friends, pastors and former employees came from Florida, Texas and California — as well as the greater Kankakee area — to participate in honoring Trudy and Jean. Professors and students representing the business, communication, biological sciences and engineering departments also attended.

    In 1953, two young chemists at Armour and Company (later Armour Pharmaceuticals, now CSL Behring) in Bradley decided to start their own company for the production of specialized biochemicals. Added to this entrepreneurial endeavor was one important fact: Both of them were women. And women just didn’t own businesses or even work as chemists at that time. Together — along with Arlan Roberts, John Henninger and Ed Nelson — Trudy Dickinson and Jean Thomas founded Pentex, Inc. Soon, the company grew to reach the international marketplace.

    Trudy headed up the research and development aspects. Jean was responsible for sales and developed their business internationally.

    Miles Laboratories bought all of the Pentex stock in 1968. Trudy and Jean remained with the company until 1995. The business has been sold several times and has had several different names but continues to operate today as EMD Millipore. The company holds eight patents.

    “I learned about the value of teamwork while I was with Pentex,” said Joe Montalto, now retired. “I also learned about listening, serving the customer and blending theory with practice. I thank Trudy and Jean for being an inspiration to their employees.”

    Business isn’t the only area where these two Kankakee residents have made a contribution. Trudy has served in several Kankakee organizations, including the YMCA, Salvation Army and United Way. In addition to her professional growth, she credits these experiences with teaching her how to interact with people and how to network. Thomas is an active member of the Board at Riverside Medical Center. Both are active members of Zonta, a worldwide organization of executives in business and the professions working together to advance the status of women.

    “We will never forget those who worked for us,” Trudy said in her acceptance of the award. “And the world will never forget what our employees have done through this business.”

    Jean added, “Many people have worked with us for 25 or more years, and we appreciate them.”
    *
    Dec 02, 2014 11:46:46Dec 02, 2014 -

     

    “Because I’m happy, clap along if you feel like a room without a roof. Because I’m happy…”

    Pharrell Williams’s lyrics and catchy tune have perhaps been heard in every corner of the world except Olivet’s Centennial Chapel. This year, that is going to change.

    There is a new choir ensemble on campus called “Apollo” and, unlike every other choir at Olivet, the only music it performs is secular.

    The choir’s chaplain, senior Sierra Navarro (Rochester, Indiana), explains that the mission of Apollo is to reach out to the community surrounding Olivet. “Singing secular music allows us to go into places the School of Music and the University have never gone before,” she says. “We go straight into the schools in the Bourbonnais community and even perform at community events, like the Kankakee Farmers Market.”

    “We knew we wanted it to be different,” says Kay Welch, Apollo director and adjunct professor. “We wanted it to be something Olivet hasn’t had before, and that’s how we decided to do pop music.”

    Not the norm

    The co-ed, 52-member choir is hoping to bring worship to the Bourbonnais community in a new, nontraditional way. All of Olivet’s choral ensembles are known to minister through music, and Apollo’s ultimate objective is the same. “It just looks a little different,” says Professor Welch.

    The choir hopes that what sets them apart will further their reach and, therefore, further the reach of the gospel message. "Apollo Choir will bring God's love, healing, and beauty to others through music,” says its mission statement. “We will serve and support all of those whom we encounter, going beyond our comfort zones to be a light to those in need."

    Going out and getting in

    Apollo will go on educational outreach tours this fall to junior high and high schools in local towns like Peotone, Chebanse, Bradley and Bourbonnais. Programs like “Choir Buddy” will allow Apollo members to connect with public school students individually through workshops and demonstrations. The students they work with will then be invited to participate in Apollo’s spring concert as well as a virtual choir video that will be debuted at the same event.

    Building relationships is their main goal. “We get to set an example of what it means to be a choir, what it is to be a college student, show them that they are loved and, most importantly, what it means to be a believer and follower of Jesus Christ,” says Sierra.

    “We believe that Apollo Choir can truly make a difference and shine God’s light to the students of Kankakee County,” she adds.

    Only this time, an Olivet choir will shine by singing words shared by Natasha Bedingfield, Elvis Presley, Bill Withers and Marvin Gaye.

    *
    Dec 02, 2014 11:25:8Dec 02, 2014 -

    Within the span of three months, Olivet Nazarene University has welcomed four leading Christian music artists to campus in partnership with Shine.FM. Some of the top names in the industry — TobyMac, Tenth Avenue North, Switchfoot and Gungor — have performed this fall semester alone.

    Each event has been a unique experience, providing plenty of opportunities for interaction with students. The husband and wife duo of Gungor brought their recent album “I Am Mountain” to life as the opener for the Switchfoot concert. Switchfoot’s lead singer Jon Foreman hung out with concertgoers after the group’s performance, putting on a set of acoustic songs for his fans.

    As students sat in Crawford Auditorium for a morning chapel service, anticipating a “secret show,” Tenth Avenue North set up an arrangement of acoustic instruments in the foyer of Centennial Chapel.  As students exited, the group greeted them with two of their current songs. To watch the performance, click here.

    Most recently, Toby Mac returned to campus, bringing the high-energy Diverse City band along with him. 

    The caliber of these artists speaks volumes to the work Shine.FM has accomplished. There are a combined 42 GMA Dove Awards among the four artists mentioned as well as three Grammy Awards. 

    “Shine.FM is proud to bring the biggest names in Christian music to the campus of Olivet,” says Brian Utter, general manager of Shine.FM. “We love to share great family experiences with our audience and introduce them to this beautiful campus.”

    The recent concerts truly have been great experiences in the lives of students on campus. Junior Ryan Muzljakovich (Vicksburg, Michigan) was overcome with nostalgia during the Switchfoot and Gungor concert in Centennial Chapel. “I grew up listening to Switchfoot, so I was excited to hear that they were coming here. Being able to see them live for the first time with all of my friends was an incredible experience.” 

    The Shine.FM team consistently coordinates events for the community that bring a diverse set of talented artists to Olivet. The University and Shine.FM look to continue that trend, bringing more high-profile Christian artists to campus in years to come.

    *
    Dec 02, 2014 10:27:34Dec 02, 2014 -

    Boxscore:

    LAPORTE, Ind. — In the second of four games in the stretch of seven days, the Olivet Nazarene University men’s basketball team won their second CCAC game of the season with a 72-55 outcome against Purdue University-North Central (Ind.) on the road. The Tigers led the entire game and by double digits for almost 23 minutes.

    A quick start by the Tigers (6-3, 2-1) earned them a 20-8 lead only five minutes into the game. But by the 11:23 mark, the Panthers (1-8, 0-3) had widdled it down to a 23-19 deficit. Again with just over eight minutes remaining in the first half, a Kendric Lee lay-up made a four-point game. Olivet then used a 15-4 run to end the first 20 minutes and give themselves a 15-point lead at halftime. Austin Davis (North Augusta, S.C.) and Aaron Larson (Tolono, Ill.) combined for 22 points for ONU in the first half and helped break the game open late in the half.

    The Panthers tried to get back into the game immediately as the second half began, cutting the deficit to only nine (48-39) using a Cody Nelms free-throw. However, seven of the next nine points went to the Tigers as they built the lead back to 14 points. But Purdue-North Central wouldn’t go away as they made it a single digit game on a Clarence Heath lay-up with around nine minutes to go. That’s when another Tiger run (13-4) gave the Tigers a little breathing room and would do so for the remainder of the game. The Panthers would not threaten again as they only scored two points the final six minutes of the game.

    Junior Aaron Larson scored 14 points on 7-of-12 shooting. He added six assists and three rebounds in 33 minutes. He now has 1,019 points, good for 39th in Tiger history.

    Senior Austin Davis had 14 points on 5-for-10 shooting and went 2-for-7 from the three-point line. He added two assists and steals in 29 minutes. He now has 169 made three-pointers, good for 11th all-time in Tiger history.

    Senior Matt Ryan (San Diego, Calif.) had seven points on 3-for-6 shooting with four rebounds and three assists in 18 minutes. Junior Zach Wagner (Roselle, Ill.) had seven points and a team high nine rebounds with three assists in 26 minutes.

    Off the bench, freshman Alec Goetz (St. Charles, Ill.) had nine points, making 3-of-8 three-pointers, and had three rebounds and one assist in 15 minutes. Senior Hunter Jacobs (Champaign, Ill.) led all scorers inside with 10 points on 4-for-4 shooting, and he added two rebounds and one assist in 12 minutes.

    Kendric Lee led the Panthers with 13 points on 6-for-12 shooting and went 1-for-3 from the three-point line. He had nine rebounds and five assists in 31 minutes. Clarence Heath had 10 points on 3-for-8 shooting with 4-for-5 from the free-throw line. He added five rebounds in 34 minutes. Caleb Brannon had nine points, three rebounds and three steals in 30 minutes. Cody Nelms had nine points and six rebounds in 33 minutes.

    Overall, the Tigers shot 30-for-66 from the field (45.5 percent), 6-for-21 from the three-point line (28.6 percent) and 6-for-9 from the free-throw line (66.7 percent). They outrebounded the Panthers 42-39, committing 16 turnovers, and totaled 22 assists with 12 offensive rebounds and seven steals.

    Purdue-North Central shot 21-for-64 from the field (32.8 percent), 4-for-24 from beyond the arc (16.7 percent) and 9-for-11 from the free-throw line (81.8 percent). The Panthers had 11 assists, 18 turnovers, 14 offensive rebounds and eight steals.

    ONU will be back on the court Wednesday, Dec. 3, at 7:30 p.m. against NCAA Division II Lewis University (Ill.).

    *
    Dec 01, 2014 9:45:23Dec 01, 2014 -

    BOURBONNAIS, Ill. - Head Coach Bill Johnson is excited to announce that Jessica Ackman, a senior at  Beecher High School, has signed a letter of intent to continue her career and education at Olivet Nazarene University. Ackman, a 2014 state qualifier, will be a great addition to the Tiger golf team.

    On the links, Ackman has an endless list of honors. In both her junior and senior seasons, she captured Twin Valley Conference titles. She is also a two-time state qualifier, having finished fifth in sectionals and third in regionals as a senior, and fifth in regionals as a junior. She is a two-time captain of the Beecher team and has seen her average go from a 130 as a freshman to an 82 as a senior.

    In the classroom, Ackman is a two-time honor roll honoree, and likely a three-time as her senior year comes to an end in the spring.

    "I chose Olivet because of its safe, small school atmosphere with competitive athletics and great education opportunities," said Achman of her decision.

    While at Olivet, Ackman intends to study nursing. She is the daughter of James Ackman and has one sister, Jamie.

    *
    Dec 01, 2014 9:0:20Dec 01, 2014 -

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has announced Friday that 578 women's soccer student-athletes have been named 2014 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar Athletes. The Olivet Nazarene University women's soccer team had four players earn the honor, led by two-time honorees, seniors Katie Smith and Jessica Higer.

    Smith, a native of Spring Lake, Michigan, will graduate with dual degrees in Christian Education and intercultural studies. Higer, is will complete her degree in science education with a minor in zoology and a concentration in biology. She is a native of Kuna, Idaho.

    Earning their first honors are juniors Michelle Ditchfield and Cortney Smith. Ditchfield, a native of Berkeley, Illinois, is majoring in accounting. Smith, a dietetics majors, is a native of Morton, Illinois.

    In order to be nominated by an institution's head coach or sports information director, a student-athlete must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale and must have achieved a junior academic status to qualify for this honor.

    *
    Nov 30, 2014 12:53:45Nov 30, 2014 -

    Boxscore

    CARBONDALE, Ill. — Saturday, Nov. 29, was an historic day in the 49-year history of the Olivet Nazarene University men’s basketball program. Olivet took the court against a Missouri Valley Conference opponent, the nation’s second-oldest NCAA Division I conference, for the first time. The Tigers matched up against the Salukis of Southern Illinois University-Carbondale for a rare regular season contest against a NCAA Division I opponent. The Tigers were within single digits with 10 minutes to play in the second half, but the home team was too much as ONU fell 76-60.

    Junior Aaron Larson (Tolono, Ill.), needing only nine points to reach 1,000 for his career, did so with 14 points against the Salukis. He scored his 1,000th point on a three-point field goal with 3:10 remaining in the game. He is the 39th Tiger to reach this career milestone and currently has 1,005 points through 66 games. 

    For the first five minutes of Saturday’s game, the Tigers (5-3) led until an 11-0 run by the Salukis (3-3) gave them a 17-9 lead. They would hold that lead until the remainder of the game. ONU stayed back within three points on two separate occasions in the first half when Tyler Crater (Hampshire, Ill.) hit two long balls. Meanwhile, Aaron Larson picked up his third foul and sat the remaining 9:46 of the half. However, the Tigers trailed only 28-24 with 6:36 to play in the first half, but the Salukis used a 12-4 run to lead by 12 at the break. Anthony Beane and Jalen Pendleton had nine of the 12 SIU points during that stretch.

    With Larson back in the lineup, the Tigers immediately cut the lead to only eight as Larson scored the Tigers' first six points. The Tigers stayed within 10 points until the 10:43 mark (53-43) and down only by 11 with 4:58 to go. But immediate scores by Southern Illinois would keep the double-digit spread in favor of the Salukis. With 2:16 remaining, the Tigers trailed by only 10 (70-60) but were unable to cut into the deficit, turning the ball over on their next possession.

    Larson battled foul trouble all night but scored all 14 of team-high points in the second half on 5-of-11 shooting, going 3-for-3 from the free-throw line. He added four rebounds and two assists in 22 minutes.

    Senior Austin Davis (North Augusta, S.C.) had nine points on 3-for-11 shooting and went 3-for-8 from the three-point line. He added one assist in 26 minutes. He now has 167 made three-pointers, good for 11th all-time in Tiger history.

    Senior Matt Ryan (San Diego, Calif.) had nine points on 4-for-7 shooting with six rebounds and two steals in 28 minutes.

    Off the bench, sophomore Tyler Crater was in double figures with 10 points on 4-for-7 shooting, going 2-for-4 from the three-point line. He added two steals in 21 minutes. Freshman Alec Goetz (St. Charles, Ill.) had seven points, making 3-of-11 field goals, and had  two rebounds and two assists 20 minutes off the bench.

    Anthony Beane led the Salukis with 27 points on 11-for-17 shooting and went 4-for-4 from the three-throw line. He had three rebounds and three steals in 35 minutes. Jordan Caroline had 12 points on 4-for-4 shooting with 4-for-4 from the free-throw line. He added six rebounds in 20 minutes. Sean O’Brien had 13 points, four rebounds and two assists in 26 minutes. Bola Olaniyan had 10 points and three rebounds in 22 minutes off the bench.

    Overall, the Tigers shot 23-for-57 from the field (40.4 percent), 7-for-22 from the three-point line (31.8 percent) and 7-for-10 from the free-throw line (70.0 percent). They were outrebounded by the Salukis, 29-28, committing 17 turnovers and totaled 12 assists with 11 offensive rebounds and seven steals.

    SIU-Carbondale shot 28-for-49 from the field (57.1 percent), 2-for-9 from beyond the arc (22.2 percent) and 18-for-20 from the free-throw line (90.0 percent). The Salukis had seven assists, 13 turnovers, four offensive rebounds and 10 steals.

    ONU will be back in action on Monday, Dec. 1, at 7 p.m. against CCAC opponent Purdue University-North Central (Ind.) at the LaPorte Civic Auditorium. 

    **
    Nov 26, 2014 8:23:13Nov 26, 2014 -

    Boxscore

    JOLIET, Ill. — It was tough go on Tuesday night, Nov. 25, for the Olivet Nazarene University men’s basketball team in CCAC action. The Tigers managed only three points in the first seven minutes of the game and nine through the first 14. ONU shot less that 40 percent from the floor and had their most turnovers since Nov. 23 of last year. Olivet has now dropped two straight, which they haven’t done for 19 games dating back to last season.

    The Saints (6-1, 2-0) led 12-3 with 12:54 to play in the first half, mostly because the Tigers (5-2, 1-1) had missed nine of their first 10 shots and had two turnovers. Fast forward to the 6:36 mark when ONU trailed 26-9; the Tigers missed three of their five field goals and had five turnovers to give the Saints a 17-point lead. However, over the final six minutes, the Tigers scored 17 points and kept St. Francis to only 10, cutting the deficit to 10 at halftime.

    Coming into the final 20 minutes of the game, the Tigers understood that the second half had to be much different from the first, but the Saints didn’t care to accommodate. They took a 10-point lead and made it an 18-point lead only five minutes in. They led by 22 points with just under 10 minutes to play in the game following a Breshion Tucker lay-up. ONU fought back one more time, making a 12-2 run to get the game back to 61-49; but five quick Saint points made it 17 again, and the Tigers were out of reach for the remainder of the night.

    Juniors Aaron Larson (Tolono, Ill.) and Leke Solanke (Abeokuta, Nigeria) missed tonight’s game because of injuries. Their return is day-to-day.

    Senior Austin Davis (North Augusta, S.C.) led the Tigers with 13 points on 3-for-11 shooting and went 5-for-6 from the free-throw line. He added three rebounds in 30 minutes. He now has 164 made three-pointers, good for 11th all-time in Tiger history.

    Junior Zach Wagner (Roselle, Ill.) had eight points on 2-for-5 shooting and went 4-for-4 from the free-throw line. He added three rebounds in 26 minutes. Senior Hunter Jacobs (Champaign, Ill.) had four points and three assists, and led the Tigers with nine rebounds in 19 minutes.

    Junior Alex Thorson (Philo, Ill.) had six points, making 3-of-5 field goals, and had seven rebounds, one assist and two steals in 23 minutes.

    Off the bench, sophomore Tyler Crater (Hampshire, Ill.) was in double figures with 11 points on 3-for-7 shooting, going 4-for-5 from the free-throw line. He added one rebound in 19 minutes.

    Ilya Ilyayev led the Saints with 18 points on 7-for-15 shooting and went 2-for-5 from the three-point line; he had nine rebounds and three assists in 28 minutes. Jens Kennedy had 17 points on 7-for-11 shooting with 2-for-3 from the free-throw line. He added five rebounds and two blocks in 20 minutes. Edvinas Presniakovas had 10 points, seven rebounds and two steals 24 minutes. Ian Morison had nine points and two rebounds in 16 minutes off the bench.

    Overall, the Tigers shot 19-for-48 from the field (39.6 percent), 4-for-16 from the three-point line (25.0 percent) and 17-for-21 from the free-throw line (81.0 percent). They outrebounded the Saints, 37-34, committing only a season-high 24 turnovers and totaled only eight assists with seven offensive rebounds and eight steals.

    St. Francis shot 30-for-70 from the field (42.9 percent), 5-for-22 from beyond the arc (22.7 percent) and 10-for-14 from the free-throw line (71.4 percent). The Saints had 15 assists, 12 turnovers, 13 offensive rebounds and 13 steals.

    ONU will be back in action following Thanksgiving at NCAA Division I and Missouri Valley Conference opponent Southern Illinois University-Carbondale at 3:05 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 29. 

    *
    Nov 25, 2014 8:27:34Nov 25, 2014 -

    JOLIET, Ill. - Freshman Capriana Christian (Vacaville, Calif.) pumped in a season-high 20 points to lead the Olivet Nazarene University women's basketball team to a 126-112 win over Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference rival University of St. Francis (Ill.) on Tuesday, Nov. 25 to send the Tigers home for the Thanksgiving holiday with a little extra to be thankful for. In all, the Tigers had seven players hit the double-digits in points.

    Christian hit 3-of-5 from behind the arc and 9-of-12 from the charity line, while pulling down six rebounds. Ally Giampapa (Bartlett, Ill.) was right behind with 17 points, hitting 7-of-13 from the field. Freshman Tori Lemke (Brillion, Wis.) added 15 points, hitting 7-of-8 from the field with 6 rebounds.

    The Saints did their best to shut down the  junior Abbey Hengesbach (Westphalia, Mich.), the NAIA's leading scorer. Hengesbach finished with just nine points, but still led the Tigers with seven steals and pulled in five rebounds.

    Junior Jayne Stuart (Jackson, Mich.) finished the night with 12 points, while sophomore Ashley Freeman (Hartford, Wis.) added 11. Freshman Kaira Barnes (Westland, Mich.) added 10 points, while dishing out four assists. She finished the night a perfect 6-of-6 from the free throw line.

    Senior Dakota Hack (Bristol, Tenn.) led the Tigers with seven rounds, while sophomore Carlee Nicolas (Momence, Ill.) added six.

    Olivet (6-3, 1-1) will travel to Clarke University in Dubuque, Iowa for a non-conference match up on Wednesday Dec. 3. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. 

    *
    Nov 25, 2014 7:46:23Nov 25, 2014 -

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has announced Monday that 340 women's cross country student-athletes have been named 2014 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar Athletes. Olivet Nazarene University had four athletes earn the honor.

    Seniors Madison Moyer of Burlington, Iowa and Kylie Lippencott of Crawfordsville, Indiana are two-time honorees. Moyer is an elementary education major, while Lippencott will graduate with a degree in exercise science.

    First-time honors are junior Alysa Faulks and Bethany Pilat. Faulks, a Caldwell, Idaho native is majoring in accounting. Pilat is earning a double-major in business administration and accounting. She is a native of Livonia, Michigan.

    In order to be nominated by an institution's head coach or sports information director, a student-athlete must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale and must have achieved a junior academic status to qualify for this honor.

    *
    Nov 24, 2014 6:14:34Nov 24, 2014 -

    By Mike DeVader, Communications & Sports Information Intern

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has announced Monday that 210 men’s cross country student-athletes have been named 2014 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar Athletes. Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) leads all schools with eight athletes on the list.

    In order to be nominated by an institution's head coach or sports information director, a student-athlete must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale and must have achieved a junior academic status to qualify for this honor.

    To learn more about the Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete award, click here

    Olivet Nazarene University had eight athletes honored this year: seniors include Andrew Cowen (Carmel, Ind.), Dylan Creger (Almont, Mich.),Marshall Hawn (Goshen, Ind.),Joel Lynn (Naperville, Ill.), and David Powers (Security, Colo.). Every senior except is a second time recipient and the other three are first time selections. The juniors were Brandon Divan (Oakwood, Ill.),Ryan Hull (Chebanse, Ill.) and Ron Milbocker (Whitmore Lake, Mich.).  

    The complete list can be found here

    *
    Nov 24, 2014 10:56:50Nov 24, 2014 -

    BOURBONNAIS, Ill. - Junior Abbey Hengesbach (Westphalia, Mich.) averaged 28.5 points per game to lead the Olivet Nazarene University women's basketball team to the title at the Holiday Inn Express Tournament held in McHie Arena on Nov. 21-22. The Tigers picked up two big non-conference wins over Indiana University-Northwest and Ashford University (Iowa).

    In the tourney opener, Hengesbach led the Tigers to a 104-101 win over IU-Northwest, leading the team in points (26), rebounds (7), assists (9) and steals (7). She shot .500 from the field, going 8-of-16, plus connected on 7-of-10 free throws. Sophomore Kayla Krassman (Hartford, Wis.) was hot from behind the arc, shooting 6-of-10 (.600) on the night for 18 points. Freshman Tori Lemke (Brillion, Wis.) added 16 points, while junior Jayne Stuart (Jackson, Mich.) and sophomore Ashley Freeman (Hartford, Wis.) added 12 and 11, respectively. Senior Dakota Hack (Bristol, Tenn.) pulled in six rebounds, leading the Tigers on the offensive end with four.

    In the championship match up with Ashford on Saturday afternoon, Hengesbach pumped in a team-high 31 points, while pulling in four rebounds and accounting for five steals. Freshman Maggie Schmidt (Eldridge, Iowa) added a season-high 16 points and pulled in a team-high five rebounds. Freshman Kaira Barnes (Westland, Mich.) added 11 points, while Ally Giampapa (Bartlett, Ill.) finished with 10.

    Hengesbach was named to the HIE Tournament Most Valuable Player for her two-day performance. She finished the tournament averaging 28.5 points per game, six steals and 5.5 assists and 5.5 rebounds. Krassman was also named to the All-Tournament team for the Tigers, as well as Grayce Roach of IU-Northwest, Sam Charney from Rochester College and Ashford's Sarah Vozel.

    Olivet (5-3, 0-1) returns to action on Tuesday, Nov. 25 as they head to the University of St. Francis (Ill.) for a key Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference match-up with the Fighting Saints. Tip-off is set for 5 p.m. in Joliet, Illinois. Last season, the Tigers came away with two wins; a 97-89 victory on Nov. 26 and a 106-90 win on Feb. 6.

    Box Scores:

    IU-Northwest

    Ashford

    *
    Nov 23, 2014 10:18:32Nov 23, 2014 -

    GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - The Cinderella-like run of the Olivet Nazarene University volleyball team came to an end at the hands of Davenport University (Mich.) on Saturday, Nov. 22 in the NAIA National Tournament Opening Round. The Panthers were too much for the Tigers to handle, claiming a 3-0 win to advance to the final site.

    Olivet (17-26) was led at the net by junior Becky DeRuiter (Chicago Heights, Ill.) who finished with seven kills. Sophomore Katie Tabisz (Lockport, Ill.) added five, while dishing out a team-high 14 assists. Junior Renee Enz (Wilmington, Ill.) added eight assists and seven digs. Senior Haley Hatalla (Manteno, Ill.) anchored the defense with 10 digs, while senior Tiffany Madura (Munster, Ind.) added five blocks.

    Olivet struggled at the net and at the service line. On the night, the Tigers finished with just 29 kills with 21 errors in 96 attempts for an attack percentage at a mere .083. They also handed the Panthers eight point on missed serves.

    "We killed ourselves with unforced errors," said Head Coach Brenda Williams. "You can't do that at this level. But, we had a great season. We got better, we learned a lot. We got a taste of the post season and the girls are hungry for more."

    *
    Nov 23, 2014 10:4:55Nov 23, 2014 -

    BOURBONNIAS, Ill. - One shot, in the 50th minute of play, is all it took. The No. 16 Olivet Nazarene University women's soccer team played host to Hastings College (Neb.) in the NAIA National Championship Opening Round on Saturday, Nov. 22. The Tigers outshot the Broncos on the day, but couldn't get one to find the back of the net, falling 1-0 and seeing their season come to an early end.

    The Tigers (16-4-1) have advanced to the final site of the NAIA National Tournament in three of the last four years, but it wasn't meant to be this year. The Broncos came out early, controlling the ball most of the first half, outshooting the Tigers 13-9, but neither team could penetrate the net. Olivet goalie, Sarah Vrosh (Ada, Mich.) finished the period with seven saves.

    Just five minutes into the second period, however, Hastings Taylor Geis took a pass from Michaela Vadeboncoeur to put the Broncos on the board and force the Tigers play more aggressively. Olivet finished the second half with 12 shots, to the Broncos four, but none could get past Hastings goalie, Anna Stewart.

    Senior Katie Smith (Silver Lake, Mich.) led Olivet with five shots, while senior Kenzie Hengesh (Canton, Mich.) added three.

    Olivet finished their season with a 16-4-1 overall record, including an 11-0 run in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference to capture the regular season title and claimed the tournament hardware with two more wins. 

    *
    Nov 23, 2014 9:47:26Nov 23, 2014 -

    LAWRENCE, Kan. - The Olivet Nazarene University women's cross country team headed into the 2014 NAIA National Championships with something to prove. The Tigers began the season highly ranked in the Top-25 Coaches Poll, but slowly saw their ranking slip away as injuries hampered the team most of the season.  After a second place showing at the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Championship, earning the team their bid to Kansas, the Tigers were rejuvenated and ready to show that they were still a team to be reckoned with.

    It was a typical Kansas day in late November, a chill in the air and fog rolling over the course. Led by a 46th place finish by sophomore Sarah Ray (Warsaw, Ind.), the Tigers finished 16th in the field of 38. British Columbia repeated as National Champions with Lewis-Clark State taking second, followed by Northwest Christian, Carroll College and Dordt College.

    All of the Tiger runners finished the race with a sub-20 minute time. Ray paced the Olivet charge, finishing at 18:52.30. Junior Alyssa Faulks (Caldwell, Idaho) finished second for the Tigers, 104th of the 336 racers overall, with a time of 19:25.40. Junior Bethany Pilat (Livonia, Mich.) was not far behind, finishing 129th overall and crossing the finish line in 19:39.20. Junior Madison Moyer (Burlington, Iowa) finished in 19:41.90, placing 140th overall, while sophomore Elizabeth Soper (Grand Rapids, Mich.) placed 148th with a time of 19:43.80.

    The young Tiger team will take some time to relax as the cross country season comes to an end before preparing for the indoor track and field season which begins in January. 

    *
    Nov 23, 2014 9:9:38Nov 23, 2014 -

    Boxscore

    BOURBONNAIS, Ill. — Six games into the 2014-15 season, the Olivet Nazarene University men’s basketball team had their first setback of the year. On Saturday, Nov. 22, the No. 20 ranked Crusaders from Evangel University (Mo.) held on for a 75-73 overtime win over the host Tigers. ONU can simply look to the statistics and highlight a few that were instrumental in the loss: three-point shooting, free-throws and rebounding. However, the Tigers had more opportunities than maybe they deserved to take the lead late in the game, but they were unable to take advantage because of squandered possessions and defensive breakdowns.

    Olivet Nazarene (5-1) looked primed for another win early in the game when they burst out for a 9-2, 16-8 and eventually a 20-11 lead with 12:04 play. A couple minutes later, Hunter Jacobs (Champaign, Ill.) made two free-throws to give the Tigers a five-point lead, but it was the most they would lead by the rest of the game. The Crusaders (2-3) went on a 10-4 run to take a 26-25 lead, their first of the game. The Tigers took the lead back one more time; but with 2:17 remaining, Evangel led 33-28. Neither team scored the rest of the half. Combined, there were six missed shots and four turnovers in the final two minutes.

    Only six minutes into the second half, the Tigers were able to tie the game at 42 apiece on an Alec Goetz (St. Charles, Ill.) lay-up. With 13:04 to play, an Austin Davis (North Augusta, S.C.) lay-up gave the lead back to the Tigers. However, ONU did not score over the next 1:30, and Evangel built a five-point lead and had a seven-point lead with 7:42 left — their largest of the game. Yet, over five minutes, the Tigers tied the game at 58-58 and make it a game. Over the final two minutes, Evangel took three consecutive leads; and the Tigers were able to tie the game each time, sending the game to overtime.

    Neither team scored in overtime until the 2:46 mark when Brodie Wingert was fouled on a post-up. Prior to that, the Tigers missed two shots and turned the ball over, failing to score. Two minutes later, the Crusaders led by five with only nine seconds to go following a Josh Veurink lay-up and a Nick Yocum free-throw. However, Tyler Crater (Hampshire, Ill.) hit a three-pointer to make a two-point game. Evangel eventually sealed the deal with free-throws and the clock's running out.

    Junior Aaron Larson (Tolono, Ill.) finished with 14 points on 4-for-12 shooting from the field, 1-for-4 from the three-point line and 5-for-9 from the free-throw line. He added six rebounds, two assists and three steals in 38 minutes. He is only nine points shy of 1,000 for his career. Senior Austin Davis had 12 points, going 5-for-16 from the field and adding two rebounds in 32 minutes. He now has 162 made three-pointers, good for 11th all-time in Tiger history.

    Junior Zach Wagner (Roselle, Ill.) had a team-high 16 points on 6-for-9 shooting and went 4-for-6 from the free-throw line. He added six rebounds, two assists and two blocks in 34 minutes.

    Junior Alex Thorson (Philo, Ill.) added seven points, making 3-of-3 field goals, and had three rebounds, four assists and two steals in 29 minutes.

    Off the bench, sophomore Tyler Crater (Hampshire, Ill.) was in double figures with 11 points on 4-for-19 shooting, adding two rebounds in 19 minutes.

    Korry Tillery led Evangel with 10 points on 4-for-11 shooting and went 2-for-2 from the free-throw line; he had 10 rebounds and one assist in 35 minutes. Nick Yocum had 17 points on 5-for-13 shooting with 2-for-5 from the three-point line. He added four rebounds and four assists in 36 minutes. Brodie Wingert had 16 points, five rebounds and two assists in 39 minutes. Richard Chapman had 12 points, three rebounds and one assist in 16 minutes off the bench.

    Overall, the Tigers shot 26-for-61 from the field (42.6 percent), 5-for-25 from the three-point line (20.0 percent) and 16-for-25 from the free-throw line (64.0 percent). They were outrebounded for the first time this season by the Crusaders, 43-37, committing only 14 turnovers and totaled 15 assists with six offensive rebounds and 11 steals.

    Evangel shot 28-for-69 from the field (40.6 percent), 5-for-20 from beyond the arc (25.0 percent) and 14-for-18 from the free-throw line (77.8 percent). The Crusaders had 15 assists, 19 turnovers, 10 offensive rebounds and six steals.

    ONU will be back on the court Tuesday, Nov. 25, against CCAC opponent University of St. Francis (Ill.) at 7:15 p.m.

    *
    Nov 22, 2014 10:2:39Nov 22, 2014 -

    Box Score:

    GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A third time did not turn out to be a “charm” as the Olivet Nazarene University men's soccer team was unable to advance in a shootout against No. 7 Davenport University (Mich.) on Saturday afternoon, Nov. 22. The Tigers fell 5-4 in penalty kicks after the game was tied 0-0 in double overtime in the NAIA National Championship Opening Round. The Tigers experienced the exact same outcome in the last two postseasons. Saturday’s game was played in poor weather conditions as the temperature was under 40 degrees, and there were piles of snow on the ground in addition to the rain.

    The game did not see any real offensive action until the Tigers (15-5-1) put their first shot on goal at the 13:06 mark. Aaron Orban saved one of three shots to keep it tied. ONU threatened five minutes later when Tyler Gill (Plainfield, Ill.) headed a shot, but it was saved as well. The rest of the half was a stalemate as neither team scored. The second half was even more uneventful as neither goalie was contested with a shot; and the game was forced to overtime, the fourth of ONU’s season.

    In the first overtime, the Panthers' (18-3-1) Emmanuel Gorh put a shot on goal, but Austin Miller (Manteno, Ill.) kept the Tigers in the game. In the second overtime, the Tigers had one shot blocked. But it wasn’t enough to keep the game from a shootout. Aaron Chatfield (Petoskey, Mich.) led the Tigers in shots with three.

    In the shootout, senior Paddy Hoepp (Franfurt, Germany) missed in the first attempt for the Tigers. Dzenan Catic made it 1-0 for the Panthers. Senior Tyler Gill (Plainfield, Ill.) put it through for ONU, and Lito Esquivel scored for Davenport. Freshman Matheus Guimaraes (Sau Paulo, Brazil) made it on the Tigers’ third try, but Dino Duratovic scored to make it 3-2. Sophomore Aaron Chatfield made it for a third score for Olivet, but Tyler Fischer was again able to keep the Panthers ahead 4-3. On the Tigers' fifth try, freshman Christian Henock-Berhanu (Bourbonnais, Ill.) scored. Cameron Cavanagh missed his, and the shootout was tied 4-4. On the Tigers’ sixth try, senior Elliott Totsch (Oswego, Ill.) missed his to give Davenport a chance to advance, and Kevin LaCroix converted.

    Sophomore Austin Miller filled in for injured goalkeeper Chris Taborn (Matteson, Ill.). Miller had one save in the shootout, his only one of the game. He finished with a 4-4-1 record this season.

    The loss ends the careers of six Tiger seniors.

    **
    Nov 22, 2014 4:53:28Nov 22, 2014 -

    Results

    LAWRENCE, Kan. — Saturday, Nov. 22, was a special, historic day for 14-year Head Coach Mike McDowell and the No. 6 Olivet Nazarene University men’s cross country team. The Tigers stood atop the podium as third place finisher at the 2014 NAIA National Championships for the first time in program history. The Tigers, without two returning NAIA All-Americans because of injury, still had five runners in the top 50 of the field.

    A total of 320 runners competed in the event hosted by the Lawrence Sports Corporation at Rim Rock Farm. This was the second year for the event at Rim Rock.

    The rest of the top five teams were Oklahoma City University, who has now won back-to-back titles; Southern Oregon University was second; Eastern Oregon University was fourth; and Aquinas College (Mich.) came in fifth.

    Junior Dylan Creger (Almont, Mich.) again led the Tigers for the fourth straight meet and finished 20th with a time of 25:28.80. Sophomore Caleb Drake (Rock Island, Ill.) came in 26th with a time of 25:30.90. Senior Ian Lofgren (Rockford, Ill.) finished 36th with a time of 25:40.30. Senior Marshall Hawn (Goshen, Ind.) came in 40th with a time of 25:44.80. Junior Ron Milbocker (Whitmore Lake, Mich.) was 48th with a time of 25:52.20.

    Freshman Matt Meehan (Marshfield, Mass.) came in 59th for the Tigers with a time of 26:02.90. Senior Andrew Cowen (Carmel, Ind.) finished 161st with a time of 26:58.20.

    Dylan Creger and Caleb Drake both finished in the top 30 of the field and were named All-Americans for the first time in their careers.

    The Tigers finished every meet during the 2014 season in the top three of the field.  

    **
    Nov 21, 2014 2:25:44Nov 21, 2014 -

    HAMMOND, Ind. - The Olivet Nazarene University women's basketball team put themselves in a hole that they could not dig their way out of on Wednesday, Nov. 12 when they traveled to take on Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference rival Purdue University - Calumet (Ind.). The Tigers found themselves down 35-74 at the half. Despite stellar defense that forced 25 Peregrine turnovers in the second half, Olivet couldn't recover and dropped their conference opener 91-122.

    The Peregrines have become a bit of a nemesis for the Tigers, picking up three wins against just last season alone. In three games last year, a total of 598 points were scored, an average of 199.3 per game. Purdue Cal went on to win the CCAC Regular Season and Tournament.

    Olivet (3-3, 0-1) were led by junior CCAC leading scorer, Abbey Hengesbach (Westphalia, Mich.). Hengesbach finished the night with 30 points, while pulling in five rebounds and accounting for four of the Tiger's 16 steals.  Freshman Tori Lemke (Brillion, Wis.) pumped in a season-high 14 points, going 4-of-7 from the field, including 2-of-2 from behind the three-point line. She also added a 4-of-5 showing from the charity stripe and tied for the team-lead with six rebounds. Junior Jayne Stuart (Horton, Mich.) added points, while freshman Capriana Christian (Vacaville, Calif.) tied a season-high with 10 points and added three steals.

    The Tigers will host the annual two-day Holiday Inn Express Tournament beginning on Friday, Nov. 21. The tournament will open with Rochester College (Mich.) taking on Ashford University (Iowa) at 5:30 p.m. Olivet will face Indiana University-Northwest in the nightcap at 7:30. In true tournament format, the losing teams will play Saturday in a consolation game at 1:00 and the victors will play in the championships at 3:00.  

    *
    Nov 21, 2014 9:50:24Nov 21, 2014 -

    CHICAGO --- Junior Becky DeRuiter (Chicago Heights, Ill.) received Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference received First Team All-Conference recognition when the honor roll was announced by the league office Saturday, Nov. 15.

    Receiving Second Team honors were seniors Haley Hatalla (Manteno, Ill.) and Heidi Schoenbein (Morton, Ill.) and sophomore Katie Tabisz (Lockport, Ill.). Hatalla is the lone repeat honoree, having received First Team recognition in 2013 and Second Team in 2012.

    For a complete list of award winners, go to: http://www.ccacsports.com/awards/0/1.php.

    *
    Nov 21, 2014 9:41:5Nov 21, 2014 -

    CHICAGO --- Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference women's soccer frontrunners Olivet Nazarene University, Trinity International University and Trinity Christian College combined to grab 18 of the 28 all-conference selections when the league announced its award winners for 2014 on Saturday, Nov. 15.

    Regular-season and tournament champion Olivet Nazarene garnered the most recognition earning seven spots between the two teams, including five players on the 14-member first team, and Coach of the Year.

    Representing the Tigers on the First Team are seniors Katie Smith (Spring Lake, Mich.) and Kenzie Hengesh (Canton, Mich.), juniors Liz Wahl (Homer Glen, Ill.) and Betsy Hetrick (Plainfield, Ill.) and sophomore Sarah Vrosh (Ada, Mich.). Smith, Hetrick and Vrosh are repeat honorees from a year ago.

    Sophomore Ellen West (West Chester, Ohio) makes her second appearance in just two seasons as a Second Team honoree. Joining West is freshman Tess Marcordes (Normal, Ill.).

    Olivet's Head Coach, Bill Bahr, was also named CCAC Coach of the Year after guiding the Tigers to this year's regular-season title and tournament titles.

    For the complete list of award winners, go to: http://www.ccacsports.com/awards/0/3.php

    *
    Nov 20, 2014 3:2:14Nov 20, 2014 -

    GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - A post season run by the Olivet Nazarene University volleyball team has paid off as the Tigers capture the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference's second automatic bid to the NAIA National Championships Opening Round with a runner-up finish in the conference tournament. The Tigers entered the tournament as the No. 6 seed, upsetting No. 3 seeded University of St. Francis (Ill.) and No. 2 seeded Trinity Christian College (Ill.) before falling to regular season champion Cardinal Stritch University (Wis.).

    The Tigers (17-25) make their 10th appearance in the national tournament, their first since 2011. Overall, Olivet posts a 7-24 record. Davenport won the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference Tournament to earn just their second visit to the post season in program history, sporting a 0-1 record.

    Olivet is led by CCAC First Team honoree, junior Becky DeRuiter. DeRuiter enters the post sason with 371 kills in 991 attempts with 174 errors (.199). Seniors Kaia Lenzi  and Heidi Schoenbein are neck and neck behind DeRuiter with 288 and 268 kills, respectively. The setting duo of junior Renee Enz and sophomore Katie Tabisz finished with 756 and 642 assists, respectively.

    On defense, the Tigers are led by senior libero, Haley Hatalla. Hatalla finished with 448 digs, despite moving to outside hitter for a portion of the season due to injuries. Enz is second with 322, while junior Melissa Bartholomew added 246.

    Offensively, Davenport is led by Hannah Stone. Stone led the Panthers with 456 kills in 1,006 attempts with just 150 errors (.304). Marcey DeHaan finished right behind with 420 kills in 1,023 attempts with 151 errors (.263). Setting the way for the Panther attack was Amber Getty who finished the season with 1,599 assists. Defensively, Davenport had three players finish the season with 400+ digs. Morgan Torres led the Panthers with 591, while Krissy Dill and Lexie Spetoskey added 502 and 443, respectively.

    The two teams faced one another earlier this season, with Davenport coming away with a 3-1 victory. The Tigers took the opening set, but couldn't hold on, falling 25-18, 16-25, 13-25, 20-25.The winner will advance to the NAIA National Tournament final site in Sioux City, Iowa. Tournament play will begin on Tuesday, Dec. 2.

    *
    Nov 20, 2014 2:24:11Nov 20, 2014 -

    FINDLAY, Ohio — The Olivet Nazarene University football team had eight individuals represented on the 2014 Mid-States Football Association All-Midwest League team. The Tigers had one selected to the first team defense, one on the second team offense, three on the second team defense and three named as honorable mentions. The Tigers have two repeat selections from the 2013 list; Brandon Ruemler (Williamsport, Ind.) was a second team defense selection (2012, 2013) and honorable mention honoree in 2011; and Alan Knol (Manteno, Ill.) was a honorable mention selection last season.

    Senior linebacker Brandon Ruemler was selected First Team Defense for the first time in his career. He was one of four linebackers selected out of 13 total on the team. He started all 11 games for the Tigers, leading the team in tackles for the fourth straight season with 103 unassisted, 68 assisted (171 total, career-high). He also led the team in tackles for loss with 23.5 for 68 yards. Ruemler finished with two sacks for 10 yards, six forced fumbles (led team), one blocked kick and one pass break up. He finished second in the MSFA and NAIA in tackles per game (14.9). He was second in the MSFA and third in the NAIA in tackles for loss (23.5). He also finished his career with 449 tackles (267-182), good for second all-time in Tiger history.

    Junior defensive end Ron France (St. Charles, Ill.) was selected Second Team Defense for the first time in his career. He was one of four defensive linemen selected out of 13 total on the team. He started five of the 10 games played for the Tigers, finishing with 29 tackles (17-12). He also had four and a half tackles for loss for 17 yards. France finished with four sacks for 13 yards, one fumble recovery, four blocked kicks (led team) and one pass break up and quarterback hurry.

    Junior defensive end Thomas Dexter (Canal Winchester, Ohio) was selected Second Team Defense for the first time in his career. He was one of four defensive linemen selected out of 13 total on the team. He started all 11 games played for the Tigers, finishing with 43 tackles (24-19). He had eight tackles for loss for 42 yards. Dexter led the team with seven sacks (ninth in MSFA) for 35 yards, two fumble recoveries, and one pass break up and quarterback hurry.

    Junior defensive back Lucas Limberg (Rockford, Ill.) was selected Second Team Defense for the first time in his career. He was one of four defensive backs selected out of 13 total on the team. He started all 11 games for the Tigers, finishing with 34 in tackles (25-9). He had one tackle for loss for two yards, six interceptions for 76 yards (led MSFA), eight pass break ups (led team) and one blocked kick. Limberg finished sixth in the NAIA in interceptions.

    Senior offensive lineman Alan Knol was named Second Team Offense for the first time. He was one of five linemen selected out of 14 total on the team. He started all 11 games on the offensive line that averaged 116.5 rushing yards per game with 10 touchdowns.

    Three other Tigers earned honorable mention status (18 total named): sophomore safety Chandler Tuckerman (Wauseon, Ohio); junior defensive lineman Chris Aschemann (Carterville, Ill.); and senior wide receiver Tyler Swindle (Lindenhurst, Ill.). Tuckerman started all 11 games and was third on the team in tackles with 76. Aschemann was second on the team with eight and a half tackles for loss and also had three sacks in 10 games. Swindle started all 11 games and led the team with 31 receptions and 332 yards receiving, catching one touchdown pass. 

    **
    Nov 20, 2014 10:25:8Nov 20, 2014 -

    Boxscore

    HAMMOND, Ind. — Surviving a sloppy, sluggish opening 20 minutes in is important when pursuing a complete 40-minute effort. The Olivet Nazarene University men’s basketball team did just that on Wednesday night, Nov. 19, against CCAC foe Purdue University-Calumet (Ind.). The Tigers turned it around in the second half, playing a more complete 20 minutes and outscoring the Peregrines by 22 to give them an 80-60 win.

    ONU’s (5-0, 1-0) fifth consecutive win to open the year is the most since the 2001-2002 season. And they can make it six straight on Saturday night, the most in 14 seasons.

    Through the first eight minutes of the game, the Tigers managed only five points, mostly because of slow ball movement and a Peregrine (1-4, 0-1) defense that had ONU stifled. Purdue-Calumet installed a box and one and a triangle and two to keep Aaron Larson (Tolono, Ill.) and Austin Davis (North Augusta, S.C.) from getting touches. While the Tigers were trying to figure out things offensively, the Peregrines led by eight with just over 10 minutes to play. But over the next four minutes, they were able to make it a 20-19 deficit. ONU eventually took a 27-25 lead on a Larson three-pointer with 3:14 to go in the half. For the remainder of the half, Purdue-Calumet scored nine to ONU’s five to lead by two, including a Danny Paschen lay-up at the horn.

    Up until the 17:50 mark of the second half, the game changed leads twice and was tied at 38 apiece. Eventually, the Peregrines took the lead back with Kaspars Brencans and Aaron Davis buckets to give them a four-point lead. The Tigers trailed up until the 12:29 mark when Alex Thorson (Philo, Ill.) tied the game at 46-46. Then he gave ONU the lead for good when he stole the ball from Noah Allen in the back court and converted one of two free-throws. Six minutes later, the Tigers led by 11 after back-to-back three-pointers from Austin Davis, Alec Goetz (St. Charles, Ill.) and Aaron Larson. During that stretch when the Tigers took a double digit lead, Larson scored seven of 10 points. Purdue-Calumet got back within single digits at the 3:48 mark, but Olivet went on a 13-2 run to end the game.

    Junior Aaron Larson finished with a team-high 21 points on 7-for-10 shooting from the field, 2-for-3 from the three-point line and 5-for-6 from the free-throw line. He added nine rebounds and two assists in 32 minutes. He is 23 points shy of 1,000 for his career. Senior Austin Davis had 13 points, going 3-for-10 from the three-point line and adding two assists in 26 minutes.

    Senior Matt Ryan (San Diego, Calif.) played 15 minutes and scored 10 points on 4-for-12 shooting and was 1-for-1 from the three-point line. He added seven rebounds and two steals.

    Junior Alex Thorson started his first game of the season and added eight points, making 3-of-5 field goals, and had four rebounds, four assists and two steals in 24 minutes.

    Off the bench, freshman Alec Goetz scored in double figures with 11 points on 4-for-9 shooting and 3-for-5 from the three-point line. He added three assists in 16 minutes.

    Kaspars Brencans led Purdue-Calumet with 12 points on 4-for-8 shooting and went 4-for-6 from the free-throw line; he had seven rebounds and one assist in 27 minutes. Ryan Rader had 13 points on 6-for-9 shooting with 1-for-3 from the free-throw line. He added four rebounds in 24 minutes. Aaron Davis had 12 points, four rebounds and five assists in 38 minutes. Noah Allen had 12 points and two steals in 39 minutes.

    Overall, the Tigers shot 29-for-68 from the field (42.6 percent), 12-for-26 from the three-point line (46.2 percent) and 10-for-15 from the free-throw line (66.7 percent). They outrebounded the Peregrines 44-33, committed only seven turnovers and totaled 18 assists, with 15 offensive rebounds and seven steals.

    Purdue-Calumet shot 23-for-51 from the field (45.1 percent), 2-for-6 from beyond the arc (33.3 percent) and 12-for-25 from the free-throw line (48.0 percent). The Peregrines had nine assists, 14 turnovers, six offensive rebounds and three steals.

    ONU will be back at McHie Arena Saturday, Nov. 22, against NAIA Division I No. 20 Evangel University (Mo.) at 7 p.m.

    *
    Nov 20, 2014 7:45:48Nov 20, 2014 -

    Olivet (16-3-1) enter today's match riding a 15-game winning streak, dating back to Sept. 13. The streak included a perfect 11-0 run to capture the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Regular Season title, then two more wins to pick up the CCAC Tournament trophy too. In typical Olivet women's soccer fashion, the Tigers spread the wealth among their scorers. Junior Liz Wahl lead Olivet with 35 points, made up of 14 goals and seven assists. Right behind Wahl is junior Betsy Hetrick with 13 goals and five assist for 31 points. Senior Jessica Higer adds 16 points, seven goals and two assists, while sophomore Ellen West amassed 15 points in four goals and seven assists. In nearly 1,700 minutes in the net, sophomore keeper Sarah Vrosh has allowed just 15 goals while accumulating 82 saves. The notoriously strong Tiger defense is led by senior Kenzie Hengesh, a wall in the middle who keeps the offense off guard. Hengesh is joined by senior Emily Rosenboom, junior Michelle Ditchfield and freshman Tess Marcordes.

    In 2014 the Hastings College Broncos had yet another great season winning the Great Plains Athletic Conference Regular Season Championship going 16-4-1 (9-1). The Broncos were led by Taylor Geis as she finished with 18 goals and seven assists which earned her GPAC Offensive Player of the Year. Kelsey Nealon added 16 goals and seven assists. Megan Kruse finished with 13 goals and led the conference with 11 assists. Recent history between these two squads went the Broncos way in 2013 when Kruse scored when time expired to win 1-0.

    In four head-to-head meetings between the Tigers and the Broncos, the series sits at 1-1-2. The two teams first met in 2010 in the NAIA Opening Round. Tied after regulation and two overtime periods, Hastings advanced the final site 4-3 on penalty kicks. In 2011, the two teams finished in a 1-1 draw. Olivet picked up a 2-1 win in 2012, before falling 1-0 in a buzzer beater as time expired in the first overtime in 2013.

    This is Olivet's fifth trip the NAIA National Tournament. The Tigers have a 5-3-2 overall record, highlighted by a National Runner-Up finish in 2012.

    Hastings also makes their fifth trip to the NAIA National Tournament. The Broncos are 3-4-2 in post season action.

    Game time is set for 1:00 p.m. on Ward Field. The winner will advance to the final site of the NAIA National Tournament in Gulf Shores, Alabama and face the winner of the Reinhardt (Ga.) at No 1 Embry-Riddle game. The field of 16 will begin a single-elimination tournament on Monday, Dec. 1. 

    *
    Nov 19, 2014 2:31:30Nov 19, 2014 -

    CHICAGO --- Olivet Nazarene University's Aaron Larson (Tolono, Ill.) has claimed his second straight Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Week award, it was announced on Wednesday by the league office.

    During the week of November 10-16, Larson led the Tigers to a 76-74 upset victory of NAIA No. 14-ranked St. Ambrose University (Iowa) last Tuesday (Nov. 11).  The 6-7 junior forward just missed a double-double with his 23 points and nine rebounds to go along with six assists, two steals and one block.  He also converted 10-of-18 shots from the field and was 2-of-5 from three-point range.

    In the second half alone, Larson totaled 14 points on 8-of-10 shooting and grabbed seven of his nine rebounds to key the come-from-behind road victory.

    Olivet Nazarene is 4-0 on the season and is among others receiving votes in the latest NAIA poll.

    *
    Nov 18, 2014 9:20:31Nov 18, 2014 -

    On Saturday, Nov. 15, CCAC Coach of the Year David Blahnik and the Olivet Nazarene University men’s soccer team defeated Cardinal Stritch University (Wis.) 1-0 to claim their third consecutive CCAC Tournament title. They now advance to the NAIA Men's Soccer National Championship Opening Round.

    The Tigers (15-5) move on to play No. 6 Davenport University (Mich.) (18-3) in the first round of the national tournament in Grand Rapids, Michigan, at 2 p.m. The Tigers and Panthers will play at East Kentwood High School in Kentwood, and the winner will advance to the round of 16 on Tuesday, Dec. 2, at 11 a.m. (EST) at the Seacrest Soccer Complex in Delray Beach, Florida. The victor of Saturday’s game will play the winner between St. Andrews University (N.C.) (16-1-1) and Thomas University (Ga.) (15-2-3).

    The Tigers and Panthers met two seasons ago on Sept. 8, 2012, in Mt. Vernon, Ohio, with Davenport winning 1-0 in an early season nonconference contest. Bernard Brnada scored the lone goal of the game for the Panthers. He has three points in 11 games for Davenport this season.

    This marks the fourth time in ONU history and third consecutive season the Tigers have reached the opening round. The Tigers were in the opening round a year ago but did not advance in the shootout, falling 5-4 to No. 16 Benedictine College (Kan.). ONU currently holds a 15-5 overall record, winning their last nine games and not allowing a goal in their last four games. The Tigers have outscored their opponents 53-19 and 25-7 during their win streak. ONU has also won its last five road games by a difference of 14-2. Olivet is currently receiving 34 votes in the Nov. 16 NAIA Top 25 poll.

    Olivet is led by senior All-CCAC First Team selection midfielder Paddy Hoepp (Franfurt, Germany), who currently leads the team in points (27) and assists (7), not to mention game-winning goals (4). Senior All-CCAC First Team selection Tyler Gill (Plainfield, Ill.) leads the team in goals (11) and shots on goal (25). Sophomore all-conference honorable mention selection Aaron Chatfield (Petoskey, Mich.) scored the lone goal in Saturday’s CCAC Championship win. He has seven goals and five assists for the Tigers. The Tigers’ defense is led by senior All-CCAC First Team member Elliott Totsch (Oswego, Ill.). He has led the best defense in conference all season, allowing only 19 goals in 20 games. Freshman all-CCAC honorable mention selection goalkeeper Chris Taborn (Matteson, Ill.) has a 0.89 goals against average in 12 starts, saving 19 shots and shutting out six opponents.

    The Tigers' opponent Davenport enters Saturday’s game with an 18-3 record after recently defeating No. 17 University of Northwestern Ohio 1-0 in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference Tournament Championship. Against five ranked opponents this season, the Panthers are 5-0 and have defeated three top 25 teams in the first three games of the season by a difference of 9-4. The Panthers finished second in the WHAC with an 8-2 record. They did play four common opponents of Olivet and beat all four. Davenport defeated the Michigan-Dearborn (WHAC) 5-0, Northwestern Ohio (WHAC) 1-0 twice, Marygrove (WHAC) 5-2 and Holy Cross (CCAC) 8-3. The Tigers defeated Michigan-Dearborn 3-0, lost to Northwestern-Ohio 1-0 on the road, defeated Marygrove 6-0 and lost to Holy Cross 4-3.

    Davenport is led by Head Coach Chris Hughes, who is in third season with the Panthers and has a 46-14-1 record at the university. The Panthers are spearheaded by junior midfielder Dzenan Catic, who currently leads the NAIA with 35 goals and points (79) and also has nine assists. In 17 games, freshman goalkeeper Aaron Orban currently has a 0.71 goals against average, good for ninth in the NAIA. He has allowed only 11 goals and has 34 saves with seven shutouts.

    Tournament Bracket: http://www.naia.org/fls/27900/1NAIA/SportsInfo/Championships/2014MSoc/2014MSBracket.pdf?DB_OEM_ID=27900

    **
    Nov 18, 2014 8:23:33Nov 18, 2014 -

    BOURBONNAIS, Ill. - A young team often means a season of ups and downs; just ask the Olivet Nazarene University women's basketball team. In just five games thus far, the Tigers have shown Head Coach Lauren Stamatis the good and the bad, nights where everything falls in and days where nothing seems to. Saturday, Nov. 15 was a good day as the Tiger's came away with a 122-87 non-conference win over Grace College (Ind.).

    "I was so proud of our girls and the way we played together as a team," said Stamatis after the game. "I thought we made some great improvements defensively in this game. We were starting to react quicker in the press and did a much better job getting everyone involved."

    Led by junior Abbey Hengesbach, Olivet (3-2) shot 41.5% from the field (44-of-106) and 28.6% from behind the arc (16-of-56). Hengesbach (Westphalia, Mich.) pumped in 21 points, while dishing out 10 assists and swiping the ball four times from the Lancers.

    Freshman Ally Giampapa (Bartlett, Ill.) continues to prove herself as someone to keep an eye on, finishing the game with 17 points. Junior Jayne Stuart (Jackson, Mich.) added 13 points and finished with seven assists and a team-leading seven steals.

    Sophomores Kayla Krassman  (Hartford, Wis.) and Ashley Freeman (Hartford, Wis.) also hit the double-digit mark on the afternoon. Krassman picked up 12 points, all from three-point land, hitting 4-of-7 shots behind the arc. Freeman finished with 11 points.

    The Tigers will host the Holiday Inn Express Tournament on Nov. 21-22. Friday will see Rochester University (Mich.) take on Ashford University (Iowa) at 5:30 p.m. and the Tigers will face Indiana University - Northwest at 7:30 p.m. The consolation game is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday, with the championship game to follow at 3 p.m.

    Box Score:

    http://web.olivet.edu/sports/basketball/women/games/2014/onuwb05.htm

    *
    Nov 17, 2014 9:4:28Nov 17, 2014 -

    CHICAGO — Every August, a group of young men in their late teens step foot on Olivet's campus for the first time in their lives as students. Full of fear, anxiousness, energy and excitement, these young men move from everything they have ever known to an unknown world. They have dreams of great times in the classroom, in the dorm rooms and especially on the football field. On Saturday, Nov. 14, against St. Xavier University (Ill.), the group of young men who stepped onto Olivet’s campus for the first time in 2010, full of emotion and hope, represented Tiger football for the final time. The game ended in a 36-6 loss but was much more important than a win or a loss. The game signified the end of an era for the first recruiting class under Head Coach Brian Fish.

    The day did not start according to plan. St. Xavier (8-2, 4-1) got the ball first and quickly built a 15-0 lead behind big plays and a few ONU (2-9, 1-4) miscues. The Tigers, however, would not lie down and let their opponent run away with the game. Down 15 points, the Tiger offense was brought to life by a few freshmen who have been gaining traction in the last few weeks. Freshman quarterback Gage Buckley (Lompac, Calif.) connected with his big play freshman receiver Adam Glanders (Elkhart, Ind.) for a huge gain. A beautiful play action fake fooled the Cougar defense into thinking run and leaving Glanders wide open to catch the ball and weave through the secondary to put the Tigers in scoring position on the 27-yard line. Immediately after the big pass gain, Buckley decided to join in the fun. On a quarterback keeper, the freshman showed off his playmaking ability by slashing through the Cougar defense, hitting the sideline and bursting to the end zone for an ONU score.

    The highlight reel plays did not stop there for the Tigers. Senior wide receiver Tyler Swindle (Lindenhurst, Ill.) made some nice catches in traffic, some with defenders draped all over him. He finished with three catches for 27 total yards. Swindle was not the lone senior making plays offensively. Wide receiver Kolton Williford (Urbana, Ill.) made his first appearance and did not disappoint, making the first catch of his career. The senior made a phenomenal catch when he reached up in the air and snagged a high ball with one hand that many in the crowd had already pegged for an incompletion.

    Not to be left out, the Tiger defense stuck to their mantra and continued to make big plays happen. Senior Jared Carl (Galesburg, Ill.) started off the day by making a first quarter interception to halt another Cougar scoring opportunity. The senior made a leaping grab, reaching back over the head of the receiver to snare the ball while falling back onto the one-yard line. In the third quarter, Carl played part in another turnover created by the defense, recovering a fumble forced by senior linebacker Brandon Ruemler (Williamsport, Ind.). Ruemler finished his historic ONU career with another day filled with tackles. Ruemler led the way with 25 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and a forced fumble. Those numbers push Ruemler’s season totals to a career-high 171 tackles. He finished the year with 103 solo tackles, 23.5 tackles for loss, two sacks and five forced fumbles. Ruemler’s numbers from this season leave him alone atop ONU’s solo tackle career chart, setting the record mark at 267. He also finishes his career with 449 total tackles, placing him second on the all-time list. 

    Senior John Litrenta (Orland Park, Ill.) had another banner day, solidifying his status as one of the best linebackers in the conference. He finished the game with 11 total tackles, two of them being sacks. This gives Litrenta 77 total tackles and four sacks on the year. He finishes his career with 209 total tackles. 

    Senior linebackers Keegan Block (Caddo Mills, Texas) and Josh Craig (Anchorage, Alaska) got an opportunity to make an impact on the game and made the most of it. Block completed an impressive series when he wrapped up three tackles in a short six-play sequence in one drive. Craig helped to snuff out a short pass completion on the same drive and stop the Cougars’ receiver for no gain. Sophomores Chandler Tuckerman (Wauseon, Ohio) and David Diehl (Indianapolis, Ind.) each had strong game for the ONU defense, finishing with nine and eight tackles, respectively.

    With the loss, the Tigers finish their season with a 2-9 record and 1-4 in the MSFA Midwest. The young ONU team, however, comes away with many positives. Although the seniors on this team will be missed and were very impactful, the team looks to its many young players who received game experience throughout the year to build and improve in the 2015 season.    

    *
    Nov 16, 2014 8:52:53Nov 16, 2014 -

    BOURBONNAIS, Ill. - Two successful penalty kicks by the No. 13 Olivet Nazarene University women's soccer team is all it took to clinch the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) Tournament Championship to go with their Regular Season title. The Tigers came away with a 2-1 win over No. 24 Trinity International University (Ill.) on Saturday, Nov. 15 on Ward Field.

    Trinity International (14-3-2) got on the scoreboard first when Melissa Loretto netted a pass from Morgan Elzinga just 10 minutes into the game.  Olivet remained silent until the 35th minute when junior Sarah Lentini knocked the first of the two penalty kicks to the right of the Trojan keeper.  The two teams would head to the locker room at the half in a 1-1 stalemate.

    Olivet (16-3-1) took advantage of their second penalty kick, this time off the foot of junior Liz Wahl (Homer Glen, Ill.) , just before the 50th minute of play to take the lead. The strong Tiger defense tightened up and the keeper skills of Sarah Vrosh (Ada, Mich.) held the Trojans off for the remainder of the game to pick up the win. Vrosh finished the day with seven saves.

    CCAC Player of the Year, Samantha Yasatan led the Trojans with seven shots, but was stymied by the Tiger defense led by senior Kenzie Hengesh (Canton, Mich.). TIU managed 16 total shots on the afternoon, eight on-goal. 

    Trojan goal keeper, Elizabeth Burzynski, was perfect on the day except for the two penalty kicks. She finished the night with 10 saves as the Tigers kept the pressure on most of the game, finishing with 12 shots-on-goal and 21 total shots.

    Both Olivet and Trinity International will receive automatic bids to the NAIA National Tournament Opening Round to be held on campuses around the country on Saturday, Nov. 22. The official pairings will be announced on Monday, Nov. 17 at 1 p.m. (CST) on the NAIA website.

    *
    Nov 16, 2014 8:44:29Nov 16, 2014 -

     

    MILWAUEE, Wis. - The Olivet Nazarene University volleyball team picked a great time to hit their stride, the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament. The No. 6 seeded Tigers took to the road, upsetting two higher seeded teams en route to the championship game against No. 1 seeded and regular season champion Cardinal Stritch University (Wis.). Unfortunately, the Tigers ran out of steam and couldn't pull off the final upset, falling in straight set to the Wolves. Fortunately, Olivet received the conference's second automatic bid to the NAIA National Tournament Opening Round by advancing to the finals.

    Junior Becky DeRuiter (Chicago Heights, Ill.) led the Tigers with nine kills, while senior Heidi Schoenbein (Morton, Ill.) added seven. The Tiger's attack cooled off a little from their quarterfinal and semifinal wins, hitting a mere .051 as a team, 29 kills with 23 errors in 118 attempts.

    Sophomore Katie Tabisz (Lockport, Ill.) dished out a team-high 18 assists, while adding tow kills and eight digs. Senior Haley Hatalla (Manteno, Ill.) added 16 digs on defense. At the net, senior Kaia Lenzi (Beach Park, Ill.) posted a team-high four blocks.

    The NAIA Opening Round will be on Saturday, Nov. 22 at host sights around the country, with the winners advancing to the final site in Sioux City, Iowa. Olivet will receive notification of their opponent and location at noon on Monday, Nov. 17 at the selection show on the NAIA website.

     

     

    *
    Nov 16, 2014 8:26:56Nov 16, 2014 -

    CHICAGO - The Olivet Nazarene University men's swim team picked up a huge dual meet win over the University of Illinois-Chicago, an NCAA Division I institution on Friday, Nov. 14. As with any good swim meet this battle came down to the final event, the 400-yard freestyle relay, winner-take-all. The Tigers posted the fastest NAIA time in the country, 3:03.73, to defeat the Flames 127.5-111.5.

    Senior Simon Pheasant (Alexandria, South Africa), freshman Anton Arvidsson (Kama, Sweden), junior Jake Anderson (Clifton, Ill.) and senior Josh Lercel (Mishawaka, Ind.) knew what they had to do in that final race and came ready to prove it. The foursome edged out the Flames who touched in 3:04.37.

    Other top finishes for the Tigers included:

    Junior Sam Borgman (Zeeland, Mich.) captured first place finishes in the 1000-yard freestyle (9:42.33) and the 500-yard freestyle (4:41.75). 

    Sophomore Frank Tapia (Clearwater, Fla.) took first place in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:42.85. He also took the gold in the 200-yard butterfly, finishing at 1:51.78.

    Pheasant finished first in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 45.89. He also grabbed a second place finish in the 50-yard freestyle, touching at 21.01.

    Calvin Price (Grahamstown, South Africa) placed second in the 200-yard individual medley, finishing at 1:57.31. He also took second place in the 200-yard breaststroke, touching at 2:07.18.

    Arvidsson was right behind Pheasant in the 100-yard freestyle, finishing a close second at 46.57.

    Anderson took first in the 200-yard backstroke, finishing in 1:51.88.

    CJ VanWormer (Hinsdale, Ill.) took second in the 200-yard backstroke, touching the wall in 1:55.59.

    Olivet will return to action on Dec. 5-6 when they travel to Ypsilanti, Michigan for the Eastern Michigan Invite hosted by Eastern Michigan University. The invitational will put the Tigers up against some of the top NCAA Division I swim programs in the Midwest. Events begin at 4 p.m. (EST) on Friday and 9:30 a.m. Saturday.

    *
    Nov 16, 2014 8:24:9Nov 16, 2014 -

     

    CHICAGO - Led by two first places finishes by sophomore Tiffany Ray (Grandville, Mich.), the Olivet Nazarene University women's swim team held their own against NCAA Division I University of Illinois-Chicago on Friday, Nov. 14. The Tigers fell 154-83, but swam well from opening race.

    Ray started the night with a top finish in the 200-yard individual medley, touching the wall at 2:11.02. She followed that up with a first place finish in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 2:06.60.

    Other key performances:

    Laura Bryant (Escondido, Cal.) and Hayley Ronci (Goshen, Ind.) finished back-to-back in the 1000-yard freestyle. Bryant posted a time of 10:47.16, while Ronci finished in 11:00.03.

    Deirdre Gerke (South Lyon, Mich.) took second in the 200-yard freestyle touching at 1:56.92.

    Eugenia Sebastiani (Caracas, Venezuela) finished first in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 53.26. She followed that up with a third place finish in the 200-yard freestyle, touching the wall in 1:57.30.

    Rachel Jirki (Normal, Ill.) took silver in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 25:00. Teammate Kelsey Weener (Holland, Mich.) finished right behind in 25.14.

    Senior Mackenzie Anderson (Clifton, Ill.) took third in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:12.54 and third in the 200-yard backstroke at 2:08.44.

    Allison Zalinski posted a time of 2:10.50 in the 200-yard butterfly to finish second.

    The 200-yard medley relay team of Anderson, Whitney Whitehead (Grand Blanc, Mich.), Jirik and Weener started the meet off with a time of 1:51.87 to finish second.

    In the final event of the night, the 400-yard freestyle relay of Gerkey, Mattie Miller (Hanna City, Ill.), Ray, Sebastiani took silver, touching the wall at 3:36.83.

    Olivet will return to action on Dec. 5-6 when they travel to Ypsilanti, Michigan for the Eastern Michigan Invite hosted by Eastern Michigan University. The invitational will put the Tigers up against some of the top NCAA Division I swim programs in the Midwest. Events begin at 4 p.m. (EST) on Friday and 9:30 a.m. Saturday.

     

     

    *
    Nov 15, 2014 9:42:31Nov 15, 2014 -

    CHICAGO — Capturing its first-ever Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference men's soccer regular-season championship, Olivet Nazarene University's men's soccer team received more rewards. They had a league-high seven individuals honored, including six on the all-conference teams, when the CCAC office announced its 2014 honor roll Saturday night, Nov. 15.

    Olivet, which also won the CCAC Tournament title Saturday night, split its six all-conference selections evenly between the first and second teams, both of which had 14 individuals on the respective squads with representation from 10 schools. Head Coach David Blahnik was awarded the Coach of the Year honor for the first time in his career.

    Senior Elliott Totsch (Oswego, Ill.) was named to the first team for the first time. He started all 11 conference games and helped lead the Tigers to a conference best 1.30 goals against average and four shutouts. He also had one goal and two assists (four points). 

    Senior Paddy Hoepp (Frankfurt, Germany) is a second time selection to the first team. He started all 11 conference games and finished with five goals, and made three penalty kicks and had five assists (led team) (15 points, second on team), giving the Tigers 12 shots on goal (second on team). He also had two game-winning goals.

    Senior Tyler Gill (Plainfield, Ill.) is also a second time selection to the first team. He started all 11 conference games and finished with nine goals (led team) and one assist (19 points). He also led the team in shots on goal (17).

    Freshman Chris Taborn (Matteson, Ill.) earned All-CCAC Second Team honors for the first time. During the conference season, he started 10 games and went 9-1 with four shutouts. He had 17 saves and helped the Tigers to a league-best 1.30 goals against average.

    Senior Kyle Reopelle (Elgin, Ill.) earned All-CCAC Second Team honors for the first time. He started all 11 conference games and helped lead the Tigers to a conference best 1.30 goals against average and four shutouts. He also had one assist.

    Sophomore Aaron Chatfield (Petoskey, Mich.) also earned all-conference second team honors for the first time in his career. He started all 11 conference games and had three goals (third on team) and one assist (seven points). He also had 10 shots on goal, good for third on team.

    Previously, Hoepp was selected to the second team (2011) and first team (2012, 2013). Gill was a first team selection in 2013.

    For the complete list of award winners, go to: http://www.ccacsports.com/awards/0/2.php

    *
    Nov 15, 2014 9:14:21Nov 15, 2014 -

    BOURBONNAIS, Ill. — For a third consecutive season, the CCAC Tournament crown is held by the Olivet Nazarene University Tigers. Olivet defeated Cardinal Stritch University (Wis.) 1-0 on Nov. 15, a cold Saturday night that couldn’t stop a “hot” Tigers team that has now won nine straight games leading into the NAIA National Tournament. ONU not only battled a tough Wolves team and through the cold but also overcame significant losses due to injuries.

    The Tigers (15-5) only needed one goal to keep the postseason title, and it came by sophomore Aaron Chatfield (Petoskey, Mich.) in the 32nd minute when he put away a deflected shot by the Cardinal Stritch (8-10-2) goalie. This was Chatfields’s seventh goal of the season. The Tigers managed only one other shot on goal compared to the Wolves' three that were saved by Tiger goalkeepers.

    Early in the championship bout, only eight minutes in, ONU senior Paddy Hoepp (Frankfurt, Germany) had to leave the game due to an injury. However, reserves like Clay Selby (Fenton, Mich.), Adam Schaeffer (Manteno, Ill.) and Brett Robertson (Monee, Ill.) came in and played well. Also, freshman Christian Henock-Berhanu (Bourbonnais, Ill.) was sidelined in the first half, and senior Seth Erickson (Carbondale, Ill.) — and eventually junior Richard Paret (West Chicago, Ill.) — came in to man his position at midfield. Paret made his return late in the game after missing 13 games due to an injury. Also, Ryan Totsch (Oswego, Ill.) went down in the 51st minute, and Keefer Whaley (Conifer, Colo.) played the remaining 39 minutes and helped secure the shutout.

    Freshman goalkeeper Chris Taborn (Matteson, Ill.) played the first 45 minutes of the game but suffered an injury that forced freshman Collin Hewett (Canton, Mich.) to play the second half. They recorded the team’s 10th shutout of the season and fourth straight.

    The Tigers will be back in action a week from today, Saturday, Nov. 22, in the NAIA National Tournament Opening Round. Their opponent will be announced on Nov. 17.

    Box Score: web.olivet.edu/sports/soccer/men/stats/2014/onums20.htm

    *
    Nov 14, 2014 3:25:46Nov 14, 2014 -

    Olivet officially opened the new engineering addition to Reed Hall of Science during the 2014 Homecoming and Family Weekend festivities. The first phase of this project, the Kenneth E. Johnson Technology Center, was introduced during last year’s Homecoming and opened for students in spring 2014.

    “This new facility, now complete, bears witness that the engineering program at Olivet continues to grow,” said Dr. John C. Bowling, University president. “Our programs are gaining enhanced regional and national attention. I want to commend the members of the engineering faculty for their fine work and Dr. Shane Ritter for his leadership as department chair.” Enrollment for the Department of Engineering has nearly doubled since 2011.

    Cutting the ribbon during the ceremony were: Dr. Bowling; Dr. Shane Ritter; Dr. Joseph Schroeder, engineering professor; Mrs. Jennifer Johnson, wife of the late Dr. Kenneth Johnson; and engineering students Kendra Maxon (senior, Ottawa, Illinois), Zane DeBeck (junior, East Tawas, Michigan), Sam Kleindienst (sophomore, Peotone, Illinois) and Deirdre Gerke (freshman, South Lyon, Michigan).

    This 19,000-square-foot, three-story engineering addition opened for Olivet’s fall 2014 semester. A spacious lobby area featuring a water sculpture and other environmentally friendly amenities greets those who enter the building each day. New facility capabilities for the engineering program include:
    • Eight offices for full-time and adjunct faculty, designed to accommodate current and anticipated growth of the department
    • Four research/hands-on laboratories (robotics, materials and senior design)
    • Physics laboratory equipped for 32 students
    • Large student collaborative project area and Engineering Technology Center
    • Electrical engineering classroom/laboratory with 30 full workstations
    • Engineering design studio and computer lab with 30 new workstations
    • Industry collaboration conference room for program development meetings and project review meetings with industry sponsors
    • 90-seat classroom to support growing enrollments in engineering and physics courses

    “At Olivet, we seek to offer a value added education,” Dr. Bowling said. “We believe higher education should have a higher purpose, and we work diligently to integrate faith, living and learning. This is a deep commitment on the part of our engineering department and our University.”

    Also during the ceremony, Wes Gerbig, P.E., was recognized as the recipient of the 2014 Engineering Alumni Excellence Award. Currently, he is the validation systems manager with Roche Diagnostics in Indianapolis, Indiana. He has been instrumental in the development and launch of the Master of Engineering Management degree program for Olivet’s School of Graduate and Continuing Studies, and also serves as an adjunct professor. His career includes twelve years in the pharmaceutical and medical device industries. He is a licensed professional engineer in the state of Indiana.

    Following the ceremony, students and faculty hosted visitors in several open house information centers located throughout the new engineering addition, including: Society of Women Engineers, Missioneering, Alumni Connection, Robotics Club, 3D Printing and SAE Baja Club.
    ***
    Nov 14, 2014 11:47:31Nov 14, 2014 -

    Olivet formally dedicated The David L. Elwood Center for Student Success during its Homecoming and Family Weekend activities. Present for the ribbon cutting ceremony were Dr. David L. Elwood '55 — for whom the Center is named — with his wife, Ella (Anderson) '57; his son, Mike; and other family members and friends.

    “A deep, heartfelt thank you to my sons, Mike, Mark and John, for stimulating this idea,” said Dr. Elwood during the ceremony. “Never in my life did I have an impulse or a thought or a feeling of any kind that a building would be named in my honor.”

    To encourage success and leadership in the lives of Olivet’s students, Dr. Elwood’s family recently presented a significant gift to the University. The family has designated their gift to expand and strengthen the programming of the Center for Student Success; to coordinate and strengthen various leadership efforts in the new Elwood Leadership Program; to honor the University where Dr. Elwood’s faith and values were firmly established; to recognize the life and legacy of Dr. Elwood, an Olivet alumnus; and to invest directly in future generations of Olivetians.

    “We are seeing the difference that intentional preparation makes when we equip students to lead their peers,” said Mrs. Beth Olney, director of the Center. “We thank the Elwood family for providing the resources needed to equip new generations of Olivetians to lead.”

    The Center is home to Career Services, Counseling Services, Health and Wellness Services, academic support, leadership and relationship initiatives.

    “The Elwood family story is a story of significance,” said Dr. John C. Bowling, University president. “The David L. Elwood Center for Student Success touches the life of every student who comes on our campus.”

    To close the ceremony, Olivet’s Concert Singers — directed by Dr. Neal Woodruff '91, music professor — presented the first public performance of “O God Our Friend,” written by Dr. David Elwood.

    “This gift from the Elwood family is very significant for Olivet students,” said Chelsea Risinger (senior, nursing major, Tremont, Illinois), student body president. “The Elwood family is investing in us. The Center for Student Success is helping students grow professionally, to take hold of who they are and what they’ve been given, and then pursue something greater.”

    Dr. Elwood earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology while at Olivet. He also met and fell in love with his future wife, Ella. He and Ella married in 1956. Later, he earned advanced degrees from two other universities. He enjoyed a successful career as a psychologist, and she was a top performer in her real estate career. But that was just the beginning of their unfolding life of significance and success.

    In 1980, he and his son, Mark, founded Elwood Staffing®, and Dr. Elwood continues to serve as chairman of the board. Their company operates in 250 service locations across the United States and Canada, employs nearly 1,000 while serving more than 6,000 clients and putting tens of thousands of people to work every day.
    ***
    Nov 14, 2014 11:12:45Nov 14, 2014 -

    BOURBONNAIS, Ill. — Head Coach David Blahnik is pleased to announce Kevin Hoof as his third signee for the 2014-2015 season. Kevin is coming to the Olivet Nazarene University men’s soccer team from Maple Grove High School in Maple Grove, Minnesota. He has just concluded a great high school career that included leading his team to a fourth place finish in the 2014 Minnesota High School State Championship and a final record of 19-2-1. He was also a 2014 finalist for the prestigious Minnesota Mr. Soccer Award. Some of his other accolades include being named the Northwest Suburban Conference Player of the Year, Minnesota State High School All-Tournament Team, Minnesota Soccer Coaches Association All State Team and Star Tribune All Metro Second Team. 

    Kevin plays his club soccer with St. Croix Academy and has been a three-time Region II Championship participant (2010, 2013, 2014); Region II Semi Finalist (2014); two-time Minnesota State Cup Champion (2010, 2013). He has been a two-year Region II team member and Region II showcase team participant (2012, 2013), as well as being a four- year member of the Minnesota State ODP, Regional ODP pool and Regional ODP Extended teams (2009-2013). He also spent time with St. Croix Academy in England training with the Bolton Wanderers and competing against the academy teams of Fulham, Wigan, Tranmere Rovers, Ipswich and Reading.

    Academically, Kevin is an honor roll student who plans on studying clinical psychology or neuroscience at ONU.

    “Kevin brings a lot of experience of being successful at the high school and club level that will help him compete for us right away," said Coach Blahnik. "He is a strong, smart player who understands the game and has great technical ability. Off the field, Kevin is a very bright student who will succeed in the classroom.” 

    *
    Nov 14, 2014 9:40:45Nov 14, 2014 -

    PALOS HEIGHTS, Ill. - The Olivet Nazarene University volleyball team is heading to the NAIA National Tournament Opening Round after upsetting No. 2 seeded Trinity Christian College (Ill.) 3-1 in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament Semifinals on Thursday, Nov. 13 on the Trolls home court. The Tigers will travel to Cardinal Stritch University (Wis.) on Saturday to face the No. 1 seeded Wolves in the Championship match.

    The Tigers (17-24) jumped on the Trolls early, taking the first two sets by matching 25-21 scores before dropping the third set 20-25. Olivet rallied to take the fourth set 25-21 again, paving their way to the CCAC Championship game. Since Cardinal Stritch earned the conference's first automatic bid to nationals, the Tigers earn the second by just making it to the final bracket. Olivet last advanced to the national tournament in 2011.

    Junior Becky DeRuiter (Chicago Heights, Ill.) continues to be a force at the net, finishing the night with a team-leading 15 kills in 32 attempts with just five hitting errors for an astounding .312 attack percentage. The setting duo of junior Renee Enz (Wilmington, Ill.) and sophomore Katie Tabisz (Lockport, Ill.) dished out a combined 41 assists, 22 and 19, respectively.

    On the defensive side, senior Haley Hatalla (Manteno, Ill.) led the Tigers in the effort to stop the strong Trolls attack, finishing with 14 digs. Freshman Jeslyn Roat (Greenview, Ill.) added 13, junior Melissa Bartholomew (Newton, Iowa) added 12 and Tabisz 10. Senior Tiffany Madura (Munster, Ind.) finished with six block assists, while DeRuiter added four as the team combined for 10.

    Seniors Kaia Lenzi (Beach Park, Ill.) and Heidi Schoenbein (Morton, Ill.) each added eight kills, while Tabisz put down five.

    The Tigers and the Wolves are scheduled for a 7 p.m. start in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In the earlier meeting this fall, Cardinal Stritch pulled out a 3-1 win on Oct. 3, in four close sets. 

    *
    Nov 13, 2014 2:56:0Nov 13, 2014 -

    CHICAGO --- A record-setting performance during a week in which Olivet Nazarene University earned a pair of victories, ONU junior guard/forward Aaron Larson (Tolono, Ill.) has been named the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Week for his efforts during the week of November 3-9, it was announced by the league office on Thursday. The honor is the second of his career.

    Larson set career-best marks for points (33), field goals made (13) and three-pointers made (four) in an 83-62 win over Huntington University (Ind.) on Wednesday night.  In the same game, he also totaled seven rebounds, four assists, one block and one steal.  Huntington was among others receiving votes in the current NAIA Coaches' Poll.

    Two nights later, in a 111-65 victory over Silver Lake College, Larson contributed another 25 points, four rebounds, three assists and one steal, while shooting .647 from the field (11-of-17).

    Over the two games combined, Larson averaged 29.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.0 steals per game.  He shot .649 from the field (24-of-37), .667 from three-point range (6-of-9) and .800 from the foul line (4-of-5).

    Olivet Nazarene is a perfect 4-0 to start the season.  The Tigers were among others receiving votes in the NAIA Preseason Coaches' Poll.

    *
    Nov 13, 2014 7:36:23Nov 13, 2014 -

    BOURBONNAIS, Ill. - Freshman Ally Giampapa (Bartlett, Ill.) pumped in a season-high 20 points to help lead the Olivet Nazarene University women's basketball team to a 115-84 over Missouri Baptist University on Wednesday, Nov. 12. The win gets the Tigers back in the win column, improving their record to 2-2 on the season.

    The majority of Giampapa's points came from three-point range; finishing 6-of-16 from behind the arc to lead the Tigers. Junior Abbey Hengesbach (Westphalia, Mich.) continues her dominance on the court, finishing with 20 points. She also added six assists and a team-high nine rebounds.

    Freshman Kaira Barnes (Westland, Mich.) added a season-high 17 points, while sophomore Kayla Krassman (Hartford, Wis.) finished with 16 points. Freshman Maggie Schmidt (Eldridge, Iowa) pulled down seven rebounds, while Krassman added six.

    Olivet will return to action on Saturday, Nov. 15, hosting Grace College (Ind.). Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m. in McHie Arena. 

    *
    Nov 13, 2014 7:17:54Nov 13, 2014 -

    BOURBONNAIS, Ill. - With under four minutes left in regulation on the clock, senior Jessica Higer (Kuna, Idaho) headed the ball through  a needle hole in the Eagles defense to setup a goal by junior Liz Wahl (Homer Glen, Ill.) to put the No. 13 Olivet Nazarene University women's soccer team into the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament Championship. The Tigers needed just the one goal to down Robert Morris University in the semifinals on the chilly, windy Wednesday afternoon.

    Olivet (15-3-1) controlled the ball most of the game, outshooting Robert Morris 17-4. Sophomore keeper, Sarah Vrosh (Ada, Mich.) recorded her eighth shutout of the season, finishing with three saves.

    The Tiger's threatened in the 74th minute when a penalty kick by senior Emily Rosenboom (Kankakee, Ill.) hit the cross bar. Eagle's keeper, Adrienne Giglio, kept Robert Morris in the game, recording six saves on the day.

    Olivet will host the CCAC Tournament Championship game on Saturday, Nov. 15 at 3:30 p.m. The Tigers will take on Trinity International University. The Trojans enter the game after defeating the University of St. Francis (Ill.) 3-2 in their semifinal matchup on Wednesday. Trinity is 14-2-2 overall on the season, including a 2-0 loss to Olivet on Oct. 4.

    *
    Nov 12, 2014 9:43:56Nov 12, 2014 -

    BOURBONNAIS, Ill. — An eighth straight win for the Olivet Nazarene University men’s soccer team has landed them in the CCAC Tournament Championship game for the third year in a row and fourth time in six seasons. The Tigers earned the opportunity to host the title game with a 2-0 win over Purdue University-Calumet (Ind.) on Wednesday, Nov. 12. The Tigers defense was outstanding, allowing the Peregrines to only one shot on goal, and finished their ninth shutout of the season. 

    On a night that was meant for something indoors because of sub-30 degree temperatures at game time, Olivet Nazarene (14-5) wanted to get things heated up early offensively. However, they were unable to convert until the 32nd minute, even though they dominated the ball the entire half. The Tigers took advantage of a Peregrines (10-7-2) foul, and Christian Henock-Berhanu (Bourbonnais, Ill.) scored his fourth goal on a set piece from 30 yards out. The ball sailed in the six-yard box, and nobody made a play on it — costing the visiting team and giving the Tigers a 1-0 lead.

    Only four minutes later, ONU scored the second goal, and it would be enough for the remaining 55 minutes of the game. Sophomore Ryan Totsch (Oswego, Ill.) headed in his first goal of the season over the goalie’s head after a neat flick by senior Kyle Reopelle (Elgin, Ill.). ONU’s defense fended off a pesky Peregrines offense the entire second half and did so throughout a physical game of 33 foul calls.

    Freshman goalkeeper Chris Taborn (Matteson, Ill.) recorded a fifth shutout in Wednesday’s game, needing only one save en route to the win.

    The Tigers will play for a second consecutive CCAC Tournament title on Saturday, Nov. 15, against Cardinal Stritch University (Wis.) at Ward Field. They defeated the Wolves 4-0 earlier in the season.

    Box Score: web.olivet.edu/sports/soccer/men/stats/2014/onums19.htm

    *
    Nov 12, 2014 11:49:17Nov 12, 2014 -

    CHICAGO --- Olivet Nazarene University's Chris Taborn (Matteson, Ill.) has earned his second straight Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Men's Soccer Defensive Player of the Week award, it was announced by the league office on Wednesday.

    Taborn, a freshman goalkeeper, earned his fourth career shutout in a 3-0 victory over University of St. Francis last Wednesday.  He had to stop just one shot to earn his ninth win in goal in the last 10 games.

    With the victory, the Tigers claimed their first-ever CCAC men's soccer regular-season title by going 9-2 in league play.  They are 13-5 overall.

    *
    Nov 12, 2014 11:15:26Nov 12, 2014 -

    DAVENPORT, Iowa — The Olivet Nazarene University men’s basketball started 5-0 during the 2001-02 season. But over the last 12 seasons, the Tigers have not reached as much as four consecutive wins to start the year. On Tuesday, Nov. 11, the 2014-15 Tigers ended that streak by winning 76-74 over No. 14-ranked St. Ambrose University on the road in a game that felt like postseason play.

    Still, the win did not come easy. The Tigers had to defeat a second undefeated squad that did not go away easily as the Fighting Bees made a seven-point game with 17 seconds eventually a two-point loss. The victory put Olivet at 4-0 to begin the season.

    The first 20 minutes were played tentatively and carelessly by the Tigers (4-0) as 12 turnovers and squandered possessions hurt their chances at ever building a significant lead. Even though ONU had only five points through the first six minutes, they led 21-16 at the 8:42 mark following a Zach Wagner (Roselle, Ill.) lay-up. Four three-pointers by Tyler Crater (Hampshire, Ill.) over a three-minute stretch helped build the Tigers lead. However, the five-point lead didn't last long as the Bees (4-1) went on a 12-0 run that ended at the 4:53 mark when Sam Ainsworth made a three-pointer. Later in the half, ONU was able to cut the halftime deficit to only two with three free-throws over the final minute.

    Unlike in the first half, the Tigers jumped out to a second half lead only a minute and a half in. Yet the game remained tied at the 9:22 mark (50-50). Overall in the first 11 minutes the score exchanged leads and was tied a number of times — nine to be exact. However, the next three minutes belonged to the Tigers as a 9-2 run gave the Tigers a seven-point lead with six to play. ONU continued to score and got enough stops to still lead by five with 2:54 to play. St. Ambrose was able to make a two-point game at the foul line. The Tigers' next possession was huge as the shot clock was running down. Aaron Larson hit a contested jumper to make a four-point game with under two to play. A rebound later for the Tigers and point guard Alex Thorson (Philo, Ill.) started a string of 7-of-8 made free-throws that eventually built the lead to seven, 76-69 with 17 seconds. However, the Bees were not done playing as they scored five points in 14 seconds thanks to a Tiger offensive foul, defensive foul and poor defense. Nevertheless, the Tigers were able to get the ball inbounded to end the game.

    Junior Aaron Larson (Tolono, Ill.) finished with a team-high 23 points on 10-for-18 shooting from the field, 2-for-5 from the three-point line and 1-for-4 from the free-throw line. He added nine rebounds and six assists in 34 minutes. He is 44 points shy of 1,000 for his career.

    Junior Zach Wagner played a season-high 28 minutes and scored 10 points on 4-for-4 shooting and was 2-for-2 from the free-throw line. He added four rebounds, two assists and two steals in 28 minutes.

    Junior Alex Thorson played in his first action of the season following an ankle injury early in the season. He had nine points, making 7-of-8 free-throws, and had five rebounds and three assists in 17 minutes.

    Off the bench, sophomore Tyler Crater scored in double figures with 14 points in the first half. He went 5-for-10 and was 4-for-4 from the three-point line. He added four rebounds in 22 minutes. Junior Reid Farchmin (Mahomet, Ill.) played a season-high 23 minutes and finished with nine points, going 2-for-3 from the field and was 5-for-6 from the free-throw line. He also had five rebounds and three assists.

    Darian White led St. Ambrose with 19 points on 8-for-14 shooting and went 3-for-5 from the free-throw line; he had five rebounds, three assists and three steals in 31 minutes. Paul Beene had 19 points on 6-for-9 shooting, 4-for-7 from the three-point line and 3-for-8 from the free-throw line. He added two rebounds and one assist in 24 minutes. Tylon Deal had 16 points and nine rebounds in 34 minutes. Sam Ainsworth had nine points and seven rebounds in 25 minutes.

    Overall, the Tigers shot 26-for-55 from the field (47.3 percent), 6-for-18 from the three-point line (33.3 percent) and 18-for-24 from the free-throw line (75.0 percent). They outrebounded the Fighting Bees 40-33, committed 21 turnovers and totaled 21 assists, with 11 offensive rebounds and seven steals.

    St. Ambrose shot 26-for-59 from the field (44.1 percent), 8-for-21 from beyond the arc (38.1 percent) and 14-for-25 from the free-throw line (56.0 percent). The Fighting Bees had 10 assists, 19 turnovers, 11 offensive rebounds and 10 steals.

    ONU will begin CCAC play next Wednesday, Nov. 19, at Purdue University-Calumet (Ind.) at 7 p.m.

    Boxscore:  http://web.olivet.edu/sports/basketball/men/games/2014/onumbb04.htm

    *
    Nov 12, 2014 10:26:5Nov 12, 2014 -

    JOLIET, Ill. - The Olivet Nazarene University volleyball team showed up at the University of St. Francis (Ill.) for the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament Quarterfinal match knowing it's now or never, win or start off-season practice. The No. 6 seeded Tigers proved they were ready to compete for the second coveted bid to the NAIA National Tournament Opening Round by downing the No. 3 seeded Fighting Saints 3-1 (25-22, 17-25, 25-22, 25-17) to advance to the semifinals.

    Sophomore Katie Tabisz (Lockport, Ill.) led the Tigers with a triple-double, leading Olivet in digs with 11, while adding 10 kills and 16 assists. Junior Becky DeRuiter (Chicago Heights, Ill.) led the offensive attack with 11 kills, finishing with just two errors in 28 attempts for an attack percentage of .321. She also added three service aces.

     Junior setter, Renee Enz (Wilmington, Ill.) dished out 18 assists, while senior Kaia Lenzi (Beach Park, Ill.) added eight kills. At the net, senior Tiffany Madura (Munster, Ind.) finished with five block assists, with DeRuiter, Lenzi and senior Heidi Schoenbein (Morton, Ill.) adding three each. Senior Haley Hatalla (Manteno, Ill.) added three service aces, the Tigers combined for 11 as a team.

    The win advances the Tigers to the semifinals of the CCAC Tournament against defending champions and No. 2 seeded Trinity Christian College on Thursday, Nov. 13 in Palos Heights, Illinois. Olivet looks to avenge two losses from earlier this season. The Trolls outlasted the Tigers in a 3-2 marathon on September 9 and a 3-1 win on Oct. 14. 

    *
    Nov 10, 2014 10:30:36Nov 10, 2014 -

    BOURBONNAIS, Ill. - Despite a 31 point effort by junior Abbey Hengesbach (Westphalia, Mich.) and several hundred purple clad fans, the Olivet Nazarene University women's basketball team dropped a non-conference match up with Lindenwood University - Belleville (Ill.), falling 88-98. Some nights, things just don't go your way; Saturday, Nov. 8 was just one of those nights for the Tigers.

    Freshman Kaira Barnes (Westland, Mich.) had a breakout night for Olivet, finishing with a season-high 12 points in just 10 minutes on the court. She finished shooting 3-of-8 from the field and hit a key three-pointer to help keep the Tigers close late in the second half.

    Under the basket, senior Dakota Hack (Bristol, Tenn.) pulled in a season and team-high eight rebounds, five on the offensive end and three on defense. Freshman Tori Lemke (Brillion, Wis.) finished with season-highs in rebounds (7) and points (6). Junior Jayne Stuart (Jackson, Mich.) also added seven points, while freshman Capriana Christian (Vacaville, Calif.) added six. 

    The Tigers entered the game averaging 130 points in their first two games, but struggled from all areas of the floor, finishing well below their goals set by the up-tempo style of play that makes them TigerBall. Olivet finished the night shooting a mere 8-of-58 (.138) from behind the arc and 28-of-103 (.272) from the field. A second half turnaround from the charity stripe helped Olivet finish the night 24-of-38 (.632), after missing nearly half of the attempts in the first half.

    Lindenwood was led by Shelby Kohrmann, who accounted for half of the Lynx points, finishing with 49 on the night. Maggie Yandel also hit double-digits with 10 points.

    Olivet will return to action on Wednesday, Nov. 12 at 5:30 p.m. The Tigers will host Grace College (Ind.) in non-conference action.  The Lancers enter the game 4-0 on the season.  Both teams have wins over Indiana Institute of Technology this season, with Grace winning 53-44, while the Tigers downed them 136-94 in the season opener. 

    *
    Nov 10, 2014 10:25:57Nov 10, 2014 -

    ATHERTON, Calif. — On a cold and overcast day in Bourbonnais, the Olivet Nazarene University football team prepared to go to battle for the 10th time this season. Luckily for the gridiron Tigers, they were a couple of thousand miles away … to the West. On Friday, Nov. 7, the team embarked upon a cross-country journey to go head-to-head with Menlo College in Atherton, California. While the time zone was different, the battle was true to form as the Tigers were locked in another close and exciting contest. Thanks to a strong defensive stand on Menlo's final possession, the Tigers left the sun behind but came home with a 28-21 victory. 

    The Tiger defense was the first one to get a crack at the Oaks after the opening kickoff. They promptly answered with a quick three-and-out, and this domination would be a theme of the day for the defense. The strong defense started off the game with four straight stops, putting pressure on the opposing quarterback and ball carriers all day, never allowing them to feel comfortable. Junior defensive end Chris Aschemann (Carterville, Ill.) was able to record the first sack of the day on Menlo’s second possession, forcing another Oaks punt.   

    Despite steady defense, the Oaks offense caught life and was able to score their third touchdown of the day with 1:49 left on the clock, cutting the once sizable ONU lead to 28-21. With momentum on their side, Menlo executed an exceptionally well-placed onside kick attempt that took a high bounce in the air and was recovered by the Oaks.

    With only one score separating the two sides and just 100 ticks left on the clock, the Tiger defense needed to stand firm. The first play saw the Oaks attempt to catch ONU off guard with a pass, but the smothering coverage of ONU's secondary caused him to hold the ball just long enough for junior Thomas Dexter (Canal Winchester, Ohio) to record his second sack of the day. The Oaks's second attempt from the line of scrimmage was again quickly thwarted by ONU’s defense, making it third and long. Menlo turned to their go-to play, one that had been effective multiple times throughout the day, a screen pass to the running back. Senior linebacker Brandon Ruemler (Williamsport, Ind.) quickly sniffed it out and stifled it with an emphatic hit that made the crowd leave their seats. It was do-or-die for the Oaks on fourth and long as Menlo's quarterback dropped back deep, looking to connect with one of his wide outs, but they were turned away on an incomplete pass. 

    Senior John Litrenta (Orland Park, Ill.) led the way defensively for the Tigers with seven total tackles, while Ruemler added six more solo tackles to his illustrious career. Junior Lucas Limberg (Rockford, Ill.) was able to lead the secondary with two broken pass attempts, along with three tackles.

    On the other side of the line, the Tiger offense would not be outdone by their defensive teammates, also striking first. The Tigers were able to punch in the first touchdown of the day just seven minutes into the game. The big play came when the offensive line opened a huge hole through the middle of the Oaks defense, allowing freshman running back Antonio Tyson (Bourbonnais, Ill.) to race 39 yards to the end zone.

    The ONU offense was able to maintain their smash mouth reputation throughout the whole game and saw it come to light on their second scoring drive. The Tigers were able to march down the field behind multiple big gains by freshman Erik Anderson (St. Charles, Ill.), finally capping off the drive when the freshman punched it in from the four-yard line for his first career ONU touchdown. 

    The second half opened with ONU up 14-7, looking very strong behind their running game — riding the tandem of Anderson and Tyson, who each had a touchdown and over 50 yards apiece in the opening half. Tyson, however, suffered an ankle injury at the conclusion of the first half. This gave Anderson an opportunity to shoulder the load for the rest of the game, and he did not disappoint. 

    With 8:18 left in the third quarter, ONU went on another scoring drive to put the team up 21-7. This drive was highlighted by a freshman connection between quarterback Gage Buckley (Lompoc, Calif.) and wide receiver Adam Glanders (Elkhart, Ind.). Buckley quickly connected with the wide open Glanders on a route down the sideline, where Glanders raced down the field for a 39-yard gain. The drive was again capped off by an Anderson touchdown, this time a physical two yard run through the teeth of the Oaks defense. 

    The final Tiger scoring drive was propelled by Anderson's longest run of the day, a 33-yard run where he burst through the middle of the Menlo defense, putting a couple of shifty moves on defenders before hitting the sideline to get ONU into scoring position. The drive was capped off by a highlight reel connection between Buckley and Glanders. Glanders leaped over the defenders to snag the Buckley pass for his first collegiate touchdown, a 13-yard pass completion.

    The ONU offensive line paved the way all day for a dominant rushing attack that totaled 239 yards on the day. Anderson was the Tigers' leading rusher with a career-high and ONU season-high of 156 yards. Tyson chipped in 63 yards on the day, while Buckley added 19. Buckley continued to distribute the ball among the receivers, spreading the wealth among five different players, led by Glanders with 52 yards receiving and one touchdown. 

    Olivet looks to take this momentum into their battle with No. 8 Saint Xavier University (Ill.) on Saturday, Nov. 15, their final game of the 2014 season. The Tigers and the Cougars will battle at 1 p.m. at Bruce R. Deaton Memorial Field in Chicago. The Cougars are currently 7-2 overall, 3-1 in the MSFA and 4-0 at home. St. Xavier leads the series 13-8, having won the last eight match ups. The Tigers last win over the Cougars was in 2005.

    Boxscore: http://web.olivet.edu/sports/football/stats/2014/onufb10.htm

    *
    Nov 10, 2014 8:46:43Nov 10, 2014 -

    Olivet Nazarene University freshman running back Erik Anderson (St. Charles, Ill.) earned Mid-States Football Association Midwest League Offensive Player of the Week honors for Nov. 10. This is Anderson’s first honor of his career and the second for Olivet in 2014. He helped the Tigers to their second win of the season when ONU defeated Menlo College (Ill.) 28-21 on Saturday, Nov. 8.

    In that game, Anderson led the Tigers with 32 rushes for 156 yards and two touchdowns. His touchdowns were from four and two yards out, the first two of his career, and gave the Tigers a seven-point and 14-point lead. He averaged 4.9 yards per carry (long run of 33 yards). Anderson had career-highs in carries, yards, and touchdowns. 

    **
    Nov 09, 2014 10:17:30Nov 09, 2014 -

    ELGIN, Ill. - Despite sophomore Sarah Ray (Warsaw, Ind.) and junior Bethany Pilat (Lavonia, Ill.) finishing back-to-back in third and fourth place at the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Championship, the Tigers found themselves in second place overall. The race, hosted by Judson University (Ill.) at Wing Park Golf Course, saw 117 runners representing 12 institutions. The runner-up finish was eased greatly by the fact that the Tiger would earn the conference's second automatic bid to the NAIA National Championships.

    Ray posted a team best time of 18:24.33 in the 5k race, setting a 5:56 minute mile pace to finish third overall. Right behind at 18:37.09, Pilat averaged 6:00 minutes a mile to take fourth place. Senior Madison Moyer (Burlington, Iowa) placed 13 with a 6:10 minute mile pace, finishing at 19:08.69, while freshman Alexa Beezhold (St. John, Ind.) crossed the finish line at 19:13.89, averaging 6:12 miles.

    The Tigers then finished 17-18-19, led by freshman Naomi Springer (Minier, Ill.) 19:27.37 with a  6:16 minute mile average. Sophomore Nicole Maier (Burbank, Ill.) shattered her personal best, finishing in 19:33.26 in 18th place, while sophomore Elizabeth Soper (Grand Rapids, Mich.) coming off of a recent injury, finished in 19th place at 19:33.74.

    The University of St. Francis (Ill.) captured first place, taking the title from the Tigers who had won the previous four championships. The Fighting Saints finished with 44 points, edging out Olivet with 53. Judson finished third with 73, followed by Trinity Christian with 73 and St. Xavier University with 142.

    Receiving CCAC All-Conference honors for their finishes were: Ray, Pilat, Moryer and Beezhold.

    Olivet will now prepare for the NAIA National Championships, held Saturday, Nov. 22 in Lawrence, Kansas. The race is hosted by Lawrence Sports Corp. at Rim Rock Farm. The women's race is scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m.

    *
    Nov 09, 2014 8:44:21Nov 09, 2014 -

    ELGIN, Ill. — Entering the 2014 CCAC Championships, Head Coach Mike McDowell and the No. 3 Olivet Nazarene men’s cross country team were looking for a second consecutive title. However, stiff competition was looming as the No. 8 University of St. Francis (Ill.) — the team the Tigers defeated the year before — were champions three of the last four years. The Tigers, without two returning NAIA All-Americans, finished second, placing all of top seven runners in the first 15 finishers.

    A total of 132 runners competed in the event hosted by Judson University (Ill.) at Wing Park Golf Course. The course was relatively flat with a number of smaller rolling hills. The temperature was 40 degrees, and the day was cloudy.

    The rest of the top five teams were Calumet College of St. Joseph (Ind.), Trinity Christian College (Ill.) and Purdue University-Calumet (Ind.).

    Junior Dylan Creger (Almont, Mich.) led the Tigers for the third straight meet and finished third with a time of 25:32.79. Sophomore Caleb Drake (Rock Island, Ill.) came in fourth with a time of 25:36.20. Senior Marshall Hawn (Goshen, Ind.) came in eighth with a time of 25:46.30. Junior Ron Milbocker (Whitmore Lake, Mich.) was 10th with a time of 25:54.89. Senior Andrew Cowen (Carmel, Ind.) finished 12th with a time of 26:02.77.

    Freshman Matt Meehan (Marshfield, Mass.) came in 13th for the Tigers with a time of 26:07.67. Senior Ian Lofgren (Rockford, Ill.) finished 15th with a time of 26:21.88. 

    All seven of the Tigers who finished in the top 15 were named CCAC All-Conference. In all, 32 Tigers ran in the team's sixth race of the 2014 season.

    The Tigers will await an at-large bid to the NAIA National Championships hosted by Lawrence Sports Corporation on Saturday, Nov. 22, in Lawrence, Kansas, at Rim Rock Farm. The race will start at 11:45 a.m.

    Results: http://www.runnersedgeracetiming.com/data/uploadedfiles/ccacmens8kresults2014.htm

    *
    Nov 08, 2014 9:47:40Nov 08, 2014 -

    BOURBONNAIS, Ill. — Not since Nov. 25, 2005, had the Olivet Nazarene University men’s basketball team scored as many points as they did on Friday night, Nov. 7, 2014. Almost exactly nine years ago, the Tigers defeated East-West University (Ill.) 125-82 in a runaway win. ONU put 111 points in a drought of Silver Lake College (Wis.), winning by 46 points — a margin that Olivet had not reached since February 9, 2013, when they defeated Judson University (Ill.) by 47. The victory gives ONU three straight to start the season, and all have been at McHie Arena.

    It was all ONU (3-0) as the Tiger defense didn't allow a fourth point to Silver Lake (1-3) until just over nine minutes into the game. By that time, the Tigers had built a 19-point lead. A minute later, Olivet led by 24 when Aaron Larson (Tolono, Ill.) took a steal the distance for a two-hand dunk. However, Silver Lake turned around and used five three-pointers by John Duke to cut the deficit by 10 points over the next five minutes. That’s when the Purple and Gold defense responded, allowing only two more points to the Lakers over the final five minutes and giving the offense a chance to build the lead back to 21 points.

    For the opening minutes of the second half, the Tigers still led by 21 points. The game was back and forth as each team traded baskets. A John Duke long ball around the 15-minute mark, however, lit a fire for the Tigers as they went on an 18-3 run to build a 35-point lead with 10 minutes to play. At the tail end of Olivet’s run, Leke Solanke (Abeokuta, Nigeria) rejected two Laker shots into the stands, getting the crowd into the game. The Tigers reached the 100-point mark around 3:17 and got valuable time on the court for some young players.

    Larson finished with a team-high 25 points on 11-for-17 shooting from the field, 2-for-3 from the three-point line and 1-for-1 from the free-throw line. He added four rebounds and three assists in 24 minutes. He is 67 points shy of 1,000 for his career. Senior Austin Davis (North Augusta, S.C.) scored nine points, making three three pointers on 3-for-10 shooting, and had five rebounds and five assists in 19 minutes. He currently has 157 three-pointers in his career, good for tied for 12th all-time in Tiger history.

    Junior Zach Wagner (Roselle, Ill.) was able to get solid minutes avoiding foul trouble. He finished with 16 points on 8-for-15 shooting, and added nine rebounds and three assists in 20 minutes. Senior Matt Ryan (San Diego, Calif.) finished with 12 points on 6-for-7 shooting, and had five rebounds and one assist in 15 minutes. Senior Hunter Jacobs (Champaign, Ill.) had four points, six rebounds and two assists in 16 minutes off the bench.

    In his third career start, junior Taylor Tucker (Tyler, Texas) played 17 minutes, and had three assists, two rebounds and three steals to go along with his first points of the season. Freshman Alec Goetz (St. Charles, Ill.) had nine points, a team-high six assists and two steals.

    Off the bench, sophomore Tyler Crater (Hampshire, Ill.) scored in double figures with 12 points in 15 minutes. He added five rebounds and three assists. Junior Leke Solanke had a career-high eight points, nine rebounds and three assists to go along with two big blocks in the second half.

    John Duke led Silver Lake with 27 points on 9-for-21 shooting and went 7-for-13 from the three-point line; he had eight rebounds and four assists in 39 minutes. Jordan Portee had seven points on 2-for-8 shooting, and five rebounds and four assists in 25 minutes. Austin Walker had seven points and three rebounds in 10 minutes off the bench.

    Overall, the Tigers shot 47-for-95 from the field (49.5 percent), 8-for-19 from the three-point line (42.1 percent) and 9-for-16 from the free-throw line (56.3 percent). They outrebounded the Lakers 63-37, committed only six turnovers, and totaled 31 assists with 24 offensive rebounds and 11 steals.

    Silver Lake shot 24-for-74 from the field (32.4 percent), 10-for-27 from beyond the arc (37.0 percent) and 7-for-9 from the free-throw line (77.8 percent). The Lakers had 11 assists, 16 turnovers, 11 offensive rebounds and two steals.

    The Tigers will be on the road for the first time this season Tuesday, Nov. 11, at No. 14 St. Ambrose University (Iowa) at 7:30 p.m.

    Boxscore:  http://web.olivet.edu/sports/basketball/men/games/2014/onumbb03.htm

    *
    Nov 06, 2014 10:38:25Nov 06, 2014 -

    BOURBONNAIS, Ill. — It was a career night as junior Aaron Larson (Tolono, Ill.) went off scoring a career-high 33 points while leading the Olivet Nazarene University men’s basketball team to a 83-62 win over previously undefeated (RV) Huntington University (Ind.). The all-conference selection had 20 second-half points and four makes from behind the arc and helped stretch the Tiger lead to almost 30 points. Larson not only had a career-high in points, but also in field goals made and attempted and in three-pointers made and attempted.

    A 7-6 deficit with just over 16 minutes left in the first half was the closest Huntington (3-1) would get as the Tigers (2-0) blew the game wide open, taking a 10-point lead four minutes later, mostly with the shooting aid of Aaron Larson and his three long balls made. Eventually the Tigers took a 17-point lead with over five minutes to play in the half when Austin Davis (North Augusta, S.C.) stole the ball in the back court and took it the distance. The Foresters got it back to 11 points (35-24) with 2:22 to play; but following a timeout. the Tigers finished the half on a 5-2 run.

    In the final 20 minutes of play, ONU started on a 10-0 run and took a 24-point lead. Four minutes later, the Tigers led by 29, their largest margin of the game. Austin Davis made a second consecutive three-pointer against the Forester zone to bust the game wide open. Huntington went on a 10-2 run to make it a 21-point game with just under 10 minutes; but a few more spurts by Olivet kept the spread north of 20, which is where the final score would be.

    Larson finished with a career-high 33 points on 13-for-20 shooting from the field, 4-for-6 from the three-point line and 3-for-4 from the free-throw line. He added seven rebounds and four assists in 28 minutes. He is 92 points shy of 1,000 for his career. Senior Austin Davis scored eight points, making two three pointers on 3-for-9 shooting, and had one rebound and six assists in 24 minutes. He currently has 154 three-pointers in his career, good for 13th all-time in Tiger history.

     

    The Tiger post game was led by senior Matt Ryan (San Diego, Calif.). He finished with 11 points on 5-for-10 shooting and 1-for-2 from the free-throw line. He had five rebounds and two assists in 24 minutes. Junior Zach Wagner (Roselle, Ill.) was in early foul trouble but had six rebounds, three assists and two steals in 13 minutes.

     

    Junior Taylor Tucker (Tyler, Texas) in his second career start played 24 minutes and had four assists. Freshman Alec Goetz (St. Charles, Ill.) had nine points, making two three-pointers, one assist and three rebounds, and two steals.

     

    Off the bench, sophomore Tyler Crater (Hampshire, Ill.) scored nine points in 17 minutes. Junior Reid Farchmin (Mahomet, Ill.) had four points, seven rebounds and two blocks in 24 minutes. Junior Leke Solanke (Abeokuta, Nigeria) had three points and eight rebounds to go along with two blocks.

     

    Derek Hinen led Huntington with 21 points on 7-for-12 shooting and went 6-for-9 from the free-throw line; he had three rebounds and four assists in 32 rebounds. Kyle Platt had nine points on 3-for-4 shooting from the three-point line and had three rebounds off the bench. Kyle Pipenger had eight points on 3-for-5 shooting and had two rebounds in 20 minutes.

    Overall, the Tigers shot 34-for-72 from the field (47.2 percent), 9-for-24 from the three-point line (37.5 percent) and 6-for-11 from the free-throw line (54.5 percent). They outrebounded the Foresters 43-29, committed only 11 turnovers and totaled 23 assists, with 14 offensive rebounds and eight steals.

    Huntington shot 20-for-50 from the field (40.0 percent), 6-for-19 from beyond the arc (31.6 percent) and 16-for-25 from the free-throw line (64.0 percent). The Foresters had eight assists, 12 turnovers, four offensive rebounds and seven steals.

    The Tigers will be back at McHie Arena on Friday, Nov. 7, at 7 p.m. against Silver Lake College (Wis.)

    Boxscore: http://web.olivet.edu/sports/basketball/men/games/2014/onumbb02.htm

    *
    Nov 06, 2014 10:34:56Nov 06, 2014 -

    BOURBONNAIS, Ill. — History was made on Wednesday night, Nov. 5, at Ward Field when Head Coach David Blahnik and the Olivet Nazarene University men’s soccer team clinched its first-ever CCAC Regular Season championship. This gives them an automatic bid to the NAIA National Championship Opening Round. A 3-0 win over rival University of St. Francis (Ill.) in the Tigers’ final regular season game handed the title to Olivet. En route to the crown, senior Paddy Hoepp (Frankfurt, Germany) scored his 34th career goal, putting him fifth all-time in the Tigers’ record books.

    The Tigers finished with 27 points in CCAC play and are on a seven-game win streak. They will host a CCAC Semifinal round game on Wednesday, Nov .12, against Roosevelt University (Ill.) or Holy Cross College (Ind.).

    Entering Wednesday’s game with St. Francis (Ill.) (3-14-1, 1-9-1), the Tigers (13-5, 9-2) had to win outright to earn the regular season title. Early (4:27) in the game, they benefited from a gift from the Saints defense as an own goal gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead. An ONU corner kick led to the goal, and ONU had five to the Saints's one.

    For the next 65 minutes, the defenses prevailed as neither team scored. But the ONU offense threatened throughout the game, outshooting the Saints 23-3, but put only three on goal, two of which would find the net. Paddy Hoepp led the Tigers with six shots in Wednesday’s game; he has 42 on the season.

    ONU finally broke through and scored a goal of its own in the second half when Hoepp put away his 10th goal of the year when senior Kyle Reopelle (Elgin, Ill.) found him to make it 2-0. Only three minutes later, sophomore Miguel Fierro (Urbana, Ill.) scored his third goal when Clay Selby (Fenton, Mich.) found him to put the game out of reach for the Saints.

    The Tigers will begin their pursuit of back-to-back CCAC Tournament titles on Wednesday, Nov. 12, at Ward Field.

    Box Score: web.olivet.edu/sports/soccer/men/stats/2014/onums18.htm

    **
    Nov 06, 2014 7:27:47Nov 06, 2014 -

    INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Another NAIA record gave ways to the Olivet Nazarene University women's basketball team and their up tempo style of play. On Tuesday, Nov. 5 the Tigers combined with Marian University (Ind.) to combine for 259 total points in a game. Unfortunately, the Tigers were on the short end of the 135-124 final score.  Actually, this is the second time that TigerBall has set this particular record; the last time was one year ago to the day, setting the total as 256.

    Junior Abbey Hengeshbach (Westphalia, Mich.) finished with an astounding 40 points to Olivet, going 12-of-24 from the field, 5-of-11 from behind the arc and 11-of-13 at the charity stripe. She also pulled down a team-leading six rebounds and dished out seven assists, while swiping the ball four times in just 20 minutes on the court.

    Sophomore Kayla Krassman (Hartford, Wis.) continued to make a name for herself, showing that she is a force to be reckoned with behind the three point line. She finished the night 6-of-10 for 18 points, once again connecting on the opening tip to put the Tigers on the board first.

    The score went back-and-forth the entire first half, finally entering the locker rooms with the Tigers holding a slight lead at 68-66.  The Knights shot 27-of-34(.794) from the field, 6-of-8 (.750 from three point range and connected on 9-of-17 (.529) from the free throw line to turn the tide in the second half.

    Junior Jayne Stuart (Jackson, Mich.) added 16 points on the night, while freshman Capriana Christian (Vacaville, Calif.) pumped in a season-high 10 points. Senior Dakota Hack (Bristol, Tenn.) pulled down six rebounds.

    The Knights had seven players finish with double-digits, led by Kaylee Walters with 31.

    Olivet (1-1) will return to action on Saturday, Nov. 8 at 5:30 p.m. The Tigers will take on Lindenwood University - Belleville (Ill.) in McHie Arena.

    *
    Nov 05, 2014 5:18:21Nov 05, 2014 -

    Olivet presented its fourth annual Young Alumni Awards to Katherine Kalemkarian and Scott Karalis, during the morning chapel service on Friday, October 31, as part of the 2014 Homecoming and Family Weekend activities.

    With a vision for a fashion industry career, Katie Kalemkarian '06 graduated summa cum laude from Olivet with a degree in family and consumer sciences. Majoring in fashion merchandising, she also completed minors in business management, marketing and French.

    In 2006, she was hired by TJX Companies as an allocation analyst and moved to Boston to work out of the corporate headquarters there. This is the parent company of TJ Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods in the U.S., as well as retail chains in Canada and Europe. In 2010, her two-year assignment as a planning manager with TK Maxx, the European division, took her to London to live and work. Currently, as a ladies dress buyer with TJX, she is based in the Los Angeles satellite buying office. Each year, she purchases dresses that ship to nearly 2,000 stores nationwide. Identified as a potential leader for her company, she is on a leadership mentoring and training track.

    Beginning his academic career at Olivet, Scott Karalis '08 graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in corporate communication and received the communication department’s Honor Award. In 2007, he studied jurisprudence and Aristotle as a visiting scholar at the University of Oxford in England.

    Focusing on his career goal of practicing law, he graduated with distinction in 2011 from the University of Iowa College of Law, one of the top 30 law schools in the nation. He was executive editor of The Journal of Corporation Law, which is ranked third in the nation for corporate law journals. Today, he is an associate at the Chicago firm of BatesCarey LLP, one of the largest firms in the country focused exclusively on representing and protecting the interests of insurers and reinsurers. 

    Scott and his wife, Brittany (Dahl) '08, reside in Palatine, Illinois. She teaches Spanish at Wauconda High School. They are expecting their first child in December.

    Each year, as part of the Homecoming celebration, Olivet honors one outstanding alumna and one outstanding alumnus with this award. Recipients are chosen by vote of the Alumni Board, and must have graduated from Olivet within the last 10 years. These awards are underwritten by alumni Mel '73 and Judith (Tucker) '73 Sayes of Little Rock, Arkansas.

    Also honored during the Friday morning chapel service were two current Olivet students who are juniors: Laura Graven (social work major, Bourbonnais, Illinois) and Zane DeBeck (engineering major, East Tawas, Michigan). They received financial scholarships underwritten by the Sayes family. Laura and Zane were selected by a committee of faculty and administrators, and approved by the executive committee of Olivet’s Alumni Board of Directors, to receive these scholarships.

    *
    Nov 05, 2014 3:0:52Nov 05, 2014 -

    Olivet’s Alumni Association recently honored Ralph Hodge with the 2014 Lay “O” Award and Dr. Edward Heck with the 2014 Ministerial “O Award. Begun in 1957, this is the highest honor that the University gives to its alumni. The awards were presented as part of the 2014 Homecoming and Family Weekend activities.

    “Ralph Hodge has influenced not only hundreds of Tiger athletes and staff members, but also NAIA and CCAC coaches and teams, by his commitment to excellence and Christian character,” said University President John C. Bowling. “We are delighted to honor him for his contributions to Olivet and God’s kingdom, as well as for his many career achievements.”

    For more than 35 seasons, Ralph Hodge '75/'96 M.A.E. has manned the sidelines as the head coach of the Olivet men’s basketball team. Since 1979, he has led 16 Tiger teams to national tournament appearances, the most by any team from Illinois. 

    Coach Hodge is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics’ 700-win club, one of only five other active NAIA coaches who have reached this career achievement. His induction as a member of the 2013-14 NAIA Hall of Fame class — along with Olivet alumnus Ben Zobrist of the Tampa Bay Rays — made him the first Tiger to receive this honor. This distinction recognizes service to intercollegiate athletics and is the highest individual honor that the NAIA bestows. For his achievements and success as a Tiger basketball guard, Olivet honored him by retiring his number 20 in 1975.

    He and his wife, Janice (Barr) '75, are the parents of three adult children, Scott '03, Kurt '06 and Kellie '09, and have one grandson, Paxton.

    “Dr. Ed Heck is one who lives out what it means to be an Olivetian and a minister of the gospel,” said President Bowling. “His service for our Lord in the global Church marks him as a good and faithful servant. This award is one small way to recognize the great impact of his dedicated service.”

    Dr. Edward H. Heck '76 is in his 15th year as the senior pastor of Kankakee First Church of the Nazarene, Kankakee, Illinois. Broadly experienced in the ministry of the local church, he brings to the pulpit a heart sensitized by nearly 35 years of pastoral ministry.

    Prior to his ministry at Kankakee First, Dr. Heck experienced great growth and spiritual vitality in each of his pastor assignments, including Morenci, Michigan; First Church of the Nazarene, Flint, Michigan; Chapman Memorial Church of the Nazarene, Vicksburg, Michigan; and Vandalia, Ohio.

    He travels and speaks frequently for the Nazarene Church. He has served on the Future of the Church Commission for General Assembly, as well as on other boards and committees of the Global Church of the Nazarene. Currently, he is the district secretary of the Chicago Central District and a mission area assistant to the District Superintendent. At Olivet, he is an adjunct professor in the School of Theology and Christian Ministry and also teaches courses for the new interdisciplinary minor in leadership.

    He and his wife of 39 years, Kathy (Welton) '77, have one daughter, Alea, who is a junior at Olivet.
    *
    Nov 05, 2014 11:32:33Nov 05, 2014 -

    Olivet’s Department of Athletics recognized the newest inductees into the Athletics Hall of Fame during the 2014 Homecoming and Family Weekend festivities, Friday, October 31, 2014. This year’s honorees are Lauren (Chessum) McLain, softball; Hilary (Disch) Lochner, women’s basketball; Michelle (McFadden) Schneider, volleyball; Ben Zobrist, baseball; and Coach Ralph Hodge, men’s basketball. An additional honor for Zobrist is the retiring of his Tiger number 12 and baseball jersey.

    “Recognizing these outstanding representatives of Tiger athletics is one of the highlights of every year at Olivet,” said Gary Newsome, director of athletics. “Lauren, Hilary, Michelle, Ben and Coach Hodge continue to uphold our standards of excellence in their careers and post-college activities.”

    Lauren (Chessum) McLain

    During her four-year softball career at Olivet, Lauren (Chessum) McLain '09 dominated in the circle from 2005 to 2008. When the dust settled, she held 10 individual records, seven of which were new program records, including: games started (144), appearances (159), complete games (112), innings pitched (918.4) and strikeouts (967). She was the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) Freshman of the Year in 2005, and the CCAC Pitcher of the Year for 2006, 2007 and 2008. She was named National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) National Player of the Year all four years and was a three-time National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) All-American.

    She is married to Marc McLain '06/'09 M.A.T., an Olivet football alumnus and former assistant coach, and currently resides in Orlando, Florida. She is a teacher at The Master’s Academy and is the head of the student government association.

    Hilary (Disch) Lochner

    A Tiger women’s basketball player from 2004 to 2008, Hilary (Disch) Lochner '08/'11 M.A.T. holds the all-time program scoring record with 1,875 points while averaging just 18 minutes of play per game. She is also ranked first in program history in steals with 398 and seventh in assists with 401. She helped ONU lead the nation in scoring all four seasons and captured two CCAC regular season titles and a tournament championship. She was the CCAC Freshman of the Year in 2005, the CCAC Most Valuable Player in 2008, a four-time CCAC All-Conference honoree and an NCCAA First Team All-American in 2008.

    She is married to Jeremy Lochner '09, an Olivet football alumnus. The couple has a daughter, Charlee Mae, and is expecting their second child in 2015. The couple resides in Upland, Indiana, and she is a first grade teacher at Marion Community Schools.

    Michelle (McFadden) Schneider

    Coming to Olivet as a middle blocker, Michelle (McFadden) Schneider '09 was an important part of Tiger volleyball from 2004 to 2008. After a teammate's injury, she was moved to outside hitter. She definitely made the best of it by becoming a NAIA All-American. She reached that honor two more times, in two different positions. She was the CCAC Freshman of the Year in 2004, CCAC Player of the Year in 2007 and received the Larry Watson Ambassador Award as a senior. She helped lead the Tigers to three CCAC regular season titles and four tournament championships.

    She is married to Seth Schneider, and the couple is expecting their first child. A watercolor illustrator specializing in custom portraits, she owns her own business, The Art of Michelle. She was recently named “Best New Artist” at an art show in Lincoln, Illinois. The couple resides in Minier, Illinois.

    Ben Zobrist

    A three-year (2000 to 2003) letter winner with the Tigers, Ben Zobrist '04 helped lead Olivet to a 120-39-1 record, three CCAC Championships and the programs first two NAIA World Series appearances in 2002 and 2003. He was an NAIA First Team All-American in 2003 and an Honorable Mention in 2002. He still holds the records for the longest hitting streak at 25 games and is second in saves in a season with six. He finished with a career batting average of .376 with 65 runs scored and 65 RBIs. He is the 2003 recipient of the NAIA’s AO Duer Award, awarded annually to one male junior student-athlete who demonstrates character and citizenship. In 2014, he was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame. Drafted by the Houston Astros in 2004, he just finished his ninth season with the Tampa Bay Rays.

    He is married to Julianna, a nationally acclaimed Christian alternative recording artist. The couple has two children and resides near Nashville, Tennessee, in the off-season. In nine seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays, he has amassed 1,016 hits in 3,850 at-bats for a career batting average of .264. He is a two-time MLB All-Star (2009, 2013), played in the 2008 World Series and was a member of Team USA in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

    Ralph Hodge

    Coach Hodge is the first person to be inducted into the ONU Athletics Hall of Fame in two categories. In 1988, he was honored for his career as a player, and this year he is recognized for his coaching career at the helm of the Tigers. He took over the Tiger men’s basketball program in 1979 and currently has a career record of 705-433. He has led the Tigers to 16 NAIA National Tournament appearances, including a final four appearance in 2000. Under Coach Hodge, the Tigers have claimed 12 CCAC regular season titles and five tournaments championships. He has coached 86 CCAC All-Conference players, 24 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar Athletes and 16 NAIA All-Americans. He was a 2002 recipient of the NAIA’s Charles A. Kriegel Award for Sportsmanship and was inducted into the CCAC Hall of Fame in 2002, the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2004 and the NAIA Hall of Fame in 2014.

    He and his wife, Janice (Barr) '75, are the parents of three adult children — Scott '03, Kurt '06 and Kellie '09, all of whom are Olivet graduates — and have one grandson, Paxton. During the 2014 Homecoming festivities, he was also honored with the Lay “O” Award.

    *
    Nov 05, 2014 9:49:23Nov 05, 2014 -

    BOURBONNAIS, Ill. - In 2012, the Olivet Nazarene University women's soccer team captured the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Regular Season title with a perfect record. That team went on to play in the program's first ever NAIA National Championship game. On Tuesday, Nov. 4 the 2014 edition of ONU women's soccer put the finishing touches on another perfect CCAC record, defeating the University of St. Francis (Ill.) 3-1 to improve to 11-0 in conference action.

    The Fighting Saints (8-9, 6-5) put pressure on the Tiger early, scoring in the 38th minute to take an early lead. Liceth Robles snuck a shot right under sophomore keeper Sarah Vrosh (Ada, Mich.) to take a 1-0 lead.

    The goal, however, lit a fire under the Tigers (14-3-1, 11-0). Senior Jessica Higer (Kuna, Idaho) took a pass from sophomore Ellen West (West Chester, Ohio) and lofted a beautiful shot over the Saints keeper to tie things up in the 41st minute.

    The match was fairly even in the opening half, each team with one goal apiece and the shots relatively even with the Tiger slightly outshooting the Saints 13-8. Of the Tigers 13 opening half shots, nine were on goal, while Vrosh finished the half with five saves.

    The deadlock remained until the 71st minute when junior Betsy Hetrick (Plainfield, Ill.) took a beautiful pass from senior Kenzie Hengesh (Canton, Mich.) to put the Tigers up 2-1.  Just six minutes later, Higer added her second goal of the night, off a pass from junior Liz Wahl (Homer Glen, Ill.) to add the finishing touch to the Tiger's perfect season.

    Olivet will enter the CCAC Tournament as the top-seed, receiving a bye in the opening round. The semifinal game will be held at Ward Field at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 12. Final brackets will be announced later today, but it appears that the Tigers will face the winner of the No. 4 seeded Judson University and No. 5 seeded Robert Morris University game.

    *
    Nov 04, 2014 9:22:44Nov 04, 2014 -

    CHICAGO --- Olivet Nazarene University's McKenzie Hengesh (Canton, Mich.)  helped limit the opposition to just one goal in two league games to earn CCAC Defensive Player of the Week recognition for the week ending November 2, it was announced on Tuesday.

    Hengesh, helped Olivet Nazarene clinch the CCAC regular-season title with her strong play on defense in two conference wins, where the Tigers allowed just nine shots on goal combined.  In a 9-1 win over Roosevelt University on Wednesday, the senior was part of a defense that held the Lakers to five shots on goal, while also scoring a pair of goals herself, including the game-winner.  Three days later, on Saturday, Robert Morris was limited to four shots on goal in a 4-0 Tiger victory.

    The No. 18-ranked Tigers have won 12 straight games to put them at a perfect 10-0 in league play and 13-3-1 overall.

    *
    Nov 04, 2014 9:7:13Nov 04, 2014 -

    CHICAGO --- Two goals by Paddy Hoepp (Frankfurt, Germany) and two wins in goal by Chris Taborn (Matteson, Ill.) have earned the Olivet Nazarene University duo Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Men's Soccer Player of the Week honors, it was announced Tuesday morning by the league office.

    Hoepp, the CCAC Offensive Player of the Week, scored a pair of go-ahead goals, including the game-winner, in a 4-3 double-overtime victory against Roosevelt on Tuesday.  The two goals gave the senior midfielder nine on the season, which ranks eighth-best in the conference.

    Taborn garnered the CCAC Defensive Player of the Week accolades after recording four saves in the win over Roosevelt.  The freshman followed that up with his third career shutout in a 2-0 victory over Robert Morris University Saturday night.

    Winners of six games in a row, Olivet Nazarene needs one more victory on Wednesday night against University of St. Francis (Ill.) to claim its first-ever CCAC regular-season title.  The Tigers, 12-5 overall, sit one point behind league leader Judson University, which ended its regular season with an 8-2-1 conference record and 25 points.  Olivet Nazarene is 8-2 with 24 points.

    *
    Nov 03, 2014 2:42:21Nov 03, 2014 -

    Tigers head coach Todd Reid has announced that the baseball program will be hosting a high school camp on December 5-6th. Prospects will need to bring their personal baseball equipment.

    Registration can be completed by mailing the registration form (attached) and sending payment to the ONU Baseball office.

    Questions regarding the camp can be sent to assistant coach Josh Rebandt at jarebandt@olivet.edu

    Camp Letter: http://web.olivet.edu/sports/baseball/games/prospectletter2014.doc

    *
    Nov 03, 2014 9:14:33Nov 03, 2014 -

    Olivet Nazarene University's Department of Athletics recognized the 2014 inductees into the Athletics Hall of Fame during the 2014 Homecoming and Family Weekend festivities, Friday, October 31, 2014. This year's honorees are Lauren (Chessum) McLain, softball; Hilary (Disch) Lochner, women's basketball; Michelle (McFadden) Schneider, volleyball; Ben Zobrist, baseball; Coach Ralph Hodge, men's basketball. An additional honor for Zobrist is the retiring of his Tiger number 12.

    "Recognizing these outstanding representatives of Tiger athletics is one of the highlights of every year at Olivet," said Gary Newsome, director of athletics. "Lauren, Hilary, Michelle, Ben and Coach Hodge continue to uphold our standards of excellence in their careers and post-college activities."

    During her four-year softball career at Olivet, Lauren (Chessum) McLain dominated in the circle from 2005 to 2008. When the dust settled, she held 10 individual records, seven of which were new program records, including: games started (144), appearances (159), complete games (112), innings pitched (918.4) and strikeouts (967). She was the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) Freshman of the Year in 2005, and the CCAC Pitcher of the Year for 2006, 2007 and 2008. She was named National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) National Player of the Year all four years and was a three-time National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) All-American.

    She is married to Mark, an Olivet football alumnus and former assistant coach, and currently resides in Orlando, Florida. She is a teacher at The Master's Academy and is the head of the student government association.

    Hilary (Disch) Lochner, a Tiger women's basketball player from 2004 to 2008, holds the all-time program scoring record with 1,875 points while averaging just 18 minutes of play per game. She is also ranked first in program history in steals with 398 and seventh in assists with 401. She helped ONU lead the nation in scoring all four seasons and captured two CCAC regular season titles and a tournament championship. She was the CCAC Freshman of the Year in 2005, the CCAC Most Valuable Player in 2008, a four-time CCAC All-Conference honoree and an NCCAA First Team All-American in 2008.

    She is married to Jeremy Lochner, an Olivet football alumnus. The couple has a daughter, Charlee Mae, and is expecting their second child in 2015. The couple resides in Upland, Indiana, and she is a first grade teacher at Marion Community Schools.

    Michelle (McFadden) Schneider was an important part of Tiger volleyball from 2004 to 2008. She came to Olivet as a middle blocker, but was moved to outside hitter due to a teammate's injury. She definitely made the best of it by becoming a NAIA All-American. She reached that honor two more times, in two different positions. She was the CCAC Freshman of the Year in 2004, CCAC Player of the Year in 2007 and received the Larry Watson Ambassador Award as a senior. She helped lead the Tigers to three CCAC regular season titles and four tournament championships.

    She is married to Seth Schneider, and the couple is expecting their first child. A watercolor illustrator specializing in custom portraits, she owns her own business, The Art of Michelle. She was recently named "Best New Artist" at an art show in Lincoln, Illinois. The couple resides in Minier, Illinois.

    A three-year (2000 to 2003) letter winner with the Tigers, Ben Zobrist helped lead Olivet to a 120-39-1 record, three CCAC Championships and the programs first two NAIA World Series appearances in 2002 and 2003. He was an NAIA First Team All-American in 2003 and an Honorable Mention in 2002. He still holds the record for the longest hitting streak at 25 games and saves in a season with six. He finished with a career batting average of .376 with 65 runs scored and 65 RBIs. He is the 2003 recipient of the NAIA's AO Duer Award, awarded annually to one male junior student-athlete who demonstrates character and citizenship. In 2014, he was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame. Drafted by the Houston Astros in 2004, he just finished his ninth season with the Tampa Bay Rays.

    He is married to Julianna, a nationally acclaimed Christian alternative recording artist. The couple has two children and resides near Nashville, Tennessee, in the off-season. In nine seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays, he has amassed 1,016 hits in 3,850 at-bats for a career batting average of .264. He is a two-time MLB All-Star (2009, 2013), played in the 2008 World Series and was a member of Team USA in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

    Ralph Hodge is the first person to be inducted into the ONU Athletics Hall of Fame in two categories. In 1988, he was honored for his career as a player, and this year he is recognized for his coaching career at the helm of the Tigers. He took over the Tiger men's basketball program in 1979 and currently has a career record of 705-433. He has led the Tigers to 16 NAIA National Tournament appearances, including a final four appearance in 2000. Under Coach Hodge, the Tigers have claimed 12 CCAC regular season titles and five tournaments championships. He has coached 86 CCAC All-Conference players, 24 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar Athletes and 16 NAIA All-Americans. He was a 2002 recipient of the NAIA's Charles A. Kriegel Award for Sportsmanship and was inducted into the CCAC Hall of Fame in 2002, the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2004 and the NAIA Hall of Fame in 2014. 

    He and his wife, Janice, are the parents of three adult children - Scott, Kurt and Kellie, all of whom are Olivet graduates - and have one grandson, Paxton. During the 2014 Homecoming festivities, he was also honored with the Lay "O" Award.

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    Nov 03, 2014 8:55:30Nov 03, 2014 -

    ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - The Chicagoland Collegiate Athletics Conference women's soccer regular season title is back in Bourbonnais.  The No. 18 Olivet Nazarene University women's soccer team needed to win just one of their last two matches of the season to reclaim to title that eluded them a year ago. On Saturday, Nov. 1 in the cold and blustery winds, the Tigers beat Robert Morris University (Ill.) 4-0 to capture the title and earn an automatic bid to the NAIA National Tournament Opening Round.

    Just a little over 22 minutes into the game, junior Betsy Hetrick (Plainfield, Ill.) took a cross pass from junior Liz Wahl (Homer Glen, Ill.) at the top of the 18 yard box to find the back of the net and put the Tigers on the board first with the eventual game-winner.  The goal was Hetrick's twelfth of the season.

    With seconds left before the half, senior Jessica Higer (Kuna, Idaho) recorded her fifth goal of the season when she snuck one past the Eagles keeper from the top of the 18 yard box.  The Tigers outshot the Eagles 15-5 in the opening period, with sophomore keeper Sarah Vrosh (Ada, Mich.) saving the only shot-on goal.

    Wahl and Hetrick teamed up again early in the second period, this time with Wahl picking up her twelfth goal of the season on a Hetrick assist. Wahl beat the keeper to the left to find an empty net and put the Tigers up 3-0. Freshman Taylre Devine (Chebanse, Ill.) added the fourth and final goal for Olivet when she ripped a shot off of a pass by sophomore Jenna Ayers (Colfax, Ill.) from 25 yards out. The goal was Devine's second of the season.

    The second half of play was much less lopsided, as the Tigers took eight shots to the Eagles four. Vrosh finished the half with three saves before giving the net up to junior keeper Amanda Siciak (Bloomingdale, Ill.) to finish the game out.

    Olivet (13-3-1, 10-0) will play their final regular season game on Tuesday, Nov. 4 on Ward Field. Kick-off is set for 7 p.m. The Tigers will be the top seed entering the CCAC Tournament which begins on Saturday, Nov. 8. Further details will follow.

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