Tiger Athletics – Fall Semester Recap

This fall 12 of 22 varsity athletic teams competed in conference matches and meets. 

December 1, 2020 Athletics

The following is a republishing of the semester wrap-up from ONU Tiger Athletics. For more athletic news, visit www.onutigers.com.

This fall at Olivet Nazarene University and all around the world has been a little different because of the Coronavirus Pandemic. However, that did not stop the Tigers from competing.  Out of 22 sports offered, 12 sports competed in the Fall.  

Men’s and Women’s Cross Country
Standing as the only team on campus to be able to compete in their conference championship this fall, the Tiger Cross Country teams competed in a reduced schedule.  Kicking off their season as host of the Tiger XC Invitational, new Head Coach, Kyle Rago, got his first glimpse at what his team was capable of. Staying motivated through a difficult season on and off the course, the Tigers concluded the fall semester with second place finishes for both the men and women at the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) Championships, and top-15 rankings in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).

Taking a look at the women’s team, they ran as a true collective this year, finding strong finishes from several of their athletes. The Tigers saw a different top finisher in four out of the five races this season, with Sarai Vargas (JR/Chicago, IL) (JR/Chicago, Ill. ) being the only athlete to cap off two races for the team. However, it was Jaclyn Latocha (JR/Oak Forest, IL) (JR/Oak Forest, Ill.) who ran the fastest time on the season, finishing with a 19:13.8 in the 5K at Midwest XC Challenge, hosted by Taylor University. The Tigers also recorded collegiate personal records from eight athletes. Among them was Jacey Schickel (SO/Lemont, Ill.) (JR/Lemont, Ill.) who came through as the top-finisher for the team at the CCAC Championships.

On the men’s side, six collegiate personal records were tabbed with limited chances to compete. Only getting a chance to run an 8K race two times this season, the Tigers had to rely on a consistent training schedule to keep them in shape. Sophomore sensation, Taylor Vallangeon (SO/Columbus, Ohio), was the one that stood out for the Tigers, running the team’s top time of 25:16.0. On top of that performance, Vallangeon would secure CCAC Runner of the Year after taking first place at the Conference Championships and being recognized as the CCAC Runner of the Week three times. Alongside Vallangeon, Boston Brooks (FR/Bourbonnais, Ill.) stormed onto the scene for the Tigers by winning Freshman Runner of the Year in the CCAC, after a sixth-place finish at Conference.

Men’s and Women’s Soccer
Although its CCAC slate was moved to the spring, the Tigers still competed out on the pitch this fall.  The men’s team won all three of their matches, outscoring their opponents 10-1. The women’s team won their lone match, 2-1, over Indiana Tech. 

The men’s team is led by sophomore Max Jasper (SO/Assen, Netherlands) and senior Daniel Kasaggoma (SR/Kampala, Uganda).  Jasper scored five goals on seven shots on goal, which is a 77% average. Jasper started the season with two goals in his first two matches against Lourdes and Cornerstone and then added another goal against Waldorf.  Kasaggoma has scored three goals and dished out one assist.  Kasaggoma also leads the Tigers with 21 shots.  The Tigers also saw contributions by freshmen Justin Eisenmann (FR/Germany), who assisted on three goals, and Holden Devore (FR/Cedar Rapids, Iowa), who scored two goals off the bench.  In goal, junior college transfer, Pedro Ambrosio (JR/Barueri, Brazil) posted two shutout wins and amassed six saves.  The Tiger men’s soccer team opens their CCAC schedule on Saturday, February 27th traveling to University of St. Francis for a 3:30 p.m. match.

 The women’s team is led by Sara Loichinger (SO/New Lenox, Ill.).  Loichinger scored the lone goal for the Tigers in the win against Indiana Tech.  The Tiger sophomore midfielder led the team with six shots.  Abby Cash (SO/Gardner, Ill.), Katie Knutte (SO/Lemont, Ill.), Camille Cote (FR/Wheaton, Ill.), Sarah Buda (SR/Ortonville, Mich.), and Emily Hulliberger (SR/Holt, Mich.) each notched two shots in the match.  In goal, Jaici Wright (SO/Fortville, Ind.) surrendered one goal and made six saves in the win.  The Tiger women’s soccer team opens their CCAC schedule on Saturday, February 20th, welcoming Indiana University-South Bend at 2 p.m. on Ward Field. 

Men’s and Women’s Tennis
Coach Tudor and the Tiger men’s and women’s tennis teams had a productive fall outside at the Snowbarger Athletic Complex hosting the 2020 Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s (ITA) Regional Tournament.  The women’s doubles team of Narjis Mzibri (SR/Rabat, Morocco) and Nirva Patel (SO/SamaVadodra, Gujrat, India), along with the men’s doubles team of Alex Verdu (JR/Barcelona, Spain) and Jonathan Hentschel (SR/Midland, Mich.), each won their respective doubles tournaments to advance to the ITA National Tournament in Rome, Ga. After dropping their two opening matches at the ITA National Tournament, Mzibri and Patel bounced back and knocked off Catherine Coe and Mariana Ochoa (5-7, 6-1, 1-0 (8)) from Southwestern University in their final match of the tournament.  On the men’s side, Verdu and Hentschel won their opening match (2-6, 6-3, 1-0 (7)) to advance to the quarterfinals, but then dropped their final two matches in the tournament.  The Tigers return to open its spring season on January 28th by traveling to NCAA Division I foe Eastern Illinois University. 

Men’s and Women’s Golf
Coach Bill Johnson and the Tiger men’s and women’s golf teams started their season on a high note this fall. The men’s team earned a first-place finish at the Harbor Shores Intercollegiate and placed third at the ONU Fall Invitational, while the women’s team finished runner-up at both the Harbor Shores Intercollegiate and ONU Fall Invitational. 

The men’s team was led by Kyle Spence (SO/Coralville, Iowa).  Spence finished at the top of the leaderboard at the Harbor Shores Intercollegiate, with a two-round total of 151 (+6). Jordan Evans (FR/Sarasota, Fla. ) finished in third-place at the Harbor Shores Intercollegiate, carding a 153 (+8).  At the ONU Invitational, Spence again led the way for the Tigers, finishing at 149 (+5).  Cole Cox (SO/Peoria, Ill.)’s 153 (+9) was the team’s second-best score, and Evans followed Cox with a 156 (+12).

On the women’s side, the Tigers were led by Margaux Catafort-Silva (JR/Mehun-sur-Yevre, France), who finished tied for second-place at the Harbor Shores Intercollegiate with a 162 (+20).  Kiana Krahulik (JR/Plainfield, Ill. ) and Grace Miller (JR/Decatur, Ill. ) placed in the top-10, shooting a 174 (+32) and a 175 (+33), respectively.  At the ONU Fall Invitational, Catafort-Silva, again led the Tigers and carded her second runner-up finish at +17.  After a final round 75, Grace Miller finished in fourth-place with a score of +18.  Krahulik rounded out the top-10 finishers for the Tigers with a score of +28. 

Men’s and Women’s Basketball
The Tigers men’s and women’s basketball teams opened their respective seasons with non-conference play in October and November. They are both gearing up for their conference seasons, which start in January.  Coach Nick Birkey and the men’s team fell to nationally ranked Indiana Wesleyan University, 117-82, while coach Lauren Glenn and the women’s team won their opening game against Bethel University (Ind.), 114-89. 

The men’s team was led by their 6-10 junior center, Alex Gross (JR/Hope, Ind.).  In 33 minutes against Indiana Wesleyan, Gross scored a career-high 28 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.  Gavin Griggs (SR/Middletown, Ind.) and CJ Smith (SR/Cumming, Ga.) rounded out the double-digit scoring for the Tigers, notching 10 and 13 points, respectively.  Bryson Grasse (JR/Lakeland, Fla.) followed Gross with grabbing five rebounds in the loss.  

The women’s team was led by Maggie Cora (SO/Lizton, Ind.), who earned CCAC Women’s Basketball Player of Week honors for her performance.  In only 16-minutes of play, Cora scored a career-high 22 points on 8-15 shooting.  In another career-high, Caroline Boehne (JR/Hoffman, Ill.) tallied 18 points and 7 rebounds.  Also playing a big part in Tigerball’s high-paced offensive attack was Kennedy Johnson (JR/Romulus, Mich.), who posted a double-double with 10 points and 11 assists.  Johnson also grabbed a career-high eight rebounds in the game.  Zanna Myers (JR/Monticello, Ill.) and Kaitlyn Clark (JR/Orting, Wash.) rounded out the double-digit scorers for the Tigers, with 15 points apiece, in the win against Bethel (Ind.).  

Men’s and Women’s Swim and Dive
Coach Kelly Essler and the Tiger men’s and women’s swim and dive teams kicked off their 2020-21 season at Bethel University (Ind.) on a high note with several standout performances.  On the women’s side, diver Teagon Albert (JR/Gurnee, Ill.) (JR/Grayslake, Ill.) broke the school record in the one and the three-meter dives with scores of 226.05 on the one-meter and 233.17 on the three-meter dive.  Along with Albert, Karla Islas (SR/Mexico City, Mexico) displayed her talent in the pool, winning the 200-yard backstroke and placing second in both the 200 and 500-yard freestyle races.  Islas then bounced back and won the 400-yard medley relay with Julie Vega (FR/Barrington, Ill.), Jordan Enders (SR/Ada, Mich.), and Helina Reyes (JR/Santiago, Dominican Republic).  Julie Vega won the 100 and 200-yard breaststroke and placed second in the 100-yard butterfly. 

On the men’s side, the Tigers also saw some excellent performances. Kyle Letley (NA) won the 100 and 200-yard freestyle races, while Peter Adams (FR/Flushing, Mich.) and Mason Beall (FR/Rochester, Ind.) finished second in the 50-yard and in the 500-yard freestyle, respectively.  Nicholas Klenner (FR/Whiteland, Ind.) dominated the 100 and 200-yard backstroke races, winning both. Connor Harrison (FR/Fishers, Ind.) followed up Klenner’s performance, sweeping the 100 and 200-yard butterfly races.  Rounding out the winners for the Tigers was the team of Adams, Letley, Alejandro Evereinoff-Salinas, and Harrison, who won the 400-yard freestyle relay.  

The Tigers continue their 2020-21 seasons by traveling to Kentwood, Mich. to challenge Division II foe University of Davenport.  Action starts on January 23 at 3 p.m. CST. 

Listed below are the remaining contests for November and December. 
11/30                     @ Taylor University                         MBB                       6 p.m. CST

12/02                     Indiana University-South Bend    M/W BB               5:30 p.m. (Women)/ 7:30 p.m. (Men)

12/05                     @ Trinity Christian College            M/W BB               1 p.m. (Women’s) / 3 p.m. (Men)

12/07                     @  Holy Cross College                     MBB                      6 p.m. CST

12/30                     @ Judson Holiday Classic             WBB                       1 p.m. CST

12/30                     University of Saint Francis            MBB                       6 p.m. CST

12/31                     @ Judson Holiday Classic              WBB                       1 p.m. CST

12/31                     East-West University                      MBB                        6 p.m. CST

*Contact: Sam Viebrock, Sports Information Director, stviebrock@olivet.edu or Brenten Couch, Sports Information GA, bjcouch@olivet.edu, for more information.

Republished 12/1/2020

Student on main campus wearing pink sweater and holding water bottle.

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