SXU sophomore Kaleigh Ritter, shown in a match earlier this year, had 63 assists in a five-set loss to Cornerstone in the NAIA national tournament. Photo by Jeff Vorva
Area Sports Roundup: College of DuPage repeats as national football champ
By Jeff Vorva
The College of DuPage, the only junior college in Illinois with a football program, won its second straight National Junior College Athletic Association national championship with a 14-12 victory over North Dakota State College of Science in Glen Ellyn.
Former Richards’ standout Marquel Porter caught a 25-yard pass for the first TD of the game for the Chaparrals (9-2).
Other area players on the roster are wide receiver Myles McKatherine (St. Rita), defensive back Ja’Shawn Braswell (Morton), offensive lineman Damaurius Stewart (St. Laurence), wide receiver Gavin Butler (Oak Lawn), kicker/punter Marko Dubak (Lyons) and defensive lineman Jeremiah Swanigan (Morton).
The Saint Xavier women’s volleyball team could not turn the corner on Cornerstone, which knocked the Cougars out of the national tournament in a wild five-set match at the NAIA Women’s Volleyball National Championship Tournament.
SXU’s season ended with a 25-21, 25-21, 23-25, 21-25, 15-12 heartbreaking loss to the Michigan school in pool play Dec. 1 at Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa.
Sophomore setter Kaleigh Ritter set a career-high with 63 assists and posted a season-best 19 digs. It’s the second-most assists in program history in the rally scoring era. Former standout Jaclyn Major had 68 assists in a five-set victory against Trinity International University on Nov. 2, 2010.
Junior middle blocker Courtney Hunter set a career high with 18 kills on a .394 attack percentage.
It was the Cougars’ third trip to Sioux City in the last six seasons.
TCC soccer stopped in semis
Trinity Christian College’s women’s soccer team made it to the semifinals of the National Christian Collegiate Athletic Association for the second straight year, but dropped a 6-1 decision to Grace (Indiana) Friday in Kissimmee, Florida.
The Trolls finished 13-6-5 and were led Kara Amidon’s goal and Grace Wieneke’s assist.
Earlier in the week in pool play, the Trolls beat Bob Jones (South Carolina) 6-2 as 2021
Last year’s NCCAA National Player of the Year, Brianna Uhl led the way for the Trolls, scoring her fourth career hat trick and first of the season in the win. Wieneke pitched in with her fifth and sixth goals of the season, while Litzy Corona put away her 17th goal of the year.
They followed it up with a 1-1 draw against Oakland City (Indiana), with Uhl scoring the lone goal.
Milazzo wins Red Stars award
Orland Park’s Tatumn Milazzo was named the Chicago Red Stars’ Defender of the Year, the team announced last week.
Mallory Pugh was named the team’s Most Valuable Player.
Amanda Kowalski was named Rookie of the Year, Zoe Morse was named Most Improved and Humanitarian of the Year and Danny Colaprico won the Chicago Grit award.
Red Stars leaving
Veterans Colaprico, Morgan Gautrat and Rachel Hill informed the team they will not re-sign and will become free agents.
Colaprico has been with the team since 2015 and Gautrat in 2017. Hill played in 102 regular-season games with the Red Stars.
Red Stars leaving?
Multiple reports say Red Stars owner Arnim Whisler will be selling the team, months after players and members of the public demanded it after he reportedly turning a blind eye to player abuse from then-coach Rory Dames.
Whistler was removed by the team as chairman in October and recently hired Inner Circle Sports to broker a deal.
Inner Circle is also the lead group in the National Woman’s Soccer League’s expansion effort for the 2024 season, and there is speculation a buyer may want to move the Red Stars out of the Chicago area.
A Sitch in time
Julianne Sitch, who was an assistant coach for the Red Stars in 2022, left during the season to take a job as head coach with the University of Chicago men’s soccer team.
It turned out to be a good move, and she helped the Maroons win the NCAA Division III national championship. Chicago defeated Williams College, 2-0, in Salem, Virginia. Sitch is the first woman to coach a men’s soccer team to a national title.
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