Cross country static at conference championshipsThe women’s and men’s cross country teams turned in team performances identical to those of last year last weekend at the Midwest Conference Championships in Grinnell, Iowa. The women turned in their third straight second-place performance while the men maintained their stranglehold atop the lower half of the conference at sixth.
Different from last year, however, were the compositions of team scores. Joy Manweiler headed up the women’s squad with a 10th-place finish, 15 spots up from her finish of last year. Colleen Detjens followed in 11th.
Every male finisher improved on his placement of last year. Phil Keith and David Quinlan led the squad with 20th and 21st place finishes, respectively.
The team heads to NCAA Division III Midwest Regional Championships this weekend to round out their season.
Soccer improves seed
Although they already knew their season would continue into the November postseason, the men’s soccer team improved its seeding to the No. 2 position. This will be a new postseason outlook to the Vikings, who have come in fourth each of the past two years and lost to St. Norbert in the semifinals both times.
With an exciting 90th-minute goal from sophomore Joe Sluhoski, Lawrence downed Beloit 1-0 last Saturday. Matt Wolin recorded 4 saves in his fourth shutout of the year. The 3 points from the win jettisoned the team into second place in the final standings.
After a wacky season of incongruence in the Midwest Conference, the Vikes will end up playing Ripon in the semifinals of the MWC tournament held this weekend at St. Norbert College. LU stomped the Red Hawks 4-0 at home earlier this year despite not playing their best ball. But with the dynamics of the conference this year, the squad will have to be at their best in order to make it to their first ever playoff title match.
If they win, Lawrence will play the winner of the St. Norbert-Lake Forest match. The Vikes played at 1:30 p.m. Friday, with the potential final falling at noon on Saturday. Both games take place at the Minahan Sports Complex in De Pere.
Swimming season under way
The men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams began their season Saturday at home … in a way. The St. Norbert College Sprint Meet was hosted at LU’s own Boldt Natatorium in the Buchanan Kiewit Recreation Center.
The men’s second-place finish featured three winning relay teams as well as two individual crowns from Adam Kolb and one each from Steve Vander Naalt and Patrick McCrory. McCrory was among a handful of freshmen to make an important impact.
Heather Prochnow was the women’s top individual finisher, taking second in the 50-yard butterfly. The women’s team finished fourth out of seven.
Both teams are at UW-River Falls this weekend.
Volleyball falls to Ripon in 5-set battle for tourney berth
The Vikings headed to Ripon on Oct. 26 with the last spot in the postseason conference tournament up for grabs. Lawrence held the 2-1 lead after three hard fought games. The fourth game picked up the match’s intensity even more as Ripon went on to force a fifth with a narrow 33-31 decision. The Red Hawks’ momentum carried into the deciding game as they went on to sink the Vikings 15-9. The Ripon comeback put an end to Lawrence’s conference campaign, despite stellar performances by several Vikings. Kelly Mulcahy and Emily Stengl lead a list of four Vikings in double digits for kills, piling on 19 each.
Over the weekend, the Vikings dropped three matches to UW-Lacrosse, UW-Stevens Point and St. Scholastica before bouncing back to defeat Ripon in a non-conference encounter. Lawrence ends their conference season with a 3-6 record, one aggravating win short of a tournament appearance.
The hockey season began last weekend in a less-than-smooth manner. Playing at home, the Vikes sloppily dropped their season opener 3-1 to UW-Stout Oct. 28. Without many quality scoring chances, the team only redeemed themselves with a beautiful goal in the final five seconds of the third period.
The freshman connection of Mitch Sabo to Nicke Jennette recorded the tally off a picturesque two-on-one rush. Sophomore Neil Wallace earned the second assist.
The Vikings were then taken apart by No. 13-ranked UW-River Falls on Saturday in front of nearly 1,000 spectators. Despite the lopsided 8-0 outcome, LU is unlikely to see such a high-caliber opponent for the remainder of the season.
After a midweek exhibition bout with the Toronto Rattlers College Touring Team, the Vikes travel to the south shore of Lake Superior next weekend to take on Northland College in MCHA conference action. The Vikings hope to rebound with two victories over the Lumberjacks, who placed last in the conference last year.