Cougars to honor Hallberg
The 2013-14 women’s basketball season hasn’t even begun, but already St. Xavier University is receiving an honor.
Specifically, it’s longtime Cougars coach Bob Hallberg being feted. At a special dedication ceremony scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 13, Hallberg will be recognized for his full body of work at SXU when the school officially renames the Shannon Center’s basketball floor “Bob Hallberg Court.”
The ceremony will precede that night’s 7 p.m. game between the Cougars and Trinity International University.
Hallberg, who has also served as SXU’s athletics director since 2001, is best known for leading the school’s women’s basketball program since its inception in 1999. However, he was also at the university in the early 1970s, when he coached the men’s team and had an earlier six-year stint as AD.
Hallberg’s men’s basketball squads won 127 games and captured two conference titles, but his women’s teams have eclipsed those numbers. The female Cougars reached 100 victories in just four years, have won at least 20 games in every year of the program’s existence and qualified for the NAIA national tournament in each of the past 11 seasons. SXU’s overall winning percentage under Hallberg is .764 (327-101).
Prior to his return to SXU, Hallberg coached the men’s basketball teams at Chicago State University and the University of Illinois-Chicago to some of their greatest successes. He’ll enter 2013-14 with 905 career triumphs at all levels of competition, including high school.
Hallberg, an Oak Lawn resident, was inducted into the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame in September 2012.
MEN’S CROSS COUNTRY
Brian Corcoran, who was named the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Men’s Cross Country Runner of the Week following his 12th-place finish at the NAIA Pre-Nationals Invitational on Oct. 12 in Lawrence, Kan., continued to excel at last Saturday’s Great Lakes Invitational.
Competing with 386 other runners at Riverside Park in Grand Rapids, Mich., the senior posted a time of 25 minutes, 10.71 seconds for 8K, which was good enough to land him in the No. 8 position individually. Corcoran, who was seventh for team scoring purposes, was less than 25 seconds behind meet winner Mizael Carrera of Robert Morris University.
The CCAC was also a big influence in the team standings, as defending national champion University of St. Francis (66 points) and Olivet Nazarene University (69) ran 1-2 in a field of 37 complete squads. SXU (147 points) took fifth.
All four of the Cougars’ remaining scorers finished in the top 50. Sophomore Eric Hancock was the second SXU athlete down the chute, as he placed 18th in 25:39.85. Seniors Chris Shellenberger (36th in 26:04.53), Brian Meyer (43rd, 26:09.98) and Chris Sarna (50th, 26:17.38) rounded out the Cougars’ list of point producers.
Also representing SXU at the Aquinas College-hosted event were senior Shane Kenney (58th, 26:28.33) and freshman Abel Hernandez (77th, 26:41.51).
Next up for the Cougars is the CCAC meet on Nov. 9 at Sunset Hills Farm in Valparaiso, Ind.
WOMEN’S CROSS COUNTRY
Junior Leslie Rosario’s 77th-place showing topped the Cougars at last Saturday’s Great Lakes Invitational in Grand Rapids. Rosario completed the 5K race in 19:27.76 and was 70th in regard to team scoring.
SXU totaled 465 points and finished 16th among 33 full squads.
Jordan Wallace wound up four spots behind Rosario in 81st place after clocking a 19:33.35, but no other Cougar could crack the top 100. Anna Galvez was 98th scoring-wise, but occupied the 120th position overall after covering the distance in 20:01.37.
SXU’s other scorers were Nicole Watkins (132nd in 20:07.53) and Dana Martin (151st, 20:20.32). Ann Kolker (70th, 20:35.68) and Mercedes Mancha (202, 20:53.39) also ran for the Cougars, while Ali Proffitt (204th, 20:56.97) and Courtney Correa (306th, 23:24.82) competed as unattached runners.
Like the men, SXU’s women will take part in the CCAC meet on Nov. 9 in Valparaiso, Ind.
A tie is supposed to be akin to kissing one’s sister.
Without this particular standoff, though, the Cougars might have had to kiss their conference-title hopes goodbye.
Last Tuesday night’s 1-1 double-overtime draw between SXU and Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee meant the latter couldn’t add on to its slim lead in the CCAC. The season’s first tie kept the Cougars (6-7-1, 6-2-1) firmly bound to their contender status as they remained within one of the league-leading Wolves (6-1-2) in the standings.
Olivet Nazarene (6-2-0) also is engaged in the CCAC championship hunt.
Junior defender Rene Leon supplied SXU’s lone goal against Stritch in the 71st minute after a ball rebounded off Wolves keeper Jim Jones. Leon’s tally countered one by Stritch sophomore midfielder Ignacio Baeza, who notched an unassisted marker 10 minutes before that.
Baeza’s shot was the only one Cougars netminder Kyle Held couldn’t stop in a six-save performance at the Uihlein Soccer Complex. SXU and the Wolves then played to a scoreless stalemate through 20 more minutes of regulation, plus a pair of 10-minute overtime periods. Both teams put two shots on target during the second extra session.
The Cougars met Illinois Institute of Technology in a nonconference encounter this past Wednesday at Stuart Field in Chicago. Matches versus Roosevelt and Robert Morris universities still remain on SXU’s conference docket.
Junior midfielder Brandon Simoes was named the CCAC Men’s Soccer Offensive Player of the Week for the week ending Oct. 19.
The honor, the second awarded to a Cougar this season, came after Simoes accounted for four of SXU’s five goals over a two-match span. The output doubled Simoes’ goal production for the year, and he has also dished out four assists thus far for a total of 20 points.
The Cougars beat Calumet College of St. Joseph 2-1 on Simoes’ match-winning tally, then rode his hat trick to a 3-1 decision over Trinity Christian College. The twin wins gave SXU five in a six-match stretch and kept it firmly in the CCAC title race.
The Cougars’ other award recipient this fall was sophomore forward Marco Gutierrez, who was chosen as the CCAC’s top offensive performer two weeks before Simoes.
Another scoring drought by the Cougars ruined a strong goaltending effort from junior Danielle Koncius (Stagg), as Cardinal Stritch squeezed past SXU 1-0 in a CCAC match last Tuesday in Milwaukee.
Koncius turned aside six Wolves shots, with only sophomore midfielder Jordan Lott able to solve her in the 42nd minute. Freshman midfielder Anna Stadler assisted on the scoring play.
The shutout was the fourth suffered by the Cougars (4-10-1, 2-7) during the month of October. Interestingly, SXU outshot Stritch here and forced the Wolves’ keeper to make eight saves. The Cougars unleashed a total of 14 shots.
SXU returned to action this past Tuesday against Illinois Institute of Technology at Stuart Field in Chicago.
More hitting errors (29) than kills (19) spelled disaster for the Cougars last Tuesday night in Milwaukee, as they dropped a 25-13, 25-13, 25-17 CCAC verdict to host Cardinal Stritch.
Sophomore right-side hitter Megan Falsey put down seven of SXU’s kills, while sophomore middle blocker Heidi Gregerson registered four total blocks, including two solos. Also contributing for the Cougars were junior outside hitter Jessica Galotta (eight digs), junior setter Kelli Shaffer (14 assists, seven digs, three kills, two service aces) and junior libero Dominique Aramburu (seven digs).
Gregerson’s total of 27 kills and 10 blocks — the latter of which included four solo efforts — helped the Cougars earn a two-match split on Friday, the first day of the CCAC Crossover Tournament in Arlington Heights. Robert Morris University was the designated host for the event.
SXU’s victory came against Calumet College of St. Joseph in its second match. The 25-22, 22-25, 15-25, 25-21, 15-11 final featured Gregerson putting down 13 kills and junior middle hitter Marie Hackert complementing her effort with a dozen more.
Other statistical notables for the Cougars in the win were Galotta (seven kills, 12 digs, two service aces), Shaffer (33 assists, four kills, six digs) and Aramburu (13 digs).
The University of St. Francis prevailed over SXU 20-25, 25-19, 25-20, 25-23 in the day’s opening encounter. Gregerson’s 14 kills topped the Cougars, and she also registered five blocks, two of them solos.
Hackert added 11 kills and a solo block, while Falsey gave SXU a third individual with double-digit kills by recording 10. Shaffer (38 assists, 10 digs, two aces) and Aramburu (19 digs, three aces) also made their presences felt on the Cougars’ behalf.
SXU ended its stay in the two-day CCAC Crossover Tournament by falling 25-21, 25-17, 25-20 to Indiana University-South Bend on Saturday.
Gregerson and Falsey both delivered 10 kills for the Cougars (12-13, 5-8) in the loss, while Hackert chipped in five kills and three total blocks. Also heard from were Shaffer (27 assists, eight digs, two kills), Armaburu (17 digs), Galotta (four kills, 11 digs) and freshman defensive specialist Erica Harris (10 digs).
The Cougars resumed conference play this past Tuesday, when they hosted Trinity International University.