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Saint Xavier's Krolicki earns 2nd conference player of year award

  • Written by Jason Maholy

 

After finishing with a perfect record in conference play and winning  the CCAC Tournament, Saint Xavier headlined the All-CCAC Women's Basketball Team with a league-high four honorees on the 2017-18 All-CCAC Team.

Topping the list was senior guard Kara Krolicki, who for the second straight season was named the CCAC's Player of the Year. Krolicki led the conference in scoring by averaging 20 points per game, and was the league leader in steals per game with 3.3.

The reigning NAIA Player of the Year, Krolicki becomes the first back-to-back CCAC Player of the Year since the Cougar's Morgan Stuut accomplished the feat in 2014 and 2015.

Joining Krolicki on the All-CCAC First Team is senior forward Brittany Collins. A second-team selection last season, Collins finished the regular season ranked second in rebounding with 11.4 per game and third in field goal percentage (.617). She was also the NAIA national leader in blocked shots (3.6).

Chanel Fanter and Maddie Welter, a pair of sophomores were namedAll-CCAC Honorable Mentions. Fanter and Welter both started all 31 games of the regular season, and averaged 13.9 and 13.4 points, respectively.

Fanter blocked 71 shots, sixth most in Saint Xavier history, and recorded the program's fourth-ever triple-double when she totaled 17 points, 10 assists, and 10 blocks in a win at Roosevelt on Feb. 7.

Welter hit a team-high 108 3-pointers made, marking the sixth time a Cougar player has recorded over 100 treys in a single season. The sophomore joins Krolicki as the only two players in program history to reach triple digits in multiple seasons.

The honors for Saint Xavier don't end with the players, as Cougar head coach Bob Hallberg was named the CCAC Coach of the Year. It is the second time Hallberg has earned the award since the CCAC's move to a single NAIA division in 2012-13.

The Cougars kick off the postseason today, Thursday, March 8,against Tabor (Kansas) in the first round of the NAIA Division II Women's National Basketball Tournament. Saint Xavier finished the regular season 29-2, 20-0 in the CCAC, and entered their 16th consecutive trip to the national tournament as one of the field's four No. 1 seeds.

Every game in the first three rounds of the tournament will be streamed live online, through the NAIA Network. The national semifinals and championship game will air exclusively on ESPN3.

Area athletes star for SXU
Four are high school products are making an impact for the Saint Xaviermen's volleyball team, and helped the Cougars to a four-set win up the road last week at Illinois Tech.

The Cougars topped the Scarlet Hawks 25-15, 25-17, 23-25, 25-21 on Friday, March 2. Sophomore setter Aaron Kummer (Marist) tallied 39 assists, while libero Brandon McGinnis (Evergreen Park) picking up a match-high 16 assists.

Mike Burcl (Marist) was serving and recorded an ace during a three-serve series when the Cougars closed out the opening set, and Thomas Matonis (Stagg) recorded a key block during the second set.

Moraine Valley Community College’s intercollegiate sports program began in 1976. Forty-two years later, the most influential athletes, coaches and supporters in the school's history have been honored for their contributions as members of the first class of inductees into the Athletics Hall of Fame.

The inaugural inductees are Douglas C. Gehrke, Kay Schneegas, Rosie Geraci, LaVetta Mitchell and Ephraim Eaddy, who all attended the Feb. 15 ceremony with their friends and family.

Gehrke, who came to Moraine as an economics instructor in 1972, was the first athletic director and first men’s basketball coach. The 1972 Cyclones played its first game with players Gehrke found shooting hoops in the gym.

Schneegas was a physical education instructor who taught swimming, archery, cross country skiing, and golf. She came to Moraine in 1970, and when the athletics program started in 1976 became the women’s athletic coordinator. In that role she supervised and coached women’s sports including softball, volleyball and basketball.

Geraci was a standout player and head coach who played softball and volleyball for the Cyclones from 1982 to 1984. She was an All-NJCAA Region IV first team member and All-Conference team in volleyball, and an All-Conference first team selection in softball. She received the Female Athlete of the Year Award and the Douglas C. Gehrke Award for her service and dedication to athletics.

From 1994 to 2000, Geraci was head coach of Moraine Valley softball, leading the team to four conference championships including one undefeated season. Each of those years, she was named Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference Coach of the Year and led her team to the region final four.

Mitchell was on the women’s basketball team that won two straight conference championships and NJCAA Region IV championships in 1988 and 1989, and competed at the national tournament both seasons. She earned a number of honors during her career including an All-American honorable mention.

When Mitchell left Moraine Valley, she held the career scoring record (1,051 points) that was broken during the 2016-17 season. She also held the records for most blocks in a career (379) and game (nine), and still holds the Cyclone record for most career steals (271) is tied for most steals in a season (137). She is the No. 3 rebounder (712) in program history. In the early 2000s, she returned as assistant coach for the women’s basketball team.

Eaddy played on the men’s basketball team from 1996 to 1998 and helped the team to a conference championship and the NJCAA Region IV championship game in 1996. He earned NJCAA Division II All-American honorable mention and nods to the All-Conference, All-NJCAA Region IV first-team and All-Tournament team and was Skyway Conference Player of the Year. He was a two-time Moraine Valley MVP who left as the college’s all-time assist leader (578) and third in career scoring (1,074). Eaddy holds the single-game records for assists (18) and steals (12). He returned to Moraine Valley in the early 2000s as an assistant coach for the men’s basketball team.