About some things we don’t know spit

  Every once in a while, reporters have to ask the hard questions.
  Sure, it’d be nice if every story had a gift-wrapped ending and all queries were easily answered. But journalistic life doesn’t often play out quite so seamlessly.
  So we ask, hoping to get a reasonable response from a believable source. (Political reporters need not bother because no one should be forced to waste so much time waiting in vain.)
  Here are a few things that recently popped into my mind and had nowhere else to go except out of my ear and onto this page:
  • Why do we always have to look at loogies during baseball’s postseason?
  We’ve come to expect expectoration whenever we watch October baseball on TV. Thank God for the networks it’s not a sweeps month, but that doesn’t mean the rest of us wish to be treated to so many spittin’ images.

Volleyball roundup

  • Written by Anthony Nasella

Screeching Eagles overcome jitters to win regional

  Despite Mt. Assisi having a core of four seniors who have played together for three years on the varsity level, coach Karen Van Assen admitted that her Screeching Eagles were feeling some jitters as postseason play began last week.
  Those jitters were immediately evident when Mt. Assisi dropped the first game of last Tuesday’s semifinal match against Momence in the Class 2A Wilmington Regional. But true to their performance throughout the season, the Eagles rebounded to win the final two games and advance to Thursday’s championship match.
  There, Mt. Assisi continued to shine as it beat the host school 26-24, 25-19 to collect its first regional title since 2008. The Eagles (19-18) met Fieldcrest this past Tuesday in an El Paso Sectional semifinal match. Seneca and Watseka squared off in the other semi.
  Considering how things began for her squad in the regional round, Van Assen was simply glad to have Mt. Assisi still standing this week.
  “I think the girls were a little nervous and a little shell-shocked, and they lost the first game [to Momence because of it],” she said. “We had felt that way before. We didn’t play the way we wanted to play.

Moraine athletics wrap

  • Written by Maura Vizza

Good fortune for Cyclones in postseason openers

  The time off was worth it.
  If any doubts about the readiness of Moraine Valley College’s women’s soccer team to handle postseason challenges existed following a layoff of nearly three weeks, the Cyclones dispelled them last Tuesday. After spotting Elgin College an early 1-0 lead, Moraine fought back to grab a 2-1 victory in the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference playoffs and advance into the semifinal round.
  Cyclones keeper Diana Lozano made 10 saves after allowing Elgin to score within the first eight minutes. Leti Diaz brought Moraine even 23 minutes before halftime after receiving a pass from Maria Gabino, then Stephanie Aimone snapped the tie 22 minutes after the break with an unassisted marker.
  Yesinia Galvan, Ines Tepepa, Roxanne Milan and Janelle Walters were also instrumental in keeping the Cyclones’ attack humming, while Patricia Tuxford, Jill Kossifos, Kathleen Gribbon and Samantha Reyes all supplied solid defense in front of Lozano.

Trinity sports report

  • Written by Tim Cronin

Trolls clinch South Division volleyball title

  It’s good to be a Trinity Christian College volleyball player these days because success follows success.
  Last week was no exception: two matches, six sets, and only one of those sets was close. Thus, it was two more victories for the Trolls, giving them 32 on the season and 16 within the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference.
  That latter figure added up to a CCAC South Division title for Trinity and, with it, the top seed for the conference playoffs, which commence on Tuesday. The Trolls, who received a smattering of votes in the most recent NAIA poll, will host an as-yet-undetermined foe.
  Trinity knocked off Purdue University Calumet and Indiana University-South Bend last week, and didn’t have to work up much of a sweat against either opponent. The Trolls blew past the Peregrines 25-13, 25-11, 25-13 and dispatched IUSB with only slightly more difficulty, 26-24, 25-11, 25-13.
  Trinity’s offense often comes from the superior setting of Erynn Schuh — 70 assists last week on 151 winning points — while everyone seems to help out on defense. Jessica Wiltjer’s nine blocks in the Trolls’ 12-block effort against IUSB stands out numerically.
  All that’s left before the playoffs is tonight’s season-ending showdown with the University of St. Francis at home. Then comes the wait to see who will serve as Trinity’s first-round playoff foe.
  Success in the CCAC playoffs would lead to further postseason action in either the NAIA or National Christian College Athletic Association tournament. The Trolls have been at it since Aug. 20, but the season is really just beginning now.

Sports wrap

  • Written by Anthony Nasella

After a solid second-place showing at last Monday’s Marist Regional, Shepard fell short of its goal of qualifying its entire team for this weekend’s Class 3A state meet in Peoria.

  The Astros had to settle for 10th at Saturday’s Hinsdale Central Sectional, but there was one bright spot for Shepard. Senior Josh Maier will race at Detweiller Park as an individual after taking sixth at Hinsdale with a time of 14 minutes, 49 seconds, which was just 13 seconds behind meet champion Zack Smith of Downers Grove North.
  Maier posted the fastest clocking of any area competitor. Closest to him were the Sandburg duo of Tom Brennan (15:02) and Will Becker (15:08), the latter of whom had edged Maier out by two seconds for the regional title.
  “We were in the toughest sectional in the state,” Astros coach Troy Walker said. “Five teams in our sectional were ranked in the top 11 in the state.
  “Our goal was to get in the top 10, and we haven’t been ranked in the top 10 in our sectional. And we ran exceptional and finished 10th.
  “Meanwhile, Josh totally ran out of his mind and had an exceptional day individually. He beat a lot of kids he had never beaten before, including the Sandburg kids. He has a chance to be all-state this year, so we’re hoping he can run well this weekend. Josh was a huge high point for us.”
  Walker said Maier’s performance was right on pace with projections.