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This Week in Cougar Athletics August 27 - September 2, 2018

Saint Xavier men's and women's golf open the 2018-19 schedule with the CCAC Cup, while four other teams compete throughout the week.

Weekly Schedule

  • Monday - Men's & Women's Golf at CCAC Cup, Ravisloe CC • First Round
  • Tuesday - Men's & Women's Golf at CCAC Cup, Ravisloe CC • Final Round
  • Tuesday - Volleyball AWAY at Davenport (Mich.) • 6 pm
  • Wednesday - Women's Soccer AWAY at Bethel (Ind.) • 6 pm
  • Friday - Men's Soccer HOME vs. Campbellsville (Ky.) • 7 pm
  • Saturday - Women's Soccer HOME vs. Asbury (Ky.) • 12 pm
  • Saturday - Football AWAY at Illinois State • 6:30 pm
Senior Jeremiah Guernsey leads Saint Xavier after the first round of the CCAC Cup, with a score of 74 (+4), four strokes back of the leader entering the final round on Tuesday.
Freshman Kristen Donnelly posted the low round for the Cougars on Monday, shooting 97 (+27), and is 16th entering the final round on Tuesday.

Volleyball

SXU Volleyball is off to a 3-1 start this season, after going 3-for-3 at the SXU-TCC Crossover last weekend. The Cougars swept #16 Cornerstone (Mich.), and knocked off Mount Mercy (Iowa) and Marian (Ind.) in four sets.

Freshman setter Cassidy Wyman (New Lenox, Ill. / Lincoln-Way Central HS) ranks 3rd in the CCAC, and 41st in the NAIA, with an average of 9.3 assists per set. Wyman finished with 45 assists in the four-set win over Marian last Saturday.

As a team, the Cougars average 19.9 digs per set, the 9th-best average in the NAIA. Sophomore Grace Murphy (Tinley Park, Ill. / Illinois-Chicago) leads the way, recording 4.3 digs per set, with a high of 23 coming in Friday's win over Mount Mercy (Iowa).

Rory Manion (Elmhurst, Ill. / Florida Atlantic) & Kate Bontrager (Valparaiso, Ind. / Indianapolis [Ind.]) are tied for the team lead in kills, recording 50 each. With four total blocks and three aces, Manion is the team leader with 55.5 points on the season.

The Cougars hold a 5-4 lead in the all-time series with Davenport (Mich.). Tuesday night will be the first meeting between the two sides since the Panthers moved to the NCAA Division II level.

Men's Soccer

The Cougars dropped their first road match of the season on Friday, falling to Lindenwood-Belleville, 3-1.

Sophomore Matt Kulpinski (Tinley Park, Ill. / Andrew HS) scored the first goal of the season for Saint Xavier, coming through in the 65th minute at Lindenwood-Belleville on Friday. The goal was also the first of Kulpinski's SXU career.

Freshman Shane Badertscher (Joliet, Ill. / Plainfield Central HS) is tied for 5th in the CCAC (40th in the NAIA) with seven saves this season.

Senior Danny Lopez (Chicago, Ill. / Kennedy HS) leads the team with two shots on goal this season, both coming in the season opener against #16 Rio Grande (Ohio).

The Cougars host Campbellsville (Ky.) at Deaton Field on Friday. The Tigers finished last season with a 14-5-2 record last season, reaching the semifinals of the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) National Championship.

Women's Soccer

The Cougars opened the 2018 season on Sunday afternoon, taking an early lead but ultimately falling to Bethany (Kan.) 2-1.

Junior Alyssa Gilman (Oak Forest, Ill. / Oak Forest HS) scored her fourth career goal in the 6th minute against Bethany (Kan.) on Sunday. With the goal, Gilman is tied for 3rd among the CCAC's top goalscorers.

In her first collegiate match, redshirt freshman Shelby Bishop (Plainfield, Ill. / Plainfield South HS) fired a team-leading two shots, with one shot on goal.

Junior goalkeeper Ashley Smialek (Chicago, Ill. / Westminster [Pa.]) currently ranks 5th in the CCAC in goals-against average, and 6th in saves.

The Cougars face off against Bethel (Ind.) on Wednesday night. A 4-win team a year ago, the Pilots are 2-0 to start the season and are coming off a 6-1 win over Holy Cross.

SXU returns home on Saturday afternoon, when they match up with Asbury (Ky.) for the first time in program history. The Eagles went 14-5-1 last season, winning the River States Conference tournament and qualifying for the NAIA Women's Soccer National Championship.

Football

Opening the new season with a tough 52-7 road loss at #15 Marian (Ind.), the Cougars face another challenge this week, when they travel to face NCAA FCS opponent Illinois State.

Junior wideout Harold Davis (Joliet, Ill. / Joliet Catholic) had the team's best performance on the offensive side of the ball, collecting 200 all-purpose yards on Saturday night, 4th-most in the MSFA and 7th in the NAIA. Davis had eight catches for 99 yards, and 79 additional yards on three kick returns.

Junior quarterback Alex Martinez (Burbank, Ill. / St. Laurence HS) ranks 4th in the MSFA with 171 passing yards.

Sophomore linebacker Josh Hettiger (Oak Lawn, Ill. / Richards HS) led the team with eight tackles against the Knights. His 2.5 tackles for loss were his second-highest total in his SXU career, just one shy of matching his career high.

The Cougars now set their sights on Illinois State this weekend, the fifth game against an NCAA Division I opponent in program history. SXU previously faced the Redbirds in 2004, falling on the road 44-14.

Credits:

SXU Athletics, Mark Korosa

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