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Forester teams perform well over homecoming weekend

- Article provided by Huntington University

VOLLEYBALL

The HU volleyball team gave the Homecoming crowd what it wanted Friday afternoon by blanking Manchester University, 25–20, 25–17, 27–25, in a neighborly non-conference clash in Platt Arena. Over the last decade, these two squads have gone toe-to-toe just four times with the Foresters recording the win each time.

The sweep is HU’s third of the year but didn’t come without a little flair for the dramatic. Facing a 17–12 deficit in the third set, the Foresters rallied back to a 23–23 deadlock before fighting off two set points to eventually pull off the 27–25 comeback for the three and out.

“A sweep is harder to come by than people may think,” said Coach Herber. “I’m proud of our team for not throwing in the towel in set three and decided to fight back and win the match.”

Today’s win is Huntington’s second of the week as they improve to 11–10 overall.

HU dominated play at the net. Even more impressive than logging a .225 hitting percentage as a team, HU finished with a season-best 10 blocks behind their rookie middle Tya Bynum who posted a career-high 3.5 blocks while three others in Jennings Tacosik, Lindsay Ingenito and Brandy Michie pitched in 1.5 apiece.

Bynum was also HU’s leader offensively with nine kills on 12 swings. Michie collected eight kills while Paige Eakright put down five. Tacosik orchestrated the balanced attack by handing out 28 dimes. Ariene Butler picked up 10 digs to anchor the backline.

“Today was a team effort,” said Herber. “I thought everyone did a great job of being mentally focused when their name was called on.

“These girls have worked extremely hard all season. They now have a weekend off to rest and be refreshed. They’ve earned it.”

Next up for Herber and crew is a home match with Bethel on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

MEN’S SOCCER

Jake Erlandson struck again, this time with just under three minutes left in OT on a penalty kick, to lift the HU men’s soccer team to a 2–1 road win over Bethel University (6–5–1, 3–1) under the lights at Morey Field.

Erlandson is the best of the best and reiterated that again Saturday night with his golden goal. The junior defender entered the evening ranked No. 1 in the NAIA in game-winning goals with five. After tonight, he claims six while his total goals on the season stands at seven.

The W is Huntington’s third straight league win and pushes them at the top of the standings, tied with No. 12 Spring Arbor, with a 3–0–1 Crossroads League record. HU’s overall record is 9–2–2.

On paper, the Foresters dominated the opening 45 minutes, generating ten shots to their hosts’ four, but unfortunately the scoreboard indicated otherwise. Seventeen seconds before intermission, Jose Barquin struck for back netting to send the Pilots into intermission holding a 1–0 advantage.

Bethel’s lead stood until the 80th minute when Caleb Sexton did what he does best, serving a ball into the box on a restart, for the easy tap-in by Luke Unger. Unger has scored four goals this season while Sexton has handed out five dimes.

The deadlock remained through regulation to force the extra period where Noah Fleming got taken down in the box to set the stage for Erlandson’s game-ending heroics.

“We gave tremendous effort tonight,” said Coach Lawson. “We offered exciting attack-minded soccer with a willingness to put in a shift on the defensive side. I’m proud of the boys—this was a well-deserved win!”

Huntington doubled up their hosts in shots taken, 20–10, and owned a slight advantage in corner kicks 5–4. Gabe Greenfield earned the win in frame. The junior keeper finished with five saves on the night.

Lawson’s crew returns to King Stadium on Wednesday to host St. Francis at 4 p.m.

WOMEN’S SOCCER

The Pilots of Bethel University played spoiler to HU’s Homecoming festivities Saturday afternoon at King Stadium by handing the Forester women’s soccer team a 3–2 loss. Both teams entered the day hungry for their first CL win and the battle that ensued made that obvious.

Avery Giguere got her team on the board 22 minutes in when she slotted the keeper on a beautifully through ball from Courtney McKown. The goal is Giguere’s third this fall while the assist is McKown’s second of the year.

Huntington allowed just three shots in the opening 45 minutes to hold their visitors scoreless and head into recess with a 1–0 lead. Unfortunately, the Pilots (4–9, 1–3) came out firing on all cylinders in the second half and their renewed energy paid off within the first 60 seconds when Audrey Lerch found a little space to blast one back netting to knot things up at 1–1.

Bailey O’Dell put the Foresters back on top in the 59th minute when she, in the air, one-touched Ashtyn Patrick’s corner kick for her fourth goal of the year. The Pilots didn’t take long to counter thanks to a shot off the post that rebounded to Kama Hardy who put it away at the 66:17 mark for the Pilots’ second equalizer of the day.

While both squads ratcheted up the intensity, it was Lerch who struck again with just over seven minutes remaining to give Bethel their first lead of the day that also proved permanent.

“We had an off week this week,” said Coach Lewis. “Credit Bethel for playing hard and finishing their opportunities. We had two nice goals but we have to seal up our defense.”

When all the dust settled, HU finished with 18 shots on the afternoon, 11 of frame, while the Pilots collected 12 shots, nine of which were on target. Corner kicks also favored the hosts 6–4.

Maddy Moan posted six saves in the losing effort. HU (3–9, 0–4) is back at it on Wednesday at St. Francis for a match under the lights at 7 p.m.

MEN’S GOLF

Senior Logan De Maa had the best outing of his collegiate career on Saturday at the Mt. Vernon Nazarene Cougar Classic by firing a three-under-par 141 to guide the HU men’s golf team to a seventh place finish.

The Wisconsin native shot even in the opening round before turning in a 69 in the second round to finish with the second lowest score of the day and earn a spot on the All-Tournament Team.

“This was a good bounce back for the men this weekend,” said Coach Sholund. “Logan led the way with a second-place finish. He is really growing as a leader on and off the course right now.

“These guys can all play and they are starting to figure that out. When they can eliminate the big numbers and mistakes around the green, our scores will continue to drop. They know they need to continue focusing on their short game and we have seen improvement over the last couple of weeks.”

David Beck finished with a 159 (79, 80) to claim 24th out of 65 golfers. Nick Whitney carded a 168 (87, 81) while Chance Bressler (87, 87) and Carter Roseboom (87, 88) shot within a stroke of each other to post a 174 and 175 respectively.

In addition to De Maas’ performance, Sholund was also pleased with the play of Beck and Whitney. “David did a great job of responding to a poor outing in Michigan by playing well at Mt. Vernon—that is what college golf is about. Taking responsibility for poor performances and working hard to learn from and improve it. He's maturing as a player right now, I believe he will continue to take those steps.

“Nick had his best college event and has come a long way in his skill development. It is nice to see. As he continues to manage his thoughts and emotions, the outcomes will keep improving.”

Ohio Dominican won the men’s event with a 598 followed by Mt. Vernon Nazarene (605), St. Mary of the Woods (617), Ohio Dominican B (619), Tiffin (639), Bluffton (641), HU (642), Columbus State (655) and Mt. Vernon Nazarene B (660).

“The guys are working well as a team right now and as a coach that is very important,” said Sholund. “We will accomplish more as a team than any other way. We will ride this momentum into Warsaw this week.”

The Foresters are set to compete in the Battle at the Henge hosted by Grace College on Oct. 11–12.

WOMEN’S GOLF

The Foresters women’s golf team landed two players on the All-Tournament Team in Betsy Schroeder and Alexandria Maris at the Mt. Vernon Nazarene Cougar Classic.

Schroeder was a picture of consistency at the 36-hole event by firing an 82 each round to finish with a 164 good for third overall. Maris took fourth by carding a 166 (86-80).

Rachel Blauert turned in a 171 (88, 83). Katie Springer finished with a 201 (108, 93) while Lexy Turpchinoff posted a 215 (105, 110).

As a team, the Foresters got off to a slow start by shooting a 361 in the first round but rallied back to shave off over 20 strokes in their final 18 by putting up a 338 to finish with a 699.

“We had a nice bounce back on Saturday,” said Coach Shound. “We did a good job of lowering our second round scores. Our short game and putting improved which has been our goal.

“I am proud of them for focusing on the right things and continuing to learn and grow. They are doing this as a team and pushing each other to get better. Congratulations to Betsy and Alex as they both placed on the All-Tournament Team. We can build on this momentum heading into Warsaw this week.”

The tournament featured three teams with Mt. Vernon Nazarene capturing the title with a 678 followed by Tiffin (687) and HU (699).

The Foresters are back in action Oct. 11–12 to play in the Battle at the Henge hosted by Grace College.

BOWLING

The HU bowling program was back in action over the weekend for the WHAC season opener at Thunderbowl Lanes in Allen Park, Michigan. The one-day tourney featured four traditional team games and 16 baker games.

Austin Schultz headlined the event by topping the singles portion of the men’s field to garner his first All-Tournament Team honor of the season. The Valparaiso native finished with a score of 853 for a four-game average of 213.25. As a team, HU finished 10th out of 13 teams with 6,102 pins.

“Austin was a real bright spot for the men,” noted Coach Shockey. “This was the best all-around performance I ‘ve seen from Austin. He has worked hard on his game and we are seeing the results. He is now playing parts of the lane he would not have played last season.

“Overall, though, the men continued to struggle with spare shooting and consistency but kept working hard all day to gain as many pins as possible.”

On the women’s side, the 11th-ranked Foresters scored a total of 5,818 pins for the day to finish sixth in the final standings out of 13 teams. Shockey’s crew was led by freshman Kayli Iorio who posted a four-game singles score of 695 for a 173.75 average.

“It was an up and down ride for the ladies,” said Shockey. “We learned a lot this weekend and by the end of the day the ladies started to put things together. I think we’re going to be seeing continued improvement from them the rest of the season.”

Next up for Huntington is the Columbia 300 Western Shootout Oct. 19–20 in Indianapolis.