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On Campus Report

Tuesday, November 16, 2010  
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By Dan Chamness
For The Journal-Standard
Posted Nov 16, 2010 @ 11:16 PM
Last update Nov 16, 2010 @ 11:20 PM


-- — This was the Elmhurst College volleyball team’s best year in five years, but Aquin grad Erin Thill and her teammates believe the next two years will be even better.
"We were very happy with the entire performance this year,” said Thill, a sophomore. "The end was very disappointing. We are only losing one senior and we have only one junior on the team. The camaraderie among all of us is very good. I am very excited about the next couple of years.”
In the final match of the year, Elmhurst was dumped by Carthage College 3-0 in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin Tournament. Thill missed a double-double by only one dig, as she finished with 16 assists and nine digs.
Thill, who played in every match this season, finished the year with 589 assists, second on her team. She also had 257 digs, 51 kills and 20 aces. The 5-foot-5 setter didn’t have many opportunities to pound down kills, but she finished with a .411 hitting percentage.
"On the court, Erin had the communication skills and the energy to keep us going,” EC head coach Julie Hall said. "She improved a great deal over last year and did an awesome job for us. She needs to keep doing what she is doing and keep getting better.”
The North Central College football team has clinched the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin championship and the NCAA Division III bid that goes with that title. Dakota grad Matt Wenger led the NCC defense in total tackles (13), solo tackles (three) and assisted tackles (10) in the team’s most recent win, a 28-6 triumph over Wheaton College. He had two tackles for four yards of loss.
North Central freshman Nick Dace, a Freeport grad, kicked four extra points in the contest. North Central is 9-0 overall and 6-0 in the CCIW with one game to play. Wheaton College slipped to 8-1 overall and 5-1 in the CCIW. Going into the contest, North Central was ranked fifth in the NCAA Division III poll posted by D3Football.com. Wheaton was ranked 18th.
The Loras College football team improved to 4-5 overall and 3-4 in the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference with a 37-12 victory over Cornell College. Galena grads Gavin Kaiser and Matt Hillard, both Loras skill players, scored three touchdowns between them. Hillard finished with 62 rushing yards on 16 carries. Kaiser racked up 107 all-purpose yards with two kickoff returns for 44 yards, three catches for 33 yards and one carry for 30 yards.
Kaiser scored his lone touchdown on a 15-yard catch from Vaughn Gesing with seven seconds left in the first half. The TD gave Loras a 27-6 lead. Hillard, a freshman running back, scored his first touchdown on a two-yard run with 10:42 to play in the first half to give Loras a 21-6 lead. With 3:41 to play in the contest, Hillard rushed the final yard of a 10-play, 48-yard drive. That touchdown increased Loras’ advantage to 37-12.
The Saint Xavier University football team will have the weekend off, and all it can do is wait by the phone. SXU will soon find out who it will play in the first round of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics playoffs. In its final win of the regular season, SXU, ranked third in the NAIA poll, defeated the University of St. Francis 30-6. Former Freeport football player Wes Gastel had four carries four 20 yards and four catches for 17 yards. Saint Xavier is 11-0 overall and 7-0 in the Mid-States Football Association-Mideast League.
Orangeville grad Steve Snider had six tackles as the Eureka College football team lost a 62-27 decision to Greenville College. Snider had four solo tackles. Eureka, which has lost two consecutive games, slipped to 1-8 overall and 1-5 in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference.
The University of Texas-San Antonio volleyball team, which has Freeport grad Laura Witt on its roster, defeated Stephen F. Austin State University 3-1 last week. Witt had eight assists and two digs in the contest. The UTSA Roadrunners have won 12 consecutive matches to improve their record to 19-9 overall and 13-1 in the Southland Conference-West Division. They currently lead the SLC-West. Texas State University is second in the league with a 10-4 mark. The University of Central Arkansas leads the SLC-East at 13-1.
Milwaukee School of Engineering volleyball player Kayla Edler, a Forreston grad, started every match this season and finished with 185 kills, 183 digs, 42 assists, 32 aces and 27 blocks (four solos). MSOE finished with an 11-20 mark. The team was 4-8 in the Northern Athletics Conference.
Pearl City grad Nicole Lawler and Freeport grad Courtney Pehl recently finished their volleyball season at Rockford College. Lawler led the team in kills (206) and service aces (34), while Pehl led the squad in assists (608). Lawler also had 277 digs, 21 assists and 19 blocks (two solo). Pehl finished with 174 digs, 60 kills, 31 aces and 13 blocks (three solos). Rockford ended the season with a record of 7-17 overall and 6-6 in the Northern Athletics Conference.
Forreston graduate Jake Coffman, a senior with the Northern Illinois University football team, had two tackles (one solo) as the Huskies thumped the University of Toledo 65-30. With the win, the Huskies took sole possession of first place in the Mid-American Conference-West. NIU has won seven straight games and is 8-2 overall and 6-0 in the MAC-West.

This story appeared at http://www.journalstandard.com/sports/prepandlocal/x684374358/ON-CAMPUS-REPORT-Thill-helps-Elmhurst-to-strong-season on November 16, 2010.

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