Dominican University's men's volleyball club won the Division II National Intramural Recreation and Sports Association (NIRSA) championship this weekend in Kansas City, Kansas The Dominican club is the first in Illinois to win the national championship in NIRSA history. In addition, coach Meghan Maxwell is the first woman in NIRSA history to be nominated for Coach of the Year honors.
The Stars ended their regular season with a 40-2 record, capturing their third Midwest College Volleyball Conference and holding NIRSA's No. 1 ranking in the nation for an unprecedented 11 weeks.
Senior setter Tony McAndrew was named Most Valuable Player of the NIRSA tournament and three of his fellow players were named First Team All-Americans. Sophomore right side sitter Mickey Perillo, junior middle hitter Vytas Norusis and senior liberio Kyle Wiley were included on the first team while junior outside hitter Ray Van Syckle was named to the second team. Sophomore middle hitter Jason Fox received honorable mention.
"The team accomplished every goal it set for itself this season. Their 40-2 record is amazing considering the level of competition we faced, including Augustana University, Georgetown University and the Air Force Academy," said Maxwell.
Cougars sweep Dominican
Concordia's softball team notched their first two conference wins of the season last Wednesday with 1-0 and 6-3 wins over Dominican. Becky Bryzgalski's pitching was outstanding for the Cougars. The freshman shut out the Stars on four hits in the opener, escaping a lead-off double in the seventh inning to earn the win. Bryzgalski then came into game two in the seventh inning and struck out the side to earn a save in relief of winning pitcher Tara Reimann. Reimann and Trina Wetzel drove in runs in a three-run seventh to snap a 3-3 tie.
Baseball: The hits were coming fast and furious in the three-game weekend series between the Concordia Cougars and the Clarke College Crusaders. Concordia won Sunday's game by a 16-8 score to win the crucial conference series and improve to 5-3 (10-15 overall).
Roger Fegan hit two homeruns, one an inside-the-park shot, and Joe Giorango drove in six runs, three coming on his first round-tripper of the season, to lift the Cougars in Sunday's rubber game. Giorango's homer came in the second inning and gave the Cougars a 5-4 lead after the Crusaders had taken a 4-0 lead in their first at-bat. Giorango and Fegan each drove in two runs in a five-run third as the Cougars took the lead for good. Shawn Bosler pitched six innings and gave up eight runs (three earned) to improve to 2-1 on the season.
Saturday's doubleheader saw the Cougars prevail 11-8 in game one before Clarke pounded Cougar pitching for a 15-2 win in game two. Fegan, Jake Roy and Greg Grabowski, the top three hitters in the order, combined for 8-11, eight runs scored and six RBIs in the game one victory. Ryan Hantel earned the win to go to 4-2 in his rookie season.
The Cougars will play a single game at Dominican University on Wednesday and a three-game series at Eureka College on Friday and Saturday.
Tennis: The Cougar men's tennis team played just one match last week, earning an 8-1 win at Eureka College on Wednesday. Concordia swept all six singles matches including Alex LaChapelle at first who was named NIIC Player of the Week on April 10 and Zach Byrd at fourth who extended his singles winning streak to seven. The Cougars lost in first doubles but took second and third to win the match convincingly.
The Cougars will host Clarke College on Saturday in a match that will decide the regular-season conference title. The conference tournament will take place the following weekend.
Press releases contributed to this report.