These are exciting times in the athletic department as the fall seasons are wrapping up and the winter teams like basketball, bowling and swimming are just beginning their journeys.
This Saturday (Nov. 2), the soccer team will host Trevecca Nazarene University at 1:00 p.m. in the opening round of the Great Midwest Athletic Conference Championships. The Arrows earned the right to host the game after beating TNU 3-0 on Saturday (Oct. 26) at Nordonia High School in what capped a crazy week for the program.
Because of the late October snow storm that pelted Northeast Ohio, the Arrows were forced to play their final two “home” games on back-to-back days at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva before the regular season finale at Nordonia High School in Macedonia.
After finishing the regular season with a record of 10-7-1 and 5-5 in conference play, UC earned the fourth-seed in the eight-team postseason tournament. A win on Saturday would propel the Arrows into the semifinal round which would be held on Thursday (Nov. 7) at the campus of the highest remaining seed.
Fans that can’t make Saturday’s quarterfinal game can listen live on the Ursuline College Sports Network.
The volleyball team is still about three weeks out from the G-MAC Championships but the Arrows already have 15 wins to their name, eight more than they had all of last season. It’s pretty amazing to think about when you remember the team is yet to play a true home game.
Head coach Donna Day brought in a tremendous recruiting class that was extremely talented and has really lifted the program. She’ll need to bring in another good group next year as the program will lose five seniors to graduation. On Saturday (Nov. 2), seniors Molly Sabolsky, Lauren Sharnsky, Alex Leister, Maureen Kelly and Ashley Reinhart will play in their final “home” matches and will be honored in a pre-game ‘Senior Day’ ceremony.
The ‘Senior Day’ match will begin at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday at Laurel School’s Lyman Circle Campus in Shaker Heights. Fans that can’t make that contest (or Friday’s 6:00 p.m. match against Kentucky Wesleyan College) can listen live on the Ursuline College Sports Network or check out the Pizzazz on the Circle Live Stats.
The Ursuline College cross country team had a terrific showing and took third place in the nine-team field at the Great Midwest Athletic Conference Cross Country Championships, held last Saturday (Oct. 26) at Cedarville University’s Elvin R. King Cross Country Course. Ursuline was led by the conference’s ‘Freshman of the Year’ Michelle Klim and fellow all-conference performers Nicole Burlinson and Melissa Klim.
Michelle Klim was named the ‘Freshman of the Year’ by virtue of being the first rookie across the finish line. She took third in the field of 68 student-athletes with a time of 23:03.10, an improvement from the 23:18.38 she ran on the same course three weeks ago at the All-Ohio Championships.
Burlinson was one spot behind Michelle Klim as she finished in 23:47.20 – more than 38 seconds quicker than her All-Ohio showing. By placing in the top-10, Burlinson was named to the All-Great Midwest Athletic Conference first team. Last year, she earned second team all-conference honors after taking 13th overall.
Melissa Klim narrowly missed a spot on the all-conference first team but still picked up second team honors by finishing 11th. Her time of 24:09.10 was just behind Cedarville’s Kristin Lamaan (24:08.60) but was still an improvement from the 25:08.57 she turned in at the beginning of the month.
For comparison’s sake, last year Cedarville had 10 finishers complete the race before Ursuline’s first student-athlete crossed the finish line. This year, Cedarville’s Alex Archambault repeated as the individual champion (22:32.30) but UC had two more runners finish before CU’s next placer who took eighth overall.
The golf team’s championship season is in the spring but this fall, Ursuline finished in the top-five in three of its four tournaments. Sophomore Eadaoin Cronin was named the first ‘Women’s Golf Athlete of the Month’ for her efforts in September.
A good litmus test for the program came at the Ohio Valley University Invitational (Sep. 28-29) when four of the five G-MAC programs competed and UC shot the lowest of all the conference programs.
Like golf, lacrosse crowns a champion in the spring but head coach Ed Karasek saw his program end fall ball on a high note with a perfect four-for-four showing at the Baldwin Wallace University Fall Tournament. UC won all four of its half-hour contests against the host Yellow Jackets, Lourdes University, Walsh University and Georgetown (Ky.) College.
We’ll have more updates on the winter and spring sports when the time comes, but if the fall is any indication, we’re in for a great year in athletics!