- Inside Athletics
DETROIT, Mich. -- The 2013 fall sports season has shot out to a record start thanks to the great work of our many fall sports teams. Led by impressive wins, record starts, and first-time team scores, the Mustangs will now settle into Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) play as the second half of fall sports action nears.
The women's volleyball team has been one of the best stories out of the Marygrove athletics landscape over the past month. Led by second year head coach Jamie Baker, the Mustangs are off to a program-best 11-5 record through the first half of their schedule. The 11-win outburst was made possible after the Mustangs won a pair of tournaments – one at Northwood (Fla.) and another at Rochester (Mich.). The tournament championship at Rochester, the latter of the two tourney wins, was a near-flawless effort as the Mustangs only dropped one set over five matches. The team also defeated the host Rochester College Warriors for the first time in program history.
Guided by a strong contingent of transfers and returning student-athletes, the team now enters a very tough stretch with the WHAC season underway. Upcoming matches include a home tilt against the University of Northwestern Ohio Wednesday (Sept. 25) and a Friday evening (Sept. 27) road match at Siena Heights University. Both matches will feature live audio on the Mustang Sports Network. Friday's match at Siena Heights will be our Game of the Week. Broadcast times: Wednesday 6:50 p.m. and Friday 6:40 p.m.
For their effort so far this season, Coach Baker and the Mustangs are currently the top-ranked team in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA). The No. 1 ranking in the first USCAA Coaches Poll of 2013 was released Friday (Sept. 20). The poll can be found here: http://theuscaa.com/landing/poll-coaches
Katharina Hall (Livonia, Mich./Schoolcraft) and Alixandria Pappas (St. Clair Shores, Mich./Lakeview) co-captain a team that strives to continue its success this season. Hall is near the top in digs and kills on the team – a stat-line that showcases the senior's balance on the court. Senior transfers Amelia Velez (Imlay City, Mich./Prairie View A&M) and Sarah Suppelsa (Livonia, Mich./Concordia-Ann Arbor) have been solid along with twin transfers Kara Kempinski and Nicole Kempinski (Livonia, Mich./Schoolcraft). Coach Baker's crew also features a talented core of freshmen.
A program-best beginning to the 2013 season was not solely reserved for the women's volleyball team. Showcasing the competitiveness of Marygrove's fall sports teams, volleyball has company when it comes to strong starts thanks to the 6-1 mark men's soccer owns to begin the season. Senior forward Jad El-Zein (Tyre, Lebanon/Dearborn Fordson) leads a well-rounded group featuring balance across the pitch including returning midfielder Gonzalo Caceres (Detroit, Mich./Southwestern), and key defensive players Ali El-Habhab (Saida, Lebanon/Dearborn) and Chad Lane (St. Clair Shores, Mich./Lakeview).
In his fifth season, head coach Matt Johnson has the Mustangs playing their best string of soccer since the program's inception in 2009. The team faces a pair of challenging night games this week with a conference contest at Siena Heights Wednesday (Sept. 25) at 7:00 p.m. and a Saturday evening (Sept. 28) test at NAIA-power, second-ranked Lindsey Wilson College.
Currently, the Mustangs sit at 1-0 in the WHAC after defeating Lawrence Tech, 3-1, over the weekend. The team's upcoming conference slate featured the aforementioned night game at Siena Heights, as well as another late-kick at Indiana Tech (Oct. 2). Coach Johnson and the Mustangs return home Oct. 5 to face Concordia-Ann Arbor at 3:00 p.m.
At 6-1 (1-0 WHAC), the men's soccer team received their highest ranking ever in the USCAA Coaches Poll (3rd). The poll can be found here: http://theuscaa.com/landing/poll-coaches
The men's golf team enters WHAC Jamboree No. 3 this week. The two-round event presents a new challenge for head coach Frank McAuliffe's cast of freshmen. Day one is Tuesday (Sept. 24) in Lima, Ohio, at Hawthorne Hills Golf Club. The 18-hole match will precede another 18-hole outing in Fort Wayne, Ind., on Wednesday (Sept. 25) when McAuliffe and the Mustangs tee-off at Coyote Creek Golf Club. The two-day event is the first overnight trip for the men's golf team since last year's USCAA National Championship in Pennsylvania.
Jake Vogel (Comstock Park, Mich./Grand Rapids CC) caught fire in his most recent outing at WHAC Jamboree No. 2. The freshman shot an impressive round for a +3 (74) in his second appearance as a Mustang. Michael Kanalas (Rives Junction, Mich./Jackson Northwest) has posted solid scores over the course of his first three collegiate competitions. Tyler Newell (Livonia, Mich./Divine Child) seeks a mid-80's round, while Dylan Martin (Belleville, Mich./Homeschool) continues to shave his score.
The team will get a bit of rest before hosting their first match in program history when the WHAC's Jamboree carousel stops for a Marygrove-hosted outing Oct. 7 at 11:00 a.m. from Metamora Golf & Country Club in Metamora, Mich.
Coming off their second victory of the season, the women's soccer team now prepares for upcoming battles against NCAA Division II Ursuline College and WHAC counterpart, Concordia-Ann Arbor. On Thursday (Sept. 26), head coach Tony Williams and the Mustangs will attempt to repeat last year's stunning upset over the NCAA D2 Arrows of Ursuline College. This season, the Mustangs face a taller task as the match will be played on the road at Ursuline. The team's first WHAC game of 2013 will come Saturday (Sept. 28) against Concordia. Last season, the team's battled to a 1-1 draw.
Sophomore forward Jessica Trimmer (Farmington Hills, Mich./North Farmington) leads the Mustangs with three goals over the team's first six games – including game-winners in each of the Mustangs' victories this season. Due to an injury on the team, fellow sophomore Shannon Melvin (Redford, Mich./Garden City) moved over to sweeper and played a solid game to help preserve the 3-1 win at St. Mary-of-the-Woods College Saturday (Sept. 21).
On Saturday in Indiana, the Mustangs had a balanced attack for the first time all season as Cheyenne York (Taylor, Mich./Truman) notched her first goal of the 2013 campaign, while Sara Ruch (Oxford, Mich./Oxford) and Kaitlyn Vigna (China Twp., Mich./Marine City) each tallied assists. Brandy Lynch (Dearborn, Mich./Crestwood) joined Melvin as student-athletes to be switched around on the backline and played a sound 90-minutes for Coach Williams and the Mustangs.
Don't forget to listen live to the Voice of the Mustangs, Jeremy Otto, for all home games and select road games here: http://client.stretchinternet.com/client/marygrove.portal
Remaining September Broadcasts
Women's Volleyball vs. UNOH – Wed., Sept. 25 – 6:50 p.m.
Women's Volleyball @ Siena Heights – Fri., Sept. 27 – 6:40 p.m. – GAME OF THE WEEK
Women's Soccer vs. CUAA – Sat., Sept. 28 – 12:20 p.m. – BONUS GAME OF THE WEEK