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The Western Illinois women's basketball team will look for their first win of the season as they take on Culver-Stockton at home tonight at 5:30 pm.

 

Their season opener against Missouri was the game to see as they pushed the Tiger into overtime Tuesday, November 5.  At the end of the 4th quarter, the game was tied at 81-81. Unfourtanely, during overtime the Tigers took advantage of the Leathernecks fatigue and caused an 8-0 run. The final score was 97-89 as the Leathernecks went home with their first loss of the season. Senior Olivia Kaufmann led the Leathernecks with a double-double scoring 23 points with 11 rebounds. 

 

The Leathernecks now have another chance as they play the Wildcats in their home opener tonight. The Leathernecks are prepared and will have the advantage as the crowd will help boost their momentum on their home court.

 

Following tonight’s game, the Leathernecks will host three consecutive home games during next week. They will go on to play Illinois-Springfield Tuesday (Nov. 12) and then Indiana State on Thursday (Nov. 14).

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WIU Looks to Keep Pace in Race for Summit Tourney

The Western Illinois women’s volleyball team has begun to slide a bit in the Summit League standings, having lost its last two games and five of its last six. WIU comes into its next match, in Oklahoma against Oral Roberts, needing a win to keep pace with North Dakota for the honor of the 6th seed and a spot in the Summit League Tournament.

 

By virtue of head-to-head, North Dakota owns that 6th spot currently, so this will be an uphill climb for WIU to get back into contention. However, with 4 games remaining, the claim could be made that the Leathernecks will have every opportunity to secure themselves a spot in the tournament. In order to do so, they will first have to overcome the bottom-ranked Oral Roberts.

 

One way the Leathernecks can see this matchup, set for Friday, November 8 at 5 PM, through is by keying the defense in on the Golden Eagles’ senior leader, CeCe Madison. Madison comes in with a whopping 407 kills in 2019, averaging just shy of 4 kills per set. Top setter Sylvia Lawson will be one for WIU to watch out for as well, as she comes in averaging 8.86 assists per set and will look to consistently provide excellent service for Madison all game. WIU’s defense will have to be excellent to combat the Golden Eagles and come away with the win. 

 

One aspect of the Leatherneck defense that has legitimately been outstanding is the blocking ability. With redshirt junior Mackenzie Steckler leading the way, the Leathernecks have only been out-blocked 5 times in 2019 and will make things extremely tough for Madison and the Eagles to get things going at the net. On an individual note, Steckler has risen up to become not only one of the premier blockers in the only Summit League, but the entire nation. She ranks #1 on the team in every blocking category, while she has moved up to #1 in the Summit League in blocks per set, total blocks and solo blocks. She now as well ranks 10th in total blocks and 13th in blocks per set in all of NCAA.

 

If Steckler can continue rising to the occasion and inspire the rest of this young Leatherneck squad to step up on defense, the Leathernecks should have success in this matchup with Oral Roberts. As stated earlier, the match from Tulsa, Oklahoma is set for a 5 PM first serve on Friday, November 8th. You can follow along with the match on goleathernecks.com. 

 

*All stats courtesy of goleathernecks.com and WIU Athletic Communications*

 

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Big Ten Size, Athleticism Too Much for WIU

MACOMB - The Western Illinois men's basketball team made a huge appearance on Tuesday as they played Indiana in front of 17,222 Hoosiers fans for their season opener. 

 

The Indiana Hoosiers are a Big 10 school and they gave the fighting Leathernecks a difficult time as they beat them 98-65. It was a difficult loss for the Leathernecks as they had poor turnovers down the stretch and bad shot selection. The Leathernecks committed 12 turnovers along with shooting 34% from the field and 29% from 3 point range. The Hoosiers overpowered the Leathernecks as they a total of 47 rebounds compared to WIU’s 28. The Hoosiers simply had more firepower than the Leathernecks as they had bigger and more athletic players to increase their chances of winning.

 

The Hoosiers closed the first half shooting 62.5 percent from the field, with 44.4 percent behind the arc to hold a 46-25 advantage. They also continued to beat on Western on the offensive side of the ball into the second half, answering each Leatherneck basket. The Hoosiers used their dominant size and inside presence to rack up a large number of second-chance baskets to continue their run.

 

Kobe Webster returned to his home state and gave the fans a show. Webster hit a spectacular shot off the backboard before the first half ended. He also was the leading scorer for the Leathernecks with 18 points, followed by Zion Young with 12 points. Production was needed from plenty of other sources for WIU to have a chance, but a tough IU defense created a lot of poor shot selection for the Leathernecks.

 

Western Illinois are now 0-4 against Indiana and are 5-33 all-time against the Big 10, with their last such win coming against Wisconsin in the 2015-16 season opener. The Leathernecks will returns to their own hall for the home opener against Stetson on Saturday (Nov. 9) at 7 p.m

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Wild Game Sees Leathernecks Take Tigers to OT

The Western Illinois women’s basketball team got its 2019 regular season campaign kicked off on Tuesday in a road matchup with Missouri. They competed for 4 quarters, seeing regulation end with an 81-81 score, before falling 97-89 in overtime. The grit, determination and toughness shown by WIU led to an encouraging result that suggests a bright season is ahead. 

 

Perhaps most encouraging from this game was the performance of sophomore transfer Evan Zars. Coming in from St. Louis University, Zars was expected to provide the Leathernecks with a big boost on the iside and did just that. She racked up an astounding 20 rebounds while blocking 3 shots as she provided head coach J.D. Gravina with a weapon he has not, truth be told, had in his time at WIU. Should she keep up the impressive pace she established in Tuesday’s game, she will be one of WIU’s top performers in 2019.

 

WIU also saw a big time performance from senior guard Olivia Kauffman on Tuesday, as she poured in 23 points while racking up an impressive 11 boards from the guard position. Hers and the Leathernecks’ shooting ability was on display throughout this one, as she managed to shoot 2-5 from 3, while the team as a whole shot a respectable 37% from deep with 12 makes. 

 

Ultimately, it seemed that Missouri’s athleticism and conditioning proved too much for WIU, as the Tigers made a real push at the end of the second half and through overtime to pick up the win. WIU is always fighting an uphill battle in these kinds of matchups and appeared to physically get more and more tired the more they fought to stay in this one. This, however, is still an incredibly encouraging result for WIU, who was up against a Missouri side featuring 2 5-star recruits in Haley Frank and Aijha Blackwell, as well as a superstar senior who has drawn player-of-the-year consideration in Amber Smith. 

 

WIU will get its next chance to pick up its first win when it returns home on Friday, November 8, to take on Culver-Stockton. Tip off is set for 5:30 PM for the home opener from Western Hall and you can hear the action live on 104.1 WMQZ, a member of the Leatherneck Sports Network.

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Bombers Close out 2019

The Macomb girls volleyball team played in its first sectional semi-final game in more than 20 years on Monday night, looking for a trip to the sectional title game. Unfortunately, the Bombers fell just short of that goal, losing in two sets to Downs (Tri-Valley) 25-19, 25-13. 

 

This will sting a bit for the Bombers, but there were still performances to be proud of. Tatumn Lantz came on very strong over the last two playoff games, as she played a role in both set-winning points in the Regional final and racked up 8 kills to lead the Bomber attack in Monday’s loss. A bit of an unfamiliar name played a key role as well in this one for Macomb, Victoria Wing chipped in with 2 blocks and 2 kills to further the depth along Macomb’s dangerous front-line.

 

That front-line is among the reasons why there should be a lot of optimism going forward for the Bombers. Though they will lose Autumn Kindhart to graduation this season, Macomb brings back a talented pairing of the aforementioned Lantz and stud freshman Kennedy Adair up front, while Avery Rexroat returns for her junior season as one of the more talented setters in the area. Some rebuilding will be needed in defense and in service, as the Bombers will lose their leading digger in Maggie Vallillo and one of their more skilled servers in Grace Stufflebeam, but with the pipeline of talent Macomb has going all the way through 4th-grade-aged camps, they should have no problem sliding new players into those roles. 

 

This was a season to be proud of for Macomb, and it wraps up what was a largely very exciting and competitive fall season for the Bombers. Essentially every team had at least a competitive regular season and looked capable of making playoff runs. There is plenty of reason for optimism in Bomber athletics and we can’t wait to see how volleyball and the rest of the fall athletic squads follow this 2019 up. 

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MACOMB  - -  The Western Illinois football team made history on Saturday as they made a comeback to be remembered. After trailing South Dakota by as many as 13 points, the Leathernecks still came on top in a wild game that produced 1,070 yards of total offense on 188 total plays. The final score of the game was 38-34 as the Leathernecks earned their first win of the season.

 

The game required a complete team effort to succeed led by quarterback Connor Sampson. Sampson threw for a career-high 368 passing yards along with 3 touchdowns. He was also acknowledged by the Missouri Valley after his first win as a quarterback, being named the Offensive Player of the week for his efforts. Sampson’s performance put him 14th on WIU’s single-game passing yardage list.

 

South Dakota had 303 total yards of offense during the first half and entered the 2nd half with a 17-7 lead. The Coyotes made it to Western’s 17 but were denied as the Leathernecks were able to stop them at the goal line and force a field goal. The Coyotes put the Mason Lorber field goal through for a 20-7 lead. The Leathernecks went on quite the run from there, scoring on 5 of their next 6 possessions to gain the lead back from USD at 38-34. Eric Carrera completed the comeback from WIU with his game-sealing interception with 4 seconds on the clock, in a play he and the rest of Leatherneck Nation will remember for a long time to come. 

 

From the beginning of the game, it looked like it could be another blow out for the Leathernecks. But they maintained their spirit still and battled it out to the very end. The Leathernecks now have a meeting with North Dakota State, next Saturday at 2:30 p.m.

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2019 Season Comes to an End

The Western Illinois women’s soccer team started the 2019 campaign with some serious momentum, as they began 6-5-1 with a 3-match Summit League winning streak and sat in first in the Summit through that run. The momentum gradually slipped, unfortunately, and WIU went on a run of difficult results that would see them eventually eliminated from the Summit League Tournament. 

 

That run culminated on Sunday, as the women headed to Vermillion to take on the South Dakota Coyotes. Despite a tightly contested shot battle and another impressive performance from goalie Ines Palmiero-Herrera, the Leathernecks were unable to overcome USD, falling 2-0. The loss marks WIU’s 5th in a row in Summit League play.

 

The result may have been a bit disappointing, as will the losing skid to end the year, but there were plenty of things for the Leathernecks to build on from 2019. The Leathernecks got a ton of production out of a mostly young attack, with sophomore English recruits Zoe Clarke and Amy Andrews showing real promise for their final two years in the Purple and Gold. Jenna Lundgren had a positive performance in 2019, with her ability to consistently find herself on the ball or in position to win it back on full display. 

 

The youth extended throughout the team, as the Leathernecks will bring back the bulk of their defensive line and wings. Freshman Lynette Hawkins and sophomore Cassidy Grunewald provided WIU with excellent wide service all season long, while Lauryn Peters had a stellar season as the Leathernecks’ captain centre-back and Bridget Schuler provided excellent defense as well. There will be a new Leatherneck in net next season, with Madison McKay and Lilly Doneghue representing returning freshman options and Megan Rasmussen coming back for her senior season. 

 

The Leathernecks will be hoping to build on what has been an exciting season filled with accomplishments and those of us who call ourselves Leatherneck fans cannot wait to see what the future holds. The excitement is real as it looks like Director of Soccer, Eric Johnson, has this team ready for its next successful run. 

 

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It has been a long time coming for the Bomber as they triumph over the great Illini West Chargers  Thursday at the Regional Finals. According to the IHSA records, the Bombers have not won a regional title since the year 1996. The Bombers this year broke a barrier in their Volleyball program as they beat the Chargers in 2 games: 27-25, 25-20 in the class 2A Rushville Regional Final. 

 

During the first set, the game was quite intense as it went back in forth between which team wanted it more. At the end of the set, the Bombers ended up coming on top by just two points. In the second set, the Bombers were more composed as they had the Chargers shook with them being up a game. The Bombers defense helped Macomb as the Chargers offense started to struggle for points. Macomb’s back row played a huge part in keeping points alive by their tenacious digging.

 

As a team, the bombers did fantastic to seal the deal but there were some highlighted players with major roles.  Sophomore Avery Rexroat had 25 assists and three aces.  Freshman Kennedy Adair made her impact by adding 12 kills. Senior’s Autumn Kindhart and Victoria Wing each had three digs. Lastly, Senior Maggie Vallillo led the back row with 12 digs.

 

The Bombers will now proceed to the Pleasant Plains Sectional and take on Downs Tri-Valley (34-2), in the finals of the Clinton Regional. Downs and Macomb will face off at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, meeting after Quincy Notre Dame plays Decatur St. Teresa. But for Macomb, already breaking barriers, they will carry this momentum with them in the Pleasent Plane Sectionals. The original story can be found at mcdonoughvoice.com

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West Prairie’s varsity volleyball team played its 1A regional quarter-final game in a heated environment against Bushnell-Prairie City, in Bushnell, on Tuesday night. They managed to blow all expectations out of the water, allowing only 8 points to BPC en route to a 2-set win with matching 25-4 set scores.

 

Bailey Rouch led the offensive charge for the Cyclones in this one with an impressive 11 kills, while she was also a defensive force with three blocks. McLain Engnell was the leading provider to the attack with 8 assists as her solid service allowed the offense to work quickly. Gwen Kahlke’s serving skills were on full display in this one as well as she was able to rack up 3 aces on the night. 

 

The #4 seeded Cyclones will have their hands full when they take on the #6 seed Biggsville in the regional semi-final on Wednesday, October 30 at 6:30 PM. The game that will decide who goes to the Regional Championship will take place at Bushnell-Prairie City High School.

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Tuesday night saw a regional semi-final game in Rushville between Macomb and Beardstown for the right to go to the Regional Final and a chance to further hopes of a state championship. The Bombers were able to come away with a win in dominant fashion, taking the match 25-4, 25-15. 

 

Macomb came in with big expectations following a 28-7 regular season and more than lived up to it. Stellar freshman Kennedy Adair put in 10 kills to lead the team in what has been a common theme in 2019. Avery Rexroat provided the service for the offense with what, for her, was a ho-hum 27-assist night. The Bombers were led defensively by Lael McKee with 2 blocks and Maggie Vallillo with her 16 digs and continued defensive excellence.

 

As has been the case for Macomb seemingly game in and game out, it was a total team effort with the depth of the squad shining through when it mattered most. The Bombers will now have a chance to win a Regional Championship when they take on Illini West on Thursday, October 31. That game will begin at 6 PM and will occur at Rushville-Industry High School.

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After winning their first exhibition game against the Maryville Saints Thursday 78-61, The Leathernecks will look forward to winning their final exhibition game as they host Quincy University Today before the start of their regular season. Their exhibition game starts at 5:30 pm here in Macomb.  

 

This gives the Leathernecks another chance to get their bodies conditioned/prepared for ready  intense season to come. The leathernecks did fairly well last year as they finished their 2018-19 season 12-18 and 8-8 in their conference. The Leathernecks made push in the Summit League as they lost to Oral Roberts 64-68. They will look forward to making an even stronger push to extend their postseason. 

 

The Leathernecks will head to Columbia, Mo. on Tuesday (Nov. 5) to take on Missouri State for their regular-season opener at 7 pm before returning home to taking on Culver-Stockton Friday, Nov. 8.


 

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The Leathernecks fall to Youngtown State on Saturday 59-14. Big plays troubled Western in the first quarter, as the Penguins held them to a 28-7 lead.

The game was tied at 7-all with 10:29 remaining on the clock after captains Connor Sampson and Clint Ratkovich hooked up a 33-yard scoring reception. Both players accounted for the only leatherneck touchdowns, as a four-yard pass capped a nine-play which led to a 73-yard drive with 12:43 minutes remaining.

The Leathernecks received another chance of redemption when sophomore Colton Folliard forced a fumble recovery in the fourth. Colton recovered the ball at Western's 47-yard line, as his team was able to drive to the red zone, but couldn’t capitalize scoring against Youngtown’s defense. As a team, WIU had a total of 260 yards while YSU had a total of 524 yards during the game. The Leathernecks remained scoreless in the second & third quarter while YSU scored in every quarter.

After losing to Youngtown, the Leathernecks are now 0-8 and 0-4 in their conference. Now The Fighting Leathernecks will face off against South Dakota at Hanson field Saturday at 1 pm sharp. The original story can be found on goleathernecks.com

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The Western Illinois men’s soccer team has gone on an absolute tear since starting with an 11-game losing streak, coming into to Saturday’s Senior Day matchup with Eastern Illinois winners of three straight games. WIU continued that run, picking up a 2-1 win against the elements and clinching a spot in the Summit League Tournament in the process. WIU also secured a tie for first in the Summit League with Oral Roberts, which sets up a potentially huge season-ending match between WIU and ORU on November 9.

 

As mentioned, the elements were not in either team’s favor as cold weather, wind and consistent rain threatened the game for the entire 90 minutes. For WIU to pull out a win in the fashion they did says as much about their character and willingness to fight as any win on the season. Another added element to the story was a fight in the 72nd minute that saw both a WIU and EIU player red-carded and ejected from the match, so both teams were playing with 10 men in the midst of everything else. 

 

On the game, Ryan DeBois continued to show his mastery in front of goal, adding to his team-leading goals total of 6. DeBois has additionally scored in 5 straight games and has been as big a reason for the recent run of play as anyone else. Daisuke Otsuka was the man for the first goal of the match and has now scored in two of his last three as he looks to form a dynamic scoring punch alongside DeBois. Tim Trilk also added to his historic season as WIU goalie with another three saves to back up the powerful attack and will be key for the Leathernecks as they make a push for their first Summit League title since 2014. 

 

WIU will look to keep this season-changing run going when they head to Indianapolis on Wednesday, October 30 for a matchup with former Summit League foe, IUPUI. That match is set for a 6 PM kick-off and it can be seen on ESPN3.

 

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Difficult 2019 Comes to a Close for MHS

Macomb played its senior night game on Friday, October 25, against Lincoln in what would be the final high school game for several key contributors on offense and defense. The Bombers lost in blowout fashion, 41-7, to wrap up a winless 2019 season. 

 

The game started well enough for Macomb, as they forced a punt on Lincoln’s first drive and looked to be playing with real desire in 2019’s final game. However, what followed was a chorus of errors, primarily on offense and special teams, that led to the lopsided nature of the score. It started with a McKenna Gabbei pick-six in the first quarter and when added to a second pick-six, returned by Lincoln QB/OLB Dreyden Pozsgai, and a blocked punt returned for a touchdown, Macomb gave up 21 points to Lincoln without the defense seeing the field. Late in the game, Macomb as well had a chance to get the score to 28-14, but a McKenna Gabbei interception in the back of the endzone gave Lincoln the ball, and they drove right up the field to make it 34-7. That 14 point swing killed the game. 

 

For Lincoln, it was all about balance offensively. Pozsgai showed real ability early on as a thrower and a really strong connection with receiver Austin Prater, as the two connected on two touchdown throws. They also had a nice weapon as a runner/receiver in Jayden Graham, who was consistently able to slip through the first two levels of the Macomb defense for big yardage. That kind of balance and the number of different looks and options they showed the Bombers kept them on the front foot and Macomb on its heels as they made long drive after long drive. At one point, Macomb punter Aaron Meunier had pinned the Railsplitters at their own two, setting up Lincoln to have to drive nearly the length of the field for a score. They did just that, in one of the more impressive displays of a well-oiled machine of an offense I have seen all season. 

 

On a positive note, this game did allow the Bombers to get a bit of a look at the future, with freshman Seth Coursey, Max Ryner and Jack Duncan all playing key roles in this game, as well as sophomore Jordan Draughan continuing to impress on defense despite his slight build. Junior running back Max Swedeen was able to eclipse the 100-yard mark for the Bombers’ first such rusher in 2019, in a display of his potential for his senior season in 2020. Dalton Deener may not be a part of the future for this program, but his play on Friday and throughout 2019 is absolutely worth mentioning both for his on and off-field impact. On the field, he was a dynamic force, capable of wrecking an opposing gameplan and a player who seemed to ramp up his intensity when the pressure was at its highest. Off the field, he served as a mentor for what was otherwise a relatively young defense. His play should serve as an example for them as they move into 2020.

 

Deener, along with John Ogle, Caden Green, McKenna Gabbei Skyler Lino, Luke Silberer, Jonathan Peters and Joey Hagen exit the Bomber program and in varying ways, they all left an indelible impact on Macomb High. They leave behind major roles to fill in several cases and it will be on Head Coach Tony Westen and the rest of his talented staff to find the right pieces to fill them. An 0-9 season is not a death note for a high school program, as high school football tends to be so cyclical. With the addition of a new field and consistent renovations coming for MHS, it looks like a bright future for the Bombers and certainly no time to give up. As Macomb AD Steve Horrell always tags his tweets, once a Bomber, always a Bomber. This is the mantra players, coaches and fans need to take with them heading into 2020. 

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Macomb– Western Illinois women's basketball started their 2019-20 season as they took on the Maryville Saints in an Exhibition game at Western Hall Tuesday. Maryville got off to a great start as they outscored the Fighting Leathernecks in the first quarter of 17-10. The Leathernecks then kicked it into gear as they outscored the Saints the remaining quarters.

 Sophomore Evan Zars had an excellent performance in her debut as a Leatherneck with her first double-double adding 17 rebounds and 10 points. Sophmore Danni Nichols led the team with 22 points closely followed by Senior Olivia Kaufmann with 20 points.

 Nichols was the first player to put points on the board once she made a three-pointer into the first two minutes in the first quarter. The Leathernecks were able to hold on to their lead for the first four minutes until the Saints made a layup to take a 6-5 lead. The Leathernecks struggled to score as the Saints applied that pressure in the first. 

Junior Grace Gilmore kicked off the scoring momentum in the second as she ignited the Leatherneck comeback. The Leathernecks went on a 9-3 scoring run. By the end of the first half, the Leathernecks led the Saints 33-29. 

During the start of the 2nd half, Western forced another run for eight points making the score 39-31. Following, Kaufmann went on a five-point run of her own supplemented with a three-pointer from Zars. The Saints tried to keep up but the Leathernecks already had their momentum going. By the end of the third, the Fighting Leathernecks led the Saints 57-48. 

A jump shot from Kaufmann in the fourth quarter kicked off an 11 point lead. Their largest lead of the game came at two minutes remaining as senior Annabel Graettinger sealed the deal with a dagger to put the Leathernecks up 73-59. The final score of the game was 78-61 as the Leathernecks secured the win.

The Leathernecks will be back in Western Hall on Tuesday, October 29 for their second exhibition game against Quincy. Their season opener will tip-off November 5, as they head down to Missouri. The original story can be found on goleathernecks.com

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Illini West defeats North Fulton in 2 games at home during their Senior Night: 25-22, 25-20. The Illini West Chargers are now 29-6 and 7-0 in their conference.

 

This was a significant game for the Chargers as Taylor Pence, Alexis Smith, and Paige Gutting all got acknowledge during their Senior Night.
 
Senior Taylor Pence had an extravagant game as she led the Chargers with 17 digs, 12 service points, and 4 aces. Taylor Pence knew this was her last regular-season game as a Charger and had to give it her all. Same with senior Paige Gutting as she contributed 5 kills in the 2 game set. Sophomore Ava Bliss led the team with 10 kills, followed up by junior Karli Artman leading with 22 assists.

The Chargers will look forward to extending their season even further as their next match is Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. vs. the winner of West Hancock and Rushville-Industry at the Rushville Regional.

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The Macomb volleyball team wrapped up its excellent 2019 regular season campaign with a senior night win over Mendon Unity Tuesday night, locking up a sweep in the process. They will now look to the IHSA State Playoffs, where they will look to continue an impressive run of MHS fall sports. The Bombers are currently positioned in the Rushville-Industry regional, and have earned a bye to the Semi-Final round following their placement as the #2 team in the sectional.

 

One of the reasons they earned that high seeding was the play of their front line, a tough, tall, high-jumping group that was just as capable of shutting down the opposition’s attack as they were establishing their own. Tatumn Lantz and Kennedy Adair led the Bombers in kills this season with more than 200 apiece, as the pair look to create a dominant force in the State Tournament. The pair also each ranked in the top five in blocks for the Bombers, proving they are more than just an offensive force.

 

That attack wouldn’t be so impressive without an impressive defensive presence and a strong passing game, and Macomb had both of those as well. Maggie Vallillo and Avery Rexroat are as important to the Bombers’ success as any others, with Rexroat doing her work primarily from the serve and the assist and Vallillo doing her work on digs. Rexroat racked up more than 650 assists in an incredible season that also featured a team-leading 58 service aces, while Vallillo led the team in digs with 415 and receptions with 495. The Bombers will look for continued success out of this pair as they make their push for a State Title.

 

The Bombers will not have it easy, as they will draw a tough opponent in the Regional Semi-Finals from either Beardtown or Pittsfield, and their bracket does still look to run through Quincy Notre Dame. However, if the Bombers keep up this level of play, you’d be hard pressed to find a better squad in the area. The Bombers’ first playoff game will be held Tuesday, October 29th, at Rushville-Industry High School, and is set for a 5:30 PM first serve. 

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The Illini West Chargers defeats Augusta Southeastern on the road in 2 games: 25-20, 25-22 on Tuesday, October 22. The Chargers are on a 3 game winning streak against the Southerneastern Suns this year as they win in 2 games each time they face off. Southeastern have yet to develop a strategy  to beat the Chargers.
 
A highlighted player that helped contribute towards the Chargers win is Sophmore Ava Bliss as she led the team with 11 kills, 19 digs, 7 service points, and 2 aces. Bliss wasn't the only person on the team to make an impact as Junior Karli Artman led the team with 26 assist and 11 digs to put the Chargers up both games. Sophomore Megan Harrell had an impressive game as well adding 8 kills and 11 digs to the stat sheet.
 
The Chargers are now 28-6 and 7-0 in their conference. They're also on a 4 game winning streak since losing to the Illini Bluffs in the United Monmouth Tournament 2 weeks ago. 

The Chargers are looking to expand their season and improving their record even greater. Their last final regular-season match will be Thursday at home against North Fulton at 7:00 p.m. This game will be one for the books as Illini West will recognize Taylor Pence and Alexis Smith during Senior Night.

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Carthage, IL--Illini West made history with its defeat of Burlington High School on Monday night. With win 27, the Chargers have notched their most winningest season in school history.

 

The Chargers sit at 27-6 overall and a clean 6-0 in conference play. 

 

Leading in stats, Ava Bliss put up quite a performance, leading the team in kills with 11, also adding in 6 service points. Karli Artman dazzled in yet another spectacular 28 assist performance. Megan Harrell added herself to the mix with 9 kills and 14 digs. Taylor Pence lead the charge in digs as she picked up 19 and 6 service points. Alisza LeMarie added in 8 digs to the effort as well. 

 

The Chargers are set to takle on Southeastern Wednesday night at 7 pm.

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After an 0-11-0 start, the Western Illinois men’s soccer team has found its rhythm and managed an impressive three-game winning streak with wins over Denver (first in program history), Detroit-Mercy and most recently over Purdue-Fort Wayne. The wins over PFW and Denver have led to a 2-1 record in Summit League play as WIU looks to put a rough non-conference slate behind them.

 

Monday, that momentum was honored by the Summit League as forward Ryan DeBois was named Offensive Player of the Week while goalkeeper Tim Trilk was named Defensive Player of the Week. The pair followed in the footsteps laid by the women’s team when Zoe Clarke and Ines Palmiero-Herrera swept the honors. The two awards also marked the first time since 2016 that WIU has seen a sweep on the men’s side. 

 

DeBois earned the award on the back of goals in all three Leatherneck wins, pushing his scoring streak to 4 along the way.  On the season DeBois has 5 goals to lead the Leathernecks, as he has shown himself to be a force to be reckoned in the final third. Trilk solidified his place as one of WIU’s all-time great goalkeepers with his DPOY win, racking up 2 shutouts (WIU’s first of 2019). The award marks his third as a Leatherneck as he adds to his incredible resumé. Another note for Trilk, he now sits second in the Summit League with his 66 saves in 2019. 

 

After a busy last week, the Leathernecks get a bit of a break this week with just one match coming on Saturday, October 26th. The match will be at home on Senior Day as Trilk, among plenty of others, will be honored against Eastern Illinois. Kick-off is set for 1 PM.

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