Neuqua Valley graduate Kaitlynn Novak probably will improve her serve in the next two years of college volleyball.
If she does, she will continue to be not only the best at Western Illinois University, but in the Summit League as well. Novak currently averages a league-best 0.39 aces per set. She is tied with IUPUI’s Meredith Farkas.
“At Western Illinois, we look at the serve as the first line of defense,” said Novak, who has 27 service aces in 19 matches. “We want the other team to be uncomfortable from the second that they have to field that ball. If they have to play out of position, they may make a mistake.”
In addition to her service aces, she also has 134 digs and 15 assists.
“I am a little shocked that I am leading the Summit,” Novak said. “We have some great, aggressive servers in this league. I am too, but I don’t think I am the most aggressive.”
Western Illinois lost their first two matches of the month, as they were topped by IPFW (3-2) and IUPUI. Novak had three digs and one service ace against IPFW. She had two digs and one ace against IUPUI.
Sean Mogan (Benet) scored the lone goal to help Army overcome Colgate 1-0. The Naperville resident hit the back of the net at the 46:50 mark. Mogan put a free kick from the right edge of the box and put it into the left corner. It was Mogan’s second goal of the year and his first game-winning tally. Overall, the junior defender has two goals and two assists this year. Mogan, who has played in 10 games and made nine starts, leads the team in assists. The Black Knights are 8-1-1 overall, 3-0 in the Patriot League.
Courtney Abrahamovich (Naperville Central) had six digs and two assists as Illinois defeated nationally ranked Michigan. At the time, Michigan was 14th among NCAA Division I teams. With the win, Illinois improved to 6-8 overall, 2-2 in the Big 10.
Colgate senior libero Caitlin Cremin (Naperville North) had 17 digs in Colgate’s 3-1 win over the Navy. She also had three assists and two service aces. She was also in double figures in digs in Colgate’s 3-1 win over Lehigh, finishing with 15 digs and four assists. Colgate (11-5, 4-0 in Patriot League) has won four matches in a row.
Indiana’s Patrick Doody (Neuqua Valley) started on defense in the Hoosiers’ 2-0 loss to Penn State. Doody took one shot on goal. Indiana, the defending national champions, are 4-6-1 overall and 1-1 in the Big 10.
Baylor is 8-1-1 in women’s soccer. Taylor Heatherly (Naperville Central), a Baylor senior defender, has started ever game. She has helped Baylor hold opponents to just seven goals, an average of .58 per game. Heatherly, who has played 1,086 minutes, has one goal and two assists for a total of six points. She has six shots on goal. Alexa Wilde (Neuqua Valley) has played in 12 games as well. Wilde, a midfielder, has played 238 minute and has two shots on goal.
The Eastern Illinois football team is 4-1 overall, 1-0 in the Ohio Valley Conference. Alex Helms (Naperville North), a senior, has played in all five games. He has nine tackles, seven of which are solos. In a 42-7 win over Eastern Kentucky, Helms had two tackles (one solo).
Illinois State defeated Western Illinois 35-21 for the Redbirds’ first win in the Missouri Valley Conference. Rickey Simpson (Waubonsie Valley) finished with two tackles (one solo), while Scott Kuehn (Waubonsie Valley) had one solo tackle.
Millikin is 16-8 overall, 3-0 in the CCIW. Geena Mancuso (Waubonsie Valley), a sophomore defensive specialist, has 86 digs, 10 aces, nine kills and six assists. She has played in 22 matches.
Eastern Illinois is 4-9 overall in women’s soccer, but in the Ohio Valley Conference, the Panthers are a perfect 4-0. Brenna Vogel (Neuqua Valley) has started every league game, while Ellen Campbell (Naperville North) has played in one league game. Overall, Vogel has played in all 13 games. Campbell has appeared in two games. Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Kylie Morgan (Waubonsie Valley) has played 315 minutes. She has made 20 saves.
Loyola’s Lee Grander (Naperville North) has played one game for the men’s soccer team. The sophomore defender does not have any stats.
If you know of an athlete from the Naperville Sun coverage area and they are now competing in college, please e-mail Dan Chamness (Dan62801@aol.com). Please put “Naperville Sun” in the subject line.