PLAINFIELD – Lincoln-Way West’s girls basketball team kicked off the season Monday with a 48-40 nonconference win at Plainfield North. The Warriors were led by Tara Gugliuzza, who had 14 points, and her sister, Taylor, who added 13 points.
Three Saints recognized: St. Francis’ Leah Alles was named the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference’s Libero of the Year to headline three USF representatives on the CCAC’s All-Conference Volleyball Team.
Alles earns Libero of the Year and first-team all-conference honors for the second consecutive season. As of Nov. 10, she ranks third in the nation with 819 total digs. She led the conference in digs against conference opponents with 362 (5.32 a set). Alles finished her career with a school-record 2,659 digs. She also was a nine-time winner of the CCAC’s defensive player of the week award.
Brooklyn Withey was a second team all conference selection this season. The first-year player came alive late in the season, finishing with double-digit kills in six of her final nine matches. She also was a blocking force, ranking 12th in the nation and fourth in the CCAC with 57 blocks. JoAnna Nowicki also made the second team. Nowicki led the Saints in kills this year with 345 (2.3 a set) and ranked third among USF hitters in attack percentage (.142). Nowicki finished with double-digit kills 19 times.
USF has five All-CCAC picks: Five Saints men’s soccer players earned all-conference honors from the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference. Joshua Yeaman, Mohamad Rashid and Christian Bitangalo were first-team all-conference, while Carlos Ferrer Coto and Kelvin Ndlovu each took home second-team accolades.
Along with his first-team honor, Yeaman also was named the CCAC’s Freshman of the Year. In his first season with the Saints, he ranked second on the team with five goals, 20 points and three game-winners. Rashid led the Saints with 11 goals and 24 points on the season while finishing third in the CCAC in both categories. The senior midfielder scored in nine different matches and paced USF with five game-winning goals. Bitangalo started 18 games for the Saints at defender and was a key piece to one of the CCAC’s best defenses. The center back helped USF allow just 15 goals in 19 matches with six shutouts.
Ferrer Coto started all but one regular season game in net for the Saints this year and was among the conference’s best goalkeepers. In CCAC matches, the freshman led in save percentage (.852), while tying for the best goals against average (0.71). Ndlovu finished his season with four goals and four assists on the year. Three of his assists came in conference play, which ranked him tied for fourth among CCAC players.
USF’s Barker wins award: University of St. Francis cross country coach Jeff Barker has been named the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Midwest Region Coach of the Year on both the men’s and women’s side.
Barker guided the Saints to a sweep of the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Championships on Nov. 4. The Saints brought home 10 all-conference honors, including six on the men’s side. Barker also was named the CCAC’s Coach of the Year in both men’s and women’s cross country. During his six years at St. Francis, Barker’s teams have won eight total CCAC team titles, five men’s and three women’s. He also brought an NAIA National Championship to Joliet in 2012 in men’s cross country.