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Tuesday Tidbits

October 12, 2010

Haley Stein was named the MAC West Division Defensive Player of the Week for the second time.

In the first part of a two-week, five-game homestand, the EMU volleyball team struggled. Tuesday they fell to Indiana University-Purdue University at Fort Wayne (IPFW) 1-3. The IPFW Mastodons have now defeated the Eagles five games in a row. On Friday, the Eagles downed the Western Michigan Broncos 3-2, improving to 4-1 in the MAC and tying for first place in the MAC West with Ball State and Northern Illinois. The logjam was quickly broken, because the Northern Illinois Huskies came to Ypsilanti on Saturday and handled the Eagles 3-1. With a Ball State loss at Buffalo on Sunday, the Huskies have sole possession of the MAC West lead at 5-1, while EMU is tied with Ball State and Western Michigan for second at 4-2.

The Eagles set several records in the win over Western Michigan. Rachel Iaquaniello set a Convocation Center record with 33 kills. That was also the highest in MAC play since 2006, the highest by an EMU player in more than 12 years, and the fourth-highest ever by an EMU player. Ashley Mason registered 68 assists, the third-most in Convocation Center history and the most in the MAC this year. Finally, Haley Stein registered 55 digs, setting a new school record, registering the highest number of any player nationally in the last four years, and tying for the fourth-most digs in NCAA Division I history. For her performance, Stein was named the MAC West Division Defensive Player of the Week, her second such honor in the past five weeks.

This week the Eagles will conclude their homestand at the Convocation Center, facing the Miami RedHawks (7-12; 2-4 MAC) Friday night and the Bowling Green Falcons (6-14; 1-5 MAC) Saturday night. The Bowling Green game on Saturday will be the annual “Dig Pink” game, with proceeds going to the Side-Out Foundation. Free admission vouchers are available online.

With head coach John Goodridge resting his top ten runners, EMU’s men’s cross country team still took second place (of three Division I teams) in the Michigan Intercollegiate, placing three runners in the top ten. The EMU women’s cross country team finished fourth (of six Division I teams) in the Michigan Intercollegiate, with Courtney Calka again leading the way with her third first-place finish this fall and the fastest run of her career (17:16.0 for the 5 km run). This Saturday both teams will travel to the Penn State National Invitational.

Monique Budani was named the MAC Defensive Player of the Week for the second time this season.

The women’s soccer team won two games on the road over the weekend, first downing Kent State 2-0, then knocking off Buffalo 1-0 despite being outshot 21-8. The Eagles advanced to 7-5-3 overall, and an unbeaten 4-0-2 in the MAC, putting them in third place in the MAC West Division, behind Toledo and Central Michigan, both 6-0-0. The back-to-back shutouts earned EMU goalie Monique Budani the MAC Defensive Player of the Week award, her second this year. Budani’s 111 saves this season lead the MAC, and her 21 career shutouts are just 3 short of the EMU record.

The soccer team returns home this weekend for a pair of games at Scicluna Field. Friday afternoon the Eagles will host Northern Illinois (7-5-1; 3-2-1 MAC) and Sunday afternoon Western Michigan (7-5-2; 3-1-2 MAC) comes to town for the final home game of the season.

This is more entertainment than competitive athletics, but EMU will host a stunt diving show this Saturday at Jones Natatorium. The show will include a fire dive, the “world’s longest dive” and a six-person dive; admission is $7 for the general public and $5 for students.

Vanderbilt head football coach Robbie Caldwell apologized for an apparent onside kick mid-way through the third quarter with his team up 32 points.

I want to stop right there and apologize to Eastern Michigan. That was not an onside kick. I’m embarrassed. That was supposed to be a sky kick, and we missed the ball and it happened to fall right into our hands.

Of course, you probably know my feeling on the matter, which is that no apology is needed. It’s not the other team’s job to give EMU chances to score, and it’s not their fault if the Eagles can’t stop them from scoring. If an opposing coach wants to try an onside kick every time, or goes for two points after every touchdown, that’s their call, and I’m not going to complain if the team I support can’t stop them from executing.

Looking ahead a week, the Atlantic Coast Conference has set the kickoff for EMU’s 10/23/10 football game at Virginia for 6 pm, and the game will available online on

I came across an interesting interview with Ben Braun, who, in his last season at EMU (1995-96), passed Elton Rynearson to become the winningest men’s basketball coach in school history. Braun led the Hurons/Eagles to three MAC championships, accounting for three of their four NCAA tournament trips and all three of EMU’s NCAA tournament wins. In the 1991 NCAA tournament they beat Mississippi State 76-56 and Penn State 71-68 before losing to North Carolina in the Sweet 16, and in the 1996 tournament they handed the Duke Blue Devils their first first-round loss in more than 40 years. The interview is a couple weeks old, but still worth reading.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. October 12, 2010 1:13 pm

    I don’t share your opinion about running up the score. It’s one thing if they do a normal kickoff, get the ball back and then proceed to score. It’s completely another thing to do things like trick plays and onside kicks to deliberately run up the score. And given that Eastern probably wont face Vanderbilt at any point in the near futre, it’s also pretty cowardly.

    • October 12, 2010 1:29 pm

      Yeah, I know my opinion is in the minority — probably a small minority — but regardless of whether it’s a “trick play” or just running up the middle, I don’t think it’s one team’s job (or their coach’s job) to hold back just because their opponent can’t keep up with them. I’m not saying I’d do that if I were a coach, but I’m not going to complain about it.

  2. October 12, 2010 3:54 pm

    But then I don’t consider it running up the score when a team puts its second or third strings in the game and they are still scoring. I just consider that as one team getting in over its head. But then again, it’s kind of a tricky thing because if you call back the dogs too soon, the other team may find itself in the game again.

    Anyways, I remember that Sweet 16, Eastern was still in the NCAA tournament and State or Michigan weren’t. Good times. But I might be thinking of the one in the late 80’s while I was still at Eastern.

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