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Tuesday Tidbits don’t do storm delays

September 6, 2011

EMU’s women’s soccer team has continued to struggle to score. Friday, in Indianapolis, Butler scored in the 90th minute, narrowly avoiding overtime and handing the Eagles a 2-1 loss, while Sunday, closer to home, EMU was entirely unable to score at Oakland University, falling 1-0. For the season, EMU is now 0-4-1, having scored just four goals in five games. As they near the end of the non-conference schedule, the Eagles travel to Bowling Green, Kentucky, where they’ll face the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (3-2-0) this Sunday.

On the other hand, the EMU volleyball team went 4-0 over the past week, beating Oakland to win their only home non-conference match, and sweeping through the IUPUI Tournament. Sweep really is the right word to describe what the volleyball team has been doing, as they’re on a six-game winning streak, and have won four of their last five games in straight sets. Rachel Iaquaniello was named the tournament MVP, with Paige Roback and Kristen Baker joining her on the all-Tournament team. Tonight the Eagles travel to Youngstown State (0-7), and then this weekend they’ll be in Salt Lake City to face Utah (4-3), Brigham Young (5-2), and California-Riverside (1-6) in the Utah Tournament.

To absolutely no-one’s surprise, despite having had no team practices yet this fall, the defending MAC champion EMU men’s cross country team won the Toledo Rocket Open. Also surprising no-one, EMU junior Terefe Ejigu, the defending MAC individual champion, was first across the finish line. Three other Eagles finished in the top ten: sophomore Grzego Kalinowski third, sophomore Harry Dixon sixth, and freshman Ian Hanke seventh. Senior runner Austin Hendrix, the team’s captain, finished in eleventh place. The next competition for the men’s cross country team will by the Spartan Invitational in East Lansing on September 16.

On the other hand, anyone paying casual attention to EMU’s  women’s cross country team got a big surprise. Not the team finish — Toledo, picked as the pre-season favorite to win the MAC and currently ranked 27th nationally won fairly easily, taking seven of the top ten spots — but the individual placings. Coming in to this race, EMU junior Courtney Calka had led her teammates in every one of the 14 races she had run, and was named a first-team All-MAC runner each year. So if someone told you that an EMU runner finished in first, you’d naturally think it was Calka, right? Well, on Friday, you’d have been wrong, because junior Morgan Churchwell took first place on behalf of the Eagles. I have no inside information about this, but I can speculate with the best of them. Maybe Churchwell trained better over the summer or maybe she simply coped better with the heat (the temperature was in the mid-90s at race time). We should know more soon, because the team will run in the George Dales Invitational, hosted by Western Michigan, this Friday. In the meantime, congratulations to Morgan on her win!

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