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Tuesday Tidbits

September 18, 2012

Remember how I commented on the possibility of the Detroit Titans women’s soccer team being a bit jetlagged — due to their trip to Hawaii the weekend before — heading into a matchup against EMU last week? Well, they were worse than jetlagged; they didn’t make it back in time. According to Detroit’s press release, the Thursday afternoon game was postponed indefinitely “due to team travel difficulties for Detroit returning from Hawaii”. This puts the Eagles in the unfortunate position of having nearly a two-week break between the end of their non-conference play and the start of MAC play.

MAC play starts this Friday with a trip to Northern Illinois. The Huskies currently have the best record in the MAC West, but since it’s based on non-conference play against teams of various quality, that’s meaningless. A better metric is performance against common opponents, of which they have one…sort of. EMU began the season with a 1-1 tie in exhibition at Illinois State, while Northern Illinois lost 1-0 at home to the Redbirds just a couple weeks ago. The Eagles will continue their road trip by heading to Toledo on Sunday; the Rockets also lost 1-0 to Illinois State two days ago.

The Eastern Echo has a profile article on junior Rachael Rye, who has yet to play in a game this fall.

The EMU men’s cross country team opened their season at the Spartan Invitational. The 8k race was not scored as a team event, but EMU senior Terefe Ejigu won for the second straight year, posting a time of 24:28. EMU sophomore Daryl Smith finished sixth, with a time of 25:01, while Harry Dixon took 21st, Warren Witchell 45th, and Willy Fink 49th. EMU’s men’s and women’s cross country teams will be in Toledo this Friday, for the Toledo Invitational and the Toledo Bubble Buster, respectively.

The women’s tennis team also got things going this weekend, and though they travelled farther than the runners, they were no less successful. In the Gopher Invitational in Minneapolis, no team score was kept, but Diana Davitaia won the top singles division for the Eagles, and did it by beating her teammate, Klara Supejova, who took second for EMU. In the top doubles division, Superjova and Mariya Toncheva finished second. The team will be off this weekend before heading to Florida for the FIU Panther Invitational at the end of the month.

Things did not go well for the EMU volleyball team this week.

I almost want to leave it at that, but we might as well run down the matches; let’s at least make it quick. Tuesday night they lost at Oakland University 3-2. Over the weekend the team was in Ann Arbor for the Coke/Michigan Invitational. In a Friday doubleheader they lost 3-0 to #22 Michigan and then lost 3-1 to Duke, and on Saturday they lost 3-1 to Western Kentucky.

With the four recent losses, the team heads into MAC play with a 10-6 record. EMU will host Western Michigan — preseason favorites to win the conference — this Friday night, followed by Northern Illinois on Saturday night.

The EMU women’s golf team finished ninth (of 17 teams) in the Mary Fossum Invitational in East Lansing. Senior Meredith Fairbairn posted the best score for the Eagles, finishing tied for 12th place after shooting 224 (75-75-74). The men’s golf team, meanwhile, finished eighth (of 14 teams) in the Wolf Run Invitational in Zionsville, Indiana. Senior Spencer Slade finished in 7th place with a score of 213 (66-72-75). This weekend the women will compete in the Wolverine Invitational in Ann Arbor while the men head to the Windon Memorial in Skokie, Illinois.

EMU freshman track and field runner Latipha Cross was featured on an ESPN News segment over the weekend. Via the magic of YouTube, here it is:

I thought about making this its own post, but it just doesn’t seem like that big a story: Rob Murphy has a new contract. His base salary — and his buyout — remain unchanged at $210,000, but he gets a $10,000 raise (to $25,000) for doing his radio show for the school, putting his “real” base pay at $235,000. Most of the incentives are also increased, including bonuses for home attendance (starting at $1,000 for each game that draws 1,500 people), total Division I wins (starting at $7,500 for 12 wins), coach of the year awards, winning the MAC West, getting a top-5 seed in the MAC Tournament, playing in any post-season tournament, post-season tournament wins, and being ranked (starting at $5,000 per season for an appearance in the ESPN Mid Major College Poll). The bonuses would top out somewhere over $120,000, but to put it in perspective, he would have earned about $37,000 in incentives if this structure had been in place last year. Also, each assistant coach will get 5% of any bonus Murphy earns. Although I don’t agree with every item in there (e.g., incentives for the College Insider Tournament and College Basketball Invitational), on the whole, I think an incentive-heavy contract is a reasonably good way for EMU to hold out the promise of higher pay to its coaches.

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