Michael Benson: April 2012 Archives

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT...

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Baseball: Northern Illinois went 2-3 during the week, but grabbed a critical series victory during the weekend against Eastern Michigan. After a 13-2 loss to UW-Milwaukee and a 4-3 defeat at Bradley, the Huskies rebounded with a tight 1-0 victory in the series opener against the Eagles of EMU. The home-standing Eagles would even the series with a 7-5 win on Saturday, but NIU took the three-game set with a 3-1 win.

Softball: The Huskies struggled in the diamond, but gained a big victory in MAC action. NIU began their week with a 12-3 loss against Northwestern. Yet, Northern grabbed a big 4-3 win against league-leading Bowling Green before losing the second game, 15-2. The Huskies would finish their weekend with two losses in a Sunday doubleheader at Toledo by 10-0 and 4-3 margins.

Track & Field: Northern Illinois capped its regular season off on a high note over the weekend at the Drake Relays and UW-Whitewater Alternative Meet. In Des Moines, the Huskies posted two top-five finishes, including a third-place finish in the 4x100 relay, and broke five school records. At UW-Whitewater, NIU brought home six event titles, while seven different athletes set new personal records.

Women's Golf: NIU concluded its 2011-12 season with an eighth-place finish at the 2012 Mid-American Conference Women's Golf Championships at Hawthorns Golf & Country Club in Fishers, Ind. Sunday. Senior Kelsie Passolt finished her NIU career on high note, turning in her lowest score of the season for a three-round event carding a 223 (78-80-75) to tie for eighth place, a career-best finish at the MAC Championships.

Men's Tennis:
With a 3-2 lead late in the contest, the Huskies fell to Western Michigan in the Mid-American Conference Tournament semifinals, 4-3. The Huskies end their impressive 2012 season 21-7.

Women's Tennis:
Northern Illinois dropped its quarterfinal matchup of the Mid-American Conference Tournament against the No. 2-seeded Akron Zips (22-3, 7-1 MAC) on Friday, 4-0. The loss marked the end of the Huskies' season as the team finished with an 11-12 overall record and a 2-6 mark in MAC play.

Three NIU teams will compete in the last week before final exams. Men's golf hosts the MAC Championships at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill., starting Friday. Meanwhile, baseball takes on Northwestern at Elfstrom Stadium in Geneva, Ill., and travels to UIC before hosting Central Michigan in a three-game weekend series, while softball caps off their regular season with games at Notre Dame and Western Michigan.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT...

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Football: Quarterback Jordan Lynch showed that he plans a seamless transition into the starting role as he threw for 402 yards on 29-of-44 passing with four touchdowns Saturday at Huskie Stadium in Northern Illinois' Red-White Spring Football Game. Lynch led the Red team, composed of the Huskie starting units on offense and defense, to a 31-6 victory over the White team in the final spring football practice of 2012.

Baseball: Despite strong pitching, the Huskies were swept at home over the weekend by the Toledo Rockets. The series opened with a 7-3 win by UT despite the Huskies holding the lead through seven innings. The Huskie offense struggled again on Saturday with a 5-1 loss, then dropped the finale in extras by a 4-3 margin.

Softball: It was a rough week for Northern Illinois as they lost all five games during the week. The week began with a 6-1 loss at UIC before hitting the road for two MAC series. Things did not improve at Ohio, though, as NIU dropped both games of a doubleheader, 4-1 and 9-3. The Huskies fell Saturday at Akron, 8-6, then closed out the week with a 12-6 defeat against the Zips.

Track & Field: The Huskies had a big week at two major meets during the weekend, breaking five school records between the Kansas Relays and Mt. SAC Relays. On Thursday, Courtney Oldenburg broke her own NIU mark in the 1500 meters with a 4:27.64 run, while Juliane Totzke toppled the 10,000 meters record with a 36:23.93 clip. Friday saw Chanel Kellyman set a new record in the 100 meters and Roneisha Frye (100 hurdles) and Rebecca Cronin (800 meters) added their names to the record books on Saturday.

Men's Golf: The Northern Illinois men's golf team wrapped up the regular season portion of its schedule with a seventh-place finish at the Boilermaker Invitational at the Kampen Course on the Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex. Freshman Thomas Dunne was the top-finishing Huskie, taking 13th with a final round 75.

Men's Tennis: The Northern Illinois men's tennis team surpassed the 20-win plateau for the first time since 1989 Friday with wins over Chicago State, 7-0, and Illinois-Chicago, 5-0. The Huskies close the regular season with a regular season record of 21-6 and MAC record of 4-1.

Women's Tennis: The Huskies dropped their final two regular season games at home this weekend. NIU was swept by Akron, 7-0, on Saturday, then dropped their Senior Day showdown with Buffalo, 5-2. The squad finishes their regular season at 11-11 overall and 2-6 in the MAC.

Six Huskie teams will compete this week. Three programs (men's tennis, women's tennis and women's golf) will head to their respective MAC Championships, including women's tennis hosting the conference tournament in DeKalb. In addition, softball hosts their final home game of the year Wednesday against Northwestern and baseball welcomes Milwaukee on Tuesday.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT...

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Baseball: The Huskies' week got off to a rough start Tuesday when they were dealt a 22-3 loss from Illinois State. The team rebounded quite well on Friday, as NIU took an 8-7 victory against the Miami (Ohio) RedHawks. Following Saturday's washout, the Huskies claimed the series behind a 7-5 victory in Sunday's first game, then got the sweep in the night cap with a wild 13-11 win against MU.

Softball: Northern Illinois went 2-3 during their week-long homestand at Mary M. Bell Field. On Tuesday, the Huskies' bats were silenced in a 6-1 decision against DePaul. Things would not improve on Friday, as NIU got swept in a doubleheader against Buffalo, 7-3 and 8-3. The team got back on the winning track Saturday with a 7-3 win against Kent State, then completed the two-game sweep with a 9-4 win on Senior Day.

Track & Field: The Northern Illinois track & field team closed out their weekend at the Lee Calhoun Memorial Invitational on a high note, taking four event titles Saturday in Macomb, Ill. Despite holding several of their top performers out of the meet, the Huskies took third place in the 13-team field with 126 points. Marquette won the meet with 202 points, while host Western Illinois was runner-up with 165.5 points.

Men's Golf: Junior Kurtis Luedtke recorded his best collegiate tournament finish, tying for eighth, helping lead Northern Illinois to a tie for fourth place at the COG Mizzou Intercollegiate. The Huskies posted a final round score of 298 to finish the 54-hole event with a total of 887, tied with IUPUI. Host Missouri won the team title for the second consecutive season with a total score of 856, the Tigers' Ryan Zech took individual medalist honors with an eight-under score of 208.

Women's Golf: The Huskies finished seventh at the Falcon Invitational hosted by Bowling Green Friday and Saturday. Allie Parthie moved up seven spots after trimming two strokes off her first round score of 80 to card a 158 and finish in ninth. Senior Kelsie Passolt made the biggest jump, climbing 15 spots to 22nd after posting a second round 80 to finish with a 163.

Men's Tennis: NIU went 1-1 over the weekend in their final home matches of the season. The Huskies stopped Toledo Saturday, 5-2, to move to 3-0 in MAC play. However, the team's unbeaten streak came to an end Sunday when Buffalo topped Northern, 5-2, in Rockford.

Women's Tennis: The Huskies split their two MAC matches for the second straight week. On Friday, NIU was bested by conference-leading Miami (Ohio), 6-1, in Oxford. The team ended their road trip on a positive note, though, with a tight 4-3 win against Ball State.

Six Huskie teams are in action during the upcoming week. The big event in DeKalb this weekend in SpringFest, which takes place Saturday with the Spring Football Game, baseball playing Toledo and women's tennis battling Akron.

HUSKIES EARN STUDENT CHOICE AWARDS

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For the first time, Northern Illinois Athletics was included in the annual Student Choice Awards event that was coordinated by the NIU Student Association.

NIU head coaches Dave Doeren (football) and Connie Teaberry (women's track and field) were on hand along with volleyball's Kristin Hoffman, Adam Kiel of football and several members of the Huskie football team as the awards were presented on Tuesday, April 10 at the Duke Ellington Ballroom. Doeren was named Coach of the Year while the Huskie football team was the SA's Team of the Year. Hoffman accepted the award as Athlete of the Year, and Kiel was honored for his dedication as a campus leader in the area of community service. The women's track and field team won the award for Most Improved Team on campus, which Teaberry accepted on behalf of the Huskies. 

Congratulations to these award winners and thanks to the Student Association for recognizing YOUR Huskies!

COMPHER SPEAKING TO BUSINESS LEADERS

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NIU Director of Athletics Jeff Compher is one of the featured speakers at today's Daily Herald Newsmakers' Forum on the Business of Sports, which will be held at The Meadows Club in Rolling Meadows, Ill. 

Compher and his fellow panelists, Dan Migala (The Migala Report), Vince Pellegrino (Western Golf Association), Andy Viano (Schaumburg Boomers Baseball Club) and Roger Wexelberg (Chicago Rush) will address "How to Score with Your Sports Marketing Dollars" to the 100-150 attendees representing small businesses from throughout the region. 

The session, presented by the Chicago Rush and the NIU College of Business MBA program and put on by the Daily Herald Business Ledger, includes a lunch in addition to the presentations by the presenters and the panel discussion.

In addition to Compher, several members of the athletic staff, including Associate Athletic Director Shelley Binegar, Director of Marketing Ryan Harris, Director of Ticket Operations Eric Schultz and General Manager of NIU IMG College Robert Heck will attend the seminar on behalf of Northern Illinois.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT...

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Baseball: Northern Illinois came close to grabbing a win over the weekend, but Ohio emerged with a three-game sweep over the Huskies in DeKalb. The NIU bullpen lost control of the game Friday in a 13-2 Bobcat victory. The two schools were locked in a pitcher's dual on Saturday - including NIU's Jake Hermsen throwing 138 pitches and getting seven strikeouts. Yet, Ohio got timely hitting for a 3-1 win. The series concluded with a back-and-forth affair that saw both teams combine for 29 runs and 31 hits, but the Bobcats got the sweep in a 19-10 marathon.

Softball: Northern Illinois rebounded from a tough first week of April to grab thee conference wins over the weekend. NIU would split a Friday doubleheader with Eastern Michigan, dropping the first game, 2-0, before grabbing the second in a 4-0 win. Playing at Central Michigan on Saturday, the Huskies dominated the Chippewas in a 5-1 win. The next day, NIU got a go-ahead two-run home run from Dani Parrish in the top of the seventh for a 4-2 win against CMU.

Track & Field: The Northern Illinois track & field team won the Chicagoland Intercollegiate Championships Friday in Chicago behind six event titles and several top five finishes. NIU scored 174 team points on the blustery day to take first in the 18-team field, followed by DePaul in second place with 136 and UIC in third with 85.

Women's Golf: The Northern Illinois University women's golf team finished ninth at the Marsh Landing Invitational hosted by the University of Cincinnati Tuesday. The Huskies were unable to move up the leaderboard after shooting a final round 332 for a total of 697. Stetson won the event, carding an 894, with SU's Alex Buelow winning the individual championship posting a 217.

Gymnastics: Northern Illinois gymnasts Kim Gotlund and Tanya Rachan had mixed results in representing the Huskies in the 2012 NCAA Gymnastics Champaign Regional on Saturday at the University of Illinois' Assembly Hall. Representing NIU with two competitors in the NCAAs for the first time since 2009, Gotlund had one of her best all-around scores of the season while Rachan slipped up for the first time all season in the floor exercise

Men's Tennis: Northern Illinois stayed unbeaten in MAC action with a 6-1 win against Ball State. After dropping the doubles point, the Huskies rattled off six singles wins to defeat the 2011 MAC champions. On Sunday, NIU lost 4-3 to Marquette in Milwaukee, Wis.

Women's Tennis: The Huskies split two conference matches in DeKalb over the weekend. NIU dropped a 5-2 match to Eastern Michigan on Friday, but rebounded to knock off Toledo, 4-3, on Saturday.

Seven Huskie teams are in action during the upcoming week. Softball hosts DePaul Tuesday, Buffalo Friday and Kent State Saturday and Sunday. Meanwhile, baseball hosts Illinois State on Tuesday and men's tennis welcomes Toledo (Saturday) and Buffalo (Sunday) to Rockford.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT...

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Baseball: The Huskies posted a 3-1 record during the week with a quartet of home games. On Tuesday, NIU withstood a late Milwaukee rally to defeat the Panthers, 5-4.In their Mid-American Conference home opener Friday, the Huskies defeated Akron, 10-5. The Zips, though, evened the series with an 8-1 victory on Saturday. Northern's offense awoke on Sunday with 11 hits in an 8-2 win in the rubber match.

Softball: The Huskies opened their home slate Tuesday against in-state foe Illinois State. However, Northern Illinois was dealt a 5-0 loss by the Redbirds. The next day, NIU dropped both games of a doubleheader with Loyola, 10-3 and 9-1. In their conference opening doubleheader on Friday, the Huskies suffered two narrow defeats to Miami (Ohio) with an 8-5 loss in game one and a 7-6 extra innings heartbreaker in the nightcap. NIU grabbed their first MAC win of the season Saturday with a 12-5 throttling of Ball State before falling 11-10 in eight innings on Sunday to the Cardinals.

Track & Field: Northern Illinois broke three school records over the weekend with athletes competing at both the Texas Relays and the adidas Raleigh Relays. In Austin, Texas, the 4x400 relay team of Chanel Kellyman, Rebecca Cronin, Julianne Cronin and Rasheta Butler set the new NIU standard with a 3:46.21 run. In the sprint medley relay later that day, Kellyman, Janay Mitchell, Butler and Rebecca Cronin added their names into the record books at a 3:57.72 clip. Meanwhile, Juliane Totzke broke the 5000 meters record in North Carolina with a 16:57.17 run.

Men's Golf: The Northern Illinois men's golf team concluded play at the Irish Creek Collegiate on Sunday, closing the tournament with a 10th place finish. Junior Kurtis Luedtke was the highest-finishing individual for NIU, tying for 26th with a 54-hole total of 217.

Women's Golf: The Northern Illinois University women's golf team struggled in its final round, but still finished in the top 10, placing seventh at the 18th Annual Saluki Invitational at Hickory Ridge Golf Course Monday. The Huskies shot a second round 325 to finish the tournament with a 642. The host Salukis of Southern Illinois won the event with a 608. SIU's Cassie Rushing took the individual championship with a 146.

Men's Tennis: Northern Illinois took two non-conference matches over the weekend to improve their record to 17-5. The Huskies earned a solid 5-2 win against Saint Louis on Saturday and edged Bradley, 4-3, to close out the weekend.

Women's Tennis: The Huskies moved back above the .500 mark over the weekend with wins in their final two non-conference matches of the year. NIU handled Valparaiso, 6-1, on Friday and followed that up with a 7-0 sweep of Western Illinois.

Six Huskie teams will compete during the upcoming week. Among the events in DeKalb include baseball hosting Ohio for a three-game set, women's tennis welcoming Toledo and Eastern Michigan, and men's tennis hosting Ball State.