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Pair of Saints to compete in inaugural NAIA classic

A pair of University of St. Francis football senior student-athletes, Kody Randa (SR/Sandwich, Ill.) and Brandon Ruffin (SR/Peoria, Ill.) will be representing the Saints at the 2019 NAIA Senior Football Classic, which will be held on Saturday, Dec. 14, at Memorial Stadium in Savannah, Ga.

The inaugural game will feature around 100-plus seniors from across the nation with team rosters divided into east and west squads.

Randa, a three-year starter and 2018 honorable mention All-MSFA Midwest League honoree, compiled a team third-most 61 total tackles (30 solos) this season to go with four tackles for minus 17 yards and a quarterback hurry.

The 2017 All-MSFA Midwest League Second-Team performer concluded his four-year (2016-19) career with 196 total tackles (87 solo stops) in 43 appearances.

He also accumulated 4.5 quarterback sacks for minus 40 yards and had two pass interceptions for 40 yards in his USF career.

Ruffin, a 2019 All-Mid-States Football Association (MSFA) Midwest League First-Team selection, was the Saints’ top receiver this season with a squad-high 31 pass receptions for 416 yards and three TD’s in 11 outings despite facing double coverage on most offensive plays.

The four-time (2016-19) first-team All-MSFA Midwest League pick also produced a team-leading 544 kickoff return yards and averaged 25.9 yards on 21 returns.

Ruffin completed his four-year (2016-19) career as the school’s all-time leader in yards receiving (3,013 yds.), total touchdowns (38), and receiving touchdowns (37).

He also presently ranks second on the career leaders list in receptions (170) and points scored (229).

The Saints concluded the 2019 season at 3-8 overall with a 2-4 MSFA Midwest League record.


The Lewis University women’s bowling team finished its fall season with a 10th-place finish at the National Team Match Games, a United States Bowling Congress Tier One Tournament, hosted by McKendree University over the weekend at Bel Air Bowl.

The Flyers, bowling in their first USBC tournament of the season, were consistent throughout the weekend, averaging a 180 after both six traditional team games Saturday and 20 Baker games Sunday.

They finished with a grand total of 9,024 pins.

Mount Mercy won the tournament with 10,202 pins, while Wright State was second with 9,874 and St. Ambrose was third with 9,831.

Lewis was in seventh place after the first day, shooting a 5,423 in traditional play.

It sat in eighth place heading into the final block of four Baker games Sunday before being passed by a pair of teams.

Still, the Flyers shot a 3,601 on the day Sunday.

Individually the Flyers were paced by Kayla Dench (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield East), who shot a 1,103 in six games and Kylie Johnson (Belvidere, Ill./Belvidere North), who added a 1,086.

Kaylee Zukovich (Joliet, Ill./Joliet West) recorded a 943 in five games, Clara Ferrari (Peru, Ill./LaSalle-Peru) had a 749 in four, Michelle Tiltges (Lansing, Ill./Thornton Fractional South) had a 715 in four, Jenna Sussenbach (Naperville, Ill./Plainfield North) rolled a 341 in two, Hayley Gregerson (Beach Park, Ill./Warren Township) shot a 329 in two and Erin Biccochi (Ladd, Ill./Hall) added a 157 game.

• Lewis’ 14th ranked women’s volleyball team has received the number one seed and will host the upcoming NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Tournament at Neil Carey Arena from December 5-7.

The Flyers (27-5) earned their 14th consecutive bid and 19th overall, as the bracket for the Midwest Regional was announced on Nov. 25.

Lewis will take on eighth-seeded Saginaw Valley State (20-8) on December 5th. In their last meeting, the Flyers defeated the Cardinals 3-0 back on August 31, 2012 in West Palm Beach, Fla.

Hillsdale earned the number two seed and will play seventh seeded Indianapolis. Missouri-St. Louis will take on Michigan Tech in the 3-6 matchup.

Ferris State earned the number four seed and will take on fifth seeded Rockhurst.

“We’re thrilled to host the regional again,” Lewis head women’s volleyball coach Lorelee Smith said. “It will be nice to play on our own court, sleep in our own beds and have our normal routine. Ultimately, we have to prepare ourselves to take on Saginaw Valley’s best shot and have to come ready to play next Thursday.”

Lewis’ streak of 14 consecutive NCAA trips is the longest of all women’s volleyball teams in the Midwest Region and longest ever of any Lewis program since the Flyers joined the NCAA Division II ranks in 1981.


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