Lewis men's volleyball team is picked first in the MIVA


Last updated 12/18/2019 at 2:14pm

The Lewis University men’s volleyball team is picked first in the preseason Midwest Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (MIVA) preseason poll, released Monday (Dec. 16).

The Flyers received 63 points, including seven first place votes. Purdue Fort Wayne was picked to finish second with 52 points and received one first place vote. Loyola was picked to finish third receiving 46 points.

Lewis is well represented on the 2020 Preseason All-MIVA team, with four members selected to the team, the most of any team in the conference.

Seniors Ryan Coenen (Franklin, WI/Franklin) and Kyle Bugée (Cupertino, CA/Homestead) and redshirt juniors Tyler Mitchem (Bolingbrook, Ill./Bolingbrook HS) and TJ Murray (Barrington, IL/Barrington HS) were picks for the All-MIVA Team.

Coenen was an All-MIVA First Team selection, an AVCA All-America Second Team selection and a Volleyballmag.com All-America honorable mention selection a year ago. Mitchem was also an All-MIVA First Team selection and an AVCA and Volleyballmag.com All-America Second Team selection. Murray was named to the All-MIVA Second Team last year.

“Being recognized by the league is always a privilege,” Lewis head men’s volleyball coach Dan Friend said. “We have a great group of returning guys along with some new pieces who have been working extremely hard. We are looking forward to the season beginning.”

The Flyers open their regular season schedule at home with matches against King (Jan. 3) and third ranked BYU (Jan. 4). Both matches are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

Track and Field

Lewis’ men’s and women’s track and field teams recorded a total of 23 top eight finishes at the University of Iowa’s Jimmy Grant Invite on Saturday (Dec. 14) in Iowa City, Iowa.

Michael Lyons (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield Central HS) and Keegan Zack (Watseka, Ill./Watseka Community) had the top finishes on the men’s side for the Flyers as Lyons took second in the high jump clearing a height of 2.00 meters (6’06-3/4”) while Zack finished second in the triple jump with a leap of 13.68 meters (44’10-3/4”).

Jibreel Brown (Orland Hills, Ill./Carl Sandburg HS), Dom Wood (Merrillville, Ind./Merrillville) and Reese Kocanda (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield South) finished third, fourth and eighth respectively in the 300 meter dash. Brown finished in a time of 35.60 seconds while Wood crossed the line at 35.76 seconds and Kocanda came in at 36.69 seconds.

Dan Ford (Romeoville, Ill./Romeoville) finished fourth in the mile with a time of 4:26.02. John Partee (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield South) set a new school record in the 1,000 meter run with a time of 2:27.74 breaking the record of Connor Ritzi (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso) by nearly three seconds. Will DeBolt (Naperville, Ill./Naperville North) finished sixth in the triple jump with a leap of 12.51 meters (41’00-1/2”).

Lewis’ 4x400 meter relay team of DeBolt, Partee, Connor Wagner (Elgin, Ill./Burlington Central) and Chaz Sales (Merrillville, Ind./Merrillville) won the first of two heats with a time of 3:23.61 and finished fifth overall in the event.

Brandon Clincy (Chicago, Ill./Whitney Young) finished seventh in the high jump clearing the bar at 1.95 meters (6’04-3/4”). Wagner also finished eighth in the 60 meter hurdles with a time of 8.42 seconds.

On the women’s side, Jada Hoffman (Chicago, Ill./Kenwood Academy) and Rachael Ramon (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley) finished second and fourth respectively in the 60 meter dash with times of 7.66 and 7.84 seconds. Allison Heinzer (Sugar Grove, Ill./Kaneland HS) finished second in the 300 meter dash in a time of 39.39 seconds.

The 4x400 meter relay team consisting of Heinzer, Joelle Ataeesien, Heather Batterham (Peoria, Ill./Peoria Notre Dame) and Teresa Zaragueta (Spain/) finished third with a time of 3:49.85 which is a Division II provisional qualifying mark.

Ataessien finished sixth in the 60 meter hurdles with a time of 8.90 seconds. Zaragueta took third in the high jump clearing a height of 1.65 meters (5’05”).

Lewis had four of the top eight finishers in the triple jump. Alecea Cardillo (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield North) finished third with a leap of 11.66 meters (38’03-1/4”), Anna Laudizio (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield North) finished fifth with a jump of 11.60 meters (38’00-3/4”), Ramon came in sixth with a leap of 11.37 meters (37’03-3/4”) and Natasha Bernett (McAlpin, Ill./Lane Tech) finished eighth with a jump of 10.84 meters (35’06-3/4”).

Laudizio and Cardillo finished sixth and seventh in the long jump with leaps of 5.16 meters (16’11-1/4”) and 4.99 meters (16’04-1/2”) respectively.

The Flyers are back in action on Friday (Jan. 10) when they host the Lewis Invite beginning at 4 p.m.

Women’s Basketball

Lewis’ women’s basketball team raced out to an early 10-0 lead and never looked back on its way to a 75-54 win in an exhibition contest at St. Francis on Thursday evening. The Flyers were led in scoring by Rachel Hinders (Johnston, Iowa/Johnston) with 17 points.

Lewis knocked down three of its first shots from the floor including a pair of three’s to open the contest while holding the Saints scoreless for the first 3:30 minutes. USF got back-to-back three’s from Jordan Pyle and Kaitlin Aylward to cut the Flyer lead to four with less than three minutes to play in the opening quarter but Lewis closed the quarter strong scoring six of the final eight points to take a 16-8 lead into the second quarter.

The Flyers extended their lead to as many as 15 points thanks to a 9-2 run over a two minute span midway through the second quarter.

Lewis shot 43 percent (13-for-30) from the field in the first 20 minutes, was 4-of-13 from three and hit all five of their free throws. Williams led all players in scoring with 13 points while Dajae Black (Chicago, Ill./Marist) added six and Hinders added five.

The Flyer defense held the Saints to just 27 percent shooting (9-for-33) including 3-of-15 from three. Aylward and Andriana Acosta led USF with five points apiece.

Lewis hit its first four shots, including three three’s, from the floor to begin the second half to extend its halftime lead to 50-31. USF responded with a 9-2 run to cut the Flyer lead to 12 with 2:30 left in the quarter but the Flyers closed the quarter scoring four of the final five points to take a 15-point lead into the final 10 minutes.

Lewis extended its lead to as many as 23 points on a three-pointer from Lindsay Harrison (Yorkville, Ill./Yorkville) with 1:42 remaining in the contest.

Ten different Flyers scored in the contest with Hinders and Williams reaching double figures. Lewis finished the contest shooting 50 percent (26-for-52) from the field, was 10-of-24 from three and shot 93 percent (13-for-14) at the foul line.

The Saints ended the game shooting 29 percent (20-for-70) from the field, was 5-of-26 from downtown and shot 64 percent (9-for-14) at the foul line. Aylward finished with 16 points.

Men’s Basketball

Lewis’ men’s basketball team extended its winning streak to four with an 86-72 win at St. Francis on Thursday evening. Anthony D’Avanzo (Harwood Heights, Ill./Notre Dame) led three Flyers in double figures with a career-high 25 points in the contest. The 86 points for Lewis were a season-high.

The Flyers (4-3) scored the first six points of the contest but then the two teams started to trade baskets over the next 10 minutes as Lewis led 28-26 with 8:06 to play in the opening half.

The Flyers went on a 12-2 run over the next four minutes to build a 40-28 advantage.

The Saints (4-5) cut the deficit to seven with five quick points before Lewis closed the half on an 11-0 run to take a 51-33 lead into halftime.

The Flyers shot over 70 percent from the field in the opening half and was even better from three hitting 8-of-11 attempts (73 percent). D’Avanzo led Lewis with 10 points while Adam Pischke (Cary, Ill./Marian Central Catholic) dropped in nine and Dre Bell (Detroit, Mich./River Rouge) added eight.

The Flyers scored the first eight points of the second half to extend their run to 19-0 to build a 26-point lead less than two minutes into the second half.

D’Avanzo hit back-to-back three’s in the run while Bell added two free throws.

USF got back to within 12 at 70-58 with 8:37 remaining on a three-pointer by Carlos Tovias. That would be the closest they got as Lewis pulled away with a 14-5 run over the next five minutes to extend its lead back to 21 points.

The Flyers finished the contest shooting a season-high 56.6 percent (30-for-53) from the field, was 12-of-23 from three (52 percent) and shot 78 percent at the foul line. They outrebounded the Saints 27-to-25 and forced 19 turnovers in the contest.

D’Avanzo led all scorers in the contest and was joined in double figures by Pischke with 15 and Bell with 13.

Kam Leonard (Bolingbrook, Ill./Bolingbrook) led the way with five rebounds and Pischke added six assists.


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