Block, Bounce, and Bunt

Extraordinary Year for Illinois Tech Athletics

By Marcia Faye
Samuel Rarick
#55 Samuel Rarick (EE/M.S. CE 5th year)

During the 2016–17 academic year, two Illinois Tech Scarlet Hawks varsity teams qualified for United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) tournaments for the first time in the history of the university: men’s basketball and women’s volleyball. Men’s basketball finished 22–6 and reached the USCAA Division I National Basketball Championship game, losing to the Concordia College Alabama Hornets 61–51. [See feature story “They Got Aim.”] Although women’s volleyball ended the season 19–18, losing to Rochester College in the quarterfinals, team captain and recent graduate Irena Grauzinis (BCHM ’17) was named a USCAA All-American and all nine players received All-Independent Team honors from the Association of Division III Independents (AD3I).

Two additional students were named to the AD3I All-Independent Team: Orlando Cardenas-Juan (ARCE 1st year), men’s cross country, and Anida Phetchanpheng (ARCH 4th year), women’s soccer. Besides Grauzinis, three students from the men’s basketball team were named USCAA All-Americans: Malik Howze (ARCE 2nd year), Anthony Mosley Jr. (BA 2nd year), and Samuel Rarick (EE/M.S. CE 5th year). To round out her student-athlete experience at Illinois Tech, team captain and new graduate April Wanagas (BME, M.A.S. CHE ’17) was named USCAA Division III Women’s Basketball Student-Athlete of the Year. A recap of other highlights this past year includes:

Swimming and Diving

Brendan Howley
Brendan Howley (AE 3rd year)

The men’s swimming and diving team earned a third-place finish at the Liberal Arts Championships (LAC) held in February in Elsah, Illinois, with 15 of 18 swimmers getting on the scoreboard. It was the team’s highest finish since 2013. Eight Scarlet Hawks were named to the conference’s All-Championship Team. The women’s swimming and diving team had an equally strong showing at the LAC, also finishing third. It was the team’s highest finish since 2010. Five swimmers were named to Liberal Arts All-Championship Team. Fifteen out of 17 Lady Hawks scored points giving the team one of the highest percentages of point scorers in program history.

Women’s Lacrosse

Isabella Rubin
Isabella Rubin (ME 2nd year)

The women’s lacrosse team, established in 2014, ended the season with an overall finish of 15–2, a Midwest Women’s Lacrosse Conference (MWLC) finish of 10–1, and a share of the MWLC regular season title—the highest finishes yet for the young team. Alyssa DeLuca (AE 2nd year), Madison Meredith (ARCH 2nd year), Isabella Rubin (ME 2nd year), and Jennifer Young (CE 2nd year) all earned places on the All-MWLC First Team with Cassandra Reineke (CE 3rd year) named to the All-Sportsmanship Team. Meredith was also named Midfielder of the Year and DeLuca Co-Attacker of the Year.

Men’s Baseball

 Men’s Baseball

The much-anticipated South Side Classic, a baseball game between Illinois Tech and this year’s rival, the University of Chicago Maroons, was held on the professional grass of Guaranteed Rate Field on May 6. Chicago won by a score of 8–6.

Mminika Effiong
Mminika Effiong (ARCH 1st year)

Track and Field

Women’s track and field team member Mminika Effiong (ARCH 1st year) long-jumped her way into Illinois Tech’s record book hitting the 4.67-meter mark at the University of Chicago Margaret Bradley Invitational. Cole Dammeier (ME 2nd year), men’s track and field, broke the indoor school record in the 3,000-meter run, also at the invitational.





Photos: Illinois Tech Athletics