Sports / The Prairie Fire / October 13, 2010

Roundup: women’s tennis, volleyball, cross country

Though they went just 4-10 in the regular season, the women’s tennis team had a .500 record (2-2) in Midwest Conference play this season. Third out of five schools in the Conference’s south division, the Prairie Fire will look to move up the ranks at the conference championship this weekend in Rockford, Ill.

The team is led by freshman Dana Pierce, whose 6-7 record in #1 singles play is good for fifth in the Midwest Conference. Sophomore Emily Tyl boasts the team’s best singles record, 8-4, in #6 singles play. Tyl, a sophomore from Downers Grove, Ill., finished the season strong, recording four straight victories to bring her overall record to 9-5.

In their last match before the conference championship, the Prairie Fire lost a non-conference tilt with St. Ambrose University 8-1. Tyl notched the lone Knox point.

It has been a decade since any women’s tennis player from Knox won a singles championship. Liz Ferry was the last to do it, winning the #3 singles title in 2000.

Volleyball winless again

Though they played St. Norbert College tough, the Prairie Fire could not notch their first Midwest Conference win last Saturday. St. Norbert (15-5 overall) improved to 2-1 in Midwest Conference play.

Though Knox was pasted in the opening game, 9-25, they recovered nicely, notching a 25-21 win in the second game. But they lost the last two in identical fashion: 15-25. Junior Kelly Ricketts led the Prairie Fire with 11 kills.

It was the team’s seventh straight loss, and their fifth straight in conference play. With only four contests left in the Midwest Conference, the volleyball team looks to avoid a winless season.

Their next two conference games are at home, against Lake Forest (9-12, 2-2) on Oct. 14 at 6:30 p.m. and Grinnell College (9-9, 3-1) Saturday, Oct. 16 at 1 p.m. Following the game against Grinnell, the Prairie Fire will host Iowa Wesleyan College (5-17) for a non-conference game at 5 p.m.

The game against Lake Forest will be part of a special “Play for the Cure” conference-wide event to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Admission to the game is free, but donations will be accepted. There will also be a raffle, trivia contest and games for fans of the Prairie Fire during the match.

Cross country back in action

After two weekends off, Knox’s cross country team will run again this weekend at the Illinois College Invitational in Jacksonville, Ill. this Saturday at 10 a.m.

The Prairie Fire will be bolstered by the return of freshman Gabe Moreno. Moreno missed the team’s last meet, the Forester Invitational, hosted by Lake Forest College. At Lake Forest, the Prairie Fire were led by sophomore Sean Choate and senior Ryan Maniscalco, who finished 23rd and 25th respectively.

It will be the team’s last warm-up before the Midwest Conference championship, which will be Oct. 30. The championship is hosted by Monmouth College in Monmouth, Ill.

Kevin Morris

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