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SXU Athletics Bring Home Titles and Honors in Fall 2018


Saint Xavier University's (SXU) Athletics Department saw a great deal of success during the 2018 fall semester, ranging from team triumphs to individual recognitions.

Women's volleyball coach Bob Heersema reached his 700th win with SXU during this past season and several Cougars made SXU history when senior hitter Rory Manion of Elmhurst, Helena Atton of Midland, Michigan and Alex Lambros of Oak Forest each recorded their 1000th career kill. Freshman Cassidy Wyman also saw a stellar first season with SXU where she was named to the AVCA All-Mideast Region Team and was recognized as the Region Freshman of the Year. The volleyball team would later go on to win the CCAC Volleyball Championship Tournament for the second straight season, claiming victory in a rematch against the Trinity Christian College Trolls.

Men's basketball coach Tom O'Malley reached a truly impressive milestone in mid-November when the Cougars went on the road and defeated Holy Cross College at Notre Dame, marking the coach's 500th career victory.

Women's basketball players Maddie Welter and Chanel Fanter made history as they both scored their 1000th career points, Welter reaching the milestone while playing against Wilberforce University in late November and Fanter against Judson University in early December.

The men's and women's cross countries teams raced their way to new personal records with junior Grace Maletich of Downers Grove and the trio of sophomore Mario Scarcelli of Joliet, junior Edwardo Martinez and junior Gabriel Esparza of Blue Island qualifying for the national championship meet in mid-November.

The women's soccer team set the example with 14 CCAC All-Academic Team selections and seven individuals named Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes, the most of any fall sports program at SXU. Men's soccer players Ricardo Aldape of Chicago Heights, Danny Lopez of Chicago and Daniel Weinhandl of Podersdorf Am See, Austria were all named to the All-CCAC Team with Aldape and Weinhandl earning First team honors. Freshman goalkeeper Shane Badertscher of Joliet also brought home the honor of being a five-time CCAC Defensive Player of the Week, becoming the first Cougar in the program's history to win five of the conference's weekly honors in a single season.

The SXU football team also saw a very impress run this past season, taking the conference title for the second season in a row before upsetting the #2 ranked Marian University Knights in the first round of the NAIA National Tournament. There were also a number of individual accomplishments, including three teammates being named to the Google Cloud Academic All-District Team, senior Justin Hunniford of Frankfort and junior Josh Hettiger of Oak Lawn being named MSFA Players of the Year and freshman Mike Iturbe of Palos Heights being honored as the NAIA Player of the Week in late October.

The 2019 semester promises even more triumphs for the Cougars with the winter programs in full swing and the spring season just around the corner.