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  • Abbey Peters

The University of Olivet Sports Round-Up

Tennis

The men’s tennis team is currently 0-3 and 0-1 in the MIAA.

“Despite our record, I am very proud of the way our team has battled this season,” said coach Brandon Ralston.

Ralston’s squad is youthful, with nine freshmen earning spots in the starting lineup between the men’s and women’s teams. Seven of those freshmen have earned wins so far.

“Lucas Anderson has had a storybook beginning to his freshman year here. He has been faced with a difficult task of playing one doubles and two singles and has responded in a big way, already earning three victories,” Ralston said.

So far, the women have been led by doubles team of freshmen Kayden Alli and Madison Golden. Like Anderson, the pair has earned three wins.

Ralston praised the team’s leadership, saying that captains Leah Hopkins and Trevor Lewis have done well at welcoming incoming freshmen to the team.

Only the top four teams in the MIAA will make the conference tournament. Ralston said that as a team, UO is simply focused on one competition at a time.

“As we progress, the first goal is to play meaningful matches down the stretch of the season. This will be a key experience for us even if we fall short, as it will better prepare us for the next year’s tournament push.”


Football

UO’s football team, led by coach Dan Musielewicz, is 2-2. The Comets defeated Kalamazoo College 42-14 on Oct. 7 in their first MIAA game.

“We have had a couple of tough games and losses. We are battling quite a few injuries. We expect to be very competitive through the rest of the season,” said Musielewicz.

Coach Musielewicz said that UO’s veterans are contributing greatly to the team’s efforts. Fifth year players Ricky Williamson and Dennis Simmons are leading the defensive line, while Andrew Elenga and SirQuarius Ball have helped lead the offense.

As for the end of the season, the team is not looking too far ahead.

“We are focused on our performance one day and one week at a time,” Musielewicz said.


Cross Country

The UO Cross Country teams have been competing for almost a month, most recently racing at the Calvin University Knight Invitational on Sep. 29.

The men placed sixth at the meet and were led by senior Chris Davis, who ran the eight-kilometer course in 25:30 to take third place individually.

Coach Karen Lutzke said she is hoping to see at least one UO runner competing at nationals in November. Lutzke said it will be crucial for the younger runners on the team to adjust to competing collegiately.

“Our top runners are seniors, so we are looking for some of our underclassmen to continue to contribute as they make the adjustment to racing 8k rather than 5k from their high school days,” Lutzke said.

The women’s team has had a great start to the season, including a seventh place finish out of fifteen teams at the Lansing Cross Country Invitational on Sep. 22.

“We have a strong group of newcomers and seniors that contribute. The ladies are racing well together and pushing one another,” Lutzke said.

Most recently, the women took fifth place at the Knight Invitational on Sep. 29. Four UO runners recorded personal bests on the five-kilometer course.

Both teams will look to improve their ranking in the MIAA at the conference meet on Oct. 28 at Hope College.


Volleyball

The UO women’s volleyball team is off to a strong start this season. The Comets are currently 10-9 overall and 1-1 in the MIAA. They are led by Jenessa Hicks, who is in her second season as the head coach.

A strong junior class has led the way for the team, including outside hitter Abi Nunez. Nunez was honored as UO’s female Comet of the Week on Oct. 2 for her performances against Alma and Grace Christian. She recorded 33 kills and a .333 hitting percentage between the two matches.

The next month consists of mostly conference matches. UO will play three straight road games, starting with Oct. 10 at Albion, and then finish the season with three home games.


Golf

UO’s men’s golf team has been competing since Sep. 1. The squad has finished in eighth place in three straight MIAA Jamborees.

Olivet’s highest finisher at the Sep. 30 MIAA Jamboree was junior Connor Jewell, who completed the course in 79 strokes. Jewell tied for 36th place individually at the competition.

The women’s team has also finished eighth in all three MIAA Jamborees. The team’s best finish came on Sep. 3 at the Stateline Shootout in Mount St. Joseph, Ohio. UO finished third out of eight teams.

The Comets have been led by junior Rylee Honsowitz at the past two competitions. Honsowitz shot an 81 at the Sep. 30 MIAA Jamboree to tie for ninth place individually.

The final MIAA Jamboree will be hosted by Olivet at the Medalist Golf Club in Marshall on Oct. 11. The season concludes on Oct. 16 at the Cleary Invitational.


Soccer

UO’s soccer teams are both coached by Doug Carter. The men are currently 1-3-6.

Olivet began its MIAA schedule on Oct. 3, hosting Kalamazoo College. The game finished in a 2-2 tie. On Oct. 7, the Comets tied another MIAA game, this one against Albion.

The women’s team is 0-10 and 0-4 in MIAA play. UO has yet to score a goal, but junior goalkeeper Sarah Willard has grabbed 75 saves this season.

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