In college athletics, the fall season is when everything starts anew. It’s when coaches are tweaking their rosters from the year before to see who improved the most and who can fill the roles of the graduated seniors. There’s an added degree of difficulty involved when you factor in a new coach. It takes time for players to learn the systems that will be put in place and for the new person in charge to learn how to best manage the roster they’ve taken over.
At Illinois College, seven of the eight fall sports have a new head coach for this 2014 season. Andrew Bartelmo (women’s tennis) and Abby Vorreyer (women’s golf) move into head coaching roles after being an assistant coach for their respective programs in 2013-14. IC graduate Jason Haynes returns to Jacksonville to man the helm of the men’s and women’s cross country and track programs. In volleyball, Kristy Duncan comes to Illinois College after being an assistant coach at Illinois Wesleyan. The soccer teams also have a pair of new faces on the sidelines. Tyler Sheikh joins the men’s side after being the head coach at Mt. Aloysius College. Linda Hamilton – a former collegiate All-American and member of the U.S. Women’s National Team – will run the women’s program.
The Week Ahead
Following football’s big win under the lights on Saturday, the soccer teams now take center stage for a doubleheader on Sept. 10 against Fontbonne University. The women’s team kicks off at 5 p.m., with the men’s game to follow at 7:30 p.m. The soccer teams will be back at England Stadium on Sept. 13 for another doubleheader. The men lead off this time, getting the day started at 1 p.m., with the women to finish off beginning at 3:30 p.m. against Concordia University (Chicago).
Beginning Sept. 12 and concluding on Sept. 13, the volleyball team will host the Illinois College Tournament inside Sherman Gymnasium. The Lady Blues will face Lakeland College at 3 p.m. and Rockford College at 7 p.m. on Friday, then close out the weekend with Culver-Stockton College at 10 a.m. and Anderson University at 2 p.m. on Saturday.
The men’s and women’s cross country teams will try to build on their solid start at Principia last weekend when the teams compete in the Bradley Intercollegiate on Sept. 12 at 5 p.m. in Peoria.
Women’s tennis will open its 2014 season on Sept. 13 and 14 at the Bellatti Tennis Complex. A pair of conference opponents – Cornell on Saturday and Grinnell on Sunday – will provide the opposition. First serve in each match is scheduled for 9 a.m.
After taking out Aurora by a score of 49-6 on Saturday, the IC football team will go on the road on Sept. 13 to face Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Ind. The game could be an early-season litmus test for the Blueboys; Rose-Hulman was 7-3 last season and won its season opener against Kalamazoo, 40-13.
Finally, the men’s golf team will begin an abbreviated fall season on Sept. 14 in Springfield, dueling with Illinois Wesleyan and Millikin in a three-team event.