Five for Friday: Taking a look at the week’s key story lines

By Jake Walerius

1. Maroons rewarded for performances at UAAs

Fourth-year sprinter Dee Brizzolara and first-year pole vaulter Michael Bennett were both honored by the UAA this week for their performances at the conference championship. Brizzolara was named the Men’s Most Outstanding Performer in running events and Bennett won the Rookie of the Year award. Brizzolara won both the 100-meter (10.78) and 200-meter (21.73), both times placing him in the Maroons’ all-time top 10. Bennett won his event with a jump of 4.81m. That height smashed the previous UAA Championship record of 4.65m and was 0.26m higher than any of his competition.

2. Football captains announced

Head football coach Dick Maloney announced his team captains for the 2013 season on Wednesday. Third-year defensive tackle Michael Cifor, third-year quarter back Vincent Cortina, and third-year linebacker Brian Duffy were elected by their teammates to captain the team next year. All three players are coming off of outstanding 2012 seasons. Cifor was named First Team All-UAA, recording 28 tackles and four sacks, Cortina threw for 1,377 yards and 10 touchdowns, earning him an Honorable Mention All-UAA, and Duffy made 43 tackles, six tackles for a loss, and two sacks.

3. Softball bids farewell to seniors

Chicago finished its season by splitting a doubleheader against Elmhurst on Tuesday and must now say goodbye to its three graduating seniors, fourth-years pitcher Kim Cygan, infielder Vicky Tomaka, and infielder Jacqueline Ryan. Ryan finished the season batting .330 with seven RBIs, while Tomaka batted .289 with a homer and seven RBIs. Cygan anchored an impressive rotation, finishing the season with a 2.79 ERA in 15 starts. On Monday, the three fourth-years bid farewell to Stagg Field in a doubleheader against Beloit, highlighted by Cygan’s five-inning no hitter in the first game of the two.

4. Baseball braces for homestretch

The Maroons have only five games left in their regular season, including games against Concordia and Carthage this weekend. The South Siders currently sit third in the independent conference standings behind Covenant and Huntingdon. Huntingdon (30–9) has the conference wrapped up, but a strong finish could potentially see Chicago (21–11) leapfrog Covenant (25–13), which has no regular season games remaining, landing in second place. With fourth-year pitcher Matt O’Connor on the mound and the offense continuing to roll, the Maroons will feel confident.

5. Tennis teams await tournament announcements

After fifth and third place finishes for the men and women, respectively, at the UAA Championship last week, the Maroons must now wait to find out their NCAA tournament fates. The women’s team was the runner–up at last year’s tournament and, after a solid finish in one of the strongest conferences in the country, will expect another tournament appearance this year. The question for them will be whom they face. The men’s fate is less certain. They placed 30th in the last national rankings, but a fifth place finish at conference may not be enough to secure them a spot in the national tournament.