Five for Friday

Taking a look at the week’s key story lines

By The Sports Editors

Swimmers and divers return to water at Phoenix Invite

After an intense week of training in sunny San Diego at the beginning of winter break, the South Siders are back in Chicago and ready to compete. The team already has two wins in dual meets and a first-place finish at the Phoenix Fall Classic under its belt, and will be looking to deliver another strong performance after a hiatus from competition as hosts of the Chicago Invitational this weekend. Though the team has been competing since October, the most important stretch of their season is fast approaching with UAA Championships in just over a month. The Maroons hope to see the results of their rigorous training and keep dropping times as their competition season picks up starting tonight.

Women’s basketball looks to carve up Wash U

The Maroons (6–5) take on Wash U (10–1) in both squads’ first UAA competition of the year this Saturday in St. Louis. Chicago enters the game coming off a 73–68 victory over Loras (5–6). After completing the nonconference portion of their schedule, the South Siders now play within the UAA through the end of the season. They had a brief break for the holidays between December 19 and January 4 but are now in for a full slate of games that stretches into March. Keep an eye on fourth-year guard Julie Muguira, who leads the team with an average of 14.4 points per game.

Back on track: Men’s track and field opens season at home

Chicago hosts the Phoenix Invitational, its only home meet this month, on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. There are storylines aplenty to start the season, as the athletes look to fill holes left by a number of graduated fourth-years from last year. The meet should serve as a good survey and overview for the Maroons, who will compete against seven other teams, including at least one DI squad. Second-year pole vaulter Michael Bennett established himself last year by topping the UAA in his event with a vault of 4.68m at the indoor championships last February. Look for him to continue his dominance.

Men’s basketball to do some long-range hunting against Bears

This season Chicago has epitomized the saying “live and die by the three.” The Maroons (7–4) rank 33rd nationally in three-pointers made per game (8.9), but there is a stark difference between this statistic in their wins and losses. In Chicago’s victories, the team shoots 45 percent from beyond the arc compared to the 29 percent in losses. The South Siders journey to St. Louis to take on No. 7 Wash U this Saturday, so Chicago will be relying on hot shooting from third-year Royce Muskeyvalley (53 percent on threes), second-year Jordan Smith (46 percent), and fourth-year Charlie Hughes (43 percent) to have a chance to beat the Bears in their den.

Indoor season begins in Crown for women’s track and field 

Chicago opens up its indoor track and field season this weekend at home with the Phoenix Invitational. Seven teams will be coming from around Illinois and the Midwest, including Northwestern, Aurora University, and Milwaukee School of Engineering. Second-year Nkemdilim Nwaokolo will be a key returner for Chicago, as she was crowned UAA Champion in the shot and weight throw last season. Additionally, second-year Catherine Young will surely make an impact this season since she recently finished ninth at the cross country NCAA DIII Championship.