Monday, April 21, 2014

Welke Named Harper Men's Basketball Coach

PALATINE, Ill. – The Harper College men's basketball program will have a new head coach after Tony Amarino retired as head coach last month. Justin Welke has been named the head coach of the Hawks.

"There were a lot of qualified individuals that applied for this position. Justin's resumé immediately stood out from the rest," said Harper Director of Athletics and Fitness Doug Spiwak. "He has had unique experiences that will help him to build a program based on excellence in the classroom and on the court. After meeting with him, I was so impressed with his level of enthusiasm and professionalism that he became the clear choice for the position."

A passionate, student-focused professional with experience and proven success, Welke is excited about the opportunity to coach at the college level. He served as the boys varsity basketball coach at St. Joseph School in Wilmette for over three years (2010-13) and most recently as the boys varsity coach at Roycemore High School in Evanston. Welke also is a head coach at RMG Hoops, a premier AAU travel program based out of the north side of Chicago.

"Interacting with kids with different backgrounds has really prepared me for this opportunity to help bring kids together as a team and expand the face of Harper basketball," Welke said.

Welke feels honored to be following in the footsteps of Amarino, an NJCAA Hall of Fame coach with over 300 wins at the junior college level.

Men's Basketball: Justin Welke Head Shot
Justin Welke is the new head coach of the Harper men's basketball team. (Bill Smith)
I'm excited to build on the sturdy foundation that coach Amarino established over several years here at Harper," Welke said.

Welke describes his coaching style as very interactive with both his assistant coaches and players. He draws his coaching inspiration from coaches who are strong teachers of the game of basketball. His biggest coaching influences are legendary high school coach Bob Hurley, legendary college coach John Wooden and current Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau.

Welke graduated with honors from Northwestern University in June of 2007 with a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering. Additionally, he graduated with honors and obtained his Doctor of Dental Surgery from University of Illinois at Chicago in June of 2013. He is currently a practicing dentist at the Arlington Heights Dental Group.

"I think he will connect with our student-athletes on several levels. He is a student of the game and a role model for aspiring athletes. He will show our students what they can accomplish with hard work and determination. He is well-organized and determined to bring success to our program. This is going to be a very exciting time for Harper basketball," Spiwak said.
Student-athletes who want to try out for the team next fall should contact the Athletics Department or fill out the online Prospective Athlete Form .

Most Valuable Hawk Competition Details Unveiled

Most Valuable Hawk 2014
PALATINE, Ill. – With the first-ever Most Valuable Hawk Competition less than two weeks away, we are giving student-athletes a sneak-peak of what the athletic competition will look like.

All of the competitions will be set up in the gymnasium, and athletes will go to each station once to complete that portion of the contest. Here is a list and description of potential games/competitions that will be held the night of Tuesday, April 29:

Hawk Trivia
Harper student-athletes must answer 15 trivia questions relating to Harper sports.
Bag Toss
Known as "baggo", "bags" or "cornhole" to most, athletes will compete to see who can score the most individual points in eight total tosses.
Basketball Shooting
Athletes get five free-throw attempts, each worth two points, and five 3-point attempts, each worth three points.
Hula Hoop Competition
Think you've got what it takes? This will be a timed event testing which Hawk can hula hoop the longest.
Athletes will get five shots from half court of the basketball court (no goalie) to see how many they can make.
Football Toss
Harper athletes will try to throw a football through hoops hanging from the basketball net and score the most points they can in six throws.



Berggren Signs with Harper College

Volleyball: Sarah Berggren Signing 2014
The Barrington High School standout will be playing for the Hawks in 2014. (Bill Smith)
PALATINE, Ill. – The Harper College volleyball program bolstered its recruiting class, recently signing Barrington High School standout Sarah Berggren.

Berggren, a 6-foot middle hitter, was a Daily Herald All-Area Honorable Mention selection in 2013 for the MSL champion Fillies. Off the court, the honor roll student and Windy City Power League All-Academic honoree plans on majoring in biology.

"She is a very hard worker. It's like she takes her hard-hat and lunch pail and goes to work," said Harper head coach Bob Vilsoet. "She is a strong hitter, excellent blocker, terrific server and hustles on every point. We are lucky to have her on our team."

Berggren is excited for the opportunity to play with many of her club teammates and for coach Vilsoet.
"He's a really good coach, and he believes in me," she said.

Her mother, Kathy Berggren, expressed confidence in her daughter's decision to come to Harper.

"She really likes playing for coach Bob, and this will be a great experience to have," she said.

Baseball Continues Solid Play Over Weekend

Baseball 2013: Theo Yfantis
Yfantis hit two homers for Harper over the weekend. The Hawks won three of four games. (Jim Cummins)
Box Score 1 | Box Score 2 | Box Score 3 | Box Score 4
PALATINE, Ill. – The Harper baseball team continued their solid play over the weekend. The Hawks ran their winning streak to 10 games with a win over Elgin Community College on Friday before falling in the second game. Harper (14-7) rebounded with a doubleheader sweep at Olive-Harvey College on Saturday afternoon.

Friday at Elgin
In the first game, Matt Ittersagen (Wheeler, Ind./Wheeler) (2-1) tossed a complete game, surrendering only one run in the Hawks' 5-1 win. Shortstop Theo Yfantis (Prospect Heights, Ill./Wheeling) provided a spark at the plate as he went 3-for-3 with a homer and four RBIs.

Harper led 6-2 in the bottom of the fourth inning of game two, but the Spartans exploded for 11 runs in the frame and went on to a 13-8 win. Kurt Becker (Palatine, Ill./Palatine) (2-for-3, three runs) and Tyler Crussen (Wheeler, Ind. /Wheeler) (2-for-3, RBI) were the standout hitters Dave Rzewnicki (Antioch, Ill./Antioch) (1-2) was saddled with the loss on the mound

Saturday at Olive-Harvey
Brent Kiesel (Streamwood, Ill./Streamwood) (3-1) tossed a complete game shutout and the Hawks won 11-0 in six innings in the opener. Yfantis homered for the second time in three games, and Becker was 2-for-4 with a triple and three RBIs.

In game two, the Hawks jumped out to a 15-1 lead after 4 ½ innings and slugged their way to a 16-7 win and sweep of the Panthers. Kevin Conrad (Twin Lakes, Wis./Wilmot)hit his first homer of 2014 and drove in three runs. Angelo Curtis (Chicago Heights, Ill./Marian Catholic) went 2-for-3 with two doubles and three RBIs, and Anthony Beale(Chicago, Ill./Walter Lutheran) had a breakout performance, going 2-for-3 with four RBIs. Catcher Andrew Haney (Milton, Wis. /Milton) went 1-for-3 with two RBIs.

Eric Orozco (Melrose Park, Ill./Immaculate Conception) (1-0) yielded two earned runs over five innings for his first collegiate victory on the mound.

Up Next
The conference games scheduled for Sunday, April  13 against Joliet were postponed due to weather. They were rescheduled for Tuesday, April 15 but postponed again due to the weather. No make-up date has been announced.

Harper plays at Kishwaukee College Wednesday and home against Moraine Valley on Thursday. The Hawks take on N4C foe DuPage on Friday for a doubleheader. 

Hawks Perform Admirably at Chicagoland Outdoor Championships

Men's track and field photo for nationals
The Hawks performed admirably at the Chicagoland Outdoor Championships. (Jim Cummins)
ROMEOVILLE, Ill. – Facing tough wind conditions and several four-year universities, the Harper College men's track and field team performed admirably at the Chicagoland Outdoor Championships hosted by Lewis University. Two athletes met national-qualifying standards, and several others set PR's.

John Walker (/Huntley) qualified for nationals in both the 100 (11.25 seconds) and 200 (22.81 seconds) while personal-best times. In the javelin, Brad Walls (/Palatine) took fifth place with a national-qualifying throw of 46.83m (153' 7").
Sprinters Tom Rohn (/Cary) and Brennan Bryan (/Wilmington) set PR's in the 200-meter dash with times of 22.33 seconds and 23.76 seconds, respectively. Distance runner Andrew Guibord (Crystal Lake, Ill./Prairie Ridge) set a PR in the 3k steeplechase with a time of 11:22.91.

Ernest Downing () earned points for the team with a sixth place finish in the 400-meter hurdles in a time of 59.12 seconds. The 4x100m relay group of Walker, Bryan, Rohn and Downing scored points with a seventh place finish in 44.62 seconds.

The Hawks scored 18 points in the meet and tied for 13th place out of 20 teams. North Central College (180.5 points) was the overall meet winner, followed by host Lewis (122 points) and Illinois-Chicago (73 points).

The Hawks are back in action at the Concordia University Invite on Thursday, April 17.

Harper Women Overcome Difficult Conditions

Hurwitz (right) qualified for nationals in both the 100 and 200. (Jim Cummins)
ROMEOVILLE, Ill. – Despite a very breezy day, the Harper women's track and field team posted outstanding results at the Chicagoland Outdoor Championships hosted by Lewis University. In total, two Hawks qualified for nationals in their events and five set PR's.

Stephanie Hurwitz (Rolling Meadows, Ill./Fremd) qualified for the national meet in both the 100-meter and 200-meter dash. Her 100-meter time of 13.19 seconds was a PR as was her 200 time of 27.20 seconds. Lara Sladek (/St. Viator) earned a spot at nationals in the shot put with a toss of 9.55m (31' 4").

Sprinter Taylor LoCoco (/Prairie Ridge) posted PR's in both the 200-meter (27.85 seconds) and 400-meter (1:07.61) dashes.  In the distance events, Mary Piltaver (/Conant) set a personal-best in the 1500-meter run with a time of 5:51.89 while Lori Delfin (/Wheeling) ran a personal-best 20:53.17 in the 5k.

The Hawks are back in action at the Concordia University Invite on Thursday, April 17.

Walsh Named All-American Honorable Mention

Men's Basketball: Kevin Walsh All-American Honorable Mention 2013-2014
PALATINE, Ill. – The NJCAA recently released the 2013-14 Men's Basketball All-America teams. Harper men's basketball player Kevin Walsh (/St. Viator), a First Team All-Conference and All-Region selection, has been named an All-American Honorable Mention.

The 6-foot-3 guard/forward averaged 16.6 points a game for the Hawks and eclipsed the 20-point mark in nine contests, including four of his last five games. Walsh shot 44.1 percent from 3-point range and hit a team-best 83 triples in 29 games. He was also the team's top rebounder at 5.0 per game and shot 81.8 percent from the free throw line.

To view the full list of All-Americans, click here.

Becker Bringing it in Sophomore Season

Athlete of the Week: Kurt Becker 2014
PALATINE, Ill. – Harper sophomore Kurt Becker (Palatine, Ill./Palatine) had a great freshman year, hitting .377 and earning All-Region honors. So far in the spring 2014 baseball season, Becker is on another planet with his production.

The third baseman is fourth in the nation in batting average and is already cementing his legacy as an all-time great at Harper. Becker was recently named NJCAA Div. III Player of the Week and now can lay claim to the 17th Harper College Athlete of the Week for the 2013-14 school year.

Becker, who also has excelled in the classroom with N4C Academic All-Conference honors, is thriving this year for the Hawks and has been an integral part of the team's current nine-game winning streak over the last week and a half.

In 17 games, he is hitting .544 (fourth in the nation) with three home runs, 16 RBIs, 23 runs scored and eight stolen bases. His batting average comes in 57 at-bats, which is 28 more at-bats than the top hitter, St. Cloud's Michael Barreneche. He is also sporting a .576 on-base percentage (ninth in nation) and slugging percentage of .842 (third in nation).

Athlete of the Week: Kurt Becker File

"He's just using all parts of the field. He came out of the gate hot, and he's been hot," said Harper head coach Cliff Brown. "You know what you are going to get every time out."

The Palatine High School product signed with NCAA Div. II Lewis University back in November. Despite having a place to play next year, he says he hasn't been complacent.

"You don't want to be content and take this year off," he said. "It freed my mind and just let me play the game. I've been seeing it well, and I'm just trying to stay aggressive and show Lewis how good I can do this year."

Becker's recognition at the national level was well-deserved. In seven games from March 31-April 6, the left-handed slugger hit .545 (12-for-22) with a homer, eight RBIs, 16 runs scored and five steals.  In spite of his success, he is quick to give credit to his teammates.

"(Leadoff man) Chris Elliot is doing a good job getting on base. With the threat of Theo (Yfantis) behind me, they can't really pitch around me," Becker said. "Guys are building confidence and swinging freely now."

The Hawks' second hitter in the lineup, Becker also thinks his team's 4-0 start in N4C play isn't a mirage.

"I think we can win the conference, get the No. 1 seed in the region, go down to Tyler, Texas for the World Series and make some noise down there," he said.

Harper Softball Splits With Madison

Softball: Jaz Skor 2014
The Hawks split with Madison. (Jim Cummins)
Box Score 1 | Box Score 2
PALATINE, Ill. – The Harper College softball team rebounded nicely from a 3-1 game one defeat at the hands of Madison by winning game two 8-3 to salvage a doubleheader split.

Game one was dominated by pitching, as Madison's Bridget Jost went the distance in the circle, surrendering just one run and striking out six. Tori Liewergen (Elk Grove Village, Ill./Elk Grove) (3-6) picked up the loss for Harper, giving up three unearned runs in 4 1/3 innings. Sam Cummings (Roselle, Ill./Lake Park) hit her third homer of the season for the Hawks while Jaz Skor was 2-for-2 at the plate and pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings.

Trailing 3-1 in the game two, the Hawks (4-7, 2-4 N4C) scored seven runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, all after two outs, and beat Madison (9-14, 2-4 N4C) 8-3. Kaitlyn Keegan (Elk Grove Village, Ill./Elk Grove)'s single plated Alexis Filler (Hanover Park, Ill./Hoffman Estates) for the go-ahead run.

Two batters later, Liewergen drew a bases loaded walk to make it 5-3. Lindsay Cannon (McHenry, Ill./McHenry West) followed with an RBI single, and Raegan Fingerman (Fox River Grove, Ill./Barrington) and Cummings each drew walks to build the lead to 8-3.

Skor (1-1) pitched three scoreless frames for the win. Cannon led the offense with a 3-for-4 game, and Keegan went 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs.

Harper hosts McHenry County College for a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon beginning at 1 PM.

Becker Named National Player of the Week

Baseball: Kurt Becker National Player of the Week 2014
Becker was named the NJCAA Div. III Player of the Week. (Jim Cummins)
PALATINE, Ill. – Harper sophomore third baseman Kurt Becker (Palatine, Ill./Palatine) has been named the NJCAA Division III National Player of the Week.

Becker was selected based on his performance in seven games from March 31-April 6. He was a big reason the Hawks went a perfect 7-0 in those games, hitting .545 (12-for-22) with a homer, eight RBIs, 16 runs scored and five stolen bases.

For the year, Becker is hitting a robust .544 (fourth in the nation) with three homers, 16 RBIs and eight stolen bases in 17 games. Becker also has six doubles and a triple and has only been hitless in one game while posting a .576 OBP and .842 slugging percentage.

"It doesn't surprise me he is doing well because of how hard he has worked in the fall and winter," said headCliff Brown. "It's been awesome to watch, and I think his success is pushing his teammates to get even better."

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Hawks Win Wild One, 13-12

Box Score
PALATINE, Ill. – After losing a three-run ninth inning lead, the Harper College baseball team won 13-12 on a walk-off blunder by Prairie State to capture their ninth consecutive victory.
The Hawks (11-6) trailed 7-3 in the fifth inning but scored eight times in the frame and once in the seventh to take a 12-7 lead. The Pioneers (12-7) scored two in the eighth and then tied it at 12-12 in the top of the ninth on a two-out, three-run homer by Cody Vogler.

In the bottom of the ninth, Tyler Crussen (Wheeler, Ind. /Wheeler) reached on a leadoff single and stole second base. After Angelo Curtis (Chicago Heights, Ill./Marian Catholic)struck out, Crussen stole third base. Neal Ori (Palatine, Ill./Palatine) hit a shallow popup on the edge of the outfield grass, but Prairie State's second baseman and center fielder collided, allowing the ball to drop and Crussen to cross home plate for the win.

Curtis and Kurt Becker (Palatine, Ill./Palatine) were the offensive stars for Harper in the win. Curtis went 3-for-5 with his first homer of the year while Becker continued his torrid hitting by going 4-for-5 with a homer and four RBIs. Steven Yfantis (Prospect Heights, Ill./Wheeling) (3-1) only recorded one out in the game but picked up the win on the mound.

The Hawks have a busy weekend ahead with doubleheaders at Elgin Community College and Olive-Harvey College Friday and Saturday and a home conference doubleheader against Joliet on Sunday. For a full schedule, click here.

Hawks Stay Hot, Win Eighth Straight

Baseball: Becker-Kiesel Win over South Sub 2014
Becker homered in the game, and Kiesel preserved the win for the Hawks. (Jim Cummins)
Box Score
PALATINE, Ill. – Trailing 3-2 in the sixth inning against South Suburban, the Harper baseball team scored runs in the sixth and seventh innings to take a lead, and they held on for a 4-3 victory and their eighth straight win.

The Bulldogs (11-13) opened the scoring with two runs in the first off Harper starter Mickey Wazorick (Rolling Meadows, Ill./Rolling Meadows). Hawks' third baseman Kurt Becker (Palatine, Ill./Palatine) hit his second homer of the year in the bottom half to cut the deficit to 2-1. South Suburban scored again in the fifth on a Stephen Letz single, but the Hawks (10-6) made it 3-2 on a defensive blunder by the Bulldogs.

Harper catcher Zach Jones (/Maine South)' sac fly in the sixth inning scored Theo Yfantis (Prospect Heights, Ill./Wheeling) and tied the game. Chris Elliot's no-out RBI groundout in the bottom of the seventh gave the Hawks their first lead of the game.

Wazorick (2-1) was replaced by Brent Kiesel (Streamwood, Ill./Streamwood) in the eighth inning with the Hawks nursing a 4-3 lead.  Kiesel allowed a hit, walk, and hit batter in two innings of work but got Dominic Albanese to strike out swinging to pick up his first save of the year and give the Hawks the win.

Harper Men Qualify Several for Nationals at Wheaton Invitational

Men's track and field nationals Lim
Five Harper men’s track and field athletes and a relay group qualified for nationals at the Wheaton Invitational over the weekend. (Jim Cummins)
WHEATON, Ill. – Five Harper College men's track and field athletes and a relay group qualified for nationals at the Wheaton Invitational over the weekend.
Let's take a look at those who qualified:
-Tom Rohn (/Cary) in the 200-meter dash with a time of 22.80 seconds (also a PR) and in the 400-meter dash with a time of 49.94 seconds (also a PR)
-Max Anderson (/Cary Grove) in the 400-meter dash with a PR time of 51.12 seconds
-Juan Barajas (Hoffman Estates, Ill./Schaumburg) in the 10k with a PR time of 32:27.41
-Sebastian Ramirez (Lima, Peru/Palatine) in the 10k with a PR time of 33:21.81
-Vince Greco (Elk Grove Village, Ill./Elk Grove) in the 10k with a PR time of 35:40.12
-The 1600m relay team of Anderson, Rohn, Zach Stella (Palatine, Ill./Palatine) and Ernest Downing () qualified for nationals with a PR time of 3:30.33
Now let's take a look at other athletes who set PR's at Wheaton:
-Anderson in the 200-meter dash (23.69 seconds)
-Alex Brown (/Rolling Meadows) in the 400-meter dash (1:04.97)
-Junious Matlock () in the 800-meter run (2:09.28)
-Jhoan Lino (León, Guanajuato/Streamwood) in the 1500-meter run (4:05.06-sixth place)
-Stella in the 1500-meter run (4:10.07)
-Nick Modlin (Wheeling, Ill./Wheeling) in the 5k (15:51.15)
-Downing in the 400-meter hurdles (58.60-seventh place)
-Brennan Albuck (/Hoffman Estates) in the 3000-meter steeplechase (10:19.35)
-Brad Walls (/Palatine) in both the hammer throw (35.44m or 116' 3") and javelin (38.05m or 127' 9").

Up Next
Harper is back in action this weekend at the Chicagoland Outdoor Championships, hosted by Lewis University in Romeoville.

Harper Hawks Win Gold from NCMPR

PALATINE, Ill. – The Harper College athletic department is pleased to announce that the Harper Hawks 2013-14 athletics brochure designed by the Harper College Marketing Services department has won the gold Paragon award, the highest honor in the "Sports Brochure" category. The award was recently given by the National Council for Marketing & Public Relations (NCMPR).

The brochure took top honors over College of the Sequoias in Visalia, California, which received the silver award. Century College of White Bear Lake, Minnesota earned the bronze.

It's great to be able to work with Harper's Athletic Department on projects like this," says Mike Barzacchini, Director of Marketing Services. "It's important to communicate the many opportunities student-athletes have to compete, learn and succeed at the college."

"This was a collaboration between Athletics and Marketing which resulted in a brochure that reflected the excellence of the program as well as the image of the college," said Harper Director of Athletics and Fitness Doug Spiwak.

To view the brochure, click here.

Five Hawks Qualify for Nationals at Wheaton Invitational

Women's Track and Field: Lara Sladek 2013
The Hawks had five athletes qualify for nationals in their respective events. (Jim Cummins)
WHEATON, Ill.  – In their third outdoor meet of 2014, the Harper College women's track and field team had five athletes qualify for nationals in their respective events.

Taylor LoCoco (/Prairie Ridge) set a PR in the 400-meter dash and qualified for nationals with a time of 1:07.70. LoCoco also PR'ed in the 200-meter dash with a time of 28.97 seconds. Marisa Andreuccetti (Elk Grove Village, Ill./Conant) ran a 2:32.05 in the 800-meter run to qualify.

Lori Delfin (/Wheeling) (43:15.66) and Mary Piltaver (/Conant) (43:39.61) both ran PR and national-qualifying times in the 10k. Lara Sladek (/St. Viator) stood out in the hammer throw with a toss of 31.34m (102' 10") for a berth in the national meet.

Other notable performances included a PR from Stephanie Hurwitz (Rolling Meadows, Ill./Fremd) in the 100-meter dash with a time of 13.25 seconds. In the women's shot put, Cieara Royster () set a personal-best with a toss of 7.89m (25' 10 ¾ "). Anna Lanier (Dominican Republic/Home School) showed promise in the javelin with a toss of 17.08m (56').

Harper is back in action this weekend at the Chicagoland Outdoor Championships, hosted by Lewis University in Romeoville.

Hawks Run Streak to Seven Games with Weekend Wins

Baseball 2013
The Hawks won four games over the weekend to run their winning streak to seven games. (Jim Cummins)
Box Score 1 | Box Score 2
PALATINE, Ill. – The Harper College baseball team capped off a perfect 7-0 week with doubleheader sweeps of Olive-Harvey College and Rock Valley over the weekend. The Hawks got four complete games from their starting pitchers and were led offensively by standout third baseman Kurt Becker (Palatine, Ill./Palatine).

Saturday vs. Olive-Harvey
Harper hosted Olive-Harvey and picked up a 6-2 win in game one. Dan Schlitter (Bartlett, Ill./Bartlett) (1-1) pitched seven innings of two-run ball with five strikeouts for his first win of 2014. Schlitter surrendered two runs in the first inning but shut down the Panthers for the remainder of the game.

The Hawks scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning. Theo Yfantis (Prospect Heights, Ill./Wheeling)' sac fly scored Kurt Becker (Palatine, Ill./Palatine), and Angelo Curtis (Chicago Heights, Ill./Marian Catholic)' two-out triple to left field tied the game. Curtis (2-for-2, two runs) scored on a passed ball to give Harper a lead. The Hawks scored twice in the bottom of the third and added a final insurance run in the fifth inning.

In the second game, the Hawks put up a five-run first inning and went on to win 13-1 in five innings. The Hawks got contributions up-and-down the lineup. Kurt Becker(Palatine, Ill./Palatine) went 1-for-2 and hit his first homer of the year. Austin Eliades (Palatine, Ill./Palatine) went 1-for-3 with three RBIs, and first baseman Jeremy Merino(Orland Park, Ill./Carl Sandburg) was 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs.

Starting pitcher Matt Ittersagen (Wheeler, Ind./Wheeler) (1-1) didn't allow an earned run over five innings and struck out five for the win.

Sunday at Rock Valley
Behind a 4-for-4 performance at the plate from Becker and a complete game from Steven Yfantis (Prospect Heights, Ill./Wheeling) (2-1), the Hawks beat the Golden Eagles 5-2 in game one. Yfantis scattered seven hits and allowed only one earned run in the victory. The Hawks scored two runs in both the first and fifth innings and added an insurance run in the sixth inning.

In game two, Chris Elliot went 3-for-5 with a homer and starting pitcher Dave Rzewnicki (Antioch, Ill./Antioch) (1-1) tossed a complete game as Harper (9-6, 4-0 N4C) topped Rock Valley (1-9, 0-4 N4C) 10-3. Elliot's two-run blast, his first of the year, came in the top of the fifth and extended the Hawk lead to 8-2.  Becker (2-for-5, two RBIS), James Ioriatti (/Hersey) (2-for-5, two RBIs) and Neal Ori (Palatine, Ill./Palatine) (2-for-3) also recorded multi-hit games.

The Week Ahead
The Hawks host South Suburban College on Tuesday and Prairie State College on Wednesday.  On Friday, the Hawks travel to Elgin Community College for a doubleheader starting at 2 PM. On Saturday, the Hawks play a doubleheader at Olive-Harvey College beginning at noon. Finally, the Hawks wrap up the week on Sunday with a home conference doubleheader against Joliet.

Hawks Slug Their Way to Sweep of McHenry

Box Score 1 | Box Score 2
CRYSTAL LAKE, Ill. – The Harper College softball team scored an incredible 44 runs in a doubleheader sweep of McHenry County College on Sunday afternoon. The Hawks took game one, 19-0, and won game two, 25-14.

In game one, Harper (2-3) wasted no time by scoring 10 runs in the first inning. The Hawks scored in all five frames and had a whopping 22 hits for the game. Tori Liewergen(Elk Grove Village, Ill./Elk Grove) (1-2) pitched two scoreless innings for her first win of the year and also went 3-for-3 with a triple and three runs.

Eight of Harper's nine hitters had multi-hit games. Sam Cummings (Roselle, Ill./Lake Park) was 3-for-3 with a double and two RBIs while cleanup hitter Raegan Fingerman(Fox River Grove, Ill./Barrington) went 2-for-4 with four RBIs. Anna Kawka (Franklin Park, Ill./East Leyden) went 3-for-4 with an RBI and Ashley Alicea (Lake in the Hills, Ill./Huntley) was a perfect 2-for-2 with three RBIs.

In game two, Harper amassed 20 hits in the victory. After falling behind 9-5 through three innings, the Hawks responded with eight runs in the fourth, three in the fifth, four in the sixth and five more runs in the seventh inning.

Cummings continued her hot hitting by going 2-for-4 with a three-run homer, six RBIs and five runs scored. Lindsay Cannon (McHenry, Ill./McHenry West) was 3-for-6 with five runs scored, and Fingerman was 4-for-6 with four RBIs. Second baseman Beth Petrunich (McHenry, Ill./McHenry East) was 2-for-6 with three RBIs.

Liewergen (2-2) pitched four innings for the victory and again provided a spark at the top of the lineup, going 3-for-6 with four runs scored and two RBIs.

The Hawks open their conference schedule with a doubleheader at Madison today beginning at 3 PM.

Weather Forces Postponements/Cancellations

Baseball and Softball: Weather Issues 2014
Weather has made it difficult on the Harper softball and baseball seasons up to this point. (Lynsey Ciezki and Jim Cummins)
PALATINE, Ill. – The Harper College softball and baseball teams have endured a tough start to the spring so far in regard to the weather.
Here is the latest on the postponements/cancellations:

Harper (0-3) and Joliet were set to play in Joliet on Tuesday, but those games were postponed. The Hawks were then scheduled to take on Triton yesterday at home, but bad weather forced the cancellation of that doubleheader. Those games will be made up on Wednesday, April 23.

The games scheduled for today, April 4, against Moraine Valley Community College, have been cancelled. No make-up date has been announced.
The games scheduled for Saturday, April 5 at Madison have been moved to Monday, April 7.

The Hawks (5-6) were originally slated to take on Illinois Valley Community College on Thursday for a doubleheader, but rain forced the cancellation of those games. Those games were moved to today but had to be cancelled again. No make-up date has been announced.

Harper will play a home doubleheader tomorrow (Saturday) against Olive-Harvey College beginning at noon.

Sokolowski Signs with Harper College

Volleyball: Lauren Sokolowski Signing 2014
Sokolowski with her mom Kristin and head coach Bob Vilsoet on signing day. (Bill Smith)
PALATINE, Ill. – The Harper College volleyball program will add another Rolling Meadows High School standout to the team. Lauren Sokolowski recently signed her NJCAA Letter of Intent to play for the Hawks beginning in the fall of 2014.

Sokolowski, a 5-foot-8 outside hitter, was a two-year varsity letter winner in volleyball playing for Mustangs coach Joe DiSilvio and had also played for Harper head coach Bob Vilsoet's Sky High Volleyball club team.

"Lauren is a very exciting and electrifying player. She hits hard and plays great defense," Vilsoet said. "She's a primary server receiver and has a very effective jump serve."

The last two Harper College hitters that hailed from Rolling Meadows – Christy Lima and Veronica Dabrowski(Mount Prospect, Ill./Rolling Meadows) – both went on to become All-Americans at Harper College. Sokolowski says she is looking forward to what the future holds.

"I felt I should keep on the legacy of Meadows players coming here," she said. "These next two years are going to be some of the best volleyball that I will play."

Sokolowski, who has academic interests of psychology and sociology, says coach Vilsoet's coaching style motivated her to come to Harper. Her mom, Kristin Sokowloski, agreed with her and is glad she made the decision.

"To start out at a junior college is a good thing, and Harper has a very good reputation," she said.

Hawks Sweep Conference Opener vs. Milwaukee

Baseball: Theo Yfantis 2013
Yfantis swung a hot bat on Tuesday, going 6-for-8 with three doubles and three RBIs. (Jim Cummins)
Box Score 1 | Box Score 2
PALATINE, Ill. – The Harper bats were on fire Tuesday afternoon in the Hawks' home-opening doubleheader against Milwaukee. In game one, Harper pounded out 14 hits and won 19-9 in five innings. In game two, the Hawks recorded 12 hits and held on for a 9-8 victory over the Stormers.

After the Stormers (2-9, 0-2 N4C) scratched across a run in the top of the first inning of game one, the Hawks (4-6, 2-0 N4C) exploded for 10 runs in the first inning and never looked back. They scored twice in the second and three more times in both the third and fourth innings to build an 18-2 lead.

Milwaukee used a seven-run fifth inning to make it 18-9, but Chris Elliot's no-out RBI single scored Neal Ori(Palatine, Ill./Palatine) (1-for-1, three RBIs) to end the game.

Steven Yfantis (Prospect Heights, Ill./Wheeling) (1-1) threw all five innings for his first win of the 2014 campaign. His brother, shortstop Theo Yfantis (Prospect Heights, Ill./Wheeling), was a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate with three runs scored and two RBIs. Outfielder Chuck Terron (Tyrone, Ga./Sandy Creek) went 1-for-2 with three RBIs, and designated hitter James Ioriatti (/Hersey) also went 1-for-2 with three RBIs in the game.

Despite falling behind 4-2 after two innings in game two, Harper scored two times in both the third and fourth innings and added three runs in the fifth inning to take a 9-5 lead. Milwaukee scored twice in the sixth and another time in the seventh. With two outs and the bases loaded, Dan Pultorak (Dixon, Ill./Dixon) struck out Milwaukee's Lucas Keller to give the Hawks a 9-8 win and his first save of the season.

Brent Kiesel (Streamwood, Ill./Streamwood) (2-1) earned the victory on the mound for Harper, and Milwaukee's Tyler Hart was saddled with the loss.

Kurt Becker (Palatine, Ill./Palatine) went 3-for-3 with three runs and two RBIs, and Theo Yfantis (Prospect Heights, Ill./Wheeling) went 2-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI.

The Hawks are back on the field today at home against Rock Valley for a non-conference game. First pitch is set for 3 PM for this nine-inning game.

Men's Track and Field Posts Strong Showing at DuPage

Men's Track and Field: Tom Rohn and Will Botefuhr 2014
Rohn and Botefuhr each qualified for nationals with their performances at DuPage. (Jim Cummins)
GLEN ELLYN, Ill. – The Harper College men's track and field team had four more athletes qualify for nationals with their performances at the College of DuPage Invite over the weekend. Ernest Downing ()Tom Rohn (/Cary),John Walker (/Huntley) and Will Botefuhr (Arlington Heights, Ill./Prospect) all qualified in their respective events while the Hawks took sixth as a team at the meet.

Downing impressed in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 16.14 seconds, good for third place. Rohn ran a PR time of 51.10 seconds in the 400-meter dash to qualify for the national meet in May.

In the 200-meter dash, Walker crossed the finish line in 23.38 seconds for eighth place and a bid to nationals. Botefuhr qualified for nationals in the hammer throw with a toss of 37.98m, good for fourth place overall.

Juan Barajas (Hoffman Estates, Ill./Schaumburg) (15:52.40) and Brennan Albuck (/Hoffman Estates) (16:05.55) each ran PR times in the 5k and took second and fifth place, respectively. The 1600m relay group of Rohn, Downing, Zach Stella (Palatine, Ill./Palatine) and John Majerus (Elk Grove Village, Ill./Elk Grove) took second place with a time of 3:37.51.

The Hawks return to competition on Saturday at 4 PM at Wheaton College.