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February 15, 2005

BOT Approves Two Honorary Degrees For Commencement At SIUE

One of the greatest female athletes of all time and an historian who edited and annotated the 19th Century journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, have been chosen to receive honorary degrees at the May 7 commencement, according to action taken by the SIU Board of Trustees at its regular monthly meeting last week.

However, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, one of the recipients chosen, has notified the board she will be unable to attend because of scheduling conflicts. University officials said another candidate will be chosen for the May 7 commencement and she will receive her award at a later date.

The other recipient is Gary Evan Moulton, retired Thomas C. Sorensen Professor of American History at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, who will receive an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.

Moulton produced 13 scholarly volumes and a single abridged volume that contain the accounts written by members of Lewis and Clark's historic Corps of Discovery.

During the winter of 1803-04, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark set up camp at what later became the city of Wood River as members of the expedition readied for exploration of the Louisiana Territory, newly acquired by the United States under then-President Thomas Jefferson. The president had charged the explorers with mapping the territory and also finding a Northwest passage to the Pacific Ocean.

Some 180 years later, Professor Moulton began the arduous and painstaking task of editing and annotating, for publication by the University of Nebraska Press, the various contemporary accounts written by the members of that historic expedition. To accomplish this feat, Moulton drew on several disciplines including botany, medicine, astronomy, cartography, as well as history.

SIUE Chosen As Host Of The 2005 Lincoln Academy Convocation And Investiture

SIUE has been chosen as the host of the 2005 Lincoln Academy convocation and investiture, black-tie reception, dinner, and ball on Saturday, April 30. More than 300 guests are expected to attend, including Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and many other Illinois dignitaries.

The gala event will take place in Meridian Ballroom, on the first floor of the Delyte W. Morris University Center. The Lincoln Academy, unique among the 50 states, was established in 1965 to honor Illinois' most distinguished citizens who have brought honor to the state by their achievements. "We are honored to be chosen to host this prestigious event on the SIUE campus," SIUE Chancellor Vaughn Vandegrift said.

Vandegrift is currently pulling together a group of civic volunteers to help plan the event. "This is a great opportunity for the University to partner with the community in showing the entire state our Southern Illinois brand of hospitality."

Gov. Blagojevich recently announced that six world-famous Illinoisans-who have excelled in communications, business, education, sports, science, and social service-will receive the Order of Lincoln Medallion at the SIUE event. The award is the highest that can be bestowed by the state.

This year's Laureates of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois are: Edward Brennan, retired chairman, president, and CEO of Sears, Roebuck and Co.; David S. Broder, Washington Post political correspondent who received the 1973 Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary; Nick Holonyak Jr., head of the University of Illinois' Micro and Nano Lab in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering; George E. Inglett, innovator and marketer of corn and soybean-based weight loss and fat replacement products that have improved the health of millions of people around the world; Jackie Joyner-Kersee, the Sports Illustrated "Female Athlete of the 20th Century" and Olympic gold medalist; and Stephanie Pace Marshall, an international leader, speaker, and writer on the issues of educational innovation, schooling re-design, gifted education, and mathematics and science education.

Lincoln Academy Chancellor John B. Simon of Chicago will preside over the April 30 ceremony. The traditional reception, banquet and ball will follow the ceremony.

Black Theater Workshop To Blend Culture, History

In an effort to blend culture and history through the performing arts, SIUE's Black Theater Workshop director Kathryn Bentley is enthusiastic about presenting three one-act plays that chronicle the African-American experience during the past 100 years.

The Annual Black Theatre Workshop, produced each year by the Department of Theatre and Dance, opens at 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 25, and will continue at 7:30 p.m. that evening and at the same curtain time Saturday, Feb. 26, all in the Dunham Hall theater. Admission is free, but tickets must be reserved or picked up through the Fine Arts box office, (618) 650-2774.

The plays-woven together by song, dance, and visuals, all under the theme of "The Color Connection"-include Zora Neale Hurston's Color Struck, Ted Shine's Contribution, and the premiere of St. Louis playwright Gregory S. Carr's A Colored Funeral.

"These three plays take the audience on a cultural journey," Bentley said, "making stops in 1900, 1969, and present day. They highlight self identity, the quest for freedom and social-cultural reflection."

The Color Connection is a collaboration with the East St. Louis Performing Arts Center and the East St. Louis Charter School, with a performance ensemble that includes 11 SIUE students along with 10 students from the Charter School and the Performing Arts Center.

Bentley, a guest artist, joins Theodore Jamison, director of the Performing Arts Center, as choreographer for the production with Andrea Smythe as assistant choreographer and Associate Music Professor Reggie Thomas as musical director and accompanist.

Color Struck deals with the issues of color among blacks in the early 1900s. Emma, a darker-hued woman struggles with her feelings of inadequacy and is unable to return the affection given by John, her lighter-skinned lover. "Hurston's play is one of the premier contributors to the Harlem Renaissance era," Bentley pointed out. "Although it is rarely performed, its issues are still relevant even in today's society.

Bentley said Contribution was written during the turbulent Civil Rights Movement, reflecting the turmoil that Blacks lived through as they struggled for freedom and equality. "Eugene is a college student who is participating in a sit-in with some of his colleagues in hopes of integrating a 'whites only' lunch counter," Bentley explained. "He believes that his grandmother is too old to participate in the freedom marches and sit-ins. She reveals to him that she, too, is making a contribution to the struggle-in her own way."

Carr's A Colored Funeral is a satirical, comedic, poignant and sometimes irreverent look at death in the African-American community, Bentley said. "The excerpts of this work that will be performed span from a monologue of a little girl killed by a drive-by shooting, a vaudeville spoof of a character actually being late for his own funeral, and a satirical spoof on a Black funeral."

The director, an alumna of SIUE, is very enthusiastic about the collaboration with the East St. Louis staff and students. "It has been an extremely important part of this process," Bentley said. "There is so much talent there, with Theodore Jamison and Andrea Smythe, along with the professional Dunham Dancers. This is a great opportunity for our students on the Edwardsville campus to be exposed to that talent.

"Also, the students from the Charter School are benefiting from being part of this production, in which they are not only learning about life at the turn of the century, but are having the opportunity to perform on the main stage at Dunham Hall. This has been a wonderful experience.

"And to top it off, we are blessed to have the musical expertise of Reggie Thomas who is not only the musical director but is also performing in the show. SIUE students also will get a kick out of seeing Assistant Provost Rudy Wilson making a cameo appearance."

"I hope everyone leaves the production having learned something, having felt something, having remembered something," Bentley said. "I want people to take what they've experienced and discuss it over dessert. Each audience member should become a teacher-letting someone else know about what they've learned.

"Theater and the arts are the most tangible ways to transmit culture and history. Theatre-goers make an emotional investment when they allow themselves to experience a play. The Color Connection is an opportunity for audience members of all ethnic backgrounds to learn about some aspects of the African-American culture that may have been unfamiliar to them."

NCERC Among Only Eight Groups To Receive Grant

SIUE's National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center (NCERC) has been notified it is among eight awardees of funding from The State Technologies Advancement Collaborative (STAC). The award comes to $633,000, part of a total $6.4 million awarded for various energy research projects.

The NCERC will use the funding to develop ways to better utilize co-products of corn-based ethanol production to gain new markets. The NCERC and its research partners were among only four groups in the Midwest to receive funding as a result of STAC's Energy Efficiency and Fossil Energy Science Solicitation.

"The funding will allow the NCERC, working with its research partners on this project, to better ensure the economic future of dry-grind fuel ethanol plants," says Martha Schlicher, director of the NCERC at SIU Edwardsville. The NCERC's research partners are Washington University in St. Louis, Emerson Process Management, and Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc.

Schlicher said the research project also is made possible in part because of preliminary work funded by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Division of Renewable Fuels.

The research focuses on Distiller's Dried Grain with Solubles, or DDGS, which is a co-product of dry-grind fuel ethanol production. "Used as animal feed for cattle, poultry, and swine, DDGS is an important part of the overall economic value of dry-grind ethanol production," Schlicher explained. "This funding will help ensure the continued success of these ethanol plants that are located throughout this country, existing in rural communities across the Corn Belt."

The research being conducted by the NCERC will help to determine what factors in the ethanol production process influence the quality of the DDGS. With this information in hand, fuel ethanol plants and corn growers will have better information with which to ensure they are delivering the highest value products to the marketplace. In addition, livestock producers will benefit as a result of the research which will provide a better feed product.

Some 35 proposals totaling $29 million were competing for the STAC funding, but only eight were chosen, representing state and regional Department of Energy offices, state research institutions, public and private universities, and other qualified organizations in response to the STAC solicitation for proposals. STAC is a collaborative effort between federal and state agencies.

The NCERC was constructed with state of Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and USDA Agricultural Research Services funds secured with the help of Congressman John Shimkus (R-Collinsville) and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois).

The mission of NCERC's research is to assist in the long-term growth and sustainability of fuel ethanol production from corn by accelerating the commercialization of new technologies.

Editor, Scholar, Poet J. Ward To Conduct Workshop Today In ESTL; Teaching Today On Campus

Editor and renowned scholar-poet Jerry Ward will conduct a workshop, "Words, Speech, History, and Musical Referents in the Poetry of Langston Hughes," at 6 p.m. today in Room 1007 (Library, Building B) of the East St. Louis Higher Education Campus, 601 J.R. Thompson Dr., East St. Louis.

Ward, a professor of English and African World Studies at Dillard University in New Orleans, is a renowned authority on African-American literature. He formerly served as professor and chair of the English Department at Tougaloo College in Mississippi. Ward also has written and lectured on Southern literature, novelist Richard Wright, and poet-cultural historian Margaret Walker.

He also has authored or edited numerous creative and scholarly texts including "Trouble the Water: 250 Years of African American Poetry" and a teacher's guide for "Richard Wright: BLACK BOY."

At 12:30 today, Ward also will address students in the "Literature of the Third World" class in Room 3417 of Peck Hall. The class is taught by Eugene B. Redmond, a professor of English Language and Literature.

The Eugene B. Redmond Writers Club is playing host for Ward's visit which is underwritten by the Langston Hughes National Poetry Project of the University of Kansas at Lawrence. Hughes (1902-2002) spent a part of his childhood in Lawrence.

The EBR Club is one of several organizations in the United States chosen to participate in a multi-year observance of Hughes's centennial. Howard Rambsy, a member of the Writers Club's Board of Directors and an assistant professor of English Language and Literature, is facilitator for the local event.

For more information, call the SIUE Department of English Language and Literature, (618) 650-3991, or the EBR Writers Club, (618) 277-8076.

BOT Approves Bids For $2M SDM Clinic Expansion

The SIU Board of Trustees has awarded bids totaling more than $2 million to five Metro East businesses for expansion of the Main Clinic at the SIUE School of Dental Medicine. The board also approved an increase in the project budget from $2 million to $2.6 million. The bids were awarded at the board's regular monthly meeting last week at SIU Edwardsville.

The contracts-totaling $2,055,421-were awarded to: Hart Contracting Inc., Alton, for general contracting, $1,058,480; Wegman Electric Co., East Alton, for electrical, $237,460; Amsco Mechanical, Granite City, for heating and cooling, $237,500; Belleville Mechanical Inc., Belleville, for ventilation, $85,129; and GRP Mechanical Inc., Bethalto, for plumbing, $436,852.

The total budget for the project was re-set at $2.6 million from the original $2 million estimate because bids came in higher than expected, University officials said. The overall budget also covers $283,345 in architect and consultant fees, $8,248 for materials testing, $24,900 in construction observation, and $22,544 for technology costs.

The clinic addition, to be known as the Advanced Care Wing, will add about 6,000 square feet to the clinic on the Alton campus, providing space for 24 new clinical "operatories" and a classroom for 75 students. The additional space will allow the SDM to consolidate teaching in specialty disciplines- periodontal, endodontic, and pediatric, among others-and general dentistry in one location. The project is targeted for completion by the end of this year.

The cost of the project will be funded through the issuance of $2 million in Certificates of Participation to be retired by dental school tuition revenue, and $500,000 through an internal loan, to be repaid through tuition revenue over 10 years, and $100,000 from University operating funds.

Indianapolis Rains Three-Pointers On Cougars

SIUE missed the game-tying shot with four seconds left as Indianapolis held off a late Cougar charge 85-81 in men's Great Lakes Valley Conference basketball on Thursday (2/24) at Nicoson Hall.

The Cougars, 21-7 overall and 14-5 in the GLVC, have an identical record with Indianapolis in league play. Indianapolis, 19-7 overall, can grab the No. 3 seed for next week's GLVC Tournament in Evansville, Ind., with a win over Quincy or an SIUE loss at Saint Joseph's on Saturday (2/26).

SIUE was bombarded by 16 three-pointers, which tied the GLVC high for the season. Justin Barnard hit 6 of 8 as seven different Greyhound players hit from behind the three-point line.

The Cougars were no slouch from behind the three-point themselves, hitting 12 of 22 shots. Anthony Jones, who scored a team-high 22 points, had five three-pointers. Justin Ward added four and Joel Jaye nailed three-three-pointers.

Indianapolis was down 41-40 with seconds left on the clock to end the first half. Mickey McGill hit a three-pointer with one second left to give the Greyhounds the advantage going into halftime.

The Greyhounds controlled play for most of the second half, leading by as much as 13 points on a three-pointer from Barnard with 3:59 left to play.

SIUE scratched back to six points with 18 seconds. Anthony Jones hit a three-pointer with 12 seconds left. Indianapolis' David Logan then turned the ball over by falling down with nine seconds to go. SIUE's final shot by Anthony Jones hit the rim but bounced out.

Indianapolis Holds Off Cougars

Four players finished in double figures as Indianapolis held off SIUE 70-63 in women's college basketball at Nicoson Hall.

SIUE, which fell to 11-17 overall and 6-13 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference, will need a win on Saturday (2/26) at Saint Joseph's for any hope of gaining a berth in the NCAA Tournament.

Julianne McMillen powered the SIUE offense with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Alisa Carrillo added 16 points for the Cougars.

Indianapolis led 36-32 at halftime and picked up its shooting in the second half. The Greyhounds shot nearly 65 percent in the second half. Amy Wisser led the Greyhounds with 17 points. Eileen Patton, Erin Morna and Amanda Davidson also recorded double figures in scoring for Indianapolis, which improved to 19-7 overall and 12-7 in the GLVC.

The win was career victory No. 100 for Indianapolis coach Teri Moren.

Men's Basketball Faces Indy, SJC In Final Road Trip

As SIUE men's basketball begins its final road trip of the season, the Cougars know one thing for sure. The Cougars will receive their highest seed ever in the season-ending Great Lakes Valley Conference tournament.

The 25th-ranked Cougars, 21-6 overall and 14-4 in the league, will at least be the No. 3 seed in the tournament.

SIUE will travel to Indianapolis to face the Greyhounds and GLVC leading scorer David Logan on Thursday night. "We haven't been very successful against Indianapolis," said SIUE men's basketball coach Marty Simmons. "David Logan might be the best player in the country. It is that time of the season where there is a lot at stake."

After visiting Indianapolis, the Cougars finish out the regular season against St. Joseph's on Saturday afternoon.

SIUE is riding a three-game winning streak after defeating Bellarmine 83-53 on Senior Day. "We took good shots. We handled the ball well. We attacked the zone very aggressively," said Simmons. "Defensively, our guys made it difficult for them to score against us."

Kris Crosby (Belleville) netted a career-high 15 points in the game on 7 of 10 shooting. "I thought Kris came in and gave us a huge lift off the bench. He gave us a lot of energy inside. He seemed to pick up our level of play when he came in the game."

Also chipping in off the bench is junior Justin Ward (Moline) who is averaging 12.3 points per game during the last three games. "The depth is becoming a big strength of ours," Simmons. "We will need that as we approach the end of the season."

Tim Bauersachs (Pinckneyville) and Dan Heimos (Waterloo) rank second and third in the GLVC in field goal percentage at 64.8 (127-196) and 64.6 (102-158).

SIUE leads the league in points per game allowed (60.3) and are fourth in the nation in that category.

The Cougars take on the Greyhounds at 7:30 on Thursday (2/24). SIUE battles the Pumas at 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Relays Lift Cougar Track And Field Before Championships

With the Great Lakes Valley Conference Indoor Championships set for Saturday (2/26) in Crawfordsville, Ind., the SIUE men's track and field team hopes to defend last year's crown.

The Cougars' final meet before the GLVC Championships was an impressive showing at the Eastern Illinois Friday Night (2/18) Meet in Charleston.

Three individuals and two relays set provisional qualifying marks.

Lee Weeden (Ferguson, Mo.) threw the shot put 52 feet, 10.75 inches and equalled his previous best in the weight throw at 60-3.75. Ben Willard (Manito) moved onto the NCAA provisional list with a throw of 55-11.75. Anthony Weber (Marengo) tied his previous best in the pole vault at 15-5.75. "Ben has come along way since he first got to SIUE, and I am very excited about his future," said SIUE Coach David David Astrauskas. "He works very hard and it is nice to see his name included with other elite Division II throwers."

The men's distance medley relay and the 1,600-meter relay broke into the national qualifying list with their performances at the EIU Friday Night Meet.

Ryan Boyll (Normal), Wes Smith (Bloomington), Cody Ellermeyer (DuQuoin) and Brian Taghon (East Moline) boasted a time of 10 minutes, 19.66 seconds in the distance relay. Kyle Rose (Kankakee), Jonathan Bannister (Plano, Texas), Ryan Nowakowski (Rochester), and Jeff Fearday (Teutopolis) ran the 1,600-meter relay in 3:17.00, breaking the school record in the process. "It was great to see the men's 4 X 400 meter team run such a great race," said Coach Ben Beyers. "We've been aiming at that school record and the national qualifying time ever since I began coaching here."

Ellermeyer also posted a win in the 800 meters as an individual. "Cody ran a solid race," said Beyers. "I think this could be a springboard for bigger things down the road."

Erik Steffens (Moline) turned in a winning performance at 3,000 meters. "Erik got his first collegiate win on only his second 3,000-meter race. He stayed mentally tough throughout the race and made some excellent strategic moves in the last 400 meters," said SIUE assistant coach Eileen McAllister.

Levy, Cougars Make Strong Showing At EIU

With one more event before the NCAA Indoor Championships, the Cougars are making more strides toward qualifying.

Jessica Levy (Des Plaines) improved her position on the national qualifying list at 400 meters and helped the 1,600-meter relay to an improved national qualifying mark.

Levy ran the 400 meter dash in 57.14. The team of Levy, Tairisha Sawyer (Chicago), Valerie Simmons (St. Louis) and Kimetha Williams (Bellevue, Neb.) set a school record in 3 minutes, 50.33 seconds. "The women's 4 X 400-meter team did a tremendous job of putting it all together," said Coach Ben Beyers. "All four girls gave everything they had. We're hoping that time will get them into the national meet."

The women's distance relays also set a school record and posted a national qualifying mark. The group of Mary Witte (Normal), Jenny Jaquez (Aurora), Lee Ann Lomax (Georgetown) and Christen Carducci (Powell, Ohio) ran the distance medley in 12:30.46.

Lomax also was a winner at 800 meters in 2:18.75. "Bird (Lomax) had a very solid race. She was not distracted by all of the other competitors in the race. She stayed with her game plan and ran a very smart and gutsy race," said Beyers.

SIUE's final chance for national qualifiers comes at the Great Lakes Valley Conference Championships, set for Saturday (2/26) in Crawfordsville, Ind.

Women's Basketball Remain In GLVC Hunt

SIUE women's basketball begins the week on the outside looking in as far as their standing for the eight-team Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament.

Even though the Cougars, 11-16 overall and 6-12 in the league, have only won two of their last 10 games. They are tied with Southern Indiana for eighth place and one-half game behind Kentucky Wesleyan for the seventh spot. "The good news is that we are still in the hunt," said SIUE women's basketball coach Wendy Hedberg. "We are not out of it by any means yet. "We are going to give it our best shot."

The Screaming Eagles hold the the tie-breaker over the Cougars after defeating them twice this season. The Cougars would hold the tie-breaker over Kentucky Wesleyan by splitting the two regular season games with the Panthers yet winning the next tie-breaker which is wins over the highest seed in the league. SIUE split with Quincy and UW-Parkside, while the Panthers were swept by both teams.

This weekend, SIUE travels to Indianapolis and Saint Joseph's for the final two games of the season. "Indy is playing really well," said Hedberg. "You never know what you are going to get from St. Joe's, especially at their place."

Freshman Whitney Skyes (Pontoon Beach) has scored a three-pointer in 25 consecutive games and 26 of 27 games this season. Sykes is second on the team averaging 11.1 points per game. "She probably has as good of shot as anyone," said Hedberg. "It's amazing what she has done as a freshman."

The Cougars tip off against Indianapolis is set for 5:30 p.m. on Thursday before the regular season finale with St. Joseph's on Saturday at 1 p.m.

Wrestling Heads To NCAA Regionals

SIUE wrestling will take its 4-13-1 record to the NCAA Regionals in Kenosha, Wis., this weekend. The Cougars ended their regular season schedule with a tough 25-18 loss to Central Oklahoma on Feb. 15.

Coach Khris Whelan said he has only one question mark heading into the regional at 157 pounds. Jamie Johnson (Woodward, Okla.) and Matt Warren (East Peoria) will face off in a challenge match to determine who will wrestle for the Cougars at the regional championships.

Freshman John Ficht (Burbank) has a record of 19-17 on the year and has been one of the Cougars strongest wrestlers.

At 197 pounds, Branden Lorek (Bensenville) heads to the regionals with a 19-14 mark. Eric Scholle (Waukegan) has had a solid year going 10-4 this season. "Branden has been the most consistent this year," said Whelan. "If Eric can stay consistent, he will do well. He can beat anybody on any given day."

Joe Rujawitz (Belleville) has gone 15-11 at 149 pounds, and Bill Breheny (Burbank) has notched a mark of 10-8 during the season.

Softball Finds Positives In 1-3 Start

SIUE softball coach Sandy Montgomery can find many positives in her teams 1-3 opening weekend performance.

"Overall, I was not unhappy with our play. I was just unhappy with the results," said Montgomery. "We could have very easily come back 3-1."

The Cougars offense went cold in the first game of the year as Delta delivered a no-hitter, with the final score 2-0.

SIUE would rebound in the second game blasting Ouachita Baptist 16-8. The Cougars recorded four home runs in the contest from Ashley Price (O'Fallon), Veronica Schmidt (Westmont), Amy Rogers (Tucson, Ariz.), and Alicia DeShasier (Carrollton). "We have a lot of power," said Montgomery. "We can make a lot of things happen offensively."

DeShasier would hit another home run in the 7-6 loss to Henderson State on Saturday (2/19).

Freshman Lindsey Laas (Frankfort) picked up the lone win over the weekend. The Cougars pitchers gave up five home runs and 14 walks in the four games. "We have some things to work on with our pitchers," said Montgomery. "We need to keep the ball in the park and cut down on our walks."

The Cougars fell in the final game of the weekend to Emporia State 10-1. "It is always tough to take early losses when you come back on the losing side of it," said Montgomery. "That leaves a bad taste in your mouth."

SIUE will be at home this weekend for the Cougars Tournament when the Cougars will face Saint Joseph's, McKendree, and UI-Springfield. "We will be ready to go this weekend," said Montgomery. "We are anxious to be at home and hopefully get back on the winning track."

Baseball Travels To CMSU

SIUE baseball travels to the Central Missouri State Tournament in Warrensburg, Mo., trying to erase the memory of an 0-2 start at North Alabama this past weekend.

The Cougars fell to North Alabama 7-1 and Delta State 8-1 on Saturday (2/19) before the game on Sunday (2/20) was a wash. "I thought the pitching pitched a lot better than the scores indicated," said SIUE baseball coach Gary Collins. "I thought our pitchers threw really well."

In the loss to North Alabama, Cameron Cheek (Atlanta) threw three plus innings, giving up one run on two hits. Freshman Cody Litteken (St. Jacob) threw a scoreless inning as well.

Kyle Jones (New Baden) made the start in game two, going three innings giving up five hits and two earned runs. Derek Stratman (O'Fallon) had a perfect inning striking out three.

Robert Rahn (Wood River) had the team's lone home run in the two games. The Cougars offense never got rolling as the team managed only six hits in the two contests.

"I was not pleased with our offense," said Collins. "I didn't think that anyone took any real good swings. We just didn't hit any balls hard."

SIUE plays Winona State on Friday (2/25) at 1 p.m., then battles Nebraska-Omaha on Saturday (2/26) at noon, before finishing out the tournament against Central Missouri State on Sunday (2/27) at 2 p.m.

"I am not going to judge us by what we did this last weekend," said Collins. "This upcoming weekend will be a little more telling. The teams we will be playing are just like us. They haven't been practicing outdoors for five weeks."

Men's Tennis Heads To Principia

SIUE men's tennis competes in the Principia Tournament this weekend as the Cougars will face Truman State, Washington (Mo.) University, and Principia.

The Cougars currently have a record of 1-2 after falling at Western Illinois on Sunday (2/20). "We were just out played against Western," said SIUE tennis coach Bill Logan. "I thought we were going to do a little bit better and that didn't happen.

"We plan to work on our mistakes and work on that," said Logan.

Cougars Put Bronchos On Their Heels

SIUE won five of the eight contested matches today but lost the overall battle to No. 5-ranked Central Oklahoma 25-18 in collegiate wrestling at the Vadalabene Center.

The Cougars couldn't overcome forfeited two weight classes in running its record to 4-13-1. Central Oklahoma improved to 12-7. Both teams next travel to the NCAA Division II Midwest Regionals in Kenosha, Wis., on Feb. 27.

Pat Healy (Salem, Ore.) provided the biggest charge for the Cougars, pinning Carson Kleinfeldt at 184 pounds.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the night came from 174-pounder Eric Scholle (Bartlett), who hustled to a 10-5 victory over Ryan Daniels. The UCO wrestler is currently ranked third in the nation at 174 pounds.

SIUE also picked up wins from Bill Breheny (Burbank) at 141 pounds, Joe Rujawitz (Belleville) at 149 pounds, and Branden Lorek (Bensenville) at 197 pounds.

John Ficht (Burbank) nearly pulled of an upset of his own. Cort Peterson, the fifth-ranked wrestler in the nation at 157 pounds, edged Ficht 2-1.

Success Follows SIUE Cougar Softball

When SIUE softball coach Sandy Montgomery takes a look at her team roster and notices only two seniors, she doesn't get worried.

The Cougars return six starters from a team that finished last season 35-19 and 15-5 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference, and made its fifth straight NCAA appearance in 2004.

After a successful recruiting season, in which SIUE picked up five players, the Cougars will try and replace one of the best hitters in SIUE history after graduation of All-Great Lakes Region and All-GLVC first-teamer Jenny Esker.

Success is nothing new to the SIUE program, posting an overall record of 210-78 and a mark of 82-21 in GLVC play over the past five seasons. This season, the Cougars are primed for a run at the league title after being picked second in the GLVC preseason softball poll behind Northern Kentucky. "We all had a very good fall," said Montgomery. "I am very happy with our team offensively and defensively. "

SIUE's outfield will return three players who saw considerable playing time last season. Senior Samantha Easterley (Belleville) will see time both in left and right field. Easterley is the only returning Cougar with a home run last season. "She is going to provide a lot of leadership," said Montgomery. "She has been hitting the ball very well in practice. I look for good things out of her. "

Junior Shanna Waldo (Peoria) continues her stay in center field and will be the Cougars leadoff hitter after stealing 28 bases last season. "She provides us with a tremendous amount of speed," said Montgomery. "She makes a lot of things happen when she is on base."

Joining Easterley and Waldo in the outfield will be 2004 All-Region first team selection junior Alicia DeShasier (Carrollton). DeShasier will see time in the outfield as the team's No. 3 hitter after finishing last season second on the team in batting average (.324) and hits (55), while leading the club with 17 doubles. "She is very athletic, very versatile," said Montgomery. "She caught her freshman year. She played outfield and second last year, and she is going to pitch and play outfield this year."

Megan Gaitros (Pekin) will also see action in the outfield after appearing in 17 games last season. "She played very well this fall," said Montgomery. "I could see her seeing some time as well."

Leading the charge on defense will be in the infield as the Cougars return three starters including senior shortstop Veronica Schmidt (Westmont), third baseman Amy Rogers (Tucson, Ariz), and second baseman Holly Neuerburg (Orion).

Neuerburg looks to get back to the level she played at during the 2003 season as an All-American and Rogers will build on a successful sophomore year at the hot corner. "Holly has been hitting the ball really well," said Montgomery. "Amy has a cannon for an arm, and she knows the game exceptionally well."

Schmidt, fourth on the team in RBIs, with 25 last season, will be sidelined to begin the season with a knee injury. "She has been a steady player for us for three years," said Montgomery. "She had her knee scoped and is going to be out for this week's games. "It is possible she could be ready for next weekend's games at home (Feb. 26)."

Starting in Schmidt's place to begin the season will be freshman Kaeleigh Rousey (Bloomington). "She has great hands," said Montgomery. "She doesn't have the experience Veronica has, but she has some of the best hands I have seen on a young player in a long time."

Sophomore Emily Lenart (Bartonville) and freshman Mallory Ruggles (Nashville) will battle for time at first base. "Emily has a lot of power and works very hard," said Montgomery. "Mallory is another very good hitter. First base is still up in the air. Whoever is performing will be in there."

Another position in which SIUE looks to have two young players battling is at the catcher's spot. Sophomore Libby Lenart (Bartonville) and freshman Ashley Price (O'Fallon) are both vying for the job. "Libby has great hands for a catcher and also hits the ball very well," said Montgomery. "Ashley has a great arm. She hits the ball extremely hard. They are both learning to catch and how to call a game."

Sophomore Katy Biggs (Yipsilanti, Mich.) appeared 24 games for SIUE coming off the bench for base running. "She is very fast and she can steal bases," said Montgomery. "I can see her making an appearance in every game."

A revamped Cougar pitching staff will have new faces but looks to continue the success from last season's 1.47 earned run average and 17 shutouts. "The pitchers have come a long way," said Montgomery. "They will improve everyday we get an opportunity to play."

Newcomers freshman Lindsey Laas (Frankfort) and junior Casey Wantland (Fisher) will join DeShasier on the staff. "Lindsey has made a lot of progress," said Montomery. "She has a lot of different pitches. She throws a lot of off speed and keeps hitters off balance." The left-handed Wantland will "provide a whole different look to the pitching staff," Montgomery said.

The Cougars head to the Central Arkansas Tournament in Conway, Ark., to begin the season this weekend. SIUE will battle Delta State and Ouachita Baptist on Friday (2/18) , before facing Henderson State and Emporia State on Saturday (2/19).

Baseball Cougars Will Be Revived In '05

With a revamped lineup and a stronger pitching staff, SIUE baseball is eager to get back into the hunt in the Great Lakes Valley Conference.

SIUE did not qualify for the GLVC Tournament for the first time since joining the league in 1996 after finishing with a 20-32 record overall and a 17-22 mark in league play. SIUE Coach Gary Collins believes the Cougars have improved at nearly every position.

The Cougars get their first chance to show off this Saturday in Florence, Ala. SIUE faces North Alabama at 1 p.m. and Delta State at 4 p.m. On Sunday, the Cougars play a single game against Delta State at noon. "Pitching is probably the area we have improved the most," said Collins.

The Cougars have eight pitchers back from a squad which had a combined earned run average of 4.14, which was third best in the GLVC.

Kyle Jones (New Baden) led the Cougars in strikeouts with 48 and posted a 3.34 ERA behind teammate Ron Jones (Kankakee), who hopes to return from breaking his throwing arm last summer. Ron Jones threw for a team-leading 6-1 record and a 1.24 ERA. Collins said he hopes to have Ron Jones back before league play begins. "Kyle Jones is improving to the point where he's the No. 1 starter," said Collins. "And Adam Tallman (Gillespie) is right behind him." Tallman was 2-2 last season with a 4.30 ERA.

Jarad Rettberg (Divernon) enters his senior season with the Cougars after leading the team in innings pitched last season with 66. He finished last season with a 4-5 record and a 3.41 ERA. "A lot of this team's success may be in how well he can regain his consistency," Collins said of the former GLVC Freshman of the Year.

The Cougars also return Ryan Spurgeon (Bethalto), David Briesacher (Waterloo), Chip Durland (Villa Grove), and Jameson Sheley (Lincoln). All four will begin the season working out of the bullpen.

SIUE added some strength to the pitching staff with its newcomers.

Clay Zavada (Streator), a transfer from Illinois Valley Community College, is a projected starter for the GLVC portion of the schedule. The left-hander throws in the upper 80s and has good movement on his fastball, Collins noted.

Cameron Cheek (Atlanta) was the conference Player of the Year last season at Illinois Central College. Collins said Cheek reminds him of former All-American Pete Delkus with command of his fastball and a good sinker.

Patrick Keller (Newton) may end up as a starter during the conference season, Collins said. The freshman from Newton is another left-hander that Collins said has the best curve ball on the team.

Collins said freshman Cody Litteken (St. Jacob) also is not too far behind. "He has good command of his pitches and good location," Collins said.

Derek Stratman (O'Fallon) comes to SIUE from Southwest Missouri State. "He has the opportunity to be this team's closer," said Collins.

Jake Smith (East Peoria) will take over the catching duties this season. The transfer from Illinois Central is the team's No. 1 catcher. "He's got a great arm, and we expect him to control our opponents' baserunners," Collins said.

Cory Bunner (Jacksonville), a freshman, figures to be the backup to Smith. Robert Rahn (Wood River) also could see catching duties, but the Cougars plan to use Rahn in a more offensive role as the team's cleanup hitter. "Robert has looked better than he ever has because he has been attacking the ball at the plate," Collins said.

Half of the infield returns this season with Craig Ohlau (Chester) and Kyle Martin (Byron) playing first base and shortstop, respectively.

Ohlau will continue to hit third in the Cougar lineup after hitting .331 in each of his first two seasons with SIUE. "He's proven he's one of the better hitters in the conference," Collins said.

Martin batted .295 last season in GLVC play and surged at the end of last season. "He's not a flashy player but rather a solid player with good hands and a good arm at shortstop," said Collins.

Jeremy Bond (Alton) will take over at second base. The transfer from Southwestern Illinois College will start the season as the leadoff hitter.

Tallman will be the team's third baseman. And when he's on the mound, a handful of players could fill in, including Cheek, Bryan Newby (Bartonville) and Michael DalPozzo (Livingston).

Left field also figures to have the same situation as third base. Collins foresees Rahn, Bunner or DalPozzo patrolling left field.

The rest of the outfield is more solid for the Cougars with Joe Wargo (Streator) in center and Jeff Darnall (Atlanta) in right.

Wargo batted .262 with a team-leading 16 stolen bases last season. Darnall, a transfer from Parkland College, is another left-handed hitter who Collins hopes will be driving in a lot of runs in the No. 5 slot in the lineup.

SIUE was picked to finish seventh in this year's GLVC standings. The Cougars first goal is to return to the GLVC Tournament, which will be played at T.R. Hughes Park in O'Fallon, Mo., on May 12-15. The top six teams qualify.

Cougars Ranked For School-Record 7th Straight Week

SIUE men's basketball continued its string of being ranked in the top 25 nationally as the Cougars check in at No. 25 this week. SIUE has now been ranked for a school-record seven consecutive weeks.

The Cougars jumped into the rankings this year on Jan 4. and have been ranked ever since. SIUE defeated Missouri-St. Louis 82-52 on Saturday (2/12) for its largest Great Lakes Valley Conference road win.

SIUE, 19-6 overall and 12-4 in Great Lakes Valley Conference, is two games behind Southern Indiana for first place in the league.

SIUE Coach Marty Simmons and his Cougars return home this Thursday (2/17) evening to face Kentucky Wesleyan at the Vadalabene Center. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m.

Men's Basketball Set for Final Homestand Of The Season

As the SIUE's men's basketball team heads into the final homestand of the season, coach Marty Simmons has devoted the final two home games of the season to five players playing their last games at the Vadalabene Center.

"This week is all about the seniors," said Simmons. "This group of guys has meant a lot to the program. All of our energy, commitment, and enthusiasm for this week's practice is in honor of those guys." SIUE's seniors are Calvin Sykes (Chicago), Dan Heimos (Waterloo), Joel Jaye (Chicago), Tim Bauersachs (Pinckneyville) and Kris Crosby (Belleville).

The Cougars, 19-6 overall and 12-4 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference, battles Kentucky Wesleyan and Bellarmine to finish what has been a successful year at home for SIUE. The Cougars are 12-1 at home this season, with their best record at the Vadalabene Center since 1990-91 when SIUE went 13-1.

SIUE returns home after its largest GLVC road win ever, an 82-52 triumph over Missouri-St. Louis in which four Cougars scored in double figures. "They played extremely well," said Simmons. "One through 11-every guy had himself ready to play, and it was a total team effort."

Justin Ward (Moline) led all Cougars with 16 points. Ward is averaging 8.1 points per game, leading the team in three-point field goal percentage at 43.3 percent (29-67). "He played a complete game. He had very balanced offensive night, and he was sound on the defensive end."

Heimos (Waterloo) reached another milestone with five blocked shots against Missouri-St. Louis Heimos became the single-season record holder for blocks at SIUE with 62. Heimos already holds the record for block shots in a career. "He is the anchor of our defense," said Simmons. "When he plays well defensively, everybody follows his lead."

Bauersachs (Pinckneyville) needs just two games to break the school record for games played in a career set by Travis Wallbaum with 106 from 1996-2000. Bauersachs leads the team in scoring at 11.7 points per contest this season. "How fortunate was I when I took over the program to inherit a player like Tim," said Simmons. "That is a tribute to Tim to set a record like that. He earns everyone's respect through his hard work, his determination, and his character."

The Cougars will face the Panthers on Thursday (2/17) at 7:30 p.m. before taking on the Knights of Bellarmine on Saturday (2/19) for Senior Day at 3 p.m.

Women's Basketball Prepares For Crucial Homestand

SIUE women's basketball coach Wendy Hedberg knows that the game against Kentucky Wesleyan this Thursday (2/17) will be important as her team looks to qualify for the eight-team Great Lakes Valley Conference tournament.

The Cougars, 11-14 overall and 6-10 in the GLVC, sit just one-half game (loss side) ahead of the Panthers for the seventh spot in the league. It is a three-team race as Southern Indiana trails SIUE by a full game for the final two spots in the eight-team tournament. "It will be fun," said Hedberg. "Everything is at stake in that game (against Kentucky Wesleyan). They are a very dangerous team. It is a huge game."

A win would give SIUE the head-to-head tiebreaker against Kentucky Wesleyan after the Cougars defeated the Panthers 65-64 on Jan. 22.

SIUE will head into the game after a 13-point win at Missouri-St. Louis on Saturday (2/12). The Cougars shot a season-high 65.2 percent in the contest. "It is just big for confidence reasons," said Hedberg. "They responded considering the circumstances at this time of the year."

Amber Wisdom (Geneso) netted a career-high 21 points. Wisdom is leading the team in assists per game at 3.0. "She had a great game," said Hedberg. "She can shoot the ball well, and she put it all together against UM-St. Louis."

Sophomore Julianne McMillen (Pana) continues to lead the team in scoring at 11.7 points a contest and is fourth in the conference in field goal percentage at 56.6 percent (99-175). "She has really been carrying us," said Hedberg. "She draws a lot of double teams. She has some great moves down on the block."

After facing Kentucky Wesleyan on Thursday night (2/17) at 5:30, Bellarmine visits the Vadalabene Center on Saturday (2/19). "It will be senior day," said Hedberg. "They are kind of a rival for us. They are a high scoring team, and we want to slow their offense down."

Tip off against the Knights is set for 1 p.m.

Men's Track Glides To Win At DePauw

The SIUE men's indoor track team added an item to its already impressive résumé, winning the DePauw Invitational on Saturday (2/12). In all, the Cougars set four meet records.

"I felt that we had a chance to win the meet, but it took a total team effort to go in there and get it done," said SIUE track coach Ben Beyers.

Kyle Rose (Kankakee) set a school record at 200 meters with a time of 22.30, breaking the old mark by three-tenths of a second. Rose also was a double winner, placing first at 400 meters with a time of 49.18. That mark puts him on the provisional qualifying list for the NCAA Division II Championships. "Kyle really came out and made a statement," said Beyers. "He's certainly on the right path, and the best is definitely yet to come."

SIUE's Jonathan Bannister (Plano, Texas) placed second in the 400 meters at 49.28.

Brian Taghon (East Moline) finished first in both the mile and the 3,000-meter run. Taghon recorded a time of 8:31.68 in the 3,000 and 4:15.70 the mile. His mile time provisionally qualifies him for the championships. "Brian really looked super in the mile," said Beyers. "He came out and ran a very strong race right from the start."

The men's 4x200 meter relay team composed of Rose, Jeff Fearday (Teutopolis), Jason Hall (Chicago), and Ryan Nowakowski (Rochester) broke the school-record with a time of 1:29.89.

Lee Weeden (Ferguson, Mo.) continued his successful indoor season, finishing first in the weight throw and the shot put. Weeden's throw on Saturday (2/12) in the shot put of 16.01 meters (52 feet, 6.5 inches) adds him to the provisional qualifying list for the NCAA championships in both events.

Women's Track Picks Up Win At DePauw

SIUE's women's indoor track team won the DePauw Invitational over the weekend, notching three more NCAA provisional qualifiers at DePauw, setting three meet records, and breaking two school records.

"I felt that everyone involved, both the athletes and the entire coaching staff, all did a fabulous job of staying focused and preparing for a good meet this weekend," said SIUE women's track coach Ben Beyers.

Tairisha Sawyer (Chicago) broke her own school-record in the 200 meters with a mark of 25.31 improving her provisional qualifying mark. Her time ranks 10th nationally. "Tairisha had another big drop in time this week in her 200," said Beyers. "She's been aiming for this since last year, and this performance really puts her on track to achieve her goals."

Callie Glover (Barlett) recorded a new school-record in the weight throw with a toss of 53 feet, 9 inches (16.38 meters) to improve her provisional qualifying mark for the NCAA Championships. "Callie is still improving in the weight throw, and with Coach (David) Astrauskas' help, she is only going to keep getting better," said Beyers.

Brittany Reeves (Hanover Park) provisionally qualified in the 55-meter hurdles with a time of 8.40. "Brittany had another terrific meet," said Beyers. "Her hurdles have looked very strong in practice lately, and it was great to see her put together a solid performance there."

Christen Carducci (Powell, Ohio) finished first in both the one mile and the 3,000 meters. Carducci set season best in both races with a time of 5:07.99 in the mile and 10:29.79 in the 3,000.

Wrestling Faces No. 5 Central Oklahoma

SIUE grapplers notched two more victories on Friday night (2/11) at the Central Missouri State Jamboree to improve their season record to 4-12-1.

The Cougar wrestlers picked up wins over Southwest Minnesota 25-12 and 14th-ranked Fort Hays State 28-15. "It was nice to pick up a couple of wins," said SIUE wrestling coach Khris Whelan. "The guys really wrestled well."

The Cougars will end the regular season with a match against fifth-ranked Central Oklahoma on Wednesday evening (2/16) at the Vadalabene Center at 7.

Freshman John Ficht (Burbank) went 2-2 at 165 pounds improving his record to 19-16 on the year. "He is a tough kid who always wrestles hard," said Whelan.

Bill Breheny (Burbank) recorded 3-1 mark in the four matches at 141 pounds improving to 9-8 on the year. "He is deceiving," said Whelan. "He is a tough kid and tough on top. He is so strong."

Joe Rujawitz (Belleville) finished with a 2-2 record at 149 pounds over the weekend to go to 14-11 on the season.

Logan Gets Win No. 100

SIUE men's tennis coach Bill Logan earned career win No. 100 as the Cougars defeated Lindenwood 5-3 on Friday afternoon (2/11).

"It was nice, really nice to get that win," said Logan. "I was really happy with our performance. It was a significant win."

The Cougars, 1-1 on the season, swept the three doubles matches against the Lions, sparking the way to the victory. "That was the key to the match," said Logan. "Everybody just played well, and we were on top of the net."

At No. 1 doubles, Matthew Warner (SIUE) and Justin Free (Danville) won 8-2. No. 2 doubles pair Matt Kuban (Pekin) and Dan Glon (Mt. Prospect) out lasted their opponents 8-2, and No. 3 doubles Andrew Rezneck (Edwardsville) and Andy Renner (Belleville) finished the sweep with a 8-3 win.

Free picked up an important 6-0, 3-6, 6-2 win at No. 2 singles to seal the win for SIUE. "Justin played really well when he had too," said Logan. "It was a very good win for him."

Glon notched the other victory at No. 4 singles winning 6-1, 6-2. "Dan had a solid performance." said Logan.

The Cougars will be back in action today (2/15) traveling to Elsah to face Principia at 4 p.m.

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