By CAREY FOX
Times Sports Editor
The Vincennes University volleyball team entered the NJCAA Div. II National Poll this week in the No. 18 spot, the program's first appearance in the poll this season. The Trailblazers powered their way into national recognition with wins over No. 9 Kirkwood Community College and No. 16 Des Moines Area Community College recently.
A pair of Clay County athletes, Northview graduate Kaylee Clark and Clay City's Lynsey Higgins have contributed to the Vincennes record of 18-7.
The Trailblazers are on a five-game winning streak heading into a short break after a Sept. 28 win over Danville Area Community College. Vincennes takes on Lake Land College on Saturday (Oct.8).
Clark has 42 digs, which works out to two digs per game that she's played in this year. She had four digs against Danville on Sept. 28 and had a kill against Rend Lake earlier that week. Clark had her season-high of 12 digs in a match against Macomb Community College on Sept. 3.
Higgins has provided the team with 22 kills this season and also posted eight digs.
The University of Southern Indiana Men's Cross Country team is ranked sixth nationally and second in the Midwest Regional rankings.
Last weekend, USI competed at the Greater Louisville Open at the University of Louisville and came away with a 10th-place finish out of 29 teams overall.
Former Northview Knights, John Latta placed 94th overall in the eight-kilometer race with a time of 25:28.
Purdue University won the team scoring followed by the host Cardinals and the University of Albany.
In the Silver race at Louisville, the Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College team placed 16th out of 32 teams overall with former Northview runner, Casandra Barnett placing 190th in 23:03.
The Indiana State women's cross country team finished fourth in the Gold Division while the men were 21st in a highly competitive Blue Division at the 2011 Adidas Notre Dame Invitational Friday.
Course conditions were brutal for athletes and spectators alike as temperatures dipped into the low 50s and winds blew at 20 to 30 miles per hour with top gusts reaching 40 miles per hour and above. Due to the severe rain in the area over the last week and additional rain that fell today, the course was extremely wet with soft spots throughout.
"Unlike last year when we were close to the leaders, we were way behind the first three this year in what turned out to be a really good battle," Indiana State women's cross country coach said. "A year ago we were happy with fourth but I know that the athletes and I were disappointed with today's results. I thought we were going to be able to challenge up front more than we did."
Defending NCAA Division II National Champion Grand Valley State won the Gold Division team title with 40 points while the Big Ten's Northwestern was second with 56 and Central Michigan out of the Mid-America Conference was third with 61 points.
Indiana State was fourth with 173 defeating both Bradley, sixth with 219 points, and Eastern Illinois, seventh with 227 points.
Junior Kylee Thacker, a former Knight, placed 60th in 19:06 for the Sycamores.
Indiana State is off for another week before hosting the Pre-National Invite on Sunday. Oct. 16.
After reaching the NCAA Div. III National Tournament in the Spring, the Rose-Hulman Engineer women's tennis team can clinch a No. 1 seed in the conference tourney this weekend with a pair of wins over Manchester and Franklin College.
Sophomore Lauren Reberger, a Northview graduate, teamed with freshman Kylie McCollum to win at No. 3 doubles. Reberger is 7-2 in doubles play this season and 5-1 in conference play.
The Fighting Engineers are the defending HCAC women's tennis champion and are 8-2 overall and 6-1 in HCAC play.