Nov. 12—IU Kokomo teams celebrated two River States Conference championships Saturday as the Cougars hosted and won the title matches in women's soccer and volleyball. Both squads were No. 1 seeds after winning regular season RSC titles.
The women's soccer team had to sweat out penalties to secure a title as the championship game was scoreless through regulation and overtime. It's the soccer program's second straight conference tourney title. In volleyball, the NAIA No. 14-ranked Cougars dropped the first set, then surged to take control and win in four. It was the squad's sixth straight conference crown.
IUK goalie Sydney Miller came up big during the game and in the penalty shootout as IUK beat Rio Grande in a shootout after 110 minutes of scoreless play at Kokomo Municipal Stadium.
Miller had eight saves in the game, then stopped two penalties in the shootout as the Cougars won the shootout 4-2. Former Western standout Brooklyn Garber, Kaiya Bogers, Keely Hoopingarner made their penalties for IUK, setting the stage for Jade Allen in the fourth round of the shootout. Allen converted her penalty to give IUK the victory and the title.
The Cougars take a 12-3-6 record into the NAIA national tournament. Rio Grande is 8-5-5. The NAIA tourney selection show is today at 1 p.m.
—Miller and IUK coach Sohaila Akhavein took two of the league's major awards as the league announced its all-RSC teams and awards on league championship weekend. Miller was named the RSC's Defensive Player of the Year and Akhavein was named Coach of the Year.
The IUK defense was well represented on the all-RSC squads. Miller, defender Cassie Dispennett, defender Karlie Kellett, midfielder Kelsi Hoot and forward Keely Hoopingarner all made the 14-member first team. Midfielder Kaiya Bogers was named to the 16-member second team. And Brooke Gill was named to the third team as a defender. Kailee Moore was IUK's representative on the Champions of Character team.
Point Park's Holly Pascoe was named Player of the Year.
IUK beat No. 2 seed IU East 15-25, 25-20, 25-11, 25-14 for the championship at IUK's Student Activities and Events Center. The Cougars have won 27 straight matches.
Maggie Connell led the IUK hitters with 15 kills, Audrey Strawsma had 14 and Lexi Broyles had 11 kills and dominated at the net with seven blocks. Allison Richman set up 23 assists and Kaley Lyons 22. Alyvia Smith had 14 digs, Lyons 11 and Julia Sanders seven.
Both IUK (32-3) and IU East (27-8) have automatic bids to the upcoming NAIA national tournament. The volleyball selection show is at 3 p.m. today.
—The league announced its all-RSC volleyball teams and awards Saturday, the day of the championship. IUK's Heather Hayes was named the Coach of the Year and Lori Elson was named Assistant Coach of the Year.
Middle hitter Broyles, right side hitter Strawsma, setter Lyons and libero Smith were named to the 14-member all-RSC first team. Outside hitter Connell and setter Richman were named to the 14-member second team. Strawsma was IUK's representative on the Champions of Character team.
Kylie Antrim, Broyles, Kelsey Hammond, Lyons, Lea Mummert, Richman, Julia Sanders, Mya Shively, Smith, Strawsma and Ellie Garland earned spots on the RSC scholar-athlete team.
IU East's Jessica Swimm was the RSC Player of the Year. She had a match-high 19 kills in the final.
The IUK men's basketball team demolished Miami University-Middletown 94-40 Saturday afternoon in Rio Grande, Ohio, to finish 2-0 in the Bevo Francis Invitational. The Cougars settled the affair early, going up 47-20 at halftime.
The Cougars got balanced scoring with five players in double figures. Julien Hunter paced IUK with 19 points on perfect 9-of-9 shooting. Max Newman scored 13, Ty Willis and Western High School product Evan Kretz had 12 each, Noah Harris scored 10 and Chris Chin nine. Newman grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds and also dished four assists. Chin had five assists and Willis four.
Next, IUK (4-0) is at Northwestern Ohio at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Holy Cross beat host IUK 68-55 Saturday evening. The Saints went up 20-11 after a quarter, led 33-20 at halftime, and 51-37 after three quarters.
Anna Kiser led IUK with a double-double of 20 points and 10 rebounds. Olivia Dowden scored 13 points, Hannah Hogden eight, and former Eastern standout McKenzie Cooper and former Taylor standout Kelsi Langley had six each.
The Cougars (2-2) host Bethel at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 21