[ {"id":"435397a0-57c3-5700-a9ab-fd4cebe9cd13","type":"article","starttime":"1540268100","starttime_iso8601":"2018-10-22T23:15:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1540271523","sections":[{"volleyball":"sports/high-school/volleyball"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Durant \u2018in the pink\u2019 in win over Wapello","url":"http://qctimes.com/sports/high-school/volleyball/article_435397a0-57c3-5700-a9ab-fd4cebe9cd13.html","permalink":"https://qctimes.com/sports/high-school/volleyball/durant-in-the-pink-in-win-over-wapello/article_435397a0-57c3-5700-a9ab-fd4cebe9cd13.html","canonical":"https://qctimes.com/sports/high-school/volleyball/durant-in-the-pink-in-win-over-wapello/article_435397a0-57c3-5700-a9ab-fd4cebe9cd13.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":3,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Matt Coss\nmcoss@qctimes.com","prologue":"DURANT\u00a0\u2014 With the start of postseason play, its final home match and a \u201cDig Pink\u201d theme, each member of Durant\u2019s volleyball team had a shade of pink painted in its hair. Head coach Mark Lau went for something a little more extreme. \u201cIf me wearing a pink beard can make my girls smile or chuckle and help us get through some early moments of adrenaline, great,\u201d Lau said.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":["#free"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"746db197-b56c-5e48-aa04-f6d62ca959b3","description":"Durant's Kamryn Meyer (18) returns the ball over during the third set of their match at Durant High School on Monday. Meyer had a team-high 13 kills in Durant's three-game sweep.\u00a0","byline":"Andy Abeyta Quad-City Times","hireswidth":3000,"hiresheight":2026,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/46/746db197-b56c-5e48-aa04-f6d62ca959b3/5bce7c12d9e9d.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1752","height":"1183","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/46/746db197-b56c-5e48-aa04-f6d62ca959b3/5bce7c12bdbec.image.jpg?resize=1752%2C1183"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"68","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/46/746db197-b56c-5e48-aa04-f6d62ca959b3/5bce7c12bdbec.image.jpg?resize=100%2C68"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"203","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/46/746db197-b56c-5e48-aa04-f6d62ca959b3/5bce7c12bdbec.image.jpg?resize=300%2C203"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"691","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/46/746db197-b56c-5e48-aa04-f6d62ca959b3/5bce7c12bdbec.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C691"}}},{"id":"4e891906-1857-55e9-992c-9199eef572fa","description":"Durant's Hannah Happ (21) celebrates with teammates after winning their match against Wapello at Durant High School on Monday.","byline":"Andy Abeyta Quad-City Times","hireswidth":3000,"hiresheight":1885,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/e8/4e891906-1857-55e9-992c-9199eef572fa/5bce7c136acee.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1816","height":"1141","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/e8/4e891906-1857-55e9-992c-9199eef572fa/5bce7c134fb1e.image.jpg?resize=1816%2C1141"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"63","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/e8/4e891906-1857-55e9-992c-9199eef572fa/5bce7c134fb1e.image.jpg?resize=100%2C63"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"188","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/e8/4e891906-1857-55e9-992c-9199eef572fa/5bce7c134fb1e.image.jpg?resize=300%2C188"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"643","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/e8/4e891906-1857-55e9-992c-9199eef572fa/5bce7c134fb1e.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C643"}}},{"id":"4ae5da07-2142-5f15-a4c4-8a3f1d8ef686","description":"Durant's Annie Taylor (8) and Aubrin Dittmer (2) high-five to celebrate a point during the third set of their match at Durant on Monday.\u00a0","byline":"Andy Abeyta Quad-City Times","hireswidth":3000,"hiresheight":1827,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/ae/4ae5da07-2142-5f15-a4c4-8a3f1d8ef686/5bce7c14b147d.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1845","height":"1123","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/ae/4ae5da07-2142-5f15-a4c4-8a3f1d8ef686/5bce7c1495ff2.image.jpg?resize=1845%2C1123"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"61","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/ae/4ae5da07-2142-5f15-a4c4-8a3f1d8ef686/5bce7c1495ff2.image.jpg?resize=100%2C61"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"183","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/ae/4ae5da07-2142-5f15-a4c4-8a3f1d8ef686/5bce7c1495ff2.image.jpg?resize=300%2C183"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"623","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/ae/4ae5da07-2142-5f15-a4c4-8a3f1d8ef686/5bce7c1495ff2.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C623"}}}],"revision":6,"commentID":"435397a0-57c3-5700-a9ab-fd4cebe9cd13","body":"

DURANT\u00a0\u2014 With the start of postseason play, its final home match and a \u201cDig Pink\u201d theme, each member of Durant\u2019s volleyball team had a shade of pink painted in its hair.

Head coach Mark Lau went for something a little more extreme.

\u201cIf me wearing a pink beard can make my girls smile or chuckle and help us get through some early moments of adrenaline, great,\u201d Lau said.

Class 2A 12th-ranked Durant had no trouble passing its regional quarterfinal test Monday night. The Wildcats needed less than an hour to defeat Wapello 25-12, 25-12, 25-16 at Durant High School.

Durant (25-8) advances to play 10th-ranked Van Buren, a five-set winner over Mediapolis, in a regional semifinal Thursday at Mediapolis.

\u201cI thought we could have played much better,\u201d senior Kamryn Meyer said. \u201cWe kind of played down to a lower level than we usually do. I think some of it was nerves, the first regional match, and you always want to come out with a win.

\u201cWe didn\u2019t play to our capabilities.\u201d

Still, it was enough to overwhelm Wapello (12-17).

Durant had 16 service aces, eight from setter Ruby Kappeler.

After breezing through the first set, the Wildcats trailed 10-9 in the second. Kappeler stepped into serve and reeled off 11 straight points. She used a combination of power and soft serves to keep Wapello\u2019s defense guessing.

\u201cI was really struggling with my serve in practice this last week,\u201d Kappeler said. \u201cComing out, I was just thinking get the ball in the court. But serving hard and aggressive is our goal as a team.\u201d

That aggressive mentality comes with some mistakes. Durant had 15 service errors in the match compared to just eight Wapello kills.

Lau has no trouble with the errors if the mistakes are aggressive.

\u201cWith an aggressive serving team, there has to be misses that have to be acceptable,\u201d Lau said. \u201cWe would miss three in a row, and then score five or six points. I like the ratio of makes to misses overall, but we bunched too many together.\u201d

Kappeler facilitated Durant\u2019s offense with 28 assists. Meyer had 13 kills and fellow senior Aubrin Dittmer chipped in 11.

Wapello led 11-10 in the third set, but Durant answered with a 7-0 surge and cruised to the finish line. It was the Wildcats\u2019 first match in 11 days.

\u201cI\u2019m not angered in any way, but our goal was to practice being crisper in our play,\u201d Lau said. \u201cIt was evident we weren\u2019t crisp from start to finish. We were crisp enough to win, but the layoff is always a challenge.

\u201cWapello played us tough for half a game, but I was pleased with how we finished each game.\u201d

Durant starts all seniors and this was its final home match. For some, they\u2019ve been playing volleyball together for more than 10 years.

\u201cKnowing now I\u2019ll never step foot on this court as a volleyball player is a little emotional,\u201d Kappeler said.

The majority of the seniors have been starters for multiple years and left a major imprint on Durant athletics.

\u201cIt was really surreal knowing I\u2019ll never play volleyball in this gym again,\u201d Meyer said. \u201cThere are a lot of good memories in here.\u201d

As for the coach's pink beard?

\u201cIt didn\u2019t look very good on him,\u201d Meyer said, \u201cbut he\u2019s all for trying that stuff out.\u201d

Besides loosening his team up, Lau and Durant were promoting breast cancer awareness.

\u201cI don\u2019t take myself too seriously,\u201d he said. \u201cI\u2019m 6-foot-8 and goofy. If I can make the girls smile and support a great cause, goodness gracious, let\u2019s do it.\u201d

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Football

Iowa AP poll

Class 4A

;Record;Pts;LW

1. West Des Moines Valley (7);9-0;88;1

2. Cedar Falls (1);9-0;80;2

3. Ankeny Centennial (1);9-0;74;3

4. Bettendorf;8-1;58;4

5. West Des Moines Dowling;7-2;54;5

6. Iowa City West;8-1;47;7

7. Waukee;7-2;36;8

8. Johnston;7-2;27;6

9. Fort Dodge;7-2;18;10

10. Cedar Rapids Prairie;7-2;13;9

Others receiving votes:\u00a0None

Class 3A

;Record;Pts;LW

1. Cedar Rapids Xavier (8);9-0;89;1

2. Council Bluffs Lewis Central (1);9-0;79;2

3. Solon;9-0;73;3

4. Eldridge North Scott;8-1;63;4

5. Sergeant Bluff-Luton;8-1;55;5

6. Pella;8-1;39;7

7. Oskaloosa;8-1;25;8

8. Epworth Western Dubuque;7-2;23;9

9. Waverly-Shell Rock;8-1;21;10

10. Clear Creek-Amana;8-1;8;NR

Others receiving votes:\u00a0Decorah 7, Harlan 5, Sioux City Heelan 5, Spencer 3

Class 2A

Record;Pts;LW

1. Monroe PCM (9);9-0;90;1

2. Boyden-Hull-RV;8-1;81;2

3. Waukon;8-1;69;4

4. Van Horne Benton;8-1;60;5

5. Southeast Valley;7-2;41;7

6. Algona;8-1;30;3

7. Spirit Lake;7-2;29;8

8. State Center West Marshall;7-2;23;T10

9. Greene County;8-1;19;9

10. Clear Lake;7-2;16;NR

Others receiving votes:\u00a0Chariton 10, West Liberty 8, Cresco Crestwood 7, Williamsburg 6, Union, La Porte City 4, Waterloo Columbus 2

Class 1A

;Record;Pts;LW

1. Dike-New Hartford (5);9-0;82;1

2. Bellevue (2);9-0;74;3

3. Van Meter (1);9-0;69;2

4. South Central Calhoun (1);9-0;68;4

5. Hawarden West Sioux;8-1;51;5

6. West Branch;8-1;47;6

7. Truro Interstate 35;9-0;38;8

8. Wilton;8-1;34;7

9. Mediapolis;8-1;13;9

10. Inwood West Lyon;7-2;9;NR

Others receiving votes:\u00a0Treynor 6, Pella Christian 3, Osage 1

Class A

;Record;Pts;LW

1. Hudson (9);9-0;90;1

2. A-H-S-T-W, Avoca;9-0;79;2

3. Algona Garrigan;9-0;74;3

4. Traer North Tama;8-1;56;4

5. Edgewood-Colesburg;8-1;54;5

6. Fairbank Wapsie Valley;7-2;28;7

7. Durant;7-2;24;8

8. Sloan Westwood;8-1;23;10

9. Britt West Hancock;7-2;22;9

10. Brooklyn BGM;8-1;12;NR

Others receiving votes:\u00a0Belmond-Klemme 10, Hinton 9, Mason City Newman 7, Lynnville-Sully 4, Akron-Westfield 2, Riverside Highland 1

8-Player

;Record;Pts;LW

1. Westside Ar-We-Va (7);9-0;88;1

2. Marengo Iowa Valley (2);9-0;77;3

3. Gilbertville-Don Bosco;8-1;67;4

4. Liberty Center SE Warren;10-0;56;6

5. Fremont Mills, Tabor;8-1;54;5

6. New London;8-1;38;7

7. Elk Horn-Kimballton/Exira;8-1;32;8

8. Northwood-Kensett;8-1;31;2

T9. Jackson Junction Turkey Valley;8-1;15;10

T9. Wyoming Midland;9-1;15;9

Others receiving votes:\u00a0Central City 8, Newell-Fonda 8, Gladbrook-Reinbeck 3, Rockford 3

Volleyball

Iowa regionals

Class 5A Region 7

Today's matches

Davenport Central (7-11) at Linn-Mar (29-9), 7 p.m.

Bettendorf (15-17) at Pleasant Valley (25-7), 7 p.m.

Class 5A Region 8

Today's matches

Cedar Rapids Prairie (18-20) at Cedar Rapids Jefferson (35-6), 7 p.m.

Muscatine (11-20) at Iowa City High (23-12), 7 p.m.

Class 4A Region 6

Today's matches

Western Dubuque (15-17) at Dubuque Wahlert (21-12), 7 p.m.

North Scott (22-11) at Clinton (26-10), 7 p.m.

Class 3A Region 6

Today's matches

Williamsburg (19-17) at Tipton (35-3), 7 p.m.

Chariton (13-15) at Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont (11-21), 7 p.m.

Class 3A Region 7

Today's matches

West Liberty (26-10) at Assumption (29-5), 7 p.m.

Albia (16-17) at Central Lee (23-9), 7 p.m.

Class 3A Region 8

Today's matches

Anamosa (22-14) at Camanche (27-6)

Waukon (17-17) at New Hampton (34-5)\u00a0

Class 2A Region 7 (bottom half only)

Monday's scores

Wilton 25-25-25, Iowa City Regina 17-13-22

West Branch 25-25-25, North Cedar 14-13-17

Thursday's match

At Wilton -- Wilton (34-4) vs. West Branch (24-14), 7 p.m.

Class 2A Region 8\u00a0

Monday's scores

Beckman 25-25-25, Maquoketa Valley 8-14-13

Cascade 25-25-25, Bellevue 17-10-20

Durant 25-25-25, Wapello 12-12-16

Van Buren 30-19-25-16-15, Mediapolis 28-25-22-25-11

Thursday's matches

At Dyersville -- Beckman (41-3) vs. Cascade (20-14)

At Mediapolis -- Durant (25-8) vs. Van Buren (30-3)

Class 1A Region 5 (bottom half)\u00a0

Monday's scores

Edgewood-Colesburg 25-25-25, Calamus-Wheatland 16-15-16

Central Elkader 25-25-25, Bellevue Marquette 19-22-22

Thursday's match

At Arlington --\u00a0Edgewood-Colesburg (24-10) vs. Central Elkader (24-10)

Illinois regionals

Class 4A United Township Regional

Monday's scores

Washington 25-25, Peoria High 13-12

Rock Island 25-25, United Township 11-17

Today's matches

(2) Moline vs. (9) Washington, 5:30 p.m.

(3) Normal West vs. (8) Rock Island, 6:30 p.m.

Thursday's match

Final, 6 p.m.

Class 3A Princeton Regional

Monday's score

(9) Ottawa 17-25-25, Kewanee 25-20-13

Today's matches

(2) Mendota vs. (9) Ottawa, 5:30 p.m.

(3) Geneseo vs. (5) Princeton, 6:30 p.m.

Thursday's match

Final, 6 p.m.

Class 2A Savanna Regional

Monday's score

West Carroll 25-25, Morrison 17-17

Today's matches

(1) Galena vs. (8) West Carroll, 5:30 p.m.

(4) Fulton vs. (7) Erie-Prophetstown, 6:30 p.m.

Thursday's match

Final, 6 p.m.

Class 2A Orion Regional

Monday's score

Alleman 22-25-25, Sherrard, 25-13-18

Today's matches

(2) Orion vs. (6) Alleman, 5:30 p.m.

(3) Rockridge vs. (5) Riverdale, 6:30 p.m.

Thursday's match

Final, 6 p.m.

Class 2A Mercer County Regional

Monday's scores

Mercer County 25-24-25, Stark County 11-26-23

Bureau Valley 25-25, Ridgewood 22-16

Today's matches

(2) Knoxville vs. (8) Mercer County, 5:30 p.m.

(3) United vs. (5) Bureau Valley, 6:30 p.m.

Thursday's match

Final, 6 p.m.

Class 1A ROWVA Regional

Monday's score

Galva 25-25, ROWVA 12-20

Today's matches

(1) Wethersfield vs. (10) Galva, 5:30 p.m.

(4) Princeville vs. (8) Williamsfield, 6:30 p.m.

Thursday's match

Final, 6 p.m.

Class 1A Varna Midland Regional

Monday's scores

(6) Henry Senachwine vs. (7) Lowpoint-Washburn, 5:30 p.m.

(5) Varna Midland vs. (11) DePue, 6:30 p.m.

Today's matches

(2) Annawan vs. HS-LW winner, 5:30 p.m.

(3) Ottawa Marquette vs. VM-DePue winner, 6:30 p.m.

Thursday's match

Final, 6 p.m.

Durant 25-25-25, Wapello 12-12-16

Kills -- Wapello, Holly Massner 2, Ann Marie Freshwater 2; Durant, Kamryn Meyer 13, Aubrin Dittmer 11, Annie Taylor 5, Mallory Warner 4. Assists -- Wapello, Massner 4; Durant, Ruby Kappeler 28. Aces -- Wapello, Grace Gustison 3, Massner, Lindsy Massner; Durant, Kappeler 8, Dittmer 2, Meyer 2, Hannah Happ, Paige Werthmann. Blocks -- Wapello, Serah Shafer, Gustison; Durant, Taylor 3, Warner.

Mercer County 25-24-25, Stark County 11-26-23

Kills -- Mercer, Cuellar 13, Welch 8, Stineman 5, Sedam 4; Stark, Bri Gehrig 5, Maggie Rouse 4, Natalie Murphy 3. Blocks -- Mercer, Welch 2, Sedam 2; Stark, Natalie Murphy 2, Maggie Rouse. Assists -- Mercer, Hank 16, Hucke 10; Stark, Haylee Wilkins 7, Kenzie Stahl 7. Digs -- Mercer, Lucas 12, Stineman 12; Stark, Maddie Wilson 13, Maggie Rouse 6. Aces -- Mercer, Stineman 3; Stark, Maggie Rouse 3, Haylee Wilkins 3

Bureau Valley 25-25, Ridgewood 22-16

Kills --\u00a0Bureau Valley, Barnett 7, Carmen 4; Ridgewood, Tatum Miller 10. Blocks --\u00a0Bureau Valley, Fordham 3, Carmen 3; Ridgewood, Tatum Miller 3, Megan Kenney 3. Assists --\u00a0Bureau Valley, Fordham 14; Ridgewood, Alli Lambin 16. Digs --\u00a0Bureau Valley, Endress 11, Barnett 7; Ridgewood, Jenna Stormquist 6. Aces --\u00a0Bureau Valley, Endress 3, Barnett 3, Carly Konneck; Ridgewood, Lizzy Ratlift 2

Galva 25-25, ROWVA 12-20

Kills -- Galva, Brynn Patty 6; ROWVA, Calyn Garza 3, Kelsey Lindquist 3. Digs -- Galva, Rachel Russell 6; ROWVA, Kayla Dillbeck 6. Assists -- Galva, Darrah Schilling 13; ROWVA, Jaylen Haynes 6. Aces -- Galva, Josie Williams 4. Blocks -- Galva, Emily Ann Wexell 6

Alleman 22-25-25, Sherrard 25-13-19

Alleman stats:

Kills -- Sydney Elliot 12, Cori Caleo 8, Kiah O'Neal 7, Lily Steffen 6, Sydney Bowling 2, Parker Georlett, Colleen Kenney. Digs -- Lydia Dorsey 9, Sydney Elliot 5, Cori Caleo 2, Colleen Kenney 2, Kiah O'Neal 2. Assists -- Lily Steffen 29. Blocks -- Kiah O'Neal 3, Sydney Elliot 2. Aces -- Colleen Kenney 4, Sydney Elliot 2, Lily Steffen, Lydia Dorsey, Parker Georlett

"}, {"id":"524feee7-81a1-54fb-be75-349c770f8fde","type":"article","starttime":"1540263120","starttime_iso8601":"2018-10-22T21:52:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1540270743","sections":[{"football":"sports/high-school/football"},{"volleyball":"sports/high-school/volleyball"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Prep report: Alleman starts slow, then shakes off Sherrard","url":"http://qctimes.com/sports/high-school/football/article_524feee7-81a1-54fb-be75-349c770f8fde.html","permalink":"https://qctimes.com/sports/high-school/football/prep-report-alleman-starts-slow-then-shakes-off-sherrard/article_524feee7-81a1-54fb-be75-349c770f8fde.html","canonical":"https://qctimes.com/sports/high-school/football/prep-report-alleman-starts-slow-then-shakes-off-sherrard/article_524feee7-81a1-54fb-be75-349c770f8fde.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"VolleyballAlleman advances: The Alleman volleyball team that came in feeling really good about itself after Western Big Six wins over Rock Island and at Quincy to end the regular season looked nothing like that team to start Monday's Class 2A Orion Regional play-in game against Sherrard. Fifteen first-set errors cost the Pioneers and Sherrard took advantage to win the first set, 25-22.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["alleman volleyball team","sport","volleyball","sherrard","rock island","game","richards","football","playoff"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"revision":4,"commentID":"524feee7-81a1-54fb-be75-349c770f8fde","body":"

Volleyball

Alleman advances: The Alleman volleyball team that came in feeling really good about itself after Western Big Six wins over Rock Island and at Quincy to end the regular season looked nothing like that team to start Monday's Class 2A Orion Regional play-in game against Sherrard.

Fifteen first-set errors cost the Pioneers and Sherrard took advantage to win the first set, 25-22.

The \"recent\" Pioneers (13-15) showed up after that set and used a 14-0 run in the second set to finish off a 25-13 win and then defeated the Tigers (8-22) 25-19 to advance to tonight's semifinals against Orion.

\"It was kind of scary after that first set,\" Alleman senior Sydney Elliott said. \"We played so amazing at Quincy, coach just told us to find the energy we had at Quincy.\"

\u2014 Jeff Wendland, Lee News Network

Wilton sweeps: Wilton had no trouble in its first postseason volleyball match, defeating Iowa City Regina 25-17, 25-13, 25-22 in a Class 2A Region 7 quarterfinal Monday at Wilton.

The Beavers finished a perfect 3-0 in matches against the Regals this season after getting knocked out by them in a regional final last fall.

Wilton will be back in action again Thursday at home in a semifinal against West Branch (24-14), which defeated North Cedar 25-14, 25-13, 25-17 on Monday.

Football

Times are set: Game times for this weekend\u2019s first-round games in the Illinois high school football playoffs were finalized Monday by the Illinois High School Association.

Rock Island will play on Friday night against Oak Lawn Richards in Class 6A with all other games involving area teams being played on Saturday. The full list:

Class 1A: Aurora Christian at Annawan-Wethersfield, 5 p.m.; Fulton at Milledgeville, 1 p.m.

Class 2A: Minonk Fieldcrest at Orion, 1 p.m.; Rockridge at Clifton Central, 2 p.m.; Mercer County at Carthage Illini West, 2 p.m.

Class 3A: Alleman at Byron, 2 p.m.; Mid-County at North Boone, 1 p.m.

Class 6A: Rock Island at Oak Lawn Richards, Friday, 7 p.m.

Class 7A: Glenbrook North at Moline, 6 p.m.

"}, {"id":"1ec9e29e-fa6e-5aec-9dd7-58e35afe2e0d","type":"article","starttime":"1540262640","starttime_iso8601":"2018-10-22T21:44:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1540268231","sections":[{"volleyball":"sports/high-school/volleyball"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Rocky girls breeze past UT","url":"http://qctimes.com/sports/high-school/volleyball/article_1ec9e29e-fa6e-5aec-9dd7-58e35afe2e0d.html","permalink":"https://qctimes.com/sports/high-school/volleyball/rocky-girls-breeze-past-ut/article_1ec9e29e-fa6e-5aec-9dd7-58e35afe2e0d.html","canonical":"https://qctimes.com/sports/high-school/volleyball/rocky-girls-breeze-past-ut/article_1ec9e29e-fa6e-5aec-9dd7-58e35afe2e0d.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Tom Schroeder\nLee News Network","prologue":"Rock Island volleyball coach Jacqueline Twing was encouraged by a two-match winning streak for the Lady Rocks to end the regular season, with thoughts of that momentum igniting a strong run in the Class 4A state playoffs. The eighth-seeded Rocks started their postseason run with a resounding two-set victory over the 11th seeded and hosting United Township Panthers, 25-11, 25-17.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"revision":3,"commentID":"1ec9e29e-fa6e-5aec-9dd7-58e35afe2e0d","body":"

Rock Island volleyball coach Jacqueline Twing was encouraged by a two-match winning streak for the Lady Rocks to end the regular season, with thoughts of that momentum igniting a strong run in the Class 4A state playoffs.

The eighth-seeded Rocks started their postseason run with a resounding two-set victory over the 11th seeded and hosting United Township Panthers, 25-11, 25-17.

\u201cWe ended the season with much more consistent play and teamwork, and our senior leadership stepped up to put us in position to make some noise going forward,\u201d said Twing.

That next chance for the 14-22 Rocks comes this evening when they play third-seeded Normal West. That match follows the 5:30 p.m. opener that features second-seeded Moline against No. 9 Washington, which defeated Peoria High 25-13, 25-12 on Monday.

The senior leadership for the Rocks showed off in the first set Monday as UT was never in contention. Kills by Delaney Kelley, Carlee Camlin and Emma Spurgetis were instrumental in the Rocks\u2019 quick start. The digging of senior Monica Diaz to keep points alive, and junior hitters Ella Engholm and Raghen Walker contributed to the Rock Island victory.

\u201cThe keys for us are consistency, playing mistake-free and working on the floor to keep the ball alive and give our hitters opportunities to put points away,\u201d said Twing.

The Panthers (1-24-1) hit the floor for the second set determined to make their presence felt and they got within 14-13, forcing a timeout by Rock Island.

Rock Island's power game, behind timely kills by Kelley, Engholm and Walker proved too much for the young Panthers, as the Rocks pulled away to win the match.

\u201cOur season was frustrating, but the improvement we\u2019ve shown, and our willingness to go to the floor and work hard for points is encouraging as we plan for next year,\u201d said UT coach Jillian VanOpdorp.

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1. Orion (9-0, LW: 1)

Orion never dropped out of the top spot this season, rolling to a 31-0 win over Rockridge and posting consecutive shutouts entering the postseason. The Chargers have been dominant all year, outscoring opponents 389-65.

This week: vs. Fieldcrest (5-4)

2. Bellevue (9-0, LW: 2)

Hunter Clasen scored three touchdowns after missing two weeks with a high ankle sprain as the Comets capped their unbeaten regular season with a 19-7 win over Cascade. The Comets finished second in the Class 1A RPI and are allowing 10.9 points per game this season.

This week: vs. Mediapolis (8-1)

3. Wilton (8-1, LW: 3)

Wilton has won five straight games by a combined score of 184-17, capped by a 60-0 win over Van Buren last week. Cory Anderson has eight touchdown catches, three interceptions and 43.5 tackles this season for the Beavers, all team highs.

This week: vs. Pella Christian (6-3)

4. West Liberty (6-3, LW: 4)

West Liberty enters the playoffs on a five-game winning streak, allowing just six points per game during that stretch. Quarterback Seth Feldman has accounted for 27 (17 passing, 10 rushing) of the team's 35 touchdowns scored this season.

This week: vs. Chariton (8-1)

5. Annawan-Wethersfield (6-3, LW: NR)

Annawan-Wethersfield enters the playoffs off a 45-14 win over Stark County, the fourth straight win for the Titans. The Titans' three losses this year all came to unbeaten teams and could face a second-round rematch with Lincoln Trail conference and unbeaten Princeville.

This week: vs. Aurora Christian (6-3)

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Moline (8-1, LW: 1)The Maroons rolled to their seventh straight victory on Friday, trouncing Palos Hills Stagg 49-10 in their regular-season finale as Harrison Bey-Buie and Aboubacar Barry each scored three touchdowns. 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Football

1. Moline (8-1, LW: 1)

The Maroons rolled to their seventh straight victory on Friday, trouncing Palos Hills Stagg 49-10 in their regular-season finale as Harrison Bey-Buie and Aboubacar Barry each scored three touchdowns. They were seeded 13th out of 32 teams in the Illinois Class 7A playoffs and will host Glenbrook North on Saturday.

This week: vs. Glenbrook North (7-2)

2. Bettendorf (8-1, LW: 2)

Rocky Schoenfelder had four sacks and Tre Roland recorded two as Bettendorf closed the regular season with a 28-7 win over Davenport Central. Schoenfelder has a dozen sacks for the season, the most in Iowa Class 4A. The Bulldogs, who take a five-game win streak into the playoffs, are allowing just nine points per game.

This week: vs. Pleasant Valley (5-4)

3. North Scott (8-1, LW: 3)

The Lancers are surging into the playoffs with eight straight wins, including the last two by continuous clock (35-point margin). Senior quarterback Nile McLaughlin is closing in on 4,500 career total yards (3,374 passing, 1,089 rushing), and Carson Rollinger is tied for the Class 3A lead with eight interceptions.\u00a0

This week: vs. Waverly-Shell Rock (8-1)

4. Pleasant Valley (5-4, LW: 4)

The Spartans have won four straight and five of their last six going into a first-round playoff game at TouVelle Stadium. During the win streak, PV is averaging 41.5 points per game. Linebacker Max O'Brien, the team's leading tackler, left Friday's game with injury, but coach Rusty VanWetzinga said there was no ligament damage.\u00a0

This week:\u00a0at Bettendorf (8-1)

5. Rock Island (5-4, LW: 5)

The Rocks had an easy time getting past Peoria Richwoods 61-9 on Friday as Davion Wilson rushed for 165 yards without even playing in the second half. That win got them into the Illinois Class 6A playoffs, but they now face a more daunting task, traveling to play No. 1 seed Oak Lawn Richards on Friday night.

This week: at Oak Lawn Richards (9-0)

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Seniority matters.

Ask the St. Ambrose women\u2019s basketball team, which will build its hopes of returning to the NAIA Division II elite around a five-player senior class.

Combined with three juniors, the Queen Bees have as much experience as ninth-year coach Krista Van Hauen\u2019s has enjoyed in recent seasons.

\u201cIt\u2019s been a couple of years since we\u2019ve had this many upperclassmen on the roster and in the way they\u2019re working you can tell the seniors want to end their careers in Sioux City at the national tournament,\u2019\u2019 Van Hauen said. \u201cThey want to make that happen.\u2019\u2019

Van Hauen believes overcoming a 4-12 start to reach .500 in conference play and qualify for the eight-team Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament has provided offseason motivation for a veteran team.

\u201cAfter missing out the previous year, just getting back to the conference tourney was big for us,\u2019\u2019 Van Hauen said. \u201cNow, it\u2019s time to build off of that.\u2019\u2019

Senior Hailey Cook and sophomore Madi Epperson, the freshman of the year in the CCAC last season, provide the Bees with an inside-outside combination to lead the way.

Cook, a 5-foot-11 forward from Moline, averaged 11.9 points and 5.1 rebounds per game last season while Epperson hit a team-leading 36.2 percent from 3-point range as a freshman. The 5-7 guard from Athens, Illinois, averaged 11 points and led St. Ambrose with 82 assists a year ago.

\u201cThe potential we see in this team has us all excited,\u2019\u2019 Cook said. \u201cWe lost two good seniors from a year ago, but with the experience we have, we\u2019re prepared to compete at a pretty high level.\u2019\u2019

The Bees believe game-tested talent may be the key to it all.

\u201cWe\u2019re in a better position now from an experience standpoint,\u2019\u2019 senior guard Aubrie Carlisle said. \u201cThe last couple of years, we\u2019ve had a lot of new players trying to mix in. We\u2019re an older team now and in our conference, that is going to make a difference.\u2019\u2019

Van Hauen sees the potential for plenty of balance.

She likes the depth of the roster as well as the experience and has already utilized both.

St. Ambrose rotated 13 players as the Bees went 3-0 at a recent preseason shootout event hosted by Kirkwood Community College.

\u201cI think we have a chance to have a lot of players who are going to give us 6-to-10 points a game to go along with a few in double figures,\u2019\u2019 Van Hauen said. \u201cIf we can develop that kind of offense, I think we have a chance to be a really hard team to defend.\u2019\u2019

Epperson will give defenses something to deal with on the perimeter and she\u2019s not alone.

Seniors Candace Finnin and Hannah Ford along with Carlisle bring three-point range to the St. Ambrose offense while senior Mercedes Jackson and junior Charlotte Flynn add interior experience.

\u201cThe upperclassmen on this team, especially the seniors, are really determined to make this a special year,\u2019\u2019 Epperson said. \u201cWe have the talent to make that happen. This team is working hard to reach its potential.\u2019\u2019

Van Hauen, whose program last reached the NAIA national tourney in 2016, senses that as well.

St. Ambrose positioned itself to reach the league tourney last season by winning 8-of-11 games during a late-season stretch.

\u201cThings came together and I think in that stretch, the light bulb came on for a few of our younger players who coming back this fall aren\u2019t so young anymore,\u2019\u2019 Van Hauen said.

\u201cWe got a little taste of what the postseason was like last year and that has left us as a pretty hungry team. I see that as a good thing now. It\u2019s a pretty determined group.\u2019\u2019

"}, {"id":"d4eb1352-3ade-57b8-8144-dde906270baf","type":"article","starttime":"1540249920","starttime_iso8601":"2018-10-22T18:12:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1540255502","sections":[{"college":"sports/basketball/college"},{"st-ambrose":"sports/college/st-ambrose"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Bees see little things making a winning difference","url":"http://qctimes.com/sports/basketball/college/article_d4eb1352-3ade-57b8-8144-dde906270baf.html","permalink":"https://qctimes.com/sports/basketball/college/bees-see-little-things-making-a-winning-difference/article_d4eb1352-3ade-57b8-8144-dde906270baf.html","canonical":"https://qctimes.com/sports/basketball/college/bees-see-little-things-making-a-winning-difference/article_d4eb1352-3ade-57b8-8144-dde906270baf.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Steve Batterson\nsbatterson@qctimes.com","prologue":"An analytical review of last year\u2019s 15-15 season provided this year\u2019s St. Ambrose men\u2019s basketball team with some eye-opening perspective. \u201cThe little things, they matter a lot and that\u2019s where things start for us now, making sure we do the little things,\u2019\u2019 Fighting Bees guard Jake Meeske said.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["st. ambrose men's basketball","fighting bees","ray shovlain","jake meeske","john kerr","dylan kaczmarek"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"7ef4cff9-efd4-5c95-b48d-bcdcd809f754","description":"Dylan Kaczmarek, John Kerr and Jake Meeske figure to form part of the nucleus of the St. Ambrose men's basketball team this season.","byline":"Andy Abeyta, Quad-City Times","hireswidth":3000,"hiresheight":2057,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/ef/7ef4cff9-efd4-5c95-b48d-bcdcd809f754/5bce5597eb342.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1739","height":"1192","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/ef/7ef4cff9-efd4-5c95-b48d-bcdcd809f754/5bce5597cf708.image.jpg?resize=1739%2C1192"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"69","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/ef/7ef4cff9-efd4-5c95-b48d-bcdcd809f754/5bce5597cf708.image.jpg?resize=100%2C69"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"206","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/ef/7ef4cff9-efd4-5c95-b48d-bcdcd809f754/5bce5597cf708.image.jpg?resize=300%2C206"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"702","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/ef/7ef4cff9-efd4-5c95-b48d-bcdcd809f754/5bce5597cf708.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C702"}}}],"revision":3,"commentID":"d4eb1352-3ade-57b8-8144-dde906270baf","body":"

An analytical review of last year\u2019s 15-15 season provided this year\u2019s St. Ambrose men\u2019s basketball team with some eye-opening perspective.

\u201cThe little things, they matter a lot and that\u2019s where things start for us now, making sure we do the little things,\u2019\u2019 Fighting Bees guard Jake Meeske said.

Coach Ray Shovlain\u2019s 36th team at St. Ambrose returns five players who made more than 11 starts a year ago, creating the nucleus of a team that remains relatively young but expects to build on a decent level of returning experience.

\u201cWe played a lot of freshmen a lot of minutes a year ago and the experiences they gained from that, they all should help us,\u2019\u2019 Shovlain said. \u201cIn a lot of ways, we\u2019re still going to be a young basketball team, but they\u2019ve worked hard since the end of last season to get better.\u2019\u2019

Shovlain counts on that work leading to growth in consistency and strength he believes will help the Fighting Bees compete.

He points to turnovers and possessions related to those turnovers as an example.

St. Ambrose averaged 16.2 turnovers per game last season, a number Shovlain would like to see trimmed by five this season.

\u201cWith the number of close games we play, if we can do that, give ourselves five additional possessions and take five possessions away from the opponent, it gives us a chance to add six or seven wins to our record and get back to the type of seasons we are accustomed to around here,\u2019\u2019 Shovlain said.

Shovlain likes the depth he sees on the roster, expecting to rotate at least 10 to 11 players in a lineup that will likely open the season with a junior, three sophomores and a freshman in its starting five.

One of those sophomores is last season\u2019s Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference freshman of the year, 6-foot-7 forward John Kerr.

He\u2019s added 10 pounds and strength during the offseason, looking for that to help him improve on scoring and team-leading rebounding averages of 12.3 and 7.5 per game.

\u201cI found out how athletic and how physical you need to be to play at this level and I\u2019m feeling good with where I\u2019m at right now,\u2019\u2019 Kerr said. \u201cIt\u2019s been a good offseason. I got a lot of work in that\u2019s going to help me compete.\u2019\u2019

He wasn\u2019t alone.

Shovlain said as a team, St. Ambrose players showed a good offseason commitment to development.

That commitment has carried over to preseason practices that will lead the Bees into a busy opening month that includes not only an exhibition game against Augustana on Sunday at the TaxSlayer Center but also the start of CCAC play and a trip to Ireland in mid-November.

\u201cWe\u2019re a little older now, still young, but the experience that a lot of us picked up a year ago, that\u2019s going to be big now,\u2019\u2019 said Meeske, a junior from United Township, averaged 14.4 points per game last season.

\u201cWe need to do a better job getting stops on the defensive end and taking care of the ball. We all see that and we need to use what we learned from last year and build on that.\u2019\u2019

Dylan Kaczmarek, a 6-foot-3 sophomore guard who led the Bees with 100 assists while averaging 5.1 points, sees those experiences as something that will help St. Ambrose compete.

\u201cIt wasn\u2019t just the strength and size. It\u2019s the basketball IQ and the quickness of the game that a lot of us had to adjust to,\u2019\u2019 Kaczmarek said. \u201cYou can\u2019t take a possession for granted and understanding that now is where we start this season.\u2019\u2019

Jalen Jones, who averaged 12.8 points after joining the Bees at midyear last season, will miss the opening weeks of the current season.

Shovlain expects four freshmen, 6-4 wing Ben Schols, 5-10 wing Isaiah Harvey and a pair of post players, 6-8 Seth Kizer and 6-10 Wilson Page, to make early contributions.

\u201cWe\u2019re still going to be a pretty young team, but we have some experience that gives us a chance to be improved,\u2019\u2019 Shovlain said. \u201cI\u2019m anxious to see how this can all fit together.\u2019\u2019

2018-19 schedule

October -- 28, vs. Augustana at TaxSlayer Center, Moline, exhibition, 5 p.m.; 30, at Emmaus Bible, 8 p.m.

November -- 2, vs. Clarke at Clarke Tipoff Classic, 7 p.m.; 3, vs. Bethel (Ind.) at Clarke Tipoff Classic, 3 p.m.; 7, Mount Mercy, 7:30 p.m.; 9, vs. Rochester at Gary, Ind., 5 p.m.; 14, at Olivet Nazarene, 7:30 p.m.; 22, at Killarney (Ireland) Cougars, exhibition, TBA; 28, at Governors State, 7 p.m.

December -- 1, Cardinal Stritch, 3 p.m.; 3, at Mount Mercy, 7 p.m.; 6, Roosevelt, 6 p.m.; 8, at Trinity Christian, 3 p.m.; 15, St. Francis (Ill.), 3 p.m.; 19, Calumet St. Joseph, 7:30 p.m.

January -- 3, at Lincoln, 3 p.m.; 5, Trinity International, 3 p.m.; 9, at Robert Morris (Ill.), 7:30 p.m.; 12, Holy Cross, 3 p.m.; 14, Emmaus Bible, 7 p.m.; 16, at Judson, 7:30 p.m.; 19, at Indiana-South Bend, 2 p.m.; 23, St. Xavier, 7:30 p.m.; 26, Olivet Nazarene, 3 p.m.; 30, at Roosevelt, 7:30 p.m.

February -- 2, at Calumet St. Joseph, 3 p.m.; 6, Governors State, 7:30 p.m.; 9, at Cardinal Stritch, 3 p.m.; 11, Lincoln, 7:30 p.m.; 13, Trinity Christian, 7:30 p.m.; 16, at St. Francis (Ill.), 3 p.m.; 19, CCAC quarterfinals, TBA; 21, CCAC semifinals, TBA; 23, CCAC championship, TBA

"}, {"id":"58c0a1bd-9e99-5ca1-9dc0-0dbf1bd821fb","type":"article","starttime":"1540249200","starttime_iso8601":"2018-10-22T18:00:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1540258033","sections":[{"alumni-watch":"sports/alumni-watch"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Hird legacy at North Central coming to a close","url":"http://qctimes.com/sports/alumni-watch/article_58c0a1bd-9e99-5ca1-9dc0-0dbf1bd821fb.html","permalink":"https://qctimes.com/sports/alumni-watch/hird-legacy-at-north-central-coming-to-a-close/article_58c0a1bd-9e99-5ca1-9dc0-0dbf1bd821fb.html","canonical":"https://qctimes.com/sports/alumni-watch/hird-legacy-at-north-central-coming-to-a-close/article_58c0a1bd-9e99-5ca1-9dc0-0dbf1bd821fb.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":2,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Don Doxsie\nddoxsie@qctimes.com","prologue":"Zach Hird began attending North Central College cross country meets when he was six years old. His older brother, Nick, had enrolled at the Naperville, Illinois, school and joined one of the top NCAA Division III programs in the country, and it didn\u2019t take long for Zach \u2014 and his other older brothers \u2014 to become enthralled with the idea of running for the Cardinals.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"f86b0b5b-5350-5480-a641-0d4350df5043","description":"Alleman graduate Zach Hird is the last of his family members to run for the North Central College cross country team. He is hoping to add to the family legacy in the weeks to come.","byline":"Steve Woltmann, North Central","hireswidth":1661,"hiresheight":1003,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/86/f86b0b5b-5350-5480-a641-0d4350df5043/5bce5728a7bec.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1661","height":"1003","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/86/f86b0b5b-5350-5480-a641-0d4350df5043/5bce572895474.image.jpg?resize=1661%2C1003"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"60","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/86/f86b0b5b-5350-5480-a641-0d4350df5043/5bce572895474.image.jpg?resize=100%2C60"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"181","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/86/f86b0b5b-5350-5480-a641-0d4350df5043/5bce572895474.image.jpg?resize=300%2C181"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"618","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/86/f86b0b5b-5350-5480-a641-0d4350df5043/5bce572895474.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C618"}}},{"id":"5132c625-df0e-5e2c-b59f-7351e67b8583","description":"Zach Hird","byline":"Steve Woltmann, North Central","hireswidth":428,"hiresheight":640,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/13/5132c625-df0e-5e2c-b59f-7351e67b8583/5bce572935944.hires.jpg","presentation":"mugshot","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"428","height":"640","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/13/5132c625-df0e-5e2c-b59f-7351e67b8583/5bce57292f890.image.jpg?resize=428%2C640"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"150","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/13/5132c625-df0e-5e2c-b59f-7351e67b8583/5bce57292f890.image.jpg?resize=100%2C150"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"449","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/13/5132c625-df0e-5e2c-b59f-7351e67b8583/5bce57292f890.image.jpg?resize=300%2C449"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1531","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/13/5132c625-df0e-5e2c-b59f-7351e67b8583/5bce57292f890.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":7,"commentID":"58c0a1bd-9e99-5ca1-9dc0-0dbf1bd821fb","body":"

Zach Hird began attending North Central College cross country meets when he was six years old.

His older brother, Nick, had enrolled at the Naperville, Illinois, school and joined one of the top NCAA Division III programs in the country, and it didn\u2019t take long for Zach \u2014 and his other older brothers \u2014 to become enthralled with the idea of running for the Cardinals.

They\u2019ve all done it. Nick. Nathaniel. Tim. Zach. Since 2002, there always has been at least one Hird on the North Central roster.

\u201cI could have saved money going somewhere else but I knew the culture and the experience I was going to get at North Central ever since I was a little kid,\u2019\u2019 Zach said.

It\u2019s about to come to an end. Zach, a 2014 Rock Island Alleman graduate, a fifth-year senior and the youngest of the Hirds, is only about a month away from running his final cross country race as a Cardinal.

\u201cIt\u2019s been a phenomenal experience and it flies by \u2026\u2019\u2019 he said.

\u201cNow that this is the last hurrah, it kind of stinks but I\u2019m just going to enjoy it while I still have it.\u2019\u2019

Zach has done his part to perpetuate the family legacy, which has seen each of four Hird brothers earn Division III All-American honors at least once.

They\u2019ve been part of a program that has won 18 national championships and an astonishing 44 consecutive College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin titles. Those all came under the guidance of 53rd-year coach Al Carius, who is glad he long ago cultivated a relationship with a certain Quad-Cities family.

\u201cThe Hird family is a bonded group that is committed and loving towards one another,\u2019\u2019 Carius said. \u201cI am incredibly honored to have four Hird sons come and run at North Central.\u2019\u2019

Zach Hird was injured for much of his first year at North Central and redshirted during the 2014 cross country and 2015 indoor track seasons.

He also planned to sit out the outdoor track season but when it looked as though the Cardinals might have trouble beating Augustana in the CCIW meet, Hird was pressed into action to make sure North Central won. As a result, his college career will be over at the conclusion of the next indoor season.

As a redshirt freshman in 2015, he moved into the North Central cross country lineup and placed 96th in the Division III meet, then improved to 24th, earning All-American honors, in 2016. He was only 86th last year, but he began this season expecting to be the No. 2 runner in the Cardinals\u2019 star-studded lineup.

After suffering an Achilles injury, he went 5\u00bd weeks without running, then came back to finish second individually in the 16-team Benedictine University Eagle Invitational on Oct. 6, earning CCIW runner of the week honors.

He said that meet was his \u201ctest run.\u2019\u2019 The following week he went back to running full-time and with the entire North Central team in action, he was the Cardinals\u2019 seventh finisher as they claimed an overwhelming victory in the Wisconsin-Oshkosh Kollege Town Pre-Nationals race.

\u201cI\u2019ll take being the seventh guy when we end up winning the meet by 50 points over the second best team in the country,\u2019\u2019 Hird said. \u201cI\u2019m still very fit, just getting back into that grind of running. It just took a couple of weeks to get back into that rhythm, that groove.\u2019\u2019

Based on what they did in the Oshkosh meet, the Cardinals will easily win their 45th straight CCIW title this weekend in Warrenville, Illinois, and will be favored to win another national championship next month.

\u201cThat\u2019s the plan,\u2019\u2019 Hird said. \u201cWe still have to run the race but we\u2019re confident in what we\u2019re able to do.\u2019\u2019

This is a season North Central has been pointing to for a few years. Its top seven runners include six seniors and a junior.

\u201cMost of us have been around and have been the face of the program for a few years now and this is nothing new for us,\u2019\u2019 Hird said. \u201cWe know exactly what we\u2019re doing, we\u2019re all in phenomenal shape and we\u2019re able to get the most out of every practice and every meet. The collective confidence is higher than ever.\u2019\u2019

After he\u2019s finally done running at North Central this spring, Hird will have a masters degree in business administration \u2014 he already has a bachelor\u2019s degree in accounting \u2014 and will begin studying to take the test to become a certified public accountant.

Wherever life takes him, he\u2019ll be forever grateful he opted to follow in the family footsteps.

\u201cI\u2019m very glad that I chose to come here and the ethics and the values I learned through the program from Al and just through my experience here \u2026 I feel so much better prepared for life after school even if it\u2019s not running,\u2019\u2019 he said.

\u201cIt\u2019s just fun being on the team. A lot of people never get to experience being on a good team where everyone wants to get better and it\u2019s a very positive culture. A lot of people really look for that in the outside world in jobs, and it\u2019s hard to find. We\u2019re really fortunate, almost spoiled, that we have that here.\u2019\u2019

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Chasing Iowa career scoring and rebounding records as her senior season begins, Megan Gustafson will do so as the preseason women\u2019s basketball player of the year in the Big Ten.

The 6-foot-3 post player from Port Wing, Wisconsin, earned that honor Monday from both the league coaches and a media panel. It's one of the reasons the Hawkeyes are picked to finish second in the league race to a Maryland team which, like Iowa, returns four starters.

Both league coaches and the media picked the Terrapins and Hawkeyes to finish 1-2, with the coaches choosing Michigan to take third and the media selecting Minnesota. Iowa and Maryland are scheduled to meet just once during the upcoming season, with the Hawkeyes hosting that game on Feb. 17.

Gustafson earned all-American honors last season after leading NCAA Division I in scoring and field goal percentage, averaging 25.7 points per game and shooting 67.1 percent from the field. She also averaged 12.8 rebounds per game for a 24-8 Iowa team.

During her junior season, Gustafson joined Chiney Ogwumike of Stanford as the only NCAA women\u2019s basketball players in the past decade to average more than 24 points and 12 rebounds per game in a single season.

She enters her senior season with a chance to become the Hawkeyes\u2019 career leader in both scoring and rebounding, opening with 1,803 points and 979 boards.

Iowa\u2019s all-time scoring record of 2,102 points was set by Ally Disterhoft two years ago while the rebounding record of 1,067 has stood since Cindy Haugejorde set it in 1980.

Unanimously named to 12-player preseason conference teams selected by both conference coaches and the media, Gustafson was joined on the teams by Iowa junior Kathleen Doyle and Illinois senior Alex Wittinger.

Doyle led the Big Ten in assists in conference play last season, averaging 7.5 per game. The 5-9 guard from LaGrange Park, Illinois, averaged 11.1 points and 3.7 rebounds per game.

Wittinger, a senior forward, averaged 15 points and 9 rebounds per game last season for the Fighting Illini.

"}, {"id":"baf2b36c-d621-11e8-be48-9f7d4d84f54e","type":"article","starttime":"1540230060","starttime_iso8601":"2018-10-22T12:41:00-05:00","sections":[{"iowa":"sports/college/big-10/iowa"},{"iowa":"sports/basketball/college/big-10/iowa"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Hawkeye named pre-season player of the year","url":"http://qctimes.com/sports/college/big-10/iowa/article_baf2b36c-d621-11e8-be48-9f7d4d84f54e.html","permalink":"https://qctimes.com/sports/college/big-10/iowa/hawkeye-named-pre-season-player-of-the-year/article_baf2b36c-d621-11e8-be48-9f7d4d84f54e.html","canonical":"https://qctimes.com/sports/college/big-10/iowa/hawkeye-named-pre-season-player-of-the-year/article_baf2b36c-d621-11e8-be48-9f7d4d84f54e.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"Iowa senior Megan Gustafson was named today as the Big Ten women\u2019s basketball player of the year. Selected unanimously to preseason all-Big Ten teams chosen by conference coaches and the media, Gustafson earned all-American honors as a junior while leading NCAA Division I with a scoring average of 25.7 points and a 67.1-percent shooting touch a year ago.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["megan gustafson","sport","player","rebound","scoring","pre-season","coach","team"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"89bcae3a-86f1-5d4f-8eea-bd11124d70a9","description":"Gustafson","byline":"","hireswidth":1840,"hiresheight":2400,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/9b/89bcae3a-86f1-5d4f-8eea-bd11124d70a9/5aa87a70d78a2.hires.jpg","presentation":"mugshot","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1260","height":"1643","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/9b/89bcae3a-86f1-5d4f-8eea-bd11124d70a9/5aa87a70b89ae.image.jpg?resize=1260%2C1643"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"130","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/9b/89bcae3a-86f1-5d4f-8eea-bd11124d70a9/5aa87a70b89ae.image.jpg?resize=100%2C130"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"391","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/9b/89bcae3a-86f1-5d4f-8eea-bd11124d70a9/5aa87a70b89ae.image.jpg?resize=300%2C391"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1335","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/9b/89bcae3a-86f1-5d4f-8eea-bd11124d70a9/5aa87a70b89ae.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C1335"}}}],"revision":1,"commentID":"baf2b36c-d621-11e8-be48-9f7d4d84f54e","body":"

Iowa senior Megan Gustafson was named today as the Big Ten women\u2019s basketball player of the year.

Selected unanimously to preseason all-Big Ten teams chosen by conference coaches and the media, Gustafson earned all-American honors as a junior while leading NCAA Division I with a scoring average of 25.7 points and a 67.1-percent shooting touch a year ago.

The post player from Port Wing, Wisconsin, enters her senior season in a position to challenge Iowa\u2019s career scoring and rebounding records. She has 1,803 career points and 979 rebounds. Ally Disterhoft holds the Hawkeyes\u2019 scoring record with 2,102 points and Cindy Haugejorde set Iowa\u2019s career rebound mark of 1,067 in 1980.

Gustafson was joined on the preseason all-conference team by Kathleen Doyle, a junior guard from LaGrange Park, Illinois, who led the Big Ten with an average of 7.5 assists per game in league play last season.

The pair is expected to lead an Iowa team which returns six of its top seven scorers from a year ago and was picked to finish second in the Big Ten behind Maryland in separate polls of conference coaches and the media. Coaches selected Michigan to finish third, while the media chose Minnesota behind the Terrapins and Hawkeyes.

"}, {"id":"dec9f162-d5fc-11e8-aa65-efca42010e3f","type":"article","starttime":"1540220400","starttime_iso8601":"2018-10-22T10:00:00-05:00","sections":[{"iowa":"sports/college/big-10/iowa"},{"iowa":"sports/football/college/big-10/iowa"}],"application":"editorial","title":"10 @ 10: First touchdown reception, tough D and moving up in the polls","url":"http://qctimes.com/sports/college/big-10/iowa/article_dec9f162-d5fc-11e8-aa65-efca42010e3f.html","permalink":"https://qctimes.com/sports/college/big-10/iowa/first-touchdown-reception-tough-d-and-moving-up-in-the/article_dec9f162-d5fc-11e8-aa65-efca42010e3f.html","canonical":"https://qctimes.com/sports/college/big-10/iowa/first-touchdown-reception-tough-d-and-moving-up-in-the/article_dec9f162-d5fc-11e8-aa65-efca42010e3f.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":8,"audio":0,"image":9,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":1,"gallery":2},"prologue":"Brandon Smith\u2019s first career touchdown reception was not only memorable, but timely, on Saturday. That, along with a rare quiet day for Iowa\u2019s passing game, honors for a former Hawkeye and a look at Iowa players on the NFL stage, are all part of today\u2019s Hawkeye 10 @ 10, your daily dose of Iowa football news and notes.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["touchdown","sport","american football","bobby hansen","tackle","george kittle","transfer","ryan boyle","brandon smith"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"347e1c3c-edf5-55e1-8f53-7a5f79dc433a","description":"Iowa's Brandon Smith makes a touchdown grab against Maryland's Tino Ellis on Saturday during first-half action at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City.","byline":"John Schultz, Quad-City Times","hireswidth":3000,"hiresheight":1922,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/47/347e1c3c-edf5-55e1-8f53-7a5f79dc433a/5bcb921e2cc2d.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1799","height":"1152","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/47/347e1c3c-edf5-55e1-8f53-7a5f79dc433a/5bcb921e0b130.image.jpg?resize=1799%2C1152"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"64","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/47/347e1c3c-edf5-55e1-8f53-7a5f79dc433a/5bcb921e0b130.image.jpg?resize=100%2C64"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"192","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/47/347e1c3c-edf5-55e1-8f53-7a5f79dc433a/5bcb921e0b130.image.jpg?resize=300%2C192"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"656","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/47/347e1c3c-edf5-55e1-8f53-7a5f79dc433a/5bcb921e0b130.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C656"}}},{"id":"effcd1a9-c33c-5a3e-9e41-6fec70844f75","description":"Iowa running back Ivory Kelly-Martin carries the ball during the fourth quarter of the Hawkeyes' game against Wisconsin last month at Kinnick Stadium.","byline":"Andy Abeyta Quad-City Times","hireswidth":3000,"hiresheight":1912,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/ff/effcd1a9-c33c-5a3e-9e41-6fec70844f75/5ba71c9ce89bb.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1803","height":"1149","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/ff/effcd1a9-c33c-5a3e-9e41-6fec70844f75/5ba71c9ccc5b9.image.jpg?resize=1803%2C1149"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"64","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/ff/effcd1a9-c33c-5a3e-9e41-6fec70844f75/5ba71c9ccc5b9.image.jpg?resize=100%2C64"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"191","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/ff/effcd1a9-c33c-5a3e-9e41-6fec70844f75/5ba71c9ccc5b9.image.jpg?resize=300%2C191"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"653","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/ff/effcd1a9-c33c-5a3e-9e41-6fec70844f75/5ba71c9ccc5b9.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C653"}}},{"id":"814ed747-a55d-571e-88f7-ff3c6fd03ade","description":"Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley takes off on a scramble against Maryland, Saturday, October 20, 2018, during first half action at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City. 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Brandon Smith\u2019s first career touchdown reception was not only memorable, but timely, on Saturday.

That, along with a rare quiet day for Iowa\u2019s passing game, honors for a former Hawkeye and a look at Iowa players on the NFL stage, are all part of today\u2019s Hawkeye 10 @ 10, your daily dose of Iowa football news and notes.

Delivered each weekday at 10 a.m. at Hawkmania.com, your home for all things Iowa, here is today\u2019s Hawkeye 10 @ 10:

1. Ivory Kelly-Martin\u2019s return to the lineup led to increased productivity in the Iowa ground game.

\"092218-Iowa-Football-042\"

Iowa running back Ivory Kelly-Martin carries the ball during the fourth quarter of the Hawkeyes' game against Wisconsin last month at Kinnick Stadium.

The sophomore rushed for 98 yards on 24 carries, the closest a Hawkeye back has come to that elusive 100-yard mark this season.

\u201cWe\u2019re just here to help the offense as much as we can,\u2019\u2019 Kelly-Martin said. \u201cWe\u2019re not spending any time looking at stats or anything. We\u2019re just looking at it like we got a \u2018W\u2019 today.\u2019\u2019

2. Brandon Smith\u2019s first collegiate touchdown reception was a noteworthy one for Iowa.

His one-handed grab of a 10-yard pass from Nate Stanley with eight seconds remaining in the first half of Saturday\u2019s game grew the Hawkeyes\u2019 lead from 6-0 to 13-0 at the break.

\u201cBrandon Smith continues to grow right in front of our eyes,\u2019\u2019 Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. \u201cThat was a really big play at a big time and it made halftime a lot more enjoyable for everybody.\u2019\u2019

Ferentz found praise for both ends of that particular pass.

\u201cThat play to Brandon was not an easy throw by Nate,\u2019\u2019 Ferentz said. \u201cHe didn\u2019t have his best day out there, but that was a great throw.\u2019\u2019

3. An 11-for-22 passing performance and less-than-ideal passing conditions created by winds gusting over 40 miles per hour left Nate Stanley with 86 passing yards against Maryland.

\"102018-Iowa-Maryland

Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley takes off on a scramble against Maryland, Saturday, October 20, 2018, during first half action at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City. Iowa lead at half time 13-0.

That marked the first time Iowa finished with fewer than 100 passing yards in a game since Boston College limited the Hawkeyes to 99 in the Pinstripe Bowl at the end of last season.

Iowa has finished with fewer than 100 passing yards on just three of Stanley\u2019s 20 starts and is 2-1 in those games, winning Saturday against Maryland and losing last season at Wisconsin, totaling 66 yards, and in addition to the bowl win over Boston College.

4. The Hawkeye defense didn\u2019t give Maryland much of a chance, limiting the Terrapins to 39 plays.

\"102018-Iowa-Maryland

Maryland's Anthony McFarland gets hit by Jake Gervase on Saturday during second half action at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes limited McFarland, who had been averaging 8.9 yards per carry, to 15 yards on six carries.

That is the lowest number of plays run by an Iowa opponent in the 20 seasons Kirk Ferentz has led the program.

\u201cWe know if we\u2019re at our best and we show up and play hard, play fast and play together, we can be a special group as a defense,\u2019\u2019 free safety Jake Gervase said.

5. Iowa made modest gains in both college football polls released Sunday.

\"Iowa
Iowa Hawkeyes logo

The Hawkeyes gained one spot in the Associated Press poll, moving from 19th to 18th with their 23-0 shutout of Maryland. In the USA Today/Amway Coaches poll, Iowa moved from 22nd to 18th with the win.

6. Desmond King of the Chargers finished with seven tackles, including six solo stops, and Christian Kirksey had a solid game on Sunday for Cleveland, highlighting the work of former Hawkeyes in the NFL over the weekend.

\"Chargers

Los Angeles Chargers defensive back Desmond King, top, jumps over San Francisco 49ers punter Bradley Pinion while returning a punt during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 30, 2018, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae Hong)

King helped Los Angeles to a 20-19 win over Tennessee while Kirksey finished with 10 tackles, including seven solo stops, and recovered a fumble for the Browns in a 26-23 loss to Tampa.

On offense, C.J. Beathard completed 15-of-27 passes for 170 yards and one touchdown, but was intercepted twice and lost a fumble in San Francisco\u2019s 39-10 loss to the Rams.

Former Hawkeye George Kittle led the 49ers with five catches for 98 yards and a touchdown in that game and Greg Mabin finished with one tackle.

Elsewhere, Jaleel Johnson had four tackles, including 0.5 sacks, for Minnesota in its win over the Jets and Anthony Hitchens had three tackles for Kansas City in its win over Cincinnati.

7. Former Iowa quarterback and receiver Ryan Boyle was named Sunday night as the newcomer of the week in the Missouri Valley Football Conference.

\"Ryan

Boyle

The Indiana State graduate transfer rushed for 104 yards and threw for 101 on 7-of-14 passing to help the Sycamores end a 14-game conference losing streak with a 24-21 win over Southern Illinois.

8. Ryan Boyle was the only former Iowa quarterback to lead a team to a win over the weekend.

\"Tyler

Wiegers

Tyler Wiegers did as well.

The Eastern Michigan graduate transfer completed 22-of-28 passes for 257 yards and three touchdowns in a 42-20 rout of Ball State, highlighting the work of former Hawkeyes elsewhere in college football.

On defense, Brandon Snyder finished with four tackles for South Dakota State in its loss at Northern Iowa and Romeo McKnight totaled three tackles for Illinois State in a loss at North Dakota State.

9. Former Iowa basketball player Bobby Hansen will be the featured speaker at today\u2019s Davenport Grid Club luncheon.

\"Iowa
Iowa Hawkeyes logo

Hansen will join Quad-City area college and high school football coaches at the final noon luncheon of the season at the Knights of Columbus, 1111 W. 35th St., Davenport.

Tickets, priced at $10, can be purchased at the door and include a buffet luncheon. All Grid Club luncheons are open to the public.

10. Expect less-than-ideal conditions Saturday in State College for Iowa\u2019s 2:30 p.m. game against Penn State.

\"Penn
Penn state

The current National Weather Service forecast for the day calls for a 60 percent chance of rain and snow with a high temperature around 50 degrees.

Images from Iowa's win over Maryland

Photos: Maryland at Iowa Football
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Five things to contemplate following Iowa's 23-0 shutout of Maryland on Saturday at Kinnick Stadium:

1. The good

Kirk Ferentz suggested following Saturday's game that about half of the Hawkeyes' game plan for the Maryland game was blown away with winds gusting over 40 miles per hour at Kinnick Stadium.

\"It was a little like the (Pinstripe Bowl) where a lot of things we thought would be OK, you kind of toss them out,'' coach Kirk Ferentz said.

What was left was enough to get the job done against the Terrapins.

Quarterback Nate Stanley did throw a interception which ended Iowa's first drive of the day, a wake-up call shortly after the 11 a.m. kick that reminded the junior that not forcing anything and taking care of the ball had to be top priorities.

Even before that misguided toss into the arms of the Terrapins' Tre Watson, the Hawkeyes had put their plan for the day on display and 4.3 yards per carry and a cloud of possession time were enough for Iowa to move to 6-1 on the season.

Ivory Kelly-Martin, Mekhi Sargent and Toren Young were effective as the Hawkeye workhorses, combining for 173 of the season-high 224 rushing yards Iowa collected while accounting for 43 of the team's 52 rushes.

Their work behind a cohesive offensive line continues the Hawkeyes' offense growth, providing a needed complement to the connection Stanley has developed with his receivers and tight ends.

2. The better than good

When Iowa moved assistant coach LeVar Woods into the role of coordinating the Hawkeyes' special teams, the idea was to place more of an emphasis in an area where Iowa could develop an edge.

Conditions like those presented Saturday test that growth and while winds negated return opportunities, Iowa specialists delivered.

Punter Colten Rastetter didn't get an opportunity until the second half, not necessarily a bad thing, but he made the most of his two opportunities by averaging 46.5 yards, nearly 12 yards per punt better Maryland's Wade Lees mustered on average in six tries.

Kicker Miguel Recinos was perfect on the day, hitting a career-high three field goals and both of his PAT attempts.

Recinos is now 10-of-13 on the season in field goal attempts and has hit all six of his attempts in Big Ten games. The senior's contribution, and his mastery of the conditions on Saturday, are providing Iowa with some needed consistency in that area.

3. The reason

Saturday performances have been a direct byproduct of preparation during the week for an Iowa football team that is clearly comfortable in its own skin.

This group seems to like being around each other, feeding off of the leadership provided by a small, but dedicated, 13-player senior class.

Ferentz suggested in his postgame comments that the Hawkeyes have gone \"8-for-8\" in turning good weeks of preparation on and off the practice field into performance.

\"It just seems like whatever we ask them to do, they're doing it, trying to do it,'' Ferentz said. \"So they're operating the right way and if we're going to have a good season we need to continue that.''

4. The balancing act

Big-picture balance -- the old scratch-where-it-itches mindset of Hayden Fry-coached Hawkeye teams -- is the true objective of this Iowa team.

Growth in the running game the past two weeks, 159 yards at Indiana followed by a season-best 224 against Maryland, illustrates that Iowa can move the ball in a number of ways.

The Hawkeyes haven't had a 100-yard rusher in a game yet and after Ivory Kelly-Martin's 98-yard effort Saturday and Toren Young's 96-yard game a week earlier at Indiana, Iowa running backs seem OK with the shared responsibilities in the backfield.

From rushing the ball to pass games centered on receivers or tight ends as primary targets, the Hawkeyes are built to take what defenses allow and have shown the ability to tilt the field in any of those directions as needed.

Through seven games, Iowa has run the ball 289 times and has passed it on 203 occasions.

That's created the balance the Hawkeyes are looking for even if the game plan may vary from one week to the next based on what looks Iowa is getting from an opponent.

5. The bad and the ugly

About the only bad thing involving Saturday's win over the Terps -- Iowa's first shutout since a 2016 game at Illinois -- was the ugly weather.

Nate Stanley's passing numbers took a hit in the raw conditions at Kinnick on Saturday.

After completing nearly 68 percent of his passes over the previous four games, Stanley connected on only 11-of-22 attempts for 86 yards against Maryland.

The Hawkeyes pretty much abandoned the notion of throwing deep and stuck to a limited number of attempts of manageable distances.

Ferentz suggested it would have been \"reckless'' to do otherwise.

He's right, and Stanley did a good job of managing Iowa's methodical approach to offense on a bad weather day.

That's a trait that certainly provided the Hawkeyes with a path to victory against Maryland and typically can prove beneficial as October turns into November.

A 2:30 p.m. road test at Penn State on Saturday stands between Iowa and its November schedule, one last measuring stick in an October that has been filled with one lopsided success after another for the Hawkeyes.

The precision Stanley displayed in helping Iowa get to 6-1 is the same type of decision-making it will take for Iowa to scale its final hurdle of the month.

"}, {"id":"552e3e07-617d-5e5e-a5ed-5a5be5453a62","type":"article","starttime":"1540209600","starttime_iso8601":"2018-10-22T07:00:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1540223669","sections":[{"football":"sports/high-school/football"}],"flags":{"top_story":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Coss' Iowa state football rankings","url":"http://qctimes.com/sports/high-school/football/article_552e3e07-617d-5e5e-a5ed-5a5be5453a62.html","permalink":"https://qctimes.com/sports/high-school/football/coss-iowa-state-football-rankings/article_552e3e07-617d-5e5e-a5ed-5a5be5453a62.html","canonical":"https://qctimes.com/sports/high-school/football/coss-iowa-state-football-rankings/article_552e3e07-617d-5e5e-a5ed-5a5be5453a62.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"Here is the ballot Quad-City Times sports editor Matt Coss submitted for Monday's Associated Press high school football poll, the final poll of the season. \"LW\" stands for where Coss had each team last week: Class 4A1. West Des Moines Valley (9-0, LW: 1) 2. Cedar Falls (9-0, LW: 2) 3. Ankeny Centennial (9-0, LW: 3)","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":["#free"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"811b6ba0-374f-54f1-b34e-6e5c2a6ff037","description":"North Scott's Quentin Allison gets tackled near the goal line by the Assumption defense last Friday. North Scott takes an 8-1 record into the playoffs.\u00a0","byline":"John Schultz, Quad-City Times","hireswidth":3000,"hiresheight":1671,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/11/811b6ba0-374f-54f1-b34e-6e5c2a6ff037/5bcaa6a007d62.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1929","height":"1074","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/11/811b6ba0-374f-54f1-b34e-6e5c2a6ff037/5bcaa69fe16ae.image.jpg?resize=1929%2C1074"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"56","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/11/811b6ba0-374f-54f1-b34e-6e5c2a6ff037/5bcaa69fe16ae.image.jpg?resize=100%2C56"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"167","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/11/811b6ba0-374f-54f1-b34e-6e5c2a6ff037/5bcaa69fe16ae.image.jpg?resize=300%2C167"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"570","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/11/811b6ba0-374f-54f1-b34e-6e5c2a6ff037/5bcaa69fe16ae.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C570"}}}],"revision":3,"commentID":"552e3e07-617d-5e5e-a5ed-5a5be5453a62","body":"

Here is the ballot Quad-City Times sports editor Matt Coss submitted for Monday's Associated Press high school football poll, the final poll of the season. \"LW\" stands for where Coss had each team last week:

Class 4A

1. West Des Moines Valley (9-0, LW: 1)

2. Cedar Falls (9-0, LW: 2)

3. Ankeny Centennial (9-0, LW: 3)

4. Dowling Catholic (7-2, LW: 4)

5. Bettendorf (8-1, LW: 5)

6. Iowa City West (8-1, LW: 7)

7. Waukee (7-2, LW: 8)

8. Johnston (7-2, LW: 6)

9. Fort Dodge (7-2, LW: 10)

10. Cedar Rapids Prairie (7-2, LW: 9)

Next five teams (in order): Ankeny 5-4; Pleasant Valley 5-4; Cedar Rapids Kennedy 6-3; Urbandale 6-3; Southeast Polk 4-5

Class 3A

1. Cedar Rapids Xavier (9-0, LW: 1)

2. Lewis Central (9-0, LW: 2)

3. North Scott (8-1, LW: 3)

4. Solon (9-0, LW: 4)

5. Sergeant Bluff-Luton (8-1, LW: 5)

6. Pella (8-1, LW: 6)

7. Western Dubuque (7-2, LW: 8)

8. Decorah (7-2, LW: 9)

9. Waverly-Shell Rock (8-1, LW: 10)

10. Harlan (7-2, LW: not ranked)

Next five teams (in order): Oskaloosa 8-1; Clear Creek Amana 8-1; Spencer 7-2; Sioux City Heelan 7-2; Norwalk 6-3

Class 2A

1. PCM, Monroe (9-0, LW: 1)

2. Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley (8-1, LW: 2)

3. Waukon (8-1, LW: 3)

4. Benton Community (8-1, LW: 6)

5. Spirit Lake (7-2, LW: 7)

6. West Marshall (7-2, LW: 8)

7. Algona (8-1, LW: 4)

8. West Liberty (6-3, LW: 9)

9. Greene County (8-1, LW: 10)

10. Union, La Porte City (6-3, LW: 5)

Next five teams (in order):\u00a0Crestwood 6-3; Chariton 8-1; Southeast Valley 7-2; Clear Lake 7-2; Williamsburg 6-3

Class 1A

1. Dike-New Hartford (9-0, LW: 1)

2. West Sioux (8-1, LW: 2)

3. Bellevue (9-0, LW: 3)

4. Van Meter (9-0, LW: 4)

5. West Branch (8-1, LW: 5)

6. Wilton (8-1, LW: 6)

7. South Central Calhoun (9-0, LW: 7)

8. West Lyon (7-2, LW: 8)

9. Interstate 35 (9-0, LW: 9)

10. Mediapolis (8-1, LW: not ranked)

Next five teams (in order):\u00a0Osage 7-2; Pella Christian 6-3; Sumner-Fredericksburg 7-2; South Hamilton 7-2; Treynor 8-1

Class A

1. Hudson (9-0, LW: 1)

2. Avoca, AHSTW (9-0, LW: 2)

3. Algona Garrigan (9-0, LW: 3)

4. North Tama (8-1, LW: 4)

5. Edgwood-Colesburg (8-1, LW: 6)

6. Wapsie Valley (7-2, LW: 7)

7. West Hancock (7-2, LW: 8)

8. Durant (7-2, LW: 9)

9. Belmond-Klemme (7-2, LW: 5)

10. Sloan, Westwood (8-1, LW: 10)

Next five teams (in order): Hinton 8-1; Akron-Westfield 7-2; Mason City Newman 7-2; BGM, Brooklyn 8-1; Sioux Central 7-2

8-player

1. Ar-We-Va (9-0, LW: 2)

2. Fremont-Mills (8-1, LW: 4)

3. Don Bosco (8-1, LW: 3)

4. Iowa Valley (9-0, LW: 6)

5. Northwood-Kensett (8-1, LW: 1)

6. Southeast Warren (10-0, LW: 5)

7. Exira/Elk Horn-Kimballton (8-1, LW: 7)

8. New London (8-1, LW: 8)

9. Turkey Valley (8-1, LW: 9)

10. Midland (9-1, LW: 10)

Next five teams (in order): Central City 8-1; Newell-Fonda 8-1; Gladbrook-Reinbeck 7-2; Audubon 6-3; HLV (Victor) 7-2

"}, {"id":"a2733510-5854-5436-bb68-10c588525457","type":"article","starttime":"1540170000","starttime_iso8601":"2018-10-21T20:00:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1540215574","sections":[{"iowa":"sports/basketball/college/big-10/iowa"},{"iowa":"sports/college/big-10/iowa"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Connor McCaffery looking forward to his 'redo' season","url":"http://qctimes.com/sports/basketball/college/big-10/iowa/article_a2733510-5854-5436-bb68-10c588525457.html","permalink":"https://qctimes.com/sports/basketball/college/big-10/iowa/connor-mccaffery-looking-forward-to-his-redo-season/article_a2733510-5854-5436-bb68-10c588525457.html","canonical":"https://qctimes.com/sports/basketball/college/big-10/iowa/connor-mccaffery-looking-forward-to-his-redo-season/article_a2733510-5854-5436-bb68-10c588525457.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Don Doxsie\nddoxsie@qctimes.com","prologue":"IOWA CITY \u2014 Like any proud father, Fran McCaffery was more than happy to pull out his cell phone and play the video. It showed Connor McCaffrey bashing a walk-off home run in the Iowa baseball team\u2019s recent Black and Gold World Series. After making contact with a smooth lefthanded swing and watching the ball sail over the fence, Connor ceremoniously flipped his bat before beginning his jog around the bases.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"0caf2154-3ab1-5df7-813d-fda2b6733c9e","description":"Iowa guard Connor McCaffery (30) poses for a photo during the Iowa men's basketball media day at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City on Monday, Oct. 8, 2018.","byline":"Andy Abeyta, Quad-City Times","hireswidth":2715,"hiresheight":3000,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/ca/0caf2154-3ab1-5df7-813d-fda2b6733c9e/5bbd1e7649afa.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1369","height":"1512","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/ca/0caf2154-3ab1-5df7-813d-fda2b6733c9e/5bbd1e763024a.image.jpg?resize=1369%2C1512"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"110","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/ca/0caf2154-3ab1-5df7-813d-fda2b6733c9e/5bbd1e763024a.image.jpg?resize=100%2C110"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"331","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/ca/0caf2154-3ab1-5df7-813d-fda2b6733c9e/5bbd1e763024a.image.jpg?resize=300%2C331"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1131","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/ca/0caf2154-3ab1-5df7-813d-fda2b6733c9e/5bbd1e763024a.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C1131"}}}],"revision":8,"commentID":"a2733510-5854-5436-bb68-10c588525457","body":"

IOWA CITY \u2014 Like any proud father, Fran McCaffery was more than happy to pull out his cell phone and play the video.

It showed Connor McCaffrey bashing a walk-off home run in the Iowa baseball team\u2019s recent Black and Gold World Series. After making contact with a smooth lefthanded swing and watching the ball sail over the fence, Connor ceremoniously flipped his bat before beginning his jog around the bases.

Fran said his son didn\u2019t learn any of that from him, including the bat flip.

\u201cI never hit a home run. I wouldn\u2019t know,\u2019\u2019 Fran McCaffery said. \u201cI\u2019m just being honest with you. If I\u2019d have hit a home run, I would have done something, but I never had that experience. I certainly never hit a walk-off.\u2019\u2019

He\u2019s hoping that Connor can experience similarly euphoric moments on the basketball court in the coming months as he attempts to sort out his athletic future.

Connor is a very talented baseball player, but he may be equally gifted in basketball. He plans to play a lot of both sports after not being able to do much of either last year due to injuries and illnesses.

\u201cThis is kind of like my redo year,\u2019\u2019 Connor said. \u201cThis is how I felt it was going to be last year. I would play baseball, I would come over and play basketball, be ready to get into games and then once basketball was over, go back to baseball. That was the plan.\u2019\u2019

Actually, the original plan for his freshman year was to redshirt in basketball and focus on baseball. That changed when the Hawkeyes\u2019 backup point guard, Christian Williams, decided to transfer just before the season began.

It then was determined that Connor would play basketball, but that plan quickly unraveled.

He suffered an ankle injury in practice a few days before the season opener, then developed mononucleosis, then contracted strep throat, then underwent a tonsillectomy. Five days later, he was rushed to the hospital in the middle of the night and underwent another surgery to halt some unexpected bleeding.

\u201cWe kind of knew his season was shot at that point \u2026\u2019\u2019 Fran McCaffery said.

\u201cIt was unfortunate, the timing of it all, but I felt pretty confident that he would eventually feel better. He put all the weight back on and he's feeling really good right now, so I'm excited about him, very much.\u2019\u2019

Connor said the fact that he only played in four basketball games and did not need to use a year of eligibility may have been a blessing in disguise.

\u201cI think maybe it was something that was good to go through, to go through the wringer of a season and not have the pressure of playing as a freshman,\u2019\u2019 he said. \u201cI got to see things and experience things that not everyone does. That was helpful. Obviously, the negative was that I wasn\u2019t playing, that I wasn\u2019t out there helping the team. I wish I would have been. Obviously, my health was not where it needed to be.\u2019\u2019

He\u2019s healthy now and doing a lot of bouncing back and forth between his two sports. He didn\u2019t immediately start working full-time with the basketball team when practice began because he still was participating in fall baseball.

He said he\u2019s fortunate to have a lot of people helping him navigate a dizzying schedule.

\u201cSometimes other people know where I\u2019m supposed to be more than I know where I\u2019m supposed to be, and I have people tell me that,\u2019\u2019 Connor said two weeks ago at Iowa\u2019s preseason media day.

\u201cTomorrow I\u2019ll be at baseball and we\u2019re getting ready for our upcoming scrimmages this week and today I\u2019m at basketball. Last Saturday I was at basketball. The prior week I had been with baseball except on Wednesday I was with basketball. So it just kind of goes like that. I\u2019ll have days where I\u2019m here and then I\u2019ll go to baseball. Now most of the time I\u2019ll be here. Once baseball ends I\u2019ll be here and I\u2019ll get to baseball whenever I can.\u2019\u2019

Needless to say, it\u2019s confusing. And occasionally draining.

\u201cBut I love this,\u2019\u2019 he added. \u201cThis is what I want to do. I\u2019m mature about it. It\u2019s never a drag to go to practice.\u2019\u2019

Meanwhile, his dad is very optimistic that his oldest son can help the basketball team as a backup point guard behind Jordan Bohannon.

\u201cHe's a good fit for the rest of the pieces that we have,\u2019\u2019 Fran said. \u201cHe adds something, another dimension. He's a point guard. He feeds the post. He gets rid of it.

\u201cWe've got a lot of people around him who can score, and he'll find those people. We have an abundance of post players who can score, and I said this before, but I think we have more 3-point shooters now than we did last year, so we can spread the ball around offensively.\u2019\u2019

After the basketball season, Connor will change sports again. The best case scenario is that he would miss perhaps half the baseball season.

\u201cHopefully, I miss a lot of the baseball season,\u2019\u2019 he said with a smile.

That would mean the basketball team is making a deep run into the post-season.

Connor knows the time will come when it\u2019s no longer feasible or advisable to juggle both sports.

\u201cBut I don\u2019t foresee it happening anywhere in the near future,\u2019\u2019 he said. \u201cFor sure not this year. Next year I wouldn\u2019t think so. It will depend on how these seasons go.\u2019\u2019

Fran McCaffery said the decision could be dictated by whether or not Connor has a chance to be drafted in baseball. He won\u2019t even be eligible for the draft until June 2020.

By then, too, he will have had a chance to play one year on the basketball court alongside younger brother Patrick, who will join the team for the 2019-20 season.

He isn\u2019t thinking or worrying about that now. He\u2019s focused totally on the coming basketball season.

\u201cI\u2019m really excited,\u2019\u2019 he said. \u201cI think we\u2019re going to be really good and I think everyone is going to contribute. I want to be one of those pieces.\u2019\u2019

"}, {"id":"3855eafb-ab76-56f4-8454-e922853f7c5d","type":"article","starttime":"1540168200","starttime_iso8601":"2018-10-21T19:30:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1540204544","sections":[{"minor":"sports/hockey/professional/minor"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Quad-City Storm win one to remember","url":"http://qctimes.com/sports/hockey/professional/minor/article_3855eafb-ab76-56f4-8454-e922853f7c5d.html","permalink":"https://qctimes.com/sports/hockey/professional/minor/quad-city-storm-win-one-to-remember/article_3855eafb-ab76-56f4-8454-e922853f7c5d.html","canonical":"https://qctimes.com/sports/hockey/professional/minor/quad-city-storm-win-one-to-remember/article_3855eafb-ab76-56f4-8454-e922853f7c5d.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Bobby Metcalf\nbmetcalf@qctimes.com","prologue":"It really couldn't have been scripted any better. Vladimir Nikiforov, the former Quad-City Mallard, had the stick on his puck with a penalty shot in overtime to win the game for the fledgling Quad-City Storm, a team making their debut in the Southern Professional Hockey League, after the Mallards ceased operations after last year's ECHL season.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["peter di salvo","southern professional hockey league","alec hagaman","mason pulde","joe kalisz","taylor mccloy","ben blasko","joe mckeown","dave pszenyczny","quad-city storm","hockey"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"48188da4-76c9-526c-807d-065f5e0ad495","description":"Members of the Quad-City Storm celebrate the first goal scored in franchise history by Joe McKeown during the home opener Saturday against the Peoria Rivermen at the TaxSlayer Center.","byline":"GARY KRAMBECK, Lee News Network","hireswidth":1675,"hiresheight":1237,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/81/48188da4-76c9-526c-807d-065f5e0ad495/5bcd1a0c2fa60.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1675","height":"1237","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/81/48188da4-76c9-526c-807d-065f5e0ad495/5bcd1a0c1033e.image.jpg?resize=1675%2C1237"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"74","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/81/48188da4-76c9-526c-807d-065f5e0ad495/5bcd1a0c1033e.image.jpg?resize=100%2C74"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"222","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/81/48188da4-76c9-526c-807d-065f5e0ad495/5bcd1a0c1033e.image.jpg?resize=300%2C222"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"756","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/81/48188da4-76c9-526c-807d-065f5e0ad495/5bcd1a0c1033e.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C756"}}}],"revision":7,"commentID":"3855eafb-ab76-56f4-8454-e922853f7c5d","body":"

It really couldn't have been scripted any better.

Vladimir Nikiforov, the former Quad-City Mallard, had the stick on his puck with a penalty shot in overtime to win the game for the fledgling Quad-City Storm, a team making their debut in the Southern Professional Hockey League, after the Mallards ceased operations after last year's ECHL season.

Nikiforov was tripped up on a breakaway attempt midway through overtime, awarded with the penalty shot Saturday night against the Peoria Rivermen.

\"I was frustrated because when I missed the first breakaway, I was like, 'Damn, not going to get that back,'\" he said. \"Then I saw the referee pointing. Right away I was really tired, the nerves started going. You try to calm down but you can't help it.\"

Nikiforov calmly buried a backhand shot past Rivermen goaltender Mason Pulde, giving the Storm a 4-3 overtime win, the first in franchise history.

\"I didn't even watch because I knew it was going in,\" head coach Dave Pszenyczny said. \"It took a little bit longer so I'm peeking, I'm not hearing a reaction either way but then he makes that move. Vladdy has been a blessing to this team, from being here, he just wants to stay close to family and it's been helping both ways. For him to complete this win, the first in franchise history, there's only good things that are going to come from this.\"

It was an important night for Pszenyczny as well, who earned his first win in his coaching debut. He was quick to deflect any praise to his players.

\"I have to go back to those boys, they make my job pretty easy,\" he said. \"We just have good people in that room and I can't wait to teach them a little bit better stuff but we'll get to that, it's a long season.\"

There were times during the game where the Storm looked in trouble of dropping the opener. After Joe McKeown tied the game with the franchise's first-ever goal, the Storm took a 3-1 lead on goals from Ben Blasko and Joe Kalisz.\u00a0

But the support from the 6,508 in attendance didn't waver.

\"They didn't give up on us,\" Pszenyczny said. \"I didn't see anybody leaving, they were intense and obviously they could have been leaving at 3-1. I'm sure people probably wrote us off, thinking another home-opening loss.\"

That support grew when Dalton Mills scored a shorthanded goal at the 11-minute, 57-second mark of the third period, then became feverish when Taylor McCloy scored a power play goal at 17:34 to tie the game.

\"The crowd was more than energetic, we knew we could feed off the crowd,\" McCloy said. \"Millsy, with that shorthanded goal to make it 3-2, that's a huge turning point. ... We just kept working, we didn't quit.\"

Peter Di Salvo was also big all night, making 31 saves in the game and stopped Rivermen Alec Hagaman's penalty shot just 88 seconds into overtime that allowed Nikiforov to net the game-winner.

\"A lot of emotions, happy, excited, ecstatic, whatever you want to call it, just very happy to be here with these guys,\" Di Salvo said. \"It was one of (the turning points), it wasn't just me making turning points out there. ... We had rookies hitting their veteran guys and making them play up to our level and because of that we won the hockey game.\"

While the Storm hope this win is the first of many in their inaugural season, the atmosphere of Saturday night, coupled with the result, will make this opener one to remember.

\"You always ask around the room and everybody's played in their own big game and I think that might have been the biggest just based off of fans,\" McCloy said. \"We knew the fans were going to be behind us but it was awesome to play in front of, something I'll never forget.\"

"}, {"id":"41f78759-ed25-55da-a0c5-0123207f4b3b","type":"article","starttime":"1540166400","starttime_iso8601":"2018-10-21T19:00:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1540231328","sections":[{"sports":"sports"}],"flags":{"alert":"true","top_story":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Follow-up file: St. Ambrose esports program off to fast start","url":"http://qctimes.com/sports/article_41f78759-ed25-55da-a0c5-0123207f4b3b.html","permalink":"https://qctimes.com/sports/follow-up-file-st-ambrose-esports-program-off-to-fast/article_41f78759-ed25-55da-a0c5-0123207f4b3b.html","canonical":"https://qctimes.com/sports/follow-up-file-st-ambrose-esports-program-off-to-fast/article_41f78759-ed25-55da-a0c5-0123207f4b3b.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Don Doxsie\nddoxsie@qctimes.com","prologue":"St. Ambrose University didn\u2019t announce plans to begin an esports program until last January. It named Joshua Sides as the program's coach in February and he began the task of recruiting esports players in the spring. The college didn\u2019t finish renovating a room in the basement of Cosgrove Hall for use as an esports facility until just before classes began this fall.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["esports","ben grieser","st. ambrose university","joshua sides","university esports festival","ryan leonard","charis hadi","joshua parron","joey dibartolo","paradigm gaming arena","cosgrove hall","league of legends","tony plumaj","matthew kilmartin"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"ae033354-2bab-5fc2-a7e6-a769b8e7813e","description":"Among the most commonly played games in esports is Overwatch, a team-based multiplayer first-person shooter game. St. Ambrose University's team formed this fall, but is already having success. It made it to the semifinals in the Harrisburg University Esports Festival last month.","byline":"Kevin Schmidt, Quad-City Times","hireswidth":3000,"hiresheight":2000,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/e0/ae033354-2bab-5fc2-a7e6-a769b8e7813e/5ad14592315cd.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1763","height":"1175","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/e0/ae033354-2bab-5fc2-a7e6-a769b8e7813e/5ad14591e12df.image.jpg?resize=1763%2C1175"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/e0/ae033354-2bab-5fc2-a7e6-a769b8e7813e/5ad14591e12df.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/e0/ae033354-2bab-5fc2-a7e6-a769b8e7813e/5ad14591e12df.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"682","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/e0/ae033354-2bab-5fc2-a7e6-a769b8e7813e/5ad14591e12df.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C682"}}}],"revision":8,"commentID":"41f78759-ed25-55da-a0c5-0123207f4b3b","body":"

St. Ambrose University didn\u2019t announce plans to begin an esports program until last January.

It named Joshua Sides as the program's coach in February and he began the task of recruiting esports players in the spring. The college didn\u2019t finish renovating a room in the basement of Cosgrove Hall for use as an esports facility until just before classes began this fall.

But St. Ambrose already would appear to be on its way to becoming a national force in the relatively new extra-curricular activity.

In their very first interscholastic endeavor in competitive video games, the Fighting Bees finished third in a prestigious 16-team tournament in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, last month.

\u201cI think we can grow this into something really special,\u2019\u2019 said Ben Grieser, a freshman from Kalispell, Montana, who was part of the team that traveled to Harrisburg. \u201cI think we have the potential in all the games here to grow this into a nationally ranked program. It would be really kind of cool to see.\u2019\u2019

Most college esports competitions take place during the second semester. Sides, a 29-year-old North Carolina native, said his team is essentially in \u201cpreseason mode\u2019\u2019 right now.

But he apparently has laid the groundwork for a very strong program.

During the spring and summer, he assembled a roster that included 15 players from 13 different states \u2014 California, Oregon, Montana, Texas, Florida, Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Missouri, Michigan and Wisconsin in addition to Iowa and Illinois.

He didn\u2019t have to criss-cross the country in his recruiting efforts.

\u201cThe benefit of the information age is that I could do it all from the comfort of the computer,\u2019\u2019 Sides said.

He found many players who were very receptive to coming to the middle of the country to be part of something new. Many of them accepted scholarship offers sight unseen, without ever having visited the Quad-Cities.

Grieser, who was four years out of high school and working at a Walmart, had never been here prior to making the 19-hour drive to start school in August.

\u201cI just kind of took a chance and it happened to work out really well,\u2019\u2019 he said.

Ryan Leonard, a freshman from South Burlington, Vermont, said he\u2019d never even heard of St. Ambrose until July. He came, too, and is glad he did.

Sides found one player already on campus. Junior Jonathan Whittle of Galesburg, Illinois, was already enrolled at St. Ambrose and has earned a spot on the team. Another player who originally came to SAU to compete in bowling has joined the esports team.

Everyone else on the roster was recruited by Sides.

He admitted that bringing in players from all over the country to be part of a team comprised almost entirely of freshmen has been a new experience. A few of the players knew each other previously from competing online, but most of them were total strangers.

Two already have left school and gone home.

\u201cJust like with any new group, there have been peaks and valleys,\u2019\u2019 Sides said. \u201cPeople get homesick. For most of these guys, it\u2019s their first time being on their own with new teammates. It\u2019s brought a whole new set of challenges.\u2019\u2019

Leonard said he thinks the group has meshed together well.

\u201cI\u2019ve enjoyed it,\u2019\u2019 he said. \u201cA couple of these guys I\u2019ve known from online for a few years but it\u2019s been different to finally meet them and get to hang out with them and get to know them in person. Everyone has sort of a different identity in person so that\u2019s been enjoyable.

\u201cI just like the atmosphere,\u2019\u2019 he added. \u201cIt\u2019s five people (on a team) and we all have the same goal, we want to get to the next level. Everyone has a bunch of drive to push each other to the next level and improve our game.\u2019\u2019

The team members have a shiny new facility in which to do their thing. The former international studies room in the basement of Cosgrove Hall has been outfitted with 15 new computer work stations, complete with padded chairs that have the school logo stitched across the back.

St. Ambrose has a six-player team that plays Overwatch and two five-player League of Legends teams.

Although the League of Legends teams won\u2019t begin competing until the second semester, the Overwatch team already has seen some action.

Grieser, Joshua Parron, Charis Hadi, Joey DiBartolo, Tony Plumaj and Matthew Kilmartin went up against Augustana\u2019s club team in a best-of-five exhibition match at Paradigm Gaming Arena in Davenport on Sept. 13.

Sides said it wasn\u2019t much of a contest.

\u201cThey\u2019re a club level team so we\u2019re kind of on a whole different level,\u2019\u2019 he said. \u201cWe were never really challenged. It was kind of a rout, but it was fun.\u2019\u2019

He said he would love to do more things like the Augustana match to spread awareness.

\u201cWe\u2019re looking for more opportunities to do that and get the Quad-Cities involved more often with our program,\u2019\u2019 Sides said.

A week later, the same group of Overwatch players went to the Harrisburg University Esports Festival and did well.

In the group stage, they defeated Indiana Tech 3-0 and Bellevue University 3-2, then won twice more in the elimination stage, beating the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs 3-0 and Miami of Ohio 3-1. They claimed a fifth straight victory by beating Akron 3-0 in the quarterfinals before suffering a 3-1 loss to eventual champion Maryville in the semifinals.

\u201cNot bad for a month-old team, huh?\u2019\u2019 Sides said.

Grieser said he considers esports \u201ca performance art\u2019\u2019 so being able to do it in a spectator setting rather than just doing it online against faceless opponents made it a special experience.

\u201cWhen you\u2019re an actor or a musician or an athlete, you get to perform in front of a crowd and that\u2019s half the fun,\u2019\u2019 he said. \u201cSo taking some of the esports or video games and putting them in that environment is like the most fun thing in the world. I honestly and truly love it.\u2019\u2019

"} ]