By Megan Drabek

mdrabek@my.madonna.edu
As December creeps around the corner and winter continues to flirt with us, the Madonna Crusader fall sports seasons come to an end.  Fall flew by quick, but just enough for the Crusaders to put a big, red target on their backs for next season.

The Crusaders overall had successful seasons, as well as making it clear that they owned the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference this fall.  Several athletes were named WHAC Player of the Week, new school records were established, and in particular, the men’s golf team took the regular season championship home. 

This fall, the men’s golf team posted their second WHAC Championship for a second straight year, earning the honor of hosting the 2011 WHAC Championship next season.  The team finished in 12th place to finish the month of October at the NAIA Preview Invitational at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Illinois.  The Crusader’s will lose five seniors for the 2011 season and have six returning players.
Tim Boes (Westland, Mich. /John Glenn) led the men’s cross country team this season, running a 27:07 in an 8k at the NAIA Great Lakes Challenge.  That time led to a ranking of sixth in Madonna men’s cross country history for an 8k.  The boys closed their season with an overall seventh place in the WHAC Championship on Nov. 6 at Riverside Park.  Freshman Nick Brubaker (Ida, Mich. /Ida) shortly followed Boes with a time of 27:47 in the WHAC Championship.  Fortunately, the team is set for next season, losing none of the runners.
Sarah Sherwood (Plymouth, Mich. /Salem) led the women’s cross country team, and set the bars high in the month of October.  For the first time in Crusader history, Sherwood won an event at the Lansing Invitational on Oct. 2, establishing a school record in the 5k with a time of 18:30, snatching the previous school record by 15 seconds.  Her victory earned her WHAC Player of the Week.  Four Crusaders were also named to the 2010 Women's Cross Country Scholar-Athlete team.  The honorees are Seniors Inta Grinvalds (Portage, Mich. / Central), Kari Saarela (Livonia, Mich. / Franklin) and Sherwood, along with junior Cassie Yarnall (Clarkston, Mich. / Auburn Hills Christian). 
The women’s soccer team ended their season at Independence Park in Canton, Mich., losing 4-2 then the Aquinas College Saints took the advantage with two penalty kicks.  Brittany Warner (Canton, Mich. /Plymouth) earned a title of WHAC Defensive Player of the Week when she made nine saves to open October in a 1-1 tie against Davenport.  Warner wrapped up the season with a .892 save percentage, and was led in points by freshman Amanda Ferrick (Warren, Mich. /Cousino) with eight.  The Crusaders are losing three seniors this year, returning with 14.
The men’s soccer team finished strong with a record of 3-3-0 for the WHAC regular season.  They ended their overall season with a disappointing 2-1 loss to Siena Heights University in a quarterfinal match in the WHAC Championship.  Freshman Mustapha Olorunnimbe (Lagos, Nigeria/ Susan Martins Comp.) led the team with four goals in five games in October.  Olorunnimbe was voted WHAC Offensive Player of the Week when he posted a two-goal performance in a 3-1 win at Aquinas.  Goalkeeper Parker Laabs (Canton, Mich. /Canton) also earned a WHAC title, named WHAC Defensive Player of the Week after he made eight saves in a 2-1 overtime win against Indiana Tech.  The Crusaders are losing seven seniors for the next season.
Our Madonna Crusaders No. 24-ranked volleyball team sadly saw their 2010 season come to an end in a 3-0 (25-19, 25-12, 25-14) match, losing to Aquinas College in the WHAC Semi-final Championship game Nov. 12.  The Crusaders closed the season with a 29-10 overall record in 2010.  Madonna had two consecutive weeks of having a player earning a title of WHAC Player of the Week.  Freshman setter Evia Prieditis (Milford, Mich. /Milford) and senior Liz Dempsey (Westland, Mich. / Franklin) were honored with the award.  Dempsey and fellow senior Anna Gatt  (Livonia, Mich. /Churchill) were named to the all-tournament team at the BLT Sportswear & Apparel Classic.  The Crusaders are losing just two seniors—Gatt and Dempsey—following the 2010 season. 
 

Crusaders marked their territory in the WHAC division this fall