By Megan Drabek

And Jordan Hoke

In the heat and chaos of the new school year, Madonna University also kicks off its fall sports season.

Madonna, home of the Crusaders, offers men and women’s soccer, cross country, and golf, and women’s volleyball during the fall.

Each team has been successful in the past years, and coaches and player anticipate successful campaigns this season. Madonna competes in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference.

MU’s women’s volleyball team has been a powerhouse during the past decade.  Under the reign of head coach Jerry Abraham,
the Crusaders have tallied 11 WHAC Conference Championships, 10 NAIA Tournament appearances, and two NAIA Final Four games. 

Abraham surpassed the 900-win mark last season and currently sits at 911 career victories. 

Although the Crusaders are losing a couple key players, they are returning 11 and recently signed two players to join the squad.  Senior Liz Dempsey, who was named to the ALL-WHAC first team in 2009 and junior Kari Altman, who was tabbed to the ALL-WHAC honorable mention, will lead the team in the 2010 season.

“After missing out on nationals last year, we are going to have to put in twice the effort and hard work.  We have a big target on our backs and teams are always gunning for us,” said junior libero Amanda Koszela.  “We have to be ready to work from day one in order to reach that goal.”

The Crusaders begin their 2010 run in September, hoping once again to get back to the National tournament.

In the 2009 season,
women’s soccer compiled a 6-12 record under head coach Jen Barker.  The Crusaders placed fourth in the conference and lost in the first round of the WHAC tournament.

A new addition was recently welcomed to the team with the signing of new head coach, Jeff Hodgson, who replaced Barker after her resignation.  Hodgson plans to take the team to a higher level.

“We are all very excited about the upcoming season after a rough last year,” said senior Katie Kozlowski.  “Our new coach seems to be very knowledgeable and we can learn a lot from him.”

The Crusaders are returning 14 players from last season, and with a new coach and new perspective, the team hopes to once again be at the top of the WHAC.  Their season kicks off in August.

With only a four-year existence,
Madonna’s women’s golf team made program history a season ago by winning the squad’s first WHAC Championship.

Led by head coach Scott Marzolino, women’s golf returns all seven players, while adding two new faces to the squad. 

“Next year, not only is the whole team returning, but we are adding two new freshmen that we hope will contribute a big deal,” said All-Conference player Sara Simnitch. “Winning breeds winning, and Coach Scott is hunting for a second conference championship, and we want nothing more than to live up to those expectations!”

The team anticipates a conference championship repeat in the upcoming 2010 season.

Switching gears to men’s sports, the men’s soccer
team ended the 2009 season with an overall record of 4-7-4 and a standing of 4-5-3 in the WHAC.

2010 brings a new season, as well as a new head coach.  In December, seven-year coach Tino Scicluna resigned, and MU welcomed Eric Scott as the third coach in program history.

Scott anticipates a successful season, with hopes of turning the team into a championship contender.

While only returning 11 players, the Crusaders begin their season in late August, with a fresh, bright, new outlook.

The men’s golf team, led by third-year coach Steve Mato,
has made its mark as a very successful program at Madonna. 

After a very successful 2009-2010 season, the team anticipates another victorious season.

“I believe we are one of the elite teams in the country and so far have proved it,” said senior and WHAC Individual Champion Brett Quitiquit.  “We hope to win our last tournament of the spring, and make that top-five showing at Nationals.”

The Crusaders are losing four players, and returning nine for the 2010-2011 season.

MU’s men and women’s cross-country teams are small, but mighty.  Under fourth-year head coach Patrick Daughtry,
both teams have progressively improved and hope to keep moving forward.  The men’s team consisted of five runners in the 2009 season, and loses only one for 2010. 

“We’re still a pretty young team, so this year we want to be in the mix trying to finish in the top half of the conference, and I know that coach Daughtry will do a great job in getting us to that point,” said Danny Pratt. 

The women’s cross-country team, which consisted of seven runners in the 2009 season, returns all but one for the 2010 season. 

The Crusaders return to the course in fall 2010.

Students are encouraged to come out and support the teams. Schedules are posted on the Madonna Athletic website page.


Fall sports ready for action on court, pitch and course