As his team held the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin women’s golf championship trophy last weekend, Tyler Wollberg couldn’t help but enjoy the celebration.
On a rainy day that washed out Sunday’s third round of the tournament at Oak Brook Golf Club, Carthage’s athletes let loose with a shower of their own.
“There wasn’t a dry eye,” said Wollberg, Carthage’s second-year head coach. “The girls let loose with all of their emotions. They were tears of joy.”
Prairie Ridge graduate Danielle Ruolo, a freshman who was one of six Carthage golfers to finish in the top 13, played a key role in the school’s first CCIW title since 1999.
Ruolo placed sixth as an individual with rounds of 81 and 80 on the par-72 course and helped the team post a school-record 299 score in the Oct. 4 opening round to win the tournament by 37 strokes.
“It was really great,” Ruolo said of the celebration. “We all wanted it so bad, and we worked so hard. That (conference title) was our ultimate goal for the season.”
The league championship earned Carthage an automatic trip to the NCAA Division III nationals for the first time. Carthage will compete May 13 to 16 at Howey in the Hills, Fla.
For Ruolo, getting a chance to compete at the conference event was especially meaningful.
“I was proud of myself for even playing,” she said. “During the preseason, I wasn’t playing that well.”
Ruolo said she competed with Carthage’s JV team in the season’s first meet.
Wollberg said watching Ruolo play showed him that “she had a lot of potential, but she was lacking confidence, especially in her short game.”
Ruolo worked regularly with Wollberg and assistant coach Mike Scardina and practiced daily to sharpen her short game.
The work on her game resulted in an 83.3 scoring average this fall and three top-10 finishes in varsity tournaments.
“It shows that hard work pays off,” Wollberg said. “She’s got a lot of fight in her.”
“I feel a lot more confident than I was in high school,” Ruolo said. “Now when something goes wrong, I feel like I can fix it. It’s been a great experience. I’m so happy that I came here.”
North Park skid ends: Senior wide receiver Tyler Krebs (Cary-Grove) caught a touchdown pass, and junior running back Drew Walkington (Woodstock) gained a team-best 60 yards rushing last week to lift D-III North Park to a 22-20 football victory against Carthage, ending the team’s 89-game CCIW losing streak, which dated to 2000.
North Park also was aided by starting right tackle Kenny Pistorius (C-G), a junior who helped the team gain 449 yards of offense. Fellow C-G grad Bryan Lorman, a sophomore wide receiver, was one of nine players to catch a pass for the Vikings (1-3).
North Park’s defense limited Carthage to 13 first downs, thanks to starting middle linebacker Matt Liebforth (C-G), who had five tackles and a fumble recovery, and starting cornerback Zach Bates (Jacobs), who collected three tackles, a sack and a forced fumble.
MAC monster: Ohio University junior outside hitter Kelly Lamberti earned Mid-American Conference East Division Offensive Player of the Week honors Monday after leading the Bobcats (14-2) to a 2-0 record last week. Lamberti, a Cary-Grove grad, had 19 kills and 16 digs against Miami of Ohio and 10 kills and 10 digs against Bowling Green.
On Wednesday, Lamberti was named the MAC Female Scholar-Athlete of the Week. She has a 3.782 cumulative GPA and is majoring in integrated mathematics.
Right on time: Cary-Grove graduate Korey Kronforst scored a goal in the 97th minute last week to lift D-II Minnesota State (9-1) to a 1-0 women’s soccer victory in overtime against Minot State.
Kronforst’s goal helped the Mavericks extend their winning streak in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference to 27 consecutive games. Kronforst, a sophomore forward, has a team-leading nine goals and 21 points for MSU, which is ranked No. 4 nationally.
Kronforst was named the NSIC Offensive Player of the Week on Sept. 30 after a four-goal performance in two victories.
Red-hot rookie: Johnsburg grad Dan Landon was honored Tuesday as the Men’s Soccer Rookie of the Week by the Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
A freshman forward at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., Landon helped the Steels (6-3) to a pair of wins last week with four goals and three assists. Landon scored three times in a 6-2 win against Fisher College.
Concordia golf standout: Freshman women’s golfer Megan Reddersdorf, a Marengo grad, finished 14th to help D-III Concordia University Wisconsin to the team title Monday at the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference tournament in Wisconsin Dells, Wis. The Falcons earned the NACC’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament in May in Florida.
• Barry Bottino writes a weekly column and a blog about local college athletes for the Northwest Herald. Write to him at BarryOnCampus@hotmail.com, check out his On Campus blog at McHenryCountySports.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryOnCampus.