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updated: 9/13/2012 7:17 PM

Women's volleyball, men's cross country lead the way for Harper

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By Jonathan Cregier

In this young fall sports season, there have already been many ups and downs this season for the Harper College athletic department -- both dramatic wins and heartbreaking losses.

Here's a look at both the highs and lows so far:

High points

The Harper women's volleyball team and men's cross country team are off to outstanding starts.

No team on campus can boast a better win than the volleyball team's 3-2 road win Aug. 28 over No. 9-ranked Madison Area Technical College.

The Hawks are 6-1 in tournament games this season.

And coach Bob Vilsoet learned of some good news last week, as Buffalo Grove alumnus Kelly Sommers was named NJCAA Division III player of the week.

After starting the season unranked, and to the surprise of Vilsoet, Harper has ascended to No. 4 in this week's NJCAA Division III poll.

• With two races under its belts, the top-ranked men's cross country team has produced to two top-10 finishes to date, including winning the season-opening Harper Invite.

Last weekend the Hawks finished sixth at the Aurora Invite. That effort was the best positioning amongst the seven junior college teams to participate in the meet.

Sophomore Troy Cunningham (Conant) has been the first Hawk to cross the finish line in each meet.

The lows

The Harper College men's and womens soccer teams are off to rough starts this season. The teams have combined to be outscored 14-10 this season, but the coaches of both teams are expecting play to improve throughout the season and eventually make deep runs in the postseason tournaments.

The Harper women host NAIA member Trinity Christian JV (1-2, 1-1) at 4 p.m. Friday.

Forward Marisa Andreucceti (Elk Grove) and goalie Monica Hinderer have been bright spots for coach Dwayne Cruz's team.

Next week Harper has two crucial N4C road games, against rival College of DuPage on Wednesdayand and Joliet Junior College on Sept. 21.

• The men's team is off to a 2-5 overall start heading into Wednesday's N4C game at Milwaukee Area Technical College. The Hawks have been shut out four times, including losses to rival Triton College (3-0) and South Suburban (1-0), which is ranked No. 5 in the NJCAA Division II poll.

Three players to keep an eye on early in the season are sweeper Gonzalo Nunez, midfielder Jason Palmas (Palatine) and goalkeeper Sean Cox (Schaumburg).

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