The key for any athlete is making strides in his or her sport.
So for Lakes High school graduate Jenna Baker, she seems right on course in her collegiate soccer career.
The sophomore midfielder was named the Most Improved Player for Illinois Wesleyan's women's soccer team.
The Titans, who finished with a 13-2-6 record overall and a 5-1-1 mark in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin, made the school's sixth NCAA Division III tournament appearance and advanced to the second round before being ousted in penalty kicks by Trinity (Texas).
Baker had 3 goals and added 4 assists for a total of 10 points. She had 6 shots on goal and finished with one game-winning goal.
Augustana freshman Olivia Mayer (Libertyville) scored 9 points with a game-high 9 assists, 6 steals and 6 rebounds in the Vikings' 101-91 win over visiting North Central College.
Mayer leads Augustana in assists (64) and ranks second in steals (23).
• North Park sophomore center Nicole Kruckman (Libertyville) led her team with 13 points in a 53-50 win at Augustana.
Senior guard Ben Brust (Mundelein) scored 14 points for host Wisconsin (16-2, 3-2) in a 77-70 Big Ten loss to Michigan (13-4, 5-0),
Brust's putback go the Badger to within 68-67 with about two minutes left but the Wolverines held on for their first road win at Wisconsin since 1999.
North Central College freshman Paige Candra (Fremd) was honored on the 2013-2014 Fall Academic All-CCIW.
Candra, a freshman from Palatine who plans to major in Interactive Media Studies and Graphic Design, finished the fall season with a stroke average of 93.8 per round, a season-low of 85 and receiving one top five finish.
Carthage senior guard Stephanie Kuzmanic (Wheeling) was named the "Most Valuable Player" in the D3Hoops.com Classic in Las Vegas when she helped lead the No. 12 Lady Reds to a 91-77 victory over No. 8 Wisconsin-Whitewater.
In a 119-78 win over North Central, Kuzmanic broke the school's single game record with 17 assists.
Finally, in a 77-69 victory over No. 12 Wheaton, Kuzmanic scored 34 points with 8 assists and 8 rebounds.
North Central College senior forward Jake Muszczynski (Rolling Meadows) earned Academic All-CCIW honors for the Fall 2013 season. He was a second-team All-CCIW selection as a forward. Tallied four goals on the season, owning a share of the leader on the team.
Muszczynski led the Cardinals in game winners with two on the season. He was fourth in both shots on goal (13) and points (8).
• Senior Declan Geraghty (Schaumburg) was chosen as one of three "Most Valuable Players" for Illinois Wesleyan. Geraghty was the defensive MVP for the third straight year.
He was a first team all-region selection last fall after being second team as a junior and third team as a sophomore. Geraghty capped off his career by earning first team honors for the fourth straight season on the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin all-conference team.
He had 2 goals and 3 assists for 7 points for the Titans, who finished with a 9-8-2 overall record and a 3-4-0 mark in the CCIW. All three of his assists were in conference matches, tying him for second in the league.
The Mid-Suburban League bowling conference is doing a "Strike Against Cervical Cancer" fundraiser on Wednesday, Jan. 29.
The event is to raise awareness and money to help fight cervical cancer.
Donations can be made at any of the MSL schools or at Arlington Lanes on the night of the event. There will also be T-shirts sold on the 29th for $10.
The teams will be wearing T-shirts as they bowl to show support for the cause. All proceeds and donations from this event will be donated to the Foundation for Women's Cancer -- Cervical Cancer Department.
• Please email Sports Notes items to firstname.lastname@example.org or FAX to (847) 427-1173.