Results from busy weekend for Eastern athletics

Adam Tumino, Editor-in-Chief

This past weekend was a particularly busy one for Eastern athletics.

In addition to the men’s and women’s basketball teams, which combined to go 0-4, eight other teams competed over the holiday weekend.


Men’s Soccer

The Panthers began conference play Feb. 12 against Western Illinois, playing the Leathernecks to a 1-1 tie.

The Panther offense had no trouble getting shots off in the match. Their 23 shots were the sixth most by a Division I team so far this season. Of the 23 shots, 11 were on goal.

Only redshirt-junior forward Reed Axthelm got the ball passed Western goalkeeper Seanan Main, netting his first goal as a Panther to tie the match in the 73rd minute.

Eastern’s defense allowed just three shots on goal, one of which got through goalkeeper Mac VanOudt in the 27th minute off the foot of Cesar Cosio.

The Panthers continue Summit League play with road matches against Oral Roberts on Feb. 20 and 22.



The Eastern volleyball team played its third and fourth matches of the season on Feb. 14 on the road against Tennessee Tech. The matches were originally scheduled to take place on Feb. 14 and 15, but both were played on the first day to avoid inclement weather.

The Panthers lost both matches, dropping the first one 3-1 and the second 3-0, and fell to 0-4 on the season.

Eastern hit just .059 in the first match, recording 35 kills with 27 attack errors on 140 total attacks. The Golden Eagles had the same number of errors but recorded 14 more kills on 9 fewer attacks, hitting .168.

Junior middle hitter Kameryn Sillmon, the lone transfer for the Panthers this season, led the team with 9 kills and 11.5 points. She was the only Eastern player to score in double figures.

In the second match, Eastern hit just -.010, recording 25 kills and 26 attack errors on 103 total attacks. The Golden Eagles improved their hitting percentage from the first match, hitting .190 in the second match.

This time senior outside hitter Laurel Bailey led the Panthers with 10 kills and 10.5 points.

Ali Verzani led Tennessee Tech with 13 kills while recording just 2 attack errors, hitting .478.

The Panthers next play on the road Feb. 21 and 22 against Tennessee-Martin.



Both the men’s and women’s swimming teams saw action with the women hosting Indiana State Feb. 12 and the men hosting Wabash Feb. 13.

The women’s team fell to the Sycamores 189-74 with senior Sarah Lohman recording a new career-best in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 58.75.

Lohman finished second in the event, one of three second-place finishes she recorded in the meet.

Freshman Camryn Lewis placed second in the 50-yard freestyle while the Panthers also placed second in the 200-yard medley and 200-yard freestyle.

The women’s team will be back in action Feb. 27 on the road against both Valparaiso and Butler.

The men’s team fared better in their matchup with Wabash, beating the Little Giants 187-78 and placing first in 12 of the 14 events in the meet.

Miguel Turcois, Scott House, Andrew Crouse, Race Archibald, Austin Kueck, Marshall Holt and Jared Farrow all picked up at least one first-place finish individuals. The Panthers also placed first in both relays, the 200-yard medley relay and 200-yard freestyle relay.

The men’s team also plays Valparaiso and Butler on Feb. 27.



The men’s and women’s track teams competed at the Grand Valley Big Meet Feb. 13, with the men’s team picking up three first-place finishes and the women’s team getting one.

For the men’s team, freshman Ramsey Hunt picked up two of the team’s first-place finishes, winning both the long jump and triple jump.

Sophomore Adam Swanson earned the other first-place finish for the men’s team. His 4:06.49 finish in the mile not only earned him first, but also is the sixth-fastest mile in program history.

For the women, freshman Mackenzie Aldridge placed first in the 3,000-meter run.

Senior Makenna Wilson competed in the Iowa State meet Saturday, placing fourth in the shotput but breaking her own school record with a throw of 52′ 2.25″.

Both teams will be in action again Feb. 19 when they host EIU Friday Night, beginning at 11 a.m. in the Lantz Fieldhouse



The men’s tennis team fell to Ball State 7-0 Feb. 12 and the women’s team lost to Illinois State 6-1 Feb. 14 with the men falling to 1-1 this season and the women falling to 1-4.

The one point picked up by either team was not surprisingly earned by redshirt-junior Rachel Papavasilopoulos, who won 6-4, 7-6, 6-2 at No. 1 singles. She has won her last 17 matches at No. 1 singles dating back to her sophomore season in 2019, when she was named OVC Women’s Tennis Player of the Year.

Both teams are scheduled to travel and play against Saint Louis in their next match, with the men playing the Billikens Feb. 18 and the women playing Feb. 19.


Adam Tumino can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]