KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Urbana University men’s soccer team picked up its highest national ranking in program history after jumping four spots to No. 12 in the Week 1 National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Division II National Poll, released on Tuesday.
UU had entered the season 16th in the NSCAA preseason poll and moved up in the rankings following a pair of wins, 2-1 at Ohio Dominican and 2-0 over Lock Haven, to open the 2016 campaign.
The Blue Knights are also ranked second in the Atlantic Region, behind nationally second-ranked Charleston.
Those two schools will square off tonight in Charleston, West Virginia, in their first meeting since UC knocked out UU in last year’s NCAA Tournament.
UU appeared in its first-ever national poll on Sept. 29, 2015, and has remained ranked among the Top 25 ever since.
UU falls in volleyball
The Urbana University women’s volleyball team went toe-to-toe with Cedarville, trying to knock off the Jackets for the first time in eight matchups, but came up short in four sets inside the Grimes Center Tuesday night.
“We came out the first set very business as usual and rocked out the game plan,” UU head coach Tim Balice said. “Our passing suffered a little bit in the second set and I think that’s where I saw some frustration building on our side. We had opportunities but we just couldn’t put it away.
“As a team, we need to know that we don’t need permission to win, and I think the squad is getting used to that. We threw the first punch, but in set two we weren’t as great, and I think we flinched. Cedarville is a great team and they found ways to capitalize on our hesitation.”
Junior Mikaela Beck continued her hot start to the season with a career-high 18 kills and 12 digs, marking her second double-double of the year. Beck recorded a .311 attacking percentage and added two assists. Junior Katlynn Dunlap also registered a double-double performance with 13 kills and 10 digs, along with four assists and one ace. It was her 22nd career match with at least 10 kills and 10 digs.
Other UU contributors on the stat sheet included Aleese Butler (nine kills, two blocks), Mari King (four kills, three blocks), and Alyssa Myers (36 assists, seven digs, four kills). Libero Maia Dunlap tied Beck with a team-high 12 digs on defense.
UUa returns to action this weekend at the PSAC-MEC Crossover Tournament in Erie, Pennsylvania.