Wheaton sports preview

Bringing the Thunder into 2014-2015
Thunder football finished 2013 with an 8-2 record, missing the NCAA Division III playoffs for the third consecutive year. Coach Mike Swider is returning nine starters, including three preseason All-Americans, and are ranked 24th in the D3Football.com preseason top-25.
Women’s soccer
The women’s soccer team boasted a strong record last year, making it to the Division III quarter finals, with an impressive 20-2-2 record and having two players selected as All-American athletes. This year, ranked seventh in the NCAA Coaches Poll, they are in a position to repeat such a performance. Their season opens against Hope College on August 29th.
Men’s soccer
The men’s soccer team held a number of honors last year, including one All-American athlete, two players being placed on the All-American team, and five players on the NCAA All-Central Region team. This year, ranked 15th in the NCAA DIII Coaches poll, the Wheaton men’s soccer team will begin their season August 29th against Ausburg College.
Cross country
The men’s cross country team finished second in the CCIW Cross Country Championships last season and placing 7th in regionals. The women’s team took third in the CCIW Championships, continuing to place 11th in the Midwest regionals.Both teams will begin their season on September 5 at the Aurora “Spartan” Classic.
The women’s volleyball team wrapped up their season last year with a record of 24 wins and 12 losses, being knocked out of the CCIW tournament at the semifinals. This year, with thirteen returning players, and ranked fourth in the CCIW coaches poll, the team is poised to continue their success.
In coach Jon Lederhouse’s 38th season at the helm, both men and women took home the CCIW title while sending 11 women and five men to the national meet. This year, the men will look to grab their 25th conference title under Lederhouse and the women are all set to capture their 18th championship in a row.
Women’s basketball
Though they missed the NCAA tournament in 2014, a young Thunder women’s roster finished with a 19-7 record, good for third in the CCIW. Coach Kent Madsen brings back four out of five starters, including national rookie of the year Katie McDaniels and All-CCIW wing Ellie Zeller.
Men’s basketball
The Thunder men made a run to the third round of the Division NCAA tournament after winning the CCIW tournament in 2014. This year, three out of five starters are returning for coach Mike Schauer, including Brayden Teuscher who is being counted on to replace Thunder legend Tyler Peters as the top scorer.
Despite graduating some key veterans from a year ago, Wheaton wrestling is bringing back a pair of All-Americans, Mark Savenok and Stephen Aiello. Head coach Jim Gruenwald has high hopes for his men in his sixth season.
Women’s tennis
The Thunder women clinched the CCIW title in 2014 but lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Most of the roster returns this year for head coach Jane Nelson.
Men’s tennis
Despite graduating CCIW player of the year Ryan Kreis, coach Brad Pihl is looking to improve on last year, in which his men fell in the CCIW finals.
The Wheaton men are seeking to build on a 2013-14 campaign that included a fourth place finish at the CCIW championships and All-Conference honors for Noah Anthony. Women’s coach Janet Moore is bringing back most of her roster from a year ago and has high hopes in her fourth season.
Both the men’s and women’s track teams placed fifth at the CCIW Track and Field championship last year. The men’s team won the 3,000-meter steeplechase and pole vaulting events, as well as placing second in the 1,500-meter run. The women’s team also won the 3,000-meter steeplechase, as well as placing second in both the 100-meter hurdles and 800-meter run.
With three players chosen for the CCIW All-Conference softball team the previous season and only losing two seniors, the softball team looks forward to building on their previous season record of 20 -18 with an even more experienced team.
The Wheaton baseball team saw some huge improvements this year, going from a 14-27 record two years ago to a 23-17 record last year. With the addition of a new assistant and 33 of the 40 team members returning this year, the team is expecting to see yet another year of improvement.

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