BRENTWOOD, Tenn. (EIU) — Three Eastern Illinois players earned weekly Ohio Valley Conference awards on Sunday following the Panthers' 23-20 overtime victory over Eastern Kentucky on Saturday at O'Brien Field.
Bradley Dewberry was named the OVC Defensive Player of the Week. Matt Severino was named the OVC Special Teams Player of the Week and Scotty Gilkey Jr. was named the OVC Newcomer of the Week.
Dewberry was part of a solid defensive effort that held Eastern Kentucky to just 64 yards rushing on the afternoon. The senior had the biggest play of the game on the final play, as he picked off an EKU pass at the 10-yard line on the Colonels' first play of their OT possession after EIU had scored a field goal on its offensive drive. Dewberry had two interceptions in the game and finished with five solo tackles.
Severino was named the OVC Special Teams Player of the Week after helping EIU win the 23-20 overtime contest. Severino was 3-for-3 on field goal attempts, hitting kicks of 44 yards and 33 yards in regulation. His extra point following Alexander Hollins' game-tying touchdown with 2 seconds remaining pushed the game to overtime. In the extra session, Severino was good from 45 yards for the only points scored in the extra quarter. The 45 yarder was a career-long goal.
Gilkey won his second OVC Newcomer of the Week Award this season, helping lead the Panthers to their third overtime victory this season. Trailing 20-13 with 32 seconds remaining, he led the Panthers down the field for the game-tying touchdown with 2 seconds remaining. Gilkey was 3-of-4 on the drive, hitting passes of 19 and 22 yards before connecting with Alexander Hollins for the game-tying touchdown of 26 yards. Gilkey was 12-of-20 for 213 yards. He added 34 yards rushing including a 1-yard touchdown in the first quarter.
With the win, Eastern Illinois improved to 6-4 on the season, 5-2 in the OVC. EIU clinched its third consecutive winning season, marking the first time the Panthers have had three straight winning years since the 2005-07 seasons. EIU will have a bye week on Nov. 11 and then play its final regular season game on Nov. 18 at Austin Peay.
EIU men's soccer clinches a spot in Summit tourney
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (EIU) — The Panthers clinched the fourth spot in the 2017 Summit League Tournament with their 2-1 overtime win at Fort Wayne Saturday night.
The Mastodons scored first in the 16th minute of play. Zach Tom set Romain Lopez up with a cross pass to the middle of the field. Lopez shot from 10 yards out, finding the back of the net for Fort Wayne.
EIU was held scoreless until the second half when Zach Medawattage tied the game 1-1. Medawattage scored on a header off a free kick for the Panthers at the 73:07 mark. Erik Isaksson tallied the assist on the play.
Overtime did not last long as Medawattage scored the game-winning goal 33 seconds into the period. Federico Verlichi took a corner kick, setting Medawattage up for the header into the goal, making it his third goal for EIU this season.
Goalkeeper Mike Novotny stopped the ball three times for the Panthers. He has logged 1,622 minutes in the net and recorded 86 saves this regular season with a save percentage of .835.
The Summit League Tournament begins Thursday Nov. 9 in Omaha, Neb. Eastern Illinois (4-8-6, 2-2-1 SL) will face top-seeded Denver (10-6-1, 5-0-0 SL) at 2 p.m. Thursday.
EIU volleyball sweeps Belmont
NASHVILLE (EIU) — The Eastern Illinois Volleyball team captured their first victory in program history against Belmont Saturday afternoon. The Panthers swept the Bruins 25-20, 25-19, and 25-18.
The first set featured dominant play from EIU as they led throughout the whole set. The set featured many Panther runs as EIU was able to claim a comfortable lead over Belmont. EIU would go on a 5-0 run, which would be the biggest run for the Panthers in the set. Katie Sommer led the Panther attack, totaling four kills in the set.
Belmont kicked off the second set with a 4-0 run, which would be immediately answered by a 4-0 run by EIU. The second set featured more balanced play than the first set, with both teams exchanging leads for a total three times. Laurel Bailey sparked the Panther offense with her five kills in the set.
EIU was able to close out the match sweeping Belmont in the third set 25-18. Similar to the second set, Belmont and EIU traded points throughout the set, totaling a match-high 10 ties. The Panther defense totaled a set-high 3.5 blocks in the third set to help EIU secure the victory.
Taylor Smith claimed her 13th double-double of the season, finishing with a team-high 11 digs and 11 assists. Gina Furlin led the Panthers with 14 assists on the day. Bailey led the offensive charge with her team-high nine kills.
The Panthers return to action Friday night where they will travel to Martin, Tennessee, to face off against OVC opponent UT Martin.
O'Brien, Reiman perform well for EIU men's tennis
BLOOMINGTON (EIU) — Eastern Illinois men's tennis wrapped up the fall portion of its 2017 schedule with good performances by Freddie O'Brien and Trent Reiman at the Illinois State Redbird Invitational.
The two-day event was played at the Bloomington Tennis Center and featured players from Illinois State, Eastern Illinois, Marquette and Butler.
O'Brien posted a 2-1 record in singles play, opening the competition on Friday morning with a 6-2, 7-5 win over Andreas Boers of ISU. He would drop his Friday afternoon singles match before rebounding on Saturday with a 6-2, 7-6 win over Alexander Warstler of Marquette.
Reiman won his Friday morning singles match 6-1, 7-6 (5) also defeating Warstler of Marquette. He would fall in his other two singles matches.
In doubles action, O'Brien and Reiman played together finishing with a 2-1 record. They won over the doubles team of Robinson and Griesedieck of Marquette, 8-7 on Friday morning. The would then beat the doubles team of Shanklin and Warstler from Marquette, 8-7 on Saturday morning. On Saturday afternoon they fell 8-3 to Peterson and Lew from Illinois State.
EIU also picked up a doubles win by Gage Kingsmith and Jared Woodson on Saturday afternoon.