Tuesday, October 16, 2018

UIS offers free flu vaccines Monday

University of Illinois Springfield hosted a free flu vaccine clinic Monday.

Vaccines were available free of charge to students and employees and retired employees with state benefits.

The flu shot is also available for employees who do not have state health insurance for $20.

There are several other clinics for students and employees. For more information on upcoming flu shot clinics, click here.

This story aired on WICS Newschannel 20 on October 15, 2018.

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Monday, October 15, 2018

History Harvest gets more personal

An NAACP pin given to a nurse during a 1966 Chicago riot, articles about Vice President Walter Mondale’s 1979 visit to Loami and photographs of a Lithuanian family were some of the items 40 to 50 people brought to the University of Illinois Springfield’s History Harvest on Saturday at Innovate Springfield.

The History Harvest was the UIS history department’s second. The first was held in 2016.

This year’s was a bicentennial event; organizers asked people to bring items connecting them or their family to Illinois history.

It drew more people and items than the first, according to UIS assistant professor of history Devin Hunter. “It seems the quality of the items are a little more interesting this time,” Hunter said. “Last time, we had a theme about political campaigns, so we got a lot of campaign buttons and stickers which were interesting, but we didn’t get the breadth of materials that we’re getting now: family photo albums, things from the Lithuanian-American and African-American communities, people who have deep roots in the Springfield area. We’re getting a lot more of that this time around.”

As with the first History Harvest, UIS students asked owners about the items they brought and then scanned them to be archived online.

The history department will develop the online archive of items collected Saturday and continue work on the 2016 archive.

Hunter said. UIS will hold a third History Harvest in 2020, he said, but its theme hasn’t been finalized.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on October 13, 2018.

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Women's Soccer: Stars get second victory on the road

The University of Illinois Springfield fell behind early but answered quickly with three unanswered goals for a 3-1 victory against Drury College at Harrison Stadium.

The Panthers scored just under 12 minutes into the first half on a 12-yard score from Gabe Millot with an assist from Brinn Cooper.

UIS answered six seconds later with an 8-yard goal from Amanda Meyer. Meyer also scored the first goal of the second half for the stars.

Valentina Rodriguez added the third goal with 20 minutes remaining in the game.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on October 12, 2018.

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Women's Volleyball: Bush, UIS volleyball win 10th straight match

Brianna Bush had 16 kills, 10 digs, two assists and one ace to lead the University of Illinois Springfield volleyball team to a four-set win over Findlay (Ohio) at the Midwest Region Crossover on Saturday.

The Prairie Stars have won 10 matches in a row. That mark ties its longest winning streak since it moved from the NAIA level to NCAA Division II in 2009.

Taylor Bauer added 12 kills and Alyssa Hasler finished with 11 for the Prairie Stars.

UIS went 3-0 in the Midwest Region Crossover, one of just two teams to do so.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on October 13, 2018.

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Friday, October 12, 2018

UIS students gather to celebrate National Coming Out Day

Dozens of colleges students in Springfield shared their stories during National Coming Out Day.

One by one, UIS students shared their stories.

Many faced the challenge of revealing their true sexual identity to their father or mother.

"I came out when I was in eighth grade and she said that I was too young to know and that I'm probably not, so whatever. Then I came out to my father and he said that he hopes it's not true, but if it is, alright. And just kind of got up and walked away," Freshman student Cielo Delgado said.

They all stood behind one word Thursday, broadcast in bold across their shirts: Human.

"It's been two years since I came out and it hasn't gotten any easier. It doesn't really get easier, ever. But being here and doing it in front of all these people somehow makes it feel alright," Junior student Spencer Voyles said.

The story was reported by WICS-TV 20 on October 11, 2018.

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Thursday, October 11, 2018

Women's Volleyball: UIS volleyball sets sights on GLVC title and higher

Four years ago, new University of Illinois Springfield volleyball coach Trey Salinas was selling a vision of success.

It’s all he had. He was taking over a program that had won a total of 14 Great Lakes Valley Conference matches over the previous six seasons.

“I started going out (recruiting) thinking that I needed to change UIS volleyball’s reputation. Because I assumed we had a bad reputation,” Salinas said. “What I quickly found out was that we had no reputation. Most players, even in the Midwest, had never even heard of UIS."

“We tried to make that work for us because I quickly found out that I could get kids to come here if I could get them to visit campus -- if I could show them what UIS has to offer as an athlete and as a student. Once they knew that stuff was really good, I could share with them where we wanted the volleyball program to be and how they could thrive in it.”

Two current seniors believed in that vision and the program started to change.

Middle blocker Alyssa Hasler and setter Tiffany Wentworth came to Springfield in 2015 believing this is what they would help build.

“When I had my one-on-one conversation with coach, I realized I really wanted to play for him,” Wentworth said of her recruitment to UIS. “He told us it was going to be a work in progress and I was ready and wanted to be a part of that.”

The destination wasn’t always apparent during the journey.

Hasler, from South Bend, Indiana, leads all NCAA Division II players in total blocks and is third in blocks average. She originally came to Springfield largely based on the opportunity for immediate playing time for a team that had been 10-18 in 2014. She did get on the floor right from the start and led the 2015 team in blocks. She is now the school’s all-time leader in that category and is on the verge of reaching 1,000 career kills.

“The first two years were really tough for me, because I was coming from a high school program (Mishawaka Marian High School) where I was losing maybe two games a season,” Hasler said. “So coming here, where we knew we might only win two games a season was a big change. I want to win -- I want that competition. And sometimes I felt we didn’t have that as a team, which was frustrating."

“But as the time grew and as we got more confidence in ourselves that built up. That was important. Because we knew there was a lot of talent on the team but we weren’t winning. So we had to work through that.”

That team-first philosophy has paid off.

Last season the Prairie Stars finished 22-11 and 12-6 in the GLVC. It was the third straight season UIS’ win total jumped under Salinas.

They’re goals for the rest of the season are high. “We, for sure, want to win a conference championship,” Salinas said. “But our bigger goal is to make it to regionals.”

The players might be looking even higher. “We want to win regionals and make the school’s first NCAA Tournament appearance,” Wentworth said.

This article appeared in The State Journal-Register on October 10, 2018.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Men's Golf: UIS men’s golf 8th in Midwest Fall Regional

Steffen Heckele tied for 15th individually to lead the University of Illinois Springfield to eighth place in the 18-team Midwest Fall Regional that concluded Tuesday at Fox Run Golf Club.

Heckele shot a 71 in the first round, followed by a 77 for a two-day total of 148.

Teammate Jaime Kreisler finished 31st with a 151 as the Prairie Stars had team scores of 300 and 306 for a 606 total.

Other UIS totals were a 153 by Dnaile Miller, a 154 by Sabastian Trujillo and a 158 by Daniel Nyman. The Stars’ Louis Bagur competed individually and had a 161.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on October 9, 2018.

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Monday, October 8, 2018

Women's Volleyball: Borum and Cobert playing pivotal roles, putting up big stats for Illinois Springfield

The University of Illinois Springfield volleyball team is off to a 14-4 start to the season, including an 8-1 mark in Great Lakes Valley Conference play, thanks to a pair of local 2016 graduates.

Sterling native Jay Borum has become the Prairie Stars’ most reliable defensive specialist, while Erie native Rachel Cobert clobbers kills and collects digs when called upon.

The Division II school picked up three GLVC wins in a 5-day stretch recently, while the former Golden Warrior etched her name into the school record books.

Borum recorded a single-match school record for digs with 43 last Saturday in a 3-2 home win over 10th-ranked Drury.

The total now ranks in the top-10 all-time in GLVC history, and is the fifth-most in DII this season.

This story appeared on saukvalley.com on October 5, 2018.

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Men's Soccer: Javier Milla goal gives UIS men’s soccer a win

Javier Milla scored the University of Illiniois Springfield’s lone goal on Friday in a 1-0 victory over McKendree at Kiwanis Stadium.

Milla connected on a pass from Rory Carlson, as UIS improved to 5-4-2 overall and 4-2-1 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference.

UIS’ keeper Pijus Petkevicius had a four-save shutout.

This article appeared in The State Journal-Register on October 5, 2018.

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Women's Volleyball: Stars sweep McKendree

University of Illinois Springfield took control on the defensive side of the net to defeat McKendree in three sets.

Brianna Bush led the Prairie Stars with 10 digs, two blocks and five kills.

Alli Splitt added two blocks and nine kills for UIS. Jailyn Borum recorded 16 digs.

The victory was the 15th victory of the season and the Stars are now 9-1 in Great Lakes Valley Conference play. It is the first time UIS has defeated McKendree in conference play.

This article appeared in The State Journal-Register on October 6, 2018.

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Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Wrongful Conviction Day

Tuesday was Wrongful Conviction Day. One of the places taking note was the quad on the University of Illinois Springfield campus.

“Sometimes there was evidence that should have been looked at that wasn’t,” says Lauren Myerscough-Mueller, a staff attorney with the UIS-based Illinois Innocence Project.

“Sometimes there’s evidence that was hidden that could have exonerated someone, but sometimes it’s very simple that there is DNA that can be tested. We have had a few exonerations based on DNA, and it’s kind of the gold standard in our kind of work.”

Black and blue flags formed a bullseye on the quad, the blue for Illinois exonerations (more than 200) and the black for those elsewhere in the U.S. (more than 2,000).

Myerscough-Mueller says the Illinois Innocence Project claims credit for eleven exonerations, with more attempts in the works.

This story was published online at WTAX News Radio on October 2, 2018.

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Monday, October 1, 2018

Women's Volleyball: 6 numbers behind Illinois Springfield's first DII volleyball top 10 upset in program history

University of Illinois Springfield is following up its record-setting 2017 DII volleyball season with quite the encore.

The Prairie Stars upset No. 10 Drury on Saturday in five sets, earning them their first-ever upset of a top 10 team.

The win extends the Prairie Stars current win streak to five games and puts them in a three-way tie atop the Great Lakes Valley Conference.

Here's what you need to know about the Prairie Stars latest win.

3: Sets short senior MB Alyssa Hasler is shy of setting the program record of 412. Hasler set the program kills record in the historic upset and now owns five of the program's all-time marks.

13-4: The Prairie Stars improved their record to 13-4 on Saturday, which is the best start for the program.

43: Digs by Jailyn Borum, the single-match program record.

56: Match-high assists, recorded by UIS setter Tiffany Wentworth.

70: Total kills by Illinois Springfield, the most it has recorded in a match this season. Four Prairie Stars finished in double-digit kills. Brianna Bush tied for a match-high 19 kills, Hasler had her 15 record-setting kills, Alli Splitt added 13 and Taylor Bauer finished with 10.

908: Hasler had 15 kills, giving her 908 in her Prairie Stars career. Her 907th kill set the program record for most kills during the NCAA era.

This information was published on www.ncaa.com on September 29, 2018.

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Women's Cross Country: UIS’ Christy breaks school record

Taryn Christy broke the school record and placed 18th individually in leading the University of Illinois Springfield to 17th in the team standings Saturday at the Greater Louisville Classic.

Christy, a freshman, finished the 5k-race in 18 minutes 33.8 seconds. She beat the former record by 59.8 seconds.

UIS finished with 483 points.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on September 29, 2018.

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Men's Cross Country: Prairie Stars place eighth at Classic

The University of Illinois Springfield finished with 309 points and placed eighth as a team Saturday at the 8k Greater Louisville Classic.

UIS senior Kenton Wilson finished 39th individually in a time of 25 minutes 43.7 seconds.

Teammate Tyler Hiserole (25:55.7) had a personal-best and placed 50th for UIS.

St. Francis won the 45-team meet with 146 points.

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on September 29, 2018.

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