May 07, 2013

IUPUI's Markovic Set to Represent Serbia at U20 European Championships

At the age of 10, IUPUI sophomore forward Nevena Markovic moved to Illinois from Serbia and has since become an integral part of the resurgence of the IUPUI women’s basketball program under head coach Austin Parkinson. This summer, Markovic will embark on the opportunity of a lifetime when she will represent her native country as a part of the Serbian U20 women’sbasketball team at the U20 European Championships.

Markovic will head to Europe towards the end of May and will play exhibition games for Serbia in Italy and Serbia, before beginning the championships in July. This year’s tournament will be held in Turkey from July 4-14.

May 06, 2013

My Championships Experience - Men's Golf Edition

My Championship Experience is a diary blog written by Summit League student-athletes detailing their experiences at each of the 19 Championships.

IUPUI junior Rob van de Vin writes about his experience at the 2013 Summit League Men's Golf Championship:

We left from Indianapolis International Airport for Dallas and our direct flight got us into Dallas around 6 p.m. After arriving in Dallas, we had to pick up our vans and then we went out for dinner with the team at the Twisted Root Burger Co. They had many different hamburgers and milkshakes. For my dinner, I got a Kangaroo burger, which I never have had before, and a banana milkshake. After this, we went to the hotel and got in a good night’s rest.

We left for the golf course around 10:30 a.m., and 15 min. later, we arrived at the course - the course was in great condition and the weather was really nice at this point. We practiced for around two hours before we got onto the course and our starting hole was No. 15. It took us about five hours to complete the practice round and after the round was over, we practiced a little bit more on our short games. After we were done, we changed our clothes and got ready to go to the banquet. Like previous years, the banquet was really nice, the food was very good and the award ceremony was nice to attend. We ended up going back to the hotel and watched a movie before going to bed.

First tournament day!!  We ate breakfast together in the morning before we went to the course. We arrived at the course at 8:20 a.m. and our first starting time was 9:30 a.m., however, I did not start until 10:06 a.m. I began with my warm up around 8:50 a.m., because I couldn’t wait any longer to start playing some golf. After I was done with my warm-up, I was getting ready to go onto the course.

By now, I was a little nervous, however, I was trying to keep my nerves under control and have a good start. My first tee shot was not great, but it was still in play. A couple hours later, I finished my first round, but I can’t say I was really happy. I did not play great, but I was still in the race to have a good run in the tournament. After we finished the round, we went out for dinner at The Cheesecake Factory and we had a great dinner. After the dinner, we went back to the hotel to watch some television and relax before going to bed.

Second tournament day - We had a later starting time, however, one of the earlier times of all the men’s teams because we did not play great the first day. We got to the course early to warm up for the round. It took us about 5 1/2 hours to complete the second round and once we got out of the course, we ate lunch and went back to the hotel. Later that night, we
went out for dinner at a Mexican restaurant and went back to the Twisted Root to drink some more of those milkshakes for desert. When we finished our deserts, we went back to the hotel to get a good night’s sleep in before our final round of the tournament.

The third and final day of the 2013 Summit League Championships - After not playing that well as an individual and a team in the first two rounds, we had the early starting time. We arrived at the course early in the morning to get ready for our last round. We played the last round really fast and actually had our first decent round as a team. When we were done with the round, we ate our lunch and changed our clothes so we were ready for our flight back to Indianapolis. Later that day, we went to the airport and flew home around 8 p.m.

We didn’t play the way we would have liked, but I believe our team learned something from the experience and we will keep working on getting better. Hopefully, we will be in contention next year to win another league title. 

My Championship Experience - Men's Tennis Edition

My Championship Experience is a diary blog written by Summit League student-athletes detailing their experiences at each of the 19 Championships.

Kansas City senior Tim Akhmedov writes about his experience at the 2013 Summit League Men's Tennis Championship:

I invite you to get a glimpse of what a Division I conference championship tournament entails.  My name is Tim Akhmedov and to get a better understanding of the significance of this exciting event, I want to offer some background on my journey here. I am one of five seniors on the team this year, having played at UMKC for my last two years. For as long as I have been on this team, there has been a certain sense of pride and excitement knowing that every year we have a tremendous opportunity to bring home the championship.
Wednesday, April 24
To get a better feel for the courts and the atmosphere, we arrived in Fort Wayne two days before the tournament began. Although cold and windy, we were able to get a good practice in which was extremely beneficial to get familiar with the facility. Afterwards, the team went out to dinner, which is usually preceded by a heated debate on where the feast should take place. Golden Corral was the final decision, with the strict condition that we only choose healthier options. Unbeknownst to the coaches, a number of us splintered off in a coordinated effort to sneak in some chocolate-dipped marshmallows and ice cream.

Thursday, April 25
After eating a hearty breakfast, we once again battled the bitter wind in order to get another solid practice in, our last one before the tournament began. The rest of the day consisted of attempting and miserably failing to stay caught with homework we have procrastinated on, while successfully wasting three hours browsing mindlessly through a number of social networking sites. That evening we attended The Summit League Banquet, which presented us the opportunity to dust off those rarely worn dress clothes. The banquet was wonderfully put together by the IPFW staff and administration, serving up some great food…although it paled in comparison to last year’s dinner (Sorry, you just can’t compete with good ol’ Kansas City BBQ!)

Friday, April 26
Game day!! We awoke early to prepare for a 10 am semifinal match vs. the host team, IPFW. There was a palpable sense of anxious excitement in the air. As we arrived at the courts, it was all business. Once we stepped on the court, the energy was tangible as every person focused on the job lay ahead. This was not going to be an easy match and we knew that nothing was going to be given to us, this was going to be a dogfight till the end! IPFW was tremendous competitors and it took every person on our team grinding and battling for every point to walk away with the win. We were one step closer! After our match, we grabbed a quick bite and rushed back to the courts to cheer on the women’s team as they faced off against SDSU in the semifinal. The girls came out strong and walked away with the win, securing their spot in the championship match. Now it was time to rest and prepare for our final showdown in the Summit League.

Saturday, April 27
“This is it!!” All of the sacrifices we have made have led up to this moment. There was no looking back. Once again, we awoke early to eat a solid breakfast and give us ample time to prepare for final against IUPUI. Upon arriving at the courts, we knew our energy and passion were going to be the determining factors in this match. I am very proud to say that each and every one of my teammates brought everything out that day. Playing our hearts out, we came away victorious, once again snatching The Summit League Conference Championship! It was a great feeling to know all of the work we have put in was worth this great moment. After celebrating our victory and taking a number of pictures as we hoisted the Championship trophy, we once again grabbed a very quick lunch as we had to focus on supporting the women as they battled the top-seeded IPFW. Although the girls lost a heartbreaking 4-3 duel to a tremendously talented IPFW team, I could not be more proud of the unwavering competitive spirit each and every one of them displayed.

Finally, I would just like to offer a huge thank you to everybody at IPFW for putting together such a wonderful tournament experience. Everybody from the athletic trainers and officiating umpires to the athletic director and coaching staff did a tremendous job of creating a welcoming atmosphere and fostering a positive, competitive environment.

I speak for myself and my teammates in saying how amazing of an experience it has been to compete in The Summit League. I wish all of the best to the teams that will continue to represent outstanding quality of Division I tennis within The Summit League. Thank you for the memories!

Don’t forget to check out the next editions of My Championship Experience as it follows the Softball and Men’s and Women's Track & Field Championships, May 9-11, and throughout the 2012-13 season for coverage at each of The Summit League Championships.