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Published by the students of Upper Iowa University since 1883.
Tennis Prepares for Conference Tournament After 8-3 Record

Written by Iris Verweij

The bracket for the 2014 NSIC/US Bank Women’s Tennis Tournament has been announced and Upper Iowa University will be seeded fourth in the standings. Augustana earned the number one seed. Upper Iowa plays their first round against fifth-seeded Winona State University. The top eight teams will play in an elimination tournament, which will take place on April 26 and 27 at the Lifetime Fitness in Minnetonka, Minn.

The team that wins the NSIC Women’s Tennis Tournament will automatically bid into the NCAA DII Central Region Tournament, which will take place on May 3-6. The NCAA DII Championships (Final 16) will be at Sanlando Park in Altamonte Springs, Fla. on May 14-17.

The playoff’s seeding was determined in the final week of the regular season for Upper Iowa. The Peacocks wrapped up their last match of the season over Winona State in Winona, Minnesota. A day later, the Peacocks beat Southwest Minnesota State University 6-3 to get a little more practice before the NCAA DII conference tournament. The Upper Iowa women’s tennis team finishes the conference season with an 8-3 record. This is the team’s best finish since the 2011-2012 season (8-2). 

Junior Laura Alvarez is extremely proud of the team: “Last year we were seeded eight and this year we are seeded fourth. The team is really strong this year. Most of the girls are freshmen, so I am so excited for what next year will bring us. We have been working hard and are looking forward to the NCAA DII Conference Tournament!”

Drawing of the NCAA II Conference Tournament

       Date                 Time                        Teams

Sat., April 26           9 a.m.          #2 University of Mary vs                                                                           #7 University of Sioux Falls

Sat., April 26        11:30 a.m.     #3 St. Cloud State University vs                                                           #6 Minnesota State University Moorhead

Sat., April 26           2 p.m.                 #1 Augustana College vs.                                                                  #8 Minnesota State University, Mankato

Sat., April 26        4:30 p.m.      #4 Upper Iowa University vs.                                                                      #5 Winona State University

Sun., April 27          8 a.m.          U-Mary/Sioux Falls Winner vs.                                                              St. Cloud State/MSU Moorhead Winner

Sun., April 27          8 a.m.         Augustana/Minnesota State Winner vs.                                                        Upper Iowa/Winona State Winner

Sun., April 27          12 p.m.                      Semifinal Winners

Peacocks Swept by Cougars in NSIC Play

Written by Jordan Bell

The Peacocks travelled to Sioux Falls for their third NSIC match up of the week; unfortunately the Cougars were too strong and won both games to take the sweep. UIU lost game one 7-1, but the Peacocks made game two interesting. Yet, the Cougars used home field advantage to win 5-2.

Sophomore Erica Kirgan added to her impressive homerun season total to lead off the fourth inning. But Kirgan’s 10th homerun of the year was one of only three hits the Peacocks would earn in game one.

However, the home team bounced back in the bottom of the fourth to tie the game 1-1. It remained 1-1 until the bottom of the sixth were the Cougars scored six runs from five hits to claim a 7-1 victory.

UIU did not allow their heads to drop after game one, as they came out swinging to lead 1-0. Again, the Cougars answered immediately with a solo home run.

In the second, Upper Iowa capitalized from a defensive error which allowed them to take the lead, 2-1.

The lead lasted thanks to a couple of impressive innings from Brooke Redmond, sophomore. However, the Cougar’s offense was strong in the sixth and three runs of two homeruns each resulted in the Peacocks dropping the game 5-2.

The Peacocks will host three NSIC match ups this upcoming week. First will be Augustana entering Fayette on April 22. Next, Winona State University will visit Fayette to play on April 24. Finally, the Peacocks will face the University of Minnesota Crookston and Bemidji State University on April 26 and 27.  UIU will also honor their seniors, Adrienna Olson, Kayla Bergman and Brooklyn Koranda for the final time in Peacock blue. 

Peacocks Sweep Mustangs in Marshall, Minn.

Written by Jordan Bell

Solid pitching and timely hits helped the Upper Iowa softball team on April 18 in Marshall, Minn. as the Peacocks swept Southwest Minnesota State University in NSIC action. The Peacocks earned a narrow victory over the Mustangs in game one, winning 2-1 thanks to an RBI from Erica Kirgan, sophomore. The NSIC match up got going in game two as the Peacocks clinched the sweep winning 7-3.

Upper Iowa was in full control throughout the first match up.  However, a throwing error in the sixth cost the Peacocks a run providing SMSU a way back into the contest. Still, this did not hinder the Peacocks as they also forced the Mustangs into a throwing error which resulted in the Peacocks taking the contest 2-1. Sophomore Jacqueline Flood added a pair of strikeouts and just one walk in the match up while also retiring 20 batters.

After dropping the first game, the Mustangs gained momentum in the first few innings scoring twice at the bottom of the first. The Peacocks answered back quickly with junior Shelby Crist earning an RBI- single at the top of the second.

In the third inning, UIU added runs two, three and four to the board to take a 4-2 lead.  The Mustangs retaliated immediately with a homerun to cut the deficit to one. In the fifth, the Peacocks never looked in danger and added three more runs to wrap up a 7-3 victory with Tara Duran, junior, and Crist both adding RBIs.

The Peacocks are now 8-10 in conference play thanks to the sweep over the Mustangs. 

Peacocks Come Up Short Against Golden Bears

Written by Jordan Bell

For the first time in two years, the Upper Iowa softball team was swept at home as the Peacocks fell to the Golden Bears of Concordia University, St. Paul in Fayette on April 16. Despite two late-inning comebacks from the home team, the Golden Bears used a few timely big-hits to earn a 7-4 victory in game one and an 8-3 win in game two.

In game one, the visitors took an early lead, but the Peacocks looked to respond in the bottom of the inning.  However, the Concordia-St. Paul defense stranded a pair of Peacocks on the bags and UIU fell short.

UIU got on the board for the first time in the fifth inning thanks to a RBI-single to left field from junior Katie Mnichowicz, but the Golden Bears came back immediately to lead 4-1. Concordia-St. Paul added three more runs in the top of the sixth as the visitor’s lead improved to six runs, 7-1.

The Peacock’s bats came alive in the bottom of the inning, but it was too little too late. Despite two more runs, the Golden Bears lead was still intact leading to a sealed 7-4 victory.

The visitors took an early lead in game two thanks to runs in the first three innings. It took until the fourth inning for the Peacocks to answer back. Sophomore Jacqueline Flood earned another single which allowed for fellow sophomore Madie Wilkin to run home from second with a double.

The Golden Bears stepped up their offense in the fifth to take a commanding 5-1 lead, but the Peacocks still put up a fight with two runs coming in the bottom of the inning to trail 5-3.

However, UIU could not capitalize and at the top of the sixth, the Golden Bears added two more runs and another late one to win this NSIC match up 8-3.

The Peacocks are now 6-10 in NSIC play while Concordia-St. Paul bounces back to .500 in the conference. 

Celebrating Greek Life

Written by Hadeel Suliman

Last week marked yet another successful Greek Week at Upper Iowa’s Fayette Campus. The Greek sororities that participated were Phi Beta Delta (Lady D’s), Kappa Zeta Tau (KZT), Gamma Delta Phi (Gamma), Beta Theta Omega (BTQ) and Zeta Kappa Psi (ZKY).  With seven various activities divided throughout the six days, the bond between sisters was visible to the audience.

To kick off the week, a friendly game of volleyball was held at the Recreation Center on Sunday afternoon. KZT won first place with Gamma and Lady D’s winning second and third place respectively. Later that evening, the Greek God and Goddess competition occurred in the Student Center Ballrooms. With five goddesses and one god, each sorority and fraternity Beta Delta Pi, sent out a representative who performed a funny skit to amuse the audience. Gamma won first place with BTQ coming close at second place, followed by KZT as third. The following day was all about trivia, which included a series of general knowledge questions. ZKY showed off their smarts by scoring the most points. BTQ and KZT yet again won second and third place respectively.

Wednesday marked the physical part of Greek week. With the weather being warm, the obstacle course was held outdoors on the Oval Lawn. From hula hooping to jumping rope, the girls competed against each other. Gamma scored first place with KZT and the Lady D’s close behind. In the spirit of outdoor activities, the sororities further competed in a game of bags and 2-ball. Gamma took the win again by scoring the most points in bags while BTQ and ZKY followed in second and third place. As for 2-ball, KZT took the title with Lady D’s second and BTQ third.

The final day was UIU’s most anticipated Greek week event: the variety show. Dubbed as the most creative part of the week, each of the five sororities performed something that reflected their organization as a whole. BTQ took the lead by performing a skit that included voicing out their empowerment of women. They also danced and did their customary stepping routine. Second place was given to KZT who showed the evolution of Miley Cyrus from her Hannah Montana days to her current twerking styles. Gamma came in third after they had performed a variety of skits and dances that showed the value of their sisterhood.

Beta Delta Pi members participated in all of the activities that occurred in the course of the week. However, as a new fraternity, they were not allowed to win in any category, but they took it in stride and showed great sportsmanship.

As for the overall score of the entire week, Gamma and KZT tied for first place. BTQ won second place with Lady D’s third and ZKY fourth place. Although this year’s Greek week was somber in comparison to the years before, it was still enjoyable for the students, whether they participated or were a part of the audience.

Fearing Freshman Year?

Written by Samantha Vorwald

It is hard to believe my first year of college is almost over.  I have made many new friends and there are memories that still make me laugh out loud when I recall them.  When I reflect on the year, I see all the great opportunities given to me and I laugh when I remember how scared I was at the beginning.

For my entire life before college, I was terrified of it.  I knew I wanted to go to college, but I also had this idea that it would be incredibly difficult to survive.  I had the usual excitement to move out and be a little more independent.  Yet, at the same time, I wanted to go back to high school and start over.  Most people will probably say how they were so glad to get out of their parent’s house, but I bet they were nervous too.  Their parents would not be around to remind them about things.  Their parents would not be there as a last minute alarm in the mornings.  But while they said they could not have been happier to move out, they probably had some butterflies in their stomachs. 

I moved in to Garbee Hall on Aug. 23, 2013.  We had Peacock Experience in which all incoming freshman and new students participated in activities and made new friends.  Classes started on Monday.  For the entire weekend, I was excited, but Sunday night was when those butterflies started beating against my stomach lining instead of just flying around lazily. The next day, I made my way through all of my classes and I survived.  By the end of the day, those butterflies had died.  I slipped into college life with ease.  I started to fully understand the saying about college being the best years of your life. 

While the classes are harder and require more time and dedication, they also push us to our potential; being pushed to the fullest potential is what makes these years the best of our lives because they shape our futures.  My worst fear was that I would not be able to handle the pressure.  I learned, though, that there is always somebody willing to help.  The professors at Upper Iowa University will take the time to help a student.  Upper Iowa is small enough where everybody can direct their questions almost any time and they will have an answer right away.

As the year winds down and I reflect, the best advice I can give is this: a little nervousness is not bad—it keeps you on your toes.  Do not let the nervousness stop you from taking opportunities.  Here at Upper Iowa, there are amazing opportunities to be had.  These opportunities come in many forms and one of the easiest is by getting involved.  Involvement is not difficult to accomplish because there are over 20 clubs and organizations at Upper Iowa.  Through these clubs, more opportunities will arise and they will lead to bigger things.  Last, but not least, students always here the saying, “It is a great day to be a peacock.”  At Upper Iowa, it truly is a great day to be a Peacock.

The Poet Laureate, Mary Swanders visited Upper Iowa University on March 27 as part of the Midwestern Literary Project.  She read from her book “The Girls on the Roof” that afternoon and that evening, everyone was invited to watch “VANG”, the play she wrote about recent immigrant farmers coming to the Midwest.  Photo courtesy of Allyson Herkowski.

The Poet Laureate, Mary Swanders visited Upper Iowa University on March 27 as part of the Midwestern Literary Project.  She read from her book “The Girls on the Roof” that afternoon and that evening, everyone was invited to watch “VANG”, the play she wrote about recent immigrant farmers coming to the Midwest.  Photo courtesy of Allyson Herkowski.

The Writing Center Hosts Midwestern Literary Project

Written by Samantha Vorwald

The Writing Center scheduled events for the entire day to celebrate Midwestern literature on Thursday, Mar. 27.  The events took place at the Fayette campus in the Liberal Arts building and student center.  Everybody was welcome to help celebrate literature from the Midwest.  The Poet Laureate Mary Swanders also joined and participated in some of the activities.

Swanders did a reading for students in the Liberal Arts Auditorium from her book ­­­­­“The Girls on the Roof.”  All students were welcome to attend.  “The Girls on the Roof” is a collection of poetry that tells a story describing life in the Midwest.  She also shared some back story with the audience about the publishing process and other stories.  After the reading was a poetry workshop in which everybody discussed poetry with the Poet Laureate herself, Mary Swanders.

Throughout the day, students, faculty and staff were invited to help the Writing Center compose a poem.  The poem was entitled, “Why I Write” and everybody was asked to write a line or two answering this question.  Later in the afternoon, the poem was read out loud at the circle of couches in the Student Center.  Everybody was once again invited to the poetry open mic.  Everybody could listen to the reading of “Why I Write.”  Everybody who attended the open mic event was also encouraged to bring a piece of their own or of a favorite author to share.

The final event of the Midwestern Literary Day was “VANG: A Play About Recent Immigrant Farmers.”  “VANG” was a play about immigrant farmers travelled to Iowa from their home country.  It was a play written by Swanders and performed by Matt Foss and Annie Feenstra.  Swanders was compiling stories for years of families who came to Iowa to settle down and farm.  These families were facing a variety of problems so they came to the United States.  This play also shared stories of the families after they got here and some of the problems they faced in Iowa.  Foss and Feenstra would relate these stories and switch characters flawlessly.  They signified the switching of characters by doing minor changes in clothes such as putting on or taking off a sweater or a scarf.  They used minimal props and in the background was a slideshow of pictures of the families and their farms.

“VANG” was the last event of the day and the day was certainly enjoyed by students, staff and faculty.  The Writing Center staff was pleased with the turnout for the activities.  The Writing Center will also continue to host events like this for the university community.  


Carlson Masterminds Giant Killing

Written by Gregg Fairley

The Upper Iowa men’s soccer team travelled to West Des Moines on Wednesday, April 9 to take on Division I opponent Drake University. They returned back to Fayette with a 5-3 win over the Bulldogs.

In a onesided first half, it was the Peacocks who took the lead against the run of play when Jared Newman was released down the right side and kicked the ball across the face of the box which ended up hitting a defender and going into the top corner for the goal. As UIU’s confidence grew, they kept possession of the ball and made the Bulldogs chase. However, the Bulldogs had a comeback before the half time whistle blew.

As the teams came out of half time, the Peacocks seemed buoyed by Coach Jason Carlson’s speech and the players took the game to the Bulldogs. The Peacocks took a deserved lead thanks to Leandro Pena who took the ball around the goalie and found the back of an empty goal. From that moment, Upper Iowa did not let up and was relentless. They then scored another goal thanks to a pass from Rafael Pedroso to his Brazilian counterpart, Hugo Alves.

The Peacocks found themselves up 4-1 after Jared Devine used his speed to beat the defender to the ball and knock in the fourth goal for the Peacocks. Forward Aaron Calkins chased down a ball from freshman Fausto Ordenana and Calkins forced yet another goal. With the score line at 5-1, the Peacocks seemed to relax, but Drake showed their class and managed to score two goals, bringing the final score to 5-3.

Up next for the Peacocks will be a home game against UW-Platteville at 5:00 p.m.

Women’s Tennis Victorious Over the Vikings

Written by Jordan Bell

The Upper Iowa women’s tennis team continued their season with a trip to the Black Hawk Tennis Center in Waterloo, Iowa to take on the Vikings of Augustana College in non-conference play. The Peacocks won the match with some difficulty

The 17th ranked Vikings sustained injuries during the match, which forced them to forfeit two points to the Peacocks. Nonetheless, Upper Iowa sealed the 6-3 upset victory thanks to outstanding displays from Iris Verweij, Saki Kawabata, Kelly Jachymowski and Victoria Kulbokas.

Kawabata and Jachymowski paired up at #2 doubles and earned an 8-5 victory to get the ball rolling. The Peacocks felt right at home as they took a 2-1 lead into singles play. Midway through the #1 doubles match, the Vikings’ suffered an injury and were forced to default the point. The injury allowed Verweij and Kulbokas to pick up the doubles win over Dana Goggin and her sister, Lauren Goggin.  The win improved Verweij and Kulbokas’ record to 8-5 this season.

The early momentum carried into singles action despite UIU dropping the #5 matchup. Verweij and Kawabata comfortably won as they took care of business at the #1 and #2 singles.  Verweij picked up a 6-0 victory in the first set before a stellar performance to finish off her opponent 7-5 in the second. Kawabata followed in the footsteps of her teammate as she scored two wins, 6-3 and 6-2. The Vikings were forced to default at #3 due to the prior injury and Kulbokas picked up the win. Rounding out the win for the home team was Jachymowski, who earned a 6-4 victory in the first set and a 6-1 victory in the second. With the win Jachymowski moved to 9-10 for the year in singles action.

Next up for the tennis team is NSIC/US Bank Women’s Tennis Tournament against number five ranked Winona State University.  They are scheduled to play on Apr. 26 at Minnetonka, Minn.