Womens athletic numbers back on the rise


lance lagoni

Rachal Gaydos leaps and Krystal Figueroa, Zoe Sitaar, and Madison Kosyla rush to support her in the ECC women's volleyball teams 3 games to 2 victory over Morton College on Thursday September 12.

Al Tuider, Staff Writer

Women’s sports at Elgin Community College are back on track and have taken a big step in the right direction. Women’s teams, such as basketball, volleyball and softball, had to undergo a brief period of uncertainty. With volleyball and softball being canceled last season due to lack of participants, I caught up with Elgin Community College’s Director of athletics and wellness Kent Payne on how to fix this.

Payne, who is returning for his 19th year, also found his way back into coaching this summer, and will now be balancing his role as athletic director and Streamwood High School’s new boys’ varsity basketball coach. With having over 25 years of coaching experience from high school basketball, Elgin Community College’s men’s team and raising three Division I athletes, Payne is super excited to get started again. He said he “finds it to be a way to reach out and give back to District 509.”

With everything going on, he was still very attentive to women’s sports teams at ECC.

“We now have full rosters for our men’s teams and women’s teams as well,” Payne said.

Both women’s softball and volleyball are back up and running, plus an incline in basketball numbers as well. To go more in depth, I met up with women’s volleyball head coach, Nate Rohrsen, to speak about how he resolved those issues.

“Last year was a rebuild,” Rohrsen said. “[The team] had a couple injuries and were team redshirt at our bare minimum.

Giving time for healing and recruiting, Rohrsen was pretty optimistic on the upcoming season.

“Other than size and having players play certain positions,” Rohrsen said. “We have a returning full roster and key players still here.”

You can find some of Elgin Community College’s prized student-athletes in the fairly new studying area at the back of the library. The head coach for women’s basketball of 17 years, Jerry McLaughlin, can be found monitoring the area.

“Student-athletes have to come every week and put in a minimum of four hours,” McLaughlin said. “We moved the area over here so athletes could go right up to the tutoring center and get the help they need. With that being done, I’ve definitely seen a positive correlation.”

That’s not the only new positive thing. ECC’s women’s basketball team’s numbers doubled from six to 12 this year. McLaughlin expects to have another strong basketball season, and in the meantime, he makes sure student-athletes are also having a good academic season as well.

“We don’t want just eligible,” McLaughlin said. “We want the best grades our student-athletes can get.”

Now with men and women’s fall sports on the move, make sure to go support ECC’s athletics.