As the fall season begins to take one final turn before the winter, so are sports at Albion College. It’s been quite a historic few months, with multiple teams here breaking program records. The football, men’s soccer and women’s volleyball teams have been exceeding expectations and leaving a memorable season of Albion’s fall sports.
Heading into the final week of the regular season, Coach Beurer and the Britons are on a roll. Sitting at a perfect 9-0 record, their best start since 1996. Albion has dominated nearly every single game on both sides of the ball. To put it into perspective, they’ve outscored all opponents 350-107.
Fifth-year senior Jack Bush from Chelsea and sophomore Luke Lovell out of Pinckney have shared the quarterback position quite well, each throwing for over 1,000 yards while earning over 10 touchdown passes. Macomb senior Mark Tocco has been their primary receiving target all season long, posting 935 receiving yards and 10 touchdown receptions, leading the team in both categories.
Junior Nick Fannon from Grosse Pointe Farms has been guiding the way for the Briton defense, leading the line in sacks and tackles for a loss. In doing so, Fannon has won Defensive Player of the Week honors two weeks in a row for his performances against Adrian and Trine College.
Senior linebacker Connor Smith from Frankfort has been playing tremendously for the Britons as well, leading the team in interceptions.
Recently, Albion is coming off a hard-fought victory against Olivet College on Saturday. After being down at halftime for only the second time all year, the Britons performed a flawless second half to pull out with a 35-24 win, keeping their winning streak alive on senior day.
The Britons are currently ranked at 20in all of Division III heading into the season finale against their biggest rival, Alma College. The Scots are undefeated as well, possessing the same record as Albion. The game is expected to come down to the wire as the Britons will try to close the regular season on a historic note.
All throughout the fall, the women’s volleyball team continued to perform with a new identity. Starting the year on an incredible 12-win run, the team just continued to climb higher in the national rankings. Reaching as far as no. 18, the Britons have statistically created one of the most successful seasons in recent history.
Marshall senior Chloe Webber has been having her best season yet, leading the team with 412 kills and 119 blocks. On homecoming weekend alone, she unloaded for 28 of those kills.
Junior Courtney Companion from Wyoming, Michigan, has been playing some of her best volleyball as well, leading the team in serving aces and digs.
After suffering a tough loss to the then no. 3 Calvin Knights, Albion ended the regular season with a dominating, 3-0, win over Saint Mary’s College.
On Nov. 1, the girls competed against Kalamazoo in the first round of the MIAA Playoffs. In the thunderous Kresge Gymnasium, the Britons were able to win in straight sets led by another outstanding performance by Webber.
That Friday on Nov. 4, Albion would finally get their shot at redemption against a highly talented Hope squad who handed the Britons their first loss of the season on Sept. 20.
This time, the Britons would make history once again. Despite a close contest in all three sets, Albion dominated the entire match in a complete shutout. Webber had 16 more kills, junior Mariah Brenz from Grand Blanc tagged along with 32 total assists and Companion would add 13 digs.
For the first time in the program’s history, Albion would be set to play in an MIAA Championship Match against Calvin College.
Unfortunately, the Britons fell to the no. 3 nationally ranked Knights on Nov. 5, losing 3-0. Bringing their record to 25-6, Albion hopes for an NCAA postseason run with the field officially being announced in the upcoming days. If this is the end, statistically the Britons accounted for their best season yet.
Recently, the men’s soccer team has been gaining a lot of attention. Before their match against Calvin College in the MIAA Semifinals, they ended the regular season winning three of their last five, splitting the other two games with a loss and a tie.
First-year Jonathan Euceda from Naples, Florida, has had an impressive year. Compared to the rest of the team, Euceda is leading every major category with the exception of assists.
In the opening round of the MIAA tournament, the Britons took on Kalamazoo in an extremely tight matchup. After two halves and one overtime period, junior Grady Lycan from Lawton found the back of the net, ultimately lifting Albion above the then no. 5 seed Hornets.
Give credit to sophomore Anton Favre from Gloucester, Ontario, who has been making saves when it counted the most, earning a MIAA Defensive Player of the Week title during the season
On Nov. 1 though, the Briton’s incredible season would come to a close. Albion would fall to Calvin. The Knights jumped out to an early 3-0 lead early, and a late two-goal comeback by the Britons would not be enough to send the game further.
Albion ended the year with a 9-7-3 record overall, the first time since 2006 that the program ended with a winning record. Even though the team wishes the season could’ve ended differently, this is a major step for the future of Albion soccer.