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home : sports : sports   April 29, 2016

9/10/2013 10:24:00 AM
Yucus: Flawless victories

Chris Yucus
NewsTribune Photographer

You can’t win ’em all if you don’t win the first one ... or six, or seven.

While prep football grabs a bulk of the attention during the fall athletic season, that doesn’t mean there aren’t some other things out there worth keeping an eye on.

Sure, a large contingent of area football programs — St. Bede, Mendota, Marquette and even River Valley — have navigated 2-0 starts this fall.

But another pair of area prep sports teams have already tripled them up in the victory column without tasting defeat — and will look to keep their win streaks rolling tonight.

Winning is nothing new for the La Salle-Peru volleyball team.

The Lady Cavaliers have amassed a 643-150 record and won 13 regionals and two sectional titles under the guidance of coach Mark Haberkorn in 23 seasons over the last 25 years.

Now, seven games into Habs’ 20th campaign of his second stint at L-P, that record keeps getting better.

It’s currently at 650-150 as L-P is off to a perfect 7-0 start this season, which includes a championship at the Springfield Lutheran Crusader Classic.

With a returning senior core of setter Katie Olson, middle hitters Rachel Hunt and Ellie Senica and libero Abby Turczyn, the Lady Cavs certainly look like they have what it takes to keep on extending their early winning streak.

They’ll have a chance to advance to 8-0 tonight when they travel up to Kaneland for a Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference crossver match.

While the L-P ladies will look to be feeling great with win No. 8, the DePue boys soccer team will be shooting for lucky No. 7 tonight.

The Little Giants have put up some big numbers during their 6-0 start, which includes a championship at the Paw Paw Invitational, led by senior striker Carlos Acosta.

How good is Acosta?

The four-year varsity standout already has 18 goals in just six games this season. (That’s right, my fact checking monkeys have verified it, he’s averaging a hat trick.)

A three-time NewsTribune All-Area pick, Acosta broke the 100-career goal mark on Saturday with five goals in a 6-0 win over Mendota. It was his second straight five-goal game.

Acosta is part of a veteran Little Giants club that also returns fellow All-NT midfielder Hugo Perez and what coach Tim Stevens calls his “lock down defense” with seniors Austin Zimmer, Isaac Reyes and Cristian Mendez, who all have four years of varsity seasoning.

I know Stevens is excited for what proves to be a promising fall for his team.

Look for the Little Giants to prove that size doesn’t matter tonight when DePue — enrollment 114 — takes on a school more than 10 times its size in La Salle-Peru — enrollment 1,261 — in search of win No. 7.

Like it says on those signs outside of Ohio, “Small is mighty.”

Chris Yucus is a NewsTribune Sports Writer. He can be reached at 220-6995 or at Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsChris.

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