Huskies impress in fall 2021 performances

Five NIU athletes have achieved outstanding performances at sporting events throughout the fall 2021 season.

Courtesy of Brian Fisher

COVID-freshman wide receiver Trayvon Rudolph arms a defender in the first half of NIU’s 52-47 loss to Kent State Nov. 3 at Dix Stadium. Rudolph finished the game with three receiving touchdowns and a program-record 303 receiving yards.

Huskie athletes showed they belonged in the final sporting season with impressive performances throughout the fall of 2021. Of these, five athletes stood out with performances that left spectators and opponents in awe. .

Nick Markanich, men’s soccer: 3 goals, 4 shots (Sept. 18 vs. Western Illinois University)

Senior striker Nick Markanich has been turning heads all year with his incredible goalscoring ability and vision on the pitch. Coming in as the national leader in goals scored with 16, Markanich added three to his tally against the Western Illinois University Leathernecks. After scoring the first in the 12th minute on a volley, Nick quickly added to the Huskies’ tally by scoring again in the 35th minute with an assist from his brother and senior defenseman Anthony Markanich. Nick then one more in the 38th minute from the penalty spot. The Huskies won the game 6-0.

Jasmine Ly, women’s golf: 4-under, T-4 (Sept. 29 at the Johnie Imes Invitational)

Sophomore Jasmine Ly helped the Huskies finish seventh in the 14-team field at the Johnie Imes Invitational on Sept. 29. at four under par, tying her for fourth place with Noelle Zoe Beijer of the University of Missouri and Hailey Katona of Mercer University.

Senior Reece Nilsen hits a tee shot during a tournament qualifying round at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove. Nilsen won second place in the solo on Monday at the Badger Invitational in Verona, Wis. (Zulfiqar Ahmed | Northern Star)

Reece Nilsen, men’s golf: 6-under, 1st result (Oct. 19 at Xavier Invitational)

Senior Reece Nilsen competed as an individual at the Xavier Invitational, taking first place. Nilsen finished six under par to earn him his first career victory. Nilsen was hot throughout the tournament, shooting 71 in the first round, 69 in the second and a career-best 67 in his final round. With the win, he became the first Huskie to earn individual medalist honors at a tournament since Joo-Young Lee in March 2016.

Trayvon Rudolph, football: 14 rec, 309 yards, 3 rec TD (Nov. 3 at Kent State University)

Freshman wide receiver Trayvon Rudolph had his game-breaking game against the Kent State University Golden Flashes as he lit up the defense for 309 receiving yards. His performance set an NIU and Mid-American Conference record for receiving yards in a game. Rudolph also tied former NIU wide receiver Kenny Golladay for the second most receptions in a game by a Huskie with 14 receptions. Although the Huskies lost the game 52-47, Rudolph was able to etch his name in NIU history.

Francesca Bertucci, women’s volleyball: 4 attacks, 1 assist, 39 digs (Nov. 17 vs. Western Michigan University)

First-year defensive specialist Francesca Bertucci had a monster game for the Huskies against the West Michigan Broncos as she had a season-high 39 digs. His performance tied for the second-biggest dig in a four-set match in the country at the time. It also tied her for the fifth-most single-game digs in school history. Bertucci and the Huskies won the game 3-1, largely due to his performance.