SEMO fall sports finish with distinction

The Southeast Missouri State University football, volleyball and soccer teams had seasons for the books with each program winning the Ohio Valley Conference title.

The football team, led by sixth-year head coach Tom Matukewicz, lost a first-round playoff game to Illinois State at Houck Stadium. It was the second consecutive year for the Redhawks to make the FCS playoffs and to win nine games in a season. Coach Tuke told Southeast Missourian and Semoball.com sports editor Tom Davis that building a winning program goes back to getting the right people on board.

"I believe in this like I believe in gravity," Matukewicz said, "you win with people. I don't care what the facilities are; if you get the right people then (success) will happen. If you don't get the right people, then it will never happen."

After winning their own regular season conference title, the top-seeded women's soccer team lost to No. 4 Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville in the OVC Tournament.

The women's volleyball team is still going strong. The Redhawks (23-10) travel to Lexington, Kentucky, to face No. 9-ranked Kentucky in the first round of the NCAA Tournament for a 6:30 p.m. Friday matchup.

While each program's season was impressive, collectively Southeast is the first school since 2001 to win an OVC title in all three sports during the same school year. Congratulations to all the athletes, coaches and staff on a great fall sports season. And we wish the volleyball team well as they compete Friday evening in Kentucky.