All in the Family
By Chris Bauman, Sports Information Director, Indiana Institute of Technology
Soccer at Indiana Institute of Technology has always had a family feel to it, but this year it's even more of a family affair as three siblings are soccer student-athletes for the Warriors.
Rikki, John and Tori Singstock, all from Southgate, Mich., are at home now at Indiana Tech, where Rikki is a senior and twins John and Tori are freshmen. All three play soccer for the Warriors, which means there's only one flag flying at the Singstock household back in Michigan.
"Having all three make their decision to be together at one school was a blessing for us as parents," said Therese Singstock, mom to the trio. "It is so nice knowing they are together and are there for each other."
It was a blessing for the Indiana Tech soccer programs too, as all of the Singstocks are talented soccer players. Rikki and Tori played together for a year in high school and are excited to have the opportunity to share the field again for one more year.
"My sister really encourages me to become a better player," Tori said. "She really helps me on the field."
It seems all Indiana Tech had to do to get all three Singstocks was get older sister Rikki on board. "Once Rikki started playing for Coach Lipocky, John and Tori were at almost all home games and became a fixture on the field," Therese Singstock said." Visiting Rikki and hanging out on campus gave them a chance to see what the campus was like. Both John and Tori looked at different schools but kept coming back to Tech."
Indiana Tech women's Head Coach Jim Lipocky is definitely a fan of having both sisters on the team. "It's always fun to coach sisters because they bring their unique connection to our program," Lipocky said. "Rikki has been instrumental in reviving our program, and Tori has always been around us as she has attended many games in the past. Now that Rikki and Tori are reunited on the playing field, they are fulfilling their dream of playing together just as they did in high school. In all my previous positions, this is the first time I have seen three siblings representing their institution in the same sport."
The Singstock siblings have grown up playing other sports together as well. "The age groups were different [in soccer], but we all did gymnastics together," Rikki said." We all were taught to work together. As we got older, I was more focused on gymnastics and Tori was more focused on soccer."
Rikki has helped lead the team's resurgence on the field for the past four years. In 2008, the year before her arrival, the Indiana Tech women went 4-13-1. Since stepping foot on campus in 2009, the midfielder has played in every match, and Tech has seen its win total improve in each season. Her steady play and leadership has the Warriors out to an 8-2 start in her senior campaign, one of the best starts in program history.
Younger sister Tori is quickly making a name for herself on campus as well. She was one of the top scorers in the state of Michigan her senior year of high school and has made an immediate impact for the Warriors. In her first collegiate game, Tori had a dominant performance scoring three times to lead Tech to a victory over their crosstown rival University of Saint Francis to win the Fort Wayne Cup. It was the first time in the five-year battle for the Cup that the Warriors had defeated the Cougars.
Rikki and Tori live in the same dorm on campus and have enjoyed being near each other. "We were always really close. I mean we still get into fights, but we always work it out. It's like living at home," Rikki explained. "But Rikki is more of the mom figure," John added.
Tori does credit her sister somewhat to her decision to attend Tech. "I came for the soccer program, they had a physical education program, and my sister being here was part the reason." Tori said.
John is attending Indiana Tech for the criminal justice program, just like older sister Rikki. That program, along with head men's soccer coach David Bokhart, helped him decide to come to Tech. Having his sisters attend was just a plus., though all three agree it's been a great arrangement.
"Being able to have my siblings on campus means I can always have a brother-sister or sister-sister conversation, even though we are away from home. Having both of them here, I am always looking out for them," Rikki said.
"If I'm feeling homesick, I can always just walk over and hang with them," John said. Tori echoed the thought. "Knowing my sister is here, if I have a problem about anything, is great."