Northern Star




Northern Star

Northern Illinois University’s student news organization since 1899


Ensure student journalism survives. Donate today.

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Phi Kappa Theta, Alpha Sigma Phi earn wins in Day 2 of Tugs

Totus Tuus Keely
Alpha Sigma Phi continues their attempt to use stamina to their advantage by holding Delta Chi in overtime on Tuesday. Alpha Sigma Phi defeated Tau Kappa Epsilon on Wednesday. (Totus Tuus Keely | Northern Star)

Phi Kappa Theta conquered Sigma Alpha Epsilon in a three- rope brawl to advance in the 2024 Interfraternity Council men’s tugs tournament on Wednesday. 

Alpha Sigma Phi triumphed over Tau Kappa Epsilon after a tense three-round tiebreaker, earning their place alongside Phi Kappa Theta as winners of the losers bracket.



Phi Kappa Theta (PKT) utilizied the entire 15 minutes of the allocated call time to defeat Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE), but a victory was never in doubt.

PKT dominated from the announcer’s opening signal, gaining ground by standing in a hang. PKT applied the same tactic minutes later, earning additional twine and moving the center mark within inches of their front trench. 

In the final moments of the 15-minute round, PKT succeeded in pulling the rope within arm’s reach, securing the opening round victory just before time expired.

“I’m very confident in our first rope,” said PKT senior marketing major Matthew Klawitter. “Our first rope is a solid group of guys. We got some guys on second (rope) but with that weight average, it’s hard. You got to work around it.”


Different trenches, different results. PKT rebounded with a new lineup to even the score against Sigma Alpha Epsilon and earn a third-round tiebreaker. The round reached its full 15-minute duration, with the clock showing zero minutes remaining and the center mark closest to Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s side of the pit.

SAE shifted into cruise control mere minutes after the opening call and countered any attempt PKT made to exhaust their second rope. The yellow center tape was pulled deep into the front row before time expired to send the march into a tiebreaker.


Utilizing the same rope that earned a Round 1 win, PKT dominated to capture the tie-breaking round in under 15 minutes.

PKT pulled the center of the rope to their second trench before time ran out.

“We knew we had it going in (to the match) and a lot of people were counting us out,” Klawitter said. “We were confident in our abilities for sure, and you know when it came in that third rope, we didn’t think we were gonna lose it all. We were taking that.”



Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) turned the tide on Alpha Sigma Phi to steal rope one in the second match of Wednesday’s semi-finals losers bracket.

Situated in the “high bank,” Alpha Sigma Phi struggled to gain leverage within the opening five minutes of action. 

The coveted yellow center marker remained within arm’s reach of TKE’s trenches for the majority of the time. Responding to their caller’s directive to “lock it down,” they steadily inched closer to a potential swift victory.

Alpha Sigma Phi surged back into action, completely altering the narrative and seizing the first round of the second match.

“We’ve run about two miles every practice, our practices last for two to three hours,” said Alpha Sigma Phi sophomore biology major Samuel Siegel. “We do abs for about 20 to 30 minutes at the end. So honestly, I think we just gassed out TKE toward the end.”


Bouncing back from Round 1’s heartbreaker, Tau Kappa Epsilon found redemption with a commanding bounce-back victory in Round 2 against Alpha Sigma Phi.

TKE attacked within minutes of the announcer’s call by performing a hang to create separation from the middle red stake and Alpha Sigma Phi’s trenches.

TKE countered every defensive maneuver, successfully pulling the center mark all the way to their second trench before time expired to even the score. 


Alpha Sigma Phi took nearly 20 minutes to replicate Round 1’s triumph but remained in the driver’s seat for the full round to earn the tie-breaking decider over Tau Kappa Epsilon.

TKE found themselves trailing mere seconds into the tiebreaking bout, with Alpha Sigma Phi leveraging their side of the rope to gain an advantage.

Throughout the match, TKE pulled vigorously from the front trench to the back anchor, but their efforts were in vain. Alpha Sigma Phi ultimately emerged victorious, reigning supreme to capture Match 2.

“We had a vision,” Siegel said. “We wanted to win against Dchi (Delta Chi). We didn’t. We put that vision to test today and we weren’t going to let our hundreds of hours of work go to waste. So after we saw how hard that first match was, we just figured that there’s no shot we can leave this field without winning that last rope.”


Thursday’s semi-final round will feature Phi Sigma Kappa against Phi Kappa Psi at 6:30 p.m. and two-time defending champion Sigma Nu versus Delta Chi at 8 p.m. to decide Saturday’s Championship Bracket. 

Tickets for the remaining three days of action are available for purchase on Eventbrite

Live video feed and commentary for Saturday’s Championship Bracket can be accessed on the Northern Star’s YouTube channel

More to Discover