Bulldog Weekly Report (Jan. 16)

By Jake Knabel on Jan. 16, 2018 in Athletic Announcements

Bulldog Athletic Association Athletes of the Week

Female: Brenleigh Daum, Basketball

Daum, a senior from McCook, Neb., turned in one of the best performances of her career last week in the top-ranked Bulldogs’ 95-57 win over Briar Cliff. Daum put up a personal high 26 points on 7-for-13 shooting from 3-point range while adding a pair of blocks and a steal. On the season, she’s averaging 9.3 points.

Male: Josiah McAllister, Track & Field

McAllister, a junior from Atkinson, Neb., opened up the indoor track season last week by winning the 1,000-meter race in a time that just missed a ‘B’ national qualifying standard at the Nisely Classic hosted by Doane. That time ranks 11th best in the NAIA. He also ran a leg for the 4x800 meter relay team that ranks No. 2 on the national leaderboard.

Previous athletes of the week
Jan. 9 – Jared Woods (wrestling) / Philly Lammers (basketball)
December Athletes of the Month: Cordell Gillingham (basketball) / Philly Lammers (basketball)
Dec. 12 – Cordell Gillingham (basketball) / Taylor Cockerill (basketball)
Dec. 5 – Brevin Sloup (basketball) / Sydney Feller (basketball)
November Athletes of the Month: Tarence Roby (football) / Quinn Wragge (basketball)
Nov. 28 – Jake Hornick (basketball) / Quinn Wragge (basketball)
Nov. 14 – Cameron Devers (wrestling) / Jeannelle Condame (soccer)
Nov. 7 – Tarence Roby (football) / Emily Deschaine (cross country)
October Athletes of the Month: Ryan Durdon (football) / Lindsey Carley (soccer)
Oct. 31 – Ryan Durdon (football) / Kaitlyn Radebaugh (soccer)
Oct. 24 – Marcelo Hernandez (soccer) / Lindsey Carley (soccer)
Oct. 17 – Carlos Ferrer (soccer) and Grady Koch (football) / Sami Birmingham (soccer)
Oct. 10 – Micah Lehenbauer (soccer) / Kaitlyn Radebaugh (soccer)
Oct. 3 – Micah Lehenbauer (soccer) / Maria Deeter (soccer)
September Athletes of the Month: Tarence Roby (football) / Lindsey Carley (soccer)
Sept. 26 – Kordell Glause (football) / Emily Deschaine (cross country)
Sept. 19 – Lewis Rathbone (soccer) / Victoria Cera (soccer)
Sept. 12 – Tarence Roby (football) / Murphy Sears (golf)
Sept. 5 – Jack Bennett (soccer) / Lindsey Carley (soccer)

News and notes:

67th annual Concordia Invitational Tournament coming up Jan. 26-27: Concordia University, Wisconsin will serve as the host for the 67th annual Concordia Invitational Tournament. Tournament details and ticket information can be found HERE. Advance tickets can be purchased until 12 p.m. on Jan. 24. At last year’s event, the Bulldogs won titles for both men and women while hosting CIT inside Walz Arena. CUNE is the all-time leader with 27 CIT titles on the men’s and women’s sides.

#Olson300: more than the wins: Last week Concordia head women’s basketball coach Drew Olson collected the 300th win of his coaching career. His impact upon the lives of many goes far beyond the wins. Several individuals who have had close relationships with Olson discussed the traits that have made him successful on and off the court. For more on Olson, click HERE.

Women’s soccer announces 2018 recruiting class of nine member: Head coach Greg Henson and the women’s soccer program announced their 2018 recruiting class on Tuesday (Jan. 16). The group of nine comes from seven different states: California (two), Nebraska (two), Colorado (one), Kansas (one), Minnesota (one), Missouri (one) and Virginia (one). The future Bulldogs are set to join a program coming off a 2017 GPAC regular-season title. For more on the class of recruits, click HERE.

Big weekend ahead for dance/cheer teams: Head coach Mandi Maser's dance and cheer squads are getting set for their first competitions of the season. Both programs will be involved in Saturday's home triangular with Doane and Hastings. The meet will get started at 10 a.m. CT inside the PE Center Gym. Also on Saturday, a dance competition between Concordia and Dordt will take place at halftime of the women's basketball game (2 p.m. CT) inside Walz Arena.

Gillingham, Lammers named Concordia’s December athletes of the month: Sophomores Cordell Gillingham and Philly Lammers were voted Concordia’s December athletes of the month by the Bulldog Athletic Association. The voting took place at the athletic association gathering on Jan. 9. Both student-athletes compete for Concordia basketball teams. For more on the honor, click HERE.

Bulldog Coaches Show airs every Thursday at 5:30 p.m. CT: The Bulldog Coaches Show is underway in its third year of existence. The show airs live for a half hour every Thursday beginning at 5:30 p.m. CT on KTMX-FM 104.9 Max Country. The weekly feature can also be heard live via 104.9 Max Country’s website or by downloading the Max Country app. Throughout the 2017-18 season, Bulldog football, men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball contests will be aired live on Max Country. Tyler Cavalli serves as the host of the coaches’ show as well as the play-by-play voice for football and basketball. Frank Greene is again calling volleyball action.

Concordia Sports Network: Live webcasts for most home varsity contests can be accessed by visiting http://www.cune.edu/csn at game time. Check team schedules/results pages for webcast dates. Scrimmages, exhibitions and junior varsity events are not broadcasted.

Track & Field

  • The first meet of the 2018 indoor season is in the books for head coach Matt Beisel’s squads. Coming off of men’s and women’s top 10 national finishes at both the 2017 indoor and outdoor national championships, the Bulldogs got the new campaign started by turning in a trio of automatic national qualifying marks and three event titles while competing at the Scott Nisely Memorial Classic hosted by Doane on Jan. 13. It was the first collegiate competition for many members of the Bulldogs, who feature the largest class of newcomers in program history. For more information on Concordia track and field, click HERE.
  • Beisel still expects his teams to compete for championships, but there could be a bit of a transitional phase considering the long list of All-Americans that graduated this past May. That group includes multi-time national champions in Cody Boellstorff, Zach Lurz and Lucas Wiechman as well as 10-time All-American Kali Robb. Those stars helped the 2017 squads post national finishes of second (indoor) and fifth (outdoor) on the men’s side and seventh (indoor) and sixth (outdoor) on the women’s side. The efforts of the vaunted class of 2017 seniors helped the program claim a national championship banner in 2015 (men) and 2016 (women) at the outdoor national championships.
  • Concordia did retain one of the nation’s top throwers in junior Samantha Liermann, the 2017 outdoor shot put national champion. Liermann emerged as Concordia’s star of the Nisely Classic while turning in automatic national qualifying marks in the shot put (46’ 3 ¼”) and the weight throw (54’ 4 ½”). Liermann’s first place toss in the shot put elevated her to No. 1 on the current national leaderboard. The native of Wisner, Neb., possesses personal bests in the shot put of 49’ 1” for outdoor and 47’ 10 ½” for indoor. On the school’s all-time shot put lists, Liermann ranks second for indoor and third for outdoor.
  • The women’s shot put figures to be a strength all season for the Bulldogs thanks to Liermann and teammate Adrianna Shaw. A native of Bassett, Neb., Shaw placed runner up to Liermann in the shot put at the Nisely Classic with her mark of 45’ 9 ¼.” That measurement puts her third on the national list. Liermann and Shaw both have the ability to compete for the national title in the event. Shaw placed as the shot put national runner up at the 2017 indoor national championships.
  • Liermann was one of three Bulldogs to pick up event titles at the Nisely Classic. The other winners were Tyrell Reichert in the pole vault (14’ 7 ¼”) and Josiah McAllister in the 1,000 meter run (2:34.90). Runner-up finishes came from Simon Brummond in the pole vault (14’ 7 ¼”), Jessica Deterding in the triple jump (35’ 11 ½”), McKenzie Gravo in the pole vault (11’ 4 ½”), Shaw in the shot put, Cody Williams in the high jump and the men’s 4x800 meter relay team (8:12.44) of McAllister, Thomas Taylor, Christian Van Cleave and Patrick Wortmann (placed fourth in the 1,000 meter run).
  • One newcomer with loads of potential is freshman Cody Williams (Imperial, Neb.). Williams recorded marks of 6’ 6” in the high jump (‘B’ standard) and 20’ 6 ¼” in the long jump (11th place). He also ran a leg for Concordia’s 4x400 meter relay and competed in the 60 meter hurdles. In the jumps, Williams has senior Scott Johnson to look up to. Johnson began his season by placing third in the triple jump (45’ 10 ½”) and fifth in the long jump (22’ 1”).
  • Seward High School product Mika Brees looks to quickly establish herself as one of the program’s top sprinters. As a talented local athlete, Brees’ addition was an important one for Beisel’s program. Her impressive Bluejay career included two state gold medals and two state silver medals. She owns Seward High records in the 100 meters, 200 meters and as part of the 4x100 meter relay. In her first taste of collegiate action, Brees clocked in at 26.68 in the 200 meters, placing fourth out of 37 competitors at the Nisely Classic.
  • The program’s vaunted throws group will obviously have a different look to it after graduating the likes of Boellstorff, Lurz and Robb. While Liermann set the standard for the women at Doane, the men were topped by sophomore JC Cornelio in the weight throw (50’ ¾”; 8th) and by freshman Jake Dack in the shot put (47’ 7 ¾”; 6th).
  • The Bulldogs will now get ready to play the role of host for the first time in 2018. The Polar Dog Invite will get started at 4 p.m. CT inside the Fieldhouse on Friday. It will be the first of three Concordia home meets during the indoor season. Indoor home meets to follow will be the Concordia Classic (Jan. 27) and the Concordia Indoor Invitational (Feb. 10).

Men’s Basketball

  • It was a tough week inside conference play for the Bulldogs, who have dropped three games in a row – all to GPAC opponents. Concordia mustered only a combined 128 points in losses to No. 4 Briar Cliff, 78-65, at home and to Mount Marty, 65-63, on the road. Ranked fifth in the GPAC in the most recent conference rating, the Bulldogs also reside in fifth in the actual league standings. Fifth-year head coach Ben Limback’s squad enters the week at 12-6 overall and at 5-5 in GPAC action. For more information on Concordia men’s basketball, click HERE.
  • Start with the positive: the Bulldogs played well enough on the defensive end to win both games last week. They held first-place Briar Cliff to 78 points, 14.5 below its season average entering the contest. The Chargers also shot 46.6 percent from the floor, well under their season average. Three days later, Mount Marty shot only 37.5 percent and made just 4-of-17 shots from beyond the arc. Among GPAC squads, Concordia ranks third in field goal percentage defense (.438).
  • Now the bad: the shooting woes continue. In their final five games of the 2017 calendar year, the Bulldogs shot 50 percent or better each outing. During their three-game skid, they have shot a combined 36.6 percent from the floor. It’s a frustrating run for a team that performed at a high level on the offensive end through the season’s first 14 games. Concordia has put up 100 points or more on three occasions and has shot 50 percent or better a total of eight times.
  • Limback is hoping to ease the pressure felt by the program’s marquee group of sophomores. The ‘big three’ of Jake Hornick, Clay Reimers and Tanner Shuck is asked to shoulder a large chunk of the load in terms of scoring. But that group has struggled of late, particularly the past four games. Over that stretch, Hornick is 14-for-43 (.326) from the field, Reimers is 16-for-29 (.552 – averaging 22.5 minutes played) and Shuck is 12-for-46 (.261). With more of Reimers on the court and a return to more typical shooting percentages, the fortunes of the Bulldogs will improve.
  • Concordia has suffered back-to-back home losses for the first time since January 2017. After a home loss to Morningside on Jan. 21, 2017, the Bulldogs won each of their next 11 games played inside Walz Arena. Unfortunately, even the Walz rims have been unkind to Concordia in recent action. The Bulldogs had their home win streak snapped by Morningside in a game that saw them shoot a season low 31.0 percent from the floor.
  • Even in the face of adversity, no one has been able to question the effort of senior Kyle Pierce, who just missed out on double-doubles in both of last week’s contests. He posted lines of nine points, nine rebounds, four assists, two blocks and two steals versus Briar Cliff and nine points, 13 rebounds and two steals at Mount Marty. Pierce is now averaging 11.4 points and 6.9 rebounds, far exceeding his production in his first two seasons at Concordia.
  • At 12-6 overall, the Bulldogs are right where they were at this time last season. The 2017-18 team will attempt to weather some struggles and finish strong in the way that the 2016-17 squad did. Last year’s team won nine of its last 10 regular-season games. The run included a CIT championship and a memorable overtime upset at seventh-ranked Dakota Wesleyan. A conference championship may not be a reasonable goal at this point, but Concordia can still be hopeful of claiming a top four finish and the right to host a GPAC postseason quarterfinal game.
  • Perhaps this will be the week that brings a renewal of confidence and shooting touch. The Bulldogs will dip outside of conference play on Wednesday for a trip to Haskell Indian Nations University (5-14), where tipoff is set for 7 p.m. CT in Lawrence, Kan. Concordia will return to conference on play on Saturday when it will welcome Dordt (9-12, 3-6 GPAC) to Walz Arena for a 4 p.m. CT start.

Women’s Basketball

  • Last week went about as expected for a squad that moved into the top spot in the NAIA Division II national rankings. Concordia blew out both Briar Cliff, 95-57, and Mount Marty, 73-51, while remaining undefeated this season. The Bulldogs are on a run similar to the one they put together last season when they went 17-0 in conference play before finally tripping up against a GPAC opponent. Twelfth-year head coach Drew Olson’s squad has moved to 19-0 overall and to 11-0 in conference games. For more information on Concordia women’s basketball, click HERE.
  • The win over Briar Cliff marked the 300th of Olson’s head coaching career. A 2003 graduate of Concordia, Olson was hired as head women’s basketball coach in July 2006, making him one of the nation’s youngest head coaches at the time. Despite a lack of experience, Olson quickly proved himself, guiding the program to 26 wins and a national quarterfinal appearance in just his second season. Now 301-91 in his career, Olson owns a winning percentage of .768. Over the previous 11 seasons under Olson, the program has averaged 25.6 wins per season.
  • Another milestone was achieved in the home victory over Briar Cliff. Senior guard Mary Janovich became the 26th player in program history to reach 1,000 career points when she drained a long 3-point shot late in the fourth quarter. Janovich is the second Bulldog this season to eclipse 1,000 points. Junior Quinn Wragge did the same in the win over College of Saint Mary on Nov. 29. They could soon have more company. Dani Hoppes (975), Brenleigh Daum (815) and Philly Lammers (738) have a shot to reach 1,000 in the near future. Hoppes could get there by week’s end.
  • The Bulldog women’s basketball program has now held the No. 1 ranking a total of 14 times, including the final nine polls of the 2002-03 season and the first four polls of the 2012-13 campaign. The 2014-15 Bulldogs became the first in program history to reach the national title game and was the fourth Concordia women’s basketball team to advance to the national semifinals. The fifth semifinal appearance came in March 2017. By appearing inside the national rankings last week, the program made its 79th-straight poll appearance. The Bulldogs have been ranked in every poll since the start of the 2011-12 season.
  • If Daum is to also reach the 1,000-point club, she could use more games like the one she enjoyed versus Briar Cliff. The 5-foot-9 guard exploded for a career high 26 points on 9-for-16 shooting from the floor. She went 7-for-13 from 3-point range while making the most of 18 minutes of action. The McCook, Neb., native is averaging a career best 9.3 points per contest. A streaky shooter, Daum figures to improve upon her season 3-point percentage of 27.9. She has been a key contributor ever since arriving at Concordia prior to the 2014-15 campaign. She’s played in 118 career games.
  • It didn’t take long for Lammers to bounce back from a season low four points versus Briar Cliff. To be fair, the Bulldogs did not ask a lot of the Omaha native in the lopsided victory that saw her play 15 minutes. Three days later at Mount Marty, Lammers dominated while putting up 21 points on 9-for-15 shooting from the floor. She also added six rebounds. On the season, she is averaging 13.1 points, 9.1 rebounds, 2.5 steals and 1.5 blocks per outing.
  • Sophomore Colby Duvel is one of the team’s unsung heroes. Off the bench, she averages 5.3 points and 5.4 rebounds. She’s part of a second wave that includes several individuals who would likely be starters for other teams. A native of Max, Neb., Duvel produced a fairly typical line of eight points and seven rebounds at Mount Marty. A consistent high-energy player, Duvel has grabbed at least six rebounds in five-consecutive games.
  • The Bulldogs have grown accustomed to owning the turnover battle. Their advantage in that category was especially decisive last week. Concordia produced positive turnover margins of +13 (32, 19) versus Briar Cliff and +15 (23, 8) at Mount Marty. The intense pressure the Bulldogs apply on their opponents has allowed them to year-after-year rank among the nation’s best in turnover margin. On the national leaderboard, Concordia sits sixth in turnover margin (+8.4).
  • GPAC play continues this week when the Bulldogs visit College of Saint Mary (2-17, 1-10 GPAC) for a 6 p.m. CT contest on Wednesday. Concordia will then host Dordt (9-11, 4-7 GPAC) at 2 p.m. CT on Saturday. In earlier matchups this season, the Bulldogs pummeled the Flames, 114-56, and the Defenders, 101-55.

Wrestling

  • Just one event made up last week’s schedule for the 19th-ranked Bulldogs. Hoping to maintain its hold on the top spot in the conference, Concordia tripped up in a 31-12 home loss to Midland on Jan. 12. The Bulldogs were attempting to avenge a 27-12 defeat at the hands of the Warriors at the National Duals on Jan. 4. Instead, second-year head coach Andrew Nicola’s squad dropped to 4-6 overall and to 1-1 in conference duals. For more information on Concordia wrestling, click HERE.
  • Last week’s loss snapped a string of 22-straight GPAC dual wins for the program. Prior to the loss to Midland, the Bulldogs had not endured a conference setback since falling at Hastings, 21-12, on Feb. 13, 2014. The program bounced back from that loss to record 7-0 conference dual marks in three-straight seasons. During the three-year run of regional dominance, Concordia also captured NAIA North Group/GPAC tournament championships each season. Additionally, a Bulldog has been named the GPAC wrestler of the year each of the past four seasons.
  • Ironically, it was Dana Vote, the architect of Concordia wrestling’s rise to power, who helped end the Bulldogs’ GPAC win streak. Vote, who spent four seasons as Concordia’s head coach, is in his first year leading the Midland program. Vote earned GPAC coach of the year awards in 2015 and 2016 before leaving to become director of operations at Iowa State University, where he stayed for one season. Vote’s four-year dual record with the Bulldogs was 33-26.
  • Concordia managed to pull in three individual victories over Warrior opponents. The night got started in thrilling fashion when 125-pounder Jerry Stepps III pinned Devante Williams just before the close of the first period. The next Bulldog win came at 174 where Walker Fisher topped Cooper Self, 6-2. Wrestling up a weight at 197, Josh Nelsen edged Adam Ball, 5-3. It just wasn’t enough to knock off Midland, which got bonus points at 133, 141, 149 and 165.
  • A junior from Ashland, Neb., Fisher has become one of the team’s most reliable performers this winter. By defeating Self, Fisher extended his personal win streak to seven. Ranked 19th nationally at 174, Fisher went a perfect 3-0 at the National Duals after also collecting three victories at the Oklahoma City Duals. At 17-5 overall (9-1 in duals), Fisher is hopeful of reaching the national championships for the first time in his career.
  • Though Cameron Devers (18-3) did not wrestle last week, he ranks just ahead of Fisher, Deandre Chery (17-10) and Darrin Miller (17-10) for the team wins lead. A total of 11 Bulldogs have racked up double digit victories this season. Following Devers, Chery, Fisher and Miller are Nelsen (16-9), Cody Lambert (16-16), Jared Woods (13-10), Blake Castillo (11-9), Jon Lado (10-5), Chris Kimball (10-9) and Stepps III (10-13). Chery leads the pack with 10 pins.
  • The loss to Midland does not eliminate Concordia from title contention. Of the nine GPAC wrestling teams, seven have suffered at least one defeat. The two remaining undefeated teams in conference action are Northwestern (3-0) and Morningside (2-0). The Bulldogs have yet to dual either of those conference rivals. At 3-1, Midland appears to also be a strong contender for a GPAC title. The Warriors were defeated 25-9 at Briar Cliff on Dec. 6 in their lone conference loss. Concordia will have a good understanding of how it stacks up inside the conference after Jan. 27 when it will dual four GPAC opponents in Sioux City, Iowa.
  • The Bulldogs are scheduled to be in action Friday through Sunday while appearing in Missouri. A preview of what’s to come at the national championships, the Missouri Valley College Invite (Jan. 19-20) is one of the more prestigious NAIA events of the season. On Jan. 21, Concordia will be at the Central Missouri Denker Open in Warrensburg.