*The Bulldog Athletic Association will not meet this week due to the holiday break. Therefore, no athletes of the week will be recognized. The next Bulldog Athletic Association Athletes of the Week will be announced on Jan. 9.
Previous athletes of the week
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:
Ben Boldt named head volleyball coach: On Dec. 19, Concordia University announced Ben Boldt as the new head volleyball coach. Most recently an assistant at NCAA Division III Hendrix College in Arkansas, Boldt possesses 14 years of experience at the NCAA Division I level and is a University of Nebraska graduate. His wife Angie will also join the Bulldog volleyball program as an assistant coach. For a Q&A with Ben Boldt, click HERE.
Best of 2017: Championships were won and major accomplishments were attained during another thrilling calendar year for Concordia athletics. We broke down the top moments sport-by-sport while reviewing the biggest headlines of 2017. We also took a quick look ahead at 2018. Check out our feature HERE.
Liermann ready to take lead of Bulldog throws group: As a returning shot put national champion, junior Samantha Liermann is the top Dawg when it comes to the throws program. Liermann is ready to take the lead for track and field squads that are set to open up the indoor season next weekend. For more on Liermann, click HERE.
Thirty-four Bulldogs pick up All-Nebraska honors: Just before Christmas, the Omaha World-Herald released its selections for 2017 All-Nebraska teams. A total of 34 Bulldogs garnered recognition from Nebraska’s largest newspaper. Athletes were chosen from the sports of football, men’s soccer, women’s soccer and volleyball. Click the links below for further details.
Football | Men’s Soccer | Women’s Soccer | Volleyball
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.
- The Christmas break ended last week with a trip to Chicago where the second-ranked Bulldogs took part in the Saint Xavier University Holiday Classic (Dec. 28-29). On the opening day of the event, Concordia knocked down 17 triples while blowing away Robert Morris University, 113-83. In a clash of titans the very next day, the Bulldogs caused 28 turnovers and dealt top-ranked Saint Xavier an 81-60 defeat. Now 15-0 overall, 12th-year head coach Drew Olson’s squad is one of just two undefeated teams left in NAIA Division II women’s basketball. For more information on Concordia women’s basketball, click HERE.
- The 15-0 start equals the longest unbeaten run to begin a season during Olson’s tenure, which dates back to the 2006-07 campaign. Olson also guided the 2012-13 team to a 15-0 record out of the gate. Only two squads in program history have raced out to better starts. The 2002-03 edition coached by Todd Voss went 33-0 before finally suffering its first loss. A year earlier, Micah Parker’s Bulldogs jetted out to a 16-0 mark. Voss’ ’02-’03 team also owns the school record for longest winning streak (33). The longest win streak during Olson’s reign happened last season when Concordia strung together 26-straight victories.
- The Bulldogs have now defeated a team ranked No. 1 in three of the past four seasons. The 2014-15 bunch won at top-ranked Morningside, 80-72, in the GPAC tournament championship game on March 3, 2015. Then on Dec. 3, 2016, Concordia ended No. 1 Dakota Wesleyan’s unbeaten run by eking out an 85-82 victory over the Tigers. Both of those Bulldog teams wound up reaching the national semifinals. The ’14-15 group fell in the national championship game.
- Concordia boasts the most impressive résumé of any NAIA women’s basketball program, Division I or II. According to Massey Ratings, the Bulldogs have played the nation’s most challenging schedule – and have passed every test. Concordia has defeated eight teams with national rankings in the most recent national poll (Dec. 12): No. 1 Saint Xavier, No. 4 College of the Ozarks (Mo.), No. 6 University of Jamestown (N.D.), No. 9 Dakota Wesleyan, No. 14 University of St. Francis (Ill.), No. 16 Hastings, No. 18 Northwestern and No. 23 Mayville State University (N.D.). Six of those eight wins have come on the road.
- Sophomore Philly Lammers made the most of her stay in the Windy City. Over the par of wins, the Omaha native totaled 35 points, 20 rebounds, eight steals and four blocks as a dominant force inside. She played 33 minutes in the victory over Saint Xavier, posting 22 points and 10 rebounds. A second team All-American as a freshman, Lammers is stating her case to move up to the first team this season. She’s averaging 13.3 points, 8.7 rebounds, 2.73 steals and 1.73 blocks per game. Lammers has done all that while playing 23.7 minutes per outing.
- The milestone watch continues for Olson and senior guard Mary Janovich. Olson is on the brink of reaching 300 career coaching victories. He currently stands at 297-91 in his 12 seasons leading the program. He entered the season ranked 19th in terms of most wins among active NAIA Division II women’s basketball coaches. Only two of the coaches ranked above him held better winning percentages. In the case of Janovich, she needs 32 more points to join teammate Quinn Wragge in the program’s 1,000-point club. Meanwhile, senior Dani Hoppes has racked up 928 points in a career that got started at Midland.
- Many opponents have melted when faced with Concordia’s zone press. Robert Morris (33) and Saint Xavier (28) committed a combined 61 turnovers in last week’s action. In this season’s first 15 games, Bulldog foes have turned it over 379 times for an average of 25.3 per contest. A turnover margin of +8.1 has allowed Concordia to shoot an average of 11.3 more shots per game than its opponents. According to Massey Ratings, the Bulldogs possess the nation’s second best offensive team and 31st best defensive team.
- Senior guard Brenleigh Daum entered the season with an outside shot at also reaching 1,000 career points. The McCook, Neb., native is not afraid to fire away. She took 28 shots last week, dropping in 13 of them while scoring a combined 32 points over the two wins. Daum has pushed her career point total to 780 with 15 games remaining in the regular season. Her 22 points versus Robert Morris represented a career high, eclipsing her previous best of 20 in a victory over Simpson University (Calif.) in December 2015.
- It’s back to the GPAC grind. The Bulldogs will play at Doane (6-10, 1-7 GPAC) at 6 p.m. CT on Wednesday. At long last, Concordia will be back inside Walz on Saturday when sixth-ranked Morningside (13-4, 6-1 GPAC) pays a visit for a 2 p.m. CT tipoff. The Bulldogs won by more than 20 point margins in both meetings last season with Doane and Morningside.
- A layoff of exactly two weeks came to an end last week in the Chicago area, where Concordia claimed a pair of road wins, defeating Robert Morris University, 106-101, on Dec. 29 and Judson University, 89-74, on Dec. 30. The Bulldogs shot better than 55 percent in both outings while following the lead of star sophomore Clay Reimers. The successful weekend moved fifth-year head coach Ben Limback’s squad to 11-3 overall. For more information on Concordia men’s basketball, click HERE.
- Not since the 2004-05 team won each of its first 13 games had a Concordia men’s basketball team won at least 11 of its first 14 contests. A year ago, the Bulldogs stood at 8-6 at the same point in the season. Limback’s 2015-16 squad started out 10-4 before ultimately ending the campaign at 18-12 overall. Concordia hopes to continue the trend of increasing its win total each season during Limback’s tenure, which began in 2013-14. The Bulldogs went 21-10 last season.
- Reimers feasted in the Windy City, putting up a career high 26 points in both victories. He also recorded a combined 23 rebounds, three blocked shots and three steals in the finest statistical week of his career. Among GPAC players, Reimers ranks first in rebounding (9.5) and ninth in scoring (17.9). Reimers has posted six double-doubles and has had five games with 20 or more points this season. The Lincoln East High School product has taken on a starring role after averaging 7.1 points and 4.0 rebounds last season in a reserve role.
- Sophomore point guard Jake Hornick was similarly impressive. He poured in a career best 30 points on 11-for-16 shooting from the floor at Robert Morris. His previous career best was 23 points in the season opening win at Kansas Wesleyan University. The native of Loveland, Colo., is the GPAC’s leading assist man with an average of 5.1 dimes per game. He is also averaging 17.2 points and 5.2 rebounds while playing a team high 33.1 minutes per contest.
- Though some of its early success can be attributed to improved perimeter defense, Concordia has proven it can outscore opponents when needed. Limback has again put together an efficient squad that sports national rankings of ninth in field goal percentage (.504) and 13th in 3-point field goal percentage (.406). The Bulldogs also employed one of the NAIA’s top offenses last season, ranking first in field goal percentage (.528) and second in 3-point field goal percentage (.414) on the national leaderboard. Concordia has drained at least nine 3-point field goals in 12 of its first 14 games.
- One of many Bulldogs to show rapid growth since last season, lone senior Kyle Pierce nearly posted a double-double in both of last week’s games. In the win over Robert Morris, the Haxtun, Colo., native put up 11 points and 10 rebounds. The next day he went for 14 and nine at Judson. Pierce has reached double figures in scoring in six-straight games. On the season, he is averaging 11.4 points and 6.0 rebounds and paces the team with 10 blocked shots.
- While Limback typically relies heavily upon his starting five, he has gone mostly with a nine-man rotation this season. In last week’s action, Zach Friel, Chris Johnstone, Brevin Sloup and Riley Tegtmeier each saw significant minutes off the bench. Of the nine players in the usual rotation, seven are sophomores. Only Pierce and Johnstone (junior) are upperclassmen. Friel (5.8), Johnstone (5.7) and Sloup (4.9) have produced similar results in terms of scoring production.
- The next national poll will be released next Tuesday (Jan. 9). The Bulldogs will can make a compelling case to be included in the top 25 if they can manage to sweep through conference play this week. Concordia last cracked the national rankings in December 2010 when it checked in at No. 20. In the most recent NAIA coaches’ poll (unveiled on Dec. 12), the Bulldogs were listed among others receiving votes.
- After dipping outside of conference play, Concordia returns to GPAC action on Wednesday when it is scheduled to visit Doane (8-9, 3-4 GPAC) for an 8 p.m. CT tipoff in Crete. The Bulldogs hope to duplicate their 84-81 win at the Haddix Center inside November 2015. They will finally be back at home on Saturday to host 10th-ranked Morningside (12-3, 4-1 GPAC) at 4 p.m. CT. Concordia dropped both of last season’s meetings with the Mustangs.
- The pre-New Year’s schedule concluded on Dec. 17 at the annual Oklahoma City Duals hosted by Oklahoma City University. The Bulldogs claimed wins over Bethany College, 49-6, and over Lyon College, 34-18, and dropped duals with No. 15 Baker University, 28-12, and with Oklahoma City, 25-20. The Oklahoma City Duals ended a stretch of seven-straight days without a competition for Concordia. By the end of the day, second-year head coach Andrew Nicola’s squad sat at 3-3 overall in dual meets. It remains 1-0 versus GPAC opponents. For more information on Bulldog wrestling, click HERE.
- As a team, Concordia racked up 24 individual wins, including five over nationally ranked foes, and eight pins at the Oklahoma City duals. All five victories over ranked combatants came from different Bulldogs. At 157, senior Jared Woods edged Bethany’s 11th-ranked Brandon Lawson-Archuleta, 4-3. Sophomore Cam Devers defeated Baker’s 12th-ranked (133) Tyler Dickman, 3-2, at 141 pounds. At the same weight, junior Chris Kimball topped Bethany’s No. 20 Caysen Smith by major decision, 16-8. In the matchup with Oklahoma City, 174-pound junior Walker Fisher beat 19th-ranked Kaden Truelove, 3-2. Finally, senior Jon Lado took care of Lyon’s No. 20 Connor Weber, 7-4, at 165.
- While wrestling in his home state, Woods made the biggest splash of any Bulldog. The Durant native went a perfect 4-0 with the highlight being his win over Lawson-Archuleta. He also defeated Baker’s Joseph Tallie, 9-3, tech falled Lyon’s Roger Gasmann, 16-1, and picked up another win by forfeit. Woods ran his season record to 11-8 overall. The Oklahoma City Duals presented Woods his first opportunity of the year to compete in a dual. He was then named the GPAC wrestler of the week.
- Devers continues to roll at 141. He split time in Oklahoma City with Chris Kimball. In his two matches, Devers not only defeated Dickman, he claimed a major decision over Michael Sanchez of the host institution. Perhaps underrated at sixth in the GPAC in his weight class, Devers is off to a sterling 17-2 start. He is a perfect 4-0 in dual matches and ranks second on the team with six pins. Devers was the lone freshman to represent the program at last season’s GPAC tournament.
- All 11 Bulldogs that competed in Oklahoma City notched at least one win. Nine collected two or more victories with Woods leading the way. He was followed by Fisher (3-1) and Lado (3-1). Concordia won all seven contested bouts against Bethany. The lone match that went to the Swedes was at 133, where the Bulldogs were open the entire day. Concordia took seven matches from Lyon and five from Oklahoma City. Lado emerged as the only Bulldog with more than one pin. He wiped away opponents from Baker (Bryson Wesley) and Bethany (Nicolas Desch).
- Devers’ 17 wins are a team best. Another nine Bulldogs own double-digit victory totals: Darrin Miller (16-9), Cody Lambert (15-13), Fisher (13-5), Deandre Chery (13-8), Josh Nelsen (13-8), Woods (11-8), Blake Castillo (11-9), Lado (10-5) and Kimball (10-7). Chery remains the team leader with seven pins.
- With the semester now over, the program’s all-time most accomplished heavyweight Ceron Francisco has finished his short time as a student assistant on Nicola’s staff. One of two wrestlers in school history to reach 100 career wins, Francisco is moving on as a resident athlete for the Cavalier Wrestling Club at the University of Virginia. The site serves as a USA Regional Olympic Training Center. Francisco has hopes of qualifying for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.
- It’s back to work for the Bulldogs, who will be at the annual NWCA National Duals at the War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Ind., this Thursday and Friday. Concordia received an invitation to the prestigious event based on its 15th place finish at the 2017 national championships. The program’s best placement ever at the National Duals was seventh in 2016.