*Due to spring break at Concordia, the typical Tuesday Bulldog Athletic Association gathering did not take place. Athletes of the week will return on March 13.
Previous athletes of the week
February Athletes of the Month: Deandre Chery (wrestling) / Philly Lammers (basketball)
Feb. 27 – Nick Little (baseball) / Philly Lammers (basketball)
Feb. 20 – Deandre Chery (wrestling) / Samantha Liermann (track & field)
Feb. 13 – Jerry Stepps III (wrestling) / McKenzie Gravo (track & field)
Feb. 6 – Michael Duffy (wrestling) / Colby Duvel (basketball)
January Athletes of the Month: Kyle Pierce (basketball) / Dani Hoppes (basketball)
Jan. 30 – Kyle Pierce (basketball) / Anna Baack (track & field)
Jan. 23 – Jacob Cornelio (track & field) / Dani Hoppes (basketball)
Jan. 16 – Josiah McAllister (track & field) / Brenleigh Daum (basketball)
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:
‘Selfless team of stars’ preps for national tournament: Last week the NAIA unveiled its Division II women’s basketball national championships bracket. As a No. 1 seed, Concordia will take on eighth-seeded Stillman College (Ala.) at 12 p.m. CT on Wednesday. Head coach Drew Olson’s squad is planning on another extended run after having reached the national semifinals in three of the previous six seasons. For more on the Bulldogs as they head to Sioux City, Iowa, click HERE.
All-GPAC basketball teams announced: On Feb. 28, the GPAC announced men’s and women’s all-conference basketball teams. Ten Bulldog players earned some form of All-GPAC accolades, including first team selections Philly Lammers and Quinn Wragge. Additionally, Drew Olson collected the third GPAC coach of the year honor of his career. For complete coverage of all-conference teams, check out the links below.
Men’s golf set to tee off in Alabama: Head coach Brett Muller has traveled the men’s golf team to Opelika, Ala., for the 2018 Spring Break Invitational hosted by Lawrence Tech. Grand National Golf Club will serve as the venue for action on Thursday and Friday. It will be the first event of the spring season for either golf program. The men’s and women’s teams last competed in October when two rounds of GPAC championships were contested.
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 indoor season concluded over the weekend at the 2018 NAIA Indoor Track & Field National Championships hosted at Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kan. Seventeen Bulldogs represented the men’s and women’s programs, combining for six All-America performances, 22 team points on the women’s side and four on the men’s side. Head coach Matt Beisel’s women’s team placed ninth nationally while the men finished in a tie for 42nd. For more information on Bulldog track and field, click HERE.
- Thanks in large part to the efforts of junior Samantha Liermann, a run of impressive national finishes continued for the women’s program. The Concordia women have placed 13th or better at six indoor national championship meets in a row: 13th in 2013, 11th in 2014, 11th in 2015, fifth in 2016, seventh in 2017 and ninth in 2018. The program will also forever hold the distinction of being the first women’s team in school history to win a national title. Liermann and an unprecedented group of throwers led the Bulldogs to a banner-winning meet at the 2016 outdoor championships.
- Liermann, who hails from Wisner, Neb., may go down as one of the best throwers in program history, which is saying something. She became the first female thrower in school annals to win an indoor national title when she hurled a toss of 49’ 5” in the shot put last week. That figure broke the previous indoor school record of 48’ 1 ¾” that had been held by Stephanie Coley. Liermann’s throw also eclipsed her outdoor shot put personal best of 49’ 1” (third in school history). Not only that, Liermann enjoyed a breakthrough performance in the weight throw, turning in a PR of 57’ 5 ½,” good for a fifth-place finish that far exceeded her ranking of 14th entering the meet.
- Liermann and the women’s shot put group were responsible for 18 of the team’s 22 points. A 2017 indoor national runner up, Adrianna Shaw earned six points with her third-place finish (47’ 1”). Johanna Ragland took seventh (45’ 1 ¾”) and tacked on two team points. Jazzy Eickhoff (15th) and Jodi Fry (16th) also competed in the shot put. While the Bulldogs had five of the nation’s top 16 in the shot put, only one other program had more than one in the top 16. The women’s shot put group also accounted for 22 team points at the GPAC championships, where Liermann claimed her second career conference title.
- The four team points on the men’s side came courtesy of seventh-place finishes from All-Americans Jacob Cornelio (weight throw) and Cody Williams (heptathlon). In the process, both athletes earned their first career All-America plaques. Cornelio posted a personal best of 62’ 7 ¼” while Williams’ 4,915 points were a PR in the heptathlon. Cornelio had appeared at the 2017 outdoor national championships but was making his first trip to indoor nationals.
- Though they finished outside of All-America territory, senior Scott Johnson and junior Leah Larson have established themselves as two of the program’s best jumpers in school history. Johnson bumped up to No. 2 all-time on the school’s triple jump list with his personal best of 47’ 10 ½,” that placed him in a tie for 11th at the national championships. Meanwhile, Larson also now ranks No. 2 on the women’s side with her triple jump of 37’ 8 ¾.” She tied for 10th place.
- Concordia qualified four pole vaulters for the national championships with the best finish being 12th place by freshman Anna Baack (11’ 1 ¾”). On the men’s side, Simon Brummond and Tyrell Reichert both cleared 14’ 9” and tied for 14th place. Unfortunately, McKenzie Gravo was unable to duplicate her past success (three career All-America awards). She no-heighted.
- On the track, Ben Hulett (60-meter hurdles) and Josiah McAllister (1,000 meters) missed out on the finals of their respective events. Hulett clocked in at 8.57 (25th) while McAllister finished his race in 2:32.10 (14th).
- It’s on to outdoor season, which will open up with the Wildcat Outdoor Classic hosted by Wayne State College, March 23-24. The Bulldogs are slated to host the Concordia Outdoor Invite (April 6-7) and the Concordia Twilight Meet (May 11).
- The 2017-18 wrestling season is in the books. It culminated last week at the 2018 NAIA Wrestling National Championships, which were staged in Des Moines, Iowa, March 2-3. Second-year head coach Andrew Nicola’s program qualified three individuals for nationals: Giovanni Castillo (133), Chris Kimball (141) and Deandre Chery (174). All three made their first career appearances on the NAIA national stage. Their efforts paved the way for a 22nd-place team finish (18 points). For more information on Bulldog wrestling, click HERE.
- Castillo’s fifth-place finish at 133 pounds guaranteed a fifth-straight season in which Concordia has put at least one individual on the medal stand. Castillo is the ninth Bulldog in program history to collect at least one All-America honor. On day one of the tournament, Castillo went 3-0 and advanced to the semifinals. Castillo jumped out to a 6-0 lead in his semifinal match with top-seeded Jake Sinkovics, the eventual national champion, before being pinned in the second period. Castillo ended his season by defeating fifth-seeded Trevor Murano of Grand View University for the second time on the weekend.
- Before being eliminated on the tournament’s first day, Chery and Kimball both made waves with upset wins while recording their first career victories on the national stage. Kimball topped eighth-seeded Gaige Torres of Indiana Tech, 5-3. Meanwhile, Chery knocked off Missouri Valley’s fifth-seeded Cody Carson, 4-3. Kimball wound up earning two more wins before being bounced from the tournament in round four of the consolation bracket. Chery’s losses came at the hands of the fourth and seventh seeds in the 174-pound bracket.
- At the close of the season, 13 Bulldogs recorded 10 or more victories (five reached the 20-win mark): Cam Devers (25-9), Chery (25-15), Walker Fisher (24-11), Josh Nelsen (24-15), Darrin Miller (23-17), Stepps III (19-17), Chris Kimball (19-19), Jared Woods (18-17), Cody Lambert (16-16), Giovanni Castillo (15-6), Tyler Jorgensen (15-13), Blake Castillo (12-11) and Jon Lado (10-5). A sophomore from Miami Gardens, Fla., Chery notched a team high 13 pins.
- Concordia has placed inside the top 25 nationally in four-straight seasons. The run includes finishes of 22nd in 2018, 15th in 2017, eighth in 2016 and 12th in 2015. The eighth-place finish remains the best in program history. The 2015 squad owns the school record for most All-Americans at a national tournament with four. Andrew Schulte (2016) is the lone Bulldog ever to win a national title.
- Nicola’s 2018-19 squad will featuring Chery and Kimball as returning national qualifiers as well as a 2017 qualifier in Nelsen. The departing senior class includes starters in Stepps III (125), Castillo (133), Jared Woods (157) and Michael Duffy (285). All five Bulldogs who claimed 20 or more wins are set to return.
- In addition to a 22nd-place national finish, Concordia placed fourth at the GPAC tournament championships following a fifth-place finish in the conference dual standings. Nicola led his team to dual records of 8-8 overall and 5-3 inside the GPAC. All-conference selections from the Bulldogs were first teamers Castillo and Stepps III, second teamers Chery and Nelsen and honorable mention recipients Devers and Fisher (NAIA Scholar-Athlete).
- Last week the Bulldogs became the first program during the GPAC era to sweep the league’s regular-season and tournament championships in back-to-back years. For the second year in a row, Concordia survived a strong push from Dakota Wesleyan in the GPAC tournament title game. Senior Brenleigh Daum delivered the game winner in the final second to lift the Bulldogs to a 90-88 victory over the Tigers. Twelfth-year head coach Drew Olson’s squad will enter the national tournament at 32-1 overall. For more information on Concordia women’s basketball, click HERE.
- Daum and fellow senior Mary Janovich have been constants over the past four seasons for Bulldog teams that have gone a combined 123-17 since the beginning of the 2014-15 season. The 123 wins equal a program record for a four-year stretch. The 2001-02 through 2004-05 squads went a combined 123-21 while making two national semifinal runs. Daum and Janovich are hoping to make a third national semifinal appearance in their four seasons. They were members of the 2014-15 squad that advanced to the national championship game.
- Concordia carries a record of 14-0 this season against teams that have qualified for the national tournament. The 14 wins have come over No. 1 seeds College of the Ozarks and Saint Xavier (Ill.), No. 2 seeds Dakota Wesleyan (three times) and Jamestown, No. 3 seeds Hastings (twice) and Northwestern (twice), fourth-seeded Morningside (three times) and fifth-seeded St. Francis (Ill.). Seven of the aforementioned wins came away from home, including the victories over College of the Ozarks and Saint Xavier. The Bulldogs will be one of four No. 1 seeds and the No. 2 overall seed at the tournament.
- Nine of the 15 players on the Bulldogs’ official national tournament roster have prior experience at the national tournament. These nine individuals have combined for 43 career games over appearances from 2015 through 2017. Janovich played in each of the team’s five tournament games during the 2015 run to the championship game. Then just a freshman, Janovich totaled 57 points while going 13-for-24 from 3-point range. Janovich is a career 48.9 percent 3-point shooter (17-for-35) at the Tyson Events Center. Her eight career national tournament games and 80 career points at the national tournament are team highs. Six of her teammates have at least four games of national tournament experience: Daum (7), Sydney Feller (5), Quinn Wragge (5), Colby Duvel (4), Dani Hoppes (4) and Philly Lammers (4).
- In its first 16 appearances at the national championships, Concordia has posted a record of 25-16 with five trips to the national semifinals and four quarterfinal finishes. The Bulldogs are 10-6 overall in first-round games, including a 9-4 mark in the last 13 first-round contests. All of the program’s 16 national qualifying seasons have come since 1992. In the program’s first 41 games at the national tournament, the Bulldogs have averaged 73.6 points per game (3,017 total points) while allowing an average of 65.2 points (2,672 total points). The school record for most team points scored in a single tournament game was broken last season in the 101-66 first-round win over Bryan College (Tenn.) (previous high was achieved in 2015 in the 92-82 win over College of Saint Mary).
- Daum is enjoying perhaps the best stretch of basketball in her career. She poured in a game high 21 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter, in last week’s win over Dakota Wesleyan. The McCook, Neb., native has taken advantage of her 16.0 minutes per game. Among Bulldogs, only Lammers (336) has attempted more field goals than Daum (321). She’s averaging a career best 10.4 points per game. Over the past seven outings, Daum has averaged 14.7 points while going 22-for-53 (.415) from 3-point range.
- Had there been an MVP of the GPAC tournament, the award almost certainly would have gone to Lammers, who was dominant in all three games. The only thing that slowed her down in the championship was foul trouble. Over the three postseason wins, Lammers averaged 19.7 points, 7.3 rebounds, 3.3 steals and 1.3 blocks while making 27-of-38 shots (.711) from the floor. The sophomore from Omaha has been named a first team All-GPAC choice in each of her first two collegiate seasons.
- Janovich put herself in elite company by picking up either first or second team All-GPAC accolades in all of her four seasons in Seward. This season the Gretna, Neb., native is averaging 9.5 points, 2.7 assists, 2.3 rebounds and 1.9 steals as an impact player in all aspects of the game. She enters the final national tournament of her career with all-time program rankings of 10th in steals (235) and 20th in scoring (1,138).
- March madness has arrived. The Bulldogs are set to take on Stillman College (Ala.) (19-11) at 12 p.m. CT on Wednesday in the first round of the NAIA Division II national championships. Stillman earned an automatic bid to nationals as the Association of Independent Institutions tournament runner up. A win would advance Concordia to Friday’s second round against either fourth-seeded Taylor (Ind.) or fifth-seeded Northwest Christian (Ore.) at 10:15 a.m. The complete tournament bracket can be viewed HERE.
- As of Tuesday morning (March 6), the Bulldogs were playing their first of three games that day at the Tucson Invitational, which got started on Monday. Following a 7-5 loss to Aquinas College (Mich.), Concordia rebounded with a 7-6 win over Northwest University (Wash.) in a late game in the Desert. Fifth-year head coach Todd LaVelle’s squad entered the day at 3-5 overall. For more information on Bulldog softball, click HERE.
- Through eight games, Concordia’s young lineup has produced impressively. Leading the way is veteran second baseman Leah Kalkwarf, whose work at the top of the lineup has helped the Bulldogs to a .340 team batting average, .416 on-base percentage and .496 slugging percentage. Concordia has tallied 14 doubles, four triples and five home runs entering games on March 6. Kalkwarf and freshman Tori Homolka have both homered twice.
- A first team All-GPAC selection last season as a sophomore, Kalkwarf is off to a sizzling start. She came into Tuesday having gone 14-for-26 (.538) at the plate with a stellar .625 on-base percentage. She has doubled and homered twice and has driven in five runs. The Omaha native has delivered two or more hits in five games already this season. She began the Tucson Invitational by going 4-for-9 on the opening day in Arizona.
- Kalkwarf hasn’t been the only one clicking in the lineup. Freshman Hhana Haro is 14-for-31 (.452) with five doubles, a home run, 11 RBIs and a .710 slugging percentage. Homolka has gone 13-for-31 (.419) with a double, three triples, two home runs, 10 RBIs and an .839 slugging percentage. Finally, transfer Elanna Osthoff is 11-for-24 (.458) with a double, a triple and six RBIs. Haro, Homolka and Osthoff are all new to Concordia this season. In Tuesday’s morning game, those three players held down the two through four spots in the lineup.
- Run prevention has been the team’s biggest problem. The Bulldogs have allowed 65 runs through their first eight games. Baily Clear and Grace Bernhardt have received the bulk of the innings in the circle. Clear has been tagged with 39 runs in her 24 innings of work while Bernhardt has surrendered 22 runs in 17.1 innings. Ace pitcher Brittany Woolridge made her Bulldog debut on Monday and held Aquinas to two runs on four hits in 4.1 innings. Woolridge is a transfer from Texas A&M University Commerce, an NCAA Division II school.
- Concordia is scheduled to play three times on Tuesday, three more times on Thursday and then twice on Friday while finishing up its spring break trip in Arizona. All 10 opponents at the Tucson Invitational are NAIA member institutions. The Bulldogs are also scheduled to host the University of Saint Mary next Tuesday (March 13) in a doubleheader set to begin at 5 p.m. CT.
- The Bulldogs are five games into an 11-game swing at the Tucson Invitational, which got started with a doubleheader split with William Penn University (Iowa) on March 3. Concordia then defeated Rockford University (Ill.) and Gustavus Adolphus College (Minn.) before suffering a one-run loss to Grand View University (Iowa). Those results leave fourth-year head coach Ryan Dupic’s squad at 3-2 on the trip and 5-4 overall this season. For more on Concordia baseball, click HERE.
- An offensive attack spearheaded by second baseman Christian Meza has been potent so far. The desert sun seems to have lent to a high run scoring environment. The Bulldogs are averaging 9.4 runs per game on the trip. Highlights have included a two-homer game for Wade Council versus William Penn, a 4-for-6, three-RBI performance by Kaleb Geiger versus Rockford, and a 3-for-5, three-RBI effort by Meza in Monday’s loss to Grand View. Meza also pounded out four hits on Sunday and added a pair of doubles the day before. Meza was 4-for-11 with two home runs entering the Tucson Invite.
- The team’s most reliable pitcher thus far has been sophomore right-hander Nick Little, named the GPAC pitcher of the week on Tuesday (March 6). Little has been nearly spotless over his first two starts. In games against Evangel University (Mo.) and Rockford, Little has allowed only one run on eight hits and five walks in 15 innings (0.60 ERA). He tossed the first shutout of his career in the 4-0 seven-inning win over Evangel in which he gave up four hits. Little has struck out 15 this season, including nine against Rockford. He led Concordia in innings pitched in 2018.
- In addition to Geiger’s 4-for-6 game and Meza’s four hit day as part of Sunday’s action, there were other standouts. Council doubled twice, scored twice and walked twice in the victory over Rockford. It was also a big day for freshman outfielder Keaton Candor, who tripled in the first game on Sunday and then went 4-for-4 with two doubles and one of the team’s seven stolen bases off Gustie pitching. Dylan Jacobs also pounded out three hits and recorded three stolen bases and three RBIs in the evening affair.
- Senior righty Neil Ryan started on the mound for Concordia versus Grand View. He allowed only one run over the first four frames before running into trouble in the fifth. He struck out seven Vikings but was lifted with one out in the fifth and wound up being tagged with the loss. Out of the bullpen, Clayton Holcomb enjoyed the most success. He tossed 1.1 scoreless innings. Dupic has used six different starting pitchers this season: Council, Little, Cade Moring, Jason Munsch, Ryan and Tanner Wauhob.
- Six games remain on the road trip. Concordia will play twice each day on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Among the remaining opponents in Tucson, two are NAIA schools (Valley City State University and Presentation College), one is affiliated with NCAA Division II (Northern State University) and another is an NCAA Division III institution (Simpson College). The Bulldogs are also slated to play at Kansas Wesleyan University next Tuesday (March 13).
- Both Bulldog tennis teams hosted Sterling College on March 2 and Kansas Wesleyan University on March 3 – both opponents that reside in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference. The women swept their pair of matches, winning by identical 7-2 scores. Meanwhile, the men topped Sterling, 8-1, and then lost to Kansas Wesleyan, 8-1. Fourth-year head coach Joel Reckewey’s squads stand at 5-3 overall on the women’s side and 4-4 on the men’s side. For more on Bulldog tennis, click the following links: men | women.
- In the win over Sterling, the Concordia women took four of six singles matches and all three doubles matches. The Bulldogs also swept through doubles action and won four of six singles contests versus Kansas Wesleyan. Junior Katelinn Wurm, who played at No. 2 singles on Friday and then at No. 3 on Saturday, notched a pair of singles wins while also teaming up with Claudia Miranda Viera on two doubles triumphs. Reckewey used four different doubles teams as part of perfect weekend in that category.
- Six Bulldogs turned in one singles win apiece on the weekend: Annie Horn, Allison Marshall, Miranda Viera, Kayla Smock, Amanda VonSeggern and Kirsten Wagner. Concordia continues to enjoy success at the bottom of its lineup. It has gone 7-1 at both No. 6 singles and No. 3 doubles. The Bulldogs improved upon its 6-3 win at Kansas Wesleyan that occurred back on Sept. 7. Concordia is now 3-1 this season against KCAC foes.
- Through eight matches, the women’s team has produced records of 24-24 in singles and 14-10 in doubles. Four Bulldogs own three or more singles wins: Wagner (4-3), Wurm (4-4), Smock (3-2) and Horn (3-4). Wurm has had the most success in doubles, going 6-2 while partnering with four different teammates already this season. Nine Concordia players own at least one singles win and nine own at least one doubles win.
- In last week’s victory, the Concordia men swept through doubles play and then won five of six singles matches. The only defeat was a narrow one at No. 1 singles, where a tiebreaker was needed to decide the outcome. Sophomore Luke Zoller won both of his weekend matches at the No. 2 singles spot to lead the way. In the loss to Kansas Wesleyan, the Bulldogs dropped a match at No. 3 doubles for the first time all season. Concordia had defeated the Coyotes back in the fall, but the visitors brought a lineup that had a different look to it on this occasion.
- In addition to Zoller, singles winners on Friday were Jeremy Berryman at No. 3, Gio De Moraes at No. 4, Caleb Lauby at No. 5 and Josh Miller at No. 6. In a successful run through doubles, Berryman and Zoller paired at No. 1, Greeff and Lauby teamed up at No. 2 and De Moraes and Miller collaborated at No. 3.
- Through eight matches, the men’s team has produced records of 21-27 in singles and 12-12 in doubles action. Four Bulldogs have recorded three or more singles wins: Zoller (5-3), Miller (4-3), Berryman (4-4) and De Moraes (3-5). A freshman from São Paulo, Brazil, De Moraes has gone 6-1 in doubles matches while working most alongside Miller (5-2 in doubles). By position, Concordia’s best singles record is 5-3 at the No. 6 spot.
- A busy spring break week lies ahead for both teams. The Bulldogs will be on the road with a match each day Wednesday through Saturday against the likes of Tabor College, Bethel College, Hesston College and Friends University on a tour inside the state of Kansas. Both teams will then have two weeks off before returning to action on March 24.