Bulldog Weekly Report (Feb. 25)

Bulldog Weekly Report

Bulldog Booster Club Athletes of the Week

Female: Sarah Kortze, Track & Field

Kortze, a native of Rockford, Ill., won the GPAC title in the 3,000 meter run with a time of 10:22.49. She also placed second in the 5,000 meter run by clocking in at 17:38.82, breaking the school record in the event. Kortze has qualified for nationals in both races.

Male: Emilio Rivera, Wrestling

Rivera, who hails from Escondido, Calif., extended his win streak to 10 by capturing the 133-pound title at the NAIA North Qualifier on Feb. 22. He defeated Dakota Wesleyan’s ninth-ranked Richard Rios in the title bout. Rivera (22-6 overall), ranked No. 8 nationally, will enter the national championships with an 11-0 record against GPAC opponents.


News and Notes
:

Men’s track and field wins first ever GPAC title: The Concordia men’s track and field team finished runner up at the GPAC indoor track and field meet four straight times from 2009 to 2012. This year was their year as the Bulldogs captured the first GPAC title (indoor or outdoor) in program history. Read more about the championship HERE.

Concordia women’s basketball hosts Midland Wednesday: The GPAC women’s basketball tournament begins Wednesday. The sixth-ranked Bulldog women will host Midland at 7 p.m. that night in a quarterfinal matchup. The first 300 students will be admitted free of charge.

Bailey Morris featured on channel 8 news: Junior Bailey Morris generated buzz by breaking a school record with 45 points in an 89-78 victory over then No. 3 Northwestern on Feb. 15. That performance brought KLKN-TV (Lincoln ABC affiliate) to campus for an interview before practice on Feb. 17. View the resulting news story HERE.

Summing up Connie’s career: The second half of Kristen Conahan’s senior basketball season has been plagued by her ACL tear, but that won’t stop her from going down as one of the top players in program history. Read more on her career in this feature piece.

Tuesday road baseball doubleheader canceled: The Concordia baseball doubleheader scheduled for Tuesday (Feb. 25) at MidAmerica Nazarene University in Olathe, Kan., has been canceled due to cold temperatures.

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 and Field

  • The men’s program got the monkey off its back and won a GPAC title for the first time in school history by outscoring Doane in a two-horse race at the conference indoor championship meet in Crete, Feb. 21-22. The Bulldogs finished with 196 points compared to the Tigers’ 172. Meanwhile, the Concordia women also put together a solid meet, tallying 124.33 points to finish runner up to champion Doane. Read the meet recap HERE.
  • While 22-year head coach Kregg Einspahr has kept the Bulldog men in the top two or three in the GPAC on a consistent basis, the conference title has been elusive. The program came up agonizingly short at the indoor meet in 2011 when a dropped baton in the 4x400 meter relay (the final event of the meet) ended the team’s hopes of topping Doane. Since 1987, Doane and Nebraska Wesleyan had been the only two teams to win the GPAC/NIAC men’s indoor championship with Doane winning the last seven. Said Einspahr, “This men’s team championship is very special to me.”
  • John Cartier starred for the men with first-place finishes in the 400 meter dash and as part of the 4x400 meter relay. His time of 49.14 in the 400 meter dash broke Bulldog assistant coach Mark Samuels’ Fuhrer Fieldhouse record. Cartier also posted a third-place time of 22.51 in the 200 meter dash.
  • On the women’s side, two school records fell thanks to the performances of Lydia Pomerenke (pentathlon, 3,362 points) and Sarah Kortze (5,000 meter run, 17:38.82). Pomerenke broke her own record, set earlier this season, in the pentathlon while Kortze bested Rachael Geidel’s former record by nearly three seconds.
  • Jamie Crouse came through with a GPAC title in the weight throw for the third-consecutive year. Her mark of 59’ 2 ¼” fell just short of the GPAC meet record of 59’ 4” by Midland’s Sarah Greenup in 2004. Crouse ranks second this season on the NAIA leaderboard in the event. She is a two-time All-American in the weight throw.
  • Concordia earned first-place finishes in the following events at the GPAC championships:
    • Women’s 1,000 meter run: Kim Wood (2:59.70)
    • Women’s one mile run: Kim Wood (5:09.99)
    • Women’s 3,000 meter run: Sarah Kortze (10:22.49)
    • Women’s weight throw: Jamie Crouse (59’ 2 ¼”)
    • Men’s 60 meter dash: Noah Smith (6.94)
    • Men’s 400 meter dash: John Cartier (49.14)
    • Men’s 600 meter run: Jaap Van Galen (1:23.10)
    • Men’s 4x400 meter relay (3:21.55)
  • On the season to date, the Bulldog men’s and women’s teams have totaled a combined 38 NAIA ‘A’ standard national qualifying marks (up from 35 last week) and 11 ‘B’ marks. Check out the complete list below:
    • Men’s 4x400 meter relay (A)
    • Men’s 4x800 meter relay (A)
    • Women’s 4x400 meter relay (A)
    • Women’s 4x800 meter relay (A)
    • Jonathon Becker – 60 meter hurdles (A)
    • Charlie Bloomfield – 1,000 meter run (B)
    • Cody Boellstorff – weight throw (A); shot put (A)
    • John Cartier – 400 meter dash (A)
    • Stephanie Coley – shot put (A); weight throw (A)
    • Brandon Cook – heptathlon (A)
    • Jamie Crouse – weight throw (A); shot put (A)
    • Brittany Erdmann – shot put (A)
    • Trey Farmer – shot put (A)
    • Carson Farr – pole vault (A)
    • Rianne Gross – pole vault (A)
    • Montana Hayes – pentathlon (A)
    • Ben Hinckfoot – 600 meter run (B)
    • Hayden Hohnholt – 3,000 meter run (A); 5,000 meter run (A)
    • Sarah Kortze – 3,000 meter run (A); 5,000 meter run (A)
    • Philip Kreutzer – shot put (B)
    • Jordan Larrington – weight throw (B)
    • Zachary Lurz – shot put (A); weight throw (B)
    • Lydia Pomerenke – pentathlon (A)
    • Adam Prahlow – 1,000 meter run (A)
    • Katelyn Shoup – triple jump (A)
    • Benjamin Schulteis – weight throw (B)
    • Ben Sievert – 3,000 meter run (A); one mile run (A); 5,000 meter run (B)
    • Sara Simmons – pentathlon (A)
    • Noah Smith – 60 meter dash (B)
    • Josh Slechta – weight throw (B)
    • Cassandra Starks – pole vault (A)
    • Brandon Ramos – heptathlon (A)
    • Kali Robb – shot put (A); weight throw (B)
    • Jaap Van Gaalen – 600 meter run (B)
    • Lucas Weichman – heptathlon (A)
    • Jenean Williams – 600 meter run (A)
    • Kim Wood – 600 meter run (A); 800 meter run (A); 1,000 meter run (A); one mile run (A)
    • Shelby Yelden – pole vault (A)
  • The only meet remaining on the indoor schedule are the 2014 NAIA Indoor Track and Field National Championships, which will be held March 6-8 at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio.

Wrestling

  • Concordia’s performance at the NAIA North Group Qualifying Tournament on Feb. 22 marked a complete reversal of the program’s fortunes from a year earlier. Having already improved its GPAC dual mark from 1-5 in 2012-13 to 5-2 in 2013-14, head coach Dana Vote’s Bulldogs continued their rise by automatically qualifying five individuals for the 2014 NAIA Wrestling National Championships. Emilio Rivera highlighted the day with a North title at 133 pounds. Read the tournament recap HERE.
  • Rivera (22-6) won all four matches at the qualifier to run his winning streak to 10. The Escondido, Calif., native, who entered the weekend ranked No. 1 in the region and eighth nationally, met Dakota Wesleyan’s ninth-ranked Richard Rios in the finals. Rivera earned a 6-3 decision in defeating Rios for the second time this season. Rivera also picked up a first-round pin of Dickinson State’s Matt Chambers for his sixth of the season. Rivera became the first Bulldog to win a regional title since Adam Joseph (133) in 2012.
  • Freshman Austin Fehlhafer (27-9) nearly gave Concordia a second North champion, but the Seward native came up on the short end of a 13-11 decision against No. 11 Anthony Pike of Briar Cliff in the 174-pound title match. Prior to that bout, Fehlhafer had extended his own winning streak to 11 with three victories on Saturday. Fehlhafer also pushed his GPAC-leading pin total to 19 with two more at the qualifier. His most impressive win, in terms of rankings, was a 14-7 decision over No. 15 Joe Madison of York, avenging an earlier loss this season.
  • Senior Austin Mogg (16-7) also earned a trip to nationals with a third-place finish at 125 pounds. Like Fehlhafer, Mogg avenged an earlier loss with a dominant 17-4 major decision over No. 12 Diego Quintana of Northwestern in the quarterfinals. The only setback for Mogg came in the semifinals against Midland’s 15th-ranked Josh Heinzer, who pulled out a 7-3 win. Mogg responded with a 4-1 decision and then a pin in the third-place match. The native of El Reno, Okla., will look to add to his resume that already includes an All-America finish at the 2010 NCAA Division III national championships.
  • At 197, freshman Ken Burkhardt Jr. (21-16) continued his rapid improvement by earning a third-place finish and berth in the national championships. The native of Milford, Neb., upset the North’s fourth-rated wrestler, Jared McCoy of Morningside, in sudden victory to get to the semifinals. After a loss to the tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler, Burkhardt Jr. got a quick pin and then a 12-9 decision to end his day. He has now won eight of his last 11 matches.
  • Concordia’s fifth automatic qualifier was Enrique Barajas (17-14), who shook off a couple of one-point defeats to grab a fourth-place finish at 149 pounds. Barajas needed only 23 seconds to pin Hastings’ Garth Ginder and later tech-falled Dakota Wesleyan’s Dusty Paulsen. One of Barajas’ losses was a 5-4 decision at the hands of fifth-ranked Tyler Lashbrook of Morningside.
  • As a team, the Bulldogs piled up 97 points to place second behind No. 10 Morningside (128.5 points) in the North. Concordia’s point total put it in front of nationally-ranked teams in No. 11 York, No. 16 Dickinson State, No. 19(t) Dakota Wesleyan and No. 19(t) Midland. The Bulldogs are primed to be even better in 2014-15 as Mogg was the only senior to score points at the North Qualifier.
  • Concordia’s 12 grapplers who participated in the North qualifier went a combined 27-18 with eight pins. Only Dickinson State’s nine topped the Bulldogs’ total. Four different Bulldogs tallied four wins and another two put up three victories apiece, including Kodie Cole (133), who was named the top alternate for the national championships out of the North.
  • The 2014 NAIA Wrestling National Championships (March 7-8 in Topeka, Kan.) are all that remain on the 2013-14 slate. Barajas, Burkhardt, Fehlhafer, Mogg and Rivera, and possibly Cole, will all be headed there just a season after Concordia failed to qualify anyone for nationals. The complete list of national championships participants will be announced by the NAIA on Thursday.

Women’s Basketball

  • The sixth-ranked Concordia women’s basketball team had a week off before traveling for a showdown at No. 7 Morningside on Feb. 22. With an outright GPAC title on the line, the Bulldogs came up short in an 86-77 loss against the Mustangs, who have not lost this season on their home court. However, head coach Drew Olson’s program still earned a four-way share of the conference title with a 16-4 league mark. The Bulldogs, the No. 4 seed in the conference tournament, will enter the postseason with an overall record of 24-6.
  • Olson has now guided Concordia to two GPAC regular-season titles in the past three years. During that stretch, the Bulldogs boast the league’s top conference mark of 50-10 (.833). Since the GPAC began with the 2000-01 season, Concordia women’s basketball has captured three GPAC regular-season titles. Previous head coach Todd Voss led the 2002-03 team to a GPAC and a 36-2 overall mark (school record for wins in a season).
  • Concordia’s share of the GPAC title represents a remarkable accomplishment considering the rash of injuries that hit in the middle of the season. Five different players have missed at least one game due to injury. That list includes Britney Birtell (14), Kristen Conahan (9), Lori Laboda (10), Bailey Morris (1) and Jerrica Pearson (16) for a combined total of 50 games missed because of injury.
  • Despite shooting only 7-for-23 from the field at Morningside, Morris managed to reach the 20-point threshold for the 13th time this season. She added seven assists, five rebounds and three steals before fouling out with only seconds remaining. The native of Roseland, Neb., remains the GPAC’s leading scorer with an average of 19.2 points per game (16th in NAIA Division II).
  • Morris’ scoring average is the best for a Concordia women’s basketball player since Shelly Poppe put up 19.3 points per game during the 1987-88 season. Poppe is the program’s record holder for points in a single season with 664 in 1986-87 when she averaged a school single-season record of 21.4 per game.
  • Freshman Becky Mueller strengthened her case for GPAC freshman of the year honors by finishing the season strong. She poured in 23 points at Morningside while going 8-for-11 from the field, 4-for-6 from 3-point range and 3-for-3 from the free throw line. At the close of the regular season, Mueller is averaging 10.6 points and 4.7 rebounds. She has started all 30 games.
  • As the No. 4 seed in the conference tournament, Concordia will host fifth-seeded Midland (15-15, 11-9 GPAC) at 7 p.m. on Wednesday. The Bulldogs have won 11-straight meetings with the Warriors. However, both meetings this season have been competitive as Concordia won 82-74 at Midland on Jan. 8 and by a 78-77 score on Feb. 12. The Warriors are 2-4 in the month of February but have lost by a single point at both Morningside and Concordia.
  • In his first seven seasons, Olson has a GPAC tournament record of 8-6, including a league tournament title in 2012. Last season the Bulldogs reached the semifinals where they fell 85-83 to then No. 8 Northwestern. The program has three GPAC tournament titles in history. The previous ones came in 2004 and 2005 under head coach Todd Voss.

Baseball

  • Head coach Jeremy Geidel’s Bulldogs completed a 2-2 weekend in Ottawa, Kan. Concordia took two of three from host Ottawa University before a 6-1 loss at the hands of William Penn University (Iowa) to close the road trip. The Bulldogs boosted loose with a combined 23 runs in the two victories over Ottawa. Geidel’s squad now stands at 4-4 overall. For recaps of last week’s action, click HERE.
  • Concordia broke double digits in the scoring column for the second and third times on the young season in its wins over Ottawa. The Bulldogs won 10-1 and 13-3 and pounded out a combined 28 hits in those contests. Seven different players had at least one hit in the first win and 10 different Bulldogs notched one hit or more the second time around. The 16-hit performance in the 13-3 triumph stands out as a season high.
  • Juniors Sean McCartney (5-for-12) and Andrew Yerrell (5-for-14) collected five hits apiece as part of a balanced offensive attack over the weekend. Among players who have started at least four games, Yerrell’s .345 batting average tops the team. The native of Santa Fe, Texas, also ranks No. 1 with seven RBIs (tied for ninth most among all GPAC players). McCartney bumped his season average up to .296 after the weekend.
  • Geidel got seven-inning complete game victories from a pair of new faces. Right-hander Will Holbrook of Tucson, Ariz., gave up three runs and scattered nine hits and one walk to earn his first career victory as a Bulldog. Likewise, freshman Josh Prater went the distance to pick up his first career collegiate win. The lefty shook off a rough first start the previous week and limited Ottawa to one run on five hits.
  • Center fielder Taylor Dudley impressed on Sunday while filling in for Camaren Gause. The Longmont, Colo., native went 4-for-7, including a 3-for-4 performance in Sunday’s victory. In six games (two starts), Dudley is 5-for-13 (.385) at the plate.
  • Second baseman Mark Wilcox broke out in the same game as Dudley. The junior infielder from Seward went 3-for-5 out of the No. 2 spot in the order. Wilcox and junior Cole Stuerke have split time at second base with each starting four times through eight games.
  • As a team, Concordia is batting .252 with a .339 on-base percentage and has managed to average 5.9 runs per game. The pitching staff owns an ERA of 4.17 in 58.1 innings of work. Bulldog pitchers have issued only 14 walks.
  • Junior right fielder Daniel Wilkerson has been active on the base paths. He has attempted six steals, making it safely four times. His four stolen bases have already equaled his career high in a season. Wilkerson has also hit the team’s only two home runs of the season.
  • Next up for the Bulldogs is a four-game weekend series at Oklahoma Wesleyan (11-2) in Bartlesville, Okla. The Eagles have won seven-straight games, including a doubleheader sweep of Hastings on Feb. 22. Last season Concordia began the month of March by taking two of three at Oklahoma Wesleyan. The Bulldogs’ scheduled Tuesday (Feb. 25) doubleheader at MidAmerica Nazarene University was canceled due to cold temperatures in Olathe, Kan. A make-up date has not been set.

Men’s Basketball

  • The first season under head coach Ben Limback came to a conclusion on Feb. 22 when the Bulldogs were defeated 87-64 by red hot Morningside, ranked No. 18 nationally. Concordia wrapped up the season with an overall record of 8-21 and GPAC mark of 3-17. The overall record represents a two-win improvement over the 2012-13 season.
  • Saturday’s game marked the end of the career of guard Adam Vogt, the only senior on this year’s roster. The native of Syracuse, Neb., enjoyed the most productive season of his career by averaging 14.5 points (14th in the GPAC) while shooting 41.3 percent from 3-point range (8th in the GPAC) and 84.3 percent from the free throw line (7th in the GPAC). His 12 points at Morningside pushed him above 900 to 910 for his career. His 420 points this season were easily a career high.
  • The 2013-14 season also represented a breakout campaign for sophomore Robby Thomas, who became a stat-sheet stuffer. The native of Shawnee, Kan., averaged 11.3 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.79 blocks per game. He ranks 13th among all NAIA Division II players in blocks per contest. Thomas also shot well from 3-point range, putting up a 41.7 percent clip that ranked fifth in the GPAC.
  • Thomas figures to serve as a key building block along with freshman post Chandler Folkerts. Folkerts, who again struggled with foul trouble in the season finale, was unstoppable at times on the block. He finished the season third on the team in scoring (11.2 ppg) and second in rebounding (4.7 rpg). He led the Bulldogs with a 62.2 percent field goal percentage.
  • With Vogt being the only expected loss heading into next season, Concordia will return 79.4 percent of its scoring, 93.6 percent of its rebounding, 86.8 percent of its assists total and 85.2 percent of the minutes played. Limback will bring back eight players next season who averaged more than 14 minutes per game in 2013-14.
  • As a team, the Bulldogs ranked 10th in the GPAC in scoring offense (70.2) and ninth in scoring defense (78.3). They rated much more favorably in blocks per game (1st, 3.59), free throw percentage (2nd, .759) and 3-point field goal percentage (5th, .374).
  • The young Bulldogs will enter next season a much more battle-tested bunch. Of the team’s 29 games this season, 12 came against ranked opponents (including the first four games of the season). Concordia should also be more prepared in close games having gone through a stretch of six-straight GPAC losses by six points or less from Jan. 18 – Feb. 5.

Tennis

  • The 2014 Concordia tennis season opened in Lincoln on Sunday with a 5-4 victory over Simpson College in on the men’s side. The Bulldogs got victories at singles positions 2, 4, 5 and 6 and at No. 2 doubles to eke out the win over the Storm, a member of NCAA Division III’s Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Last season Concordia topped Simpson 6-3 in its second match of the year.
  • The Sunday triumph was boosted by the play of freshmen Patricio Esquivel, Javier Moreno and Philip Yox. All three won their singles matches and Esquivel and Moreno combined on an 8-4 victory at No. 2 doubles. The youth movement provides a stark contrast to last season when not a single freshman appeared in a match.
  • The Bulldogs also got a 6-3, 6-2 win at No. 4 singles from senior Mike McCartney, who played all 16 matches in 2013 at the 3 spot. Fellow senior Nathan Wingfield played the only day’s three-set match and came away with a 6-1, 3-6, 10-5 loss at the hands of Zach Kusic at No. 1.
  • The season opener gave the Bulldogs a chance to break in three new doubles teams. The senior combo of McCartney and Wingfield fell 8-5 at No. 1. Esquivel and Moreno won 8-4 at No. 2. Then at No. 3, senior Joel Kaldahl and junior Jonathan Douglas dropped an 8-4 decision.
  • “I’m very happy about how our opener went,” said graduate assistant coach James Ingrahm. “There is no such thing as a bad win. It was a tough adjustment moving from the slower surface we usually practice on to the almost lightning fast hard courts at Woods (Tennis Center). All the boys did well and changed their styles of play to suit the conditions.”
  • Both the men’s and women’s teams will be in action on Saturday when they host Tabor College (Kan.), beginning at 10 a.m. The men also host Friday with Bethany College (Kan.) visiting Seward for a 4 p.m. match. Check out our 2014 Concordia tennis season preview HERE.

25 February 2014

Senior Sarah Kortze