Bulldog Weekly Report
Bulldog Booster Club Athletes of the Week
Female: Tracy Peitz, Basketball
Peitz, a native of Hartington, Neb., averaged 18.5 points and 9.0 rebounds last week as the Bulldogs went 1-1. The junior had a monster game in the win over Midland as she put up career highs with 26 points and 12 rebounds. She is averaging career highs in almost every major category on the season.
Male: Austin Fehlhafer, Wrestling
Fehlhafer, who hails from Seward, went 2-1 at last week’s National Duals. Both of his victories came via fall, including one over the NAIA’s 10th-ranked 184-pounder. He leads Concordia in both wins (18) and pins (14) on the season.
News and Notes:
Get prepared for CIT: The 63rd annual Concordia Invitational Tournament will be held Jan. 24-25 in Mequon, Wis., home to Concordia University, Wisconsin. Make sure to join our Facebook event page if you plan to attend. For further information on the 2014 event, including ticket orders, click HERE.
Track and field season begins Friday: Head coach Kregg Einspahr’s Bulldogs begin the indoor track and field season this weekend. Concordia will compete in both the UNL Holiday Inn Invitational (Friday-Saturday) and the Doane Field Meet (Saturday). Last season the Bulldogs finished third on the men’s side and fourth on the women’s side at the GPAC indoor meet. A total of 16 Bulldogs earned All-America honors at the 2013 indoor national championships.
Hometown Fehlhafer finds balance, early success on the mat: Wrestling and repairing cars go together like peanut butter and jelly – at least they do for Concordia freshman Austin Fehlhafer. Read more about the Bulldog leader in wins and pins HERE.
Concordia at Northwestern selected as NAIA Game of the Week: Known as a national power, Concordia women’s basketball once again played in a contest recognized as the NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball Game of the Week at Northwestern on Jan. 11. Last season head coach Drew Olson’s squad hosted Morningside in a national game of the week.
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.
- Originally scheduled to take 18 wrestlers to the Hastings College Open on Jan. 11, second-year head coach Dana Vote instead accepted an invite on short notice to go to the prestigious National Duals held at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines, Iowa. The Bulldogs, placed in the loaded 16-team NAIA bracket, went 1-2 with the victory being a 27-16 upset of No. 14 Wayland Baptist University (Texas). The losses came at the hands of No. 8 Cumberland University (Tenn.) and No. 9 Indiana Tech. For a recap on the National Duals, click HERE. Earlier in the week, the Bulldogs got off to a good start in the GPAC dual season by defeating Briar Cliff, 31-14, in Sioux City, Iowa, on Jan. 8.
- Freshman Austin Fehlhafer (18-8) again led the way for Concordia. He went 2-1 on the day with two more pins to bump up his team leading totals in wins (18) and pins (14). His most impressive victory came in the team win over Wayland Baptist when he pinned Michael Naiper (3:37), who is ranked 10th in the NAIA at 184 pounds. Fehlhafer’s other fall on the day came after just 1:10 elapsed.
- The upset of Wayland Baptist included two additional pins, coming at 165 and 197. Austin Starkey (165, 8-11) took care of Wyatt Hardy in 1:24 and Ken Burkhardt Jr. (197, 10-10) pinned Nik Gates in 1:49. The Bulldogs led 27-13 following Burkhardt Jr.’s second career pin.
- Junior Enrique Barajas (149, 11-9) and Dmitri Smith (125, 6-8) joined Fehlhafer as Bulldogs who posted 2-1 records at the National Duals. Barajas, whose only loss was a 4-2 decision to No. 4 Jake Williams, topped Wayland Baptist’s Victor Thomas 1-0 and then pinned Indiana Tech’s Mitch Roadruck to end his day. Smith edged Justus Griffith of Cumberland, 9-7, and also picked up a forfeit victory.
- The additional Concordia victory on the day came at 133 where Kodie Cole (10-9) remained in control of Cumberland’s Dalton Baysinger throughout the bout. Cole, ranked 16th in the NAIA at 133, piled up over five minutes in riding time on the way to a 9-2 decision.
- Barajas, Burkhardt Jr. and Cole became the fifth, sixth and seventh Bulldogs this season to reach double digits in wins (See below). Both Ceron Francisco (285) and Alex Stepanek are knocking on the door with nine wins apiece.
- 1. Austin Fehlhafer – 18-8
- 2. Emilio Rivera – 14-6
- T3. Foster Bunce – 11-7
- T3. Enrique Barajas – 11-9
- T5. Austin Mogg – 10-5
- T5. Kodie Cole – 10-9
- T5. Ken Burkhardt Jr. – 10-10
- At 5-5 in duals this season, Concordia has wrestled as many dual matches as any team in the GPAC and leads the conference in wins. Seven of those matches have come against teams ranked in the top 25. The Bulldogs also hold a conference victory over Briar Cliff.
- In last week’s dual win over the Chargers (1-3, 1-2 GPAC), Concordia won six of the 10 matches. Rivera (133) and Barajas (149) both picked up pins to pace the Bulldog effort. In addition, Burkhardt Jr. (197) won by major decision and Tommy Bailey (157) squeaked out a 3-2 decision. Two Concordia wins came via Briar Cliff forfeits. The Chargers’ lone dual victory came over Doane by a count of 32-9.
- Concordia returns to dual action against two GPAC opponents this week. It hosts first-year program Doane (0-6, 0-1 GPAC) at 7 p.m. on Tuesday and then No. 13 Morningside (4-6, 0-0 GPAC) at 7 p.m. on Thursday. Doane does not have any nationally-ranked wrestlers but got a fifth-place finish at the Cusatis Open from 197-pounder Kyle Hoffman in the team’s most recent outing. On the other hand, the Mustangs boast six nationally-ranked grapplers, topped by No. 5 Tyler Kaxmarynski at 285. Morningside graduated its only All-American from last season.
- The GPAC grind continued last week as the Bulldogs went on the road twice more. They played a ranked team for the ninth time this season when they fell 70-45 at No. 8 Midland on Jan. 8. Three days later Concordia mounted an impressive comeback at Northwestern but came up short, 60-56, after nearly overcoming a 17-point halftime deficit. The two losses put first-year head coach Ben Limback’s squad at 5-13 overall and 2-9 in the GPAC (10th). To read recaps of last week’s action, click HERE.
- Despite last week’s setbacks, Concordia has been on the rise on the defensive end of the floor. The Bulldogs have moved up to No. 3 in the GPAC in field goal percentage defense (.442) after a solid week in that department. They held Midland and Northwestern to a combined shooting percentage of 42.0 (47-for-112). The defensive effort, spearheaded by guard Micah Kohlwey, got especially stingy in the second halves, limiting the Warriors and Red Raiders to a combined percentage of 29.5 (13-for-44) over the final 20 minutes of those games.
- The only teams that rank above Concordia in field goal percentage defense are last week’s opponents – Midland (.427, 1st) and Northwestern (.429, 2nd), which helps explain the offensive struggles. The 45 and 56 points, respectively, scored by Concordia were the team’s two lowest outputs of the season. The Bulldogs have shot below 35 percent in three-straight games against three of the league’s top defensive teams.
- Despite a sore ankle, Kohlwey has impressed with his play on both ends of the floor. Limback calls Kohlwey the team’s best on ball defender. The former Seward High School star has also scored double figures in three of the past four outings while solidifying Concordia’s perimeter defense. He is averaging 7.3 points per game.
- Saturday’s contest snapped a streak of 14-straight games with at least one block. The Bulldogs remain No. 1 in the GPAC with 3.94 rejections per game. Individually, Robby Thomas tops the conference with 1.89 blocks per game. The team had its highest block total in the 87-72 win over Grace on Nov. 12 when they denied 11 Royal shots.
- Leading scorer Adam Vogt was held to 13 combined points on 4-for-13 shooting last week. His five shot attempts at Midland were a season low. Despite the tough week, the Syracuse, Neb., native ranks 15th in the GPAC in scoring (14.6 ppg), third in free throw percentage (.875), eighth in 3-point field goals (38) and 14th in 3-point field goal percentage (.384).
- With Concordia outside of striking distance in the second half at Midland, Limback used all 10 players off his bench. Amazingly, 11 different players scored at least one point in putting up a season low point total of 45 against the GPAC’s top-rated defensive team.
- The Bulldogs are off until Saturday when they host Briar Cliff (13-7, 6-4 GPAC) at 4 p.m. It will be their first home game since falling to Dakota Wesleyan on Dec. 20. Concordia will try to avenge a 103-61 loss at Briar Cliff back on Nov. 23. The Chargers also have the week off following consecutive victories last week, including a 68-66 upset of eighth-ranked Midland. In addition, Briar Cliff has won eight-straight meetings with Concordia.
- The seventh-ranked Bulldogs returned to a typical GPAC weekly slate playing twice on the road last week. Concordia picked up a quality win by topping Midland, 82-74, in Fremont, Neb., on Jan. 8. Three days later, eighth-year head coach Drew Olson’s crew struggled in an 86-68 loss at No. 2 Northwestern in the NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball Game of the Week. Concordia, 15-4 overall, remains in second place in the GPAC with a 9-2 league mark. The Red Raiders are unbeaten at 17-0 overall and 9-0 in the GPAC. Read recaps of last week’s action HERE.
- The newsworthiness of last week’s results took a backseat to the rash of recent injuries the team has experienced. The Bulldogs entered the week knowing they would be without junior forward Jericca Pearson for the remainder of the season and that seniors Britney Birtell and Lori Laboda would be limited in upcoming action. They did not know that their standout backcourt tandem of Kristen Conahan and Bailey Morris would both leave the win at Midland with knee injuries. Birtell has now been ruled out for the rest of the season while Conahan is still hopeful of a return. Morris stands a chance of playing this Saturday.
- Those losses meant more offensive opportunities for budding star Tracy Peitz, who took 28 shots over last week’s two games. Peitz enjoyed a career night at Midland where she put up new personal standards with 26 points and 12 rebounds. She also added five more steals to her GPAC-leading total. Peitz ranks first in the GPAC in steals per game (3.10), 12th in scoring (14.2 ppg) and 16th in assists per game (2.6). Her .528 field goal percentage would rank fourth in the conference, however, she is just under the five field goal makes per game qualifier.
- With Conahan and Morris sidelined at Northwestern, Olson used a starting lineup that included three freshmen for the first time this season. Freshmen guards Devin Edwards and Karissa Segelke started for the first time in their careers while fellow rookie Becky Mueller has started all 19 games. Edwards played a career high 28 minutes and finished with a career best 12 points to go with four assists, three rebounds and a steal. Edwards, a Lincoln Northeast product, has been impressive in terms of ball security as she has 24 assists to just 10 turnovers in 18 games.
- In sum, freshmen teamed up for 48.5 percent of the scoring and 48 percent of the minutes played at Northwestern. Compare that to a week earlier when 18.5 percent of the scoring and 24.5 percent of the minutes played were attributed to freshmen in the 81-63 victory at Dordt.
- Mueller, a product of Omaha Concordia, put together a solid week. She poured in 16 points and added eight rebounds in the win at Midland. She then tied Pietz for a team high 12 points at Northwestern. The 28 combined points bumped her season average to 9.2. She has nine double figure scoring outings with seven coming over the past 10 games.
- Without its veteran leaders to steady the offense, the Bulldogs turned in season lows for shooting percentage (.333) and points (68) at Northwestern. They also turned it over 20 times – three fewer than their season high. Concordia still managed to win the turnover battle by forcing 23 Red Raider miscues.
- Conahan’s injury midway through the second half at Midland ended her chance to extend her streak of 30-consecutive games with 10 or more points. Her uncertain status moving forward may also thwart the possibility of her becoming the program’s all-time leading scorer. At 16.2 points per game, the Omaha native was on pace to surpass the school record of 1,800 points by Sarah Harrison (2001-05). Conahan sits at 1,650, putting her sixth on the all-time list.
- Considering the injury count, Concordia is fortunate to enjoy a mid-week bye before hosting Briar Cliff (11-8, 5-5 GPAC) at 2 p.m. on Saturday. The Chargers are 5-6 since losing an 80-72 home contest to the Bulldogs on Nov. 23. Head coach Mike Power’s squad, paced by leading scorer Slone Masters (15.1 ppg, 10th in the GPAC), ranks fourth in the GPAC in scoring offense (81.8) but 10th in scoring defense (81.3). Just two games remain for the Bulldogs before the 63rd annual Concordia Invitational Tournament.
14 January 2014
Junior Tracy Peitz