Bulldog Weekly Report (March 11)

Bulldog Weekly Report

*There are no Booster Club Athletes of the Week due to spring break. Athletes of the week announcements will resume next week.

News and Notes:

Baseball/softball in the desert: The Tucson Invitational continues all week in Tucson, Ariz., for both the Concordia baseball and softball programs. Audio for many of these games can be heard live online via Concordia’s Game Central. Mike Meyer will serve as the play-by-play voice.

Bailey Morris named GPAC Player of the Year: Junior Bailey Morris, winner of the GPAC regular-season scoring title, was named the Hauff Mid-America Sports GPAC Women’s Basketball Player of the Year last week. She will enter this week’s national tournament with a scoring average of 19.4 points per game. She is the first player in the history of Concordia women’s basketball to earn conference player of the year honors.

All-conference basketball teams announced: The GPAC announced its all-conference teams for both men’s and women’s basketball last week. On the women’s side, six Bulldogs earned league honors. In addition to Morris being named player of the year, junior Tracy Peitz was tabbed the defensive player of the year. Morris and Peitz were first team selections while Kristen Conahan, Kelsey Hizer, Becky Mueller and Jericca Pearson were honorable mention.

For the men, senior Adam Vogt closed his career with a second team all-conference claim. Additionally, sophomore Robby Thomas and freshman Chandler Folkerts collected honorable mention honors.

Prayers go out to family and friends of Jeramie Schoepf: The Concordia athletics department sends its prayers and condolences to friends and family of Jeramie Schoepf, who died a week after a tree branch fell on him. Schoepf, 36, served as an assistant wrestling coach at Seward High School for 11 years and attended many Bulldog wrestling duals over the last few years. For more details, view the story from the Lincoln Journal Star HERE.

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

  • A total of 35 Bulldog athletes traveled to the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio, site of the 2014 NAIA Indoor Track and Field National Championships held March 6 – 8. Head coach Kregg Einspahr’s squads completed the indoor season with an 11th-place national finish on the women’s side and a 17th-place finish on the men’s side. Fifteen Bulldogs combined on 16 All-America performances at the meet. To read recaps from each day of the national championships, click HERE.
  • Senior Jamie Crouse closed her indoor career with her third-consecutive All-America performance the weight throw, an event the Belgrade, Neb., has also won GPAC titles in the past three years. After finishing seventh at the national championships in the weight throw as a sophomore, Crouse moved up to third in each of the last two years. Her career best weight throw mark of 60’ 7 ¼” (Feb. 1, 2014) ranks second in school history behind Tierra Hubbard’s 2010 measurement of 61’ 11 ¾”.
  • While Crouse came up a tad short of a school mark in the weight throw, four program records were broken at the national championships. Concordia’s men’s 4x400 meter relay twice broke the record set at last year’s national championships, ultimately placing third with a finals time of 3:14.10. Other school records were eclipsed by senior Lydia Pomerenke (3,401 points in the pentathlon), senior Sarah Kortze (17:30.57 in the 5,000 meters) and by the women’s 4x800 meter relay (7:46.53). All were All-Americans except for Kortze, who placed ninth in the finals of the 5,000 meter run.
  • Sophomore Kim Wood had a busy weekend as she took part in three different events at the national championships. She was the only Bulldog to claim All-America honors in more than one event as she placed eighth in both the 1,000 meter run (3:07.91) and as part of the 4x800 meter relay. She also ran in the one mile. Throughout the indoor season, Wood qualified for nationals in four individual events (600 and 800 meter runs in addition to the 1,000 and one mile).
  • A total of six Bulldogs achieved All-America status for the first time in their careers. That list includes senior Carson Farr (pole vault), freshman Zachary Lurz (shot put), freshman CJ Muller (4x400 meter relay), junior Erika Schroeder, freshman Marti Vlasin and senior Shelby Yelden (pole vault).
  • Concordia was particularly stacked in the women’s pole vault and the shot put on both sides. Four Bulldog women and three men competed in the shot put with Stephanie Coley (sixth place) and Lurz both placing in the top eight. In the pole vault, Yelden (fifth place) led the way for a group of three Bulldogs in the event.
  • Senior John Cartier ran the anchor leg for the men’s 4x4 – an event he has been a fixture in throughout his career at Concordia. The All-America finish over the weekend marked the fifth time Cartier has been part of 4x400 relay that has finished in the top eight at the national championships. Impressively, Cartier’s name is associated with each of the top five (seven of the top 10) indoor 4x400 meter relay times in school history.
  • Sophomore Cody Boellstorff, a top weight throw performer nationally all season, earned his first All-America in the weight throw by recording a measurement of 59’ 8 ¼” on March 7. The native of Waverly, Neb., is now a two-time All-American having also placed in the top eight of the hammer throw at last year’s outdoor national championships.
  • Since 1997, the Bulldog men have placed inside the top 25 on 14 occasions, including six top 10 finishes. During that same time period, the women have finished in the top 25 a total of 12 times with three top 10 placements.
  • Looking ahead, the 2014 outdoor track and field season begins March 28-29 with the Wildcat Classic hosted by Wayne State College in Wayne, Neb. The season will culminate with the outdoor national championships held May 22-24 in Gulf Shores, Ala.

Wrestling

  • Six Bulldog grapplers competed at the 2014 NAIA Wrestling National Championships at the Kansas Expocentre in Topeka, Kan., over the weekend. That total tied for the 14th most national qualifiers among all NAIA programs. As a team, second-year head coach Dana Vote’s grapplers tallied 14 points to place 22nd nationally. To read recaps from the national championships, click HERE.
  • Senior Austin Mogg closed his career on the mat in impressive fashion. The native of El Reno, Okla., pinned his way to the semifinals at 125 pounds. He took out both No. 3 Cody Steiner of Campbellsville (Ky.) and No. 5 Jake Stigall of Southern Oregon via fall as part of a big first day. After losing his next two bouts, Mogg triumphed in the fifth-place match by again defeating Stigall. Mogg finished the season with a mark of 19-9.
  • Mogg completes his career with 111 victories and two All-America honors – one at the NCAA Division III level and one on the NAIA national stage. He spent his first three years of collegiate wrestling at Buena Vista University, where Vote previously served as an assistant coach. Mogg won 92 matches as a Beaver.
  • Two other Bulldogs advanced beyond the opening day’s first session. Junior Emilio Rivera defeated Embry Riddle’s (Ariz.) Andrew Burr by a 14-5 major decision to move on to the quarterfinals of the 133-pound bracket. Friday evening proved frustrating for the GPAC Wrestler of the Year, who lost one-point decisions to William Penn’s 10th-ranked Scottie Bonds and to Indiana Tech’s Mitch Pawlak, eliminating Rivera from the tournament. He finished his first season as a Bulldog with a record of 23-8.
  • While freshman Austin Fehlhafer was eliminated on Friday night, he managed to pick up his team-leading 20th pin of the season by nailing 12th-ranked Travis McIntosh of Campbellsville to the mat in 46 seconds. The victory was sandwiched in between two losses for the Seward native, who compiled a record of 28-11 in his first collegiate season. Entering the national tournament, Fehlhafer was tied with Montana State-Northern’s Cameron Neiss for the most pins in the NAIA.
  • Concordia’s additional three national qualifiers – junior Enrique Barajas (149) and freshmen Ken Burkhardt Jr. (197) and Kodie Cole (133) – all went 0-2 and did not make it out of the opening session. Among their six combined losses were three setbacks by two points or less. Close calls were a theme of the weekend as Bulldog grapplers were defeated a total of three times by one point and twice by two points.
  • Despite the abundance of agonizingly close defeats, Concordia’s representation at the national championships marked a massive turnaround from the previous year when Vote inherited a depleted roster. After not qualifying a single wrestler for last year’s national tournament, the Bulldogs brought six to Topeka last week on the heels of a second-place North Group Qualifying Tournament finish.
  • Next season could see even more of a leap as five of the six national qualifiers have one or more seasons of eligibility remaining. Mogg and Alex Stepanek (141) are the only seniors on the current roster who competed on a regular basis this season. Barajas, Burkhardt Jr., Fehlhafer and Rivera all entered the championships with national rankings. Those four combined for a record of 90-53 (.629) in 2013-14.
  • Says Vote, “I think we can make a huge jump again next year. I really do,” Vote said. “Where we finished, a lot of people would be satisfied but we were actually disappointed with where we finished. We want to crack that top 10 (nationally).”

Softball

  • The first season under head coach Todd LaVelle finally got started on Monday when the Bulldogs played a trio of games in Tucson, Ariz., as part of the team’s spring break trip. The new era could not have started any better as Concordia upset No. 10 Olivet Nazarene and went a perfect 3-0 on Monday. The Bulldogs also defeated Jamestown, 10-7, and Missouri Valley, 9-4, on opening day. To read the recap from Monday, click HERE.
  • In the victory over Olivet Nazarene, Concordia senior pitcher Amanda Beeson picked up the win by tossing all seven innings. She scattered seven hits and struck out nine to defeat a Tiger team that returned the bulk of its key players after going 48-9 and qualifying for the national tournament last season. Olivet Nazarene, which averaged almost eight runs per game last season, did not score until the fifth inning when it loaded the bases with no outs. After an RBI ground out, Beeson struck out the next two hitters to end the threat.
  • A key to the Bulldogs’ season-opening sweep was their ability to score first in each game. Concordia never trailed at any point on Monday. It got on top of Olivet Nazarene with a run apiece in the first and second innings. Freshman leadoff hitter Diana Mendoza set the tone for the day by drilling a triple and then scoring in the bottom of the first. Mendoza, who went a combined 5-for-8 in games 1 and 2 at the top of the lineup, was one of several newcomers who made themselves comfortable in their first games as Bulldogs.
  • LaVelle used a game 1 lineup that included five individuals who did not play a single game for the Bulldogs in 2013 (including center fielder Regan Doiel, a redshirt last season). The four newcomers in the lineup were Mendoza, designated player Brittany Hudler, right fielder Palmer Bosanko and third baseman Rebecca Walker. All four made significant contributions to Monday’s three wins.
  • Senior Amber Topil, a four-year starter, got off to a solid start in her final collegiate season. The Seward native had a big game 2 versus Jamestown, going 3-for-4 with two doubles and four RBIs. Last season Topil started all but one game at catcher and was named a second team all-conference honoree.
  • Concordia’s pitching staff will feature more depth this season, a year after Beeson and sophomore Julia Tyree covered more than 97 percent of the team’s innings in the circle. On Monday, LaVelle went with Beeson in game 1, Tyree in game 2 and freshman Lexye Bruegman, a Lincoln North Star product, in game 3. Beeson ended up working 10 innings on Monday. She fired three frames of relief in game 2 following her complete game against Olivet Nazarene.
  • At the plate, Concordia did plenty of damage in game 2 as it piled up 10 runs on 14 hits. Four different Bulldogs collected two hits or more. Three players had three hits each: Doiel, Mendoza and Topil.
  • Concordia enjoys Tuesday off before getting back to the diamond on Wednesday for three more games: 9 a.m. MST vs. Purdue University-North Central, 11 a.m. MST vs. Valley City State University (N.D.) and 3:30 p.m. MST vs. Presentation College (S.D.). The Bulldogs will also have a trio of games on Friday before returning to Seward on Sunday. All contests in Tucson can be heard live on the web: http://client.stretchinternet.com/client/cun.portal.

Baseball

  • Concordia has escaped the unpredictability of Nebraska March weather by arriving in The Grand Canyon State. The Bulldogs, in the midst of a 10-game Arizona swing, are 0-4 so far at the Tucson Invitational. Head coach Jeremy Geidel’s squad has suffered setbacks to NCAA schools in Southwest Minnesota State University and Wheaton College as well as two losses against NAIA University of Jamestown since March 8. Concordia entered play on Tuesday with an overall record of 4-12.
  • While the Bulldogs came up empty as a team in the first two days of action in Tucson, a pair of individuals stood out with their performances at the plate. Over Saturday’s two games, junior right fielder Daniel Wilkerson went 7-for-9 with three RBIs and four runs. The native of Santa Fe, Texas, was a perfect 5-for-5 versus SW Minnesota State before finishing the day with a 2-for-4 game against Wheaton.
  • The next day it was first baseman Zach Cambier who shined. The junior from Castle Rock, Colo., went 5-for-6 in the doubleheader with Jamestown. Of the five hits, three were doubles. He also scored four of the team’s six runs. The big doubleheader bumped Cambier’s batting average from .256 to .327 (16-for-49). Cambier has started all 16 games.
  • The spring break trip is a homecoming for a pair of Bulldogs in Tucson natives Camaren Gause and Will Holbrook. Gause, a senior center fielder, went 5-for-9 on day one of the trip as he returned from an injury that sidelined him for six games. Holbrook, a junior right-handed pitcher, took the ball to open the Tucson Invitational. He took the loss while posting a line of: 5.2 IP, 5 H, 7 R, 4 ER, BB, 8 Ks.
  • After 35.9 percent of its games were decided by a single run last season, Concordia is off to a slow start in close games. Both of Saturday’s losses came by just one run, putting the Bulldogs at 2-5 in contests with a margin of three runs or less.
  • The Bulldogs are back in action today (March 11) with a pair of games in Tucson. They get started early as they take on Missouri Valley College at 8:30 a.m. MDT / 10:30 a.m. CDT. Concordia will then take a break before challenging Dakota State University (S.D.) at 2 p.m. MDT / 4 p.m. CDT. Geidel’s squad will also have doubleheaders on Thursday and Friday to complete the spring trip. The team will arrive back in Seward on Sunday.

Women’s Basketball

  • The eighth-ranked Bulldogs officially earned a berth to the national tournament for the 13th time in program history when the NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball National Championships brackets were released on March 5. Slotted as a No. 2 seed, Concordia (25-7) will take on seventh-seeded Olivet Nazarene University (Ill.) in the first round at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday. It’s the second year in a row the Bulldogs have received the early-morning draw. For the complete lowdown on Concordia’s national tournament draw, click HERE.
  • For a preview of Wednesday’s game, click HERE.
  • Head coach Drew Olson will be headed to the national tournament for the sixth time in his eight seasons at the helm of Bulldog women’s basketball. Olson is the program’s all-time coaching leader in national tournament appearances and needs one more victory to tie Todd Voss for the most among Bulldog coaches at the grand event.
  • Concordia will be taking on Olivet Nazarene (22-10) for the first time Nov. 12, 2004 when the Todd Voss-coached Bulldogs rolled to a 107-54 victory. The two teams have never played each other in a national tournament game. A duplication of that triple-digit scoring outburst would set a program record for most points at the national tournament. Concordia’s highest single-game total was 88 points in a blowout win over William Jewell College in 2003.
  • Twenty-fifth ranked Olivet Nazarene, a member of the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference, received an automatic bid to the national tournament by way of a runner-up conference tournament finish. In two games this season against GPAC opponents, the Tigers have fallen to both Briar Cliff and Morningside. Guided by second-year head coach Lauren Stamatis, Olivet Nazarene employs a hyper up-tempo style that has it leading the nation in scoring at 108.1 points per game.
  • NeuLion, the NAIA’s official video streaming company of 17 select NAIA National Championship events, will be broadcasting the first 28 games from the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa. An all-tournament pass (28 games) is available for $29.95, while a single day pass can be purchased for $9.95. For more information and to pre-register, click here. For more information on the 2014 State Farm-NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball National Championship, click here.

Tennis

  • Concordia’s only scheduled matches last week were canceled due to cold temperatures in Baldwin City, Kan., the home of Baker University. The Concordia-Baker matches have not been rescheduled. The Bulldogs remain 2-1 overall on the men’s side and 0-1 on the women’s side.
  • Next up for the women is a date with Mount Marty on Saturday, March 22 in a conference-opening match in Seward. The Bulldog men will return to action on Wednesday, March 26 as part of a men’s and women’s home doubleheader against Doane.
  • View current men’s season statistics HERE. View current women’s season statistics HERE.

11 March 2014

Dana Vote (left) and Emilio Rivera (right)