Bulldog Weekly Report
NOTE: Bulldog Booster Club Athletes of the Week will return next week. The booster club will not meet this week due to the Thanksgiving break.
News and Notes:
Nathan Douglas earns yet another honor: Concordia senior Nathan Douglas picked up some more hardware when he was named to the 2013 Capital One Academic All-America® College Division Men’s Soccer first team on Nov. 21. Last week he was also named first team all-GPAC. For more details on the Winnipeg, Canada, native’s latest honor, click HERE.
Thirty-five Bulldogs net all-conference recognition: A total of 35 Concordia athletes earned some form of GPAC all-conference recognition as announced by the league last week. Bulldog first-teamers are listed below:
--Cross country: Beau Billings, Hayden Hohnholt, Jordan Potrzeba, Ben Sievert and Renee Williams
--Football: Darnell Woods (Defensive Player of the Year), Derek Blessing, Dylan Heithoff and Langston Jones
--Men’s soccer: Nathan Douglas
--Women’s soccer: Jordan Donohoue
Conahan named GPAC Player of the Week: Senior All-American guard Kristen Conahan received GPAC Player of the Week recognition on Nov. 19 thanks to a 28-point performance in the Bulldogs’ overtime victory over No. 3 Morningside on Nov. 16. Conahan leads the team with 18.5 points per game and is shooting 45.3 percent from 3-point range.
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.
- For the 12th in the past 13 years, 22nd-year head coach Kregg Einspahr led the Concordia men’s cross country squad to the NAIA national championships. While the men’s finish of 24th fell short of their expectations to reach the top 15, junior Ben Sievert enjoyed a big day with a 19th-place finish that made him an All-American for the first time in his career. Read a recap of the championship meet HERE.
- Sievert, a native of Frankenmuth, Mich., set a career best with his time of 25:02 on the 8K course at Rim Rock Farm in Lawrence, Kan., – site of the 2013 national championships. That effort topped his previous season best of 25:28 at the Mount Marty Invite where he placed second on Oct. 26. Sievert placed among the top 20 individuals at every race this season, recording times of 25:59, 25:57, 25:29, 25:28, 26:30 and 25:02 at Concordia’s six 8K races this season.
- ·Sievert, now a three-time all-conference honoree, has put together an impressive résumé in his first three seasons as a Bulldog. Last week he added All-America honors and Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete recognition to his growing list of accomplishments. Sievert has competed at the national championships in each of his first three seasons and has racked up four GPAC runner of the week awards over the past two years.
- “I though Ben Sievert had just a tremendous race,” Einspahr said. “He had an excellent time on a tough, challenging course. He was running very well, got himself in great position. He got himself in the top twenty right off the bat in the first 800 meters and he ran from there for the entire race. He was anywhere from 10th to 35th through the whole race. He had a great race and I think that was the highlight of the day.”
- Einspahr had hoped to get the rest of the team at or near the top 100 at the national championships, but Concordia’s next highest finisher after Sievert checked in at No. 156. That’s where senior Beau Billings placed in a time 26:21. Here are the rest of the finishes from Bulldog competitors from Saturday’s race:
- Hayden Hohnholt – 26:38 (193rd place)
- Jordan Potrzeba – 26:48 (212th place)
- Charlie Bloomfield – 26:53 (217th place)
- Josh Allwardt – 27:16 (241st place)
- Chris Shelton – 28:12 (288th place)
- “We were happy on the men’s side to finish in the top 25,” Einspahr said. “We’re happy that it fits into the tradition of top 25 finishes over the last 20 years. Clearly, we would have like to have finished a little bit better than that, but we’ll go home knowing we had a good season. When you get to this level, different things can happen. We probably had some tactical errors during the race that we can learn from. Hopefully we can come back next year and improve on that team finish.”
- The Bulldog men’s team has now claimed 14 top 25 national finishes under Einspahr. Concordia came closest to winning a national championship in 2009 when it finished runner up. It has come up with a top 10 finish five times since 2002. The Bulldog women also have placed in the top 25 on 17 occasions during Einspahr’s tenure.
- Of the seven Bulldogs who ran at the national championships, only two are seniors. Concordia figures to have another strong team next season with Sievert again leading the way. On the women’s side, there are only two seniors on the entire roster so significant improvement appears likely.
- Seventeen Bulldogs competed in at least one match last week as the team hosted its first dual of the season prior to participating amongst an impressive field of wrestlers at the University of Nebraska-Kearney Holiday Inn Open over the weekend. Concordia defeated NCAA Division III Buena Vista University, 39-7, on Nov. 20 inside Walz Arena. The Bulldogs then sent 15 wrestlers to the UNK Open. They combined on a record of 23-28 with 11 pins. For more details on last week’s action, click HERE.
- Freshman Austin Fehlhafer (9-2), a Seward native, had a huge week as he went 6-0 with five wins coming via pinfall. Fehlhahfer did most of that work at the UNK Open where he went 5-0 with four pins, won the 174-pound amateur title and earned the tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler award. Only one of Fehlhafer’s matches last week even made it to a third period. He needed only 1:04 to finish off Buena Vista’s Tyler Puls as part of the dual victory.
- Fehlhafer has made a habit of earning falls throughout his wrestling career. He set Seward High School records for pins in a season (36) and pins in a career (104). While a Bluejay, Fehlhafer won 137 matches and qualified for the state championships all four years. He earned runner-up state finishes as both a junior and senior following a sixth-place medal as a sophomore.
- The former Seward High star tops Concordia with nine wins on the season after his six from last week. Of Fehlhafer’s nine wins, eight have been by fall. His only win that did not come by pin was a 10-4 decision over Newman’s Michael Kubik at the UNK Open. Both of his losses were by decision at the Swede Open on Nov. 9.
- In last Wednesday’s dual, the Bulldogs blitzed Buena Vista from the start in gaining the maximum number of team points through the first four weights. Concordia looks potent at the top of the lineup where No. 8 Austin Mogg (125), No. 12 Emilio Rivera (133) and No. 15 Foster Bunce (141) each recorded pins over their competitors from Buena Vista to begin the dual. Ninth-ranked Enrique Barajas received a win by forfeit to make the score 24-0 heading into the last six weights.
- Both second-year head coach Dana Vote and Mogg are former Buena Vista wrestlers. Vote graduated from Buena Vista in 2008 with a degree in exercise science and sports management while Mogg won 92 career matches as a Beaver and earned All-America honors in 2010. Mogg pinned Buena Vista’s Percy Stiles in 3:59 in putting Concordia well on its way to victory. The El Reno, Okla., native is 5-1 this season with a second-place finish at the Swede Open to his credit.
- Twelve of Concordia’s 15 wrestlers at the open registered at least one win on the day. The showing marked a huge improvement over last season’s effort at the Nebraska-Kearney Open, an event Vote calls one of the toughest his team will face. The Bulldogs’ 23 wins were 19 more than their total from the 2012 tournament.
- Freshman heavyweight Ceron Francisco has drawn early-season buzz with his physical talent, intimidating presence and considerable work ethic. The native of Fayetteville, N.C., is light on experience but has grown quickly in his development. Vote believes Francisco’s ceiling is exceptionally high. The former Disney Duals All-American brought the Walz crowd to its feet when he took Buena Vista’s Gable Bonner down hard to the mat, however, Francisco’s was penalized for an illegal maneuver and eventually lost a close decision. He rebounded with three wins at the UNK Open, falling just short of a place finish.
- Vote and company unveiled a completely new lineup at last week’s dual. All 10 Concordia grapplers who competed at the match are new to the Bulldogs this season. Eight of the ten recorded wins with four coming via pinfall.
- Concordia has Thanksgiving break week off of competition. The Bulldogs will return to action on Thursday, Dec. 5 when they host No. 18 York for a dual inside Walz Arena. Concordia’s match will be preceded by a prep dual featuring Seward and York High Schools at 6 p.m.
- Just like the previous week, the Bulldogs had just a single Saturday game on the slate over the past several days. Concordia took to the road for the first time in GPAC play and topped No. 12 Briar Cliff, 80-72, in Sioux City, Iowa, on Saturday afternoon. The win raises the record of eighth-year head coach Drew Olson’s squad to 6-1 overall and 2-0 in conference play. The Bulldogs are one of four teams that remain undefeated in GPAC action.
- The win over Briar Cliff marked Concordia’s fourth already this season against ranked opponents, with three of those victories coming on the road. The Bulldogs have also defeated No. 3 Morningside, No. 17 Grand View (Iowa) and No. 23 College of Saint Mary. Concordia’s only loss came at the hands of No. 10 Jamestown (N.D.). Last season Olson’s club knocked off six ranked foes.
- Free throw shooting proved to be a big key in the team’s latest win as the Bulldogs went 33-for-43 (76.7 percent) from the charity stripe. On the other hand, Briar Cliff struggled mightily, making only 13 of 32 (40.6 percent) from the foul line. Concordia ranks 10th among all NAIA Division II teams with a free throw percentage of 77.0. Senior Kristen Conahan made all seven of her free throw tries on Saturday and remains perfect (17-for-17) at the line this year. She is one of only two players in NAIA Division II shooting 100 percent on free throws (among those with 2.5 free throw makes per game).
- Conahan scored 17 points at Briar Cliff, extending her streak of double-figure scoring outputs to 20-straight games dating back to the middle of last season. The Omaha native is 15 points away from reaching 1,500 for her career. Seven players in program history have reached that mark with Sarah Harrison’s 1,800 points ranking No. 1 all-time. Conahan, who connected on two 3-point field goals on Saturday, needs three more treys for 300 in her career.
- Junior Jericca Pearson continued her monster start to the season with yet another double-double. Her 18 points and 11 rebounds at Briar Cliff gave the Gibbon, Neb., native her fourth double-double already this season. Only one GPAC player (Samantha Kleinsasser, Northwestern) has more and just five players in all of NAIA Division II have five or more double-doubles. Pearson’s statistical improvement over her sophomore season has been remarkable. After averaging 7.8 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.0 steal last season, Pearson has jumped to 15.1 points, 9.0 rebounds and 2.1 steals per game as a junior.
- Olson called junior star guard Bailey Morris a “human highlight film” after her effort at Briar Cliff. At one point she went on a 7-0 run by herself and finished with 18 points and four assists while playing 39 of 40 minutes. After busting loose with a great sophomore campaign last season, Morris has taken it upon herself to become more of a distributor while not sacrificing her own scoring opportunities. She is averaging a career best 5.4 assists per game and dished out a career high 13 dimes in the Nov. 16 overtime win over No. 3 Morningside.
- Concordia is now 3-0 in true road games and has won five-straight on the road dating back to the end of last season. The Bulldogs are 24-4 (.857) in road contests since the beginning of the 2011-12 season. Exactly one-third of those victories have come against top 25 squads. During that stretch, the Bulldogs have won all three games at Briar Cliff.
- Concordia will look to keep another streak going when it hosts Hastings (6-2, 1-2) at 6 p.m. on Tuesday. The Bulldogs have defeated the Broncos seven-straight times, including season sweeps in both the past two seasons. In the last meeting inside Walz Arena (Jan. 8, 2013), Concordia prevailed by a score of 76-57 behind 21 points from Morris. Hastings has dropped two of its first three GPAC games with losses to No. 3 Morningside and No. 7 Northwestern. Its win came at home over Doane. After Tuesday’s game, the Bulldogs will be off until taking on Doane in Crete on Dec. 4.
- After hosting Morningside on Nov. 16, the Bulldogs had a week to get ready for a road game against Briar Cliff on Nov. 23. Very little went right in that game as the Chargers cruised to a 103-61 victory in Sioux City, Iowa. The loss dropped first-year head coach Ben Limback’s group to 2-5 overall and 0-2 in the GPAC.
- Freshman Eli Ziegler entered play with the hot hand and got his first career start on Saturday. The native of Littleton, Colo., hoisted only one shot in 18 minutes of action at Briar Cliff. Prior to the team’s most recent outing, Ziegler had provided a boost on the perimeter. He is 11-for-24 (.458) on 3-point field goals.
- The story has been the same in both of Concordia’s two losses to open up GPAC play. Both opponents have shot over 50 percent from the field and combined to go 24-for-41 (.585) from 3-point range.
- Senior Adam Vogt’s string of consecutive free throw makes came to an end on Saturday when he missed from the foul line with an opportunity for a 3-point play at the 10:18 mark of the first half. The Syracuse, Neb., native had netted 23-straight free throw attempts. He finished the day 8-for-9 from the charity stripe and tied a team high with 17 points. On the season, Vogt is shooting 89.1 percent from the foul line – 17th best among all NAIA Division II players.
- Sophomore Robby Thomas (Shawnee, Kan.), who also had 17 points on Saturday, registered a blocked shot for the fourth-straight game. His 18 rejections rank as the second most in NAIA Division II and far and away lead the GPAC. No one else in the conference has more than eight blocks. Thomas is averaging 2.57 denials per contest.
- Local product Chandler Folkerts (Milford, Neb.) enjoyed an efficient offensive day at Briar Cliff, racking up 10 points on 5-for-6 shooting from the field. The 6-foot-8 freshman has reached double figures in scoring in four of the last five games. He is averaging 9.4 points while converting on 64.1 percent of his field goal attempts.
- Ziegler’s placement in Saturday’s starting lineup meant that Concordia’s first five was made up of three freshmen, a sophomore and one senior. With sophomore Max Wegener (out for the season) and junior Joel Haywood sidelined, 58 percent of the minutes at Briar Cliff went to players who did not attend Concordia last season. Freshman guard Seth Curran got the most minutes of any newcomer with 23.
- The Bulldogs return home to play No. 23 Hastings (6-1, 3-0 GPAC) at 8 p.m. on Tuesday. It will mark Concordia’s fifth game already this season against a ranked opponent. Limback’s squad is 1-3 against top 25 teams with its one victory being an 85-76 decision over No. 13 Oklahoma Wesleyan at the Cattle Classic on Nov. 9. The Broncos swept last season’s two meetings with the Bulldogs. Hastings has defeated No. 15 Northwestern, Doane and Morningside to open up league play.
26 November 2013
Freshman Austin Fehlhafer