Bulldog Weekly Report
Bulldog Booster Club Athletes of the Week
Male: Darnell Woods, Football
Woods came up from his safety position to make a career high 17 tackles in Saturday’s 48-31 loss to No. 1 Morningside. The senior from Phoenix, Ariz., has 40 tackles over the last three games and a career best 80 for the season.
Female: Alayna Kavanaugh, Volleyball
Kavanaugh continued her tremendous freshman season with a combined 74 assists in the Bulldogs’ wins over College of Saint Mary and Dakota Wesleyan last week. The Lincoln native leads the team with 803 assists in 99 sets played.
News and Notes:
Wrestling season preview: Head coach Dana Vote’s second season as head wrestling coach gets underway on Saturday at the Bethany College Swede Open in Lindsborg, Kan. For a complete season preview on Bulldog wrestling, click HERE.
Concordia hosts Cattle Classic basketball Friday and Saturday: The 14th annual Cattle Classic will tip off on Friday. Four men’s games and four women’s games will take place both Friday and Saturday inside Walz Arena. For more on the Cattle Classic, click HERE.
GPAC cross country championships come to Concordia: For the first time since 2004, Concordia University plays host to the GPAC cross country championships. The first race will begin on Saturday at 10:45 a.m. For maps of the men’s and women’s courses, click HERE.
GPAC soccer playoffs begin this week: Both Concordia soccer teams have concluded the regular season and now look forward to postseason play. Head coach Jason Weides’ fifth-seeded men are up first as they travel to Orange City, Iowa, to take on No. 4 seed Northwestern at 4 p.m. on Wednesday in the GPAC quarterfinals. In women’s GPAC quarterfinal action, head coach Greg Henson’s sixth-seeded Bulldogs challenge third-seeded Briar Cliff in Sioux City, Iowa, at 1 p.m. on Thursday.
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.
- Head coach Drew Olson’s fifth-ranked Bulldogs began the 2013-14 season over the weekend at the Grand View Classic in Des Moines, Iowa, where Concordia won twice over opponents from the NAIA’s Midwest Collegiate Conference. The Bulldogs, who trailed at halftime in both games, took control and topped Mount Mercy University 79-65 in their season opener on Nov. 1. The next day junior guard Bailey Morris rallied the troops from a 15-point deficit for an 87-82 win over No. 17 Grand View University in an early-season showdown. For recaps on both games, click HERE.
- Morris picked up where she left off after a breakout sophomore campaign last season. The 5-foot-4 guard from Roseland, Neb., earned Grand View Classic MVP honors after totaling 36 points, eight rebounds and six assists for the weekend. She poured in a game high 23 points (including 9-for-12 free throw shooting) to serve as the catalyst in Concordia’s come-from-behind win over nationally-ranked Grand View.
- After sitting out the win over Mount Mercy due to injury, 2012-13 first team All-American Kristen Conahan returned to the Bulldog lineup on Saturday and played in a team high 33 minutes. While Olson said she was still limited in her movements, the Omaha native made a huge impact with 21 points on the strength of 5-for-11 shooting from beyond the arc. She now has 1,395 career points – 405 away from Sarah Harrison’s program record of 1,800.
- Junior forward Jericca Pearson joined Morris on the Grand View Classic all-tournament team. Pearson posted a double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds in the victory over Mount Mercy. She then totaled 14 points and four rebounds the next day. The native of Gibbon, Neb., averaged 7.8 points and 5.1 rebounds last season.
- Despite an emphasis on the national level for officials to call more touch fouls, Concordia’s aggressive pressure defense managed to force both the Mustangs and the Vikings to commit 26 turnovers. Olson’s teams are known for thriving on playing a pesky defense that leads to offense. On the weekend, the Bulldogs outscored their opponents 50-34 in points off turnovers.
- Olson used two very different starting lineups in Des Moines. Only Peitz and freshman Becky Mueller (Elkhorn, Neb.) started both games. A total of six players started one of the two games. Under Olson’s philosophy, starting lineups are not so much important as is finding the right rotations and having a second unit that is equally as strong as the first.
- Concordia will play two more ranked opponents this week with a road game at No. 23 College of Saint Mary on Tuesday and a home date with No. 10 Jamestown on Friday as part of the Cattle Classic. On day two of the Cattle Classic, the Bulldogs will take on Valley City State (N.D.), which received votes in the preseason national poll. Last season Concordia went 6-5 against ranked opponents, including four wins against top 10 foes.
- Concordia rebounded from its Oct. 26 loss to Doane to play much better against top-ranked Morningside this past Saturday. Head coach Vance Winter’s squad pushed the Mustangs more than any other team has this season before falling 48-31 inside Bulldog Stadium. The loss is the third-straight for the Bulldogs, who began the season with six-consecutive wins. At 6-3 overall and 4-3 in GPAC play, Concordia can still finish as high as second in the league.
- Morningside has now won 23 GPAC games in a row dating back to September of 2011. Until Saturday’s contest, the Mustangs had won 20-straight conference games by 20 points or more. Concordia was the first team this season to hold a lead at halftime against a Mustang team that had trailed in just one other game in 2013 (3-0 in the first quarter versus Nebraska Wesleyan on Sept. 14).
- The Bulldog offense came out clicking in the first half, scoring points on four of their first five possessions of the game, including a 10-play, 64-yard touchdown drive on the game’s very first possession. Concordia’s 31 points and 364 total yards were both season high totals for Morningside’s defense. However, the Mustang defense stiffened in the second half when the Bulldogs turned it over three times and managed only seven points on their six possessions.
- Freshman receiver Chevarius Curry-Felix enjoyed a breakout day, often getting behind the Morningside secondary. The speedster from Columbia, S.C., set career highs with five catches for 87 yards and a touchdown. That performance allowed him to take over the team lead in both catches (23) and receiving yards (293). He has now caught a touchdown pass in three-straight games in becoming junior quarterback Von Thomas’ favorite target of late.
- Another freshman starred on Saturday as Bryce Collins racked up three rushing touchdowns for the second time in three games. Collins leads Concordia with 10 touchdowns (all rushing) this season. That figure ranks second in the GPAC behind only Dakota Wesleyan’s Francois Barnaud, who has 13 rushing scores. Collins finished with 67 rushing yards against Morningside and now has a team high 571 for the season.
- Senior safety Darnell Woods had another busy day on Saturday. He came up from his strong safety spot to collect a career high 17 tackles (12 solo), boosting his season total to a team best 80. The native of Phoenix, Ariz., had already far surpassed his career high of 58 tackles last season. Woods has made a combined 40 stops over the past three games, going for double figures in each of those contests.
- The 261 passing yards allowed to Morningside quarterback Ryan Kasdorf represented a season high allowance by the excellent Concordia pass defense, which remains No. 1 in the NAIA in terms of yards per game (136.3). The Bulldogs have also been opportunistic, picking off 13 passes on the season and at least one in eight of the team’s nine games. Sophomore safety Tait Sibbel came up with his team-leading fourth interception with the Mustangs driving on their opening possession.
- Thomas’ 248 passing yards were a season high and fell 28 yards short of a career high he set last season. He totaled 296 yards (48 rushing) versus Morningside to bump his season total yards average to 226.9. He currently ranks 24th among all NAIA players in total yards per game.
- The highlight reel play of the day came on Concordia’s opening possession when junior receiver made a circus 33-yard catch while lying on his back at the one-yard line. The doozy of a grab converted a third and three and set up a Collins touchdown run on the next play to give Concordia the early lead. The 6-foot-2 Serra, who hails from Monterey, Calif., teamed with Curry-Felix to give the Bulldogs a strong 1-2 punch at receiver.
- Concordia will play on the road for the final time this season when it travels to Mitchell, S.D., to take on Dakota Wesleyan (6-3, 5-2 GPAC) at 1 p.m. on Saturday. Head coach Ross Cimpl’s squad boasts a triumvirate of outstanding skill players with quarterback Jon Bane (2,021 passing yards, 20 touchdowns), running back Francois Barnaud (1,631 rushing yards, 13 touchdowns) and receiver Anthony Muilenberg (894 receiving yards, 12 touchdowns). The Tigers average more than 30 points per game and rank 16th nationally in total offense (439.3).
- The Bulldogs are looking for their first win over Dakota Wesleyan since 2007. Last season the Tigers escaped Bulldog Stadium with a 26-23 win in a turnover-riddled performance by Concordia. Departed running back Josh Endres ran for 166 yards and two touchdowns for Dakota Wesleyan. After Saturday’s game, Concordia finishes the regular season with a home date versus Briar Cliff on Nov. 16.
- Coming off consecutive weeks with three matches each, the Bulldogs went 2-0 in a lighter week that included a nonconference straight-sets win over College of Saint Mary on Oct. 29 and then a four-set victory over Dakota Wesleyan on Saturday. Both matches were played inside Walz Arena as the Bulldogs capped their home record at 8-5 for the season. Overall, head coach Scott Mattera’s squad sits at 17-12 with a 5-10 mark in league play. Concordia will be the No. 7 seed when the GPAC tournament begins on Saturday. For recaps on last week’s wins, click HERE.
- The Bulldogs completed their slate against nonconference opponents with a record of 12-2. The only losses outside of the GPAC came to College of the Ozarks (Mo.) and to then No. 5 Oklahoma Baptist. Seven of the 12 wins came in dominant fashion, with Concordia needing the minimum three sets to earn victories.
- The big story of the second half of the season continues to be the play of freshman Paige Getz of Paola, Kan. The 5-foot-11 ultra-athletic Getz led Concordia with 27 more kills last week to bring her season total to 283. Her 131 kills since Sept. 28 (11 matches) lead the team. During that she stretch she has averaged 3.54 kills per set. The 15 kills she totaled on Saturday tied her career high.
- In the middle, freshman Taylor Workman also had a fine week with 20 combined kills and five combined blocks. Workman hit a cool .472 on the week as she needed on 36 swings to put down her 20 kills. Her 11 kills in the win over College of Saint Mary tied a career best.
- Getz teamed with sophomore Claire White to form a lethal combination on the outside in Saturday’s win. They 15 kills apiece on a combined 68 attack attempts. The match marked the ninth time this season that Getz and White have reached double figures in kills in the same contest. The Bulldogs are 7-2 in those matches.
- Freshman right side Tiegen Skains (Colorado Springs, Colo.) had a particularly active afternoon stifling Dakota Wesleyan attackers. She registered five solo blocks and an assisted block, giving her a career high six total blocks for the match. Like Getz, Kavanaugh and Workman, Skains has seen her role increase as the season has progressed.
- The freshmen quartet of Getz, Kavanaugh, Skains and Workman has accounted for 44.7 percent of the team’s kills (569 of 1,273), 50.3 percent of the team’s blocks (150 of 298), 72.9 percent of the team’s assists (806 of 1,105) and 14.8 percent of the team’s digs (231 of 1,558), giving Concordia one of the conference’s top group of rookies.
- The Bulldogs close the regular season at No. 6 Midland (30-3, 12-3 GPAC) at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday. The Warriors, then ranked eighth, defeated Concordia in straight sets in Seward on Sept. 11. Mattera’s group will then turn its attention to the GPAC tournament on Saturday. As the No. 7 seed, Concordia will go on the road to play the No. 2 seed, which is to be determined.
- The Bulldogs closed the regular season last week by splitting a pair of GPAC road games. Head coach Jason Weides’ squad pushed No. 6 Hastings wire-to-wire in a 3-1 loss on Oct. 30. In Concordia’s final regular-season contest on Saturday, it defeated Dakota Wesleyan 1-0 despite playing down a man in the second half. The Bulldogs enter GPAC tournament play with records of 10-8 overall and 6-4 in conference action. For recaps of last week’s action, click HERE.
- The win over Dakota Wesleyan gave Concordia its sixth league victory, setting a school record for GPAC wins in a season. Bulldog men’s soccer began competing in the GPAC in 2000 when the league formed out of the old Nebraska-Iowa Athletic Conference. All GPAC teams played eight conference games in 2000 and 2001 until shifting to a 10-game league slate in 2002. Concordia played either 11 or 12 league games from 2003 to 2011. The team’s top GPAC mark prior to this season was its 5-4-2 record in 2011.
- With junior goalkeeper Brendan Buchanan sidelined on Saturday after leaving the Hastings game early due to injury, freshman Mark Horsburgh tended goal and had a busy afternoon in the shutout of Dakota Wesleyan. Horsburgh made 11 saves on the way to earning the first shutout of his career. The native of Edinburgh, Scotland, has seen action in seven games with two starts.
- Sophomore Gideon Soenksen became the 12th different Bulldog to find the back of the net when he scored in the 25th minute at Dakota Wesleyan. The midfielder from Lincoln, Neb., notched two goals last season as a freshman.
- Concordia’s only other goal on the week – a 53rd-minute score that tied the game at 1-1 – came from freshman midfielder Carlos Acosta. The goal ended Hastings’ run of five-consecutive games with a shutout. The Broncos then blanked Mount Marty three days later to earn their sixth shutout in seven games.
- Concordia’s 6-4 conference record (18 points) placed it fifth in the league standings. That means the Bulldogs will go on the road to play fourth-seeded Northwestern (11-6-1, 7-2-1 GPAC) at 4 p.m. on Wednesday. The GPAC quarterfinal contest is a rematch of an Oct. 19 game in Orange City, Iowa, where the Red Raiders came away with a 2-0 victory. Northwestern held a narrow 18-17 advantage in shots. The Red Raiders have won the last two meetings since Concordia’s 2-1 overtime victory in September 2011.
- The next barrier for Concordia men’s soccer to breach is to get a victory in the GPAC tournament, something it has not done under Weides. Each of the last three seasons have ended with losses in the GPAC quarterfinals with the last two coming at Midland.
- The Bulldogs came within an eyelash of winning both games last week as they continue an impressive late-season run. Head coach Greg Henson’s squad had chances to pull off the upset at Hastings on Oct. 30 in a gut-wrenching 1-0 double overtime loss. Concordia rebounded with a 2-1 victory at Dakota Wesleyan on Saturday to close the regular season at 9-8-1 overall and 5-5 in GPAC play. Concordia’s 15 points in the GPAC standings allowed it to earn the No. 6 seed heading into Thursday’s conference tournament quarterfinal. For recaps of last week’s action, click HERE.
- Since star senior Jordan Donohoue moved to the center back position on Oct. 23, Concordia has won three of four games and has allowed just three goals (only two in regulation) during that stretch. The Bulldogs also hold a 53-36 advantage in shots over those four games. Donohoue has played in virtually every area of the field having also provided quality minutes as a midfielder and forward this season.
- A key reason why Concordia nearly won at Hastings was the play of freshman goalkeeper Chrissy Lind, who had the best game of her career to date according to Henson. Lind made a career best nine saves against a potent Bronco team that has received votes in the national poll throughout the season. Lind has started 12-straight games in goal. In her 14 games played overall, she has made 45 saves while allowing 15 goals.
- Junior forward Ashlie Sklenicka had the most active game of her career, in terms of shots, in Saturday’s win. Sklenicka fired 10 shots with one of them finding the back of the net at roughly the 20-minute mark. The native of Lincoln, Neb., now has a career best seven goals on the season – second on the team to junior Rachel Mussell’s nine.
- Concordia got a couple of monkeys off its back with Saturday’s triumph as it marked the team’s first win of the season on the road and first on a natural grass surface. Henson’s crew also broke a trend by winning a game in which the opponent scored first. The Bulldogs had entered play with a mark of 1-7 in such contests.
- GPAC tournament action gets underway on Thursday afternoon when sixth-seeded Concordia travels to play at third-seeded Briar Cliff (10-7-1, 6-4 GPAC) for a 1 p.m. kickoff. The game will be a rematch of the Oct. 26 contest in which the Bulldogs won 3-1 in Seward. Since then, the Chargers defeated Dakota Wesleyan 4-0 and fell 3-1 to Midland.
- Concordia last advanced to the semifinals in 2011 when they got past Dakota Wesleyan in the quarterfinals on a game that came down to penalty kicks following a 1-1 double overtime tie. The Bulldogs then dropped a 3-1 decision at Hastings in the semifinals. Last season Concordia was bounced from the tournament by Doane in the quarterfinals.
- Head coach Kregg Einspahr’s cross country squads had the weekend off from competition as they continue to prep for Saturday’s GPAC championship meet. This year’s GPAC cross country championships will be hosted by Concordia for the first time since 2004. Course maps for both the men’s and women’s races can be viewed HERE.
- Last season the Bulldogs came through with great performances at the GPAC meet as then seniors Colin Morrissey and Sarah Kortze both captured individual titles. Morrissey’s championship race fueled the Bulldogs to a team title on the men’s side – the program’s first since 2009 and fourth overall under Einspahr. Morrissey completed the 8K course in 25:08.65.
- Not only did Concordia have the individual titlist on the women’s side, it also had the runner up as senior Jena Schwalenberg finished her 5K race in 17:45.15, about 34 seconds behind Kortze. Dordt’s top six runners came in at places 3 through 8 to help the Defenders to the team title.
- In his 21 seasons as Concordia’s head cross country coach entering 2013, Einspahr has guided his teams to nine combined conference (GPAC/NIAC) titles (five women’s and four men’s). The women have gone on to top 25 national finishes in 17 of those 21 years while the men have 14 top 25 finishes during that same period. The women were national runner up three-straight years from 2000 to 2002 and then again in 2004. The men finished runner up in 2009.
- The women’s GPAC championship race will get underway at 10:45 a.m. with the men to follow. Concordia’s 15th-ranked men will aim for back-to-back conference titles for the first time under Einspahr. Look for a GPAC championship preview on Wednesday.
- The Ben Limback era began over the weekend at the York College Tip Off Classic in York, Neb. The Bulldogs fell twice against ranked foes – No. 24 York and No. 19 Bellevue. Concordia knew its early-season schedule would be treacherous with the first four opponents holding down spots in the NAIA national rankings. The Bulldogs competed closely with York in an 86-79 loss before digging a big early hole in Saturday’s 93-76 loss to Bellevue. For recaps on both games, click HERE.
- Sophomore forward Max Wegener emerged as the biggest story of the weekend for Concordia. His offensive improvement surfaced in obvious fashion as he took advantage of his 6-foot-9 frame to pile up 19 and 20 points, respectively in the two games. Both numbers set new career highs. The Wildwood, Mo., native also hauled down a combined 19 rebounds (10 offensive), including 10 as part of a double-double in the loss to York.
- Wegener possesses the ability to knock down the 3, but this past weekend he did his damage inside the arc. He went a combined 14-for-22 (63.6 percent) from the field and 11-for-14 (78.6 percent) from the free throw line. His production was even more impressive considering he did it in 46 minutes of action.
- Limback used the same starting five in both games: guards Adam Vogt and Deondre White, forwards Robby Thomas and Wegener and center Chandler Folkerts. Of the five, only Thomas and Vogt had previous collegiate starting experience. Both White, a transfer from Wayne State, and Folkerts, a freshman from Milford, Neb., are new to the program. Junior Joel Haywood had started the first 58 games of his career until missing both of the weekend games in York due to injury.
- Only Wegener had a more productive scoring weekend than Vogt, the team’s lone senior. Vogt put up 16 and 19 points, respectively, to open the season. The 19 points were three short of a career high for the Syracuse, Neb., native, who tallied 22 points last season in a loss at Mount Mercy.
- Wegener and Thomas both put up their first career double-doubles in the York game. Thomas, a Shawnee, Kan., native, went for 11 points and 10 rebounds in the season’s opening game. Thomas and Wegener step into starting positions this season after serving mostly as role players a season ago. Limback will lean on the tall, lengthy sophomores to be consistent offensive and defensive performers for a team light on experience.
- A total of 10 newcomers saw action in one or both of the weekend’s games. Thomas, Vogt and Wegener were the only holdovers from last season to play in York. Freshman guard Eli Ziegler (Littleton, Colo.) made a significant contribution in the game against York with three first-half 3-pointers that helped Concordia stay within striking distance.
- The Bulldogs are off until Friday when the Cattle Classic gets underway. Limback’s crew will test its mettle against two more ranked opponents – No. 18 Culver-Stockton College of NAIA Division I (Friday at 8 p.m.) and No. 13 Oklahoma Wesleyan (Saturday at 7 p.m.).
5 November 2013
Senior Darnell Woods
Freshman Alayna Kavanaugh