Bulldog Weekly Report (Sept. 17)

Bulldog Weekly Report

Bulldog Booster Club Athletes of the Week

Female: Alyana Kavanaugh, Volleyball

Kavanaugh, who prepped at Lincoln Christian High School, dished out 89 assists (8.9 per set) last week in helping the Bulldogs to wins in two of three of three matches. The freshman from Lincoln recorded 44 assists in the four-set victory over Presentation College.

Male: Von Thomas, Football

Thomas piled up 234 total yards (145 passing, 89 rushing) and three total touchdowns in leading the Bulldogs to a 26-21 victory over Hastings. The Miami, Fla., native took charge of the offense, guiding it to a nine-play, 63-yard game-winning touchdown drive in the final few minutes.

News and Notes

Claire White gets comfortable in new surroundings at Concordia: Sophomore Claire White transferred into Concordia by way of Washburn University (Kan.) this fall. White was named GPAC Player of the Week on Sept. 3 and has already made an unmistakable impact on the Bulldog volleyball program. Read more about White in this feature story HERE.

Videos from Sept. 14 video board unveiling: If you missed the football game on Saturday, then you missed both the introductory video and the Derek Rodine tribute video. Click on the links and check them out.

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 Scott Mattera’s Bulldogs won two of three matches last week – all of which were played at home in the friendly confines of Walz Arena. After falling in straight sets to red-hot eighth-ranked Midland (still undefeated) on Sept. 11, Concordia responded with a pair of nonconference victories on Sept. 14 to move to 9-4 overall. For complete recaps of last week’s action, click HERE.
  • Concordia’s nine wins are just one off the team’s season total from a year ago. Three more wins would give the program its most since 2007, when then head coach Rachel Miller guided the Bulldogs to a 21-14 finish. Concordia volleyball notched 20 or more wins for three-straight seasons from 2005 to 2007.
  • One of the recent keys to success has been the play of freshman setter Alayna Kavanaugh, who prepped at Lincoln Christian High School. She piled up 74 assists over the two weekend matches, which featured wins over Presentation College (S.D.) in four sets and over the University of Dallas in straight sets. Kavanaugh is averaging 10.2 assists per game over the last nine matches. She has 40 or more assists in four of those contests. She has also shown an ability to catch opponents by surprise as evidenced by her 23 kills.
  • Sophomore outside hitter Claire White got back on track in the victory over Presentation. In a match dominated by the Bulldogs following the first set, White paced the Bulldogs with 13 kills and hit .324 for the match. White is tied for seventh in the GPAC with 3.4 kills per set. She has 166 kills on the season. She’s also eighth in the conference with 0.4 service aces per set.
  • For much of the early season, junior Mariah Schamp has been Mattera’s most efficient producer. The middle from Arvada, Colo., has totaled 133 kills and has an impressive .333 hitting percentage. She went for a combined 19 kills on 40 swings as part of Concordia’s pair of nonconference wins on Saturday.
  • Mattera’s Bulldogs remain on the lookout for that signature win over a marquee opponent after falling in straight sets last week to 19-0 Midland. Concordia’s four losses have come to opponents who were either ranked or receiving votes at the time of the match or are currently ranked or receiving votes. Those four opponents are a combined 47-16 so far this season.
  • As a team, Concordia ranks fourth in the GPAC in blocks per set (2.1) and fifth in digs per set (16.5). The Bulldogs boast individuals who specialize in both categories. Schamp has 51 total blocks this season, equating to 1.0 per game (third in the league). Junior Carli Smith sits third in the GPAC in digs per set at 5.3. Mattera says the key to Concordia’s success begins with Smith’s defensive prowess. Last year she earned second team all-conference honors.
  • A win over rival Doane (6-7) this week would be a feather in the cap of Concordia volleyball. The two squads are set to square off at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday. Last season the Tigers topped the Bulldogs twice and went on to win the GPAC Tournament, giving them an automatic bid to the NAIA National Championships. Doane is led by first-year head coach Gwen Egbert, who replaced 26-year head coach Cindy Meyer.
  • After hosting Doane on Tuesday night, Concordia will look forward to another action-packed weekend. The Bulldogs hit the road to take on both Dakota Wesleyan (Friday at 7:30 p.m.) and Mount Marty (Saturday at 1:30 p.m.). Mount Marty is 7-6 overall Dakota Wesleyan sports a mark of 4-9. Neither squad has played a conference match yet this season.


  • Quarterback Von Thomas and the Bulldogs led fans at a crowded Bulldog Stadium on a wild ride that ended with Concordia’s second-straight win to begin the season. The Bulldogs relinquished a 13-point fourth quarter lead and then embarked on a nine-play, 63-yard game-winning touchdown drive for a 26-21 victory over Hastings on Sept. 14. Head coach Vance Winter’s squad is 2-0 for the first time since 2010 when the Bulldogs knocked off Peru State and Nebraska Wesleyan to begin the campaign.
  • Like last week’s victory at William Jewell, Concordia again piled up more than 50 rush attempts. In the season-opening win in Liberty, Mo., the Bulldogs rushed 54 times for 192 yards. The Bulldog ground attack ran 56 times for 248 yards in the victory over Hastings. Through two games, Concordia has out-rushed its opponents 440 to 167. Led by senior linebacker Drew Baxter, the Bulldogs held Hastings to 35 rushing yards on 21 attempts. Concordia ranks second in the GPAC with 220 rush yards per game.
  • Baxter came up with a team high nine total tackles, including a sack. The native of Rockwall, Texas, also recovered a fumble for the second game in a row. Last season Baxter missed all but one game due to injury. He moved to safety in the spring and proved to be a perfect fit. Winter had called Baxter the team’s unofficial defensive MVP of the spring.
  • The Bulldogs’ 2-0 start has been aided by a plus-seven turnover margin – best in the GPAC. Concordia forced three turnovers of William Jewell and then four more of Hastings. Meanwhile, the Bulldog offense has yet to give the football away this season. Last year Winter’s squad suffered a 34-26 loss at Hastings due in large part to its five turnovers. The 2012 team finished with a minus-two turnover margin for the season.
  • Thomas piled up 234 total yards (145 passing, 89 rushing) in Saturday’s win. He came up with 23 of his rushing yards on the game-winning touchdown drive on the way to leading the team in rushing. Thomas’ 137 rushing yards through two games are second on the team to freshman Bryce Collins’ 153 yards. Last season Thomas paced the team with 460 yards on the ground.
  • Defensive coordinator Patrick Daberkow’s unit has already plucked five interceptions on the season. Each of the picks have come from different individuals. On Saturday, Cody Hawk, Tait Sibbel and Clay Mauro all came up with an interception apiece of Hastings quarterback Matt Overmiller. The Bulldog offense cashed those three interceptions in for a total of 14 points.
  • Senior receiver Jeff Balz’s game-winning touchdown on a reverse may have looked familiar to Bulldog fans. The play was the exact one offensive coordinator Curran White dialed up for a 15-yard touchdown run at William Jewell. It worked again to perfection against Hastings as Balz raced 14 yards to the end zone, this time scooting to the left side of the field without even being touched.
  • Balz is part of a deep group of pass catchers. Thomas has found fired completions to 10 different receivers already this season. Balz’s six catches are the most on the team, while junior Deshawn Eure is tops with 58 receiving yards. Columbia, S.C., native Chevarius Curry-Felix flashed his big play potential when he caught what appeared to be a 68-yard touchdown pass from Thomas late in the fourth quarter. However, Curry-Felix was flagged for offensive pass interference on the play.
  • Offensive lineman Glennon Manninger, listed as a backup guard in the preseason, moved to tackle on Saturday to take the place of Mitchell Cherney, who was sidelined due to an injury suffered earlier in the week at practice. The offensive line has proven especially adept at creating room in the running game.
  • Concordia is set to play its next three games on the road. Next up is rival Midland, who the Bulldogs defeated 23-14 last season in Seward. The Warriors are 2-0 overall and 1-0 in the conference. So far this season, Midland has beaten Mayville State, 31-27, and Dordt, 21-18. Concordia’s victory over the Warriors last season snapped a five-game losing streak in the series.
  • Concordia football received votes in the latest NAIA football Coaches’ Top 25 Poll. The Bulldogs picked up 11 points. View the entire poll HERE.

Cross Country

  • The 2013 cross country campaign got underway on Sept. 14 as head coach Kregg Einspahr began his 22nd season as head coach. The Bulldogs hosted the Concordia Short Course meet, which featured current Bulldog runners as well as alums and Hastings College. As a team, Concordia came out on top of Hastings in both men’s and women’s point scoring. Read the recap of the meet HERE.
  • On the men’s side, Concordia senior Hayden Hohnholt topped the field of 31 competitors on the 5K course. The Saratoga, Wyo., native clocked in at 15:56.32, about 24 seconds faster than Bulldog junior Ben Sievert, who finished second overall. Hohnholt and Sievert, both returning all-conference performers, are expected to carry Concordia at the top of the heap throughout the 2013 season. The duo combined for three GPAC Cross Country Runner of the Week awards last season.
  • A host of Bulldogs followed suit, as junior Creighton Pearse took third in 16:35, junior Josh Allwardt placed fourth in 16:37 and sophomore Jordan Potrzeba claimed fifth in 16:39. Overall, the top men’s times were notably faster than last season, pointing to improvements in strength and maturity among the Bulldog runners.
  • A total of 16 current Concordia runners and seven alums participated in the men’s Short Course race. Among alums, Zane Grabau posted the highest finish as he placed third with a time of 16:34.
  • On the women’s side, Kim Wood got her sophomore campaign off to a solid start by placing second among the 25 finishers at Saturday’s meet. She completed the 5K course in 20:14 to top all current Concordia competitors as well as all Hastings participants. Einspahr believes Wood has a chance to develop into one of the top runners in the GPAC. Wood, a native of Greeley, Neb., enjoyed a great freshman season on the track and is still getting accustomed to cross country. She did not participate in cross country as a prep at Greeley-Wolbach High School.
  • In her first collegiate meet, freshman Jessamyn Sweet had an impressive showing, racing to a third place overall finish behind Wood after crossing the finish line in 20:21. Sophomore Megan Burma took third for the Bulldogs, racing to a time of 20:56, while juniors Haley Harpham and Renee Williams took fourth and fifth in 21:01 and 21:12, respectively.
  • The Concordia Short Course meet provided Kregg Einspahr’s squads a tune up before the annual Woody Greeno Invite at Pioneer Park in Lincoln, Neb., on Saturday. The women’s race begins at 10 a.m. with the men to follow. The meet is known for its large number of teams, including representatives from NCAA Division I schools.

Men’s Soccer

  • After five days off, Concordia men’s soccer resumed nonconference play on Friday and Saturday inside Bulldog Stadium. The two games produced complete opposite results as the Bulldogs fell 3-0 to Friends University (Kan.) on Sept. 13 before rebounding for a 3-0 victory over Sterling College (Kan.) on Sept. 14. Through six games, Concordia sits at 3-3.
  • Senior Nathan Douglas rewrote the Bulldog record book on Saturday by notching his 32nd career goal in the 26th minute of the victory over Sterling. The Winnipeg, Canada, native had entered the game tied with former Concordia standouts Bernie Ochoa (2000-02) and Aaron Skipworth (2008, 2010-12) for the most career goals in program history. Douglas tallied seven goals as a freshman and then led the team with 11 goals apiece as a sophomore and junior. He now has three goals this season. The physics major has played in 60 career games in a Bulldog uniform.
  • Douglas’ three goals on the season place him in a tie for fifth on the conference leaderboard. He is also sixth in shots on goal per game (1.5), seventh in goals per game (0.5), eighth in shots per game (2.67) and 10th in points (6) and points per game (1.0). His two game-winning goals are tied for second most in the GPAC.
  • Junior Brendan Buchanan picked up his second shutout of the season in the win over Sterling. A stifling defensive effort made for a smooth ride for Buchanan, who did not face a single shot on goal the entire afternoon. He still ranks third in the GPAC with 5.83 saves per game.
  • Among the 11 GPAC members, Concordia is one of six with a record of .500 or better. The Bulldogs are one of three teams in the conference (who have played at least one road game) with an undefeated mark in true road contests.
  • Junior Chris DeFeyter became the fifth different Bulldog to find the back of the net this season when he scored in the 55th minute against Sterling. Freshman defender Sean Doran ranks second to Douglas’ three goals with two. Junior Donal Landrum and sophomore Jake Sells have both tallied one goal.
  • Twenty different players have seen action in at least one game. Thirteen have played in all six games with eight starting every game thus far. Freshman Mark Horsburgh of Edinburgh, Scotland, saw his first action in the loss on Friday. Horsburgh relieved Buchanan in goal for the final 7:40 of the game.
  • As a team, head coach Jason Weides’ club ranks eighth in the GPAC in goals per game (1.33) and fifth in goals allowed per game (1.5). The Bulldogs’ two shutouts are tied with Hastings, Midland and Northwestern for the most in the league.
  • Concordia will complete a stretch of four-consecutive home games this week as it hosts Bethany College (Kan.) at 5 p.m. on Wednesday and then Mount Marty at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday to begin GPAC play. Bethany is 2-1 (1-1 on the road) with wins over Central Christian (Kan.) and York College. Mount Marty is 3-3 (1-2 away from home). Last season the Bulldogs defeated Mount Marty 2-0 in Yankton, S.D., in the only meeting between the two squads.

Women’s Soccer

  • Just like the men’s soccer program, Concordia women’s soccer hosted both Friends University and Sterling College back-to-back last week. The Bulldogs ended a stretch of 10-straight days without a game when Friends came to town on Sept. 13. Concordia handed the Falcons a 3-0 defeat to open the weekend. The Bulldogs then fell 2-0 to a strong Sterling squad on Sept. 14. The Bulldogs sit at 3-2 having played all five games inside Bulldog Stadium.
  • Junior Rachel Mussell nearly went for her second career hat trick in the win over Friends. She drilled goals in the 28th and 31st minutes (less than three minutes apart) to give her a team high three goals on the season. She had another great opportunity to score late in the first half when she was one-on-one with the goalkeeper, but the ball got away from her enough for the keeper to pounce on top.
  • Mussell now has four career multi-goal games. Her career high for goals is three, a feat she accomplished last season in a loss to the University of Nebraska-Kearney. The Buffalo, Minn., native earned first team all-conference recognition in 2012 after finishing second in the GPAC with 14 goals. Mussell currently ranks sixth in the GPAC in goals per game (0.6), eighth in goals, ninth in points per game (1.2) and 12th in total points (6.0). Her two game-winning goals are tied for the most in the conference.
  • Freshman Jordan McCoy came through with the best statistical game of her young career in Friday’s victory. The Arvada, Colo., native scored a goal in the 77th minute – the first of her career – and assisted on Mussell’s first goal. McCoy came within an eyelash of scoring earlier in the game when Friends’ keeper Shea Poynter made a diving save of McCoy’s shot in the 38th minute. McCoy has seen action in all five games this season.
  • Head coach Greg Henson has used 21 different players so far this season. Thirteen of those players have gotten time on the pitch in all five games. In goal, sophomore Elyse Muhle has played in almost 430 minutes out of a possible 450. Freshman Chrissy Lind saw her first action as a collegiate player in Saturday’s loss when she relieved Muhle for the final 21:28 of play.
  • The Bulldogs’ .600 winning percentage currently ranks fourth among the 11 GPAC schools. Hastings, with a 4-2 overall mark, has the league’s top winning percentage at .667. The Bulldogs’ five home games are tied for the most in the league to date.
  • As a team, Concordia ranks third in the GPAC in goals per game (2.0) and sixth in goals allowed per game (1.6). The Bulldogs have scored goals on 33 percent of their 30 shots on goal. Concordia’s average of 6.0 shots on goal per game is 10th in the league.
  • Seven different players have combined on the Bulldogs’ 10 goals this season. Junior Ashlie Sklenicka comes in second on the squad with two goals after Mussell’s three. Five different Bulldogs have exactly one goal.
  • Henson’s side will finish off a stretch of seven-straight home games to begin the season when it hosts Bellevue University (Neb.) at 7:15 p.m. on Wednesday and Mount Marty at 1 p.m. on Saturday. Bellevue is 1-3-3 with its only win coming by a 2-1 score over Doane. Last season, then No. 21 Bellevue defeated Concordia 4-1 on Sept. 5. Mount Marty sports a record of 0-5-1. In the only meeting between the Lancers and Bulldogs in 2012, Concordia won 2-1 in Yankton, S.D.


  • The Bulldog men’s golf team took last week off from competition while the women had four days between meets before teeing off at the Sunday-Monday Nebraska Wesleyan Fall Invite. Head coach Brett Muller’s women’s squad shot a two-round 380-359–739 to finish ninth among the 12 teams in the field. Individually, freshman Amy Ahlers enjoyed the highest finish by carding scores of 87-81–168 to place in a tie for 17th among the 69 golfers.
  • Last Tuesday the women competed at GPAC Qualifier No. 1 at Wild Oak Golf Course in Mitchell, S.D. After the first round of GPAC action, Concordia sits seventh among the 11 conference teams. The Bulldogs shot a respectable 366 as a team – better than any Concordia women’s golf team has shot at a conference qualifier in the past few years. See results from last week’s qualifier HERE.
  • As a team, Concordia chopped 15 strokes off its 381 from four days earlier at the Morningside Invite. The Bulldogs’ 366 was also a huge decrease from last season’s top qualifier round of 392.
  • Junior Melissa McIntosh shined with a career low 87 at the qualifier. That score places the Lincoln, Neb., native in a tie for 18th on the individual leaderboard. The key for McIntosh, who shot a 42 on her front nine and a 45 on her back nine, was improved putting.
  • The Bulldogs’ pair of standout freshmen fell in line close behind McIntosh. Ahlers, who hails from Albion, Neb., carded an 89 and Krueger, a native of Aberdeen, S.D., shot a 92. Ahlers and Krueger sit in 22nd and 30th place, respectively, after the Sept. 10 round. Muller said both showed some nerves on the front nine and then calmed down to complete solid first collegiate conference-qualifying efforts.
  • Juniors Allison Schieffer (98) and Jenelle Hallaert (118) rounded out the lineup that Muller traveled to Mitchell. Both knocked strokes off their scores from the Morningside Invite (Sept. 6) as Schieffer improved by 10 strokes and Hallaert lowered her total by two.
  • Through four rounds of golf, Ahlers has been incredibly consistent, shooting scores of 89, 89, 87 and 81. Her average of 86.5 leads Concordia and is nearly two strokes better than the Bulldogs’ lowest average during the 2012-13 season. Krueger is not far behind with scores of 92, 87, 88, 93, for a 90.0 average.
  • The men, led by junior Shawn Rodehorst, will tee off in their first GPAC qualifier meet of the season on Thursday in Sioux City, Iowa. Rodehorst will look for a good first round in an effort to improve upon his eighth-place all-conference finish from last season. Last season Rodehorst, a native of Kearney, Neb., shot a four-round 82-78-72-70–302 (17-over-par) in GPAC qualifier action. Before shifting focus to the GPAC qualifier on Thursday, the men teed off at the Doane Invite on Tuesday at 11 a.m. in Lincoln.
  • The women return to the links Sept. 23-24 at the NAIA National Championships Preview meet at Wilderness Ridge Golf Course in Lincoln.

17 September 2013

Alayna Kavanaugh

Donal Landrum (No. 11)