Bulldog Weekly Report
Bulldog Athletes of the Week
Male: Colin Morrissey, cross country
Morrissey, a senior from Omaha, Neb., won the conference individual title at the GPAC Championships on Nov. 3 with a time of 25:08 in the 8K. Behind Morrissey’s performance, the Bulldogs captured a conference team title for the second time in four years.
Female: Sarah Kortze, cross country
Kortze, a senior native of Rockford, Ill., continued her incredible season by claiming the conference individual title at the GPAC Championships on Nov. 3 by clocking in at 17:11 in the 5K. Her effort helped Concordia to a tie for second place as a team.
Concordia hosts Cattle Classic: Bulldog men’s and women’s basketball will each play host this weekend as part of the Cattle Classic. Two men’s and two women’s games will take place on both Friday and Saturday. Here’s the complete schedule:
Friday, Nov. 9
- Women: Doane College vs. York College, 1 p.m.
- Men: Bethel College (Kan.) vs. York College, 3 p.m.
- Women: Concordia vs. Johnson & Wales University (Colo.), 6 p.m.
- Men: Concordia vs. Kansas Wesleyan University, 8 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 10
- Women: Doane College vs. Johnson & Wales University (Colo.), 12 p.m.
- Men: Kansas Wesleyan University vs. York College, 2 p.m.
- Men: Concordia vs. Bethel College (Kan.), 5 p.m.
- Women: Concordia vs. York College, 7 p.m.
For more information on the Cattle Classic, click HERE.
Concordia Sports Network: Live webcasts for most home varsity contests can be accessed by visiting http://webprod2.cune.edu/csn at game time. Check team schedule/results pages for webcast dates. Scrimmages, exhibitions and junior varsity events are not broadcasted.
- For the second time in the last four years, and for the fourth time in head coach Kregg Einspahr’s tenure, the Bulldog men are champions of the GPAC. With 48 total points at the GPAC Championships on Nov. 3, Concordia topped second-place Morningside (55 points) and the rest of the conference field. Meanwhile, the women tied Nebraska Wesleyan (91 points) for second place behind first-place Dordt (25 points).
- “Finishing first and second was a tremendous accomplishment,” Einspahr said. “I’m very proud of them.”
- It was a banner day for Concordia individuals Sarah Kortze and Colin Morrissey. The two seniors each captured individual GPAC titles. Kortze ran the 5K women’s race in a time of 17:11, roughly 34 seconds faster than teammate Jenna Schwalenberg, who finished in second. On the men’s side, Morrissey clocked in at 25:09 on the 8K course in McCook Lake, S.D.
- Also on the men’s side, junior Hayden Hohnholt took third overall with a time of 25:16. Sophomore Ben Sievert claimed sixth overall in 25:34. Junior Beau Billings finished in 25:44 and junior Adam Prahlow finished in 26:03. Freshman Jordan Portzeba finished in 26:10 and sophomore Charlie Bloomfield finished in 26:12. All seven runners will represent Concordia at the National Championships.
- “It was outstanding,” Einspahr said of the men’s race. “I’m very proud of them, they stuck with it. It was their best team race of the season. Colin did really well for coming off an injury, and it really reveals his competitive drive. He’s just a tremendous competitor. He’s not at his peak fitness, but he runs with his guts.”
- Coming in after Kortze and Schwalenberg for the women were sophomore Renee Williams in 19:04, freshman Kim Wood in 19:06 and senior Christina Hanson in 19:10. “The girls had a great race,” Einspahr said. “It was their best race of the season. Jenna and Sarah had a great race. It would have been nice to win second place outright, but Dordt had a good race too.”
- The men, up seven spots to No. 13 in Sunday’s national coaches’ poll, have earned their 11th berth in the National Championships in the past 12 years. Individually, Kortze and Schwalenberg will also head to the national stage in Vancouver, Wash., on Nov. 17. The women, who fell one position to No. 21 in the latest rankings, narrowly missed out on making their 18th team appearance at National Championships in the last 19 years.
- Morrissey, who was competing in only his third race of the season at the GPAC Championships, shook off the tendonitis and shin splints he has dealt with this fall to take his first GPAC individual title. He finished in second at the conference meet in 2010 with a time of 25:23.
- Kortze rose to No. 1 at this year’s GPAC meet after finishing fourth last year with a time of 18:45 in the 5K. The Rockford, Ill., native then cut her time down to 18:03 at the 2011 National Championships, placing her 13th overall on the way to All-America honors.
- Sophomore Ben Sievert will be making his second-straight appearance at the National Championships after qualifying as an individual last season. The native of Frankenmuth, Mich., claimed a fourth-place finish at the GPAC Championships in 2011 prior to a 207th-place finish at the National Championships.
- Head coach Drew Olson’s top-ranked Bulldogs have lived up to their lofty preseason ranking, at least so far. Concordia is off to a 3-0 start with all three wins coming by a margin of 23 points or more. The Bulldogs have averaged 91.0 points to their opponents’ 51.7 in their first three contests.
- Olson’s squad hosted the four-team Concordia Classic over the weekend. The Bulldogs pummeled McPherson (Kan.), a member of the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference, 102-54 on Nov. 2 prior to a 79-56 victory over William Penn of the Midwest Collegiate Conference on Nov. 3.
- Senior guard Katie Rich enjoyed a fabulous week that included a combined 36 points, 13 rebounds, five assists and four steals in the two weekend wins. Rich, who has averaged 10.4 points over 95 career games as a Bulldog, now sits at 991 career points. She also has 508 rebounds and 193 steals.
- “She’s really changed her game by improving her 3-point shot,” Olson said. “People actually have to guard her on the perimeter now. She’s so explosive in the way that she can get to the rim. She’s like a pogo stick. Once the ball is missed she goes up and gets it again and finds a way to get the ball in the hole.”
- A staple of Concordia’s success in recent years has been its stifling pressure defense. The Bulldogs’ full-court press wrecked plenty of havoc on the team’s first three foes this season. Led by the 12 steals of junior guard Kristen Conahan, Concordia has forced 91 turnovers and has collected 56 thefts.
- The Bulldogs’ frenetic up-tempo style requires plenty of depth. Through three games, Concordia has 10 players averaging 14.0 or more minutes per game, topped by the 24.0 minutes Rich has averaged in her two games. Olson says he is comfortable going 11 or 12 deep, with the confidence to throw several freshmen into the mix. “It’s nice because we can keep running kids at them,” Olson says.
- Senior guard Beth Kohmetscher is off to sizzling start from long range with 9-for-19 3-point shooting (47.4 percent). She is up to 12.7 points per game so far this season after finishing the 2011-12 campaign at 4.3 points per contest. Her nine 3-point field goals are the third most in NAIA Division II women’s basketball.
- As impressive as the Bulldogs have been so far, they have the potential to be even better, considering Concordia has shot only 60.6 percent (40-for-66) from the foul line and 32.5 percent (27-for-83) from the 3-point line. The Bulldogs shot 74 percent from the free throw line last season.
- 6-foot-2 freshman Jenna Lehmann has emerged as an immediate impact player. She is averaging 10.0 points and 3.7 rebounds while showing a knack for finishing at the rim. The addition of Lehmann gives Concordia a potent frontcourt, along with Lori Laboda and Jericca Pearson, to complement its high-powered backcourt.
- The Bulldogs remain at home for a trio of contests this week. They host No. 23 College of Saint Mary on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. before looking forward to the weekend’s Cattle Classic. Concordia will host Johnson & Wales (Colo.) at 6 p.m. on Friday and then York at 7 p.m. on Saturday.
- The Marty Kohlwey era of Bulldog men’s basketball got underway at the York College Tip Off Classic held Nov. 2-3. Kohlwey picked up his first victory as a collegiate head coach on day one of the event with a 97-88 victory over York. Concordia then went toe-to-toe with 13th-ranked Bellevue before falling 84-74 to close the weekend.
- “It’s really good to play two good teams and be in position to possibly win both if we were just able to make a couple of adjustments in the Bellevue game,” Kohlwey said. “We certainly have some improvements we need to make, but I’m pleased with the effort this early in the season.”
- Senior Beau Smith shined in the victory over the host Panthers. Smith led a balanced starting five with 20 points and 11 rebounds while playing at the four position out of necessity. Injuries held sophomore Zach Chrzan and freshman Max Wegener out, making Smith’s performance particularly important.
- “We were kind of short-handed at the four position and Beau had to play a lot of minutes there,” Kohlwey said. “He did an awesome job. He hit a lot of big shots in the first half. It seemed like every time we needed one, either him or Brian (Towner) was hitting a big shot. And then Joel Haywood’s three at the end of the game to put us up by five was huge.”
- Joining Smith in double-figures in scoring were Towner (19), Charles Dunbar (14), Porter Birtell (13) and Haywood (12), as the Bulldogs won their season-opener for the second straight season. All five, along with junior guard Adam Vogt, averaged at least 10.0 points in the two games at York.
- Birtell picked up where he left off last season, in what was a First Team All-GPAC and Honorable Mention All-America campaign. The senior post from Madison, Neb., averaged 18.0 points on 15-for-19 shooting (78.9 percent) in the two games. His 23 points in the loss to Bellevue were a game high. Birtell now has 1,154 points (13.9 average) and 615 rebounds (7.4 average) in his career at Concordia.
- Vogt provided a spark off the bench in the Nov. 3 loss. He poured in 17 points, most of which came from the 3-point arc. Vogt sank 5 of 9 attempts from 3-point range and is now 6-for-12 on the season. Vogt is a career 38.2 percent shooter from long range.
- On the weekend, the Bulldogs shot 52.5 percent (62-for-118) from the field, including a 66 percent effort in the win over York. Concordia shot 43.7 percent in its 30 games last season.
- Through two games, the Bulldogs are averaging 85.5 points per game and giving up 86.0 points per game. Last season Concordia was out-scored 74.6 to 72.1 on average.
- The Bulldogs will host their home opener at this weekend’s Cattle Classic. The event pits Concordia against Kansas Wesleyan at 8 p.m. on Friday Bethel at 5 p.m. on Saturday.
- The Bulldogs entered their Nov. 3 game with wins in five of their last six games but ran into a buzz saw in the form of fourth-ranked Morningside. The Mustangs clinched the GPAC title by thumping Concordia 50-0 in Sioux City, Iowa. Unbeaten Morningside has run roughshod over its schedule, winning every game this season by 25 points or more.
- “We were outclassed in every way. They are a legit football team,” head coach Vance Winter said of Morningside. “They had a sense of purpose from the beginning.”
- The Bulldogs, who entered play averaging 28.6 points per game, were shutout for the first time this season and for the first time since Aug. 27, 2011, when then No. 22 Benedictine routed Concordia 45-0.
- The win for the Mustangs marked the ninth-straight in the series with Concordia. The Bulldogs last defeated Morningside on Nov. 15, 2003, by a score of 34-19 in a game played in Seward.
- Senior receiver Colten Quinabo put up big numbers in the defeat. The Wailuku, Hawaii, native caught eight of quarterback Von Thomas’ 17 completions for a career high 146 yards. It was the third time Quinabo has topped the 100-yard mark in his career and the second time he’s done so in the past three games. Quinabo now has 45 receptions for 541 yards and four touchdowns on the season. He ranks fourth in the GPAC in catches and sixth in receiving yards.
- Senior defensive lineman Michael Voelker also had a big statistical day in the loss at Morningside. The Linn, Kan., native posted eight total tackles, 2.5 for loss, a sack and a quarterback hurry. Voelker has been a four-year mainstay on the Bulldog defensive line. He has amassed 160 tackles, 22.5 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks in his career.
- Concordia is now 1-2 this season against ranked opponents, having defeated then No. 11 Northwestern while suffering defeats to then No. 13 Benedictine and No. 4 Morningside. The Bulldogs will play another top 25 team on Saturday when they travel to No. 20 Doane for a 1 p.m. contest.
- Concordia hopes to snap a six-game skid to the Tigers, who are tied with Hastings for third place. The Bulldogs last beat Doane in 2005. Concordia won that game 23-10 in Crete. The Tigers are 4-1 at home this season with the only loss coming to Morningside. The Bulldogs are 2-3 on the road with wins over Dakota State and Briar Cliff.
- Since devastating Northwestern’s punt coverage units to the tune of seven punt returns for 118 yards and a touchdown on Oct. 13, junior Derek Blessing has had only had five punt return opportunities. On the season, Blessing still leads the NAIA with 388 punt return yards and three punt return touchdowns.
- Head coach Scott Mattera’s squad finished off its regular-season schedule last week with home losses to No. 5 Hastings 25-16, 21-25, 25-14, 25-14 and Northwestern 25-21, 25-17, 25-22. The Broncos and Red Raiders finished with a combined GPAC record of 26-6.
- Lincoln native Amanda Kisker and three fellow seniors – Angela Bruhn, Kim Miller and Lindsea Vaudt – polished off their careers at Walz Arena in the loss to Northwestern on Nov. 3. Through 130 career matches played, Kisker has piled up 1,110 kills and 778 digs in her collegiate volleyball career that included one year at Dana College. She is a 2011 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete and Honorable Mention All-GPAC selection. This season Kisker ranks third in the GPAC with 3.4 kills per set.
- “There’s four seniors, and so a lot of the players tonight said, ‘We’re going to play for the upper classmen’ because we’re a really young team,” Kisker said of the home finale. “We have a lot of freshmen and sophomores. We didn’t get the win but we definitely played hard. We’ll take that into practice on Monday and go get Hastings on Tuesday.”
- Bruhn, a Creston, Neb., native, owns 262 digs, 49 kills and nine service aces in 54 career matches as a Bulldog. She had a career best 216 digs last season. Miller, who hails from Mason City, Iowa, has totaled 142 kills and 47 total blocks in 47 career matches played. Despite missing five matches this season due to injury, she has posted a career high 86 kills in 2012.
- “They won’t be taking the floor here at Walz anymore, but I know they’ll be supporting us every step of the way,” Mattera said of the quartet of seniors. “That’s just who they are. I’m very proud of the foundation they’ve helped build. They’re going to be a part of what we do for the rest of this season and moving forward into the future.”
- The Nov. 1 defeat at the hands of fifth-ranked Hastings marked the Bulldogs’ ninth loss this season against ranked opponents. Concordia has also lost three times to teams that were listed in the top 25 poll as “others receiving votes” at the time of the match. The Bulldogs performed admirably in each of their past two outings against ranked foes, pushing then No. 19 Doane to five sets on Oct. 24 prior to taking a game from Hastings in their most recent matchup with a top 25 team.
- “We pushed some of the best teams in the country week in and week out,” Mattera said. “And we did it with heart, brains, believing in each other and playing the system. The improvement shown by our girls speaks to their character.”
- Concordia now enters the GPAC postseason tournament as the No. 8 seed after finishing 10-20 overall and 4-12 in league play during the regular season. The Bulldogs will play top-seeded Hastings (26-3, 16-0 GPAC) for the third time in 2011 when they travel to Hastings on Tuesday for a 7:30 p.m. match. The Broncos rank first in the conference in kills per set (13.2) and second in hitting percentage (.250).
- Concordia’s season concluded on Nov. 1 when the Bulldogs fell 2-0 to red hot Midland in the GPAC quarterfinals. The evenly-matched contest saw the host and second-seeded Warriors barely out-number seventh-seeded Concordia in shots, 10-9 (4-3 in shots on goal).
- It was the second-straight year the Bulldogs’ season came to an end at the hands of Midland, which defeated Concordia 3-1 in the GPAC quarterfinals in 2011. The Warriors will attempt to get back to the GPAC Championship game after falling 4-1 to Hastings last year in the title contest.
- The Bulldogs have now won exactly 11 games in back-to-back seasons, marking one of the most successful two-year runs in Concordia soccer history. The Bulldogs are 22-13-3 over the past two seasons. The school record for most wins in a season is 12, a feat that was accomplished by the 2000 Bulldog squad that included Weides as a player.
- Senior forward Aaron Skipworth ends his collegiate soccer career as the school’s most productive striker. The native of Colorado Springs, Colo., finishes his four years as a Bulldog in a tie for No. 1 on the school’s all-time goals list (31) and alone atop Concordia’s assists chart (17).
- Junior forward Nathan Douglas led the Bulldogs in goals for the second-consecutive season. With 11 goals in each of the last two years, the Winnipeg, Canada, native now has 29 career goals, putting him two behind Skipworth and former Concordia standout Bernie Ochoa on the all-time list.
- With Douglas back in the fold for 2013 and the return of several key underclassmen, including 12 freshmen who saw action in at least one game, head coach Jason Weides will bring back plenty of experienced talent. The freshmen quartet of Sean Doran, Ben Walker, Gideon Soenksen and Justin Lawrie played in all 19 games with a combined 75 starts. Doran emerged as one of the league’s top newcomers as a force at center back and on set pieces as he totaled six goals on the season.
- Douglas was named to the Capital One Academic All-District 6 team of the College Division. To read more about this prestigious honor that recognizes student-athletes for their all-around accomplishments in the classroom, in the community and in competition, click HERE.
- Sophomore forward Rachel Mussell and the Bulldog women’s soccer team also saw their season come to a close in the GPAC quarterfinals. Concordia held down a potent Doane attack for much of the Oct. 30 affair, but ultimately fell 2-1 in Crete, Neb.
- The Bulldogs had hoped to advance to the semifinals for the second-straight season after topping Dakota Wesleyan 4-3 on penalty kicks following a 1-1 draw in a two-overtime contest in last year’s quarterfinal match. Concordia then lost 3-1 to Hastings in the semifinals.
- Mussell, a Buffalo, Minn., native ended a two-game drought without a goal by scoring the Bulldogs’ lone goal in the season-ending defeat. Mussell skillfully worked around the drawn out Tiger keeper and tapped into the net for her 14th goal of the season. That number places her second in the GPAC behind only the 18 goals from Doane’s Sara Cushing. Mussell’s 14 goals are the most in a single season by a Concordia women’s soccer player since Gentri Brown totaled 19 in 2006.
- Seniors Kyleah Bowder and Kelsie Elder donned the Bulldog uniform for the final time in the loss at Doane. Bowder, a Lincoln native, has been a key figure on the Concordia back line since her arrival on campus on 2009. She has played in 66 career games with one goal and four assists. Elder, who hails from Denver, Colo., played in 44 games with a goal and two assists.
- With the departure of just two seniors, the Bulldogs will bring back eight players who started at least half of the team’s games, including five who started all 16 games – Mussell, juniors Jordan Donohoue and Emily Fleming and sophomores Ashlie Sklenicka and Melissa Stine. Freshman Katie Janis started 15 games at defender.
- “We’re going to have a lot of strong people coming back,” Fleming said. “You can’t replace the girls that are going. We’re really going to miss them. I’m going to miss them a lot, but we’re looking forward to next year too.”
- Fleming and Mussell were named to the Capital One Academic All-District 6 team of the College Division. To read more about this prestigious honor that recognizes student-athletes for their all-around accomplishments in the classroom, in the community and in competition, click HERE.
6 November 2012