Bulldog Weekly Report
Bulldog Athletes of the Week
Female: Kristen Conahan, Basketball
Conahan, a native of Omaha, Neb., blistered the nets with a career high 31 points (11-for-14 shooting from the field) in Concordia’s lopsided win over Midland on Nov. 27. The junior guard then put up 16 more points in the victory over No. 4 Morningside on Dec. 1, putting her at 1,028 points for her career. She added seven assists and five steals on the week.
Male: Austin Starkey, Wrestling
Starkey, who hails from St. Paul, Neb., has quickly acclimated himself to collegiate wrestling. The freshman took down NAIA No. 4-ranked Robert Eklund of York College at 157 pounds on Nov. 29. He followed that performance by posting a 3-2 record at the Simpson Invitational on Dec. 1 against a field loaded with quality wrestlers.
Wollberg qualifies for NAIA Outdoor Track & Field National Championships: With a time of 1:12:42 at the Warrior Half Marathon on Dec. 1, Concordia Concordia sophomore Matthias Wollberg automatically qualified for the NAIA Outdoor Track & Field National Championships (May 23-25, 2013). His time placed him second at the event, 40 seconds behind first place Nick Penning of Dakota State.
Zoeller selected to National Bowl Game all-star team: Concordia senior kicker Kenny Zoeller accepted an invitation to play in this Sunday’s (Dec. 9) third annual National Bowl Game at J. Birney Crum Stadium in Allentown, Pa. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m. Zoeller was a first team all-conference selection this season after making 15 of 20 field goal attempts and 27 of 28 PATs for 72 total points. For further information on the National Bowl Game and to view complete rosters, click HERE.
Fall Scholar-Athletes announced: The NAIA has announced 2012 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes for all sports except for football (will be released on Dec. 12). Fourteen more Bulldogs were honored with the release of men’s and women’s soccer and volleyball Scholar-Athletes on Nov. 30. Concordia now has a total of 26 Scholar-Athletes for fall 2012. Here are the 14 Concordia honorees announced on Friday:
-Nathan Douglas, Jr. (Winnipeg, Can.)
-Skylar Lewis, Sr. (Adel, Iowa)
-Chris Podlich, Sr. (Brisbane, Australia)
-Kayla Asche, Jr. (Lincoln, Neb.)
-Jordan Donohoue, Jr. (Manhattan, Kan.)
-Emily Fleming, Jr. (Gretna, Neb.)
-Louisa Mehl, Jr. (Concordia, Mo.)
-Angela Bruhn, Sr. (Creston, Neb.)
-Amanda Kisker, Sr. (Lincoln, Neb.)
-Kim Miller, Sr. (Mason City, Iowa)
-Elise Ortmeier, Jr. (Beemer, Neb.)
-Jennifer Smith, Jr. (Grafton, Neb.)
-Morgan Stover, Jr. (Columbus, Neb.)
-Lindsea Vaudt, Jr. (Kalispell, Mont.)
‘Birtell family bleeds Bulldog blue’: Siblings Porter, Britney and Sawyer Birtell followed in their father’s footsteps in becoming Bulldogs. Read more about the Birtell family and its relation to Concordia athletics 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 schedule/results pages for webcast dates. Scrimmages, exhibitions and junior varsity events are not broadcasted.
- No. 1 Concordia pushed its record to 10-0 overall and 4-0 in GPAC play by blowing out Midland 110-65 at Walz Arena on Nov. 27 prior to an 80-76 victory at No. 4 Morningside on Dec. 1 in a showdown between the GPAC’s highest ranked teams in the national poll.
- The Bulldogs have now won 19-consecutive games against GPAC opponents, including seven in a row on the road. Concordia is also one of only seven remaining undefeated teams in NAIA Division II and its 10 wins are tied with Briar Cliff, Saint Francis (Ind.) and Southern Oregon for the most in the nation.
- Head coach Drew Olson’s squad is now the consensus No. 1 team in the NAIA coaches’ poll. Concordia garnered all 13 first-place votes in the Nov. 27 edition of the top 25. The Bulldogs gathered 11 of 13 first-place nods in the preseason poll (Oct. 23).
- The big game on Dec. 1 marked the first time this season that the Bulldogs have truly been tested. Concordia won each of its first nine games by 23 points or more and entered the contest with an average margin of victory of nearly 40 points per game. The Bulldogs closest game this season had been a 79-56 win over William Penn (Iowa) on Nov. 3. Concordia still leads the nation with an average win margin of 35.1 points per game.
- The Mustangs attempted to beat the Bulldogs at their own game. Morningside became the first team this season to hold an advantage over Concordia in the turnover battle. The Bulldogs, who lead the nation with a turnover margin of plus-13.9, committed 25 turnovers compared to the 23 they forced. On the season, Concordia has turned it over 177 times, while its opponents have compiled 316 turnovers.
- Junior guard Kristen Conahan became the second Bulldog this season to eclipse the 1,000 career point mark when she scored 31 points in the win over Midland last week. The Omaha native joined teammate Katie Rich, who reached 1,000 points in the Nov. 6 victory versus No. 23 College of Saint Mary, as the second Bulldog to accomplish the feat this season. With 16 more points at Morningside, Conahan now has 1,028 points. Rich stands at 1,070.
- Conahan is averaging a team high 15.9 points per game. She averaged 14.7 points as a sophomore last season and 10.6 as a freshman. Her 31 points against Midland were a career high, topping her previous best of 26 points in last season’s national quarterfinal win over Grand View on March 10.
- The Bulldogs continue to rank near the top of most major statistical categories among the 128 NAIA Division II teams. Concordia is No. 1 nationally in steals per game (20.3), scoring margin (35.1) and turnover margin (plus-13.9). The Bulldogs also rank second in scoring (94.2 ppg), third in 3-point field goals per game (9.9) and seventh in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.124).
- Junior forward Lori Laboda posted season highs in points (13) and rebounds (12) in Concordia’s win over Morningside, as she posted the first double-double by a Bulldog this season. Laboda, who leads the team with 6.2 rebounds per game, also added five assists and three steals in a stat sheet-stuffing performance.
- Senior guard Beth Kohmetscher, who showed immense range on her jumper in the victory over Midland, continues to rank as one of the nation’s top sharp shooters. She ranks third in the nation with 32 made 3-point field goals and ranks fifth nationally in 3-point field goals per game (3.2) and 19th in 3-point field goal percentage (45.1). She has nailed at least one 3-pointer in every game this season has at least one 3-point field goal in 11-straight games overall.
- The Bulldogs will lock horns with another highly ranked GPAC foe on Wednesday at 6 p.m. when they play at No. 5 Briar Cliff (10-0, 4-0 GPAC), which has identical overall and conference records. The Chargers play a similar style as Concordia, emphasizing an uptempo approach that leads to high point totals and turnovers on the opposite side. Concordia swept a pair of games from Briar Cliff last season in what were closely-contested, high-scoring affairs. The Bulldogs then return home Saturday to play Dakota Wesleyan (8-2, 2-1 GPAC), a squad that could enter the national poll after two wins last week. Game time is set for 2 p.m.
- Head coach Marty Kohlwey’s squad dropped a pair of GPAC contests last week, including an 88-81 overtime decision versus Midland on Nov. 28 and an 87-70 loss at Morningside on Dec. 1. The Bulldogs are now 5-3 overall and 2-2 in GPAC competition.
- Unlike Concordia’s 68-65 victory at Nebraska Wesleyan on Nov. 20 when the Bulldogs erased an 11-point deficit for a come-from-behind win, Concordia was unable to overcome significant disadvantages over the past week. The Bulldogs trailed by as many as 11 points in the home loss to Midland, but surrendered large runs at the beginning of both halves and the overtime session before falling for the first time in conference play. Concordia cut a 19-point first half deficit at Morningside all the way down to five in the second half. However, the Bulldogs were unable to overcome the Mustangs’ torrid 13-for-28 effort from beyond the arc.
- Senior forward Beau Smith returned to the court last week after a four-game absence due to a foot injury. Smith provided scoring punch with 17 points in 23 minutes versus Midland and 16 points in 22 minutes at Morningside. He shot 52.6 percent (10-for-19) from the field on the week while adding a total of nine rebounds. He is averaging 13.8 points in four games this season.
- Injuries have made it a rarity for Concordia to have its full complement of players for any game this season. While Smith found his way back in the lineup last week, senior forward Brian Towner exited with an injury of his own and missed the Midland and Morningside games. He averaged 8.8 points per game while starting the first six contests this season.
- Freshman forward Max Wegener scored his first career points on Dec. 1 with a layup early in the second half. Despite not scoring, the Wildwood, Mo., native provided 13 solid minutes in the win at Nebraska Wesleyan where he grabbed six rebounds.
- Following the loss at Morningside, Kohlwey talked about improvements that must be made defensively as the team moves forward with GPAC play. The Bulldogs allowed Midland to shoot 54.2 percent (32-for-59) from the field and then gave up 48.2 percent (27-for-56) shooting at Morningside. Concordia is ninth in the conference in scoring defense (75.1 ppg) and eighth in field goal percentage defense (45.8). The Bulldogs are 5-0 when holding opponents to 47.2 percent shooting or less.
- Kohlwey also mentioned a desire to get the ball inside more often. Senior post Porter Birtell has been near automatic once he receives the ball on the block. His 64.2 percent (52-for-81) shooting from the field ranks third in the GPAC and seventh nationally among all NAIA Division II players. Senior forward Brent Houchin has been similarly effective down low. He has connected on 64.1 percent (25-for-39) of his shot attempts.
- The Bulldogs also expect to heat up from 3-point range, where they are shooting at just a 30.9 percent clip through eight games. Sophomore guard Joel Haywood (10-for-34) from beyond the arc) figures to regain his stroke in the near future. The native of Lakewood, Colo., shot an impressive 45.9 percent from deep last season.
- Concordia faces another stiff road test at Briar Cliff (8-3, 2-2 GPAC) on Wednesday at 6 p.m. The Chargers, listed in the “others receiving votes” category in the coaches’ poll, have lost to two ranked opponents by a combined total of seven points. The Bulldogs come back home on Saturday to take on Dakota Wesleyan (4-5, 1-2 GPAC) at 4 p.m. The Tigers defeated Hastings 91-79 in their most recent outing.
- Head coach Dana Vote led his Bulldogs into their first home dual of the 2012-13 campaign on Nov. 29 as Concordia hosted No. 17 York in what turned out to be a 36-12 Panther victory. Concordia then finished 10th among the 13 teams in the Simpson College Invitational field in Indianola, Iowa, on Dec. 1.
- Freshman Austin Starkey went 4-2 on the week, including a 6-4 decision over York’s Robert Eklund – the fourth-ranked individual at 157 pounds in the NAIA. Said Starkey, “I just had to keep on him and try to wear him out. Coach said we were going to be in better shape than they were so I just kept working on him, and I got him there.” The St. Paul, Neb., native is now 6-4 on the season with two pins and two wins by major decision.
- Senior Frank Ayala (Hwt.) was the only Bulldog to place at the Simpson Invite. After getting pinned by Grand View’s Eric Thompson in round two of the consolation bracket, the West Covina, Calif., native responded with a pin of North Iowa Area Community College’s Alex Stockton in 4:07 and then a 3-1 overtime decision over Glenn Cothren of Iowa Lakes Community College. Ayala (8-7) then lost his final bout by an 8-3 score to Central Missouri’s Zotaih Tuaquoi with a trip to the consolation final match on the line. The sixth place finish marks Ayala’s second tournament placing this season on the heels of a fourth place finish at the Swede Open on Nov. 10.
- Nine wrestlers represented Concordia at the Simpson Invite with seven recording at least one victory at the event. The Bulldogs’ eight pins were the fifth most among the 13-team field. The eight pins were spread amongst six different wrestlers with Chandler Brandert (141) and Seth Crane (184) leading the way with two apiece.
- The Simpson Invite featured several top NAIA and NCAA Division III teams, including the NAIA’s top-ranked team in Grand View (Iowa), which boasts three No. 1-ranked individuals. NCAA Division III No. 1 Wartburg (Iowa) and No. 4 Coe (Iowa) also took part in the loaded tournament at Simpson College.
- Crane (7-6) also had one of Concordia’s three individual triumphs in the dual against York. Crane pinned the Panthers’ Joey Massay in 2:36. His four pins on the season lead the team. Ayala, Brandert, Kale Hintz (174), Alex Stepanek (133) and Starkey come in next with two pins each.
- On the season, 11 different wrestlers have competed in at least one varsity match for Concordia. Those 11 wrestlers have compiled a record of 40-63 with 16 pins, five wins by major decision and five individual tournament placings. Ayala’s eight wins are tops on the team. Crane and Stepanek are tied for the second most with seven victories apiece.
- Vote will return to his alma mater Saturday as the Bulldogs compete in the Buena Vista University Open in Storm Lake, Iowa. The action will begin at 9 a.m.
4 December 2012