Bulldog Weekly Report
Bulldog Athletes of the Week
Male: Porter Birtell, Basketball
Birtell, a Madison, Neb., native, went for 20 points and 10 rebounds against Briar Cliff on Dec. 5 and averaged 15.5 points and 9.5 rebounds for the week. The senior post leads the team in both categories with season averages of 16.9 points and 6.9 rebounds per contest.
Female: Bailey Morris, Basketball
Morris, who hails from Roseland, Neb., posted point totals of 12 and 15, respectively, in wins over Briar Cliff and Dakota Wesleyan last week. The junior guard averaged 13.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game over the week. She is second on the team in scoring with 14.4 points per contest.
Indoor track and field begins Friday: The Bulldog indoor track and field season gets started on Friday with the Polar Dog Multi-Events. The action will begin at 5 p.m. in the Fieldhouse with Hastings serving as the competition. Hastings will also compete on Saturday in a dual with Concordia. Competition will get underway at 10 a.m. from the Fieldhouse on Saturday. View the complete schedule of events HERE. A season preview will be released on Wednesday on ConcordiaBulldogs.com.
Zoeller perfect at National Bowl Game: Concordia senior kicker Kenny Zoeller took part in the National Bowl Game in Allentown, Pa., on Sunday. The first team all-conference performer nailed all three of his extra point attempts as his Red Nation team defeated Blue Nation 35-21. The National Bowl Game is an all-star contest that features standout collegiate seniors from across the nation.
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.
- The top-ranked Bulldogs survived a second-straight road game against a top five team by defeating No. 5 Briar Cliff 72-65 on Dec. 5 before returning home to capture a 78-58 victory over Dakota Wesleyan on Dec. 8. Concordia is now 12-0 overall and alone atop the GPAC with a league mark of 6-0.
- The Bulldogs’ 12 wins are tied with No. 2 Indiana Wesleyan for the most wins in NAIA Division II. Indiana Wesleyan, No. 6 Davenport (Mich.) (10-0), No. 8 Saint Francis (Ind.) (10-0), No. 20 St. Thomas (Fla.) (9-0) and Menlo (Calif.) join Concordia as the only remaining undefeated teams in the nation. The Bulldogs are 12-0 for the first time since the 2004-05 season when then head coach Todd Voss’ squad began the campaign at 14-0.
- With wins over No. 4 Morningside and No. 5 Briar Cliff, Concordia is the only team in the nation with two wins over teams ranked in the top five. The Bulldogs are now 3-0 against ranked opponents having also beaten No. 23 College of Saint Mary on Nov. 6.
- The Bulldogs continued their home dominance with a 20-point win over Dakota Wesleyan in their most recent contest inside Walz Arena. In eight home games this season, head coach Drew Olson’s squad has won by an average of 37.5 points per game compared to an average victory margin of 22.0 in four road games. After triumphing by 40.3 points per game over six non-conference games, the Bulldogs own an average win margin of 22.7 in GPAC action. Concordia is second nationally with an overall scoring margin of 31.5.
- The Bulldogs rank second in NAIA Division II with 19.8 steals per game after another 19 in the victory over Dakota Wesleyan. Amazingly, Concordia individuals make up the top four in the GPAC in steals per game. Junior Kristen Conahan took over the GPAC lead from sophomore teammate Bailey Morris by plucking eight thefts against the Tigers to push her season average to 3.58. Morris is second with 3.42 steals per contest followed by senior Katie Rich with 3.18 and sophomore Tracy Peitz with 2.64. Conahan’s 43 steals lead the nation.
- Junior forward Lori Laboda has come on strong of late with her most productive three-game stretch of the season. She has posted two double-doubles in the last three games and is averaging 12 points and 11 rebounds per contest during that period. She is the team’s leading rebounder on the season with 83 total for an average of 6.9 per game.
- With eight players who rank in the top 41 in the GPAC in scoring, Concordia has twice as many as any other team in the conference. Briar Cliff, Dakota Wesleyan, Midland and Northwestern each have four apiece who rank amongst the top 38. The Bulldogs’ group of eight ranges in scoring average from 7.4 points per game to the team high 15.3 per game of Conahan. The Omaha native is tied for fourth in the conference in scoring.
- The Bulldogs rank in the top five nationally in both total 3-point field goals (113) and 3-point field goals per game (9.4). Both figures lead the GPAC, which is known as a 3-point heavy league. Individually, senior Beth Kohmetscher leads Concordia with 35 3-pointers, just one behind Dakota Wesleyan’s Amanda Hart for tops in the conference. Conahan is third in the GPAC with 29 3-point field goals.
- The Bulldogs’ 15 successful 3-pointers in the 121-72 win over Johnson & Wales (Colo.) on Nov. 9 are a single-game high in the GPAC this season. Concordia has hit double figures in 3-point field goals five times this season and nearly matched its own season high when it poured in 14 against Midland on Nov. 27. The Bulldogs hoist an average of nearly 27 3-point attempts per game.
- Concordia is now idle until Dec. 20-21 when it plays in sunny Honolulu, Hawaii, as part of the Hoop ‘N’ Surf Classic. Concordia will take on the University of the Cumberlands (Ky.) (8-2) and conference rival Doane (5-8) at the two-day event. Says Laboda, “We’re really excited and it’s an awesome place to go travel to. But we have to remember what we’re going there for, and that’s to get another two wins. So hopefully we’re just really prepared and ready to go when we get there.”
- Former two-time Buena Vista University letter winner Dana Vote took his team back to his alma mater for the Buena Vista Open on Dec. 8 in Storm Lake, Iowa. Three individuals placed on the medal stand as senior Brandon Starkey (149) captured a fifth-place finish and junior Alex Stepanek (133) and Frank Ayala (285) took sixth-place finishes.
- The tournament field included representatives from NAIA No. 1 Grand View (Iowa), No. 6 Morningside, No. 16 Midland, No. 20 York, (RV) Northwestern, (RV) William Penn (Iowa), (RV) Central Baptist (Ark.), Briar Cliff and NCAA schools Augustana (S.D.), Northwest Missouri, Southwest Minnesota State, Wayne State and host Buena Vista. No team scores were kept.
- Starkey, who entered the event with a record of 3-4 at 157, placed at a tournament for the second time this season and for the 11th time in his career by winning four matches on the day, including a 4-2 decision over Morningside’s Taylor Phipps in his final competition. He began the day by breezing past Briar Cliff’s Evan Lynn 16-1 for a technical fall victory before taking down Midland’s Nick Schroeder (8-7) and William Penn’s Lane Colwell (9-2) in the consolation bracket.
- Starkey is the program’s all-time wins leader with 60 for his career. He is also Concordia wrestling’s career leader in total matches wrestled with 110. He is now 7-6 this season with one pin and one win by technical fall.
- Stepanek, a St. Paul, Neb., native nearly fought his way to the finals of the consolation bracket before falling in a narrow 2-1 decision to Central Baptist’s Antonia Rivera in the fifth-place match. Stepanek pushed his season win total to 12 by grabbing five more wins on Saturday. He defeated a host of conference opponents in Morningside’s Carter Tegeler (pin; 3:45), Briar Cliff’s Albert Voss (pin; 4:43) and Hunter Langley (pin; 4:11) and Northwestern’s Richard Ortiz (6-4).
- Ayala remained in the championship bracket by scoring pins over his first two opponents in Midland’s Micah Kekela (3:22) and Buena Vista’s Gable Bonner (3:52) before getting bounced to the consolation bracket. Like Stepanek, Ayala lost by a single point (1-0) in the fifth-place bout in which Briar Cliff’s Brian Ervin served as the opponent.
- A total of nine wrestlers represented Concordia at the event with seven of the nine winning at least one match on the day. Overall, Bulldog wrestlers went 18-20 with 10 pins and one win by technical fall. Chandler Brandert (141), who went 3-2 with a pair of pins on the day, and Austin Starkey (157), who went 2-2 with one pin, joined Brandon Starkey, Ayala and Stepanek as Concordia grapplers with multiple wins at Buena Vista.
- With a total of 18 victories at the Buena Vista Open, 11 Bulldog wrestlers have combined for a record of 58-83 with eight individual tournament placements, 26 pins, five victories by major decision and one technical fall win on the season. Stepanek’s five wins at Buena Vista allowed him to take over the team lead with 12 in the team’s first five competitions.
- Nine different individuals have recorded at least one pin for Concordia this season, topped by the five by Stepanek. The St. Paul, Neb., native added three pins to his total on Dec. 8. Ayala, freshman Chandler Brandert and sophomore Seth Crane come in next with four pins apiece. Stepanek (12-9) is tied with freshman Austin Starkey (8-6) for the top winning percentage on the team (.571).
- Concordia is back on the road on Saturday when it will compete at the Raven Duals hosted by Benedictine College (Kan.). The event will get started at 9 a.m. in Atchison, Kan.
- Head coach Marty Kohlwey’s Bulldogs found themselves in large early holes once again last week as they fell twice in GPAC play. Concordia played a ranked opponent for the second time this season and lost 75-68 at No. 25 Briar Cliff on Dec. 5. The Bulldogs then returned home on Dec. 8 and were defeated 75-65 by Dakota Wesleyan. Concordia fell to 5-5 overall and 2-4 in GPAC games.
- Senior post Porter Birtell served as a bright spot on the week with a combined 31 points and 19 rebounds in the two defeats. The 6-foot-6 native of Madison, Neb., now has two double-doubles on the season after putting up 10 double-doubles in 30 games as a junior. He leads the team in scoring (16.9 ppg), rebounding (6.9 rpg) and shooting percentage (61.9).
- Among all GPAC performers, Birtell is sixth in scoring and rebounding and third in field goal percentage. Junior guard Adam Vogt is ninth in the league in 3-point shooting percentage (38.9) and sixth in 3-point field goals per game (2.1). Senior Charles Dunbar and sophomore Joel Haywood are tied for third in the GPAC in steals per game (1.9). Dunbar also ranks third in assists with 4.2 per contest. Haywood is third in free throw percentage at 89.3 (25-for-28).
- Senior forward Beau Smith has provided solid production over the last four games since returning from a foot injury. The native of McKinney, Texas, has averaged 14.8 points and 6.0 rebounds during that stretch while shooting 47.5 percent (19-for-40) from the field and 37.5 percent (6-for-16) from beyond the arc.
- Severe scoring draughts of late have led to significant deficits in each of the last five games for Concordia. The Bulldogs have faced disadvantages as large as 19 versus Dakota Wesleyan, 14 at Briar Cliff, 19 at Morningside, 11 versus Midland and 11 at Nebraska Wesleyan in games since Nov. 20. Concordia is 1-4 in those contests with the lone win coming at Nebraska Wesleyan.
- The Bulldogs have struggled on the offensive end with shooting percentages below 40 percent in four of their last six games, including a mark of 34.6 percent over the last three games. Concordia has been much more proficient from the free throw line where it ranks third in the GPAC and 26th nationally among NAIA Division II teams with a figure of 71.3 percent.
- Vogt has improved his production considerably in an increased role this season. He is averaging 11.4 points per game after scoring averages of 4.1 and 6.4 in his freshman and sophomore seasons, respectively. He has also established himself as one of the conference’s top outside shooters with 21 3-point field goals in 10 games. His free throw percentage of 79.4 is ninth in the GPAC.
- With four GPAC squads currently ranked among the nation’s top 25 teams and one listed as receiving votes, Concordia will have an opportunity to improve upon its 0-2 mark against ranked foes. The Bulldogs were 1-6 last season against top 25 squads with the win being a 94-75 triumph at No. 14 Northwestern on Jan. 4.
- The Bulldogs have scored an average of 74.6 points per game compared to the 75.1 points they have allowed per contest. Concordia has played in several close games with eight of their first 10 games decided by 10 points or less. Three of the Bulldogs’ wins have come by exactly three points.
- Concordia will entertain red hot 14th-ranked Doane at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday inside Walz Arena. The Tigers (12-1, 5-1 GPAC) lost for the first time this season on Nov. 28 when they were beaten 80-73 by Hastings. They have since won three straight including two games decided by a combined six points. The rivals split last season’s two meetings with each road team earning a victory.
11 December 2012