Weekend in Bulldog athletics
By Lukas Vigil, Sports Information Intern
The Bulldogs enter the weekend with plenty on the line. Concordia track and field gets started on Friday with the bulk of the GPAC Championships to take place on Saturday. Head coach Dana Vote’s grapplers also enter their most critical tournament with the right to go to nationals up for grabs at Saturday’s North Qualifying Group Tournament in Fremont, Neb. On the hardwood, Bulldog women’s hoops remains alive for a conference title if it can win at Mount Marty and be fortunate enough for Morningside to lose at home to Hastings. Spring sports have also begun as tennis continues Friday night and the opening pitch of the 2013 baseball season is fired on Saturday afternoon.
Here’s a look at all of this weekend’s happenings in the world of Bulldog athletics.
Track and Field at GPAC Championships: Friday and Saturday
-NOTE: multi-events take place at Doane; all other events will be held at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. View the complete schedule HERE.
Outlook: The Concordia track and field teams enter their most important meet this season to date with Great Plains Athletic Conference Championships this weekend. They will be held at both Doane College in Crete, Neb., and at University of Nebraska in Lincoln, Neb. The Bulldogs got great performances last week at the Concordia Indoor Invite by the usual suspects like Stephanie Coley, Adam Prahlow, Jena Schwalenberg and Kim Wood. Coley managed to place fourth in the shot put (45’ 5 ¾ “) and fifth in the weight throw (54’ 5 ½ “) which were both long enough distances to clear the NAIA automatic qualifying marks. In the only event junior Adam Prahlow competed in last week, 1,000 meter run, Prahlow managed to finish second out of 20 competitors with a time of 2:31.22 which was also good enough to automatically qualify him for nationals. These are a few of many other Bulldog athletes that will look to make final touches and to some final charges to qualify for the NAIA nationals in Geneva, Ohio. Head coach Kregg Einspahr believes the Bulldog men have a shot to take home the conference crown. He states that Doane is the favorite on the women’s side.
Women’s Tennis: William Jewell College (Mo.) (3-0) at Concordia (1-0), Seward, Neb., Friday, 6 p.m.
Outlook: The women’s team is back in action this weekend as it hosts William Jewell College out of Liberty, Mo. The Bulldogs saw their first action of the season last week as they held off Bethany College in a thrilling 5-4 victory in Lincoln, Neb. With only No. 1 singles left to play in the matchup, the team score was knotted at four apiece. That’s when the Bulldogs looked to their leader Katelyn Koll to seal the victory. Koll came up big for the Bulldogs with a thrilling super tiebreaker decision over Bethany’s Monica Chapman 2-6, 6-1, 10-6. The No. 1 doubles also looks to be a strong pairing as Koll and senior Lindsea Vaudt won their matchup last week, 8-1, over Bethany’s No. 1 doubles. The Cardinals of William Jewell College are led by senior Hana Lindbloom, who won her last No. 1 singles match against Ottawa University back on Oct. 5 of last year. The Cardinals have yet to play a match in the 2013 calendar year.
Wrestling at North Qualifying Group Tournament: Fremont, Neb., Saturday, 9 a.m.
Outlook: The Bulldogs ended their regular season on a down note last week (Feb. 7) when they hosted Hastings College in a dual. The Broncos dominated the night as they won 52-6 which included five pins for the visitors. However, heavyweight senior Frank Ayala went out in style in his final bout of his career at the Walz Arena. The West Covina, Calif., native pinned the Broncos’ Pat Mattfield to improve his season record at 19-19. Ayala’s pin last week was his sixth of the season tying him for the team lead with Alex Stepanek, while putting him atop the Bulldogs’ wins chart. The Bulldogs’ two other seniors Jordan Fowlkes and Brandon Starkey weren’t able to wrestle on senior night, due to injuries. Concordia’s focus now turns to qualifying as many wrestlers as they can in this weekend’s regional action in Fremont, Neb. The Bulldogs will travel 11 wrestlers to this weekend regional tournament. The top four finishers of each weight class from this weekend will advance to the NAIA national championships in Des Moines, Iowa, March 1-2. Ayala, Kale Hintz and Brandon Starkey are each ranked in their respective weight classes in the North Qualifying Group.
Baseball: Concordia (0-0) at Bethany College (Kan.) (1-3), Lindsborg, Kan.
-Saturday: doubleheader begins at 12 p.m.
-Sunday: doubleheader begins at 12 p.m.
Outlook: Looking to build upon the school record’s 25 victories last year, the Bulldog baseball team will open the 2013 campaign this weekend in Kansas as they will play a pair of doubleheaders against Bethany College on Saturday and Sunday. The Bulldogs are led by a trio of returning starters: Kyle Ivanoff, Ray Finley and Andrew Yerrell. This trio figures to be the heart of the offensive attack that ranked second in the GPAC in batting average in 2012. One key loss that the Bulldogs will have a hard time replacing is Zak Goodrich who was Concordia’s 2011-12 Male Athlete of the Year and also won the Conference’s Gold Glove award at centerfield. The Bulldogs will look to a number of athletes to restore Goodrich’s contribution to the team. Some of these athletes will be Cameren Gause, Alex Cargin, and Tyler Harris. As far as pitching goes, the Bulldogs will look to Kyle Godfrey who finished with a 3-3 record last year and Jordan Stritz (2-9) who both combined for 20 starts last year. The bullpen will feature right handers Heath Benker and Jordan Ahl. Bethany College already has started its 2013 season with an early 1-3 record. The Swedes of Bethany College traveled to Oklahoma for a three game series against Bacone College on Feb. 8-9. Bethany won one of three against Bacone, while the other loss came at the hands of Fort Hays State University.
Women’s Basketball: No. 7 Concordia (23-5, 15-4 GPAC) at Mount Marty (16-12, 10-9 GPAC), Yankton, S.D., Saturday, 2 p.m.
Outlook: The No. 7-ranked Concordia Bulldogs will end their regular season this weekend at Mount Marty in Yankton, S.D. The Bulldogs kept their regular season GPAC championship hopes alive this past week as they went on the road to beat Hastings College 73-61 on Wednesday. With a Morningside loss to Hastings on Saturday and a Concordia win, the Bulldogs would tie for the regular season conference championship as well as clinch the number one seed in the upcoming conference tournament. Sophomore Bailey Morris led the Bulldogs in their win at Hastings this past week, finishing with 16 points and four steals. The rebounding duties were taken care of by a number of Bulldogs. Three Bulldogs finished the game with 5 rebounds respectively: Katie Rich, Britney Birtell, and Kelsey Hizer. Do-it-all point guard Kristen Conahan led the Bulldogs in the assist margin, finishing with five and tallying 14 points.
Men’s Basketball: Concordia (6-21, 2-17 GPAC) at Mount Marty (7-21, 3-16 GPAC), Yankton, S.D., Saturday, 4 p.m.
Outlook: A tough 2012-13 season for the Bulldogs continued this past week as they fell to Hastings College, 83-63, in Hasting, Neb, on Wednesday. The Bulldogs will look to build some sort of momentum for next season as they close the book on the season when they travel to Yankton, S.D., to take on Mount Marty. Concordia hopes to put aside a rash of injuries and earn a season sweep of the Lancers. Senior post player Brent Houchin has carried the load inside with the absence of Porter Birtell. Houchin had a huge game on Wednesday, leading the Bulldogs in scoring with 25 points. He is averaging 20.0 points over the last three games with two 20-point efforts. Four seniors will play their final collegiate basketball game this weekend as the Bulldogs have been eliminated from postseason play. Those seniors are Phil Friedrich, Charles Dunbar, Beau Smith and Brent Houchin.
15 February 2013