Previewing #CIT2023 week on the women's side

By Jacob Knabel on Jan. 22, 2023 in Women's Basketball

WATCH: Sights and sounds from CIT 2017 in Seward

SEWARD, Neb. – CIT week on the Concordia University Nebraska campus has arrived. The Bulldogs are going to get comfortable inside Friedrich Arena while hosting action on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Before focusing on the 70th Concordia Invitational Tournament, Head Coach Drew Olson’s squad will welcome Hastings to Seward on Wednesday evening. The Bulldogs are coming off a sterling week that featured wins by scores of 74-60 over Morningside (home) and 65-55 over No. 15 Northwestern (away). CUNE enters the week at 12-7 overall (10-5 GPAC) having won eight of its last nine GPAC outings.

This Week

Wednesday, Jan. 25 vs. Hastings (8-12, 4-10 GPAC), 6 p.m.
--Live Webcast/Stats | 104.9 Max Country | Location: Friedrich Arena (Seward, Neb.)

CIT – Friday, Jan. 27 vs. Concordia Wisconsin (8-8), 7 p.m.
--Live Webcast/Stats | 104.9 Max Country | Location: Friedrich Arena (Seward, Neb.)

CIT – Saturday, Jan. 28 vs. Concordia Ann Arbor/Concordia Chicago, 12/5 p.m.
--Live Webcast/Stats | 104.9 Max Country | Location: Friedrich Arena (Seward, Neb.)

2023 CIT Schedule – Jan. 27-28

--Admission at the door will be $15 for a day pass and $25 for a tournament pass; tickets can be purchased in advance by ordering online at
--Streaming: All eight CIT games will be streamed via the Concordia Sports Network. The cost for streaming will be $15 for a day pass and $25 for a tournament pass. Live stats will be available for free and all CUNE games will also be broadcast live via 104.9 Max Country radio.

Visit our official CIT webpage for more information:

Friday, Jan. 27

  • 1 p.m. CST - Ann Arbor vs. Chicago (Women)
  • 3 p.m. CST - Ann Arbor vs. Wisconsin (Men)
  • 6 p.m. CST - Nebraska vs. Wisconsin (Women)
  • 8 p.m. CST - Nebraska vs. Chicago (Men)

Saturday, Jan. 28

  • 9 a.m. CST - Dance Competition
  • 9:45 a.m. CST - Cheer Competition
  • 12 p.m. CST - Women's Consolation Game
  • 2 p.m. CST - Men's Consolation Game
  • 5 p.m. CST - Women's Championship Game
  • 7 p.m. CST - Men's Championship Game
  • Trophy presentation and all-Concordia devotions following last game

By the numbers

·        The first official ratings percentage index and ARC rankings for NAIA women’s basketball were released in mid-January. The metrics show the Bulldogs are in strong position for another national tournament appearance (although there is still work to be done). Concordia is ranked 36th in the RPI and has played the 10th strongest schedule in the NAIA. In addition, the Bulldogs are ranked seventh in the North/Central region (as of Jan. 16). Using the RPI, Concordia owns quality wins over the likes of No. 23 Dakota State University, No. 33 Morningside (two), No. 42 Northwestern and No. 59 Dakota Wesleyan. All seven losses have come against top 45 RPI opponents.

·        Not since the 2019-20 season had the Bulldogs earned a regular season sweep of Morningside. The latest victory over the Mustangs saw Concordia hold a lead from wire-to-wire, although it got pushed when the visitors made a third quarter run. The key sequence came after Morningside closed within two (48-46) late in the third period. The Bulldogs followed with a 13-1 run that included six points from Sadie Powell. Balance was a theme as Concordia had five players reach double figures in scoring: Abby Heemstra (12), Taysha Rushton (12), Abby Krieser (11), Powell (10) and Kristin Vieselmeyer (10). Krieser (four steals) served as a catalyst defensively as the Bulldogs limited Morningside (13-7, 8-6 GPAC) to 36.2 percent shooting and flustered the Mustangs into 21 turnovers.

·        On paper, Concordia was the underdog heading into the road trip to No. 15 Northwestern, but the Bulldogs didn’t play like it. They successfully avenged the 72-56 defeat they endured to the Red Raiders on Dec. 3. In last week’s matchup, Concordia again used a gritty defensive effort in holding Northwestern to nearly 20 points below its season scoring average. The Red Raiders (14-5, 9-4 GPAC) shot only 31.4 percent from the floor and turned it over 21 times. Krieser starred in totaling 12 points, three steals and a blocked shot. Meanwhile, Heemstra and Rushton added 10 points apiece and Powell posted eight points and five rebounds. Eight different Bulldogs recorded at least five points in another team effort.

·        On a team that has been decidedly balanced, Krieser has stood out of late. The Lincoln North Star High School product has raised her game on the offensive end and is averaging 12.3 points over the past three contests. Defensively, Krieser just might be one of the best guards in the entire GPAC. She’s averaging 2.1 steals per game (sixth most in the GPAC) and is a major reason why Concordia leads the conference with an average of 20.9 turnovers forced per game. Krieser made the jump into the starting lineup this season after she appeared off the bench in 17 games as a freshman in 2021-22. She’s averaging 8.3 points per game, up from 2.8 points per game last season.

·        Rushton is on the verge of moving into the program’s top 20 in terms of all-time scoring. As part of last week’s action, the Midland, Texas, native leapt Teresa Noffke (1,207) for 21st on the list. At 1,218 career points, Rushton now has her sights set on the likes of Amy Scheil (1,244), Tracy Peitz (1,277) and Katie Rich (1,293). An immediate impact player from the day she stepped on campus, Rushton has also totaled 218 rebounds, 216 assists and 131 steals in 79 games as a Bulldog. Rushton is a two-time First Team All-GPAC selection.

Five facts about CUNE Women’s Basketball at CIT

·        CUNE owns the most CIT titles (30) in the history of the women’s event, which dates back to 1973. The Bulldogs first seized the title in 1983 when led by head coach Carl Everts. CUNE has won 29 of the last 34 CITs.

·        Five different head coaches have led the program to CIT titles (in order): Carl Everts (seven), Mark Lemke (four), Micah Parker (four), Todd Voss (four) and Drew Olson (11). Olson’s 11 CIT championships rank as the most of any women’s basketball coach in the history of the tournament.

·        The Bulldogs have won seven straight CIT championships, including 14 consecutive CIT games during the run. Over those 14 games, CUNE’s average margin of victory has been 31.6 points per game.

·        Six Bulldogs have earned multiple CIT MVP awards: Quinn Wragge (2016, 2017), Bailey Morris (2014, 2015), Whitney Stichka (2006, 2008, 2009), Sarah Harrison (2002, 2004, 2005), Stacey Miller (1997, 1998) and Lynda Beck (1990, 1991). Former Bulldog All-American Grace Barry took CIT MVP honors in 2020, the most recent CIT.

·        Now in his 17th season as head coach, Drew Olson owns an all-time CIT record of 25-3 and has reached the CIT championship game in every season of his tenure. CUNE lost CIT title games to CU-Wisconsin in 2007 and to CU-Ann Arbor in both 2011 and 2013.

Hastings and the CIT Field

Concordia University Nebraska Bulldogs
Head Coach: Drew Olson, 17th year (435-128)
Record: 12-7 (10-5 GPAC)
Conference: Great Plains Athletic Conference (NAIA)
Location: Seward, Nebraska
Scoring Offense: 70.7 ppg / .400 FG%
Scoring Defense: 63.9 ppg / .400 FG%
CIT Titles: 30 (most recent: 2020)

Probable Lineup
G – Abby Krieser (8.3)
G – Taysha Rushton (13.6)
G – Mackenzie Toomey (6.4)
F – Abby Heemstra (4.4)
F – Sadie Powell (10.3)

Hastings College Broncos
Head Coach: Jina Douglas, 8th year
Record: 8-12 (4-10 GPAC)
Conference: Great Plains Athletic Conference (NAIA)
Location: Hastings, Nebraska
Scoring Offense: 63.5 ppg / .371 FG%
Scoring Defense: 66.0 ppg / .405 FG%

Probable Lineup
G – Mariyah Avila (8.3)
G – Alyssa Baker (6.3)
G – Allison Bauer (11.3)
G – Kiernan Paulk (7.0)
F – Katharine Hamburger (7.0)

Concordia University Ann Arbor Cardinals
Head Coach: Elyse Schlump, 1st year
Record: 12-8 (9-5 WHAC)
Conference: Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (NAIA)
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Scoring Offense: 63.8 ppg / .390 FG%
Scoring Defense: 60.5 ppg / .393 FG%
CIT Titles: 2 (most recent: 2013)

Probable Lineup
G – Samantha Dorn (13.3)
G – Ellie Kallner (2.4)
G – Taylor Leatherman (14.8)
G – Zaria Mitchner (4.9)
F – Izzy Viau (5.7)

Concordia University Chicago Cougars
Head Coach: Lauren Martin, 5th year
Record: 8-8 (7-4 NACC)
Conference: Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference (NCAA Division III)
Location: River Forest, Illinois
Scoring Offense: 70.6 ppg / .361 FG%
Scoring Defense: 71.3 ppg / .403 FG%
CIT Titles: 4 (most recent: 1986)

Probable Lineup
G – Prentciss Gates (2.7)
G – Melia Perry (8.4)
G – Chloe Schaafsma (1.5)
G – Jaylene Wade (10.8)
F – Alisyn MacGregor (5.9)

Concordia University Wisconsin Falcons
Head Coach: Stacey Brunner-Jones, 19th year
Record: 8-8 (7-4 NACC)
Conference: Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference (NCAA Division III)
Location: Mequon, Wisconsin
Scoring Offense: 60.4 ppg / .396 FG%
Scoring Defense: 60.6 ppg / .376 FG%
CIT Titles: 3 (most recent: 2007)

Probable Lineup
G – Lily Guerra (8.2)
G – Emily Hafemann (14.1)
G – Lindsey Lonigro (4.8)
G – Reagan Obry (9.1)
F – Erin Viergutz (6.4)

Next week

It will be strictly conference play the rest of the regular season. The Bulldogs will play at Midland on Feb. 1 before returning home to host No. 3 Dordt on Feb. 4.