Thursday, the DWU men's golf team proved that their 12-shot conference lead couldn't be simply chalked up to home-course advantage at the first GPAC Men's Golf Qualifier. Instead, the Tigers actually increased their lead over the rest of the league with another great team performance in Lincoln, Neb.
The men shot a 297, with all five golfers in the 70s. Brett Abbots led the field with a 72, Nick Gates (the overall leader) tied for second with a 73, Andrew Farrand shot a 75, Chris Pritchard shot a 77 and Tyler Evenson carded a 79. For the complete results, click here to read the release, click here for the second-round scores and click here for the GPAC totals after 36 holes.
The Tigers now lead second-place Nebraska Wesleyan by 19 shots, and they're at least 36 shots ahead of anyone else. DWU is set up pretty nicely for a run at another league title.
Also in golf action Thursday, the DWU women ran out to a huge lead after the first 18 holes at the 36th Briar Cliff University Lila Frommelt Classic. The Tigers shot a 333, and are 19 shots ahead of second-place Baker University heading into today's final round.
It's no surprise that DWU junior Kelli Baseley has a 5-shot lead over the rest of the field after shooting a 76 Thursday. Baseley has played in four tournaments this year -- she's been the medalist three times and the runner-up once. Teammates Dani Bellet (3rd, 83) and Carly Hayes (4th, 84) join Baseley in the top five. Click here for results, and check the athletics home page tonight or tomorrow for the final results and a wrap-up.
The Tiger volleyball team finally hosted a home match Wednesday against Mount Marty after playing 14 straight on the road to open the season. It was a festive night inside Fosness Arena, but the Lancers stole a 3-1 GPAC victory to put a bit of a damper on the whole evening. Click here to read the recap from the match, because I'd rather use this space to talk about the atmosphere.
As usual, the gym was completely packed for the Tigers' match. The volleyball team is one of only two teams (wrestling) that actually play their home events on campus, and that seems to really affect the student turnout at games. The DWU section was great in this one, complete with body-painted fans and plenty of cheers and chants.
Now, the only trick is figuring out the best way to mobilize this kind of fan support to the teams that play in off-campus venues in Mitchell. The crowd at the first football game was great, and a few basketball crowds were really impressive a year ago, but those sports just don't have the same consistent crowds the volleyball team does. Winning helps, but even that isn't the whole answer.
Three Tiger teams host home games Saturday. The volleyball team is back on its home floor Saturday with a varsity-only, nonconference match against Presentation at 1 p.m., and the men's and women's soccer teams host Midland Lutheran College at Cadwell Park. The women's game is at 1 p.m. with the men to follow at 3 p.m.
DWU also goes for another football victory with a GPAC game at Dana Saturday. Catch Tim Smith's broadcast live on KMIT.com.
Tigers in the news
DWU men's golf is prominently featured on the GPAC site today. Click here to read about Thursday's qualifier and click here to read about Abbots and Baseley earning Golfer-of-the-Week honors. Also, The Daily Republic's story about the Golfers-of-the-Week is here and click here to read the paper's story from Wednesday's volleyball home opener.
Just for the heck of it, here's one more story I found amusing as a Packer fan. My how things can change in a few weeks' time.
Good luck to all the Tiger teams this weekend.