Sorry it's been so long since I last checked in, but things have been extra busy in the DWU sports information office with homecoming looming this weekend (and the Hall of Fame inductions) and the basketball media guide deadline coming quick.
However, this was an exceptional weekend for DWU athletics, so I'm just going to list out the highlights, and provide links to where you can find more about each topic, but to summarize, the football team upset a previously-unbeaten and ranked opponent, the volleyball team won two GPAC matches and had some career milestones in the process and the DWU golf team won its home tournament and set a bunch of new records. Pretty incredible.
The Tigers took down No. 19-ranked Midland Lutheran 19-14 thanks to a pair of late defensive stands. Click here for my game recap and click here for The Daily Republic's story. Also, here is the Argus Leader's college football round up, with news on DWU's win as well as other GPAC and area schools.
In other football news, Monday DWU senior DE Kyle Meier was named the GPAC's Defensive Player-of-the-Week. Meier put the exclamation point on a great performance by sacking the Warriors' quarterback on fourth-and-five with just over a minute left to seal the victory. Click here to see the GPAC's release.
Also, catching up on some links from last week: here is a GPAC roundup from The Daily Republic prior to Saturday's games.
What a huge weekend for Eric Viney's team. The Tigers beat Midland Lutheran 3-0 Friday night in front of a wild crowd that seemed to really enjoy the new bleacher set up in the Wellness Center. Click here for the recap.
DWU followed up Friday's win with one of the most exciting volleyball wins anyone could ever see. After falling behind two games to one, DWU won game four 25-23, and outlasted Dana 19-17 in game five to earn the victory. Here's my recap, and The Daily Republic's story is here.
To add to the excitement, two DWU seniors acheived career milestones over the weekend. Maria Wieneke recorded her 1,000th career kill Friday, and Dena Kopfmann had her 1,500th career dig on Saturday. I'll have a full release going up on this later today, so I'll add the link when it's available.
The DWU men's golf team didn't just win the Fourth Annual Hampton Inn/Palace City Classic over the weekend in Mitchell, it set three new school records in the process. On Friday, the Tigers broke the school record for 18-hole team score with 287, and Nick Gates tied the DWU school record for lowest 18-hole individual score with a 65 (7-under-par). Click here for my recap of Day 1.
The Tigers finished off the field on Saturday, and finished with a new school record for 36-holes while winning their fourth tournament of the fall in the process. Here's the recap, here are the final results and here is The Daily Republic's story.
GPAC Basketball Polls
I don't think it's a big surprise, but the DWU men were unanimously tabbed as the preseason favorite to win the GPAC title by league coaches when the 2008-09 GPAC Men's Basketball Preseason Coaches' Poll was released Monday. Northwestern got the lone first-place vote that didn't go to DWU, and here's a hint where it came from: coaches couldn't rank their own team in the poll. Here is the official GPAC release and complete poll.
The women's team, which was vastly underrated prior to last season, was picked to finish sixth, which is pretty darn good in the GPAC when you consider that the top four teams in the conference went to the Elite Eight last year, with three advancing to the Final Four and Northwestern winning the National Championship. DWU and Doane were a toss-up at five and six, so it will be fun to see if the Tigers can out-play their ranking once again. Here is the official poll and release.
The one interesting twist that came out of the two polls is this: the Morningside women were 18-0 in the GPAC a year ago, advanced to the Final Four and return everyone from that squad, yet the DWU men were the unanimous pick. Maybe that just speaks to how top-heavy the GPAC women's league is, but it also says something about the expectations for John Hemenway's team. Let's hope 12 GPAC coaches can't be wrong.
I'll be updating and adding a few links to this post later today, so check back for some more Tiger sports news. This is going to be a busy week in DWU sports land, but it also should be really exciting. I'll try to do a better job of blogging this week, especially as the weekend gets close.