Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Soccer scores a POW, too.

The Dakota Wesleyan University women's soccer team became the latest Tiger squad to get into the GPAC Player-of-the-Week act when sophomore GK Danielle Richardson won the honor on Tuesday afternoon. Richardson saved 14 shots to shut out Doane Saturday in a 2-0 win, and it was her fourth shut out in the past five games. Click here for the official GPAC release, and my release should be up soon on the women's soccer site.

Fun facts about Richardson's award: she is the first DWU women's soccer player to earn the league's POW award, and she shut out the GPAC's Offensive Player-of-the-Week (Doane's Samantha Exstrom) en route to her honor.

Meanwhile, click here to read my release on the women's soccer teams first two signings, which were also announced today.

And for those of you basketball fans who can't wait until the season tips off, the NAIA DII men's and women's preseason top 25 polls are less than a week away -- they'll be released on the NAIA site on Monday, Oct. 27.

Finally, check out these Tiger blogs. DWU head football coach Brad Pole's blog is a must-read, and if you don't think greased pigs and stealing pumpkins has anything to do with football, you are dead wrong, my friend.

There's been an update to the DWU men's golf blog, maintained by senior captain Brett Abbotts, as well. Stay tuned for other updates on Tiger sports blogs, as there are many more in the creation stages.

Another POW

For the third week in a row, the Dakota Wesleyan University football team has been honored with one of the GPAC's Player-of-the-Week awards. This time, however, it was the offense that snared the honor after defensive players Kyle Meier and Eric Adolph were honored the past two weeks.

Junior WR Bubba Slaba is this week's GPAC Offensive Player-of-the-Week after his latest incredible performance. He had nine catches for 174 yards and three TDs, and 246 all-purpose yards. To read all about it, click here for the official DWU release.

Also, if you follow Tiger football, you know that Slaba and DWU QB Jon Doom were also teammates at nearby Wagner High School. In today's story by Leah Rado at The Daily Republic, she talks to the prolific passing combo about how long they've been friends and how that has translated to their football success at Wagner and now at Wesleyan. A very good read.

DWU didn't jump into the Top 25 yesterday, and in fact, they stayed at their essential No. 28 ranking despite receiving 10 more votes this week. USF stayed at No. 2, so while this Saturday's match up won't technically be a game between ranked teams, it will still be about as big as they come.

Women's soccer signs two

One other news item from the DWU athletics office today: women's soccer coach Dale Roden has announced his first two signees for 2009-10, and both players -- Courtney Dickson and Abby Hubbard -- are All-State First Team players from the Huron soccer program. The press release should be up this afternoon, so check the women's soccer page throughout the day for all the details.

Monday, October 20, 2008

A good day to be a Tiger...

Saturday was quite a day for the DWU sports teams and their fans, and if it wasn't for a big second half by the Doane men's soccer team, it would have been pretty close to perfect.

To recap (with links): the Tiger football team clinched its first .500 season in the GPAC era with a 41-7 win at Briar Cliff. The DWU volleyball team cruised to a 3-0 sweep over York College, but more importantly, raised money and awareness for breast cancer research with their "Dig Pink" event at Mitchell High School. The Tiger women's soccer team earned a huge 2-0 win over Doane to even up at .500 (6-6-2, 3-3-2), and the DWU men were up 2-1 on Doane at the half, but couldn't quite hold on after halftime.

Tigers in the News

This is definitely playing catch-up from last week, but here are a few links to some stories in the media about DWU athletics.

From the Mitchell Daily Republic:
-Game story from DWU football's win at Briar Cliff.
-Story about Satuday's "Dig Pink" volleyball event.
-Preview story for Saturday's footbal game.
-Game story from DWU's volleyball match against DI North Dakota.
-Leah Rado's column about DWU's defense.
-Story about DWU soccer at Morningside.
-The "Dig Pink" preview story.
-Game story from DWU volleyball's win over Dakota State.
-Story about Eric Adolph's GPAC and NAIA Player-of-the-Week honors.

From the Brookings Register:
-More coverage of Adolph's big week.

From the Rapid City Journal:
-A great feature on DWU punter Nick Tolsma.

The big game...

Today will be an interesting day in terms of the hype machine for Saturday's home football game against the arch rival University of Sioux Falls. After DWU's impressive win Saturday, it's possible that the Tigers could get into the NAIA Top 25 when the weeky poll is release late this afternoon. Holding a national ranking while hosting the second-ranked Cougars (it's likely their ranking won't change) would certainly add some drama to what already figures to be a huge game. Mark your calendars to come out to the "Q" on Saturday for a 1 p.m. kickoff.

Continue to check this blog for updates and analysis of Saturday's big game as the week goes on. I'm still strugging to find a lot of blog time with the basketball media guide deadline looming, but I'll make more of an effort this week -- especially becuase it will be a way to channel my excitement for the big game! Feel free to share any thoughts or predictions for Saturday's game in the "comments" section.

Dig Pink

Even though DWU's "Dig Pink" event has come and gone, their fundraising efforts for breast cancer research could still use your help. Visit the team's official donation site here to make a donation or track the Tigers' fundraising progress.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Soccer moved!

Quick scheduling update:

Tuesday's men's and women's soccer games against the University of Sioux Falls have been moved from Cadwell Park in Mitchell to USF's Sanford Health Sports Complex in Sioux Falls due to field conditions in Mitchell.

The women's game still starts at 2 p.m. and the men's game still starts at 4 p.m. No time changes, just location.

A dominant DWU weekend

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.

Men's Golf

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.