Thursday, September 16, 2010

Good starts all around

It's crazy how time manages to escape me every day. I think I'll have a few minutes to update, and something else comes up. Such is life in the world of college athletics!

The fall sports season is well under way at DWU, and all of our teams have tasted success early in the year. The football and women's soccer teams are undefeated, the volleyball team hosted its first-ever tournament at the Corn Palace and the women's golf team has a lead after the first GPAC qualifier, to name a few.

The biggest talk around campus, of course, is the football team. The Tigers are 2-0 for the first time since 2002 and shut out an opponent for the first time in GPAC history. DWU's offense and defense both rolled last Saturday in its 56-0 win over Concordia. DWU gave up less than 100 yards of offense but finished with 471 yards of total offense. Freshman QB Jon Bane has been solid in both starts, and Brennon Flannery, another freshman, has been a steady backup. Raymond "Boogie" Blossom and Josh Endres seem to be the go-to guys for the running game, and Russell McGuire is fitting in nicely with the receiving corps after seeing time as backup QB for the last two years.

The Tigers' special teams unit is glad to have senior Nick Tolsma back. Not that it suffered last year with Derek Carlson, but Tolsma is back near the top of the NAIA for average punt yards and is making sure DWU opponents don't get a short field.

The women's soccer team hasn't lost to a GPAC opponent since the 2008 season and is 5-0 so far with three shutouts. The Tiger men are a single win away from matching last year's win total just seven games in. Both opened league play Wednesday; the women won 4-0, while the men lost 3-2.

The volleyball team is 4-11 so far, but has shown flashes of brilliance against some top-ranked teams. The Tigers held a lead against No. 24 Dordt for much of the second set in their three-set game, and played strong all three sets. DWU hosted a volleyball tournament at the Corn Palace for the first time ever this past weekend, and it seemed to be a success.

Dani Bellet and the women's golf team got solid starts in the conference race. DWU hosted the first GPAC qualifier of the season, and Dani shot a 1-under 71 to take a nine-stroke lead while the Tigers snagged an eight-stroke team lead. The men took third at the first qualifier, led by sophomore Travis Johnson's second-place finish.

The cross country team hosted an invite for the first time since 2008 earlier this month. Gail McIntrye took eighth individually and the Tiger women took third as a team.

Football has the weekend off, but soccer hosts Dana and cross country is at the Dakota State Invite. No home games next week until Saturday when volleyball plays Morningside at Hanson High School in Alexandria, S.D., and the soccer teams host Concordia.

Here's hoping that the next few weeks go as well as the last few weeks for Tiger sports!

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