|Dec. 12, 1997
Hockey | Swimming | Wrestling | Men's Basketball | Women's Basketball |
Wrestlers looking ahead
to next semester
The future looks bright for the Concordia wrestling team, and according to head coach Doug Perry, the future is second semester.
Several strong recruits were expected to join the team earlier this season, but some decided to wait until next semester. This, along with three injured starters, gave the wrestling team some unexpected challenges this season. "We went from a tough team to a very young team," said Perry.
"I'm proud of the way the team is hanging in there," he continued. They're
an enjoyable group to work with. They work hard and have good attitudes.
They just need a little more experience to bring the best out of them."
The younger players themselves are just hoping to make a mark for themselves and help the team succeed. First-year-student Todd Maki is joining his brother sophomore Brett Maki on the team this year. Todd Maki will be wrestling the 118- and 126-pound weight classes this year.
"I just hope to win half my matches," Todd said about his goal for the year. "[The team] is kind of weak right now, but we'll become stronger when more [athletes] come out next semester."
Junior Nathan Reiff is one returning
team member expected to help the team compete with the best in the MIAC
this year. Reiff took the 177-pound MIAC championship last year and earned
a trip to the NCAA Division III tournament.
"You never know [how the team will finish this early in the season]," Perry continued. "So much depends on the health of the team. If the team is healthy, we should be very competitive."
The health of the team was a hindrance Wednesday when the Cobbers hosted Moorhead State in their first home dual of the season. "We have a few people out with injuries," said senior Shawn Nicholas. "We wrestled tough though. Everybody gave it their all."
Despite the teams hard work Wednesday, the Dragons won in all weight
classes but one - Todd Maki defeated
Justin Frisone, 6-5, in the 126 weight class.
"The women paid for most of the training trip themselves," head coach Connie Kirchoffner said. "Most of the girls are giving up spring break trips for the training trip, which is a real sign of dedication."
The trip is not all sun and fun. They are staying in the dorms at the University of Hawaii and will be eating at dining service there. They will spend two hours, twice a day, training in the water for five days. They will then compete in a nationally televised meet at the University of Hawaii on Jan. 2 and 3.
Kirchoffner doesn't think the television cameras will faze her swimmers. "This gives us national competition at all levels," said Kirchoffner. "It will only help us get faster."
Last year the team lost two meets to blizzards, going from Dec. 6 to Jan. 18 without a meet. According to Kirchoffner, the team wanted to get a meet in over Christmas break this year. Sophomore Janey Hill has consistently been a top finisher for Concordia since she joined the team last year. "It's neat to see how well we can compete against different conferences and divisions," Hill said. "It is intimidating, but we do rise to the level of competition and swim our best."
Swimming in a meet over Christmas break isn't the only goal the team has accomplished. At a team meeting at the beginning of the season, the team looked at goals they wanted to achieve. One of the goals was trying to improve their meet record. The Concordia women were able to bring home two dual meet wins last year. In the second meet of the season, a double-dual with Hamline and St. Thomas, the Cobbers beat both teams.
At the University of Minnesota Invitational on Nov. 21-22, the competition was mostly from Division I and Division II schools. Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Iowa State, Notre Dame, Northern Michigan, North Dakota and St. Olaf all attended the invitational. The Concordia women did manage to break most of the team records from last year at the meet.
First-year student Shana Letnes holds many of the teams new records. "[Coach Kirchoffner] is really working us hard; probably harder than most of us have worked before," said Letnes. "[To] have this much team success early in the season is really moving us forward."
Out of 19 records, only three haven't been broken after the University of North Dakota Invitational on December 5 and 6. With a 22-week season, the Concordia women still have plenty of time to break the other three. The Concordia women placed 3rd in the meet and doubled their score from last year.
Concordia also had many swimmers place in the top 16 in every event. Hopefully this is an indication of how well the Concordia swimmers will place at the MIAC meet at St. Johns University Feb. 19-21.
Senior captain Lindsey Bailey thinks the team is doing much better than last year. "Everyone is trying harder, which is making everyone go faster," she said.
The team still has eight meets to go, including the Rainbow Invitational
at the University of Hawaii over Christmas break. With only eight weeks
of the season completed, the women's swim team has already improved greatly
from last season.
In a two-game series, the Cobbers defeated Gustavus 3-0 Friday and 6-3 Saturday.
Freshman Bryan Howard was named MIAC Hockey Player of the Week after he made 52 saves and allowed only three goals in the weekend sweep. He blanked Gustavus with 20 saves Friday, then made 32 saves Saturday night.
The Cobbers were 1-4 going into last weekends battle with Gustavus. "The 3-0 game [against Gustavus] really helped us out a lot," said senior Greg Salvevold. "Our confidence is getting better, and I think that will help us along the way."
"We feel good about where were at," said head coach Steve Baumgartner. Their current record, 3-4, reflects losses to the top three teams in the MIAC - Augsburg, St. Johns and St. Thomas.
According to Baumgartner, their goal is to improve every single time out. "As long as we keep playing from the net out, we have a chance to compete in the MIAC," he said.
Their season opener at St. John's Nov. 22 got the season off to a rough
The Cobbers opened the Thanksgiving Tournament in Bloomington with a 7-4 win over St. Mary's on Nov. 27. Howard was credited with a goal and credited as the first hockey goalie in MIAC history to score a goal.
"I cleared it out [of the net], and one of the St. Mary's guys got a piece of it," he explained. "He deflected it, then it went past everyone and into the net. That's something that happens once in a lifetime."
Howard's goal was a big boost for
the Cobbers, according to Baumgartner.
"They really rallied around that," he said. "This is a great group of young
men," he added. "They're all here for the
When the tournament continued on the 28, the Cobbers fell to St. Thomas 5-2. A 6-1 loss to Augsburg on Nov. 29 earned Concordia a third place finish in Bloomington and concluded Thanksgiving Tournament action.
This weekend the Cobbers head to Bemidji. Bemidji, on a four-game losing
streak, earned the Division II championship last year. According to Baumgartner,
Bemidji usually comes out ahead in the annual match-up. "We'll just go
up Friday night and see how we do," he said.
"We're on a two-game winning streak, and our confidence level is a lot higher than theirs," Salvevold added. "After two wins everyone will be fired up."
The team suffered its fourth loss of the season to St. John's in the MIAC opener in Memorial Auditorium Monday night. The Johnnies won 77-71. Gillhouse led scoring for Concordia with 21 points. Freshman Mike Wrobel added 20. The Cobbers trailed 45-30 at the half but caught up quickly in the second period. With 40 seconds left, Concordia trailed 72-71, but St. Johns shot ahead to take a six-point win after several Concordia fouls.
Junior Wade Sirny and sophomore Nate Malchow both suffered knee injuries in Monday's game, and are out until after Christmas. The team hosts Carleton Saturday at 3 p.m. in Memorial Auditorium in another MIAC showdown..
moves to 3-2
In their first cross-town match, Concordia suffered a one-point loss
to Moorhead State. Concordia was leading 43-41 with 16 seconds left when
Moorhead States Kari Tuton was fouled on a 3-point attempt. She sank all
three free throws, handing Concordia a 44-43 loss.