Track and Women's Track |
Mar. 26, 1999 | Concordian | Cobber Sports |
| W-Track | M-Track | Baseball | Softball | M-Tennis | W-Tennis | Erik Tellen Column |
No track story this week.
St. Olaf crushes men's tennis team
The Cobber men’s tennis team, fresh off of their best performance ever in the Arizona Spring Challenge, beat Hamline last week to increase their winning streak to six of seven games; however, St. Olaf was just too much for the Cobbers last Saturday as the Oles defeated Concordia, 8-1.
St. Olaf, who just recently withdrew from the MIAC due to alcohol violations, was one of the top teams in the conference, so the match was an important test for Concordia.
Senior Matt Blom said the Cobbers were missing a player, which hurt them, but still had a good chance to get the win.
“It was a really good team for us to play,” senior Matt Blom said. “We could’ve been there. We matched up well against them and we had some good, close matches.”
With St. Olaf now out of the MIAC race, Blom says that it will push them up a spot and increase their chances of finishing in the top few teams. The loss drops the Cobbers to 6-5 on the season, but the players still have high hopes of finishing strong.
“We’ll probably finish in the top four of the conference this year,” sophomore Jon Lind said.
This year’s team has greatly improved since last year, and with the help of so many talented freshmen, their goal seems very realistic. “The freshmen are making a big difference,” Lind said. “Overall, the whole team has improved since last year.”
The Cobbers will meet their next MIAC challenge tomorrow against Bethel. The match will start at 2:00 p.m.
St. Olaf cancels remainder of MIAC schedule for men’s tennis
St. Olaf announced on Tuesday that it will be cancelling the remaining games for its men’s tennis team.
The announcement came after the team was involved in what head coach Scott Nesbit called “an alcohol-related team function of a very serious nature.”
Athletics Director at St. Olaf Cindy Book made the decision to cancel the remaining games. She issued the following statement following her decision:
“...St. Olaf is announcing today that it has canceled the remainder of its men’s tennis season. The cancelation is in result of an incident involving abuse of alcohol during a team party on Saturday which led to the hospitalization of a student. The cancelation will result in the forfeiture of all remaining contests this season. The women’s team was not involved in the incident and will compete during the remainder of the season as scheduled.”
Nesbit said the program hasn’t been dropped, and it will resume playing next year.
The Oles have been a power in the MIAC in recent years. This year, they were in second place in the conference. Last year, they finished second overall.
Women's tennis falls to Tommies, Oles
The Cobber women’s tennis team dropped two matches over the weekend, losing 9-0 in both home meets against conference powers St. Olaf and St. Thomas.
The losses dropped the team’s record to 3-7 on the year. Junior Erin Pearce said the main focus of this year has been building up a young team. The Cobbers will not lose any players to graduation, and there are only two juniors on the team.
Sophomore Katie Carmine said the team has already established a strong chemistry, which should lead to success in the future.
“We have a really good team bond. We like to be around each other and support each other,” Carmine said. “You can hear us cheer each other and support each other. It’s important to keep our teammates pumped up.”
To measure improvements, the team has been measuring their performances compared to last year’s team. This year, Carmine said, the team is performing better against each team, but they want to step up to the next level.
“We want to do better. We don’t like losing big. We don’t mind losing if we put up a fight,” Carmine said. “We played those teams better than we did last year, so we weren’t upset about losing.”
Although the Cobbers were shutout over the weekend, junior Lauri Wagner said the team took some positives from the experiences.
“It showed us what we have to learn to do better,” Wagner said. “It shows us what we do well right now, and what we have to compete against the top teams, and how well we compete against them now.” Pearce said the losses showed the team where it has the most room for improvement.
“We need to focus on the mental aspect of the game,” Pearce said. “It’s mental toughness you have to improve as well as the technical aspect.” Concordia will have to wait until April 10 to get back on the court when they play at St. Bens.
Baseball splits with Upper Iowa
Cobber baseball split two games with Upper Iowa on March 15 at the Metrodome, losing its first game 1-0, and winning its second game 3-2. The first game was a pitchers’ dual which featured for each squad only four hits and one error apiece. Upper Iowa’s starter pitched a complete game shutout, striking out thirteen of the 27 batters he faced while walking only two.
Concordia countered with three pitchers, including sophomore starter Doug Muzik, who pitched three scoreless innings, allowing only two hits while striking out two. Muzik was followed by junior Craig Schwantz, who also pitched three innings, allowing two hits and the only run of the game in the fourth inning. Senior Justin Stohs finished out the game for Concordia, pitching a scoreless final inning.
The sparse offensive output of the Cobbers was led by junior second
baseman Marc Winjum, who singled and
doubled in three at-bats. The Cobber’s lone offensive threat came in the
bottom of the sixth inning, when with one out they loaded the bases on
a walk to senior right fielder Andy Schmidt,
a single by Winjum and a walk to junior first baseman Clayton
Horgen. Upper Iowa’s pitching, however, was able to stifle the Cobber
rally, forcing a strikeout, followed by a groundout to end the inning.
The double-header was an encouragement in that both games were hard-fought, competitive battles.
“I’d have to say the most encouraging thing was our ability to contend in a close game, to come back [from Florida] and play seven good innings,” said senior David Feir, the team leader in hits.
With two more games and a precious wealth of fielding exposure under its belt, the Cobber baseball team is now poised to begin its home schedule in fashion. The home opener is Saturday against Valley City State University.
No softball story this week.
Fans find that winning isn't anything
Ah, what a noble thing is man! In the last few weeks loyal sports fans across America have witnessed a number of ostensibly atrocious events by a number of different sports personalities and we have collectively failed to blink an eye. We witnessed Lennox Lewis beat Evander Holyfield in twelve straight rounds and then found out that it was ruled a draw. Then we acted shocked and said that Lennox got robbed. Aren’t we missing the main point? Don King standing smugly in front of a row of reporters, saying that it was not a sham but rather a bad judgement call by the judges. Let’s be honest, bad judgement? Star Search outcomes show bad judgement. David Caruso leaving NYPD Blue, now that was bad judgement, but for some reason I don’t think these illustrations are quite the same as what occurs in boxing. A few million in your pocket might persuade a bad judgement from almost anyone. However, most say that boxing has always been a little crooked and dishonest. That is why it is all the more shocking to see other sports follow suit.
In the turbulent decade known as the 80s we enjoyed a number of indelible truths that we would come to rely on. We knew that Joe Piscopo wasn’t funny, that the band A-Ha would be around forever, and that in the NBA, winning a championship was the most important thing. Well, let me be the first Minnesotan to say that “the times they are a changing.” Players today put just about anything their agents can think up before winning. Players will look at factors like money, number of shots, media recognition, warm weather, sneaker endorsements, and the chance to meet Madonna long before they ever consider winning a title. It is not a lack of loyalty displayed by the players or the management. It is that players today judge themselves strictly on who makes more and has more recognition, not who wins more. It is a league where agents are better known than the starting lineup of the LA Clippers. They sit there in their Armani suits and they tell players what they want to hear, not what they may need to know. Like for instance, how impressionable fans are, how important it is to be a role-model to younger kids, and how the satisfaction of sticking with something and seeing it through tough times is far greater than folding to any kind of pressure or adversity. But those are the ideals of past generations. Today it is more important to be the number one headliner on your team than it is to care about winning. If there is something bothering you, maybe a few days in Las Vegas will help you clear your head a bit. Don’t worry about how your team is doing in your absence. It’s not your fault. Being an NBA star is a hard, hard thing to be. The pressure of playing a school yard game professionally in front of people who look up to you any want to be just like you cannot be easy.
The outrage expressed by grumpy middle-aged Americans over the idea of players who care more about money than winning should seem comical to our generation by now. We have seen all this before. Believe me when I say that we will see it again. It makes you feel hopeless as a fan. It sometimes makes you want to turn away from sports for good. You want to feel like you are a part of a team, a piece of the large-scale quest for the gold. But, your interests as a fan conflict with so many other things. In today’s sports world everyone can continue to get their way and the only one out there with anything to lose is the fans. Perhaps there will be a day when the people won’t come. The lies of players saying that they will be around forever will no longer be believed. You can cry wolf only so many times and then pretty soon people turn away. If you need some proof, just look at the ratings that professional wrestling is getting today. You have to respect that. An industry that has absolutely no inhibitions about who they exploit, as long as they are making it big at the fans’ expense. How many other sports can say that?