Dragons finish successful winter and spring seasons

From the hardcourt to the swimming pool to the track, the spring and winter seasons were successful for the respective teams.

A national championship qualifer, two home playoff games and the lowest score in 10 years were just three highlights of the seasons for the teams.

Throughout the season, from weather cancellations to no home games to young teams, there were obstacles to overcome.

The women’s basketball team finished the season with a 16-12 record and 12-10 conference record, wrapping up the season at Mankato in a second round matchup in the NSIC tournament.

“After Christmas we played pretty well … we did some nice things on the offensive side of the ball and played tougher on the defensive side,” head coach Karla Nelson said.

Nelson said the young team got a taste of what it was like to play in the NSIC tournament, and they now know what to expect when they play.

The team hosted their first playoff game in four years and beat University of Sioux Falls in the first round.

Nelson said two highlights of the year were beating Augustana and Wayne State in the same weekend and Marisa Yernatich breaking the all-time three-point record.

“We have a good core of our starting lineup coming back (for next year) … we should be competing at a high level.”

The Dragons wrestling team finished with an 8-8 record and with a 3-5 conference record.

The team had success at the Grand Canyon duals in Phoenix, where the team went 3-1.

Angel Vega, in his first year with the Dragons, was the lone qualifier for the NCAA National Championship where he went 0-2.

Weather conditions had effects on both softball and golf teams. Mother nature caused both teams to have to practice indoors for their seasons and neither team hosted a home game or tournament.

The golf team only played in two tournaments but had success in both. The team finished third at the Wayne State tournament and learned something new every time they played.

“It was short but sweet … the girls improved on some aspect of their game each time,” head coach Chelsey McGinnis said.

This year’s team was young, with only one senior and McGinnis said the team will build off of this season for next year.

The softball team faced the challenge of not playing at home or practicing outside their entire season. With a short time to play, some of the games were cancelled or moved to other locations.

The team finished with a 7-36 overall record and 5-23 conference record.

The men’s basketball team began the season strongly with a 13-1 start before finishing the season with a 19-11 overall record and 12-10 conference record.

The team found success in the postseason, winning at home against Southwest Minnesota State before falling to Mankato in the second round.

“Beating St. Cloud and the last home game for our seniors were a few highlights for us,” head coach Chad Walthall said.

Walthall said losing a couple difficult games at the end of the season separated it from being a great season.

“We have to close out games more effectively and the players have to be ready to compete for positions next year,” Walthall said.

The swimming and diving team had a successful season with a 5-0 overall record and 2-0 conference record.

The team finished third at the first Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference meet and posted a 3-0 record at home.

Both the men’s and women’s track and field teams have had successful seasons with the men finishing first at the Cobber Twilight meet and the women finishing second.

The teams will compete at the NSIC Outdoor Championships on May 9-10 in Sioux Falls, S.D.

With records set and a foundation to build off of the Dragons look to next year for continued success.

BY BREANN LENZMEIER
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