Recapping the winter sports season
By Breann Lenzmeier
The winter sports season officially came to an end when Dragon divers Shayna Dugger and Kelsey Jandro competed in the NCAA Division II diving championships in Geneva, Ohio. The squad had a successful season under head coach Todd Peters with the team setting a number of records throughout the season.
Dugger placed 15th in the three-meter competition at nationals. The Dragons finished third in the NSIC championships and will return a number of team members with experience for next season.
The men’s basketball team had “a really good year” according to head coach Chad Walthall. The team had another 20 win season under Walthall and picked up their first conference title win in over 30 years when they won the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference North title.
“It was one of our goals to win the North Division, and we had a lot of new guys come in. To see them come together and play for each other was great,” Walthall said.
The team started off the season 9-0 and concluded the regular season on a three game winning streak after an overtime victory over the University of Mary to seal the north title. The team did suffer injuries, specifically to Jordan Riewer who missed a number of games at the end of the season, but Walthall said he was impressed by the way the team responded and came together to finish the season strong.
“We couldn’t replace him as an individual, but collectively we were able to come together as a team and do some good things. Jordan helped out in any way he could (when he was injured),” Walthall said.
The team picked up two wins in the offseason and were close to making it in the NCAA tournament. Walthall said the players have realized how tough the league is and are working hard in the offseason to improve.
The team finished the season at 21-8 overall and 15-7 in NSIC play. They were defeated in the NSIC Sanford Health Conference Tournament by Winona State 70-53.
As for the women’s basketball team, head coach Karla Nelson described their season as “inconsistent,” as the team started off 4-0, only to have an up and down season.
“We started off well, then hit a slide, then played well, and then hit a slide at the end. The end was disappointing,” Nelson said.
The team saw two players join the 1,000 point club, with Megan Strese and Morgan Zabel achieving the honor in the last year of their careers. Nelson spoke highly of the team’s seniors and said it will be hard to lose the three players that have meant so much to the program the past four years.
“They are all great examples of working hard to achieve personal and team goals. They are great examples of ‘if you put your mind to something you can do it’,” Nelson said.
The team went on a six-game winning streak in the later part of the season, picking up a win in Wayne, Neb. against then No. 8 Wayne State.
“When you are playing well, it takes a lot of energy, and the last week to 10 days we didn’t have that much energy, and that is disappointing,” Nelson said.
She pointed to next year’s team being very young, adding there are a number of questions going into the next season.
“It’s going to be interesting to see where everything is going to come from and how everything comes together,” Nelson said.
The team finished the season at 16-11 and 12-11 in NSIC action.
The wrestling team saw two wrestlers, Steven Monk and Blake Bosch qualify for the national tournament. The team was competitive in all the duals and finished the season 7-9 overall and 4-4 in NSIC action.
Senior Steven Monk was named to the All-NSIC second team. Monk finished the season at 14-14.