June 12, 2015

USD's Fogg to represent Canada at FISU Games in South Korea

South Dakota junior Abigail Fogg has earned a roster spot on Canada’s 2015 Development
Women’s National Team. The 6-foot-4-inch center redshirted the 2014-15 season after transferring from American University. She has two seasons of eligibility remaining.

Hailing from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Fogg will represent her native country at the International University Sports Federation (FISU) Games July 5-13 in Gwangiu, South Korea.

May 15, 2015

ORU Adds Chris Wallace to Women's Basketball Coaching Staff

Oral Roberts head women's basketball coach Misti Cussen has announced the addition of Chris Wallace as an assistant coach who begins official duties with the Golden Eagles on Thursday. 

Wallace has been the boys' varsity head coach at N.O.A.H (Northeastern Oklahoma Association of Homeschool) since 2011. Under Wallace the Jaguars won their first ever regional championship and finished third at the National Homeschool Tournament – the highest ever finish for the program.

May 12, 2015

SDSU's Waytashek Earns NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship

BROOKINGS, S.D.— Megan Waytashek of the South Dakota State women’s basketball team
has been chosen as a 2015 recipient of the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, according to an announcement Friday by the NCAA.

Waytashek receives a $7,500 Postgraduate Scholarship from the NCAA, which awards 87 scholarships to men and women annually. The Jackrabbit women’s basketball team has produced five other NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship recipients—Megan Vogel (2007), Heather Sieler (2006), Jodi Bergemann (1994), Laurie (Bruns) Kruse (1991) and Tara Tessier (1988).

The Lino Lakes, native, who posted a 3.97 GPA as a mechanical engineering major, earned her third consecutive academic all-league selection after leading the Jackrabbits in scoring (14.1 ppg) and steals (43) this past season. She became the Jackrabbits’ 33rd 1,000-point scorer and finished her career with 1,390 points.

May 05, 2015

My Championship Experience -- 2015 Women's Golf Edition

My Championship Experience is a diary blog written by Summit League student-athletes detailing their experiences at each of the 19 Championships.


Western Illinois senior Ashley Jeffers writes about her experience at the 2015 Summit League Women's Golf Championship:  

Saturday, April 18

            On Saturday morning, all five of us met coach at the golf course at 8:30 in the morning to start our trip to The Summit League Championships!  We had a three-hour drive ahead of us since the closest airport with Southwest Airlines was the St. Louis International Airport.  Many of us slept on our way and we stopped just before the airport to get Panera for lunch.  By now, we were informed that our flight was delayed 45 minutes.  We parked the van and took a shuttle to the airport.  Our team got all our bags checked and made our way through security.  As I walked through the metal detector, the alarm sounded and I was randomly selected for a search.  My last collegiate tournament ever and it was the first time I had ever been searched!  Finally, our plane arrived and once we landed in San Francisco we picked up our minivan to make the two-hour drive to Seaside, California.  Along the way we got dinner at Chili’s, and once we arrived at the Holiday Inn we moved to our rooms for the night.

Sunday, April 19

            Our practice round on Sunday wasn’t until 12:30 p.m., so we all slept in and got some breakfast at the hotel.  We left the hotel around 11 a.m. and went to the Bayonet Golf Course.  Once there, we all headed to the range to get some practice in before our tee time.  Right before we teed-off, our coach came and asked us what we wanted for lunch.  During the practice round, we played as a five-some and most of our parents came out to watch.  The practice round took a little over five hours, and once we were done we rushed back to the hotel to shower and change before the banquet.  The banquet started at 7 p.m. and we were served a great meal and awards were given.  There was a coach’s meeting after the banquet, so our coach let me take the team back to the hotel in the minivan.  On our way back to the hotel, a few of the girls wanted desert so we stopped at a McDonald's and got ice cream sundaes and cookies!  Later that night, coach called us all together in a room to have a team meeting and then we went to bed.

Monday, April 20

            Our team was ranked seventh, so we were in the first tee time with the eighth and ninth ranked teams.  The first tee time was at 8 a.m. and we usually get to the golf course an hour early, so we left the hotel at 6:45 a.m.  This meant that we got up at 6:00 that morning.  During the first round of the championships, we were held closely to a four hour and thirty-eight minute round.  This was the fastest round we’d played all season, and we were quite happy with that pace.  Since we were in tee times, my teammates in front of each other would stay and watch our entire team finish.  Once everyone was finished and ate their lunch, we practiced to try and improve on our problems from that day.  We finally left the golf course around 3pm.  Most of us had our parents in town so we were given the afternoon off to do as we wished.  Most of us did some kind of shopping or touristy things, since there is no shopping in Macomb.  Since we had been in Monterey for spring break this year, no one really went to see Pebble Beach because we had done that as a team in March.  Once everyone was back at the hotel, we had another team meeting to discuss our rounds and went to bed.

Tuesday, April 21

            Once again my team was in the first group of the day, so our morning was much like Monday’s.  We left the hotel at 6:45 a.m. and once again we finished our second round in four hours and thirty-eight minutes.  Once we were done, our team practiced and once again we left the golf course around 3 p.m.  A lot of us showered and changed and went down to cannery row to walk the shops and see the seals on the beach.  I ended up getting dinner with my parents and went to see the Furious 7 movie, which was amazing!  My parents dropped me back off at the hotel and I ended up packing since we were leaving for San Francisco after our round tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 22

            Today was the final round of the tournament and once again my team was in the first round of tee times.  We had the same routine as the previous two days in the morning.  However, this was the final collegiate round ever for one of my teammates—Jess Knepp—and I.  This round was by far my best round of the tournament and on hole 17 I asked my coach to walk with me while I played the last hole of my college year.  She walked with me to keep me from getting emotional and I ended up birding my last hole.  After my birdie, I started to tear up but held it together until I came off the 18th green and saw my parents, Jess’ parents, and Jess crying.  Jess and I had played together for four years, we were roommates, and we had both just finished our last tournament ever of our college career!  It was such a bittersweet feeling.  After all the pictures and farewells to our parents, we got in our van and headed up to San Francisco.  Our flight wasn’t until tomorrow, so on our way up we decided to stop at the Ghirardelli factory outlet store and we looked into getting tickets to a Giants game.  We ended up getting standing room tickets to a San Francisco Giants game versus the Los Angeles Dodgers.  None of us were Giants or Dodgers fans, but we all loved baseball!  During the game, we noticed two women who looked like LPGA players and we were right!  Our team met Katherine Kirk and Amelia Lewis who were playing at the LPGA event, Swinging Skirts, the next day.  We stayed at the game until after the fifth inning and then left to head to our hotel because we had an early morning flight.

Thursday, April 23

            Today was the day that we had to head back to Macomb.  Our flight left at 6:15 a.m., but we were a half hour away from the airport.  We left our hotel at 3:30 in the morning, returned our rental car, and got to the airport around 4:15 a.m.  Once we got through security, we all got bagels at the only place that was open in the airport.  Our flight was on time and we left for our layover in Dallas.  We landed in Dallas around noon and our next flight wasn’t until 1:30 p.m., which ended up getting delayed until about 2:15 p.m.  Once we were in the air, our flight had no issues and we landed in St. Louis around 4 p.m.  There was a ton of traffic jams around the airport so we ended up taking back roads back to Macomb.  Along the way, we stopped and got dinner.  It wasn’t until around 8:30 p.m. that we finally made it back to Macomb.  It was a long trip, an emotional one, but I will never forget any of my trips with the Western Illinois Women’s Golf Team.


Don’t forget to check out the next edition of My Championship Experience as it follows The Summit League spring sports championships in May.

April 30, 2015

NDSU Volleyball Adds Jennifer Lopez as Assistant Coach

FARGO, N.D. – North Dakota State University head volleyball coach Kari Thompson announced Thursday, April 30, that former Bison standout Jennifer Lopez will join the NDSU staff as an assistant coach.
Lopez most recently served as the head girls' volleyball coach at Oak Grove Lutheran High School in Fargo for the 2013-14 season and as an assistant coach at West Fargo Sheyenne High School for 2014-15. She has also been highly involved in area instructional camps and club volleyball.
"I'm excited about the addition of Jen to our staff and eager to get her on the bench and back into the Bentson Bunker Fieldhouse," said Thompson. "Jen is a competitor. She possesses a calling to teach and mentor and a passion for coaching volleyball. Her experience as a competitive student-athlete and her pride in Bison athletics make her a perfect fit for our program."
Lopez was the Summit League Setter of the Year, Player of the Year and Tournament MVP in 2011 as a senior for the Bison. She was a three-time All-Summit League selection, leading NDSU to four straight regular season league titles and three NCAA Tournament appearances from 2008-11.
"I am extremely excited and humbled to be back at NDSU and to work with the volleyball program," Lopez said. "I am grateful for Coach Thompson and the opportunity to pursue my passion for coaching volleyball and helping others further develop their skills on the court."
"Being able to give back to the university that did so much for me as a student-athlete is very rewarding," said Lopez. "The values and standards that NDSU upholds are a part of who I am, and I hope I can continue to instill the tradition of success and hard work in developing young women. The positive impact that NDSU has had on my life is one that I hope I am able to provide to our kids during their time spent at NDSU."
Lopez will serve as NDSU's offensive coordinator, overseeing the technical training and skill development combined with play calling and decision-making at the setter position.
"Jen knows what it takes to be successful here at NDSU, specifically in the setting position, and our student-athletes will benefit immensely from her as an assistant coach," Thompson said.
Lopez, a Glyndon, Minn., native, ranks among the NDSU all-time top 10 in total assists, assists per set and digs per set.
She graduated from NDSU in 2014 with a degree in mathematics education and a minor in coaching. 

My Championship Experience -- 2015 Men's Tennis Edition

My Championship Experience is a diary blog written by Summit League student-athletes detailing their experiences at each of the 19 Championships.

Denver sophomore Alex Gasson writes about his experience at the 2015 Summit League Men's Tennis Championship:  

After a day of travel, our spirits were high as we arrived on Thursday into Fort Wayne, Ind. First order of business; the Summit League Banquet. A night where we can wear something other than sweats and actually look like a group of civilized human beings. The night began with opening speeches and dinner, both of which were wonderful. After we had stopped gorging, we began with the awards ceremony. This part of the night was fantastic as so many members of each team were recognized for all their hard work and effort throughout the regular season. It was an honor walking up with my co-captain and doubles partner Henry Craig to receive the regular season champion’s trophy on behalf of our team. We also were lucky enough to receive a speech that outlined the “Seven components of a championship team”, a speech that did a great job in outlining the characteristics and requirements that any winning team needs to have. After the banquet we went straight back to work; no rest for the wicked. We practiced from 8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. … we slept well that night.

The following day (Friday) consisted of two practices, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The entire team was striking the ball great as we worked through our regular ‘on-the-road’ drills. After practices were done we all had a solid two hour break before we would have to freshen up and get ready for dinner. I’m sure I speak for the whole team when I say we spent every minute studying and most definitely did not take a nap… For dinner we accompanied the Denver Women’s Team to Biaggi’s for another good meal. Both the women and us had just found out who we would be taking on in the semi-finals; Oral Roberts for us and South Dakota for the women. After an inspirational team talk back at the hotel we all returned to our rooms to rest up for our 10 am face-off against ORU. Preparation had begun.

Saturday started with a 7 a.m. wake up. Surprisingly perky, we headed to the indoor facility at 8:15am after breakfast where our semi-final would take place. Banter was flying as we made the finishing touches to our preparation; applying fresh grips, filling up water bottles etc. We felt good, we felt ready. Also working in our favor was the crowd, or rather one member of it. Our Athletic Director Ron Grahame had taken a detour from his work trip to come and support us in our semi-final. This gave us even more wind beneath our wings as we went on to take the doubles point in a storming fashion. Transferring the momentum over into singles play, we took 6 first sets. Our #4 David Fox (Foxy) would get the second point on the board, followed by our #2 Diogo Rocha (Diogz) tallying us up to 3-0. Henry Craig (Hank) would clinch the victory for Denver as he swept his way to a straight sets victory at the #1 position. We were in the finals, but we weren’t done yet.

After an afternoon of supporting the women through their semi-final victory over USD, we returned to the hotel to catch up on our studies. For real this time. Dinner consisted of typical pre-match food; pasta. Feeling good about our win but not getting ahead of ourselves, we discussed the final. We knew IPFW were an extremely worthy foe as they had proven more than difficult in the final last year. We were expecting their very best as any team plays exponentially better when in front of their home crowd. We went to bed itching with excitement for the opportunity to take them on.

Sunday started just as Saturday had; 7 a.m. wake up, head to the courts at 8:15 and start our final preparation. After the national anthem, we huddled in. Very few words were said as we knew what we had to do. A loud home crowd and one or two controversial issues brought the best out of the guys, we responded with high focus and high energy taking the doubles point with wins at #2 and #3. Going into singles we knew it was far from over, there was still a lot of work to do. But I could not be more proud of how we came out as one unit and kept the momentum in our favor. I took the first win at #3 singles to give us the 2-0 lead. Henry would carry us to 3-0 with another straight sets victory at #1. Diogo would extend his extremely impressive record and bring home the clinch and give us the automatic berth to the NCAA tournament. We were going to the big dance!

After we had been through the formalities and took a well-deserved shower, we got behind the women’s team and saw them also claim the championship. Overall a very good weekend for Denver!  

To close, I would like to thank the Summit League and IPFW on behalf of the Denver Men’s Tennis Team for everything they have done for the championships. And that is what it felt like, a true championship tournament. 

We look forward to representing the Summit League at the NCAA tournament as we plan on making some serious noise!

Don’t forget to check out the next edition of My Championship Experience as it follows Summit League spring sports championships in May.