February 25, 2015

Denver Rated No. 1 School to Play Women’s Soccer by USA TODAY

In a recent poll released by the USA TODAY, the University of Denver was rated as the top institution in the country to play women's college soccer. "The ranking of women's soccer teams is based on the athletic success of the team, the overall quality of the school and the academic success of the players," the USA TODAY stated in its release. Read more about the methodology of selections here.

"Our four year graduation rate has been through the roof and we have had a lot of success on the field, but more importantly, we've had some awesome young women and their families come through this program to make it what it is today," head coach Jeff Hooker said. "Our state of the art facilities along with administrative support have made this a great place for me to coach and teach these young adults."

Hooker will enter into his 24th campaign with the DU women's soccer program this fall, and boasts a 315-114-40 women's record, and a 335-126-44 record overall at the University (coached both the men's and women's team for two seasons). In his tenure, Hooker is a nine-time conference coach of the year, and has led the Pioneers to seven regular season and eight league tournament titles, while also making nine NCAA Division I Tournament appearances.

February 19, 2015

Ex-NDSU Shortstop Nicole Rivera Member of USA Women's Baseball Pan Am Qualifier Team

DURHAM, N.C.--Former North Dakota State University softball shortstop Nicole Rivera is a member of the 18-player USA Women's Baseball team that will be compete in the first-ever Pan American Games Qualifier for the sport on March 8-15 in La Vega, Dominican Republic.

Team USA will be vying to become one of four teams to qualify for the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games scheduled for July 10-26. The Toronto Pan American games will be the first-ever multi-sport Games to host women's baseball.

Rivera, who started 225 career games for the Bison from 2008-11, was a two-time all-Summit League performer for North Dakota State including first team honors in 2010. She was a valuable member of three Summit League tournament championship teams including the 2009 unit that went on to win the NCAA Norman Regional and advance to the NCAA Tempe Super Regional.

Rivera, who is from Lakeside, Calif., finished her career with a .313 batting average, three home runs and 55 runs batted in. She ranks third all-time in stolen bases (95) and stolen base attempts (107); fifth in fielding assists (383) and double plays turned (31); eighth in at bats (726) and runs scored (147), and ninth in hits (147).

Featuring athletes from nine different states, the roster also includes 10 athletes from the 2014 USA Baseball Women's National Team.

If Team USA qualifies for the Pan American Games, the Women's National Team schedule will continue with National Team Trials, May 22 to 24, 2015. Thirty-six players have already been invited to participate in Trials following a multi-event selection process approved by the U.S. Olympic Committee. The final 18 players selected to represent the United States at the Pan American Games, should the U.S. qualify, will be selected out of those 36 individuals attending the National Team Trials.

For more information on the Women's National Team, please visit USABaseball.com.
The 18-player USA Baseball Women's Pan American Qualifying Team roster is as follows:
Name, Position, Hometown
Veronica Alvarez, C, Miami, Fla.*
Ryleigh Buck, IF/RHP, Wellington, Kan.
Samantha Cobb, OF/RHP, Garland, Texas*
Caitlin Everett, OF, Sunnyvale, Texas*
Alex Fulmer, RHP, Little Mountain, S.C.
Jade Gortarez, IF/RHP, Riverside, Calif.*
Tara Harbert, OF, Boulder, Colo.*
Tamara Holmes, OF, Albany, Calif.*
Lindsay Horwitz, RHP, Gurnee, Ill.*
Anna Kimbrell, C/RHP, Fort Mill, S.C.*
Jenna Marston, RHP/IF, St. Louis, Mo.*
Nicole Rivera, IF/RHP, Lakeside, Calif.
Michelle Snyder, IF/RHP, Wenatchee, Wash.*
Malaika Underwood, IF, San Diego, Calif.*
Meagan May Whitley, C, Spring, Texas
Kelsie Whitmore, OF/RHP, Temecula, Calif.*
Donna Williams, RHP/IF, Fremont, Calif.*
Codee Yeske, IF/RHP, Lexington, S.C.

USA Baseball Women's National Team alumni are denoted with an asterisk*

February 18, 2015


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Two IUPUI volleyball players who have been instrumental in helping the Jaguars claim three consecutive Summit League regular-season titles will get the opportunity to head to the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., to participate in the U.S. Women's National Team Open Tryouts.

Senior Beth Howard and junior Kaitlyn Hickey are two of 232 athletes from 90 universities participating in the tryouts Feb. 20-22 for spots on the U.S. Women's National Team, U.S. Collegiate National Teams program and U.S. Junior National Team.

Hickey is a three-time All-Summit League selection, and this past season she became the second player in program history to earn AVCA All-Region honors. That led to her becoming the first player in IUPUI history to be named an All-American after she was tabbed an AVCA Honorable-Mention All-American.

"For Beth and I to have this opportunity to represent IUPUI shows the strength of our program right now," Hickey said. "This weekend, my main goal is to improve as an individual and learn from these high profile Division-I athletes and Olympic coaches so that I can come back as a better player and compete for a fourthstraight conference championship next year."

Howard completed her four-year career this past fall and ranks third in school history in career digs. The two-time All-Summit League performer was named the Summit League Defensive Player of the Year as a junior and a senior, marking just the second time in league history that a player has won the award in consecutive years.

"This opportunity means a lot to me," Howard said. "I get the chance to prove myself against some of the best players from all across the country. I hope to gain more experience and exposure."

The tryouts begin at 4 p.m. ET on Friday, Feb. 20, and live streaming of the tryouts can be accessed here.

"This is a great opportunity for Kaitlyn and Beth to show what they can do on the court against some of the best competition," head coach Steve Payne said. "They are two great players who have done a lot for our program. We see what they can do on a daily basis, and now it will be great for others around the country to see what they are capable of."

Three-time Olympic gold medalist and U.S. Olympic Hall of Famer Karch Kiraly and the U.S. Women's National Team staff will lead the tryout process. Selected athletes will be notified by early March and USA Volleyball will announce the selections by the end of March once all roster spots are confirmed.

February 17, 2015

IPFW's Spencer Set to Try out for USA National Team

FORT WAYNE, Ind. - Emily Spencer, IPFW’s two-time Summit League Volleyball Player of the Year, will travel to Colorado Springs, Colorado Feb. 20-22 for the U.S. Women's National Team tryouts at the U.S. Olympic Training Center.

Spencer ended here four-year career with the Mastodons as an American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Honorable Mention All-American, an AVCA North All-Region First Team selection, and the Summit League Player of the Year.

A Jenison, Michigan native, Spencer was the sixth player in Summit League history to earn multiple Player of the Year honors in her career after earning the award as a sophomore in 2012. In her final campaign with the team, Spencer tied for a league-high with two Offensive Player of the Week honors and finished her career with a school-record 54-match streak with double-digit kills. She became the second player in IPFW and Summit League history to record 2,000 career kills. Spencer is also one of eight Mastodons players with 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs for their career.

The tryout will evaluate approximately 238 athletes from 93 colleges from across the country for spots on the U.S. Women's National Team, the U.S. Collegiate National Team program and for the U.S. Women's Junior National Team for athletes born in 1996 or 1997.

U.S. Women's National Team Head Coach Karch Kiraly and his staff will direct the entire tryout process, which can be viewed with an online video stream. The tryout will involve four sessions with three waves per session. Friday's first session goes from 2-8 p.m. MT with Queen of the Court competitions, while Saturday's sessions are at 8 a.m. (focus on serve/receive and individual work) and 2 p.m. (middle-centered and out-of-system focus). The tryout concludes on Sunday at 8 a.m. with tournament style play, along with 16-18 athletes selected by the staff to participate in a "USA" training session. 

February 11, 2015

NDSU Adds Gooris to Bison Track & Field Coaching Staff

FARGO, N.D. – The North Dakota State University women's and men's track & field programs announced the hiring of former NCAA All-American Daniel Gooris as an assistant coach on Wednesday, Feb. 11.

Gooris served as an assistant coach at Western Illinois University for the 2013-14 season and has been a volunteer assistant at Columbus State University in Georgia this year. In his brief coaching career, Gooris has directed athletes in the sprints, jumps, hurdles, pole vault, javelin and multi-events.

"We are excited to welcome Daniel and his wife Krista to the Bison family," said NDSU head women's track & field coachStevie Keller. "Daniel brings a great deal of knowledge and passion for the sport of track & field that will help the Bison become stronger at the conference, regional and national levels. His experience as a decathlete has been impressive and gives him the opportunity to coach a number of events." 29057

Gooris competed in college for the University of Northern Iowa, where he earned four All-America honors as one of the top multi-event athletes and pole vaulters in school history. He was a three-time All-American in the multi-events and a seven-time Missouri Valley Conference champion.

A native of Albuquerque, N.M., Gooris has been one of the top multi-event athletes in the U.S. in his post-collegiate career. He placed third in the heptathlon at the 2014 USATF Indoor Championships and eighth in the decathlon at the USATF Outdoor Championships in 2013. Gooris represented Team USA in the Thorpe Cup decathlon in 2013, earning a fourth-place finish.

"I am very excited to be a part of NDSU track & field," Gooris said. "The program has a history of excellence on and off the track, and I am proud to say I am now a Bison. My wife and I are looking forward to the move to Fargo and joining the NDSU family."

Gooris graduated from UNI in 2013 with a major in exercise science and a minor in psychology.

The NDSU women have won 14 straight Summit League team titles between the indoor and outdoor seasons, and the Bison men have won five straight outdoor team titles.

Summit League Baseball Preview by Perfect Game

Photo by Inertia Sports Media
Below is the predicted order of finish and preseason all-league team as selected by Perfect Game for its Summit League preview.

Predicted Order of Finish

Overall/conference win-loss records from 2014 indicated | * Denotes projected conference automatic bid

No. Team W L W L
1 Nebraska-Omaha* 31 20 15 9
2 Oral Roberts 30 26 15 15
3 South Dakota State 28 29 11 11
4 North Dakota State 25 26 10 12
5 Western Illinois 21 32 11 13
6 Fort Wayne 19 36 11 13

Preseason All-League Team

Pos. Name Class School Stats/Notes
C J.J. Reimer Sr. Western Illinois .319-1-12; solid defender with bat speed
1B Matt Johnson So. South Dakota State .284-1-23; high upside hitter
MIF Clayton Taylor Jr. Nebraska-Omaha .342-9-48; power to all fields
MIF Matt Brandy Sr. Oral Roberts .277-3-36; blossoming power bat
3B Rolando Martinez Jr. Oral Roberts Potential impact transfer from Bakersfield College
OF Daniel Jewett Sr. Nebraska-Omaha .333-1-29; disciplined hitter
OF Cole Gruber Jr. Nebraska-Omaha .319-1-18; game changer on the bases, 34 SB
OF Evan VanSumeren Jr. Fort Wayne .370-0-4; good athlete, hits to all fields
DH Greg Kaiser Jr. Fort Wayne .289-8-38; big power to all fields
UT Alex Schultz Jr. Nebraska-Omaha .302-1-23; speed and athleticism
SP Tyler Fox Jr. Nebraska-Omaha 2.29, 78.2 IP, 57:17; plus command
SP Parker Trewin Sr. North Dakota State 2.57, 77 IP, 68:28; .225 BAA
SP Guillermo Trujillo Jr. Oral Roberts 3.11, 81 IP, 63:25; 90-94 FB, plus stuff
SP Adam Bray Sr. South Dakota State 2.80, 103 IP, 95:17; plus command
RP J.D. Moore Sr. South Dakota State 3.07, 29.1 IP, 27:23; swing and miss stuff

Player of the Year: Clayton Taylor, 2B, Nebraska-Omaha
Pitcher of the Year: Guillermo Trujillo, RHP, Oral Roberts
Freshman of the Year: Nick Roark, SS, Oral Roberts

February 06, 2015

Denver Men's Golf Partners with Team IMPACT

The University of Denver men's golf team, along with Team IMPACT, has announced the
signing of 12-year old Alex Sherman to a letter of intent.

"We are very excited to have Alex join our team," said Pioneers head coach Erik Billinger. "Alex has proven to be a fighter and his determination and winning attitude will certainly benefit our program. The guys are very happy to learn from Alex and in turn we hope to teach Alex a few things as well this season."

Alex has been fighting Burkitt's Lymphoma since 2011, a type of cancer that begins in the body's immune cells. Upon being diagnosed, he underwent five months of intensive chemotherapy. His cancer is in remission and he currently gets scans, blood work and various tests to check his heart, lung and kidney functions.

January 23, 2015

Collegiate Baseball Releases Its Summit League Predictions

Collegiate Baseball Newspaper recently released it Division I conference predictions for the upcoming baseball season, which begins Feb. 13. Below is the publication's rundown of The Summit League:

Projected Order of Finish
1. Omaha
2. Oral Roberts
3. South Dakota State
4. North Dakota State
5. Western Illinois
6. Fort Wayne

Projected Pitcher of the Year
RHP Tyler Fox, Omaha

Projected Player of the Year
2B Clayton Taylor, Omaha

Other Top Players To Watch
RHP Zach Williamsen, Omaha
LHP Sam Murphy, Omaha
RHP Guillermo Trujillo, Oral Roberts
RHP Kurt Giller, Oral Roberts
OF Logan Domenico, Oral Roberts
2B Matt Brandy, Oral Roberts
LHP Chris Anderson, South Dakota State
RHP Chad Hodges, South Dakota State
RHP J.D. Moore, South Dakota State
OF Zach Coppola, South Dakota State
IF Matt Johnson, South Dakota State
OF Paul Jacobson, South Dakota State
IF Cody Sharrow, South Dakota State
RHP David Ernst, North Dakota State
LHP Parker Trewin, North Dakota State
RHP Reed Pfannenstein, North Dakota State
RHP Trevor Jaunich, North Dakota State
RHP Nick Milligan, Western Illinois
LHP Tyler Owings, Western Illinois
LHP Tom Constand, Western Illinois
C Adam McGinnis, Western Illinois
3B Chris Tschida, Western Illinois

For more information visit Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.

January 22, 2015

SDSU's Potterveld Named Wooden Cup Semifinalist

Diana Potterveld was honored as a semifinalist for the Wooden Citizenship Cup, presented by the Athletes For
A Better World (ABW) organization.

“This is the first time we have had one of our players receive this award,” head coach Lang Wedemeyer said.  “It’s wonderful that Diana has been recognized for her many hours of volunteer service, fantastic grades and excellence on the field. We are very proud of her.”

Potterveld, who in November became the first Jackrabbit women’s soccer player to be named a first-team Academic All-American, was the lone Summit League athlete to earn this distinction this year.

December 11, 2014

Western Illinois Volunteers at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Macomb

Members from 10 Western Illinois sports took part in Big Brothers Big Sisters of Macomb's annual Christmas party. The event, held on Sunday (December 7), involved games, face painting and baking cookies.

Organized by Lydia Smith (track and field) and with the help of the director of Big Brothers Big Sister of Macomb, 30 Leathernecks helped wrap presents and were handed out by Santa.

Members of Western Illinois' track and field, golf, tennis, softball, baseball, soccer, football and cheerleading programs were present as Big Brothers Big Sisters celebrated Christmas and made Christmas cards for the retirement home.