Fall 2013: Athletics

Nov. 13, 2013 - by dphawkins

MNU Athletics

By Chad Jenkins
Jan. 1, 2013

Pioneer Basketball Ready to take the Court

Men's Basketball

Men's Basketball is in a season of transition after a 26-10 record and a run to the Elite 8 at last year's national tournament. While the team was voted #2 in the HAAC this season, gone are starters Rustin Dowd (Third-team All-America), Jacob French, Lukas Weigel, and Justin Collard. Key returners include seniors Luke Thomas (14.3 ppg), David Clark (6.5 ppg), Conner Langrehr (11.7 ppg), Brandon Newton (6.5 ppg) and junior Nick Syrie (9.1 ppg).

Last season the Pioneers struggled to find consistency as nine players started at least seven games. Despite injuries and lineup shuffling, MNU still finished third in the HAAC and advanced to the conference tourney title game. While MNU knocked off #7 Cal State-San Marcos and #10 Oklahoma Baptist to advance to the Elite 8, a loss to #2 Lindsey Wilson ended the season. Coach Rocky Lamar is excited about the new season.

"We have a great nucleus returning," he says. "Five returning players who all got plenty of starts last season is a reason for optimism. Luke Thomas in the post and Nick Syrie in the back court are as talented as anyone in the country, and with the rest of the talent on our squad, we should pose a tough night for anyone."


Women's Basketball

Women's basketball returns most of last year's 30-3 squad as the two-time defending HAAC and HAAC Tournament champs. HAAC coaches voted the team #1 for this season. After losing post player Kiley Herold to graduation, MNU is still loaded. Defending HAAC Player of the Year and second-team All-America Kelsey Balcom (12.8 ppg) is rejoined by three-year starting guards Navia Palu and Rachel Boan (9.0 ppg) and two-year starter Daria Sprew (9.3 ppg). Key reserve Megan Balcom (8.6 ppg) returns after a great freshman season, and Kendra Flemming (9.0 ppg) is trying to recover from a leg injury in time for the stretch run. Seniors Marlianne Louzeiro, Kassidy Ritchel, Brooke Rinehart and CJ Wesemann return with junior Shadequa Longus. Transfers Kyleesha Weston (Colorado) and Martyna Kudziela (Western Illinois) should see heavy minutes as well.

Last season the Pioneers were the model of consistency. The starting five did not change except on Senior Night, and MNU rattled off a school-record 20-straight wins from mid-December to early March. Climbing as high as #9 in the national ranking after winning their second straight HAAC tournament title, a first-round knockout at nationals has motivated the Pioneers.

"We have senior leadership combined with talented depth this year," says head coach Jon Lewis. "The additions of the transfers has only made us better, and everyone is hungry to improve even more."


VolleyBall

volleyball

MNU volleyball clinched its second-straight HAAC title and third-straight appearance at the NAIA national championship in December with a #6 ranking and 21-2 record (7-0 HAAC). Taryn Salum is a four-time HAAC Setter of the Week, and Vladi Kopanarova is a two-time HAAC Hitter/Player of the Week. Zoradia Heredia is leading the team with 245 kills, 241 digs, and 23 aces. Britney Grittman leads MNU with 91 blocks. Two-time All-America honoree Linjun Ji is having another great all-around season, and the Pioneers are riding a 19-match winning streak in the HAAC dating back to 2011


Football

After seven games, Pioneer football is 2-5 in a brutal first-half schedule. With five of the first six games against ranked opponents and just one home game to date, the Pioneers will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2006. Greg Gates (91.5 rushing yards per game) and Joe Camacho (HAAC leader in tackles) have been bright spots, and kicker Michael Brewer is a two-time HAAC Special Teams Player of the Week.


Catch up on the outcome of post season and tournament play at www.mnusports.com .


Women's Soccer

Women's Soccer

Women's soccer (13-3-3) is having its best season in program history. The team recorded its twelfth victory of the season over previously-undefeated Avila, and secured a fourth-seed in the HAAC tourney. Kalyn Pfaff leads the offense with 12 goals, while Ellaisa Marquis has seven goals and eight assists. Midfielders Kelli Reid (10 assists) and Misty Olsen (six goals, six assists) have been strong in the middle. Senior keeper Breanna Oddo and senior defender Kara Quinn have anchored a defense which has eight shutouts on the season.


Men's Soccer

Men's Soccer

Men's soccer (12-3-2) has clinched a conference tournament home game as the #1 seed and co-champions with Baker and Benedictine. Defender Aurelien Norest was named HAAC Defensive Player of the Year and HAAC MVP. Head coach Kevin Wardlaw was named HAAC Co-Coach of the Year. Senior keeper Chris Ericksson has 10 shutouts, good for second in the nation. Lucas Machado, Eddie Morales and Jonathan Babcock have been named HAAC Players of the Week.


 

MNU News

Sunday, December 21
Recent News
List
Grid
Archives
Bruce Flanders
Library Director Honored

Library Director Honored

Library Director Bruce Flanders has been named the December member of the month for the Association of Christian Librarians. Established in 1957, the Association of Christian Librarians is one of the…

Read More
Website Icon
Admissions Site Nominated for Award

Admissions Site Nominated for Award

MNU’s web site section for undergraduate admissions is a nominee for eduStyle's 2014 Best Prospective Admissions Site. The design, which was created by MNU’s in-house marketing and web team,…

Read More
Terry Zeigler KCK Police Chief
MNU Alum Named Police Chief of KCK

MNU Alum Named Police Chief of KCK

MNU alumnus Terry Zeigler ('98) was named Chief of Police for Kansas City, Kansas last week. Zeigler holds a BA in Management and Human Relations from MNU. Read the whole story by Tony Rizzo in The…

Read More
Coach Willmer Gridiron
Coach Willmer Named Region 3 Coach of the Year

Coach Willmer Named Region 3 Coach of the Year

Willmer MNU Head Football Coach Brian Willmer was selected as the 2014 American Football Coaches Association’s Region 3 Coach of the Year for…

Read More
New MLK photo
9th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebration

9th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebration

MidAmerica Nazarene University’s 9th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebration will be held Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015, at 9:30 a.m., at…

Read More
Caldwell Close-up
Finally Home at MNU

Finally Home at MNU

Despite a troubled home life, John Caldwell never despaired; instead, he followed God’s call on his life and found a new place to call home at MNU. Homeless at 15, adopted by a church at 17,…

Read More
Tracy Cowell and Zach Phillips will work for several months away from home with an Ebola response team. “I have extreme confidence in the protocols they have given us and the equipment we have,” Cowell said. JILL TOYOSHIBA The Kansas City Star
MNU Alums to Serve in Fight Against Ebola

MNU Alums to Serve in Fight Against Ebola

Courtesy of The Kansas City Star. Two MNU alums, Zach Phillips ('11), BSN, and Tracy Colwell ('14), BSN, will  travel to West Africa Dec. 4,…

Read More
IC Client Icon
When Ministry Meets Need

When Ministry Meets Need

Dr. Randy Cloud wants students in his Introduction to Ministry course to think beyond the traditional church setting for their ministry careers. So he brought Greater Iowa City Church of the…

Read More
Blake Nelson and his wife
Into the Hot Zone

Into the Hot Zone

Blake Nelson, a residential educator and advisor for student media at MidAmerica Nazarene University, traveled to Liberia on a humanitarian trip for Heart to Heart International in October. His…

Read More
Sports
Awards Keep Coming for Men's Soccer

Awards Keep Coming for Men's Soccer

The post-season awards keep pouring in for the MNU Men's Soccer team...(click title for more)

 
Brubaker Leads MNU Past Valley

Brubaker Leads MNU Past Valley

Cale Brubaker's career-high 21 points led MNU to a 16-point victory over Missouri Valley on Saturday...(click title for more)

 
Pioneers Dominate Vikings

Pioneers Dominate Vikings

The Pioneers never trailed in a 90-52 thrashing of Missouri Valley on Saturday...(click title for more)

 
Latest Photos
Girls Dorm Lounging Dorm Life Then
Girls Dorm Lounging Dorm Life Now
Girls Dorm Group Hang Dorm Life Then
Girls Dorm Group Hang Dorm Life Now
Girls Dorm Phone Call Dorm Life Then
Girls Dorm Phone Call Dorm Life Then