Pioneers' Season Wrap Ups
| by MNU News firstname.lastname@example.org
Men’s Basketball—Head Coach Rocky Lamar
The team finished 16-15 with some signature wins in the 2017-18 season, including a victory over No. 7 Central Methodist on Senior Day.
- Jonathan Green, guard, (16.4 ppg) Conference Player of the Week, second-team All-Conference.
- Gabriel Jordan, guard, (11.9 ppg, 6.0 rpg) Honorable Mention All-Conference.
- Dante Scroggins, forward, (9.4 ppg, 5.5 rpg) Honorable Mention All-Conference.
Softball—Head Coach Rob Wade
The Pioneers finished 35-21 and included a 10-game winning streak near the end of the season. MNU won 30 games in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 2010-2011.
- Emily Robinson, pitcher/DP, second team All-Conference.
- Macie Jones, third base, second team All-Conference.
- Kaitlyn Leffle, catcher; Madison Butcoff, second base; Taylor Creason, outfielder; Honorable Mention All-Conference.
Baseball—Head Coach Ryan Thompson
The Pioneers finished the season 24-20 and 19-13 in the Heart Conference to finish second in the South Division.
- Joshuan Sandoval, catcher, first team All-Conference.
- Carlos Reyes, shortstop; JP Rousseau, third base; Jacob Jenkins, outfielder; second team All-Conference.
- Jacob Sylvester, pitcher, Honorable Mention.
All the Way to the Elite Eight
Women’s Basketball- Head Coach Jon Lewis
The Pioneers finished 27-7, tying for second place with a 15-4 record in the tough Heart Conference. The No. 12-ranked Pioneers made a run to the Elite Eight at Nationals with victories over Lindenwood-Belleville (Illinois) and Providence (Montana). The Pioneers dominated the first and third quarters vs. LU-B for a 10-point victory. They were led by Alisha Washington's 33 points and Jovana Jovovic's 22 points and 11 rebounds. The Pioneers used a huge third quarter to take control of the game and won by 16. Washington and Jovovic shone, with 32 and 27 points respectively. In the national quarterfinals vs. No. 4-ranked and eventual national runner-up Westmont (California), the Pioneers could not overcome a big first-quarter deficit and lost by 9.
- Tristin Wicks led the Pioneers with 16 points, nine rebounds and two blocks. In the tournament, MNU was carried by junior guard Alisha Washington, who scored a Nationals' program-record 33 points in the first round, following with 32 points in the second round.
- Alisha Washington, guard, first-team All-Conference, Conference Newcomer of the Year, and Honorable Mention All-America.
- Tristin Wicks, center, first-team All-Conference, third-team All-America (13.6 ppg., 6.6 rpg.).
- Ashley Cook, guard; Jovana Jovovic, forward; Whitney Moia, forward; Honorable Mention All- Conference.
The Inaugural Petey Awards provided MNU athletes, coaches, and fans the opportunity to celebrate the 2017-18 season. The ESPYs-inspired evening was hosted by Gordie Wetmore and included a highlight film, awards ceremony, and a senior recognition ceremony to include graduates who often miss graduation due to post-season tournaments. Athletic awards included:
- Comeback of the Year - MNU Pep Band
- Champion of Character - Kendyl McDougald (TF)
- Super Fan - Jim Smith
- Cross Award (strength & conditioning) - Macie Jones (SB)
- Support Staff of the Year - Dennis Troyer & Kelvin St. John
- Top Female Athlete - Bethany Brown (XC/TF)
- Top Male Athlete - Isaac Zitterkopf (TF)
- Top Individual Performance Female - Bethany Brown (TF)
- Top Individual Performance Male - Devan Sawyerr (TF)
- Newcomer of the Year Female - Savannah Moxley (WSOC)
- Newcomer of the Year Male - Ivan Ruiz Vidal - (MSOC)
- Top Team Performance - Women's Indoor Track & Field 5000m
- Ms. Pioneer - Taylor Cowan
- Mr. Pioneer - Hudson Welty
New Head Football Coach
Todd Sturdy is the new head football coach at MNU, replacing Brian Willmer who resigned in March after coaching the program to a 26-18 record over four seasons. “Coach Sturdy’s experience and success at multiple levels of collegiate football speaks for itself, but his passion for developing young men through football is the core of who he is,” says Todd Garrett, athletic director. “His focus on creating a positive culture, a commitment to excellence on and off the field while intentionally developing strong Christian leaders make him a tremendous fit for MNU Football.” Sturdy comes to MNU after several years as an assistant/coordinator in NCAA Division I at Eastern Washington (2007), Washington State (2008- 2011), Iowa State (2012-2015) and Northern Iowa (2016). Prior to 2007, he was the head coach at NAIA St. Ambrose (Iowa) for 12 years, where he won six conference titles and reached the NAIA Playoffs multiple times. “I am extremely excited for this opportunity to lead a football program again!” Sturdy says. “I am proud to be joining an athletic department that has a tradition of excellence. Todd Garrett has set a great vision for MNU athletics, and I am eager to get started building a program that the faculty, staff, students, alumni and community can be proud of.”
Squads Win Conference
Track & Field—Head Coach Nate Weins
The Track & Field squads continued their dominance in the outdoor season. The women's team captured the Heart Conference title to earn the Triple Crown for the year, winning conference titles in Cross Country, Indoor Track & Field, and Outdoor Track & Field. The men's team finished second in the outdoor conference meet, just missing the Indoor/Outdoor sweep after capturing the crown for the Indoor season.
- Isaiah Griffin, Men's Outdoor Conference Track Athlete of the Year.
- Nate Wiens, Women's Outdoor Conference Coach of the Year.
- Kevin O'Grattan, Women's Outdoor Conference Assistant Coach of the Year.