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Mustang Hoofprints: Nov. 16

November 16, 2012
By Chris Hmielewski , Southwest Minnesota State University

Hello Mustang fans!

The second-ranked Southwest Minnesota State volleyball team will be competing today in the first round of the NSIC Tournament on the campus of Concordia-St. Paul. The Mustangs moved up one spot in this week's NCAA Division II Central Region rankings, released Wednesday, into the second slot.

Southwest concluded the 2012 regular season with a 26-2 overall record and captured a share of the NSIC title with a 18-2 record. SMSU, which is tied for the No. 2 ranking in this week's AVCA Top 25 Poll, has a 23-2 record versus teams in the NCAA Central Region. The Mustangs are one of six NSIC schools to appear in the regional rankings along with No. 1 Concordia-St. Paul, No. 5 Minnesota-Duluth, No. 8 Wayne State, No. 9 Minnesota State-Mankato and No. 10 Augustana. The Mid-America Athletic Association has four teams ranked this week with No. 3 Central Missouri, No. 4 Washburn (Kan.), No. 6 Nebraska-Kearney and No. 7 Truman.

The top eight teams in the 40-team region will advance to the NCAA Central Region Tournament Nov. 29 through Dec. 2. Automatic bids are granted to the winners of the NSIC and MIAA postseason tournaments, with the remaining six spots awarded on an at-large basis. The newly-formed Great American Conference is also in the region, but is not awarded an automatic bid for this season.

The SMSU volleyball team has earned the No. 2 seed in this weekend's US Bank NSIC Tournament and will take on seventh-seeded Minnesota State this afternoon at 2:30 p.m.

The next Mustang Booster Club event is the 10th annual Gold Rush Raffle to be held on Friday, Feb. 22, 2013, at the SMSU Conference Center. We will have raffle tickets available towards the end of December for you to purchase. Please mark your calendars now for this great mid-winter social event.

Fact Box

How many adapted sports has SMSU hosted or participated in during the history of the university?

The first person to email me at with the correct answer to this question will receive an SMSU t-shirt.

Each Wednesday, the Mustang Booster Club hosts its weekly luncheon over the noon hour. This is an opportunity for you to bring a colleague out to the Pizza Ranch for great food and to listen to our head coaches provide a weekly update on the progress of our teams. The Booster Club Luncheons are a relaxing environment and will give you a chance to meet and get to know our boosters, student-athletes, coaches and staff members at SMSU.

For all the information on the Mustang Booster Club and SMSU Athletics, please go to

This Week in Mustang Athletics:

The SMSU football team (4-7 NSIC, 3-4 NSIC South) completed its season last Saturday with a 38-35 loss to Augustana. The Vikings scored the go-ahead touchdown with 3 minutes, 12 seconds left in the fourth quarter. The Mustangs had a chance to tie the game with a 43-yard field goal with 10 seconds left on the clock.

Earlier this week, the NSIC honored seven SMSU football players with postseason awards. Senior running back Warren Matthews was the lone Mustang to earn first team All-NSIC South Division honors, while senior running back Gannon Moore, senior safety Joe Stupka and junior offensive lineman Brandon Puffer were named second team All-NSIC South Division. Junior safety Tate Bunkers, junior offensive lineman Kyle Johnson and junior offensive lineman Jake Thiel were named to the honorable mention All-NSIC South Division team. Congratulations to our student-athletes who earned all-conference honors and the entire Mustang football team and coaching staff for a great season.

The SMSU men's basketball team (2-1 overall) returned home to the PE Gym on Thursday night, welcoming Michigan Tech University to the campus of SMSU. The game was played in the PE Gym because of a concert scheduled in the R/A Facility, the home of SMSU basketball since the 1996-97 season. Last night's game featured "Retro Night" in the PE Gym. Student and fans alike came to the game in their very best 1980's outfits.

The Mustangs returned home from the Disney Tip-off Classic in Anaheim, Calif., with two wins over University of North Carolina-Pembroke and Grand Canyon College. SMSU's loss came in the first game of the Classic, losing to California State-Dominguez Hills 64-57.

The SMSU women's basketball team (0-2 overall) will compete in the Winstead-Reeves Classic this weekend hosted by Northwest Missouri State at Bearcat Arena. Last week, the Mustangs opened the 2012-13 season with a 97-51 loss to No. 3 Pittsburg State and a 73-64 loss to Missouri Southern State. SMSU will have two games this weekend against Northwest Missouri State on Friday at 7 p.m. and Missouri Valley on Saturday with the game starting at 4 p.m.

The Mustang wheelchair basketball team (2-5 overall) collected its first win of the season with a 53-46 victory over the Madonna Magic last Saturday. The Magic would avenge the loss with a 46-39 win in overtime in Game 2. On Sunday morning, the Mustangs took the final game against the Magic, 52-41. SMSU will continue action this weekend with five games in Whitewater, Wis., taking on the University of Missouri today at 4 p.m.

The SMSU wrestling team will head north again this weekend to compete in the Concordia Cobber Open on Saturday at 9 a.m. The tournament will be held in Moorhead, hosted by Concordia College.

The Mustangs opened up the 2012-13 season on Saturday at the 42nd annual Bison Open at the Bison Sports Arena on the campus of North Dakota State University. SMSU had three wrestlers place at the open, led by Micah Larson and Justin Reinsma, who both finished in third place, and Travis Peralta took home a fourth place finish for the Mustangs.

I would like to wish all of our teams the best of luck this season!

Go Mustangs!

g Congratulations to Josh Junker, who provided the correct answer to last week's Mustang Hoofprints Question: Who is the last SMSU women's basketball player to lead the NSIC in regular season scoring? Michelle Bruns led the NSIC in scoring during the 2004-2005 season averaging 17.6 points per game for the Mustangs.



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