Hello Mustang fans!
Congratulations to the SMSU volleyball team on a great season! The Mustangs had a number of players honored for their efforts this fall. This week, the American Volleyball Coaches Association announced its 2012 All-America team with three Southwest Minnesota State players earning All-America honors. Freshman setter Emilee Gutzmer was named to the AVCA All-America second team and AVCA National Freshman of the Year, while seniors Brooke Burmeister and Mary Groth were named to the AVCA All-America Honorable Mention team.
The Mustang volleyball team accomplished many firsts during the 2012 season. SMSU topped the national rankings for the first time in the school's history, maintaining the No. 1 spot in the nation for four consecutive weeks. The program took home its first Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference championship for its performance during the regular season. The Mustangs capped the end of the conference schedule with a US Bank NSIC Tournament championship, beating Concordia-St. Paul in the championship game. Finally, Emilee Gutzmer earned the AVCA National Freshmen of the Year honor, another first for the SMSU volleyball program this season. I would like to thank head coach Terry Culhane, the coaching staff and our student-athletes for their hard work this season.
The SMSU Department of Athletics will be hosting a postgame social at Skewes Jewelry following the Mustang women's and men's basketball games on Saturday, Dec. 15. This is a great opportunity for Mustang fans to gather after the games, share in some appetizers and beverages and possibly get some Christmas shopping done for the family. Skewes Jewelry will be donating a percentage of each purchase made that Saturday back to the SMSU Athletic Scholarship Fund. Please join us after the game to share in the holiday spirit!
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.
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.
Who is the all-time career leader in assists for the SMSU?women's basketball team?
The first person to email me at MustangHoofPrints@SMSU.edu with the correct answer to this question will receive an SMSU t-shirt.
For all the information on the Mustang Booster Club Luncheons and SMSU Athletics, please go to SMSUmustangs.com.
This Week in Mustang Athletics:
Wednesday night, the SMSU wrestling team competed in its second dual of the season. This was the Mustangs' first home match of the season as they battled Morningside (Iowa) College at the PE Gym. Morningside came into the match ranked No. 5 in the nation according to the first edition of the NAIA wrestling coaches' poll. The Mustangs defeated Dakota Wesleyan 24-13 on Nov. 29 in their last competition. SMSU leads the series, going 4-1 all-time against Morningside.
Congratulations to Mustang freshman Kyle Begin who was been named the NSIC's Wrestler of the Week on Monday. Begin, a native of Anoka, won all four of his matches via pin at the Dragon Open, hosted by Minnesota State-Moorhead last Saturday. Begin, who took the 165-pound White Division (freshmen) championship, had pins at 4:50, 1:04, 2:47 in his first three matches and his fourth and final pin came just 1:16 into the championship bout. Begin pinned Joshua Chandler (Augsburg College), Matt Mason (Itasca CC), Dominic Sipe (Rochester CC) and Mitchell Rechtzigel (Augustana) to earn first place.
SMSU had five other Mustangs place at the tournament. In the Red Division (upperclassmen), Justin Reinsma finished second at 133 pounds, Ethan Hildebrandt took fourth place at 141 pounds and Micah Larson took third place at 197 pounds. In the White Division, Beau Buysse placed second at 149 pounds, Kyle Begin took first at 165 pounds and Travis Longtin took sixth place at 165 pounds. SMSU wrestling earned its first dual victory of the season, beating Concordia-Moorhead last Friday, 21-16. The Mustangs are off to an exciting start to their season!
The SMSU women's and men's basketball teams head on the first NSIC road trip of the year, heading to Augustana on Friday night and finishing up at Wayne State College on Saturday. The SMSU men's basketball team (4-4 overall, 1-0 NSIC) open the road trip on Friday night competing against undefeated Augustana College (5-0, 1-0 NSIC). The contest will start at 8 p.m. at the Elmen Center in Sioux Falls, S.D. SMSU will then face Wayne State College (5-1, 0-1 NSIC) on Saturday at Rice Auditorium in Wayne, Neb., with this contest scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.
The Mustangs are coming off a strong second half against Sioux Falls, when they pulled away from the Cougars to secure a 70-60 home victory in the NSIC opener. Jordan Miller scored a team-high 16 points for SMSU with a pair of 3-pointers, while Lavione West added 13 points on 4 of 5 shooting and six rebounds off the bench.
The SMSU women's basketball team (1-5 overall, 0-1 NSIC) will lead the Mustangs off against host Augustana College on Friday night. The SMSU women's basketball team will tip off at 6 p.m. against the Vikings. On Saturday, SMSU will travel to Wayne to take on the Wildcats, leading off the men's and women's doubleheader at 4 p.m.
The Mustangs lost their NSIC home opener to Sioux Falls last Saturday, 77-66. SMSU was led by Alison Nagel's 17 points. She finished the game just one rebound short of her first career double-double (17 points, nine rebounds). Rebekah Rolling rounded out double-digit scoring, as she netted 15 points.
The SMSU wheelchair basketball team (3-9 overall) will head to Lincoln, Neb., on Saturday to compete in the Madonna Invite in a two-day tournament. The Mustangs are coming of a 54-44 win over Edinboro University Nov. 17 on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.
I would like to wish all our Mustang teams the best of luck this week!
Congratulations to Mark Hacker, who provided the correct answer to the last week's Mustang Hoofprints Question: When was the last time the SMSU men's basketball team beat South Dakota State University? SMSU beat SDSU 93-55 on Feb. 7, 2005 in Brookings, S.D.