Four Cobber Volleyball Seniors Earn MIAC Awards

MOORHEAD, Minn. (11/09/11)—Senior outside hitter Jenna Green was named the MIAC Player of the Year, head coach Tim Mosser was named MIAC Coach of the Year honors and three other senior Cobber players earned conference postseason honors it was announced on Wednesday.

Green, Katie Vohnoutka and Amy Sykora earned MIAC All-Conference honors and fellow senior Ashley Beseman was named as the team’s representative to the All-MIAC Sportsmanship Team.

Mosser and the four seniors helped Concordia to another banner season. The Cobbers tied for the MIAC regular-season championship – the second in program history. Concordia went 10-1 in league play and won nine straight MIAC matches to end the season. CC then went on to capture their fourth conference tournament championship by beating St. Ben’s and St. Thomas.

Mosser earns his third Coach of the Year award. He also won the award in 2006 and 1995. Mosser guided the Cobbers to 10 wins in MIAC play for the third time in his tenure. Concordia was ranked in the top 15 in the nation for the entire year and has been ranked in the top 10 of the country for seven of the past eight weeks. Mosser has now helped CC reach the conference playoffs for 11 straight seasons and he has a 146-62 record in his 19 seasons at Concordia.

Green becomes the third player in program history to earn MIAC Player of the Year honors. Becca Shane was named MIAC MVP honors in 2006 and Jessica Walden earned the award in 2004. Green also earns All-Conference honors for the third straight season and was also named the MIAC Rookie of the Year in 2008. During the season Green surpassed the 1,000-kill mark and the 1,000 career dig milestone to become the first player in program history to achieve 1000 kills and 1000 digs. She was named Hitter-of-the-Week three times in 2011. Green led the MIAC in kills in conference matches (4.11/set) and was tied for ninth in digs (4.14/set). She needs seven more kills to become the first player in program history to record 400 kills and 400 digs in a single season.

Like Green, Vohnoutka also earns MISAC All-Conference honors for the third straight season. Vohnoutka led the MIAC in hitting percentage (.379) in league matches and was ninth in kills (3.24/set) and third in blocks (1.22/set). Vohnoutka also surpassed the 1,000 kill mark during the season. She now has 1,159 career kills and is seventh on the school’s all-time kill list. She also has 287 career blocks and is No.10 on the school’s all-time block list.

Sykora earns All-Conference honors for the first time in her career. She is a four-year starter and has accumulated the third highest assist total in program history. Sykora was third in the MIAC in assists this season (9.81/set) and tied for ninth in service aces (0.41/set). She had at least 30 assists in seven of the 11 conference matches and had a season-high 49 assists against Bethel on Sept. 21. Sykora only needs 13 more assists to overtake Marsha Suko for second place on Concordia’s all-time assist list.

Beseman was the breakout player of the year for the Cobbers she has career-high numbers in kills, total attacks and hitting percentage. She routinely came up with clutch points in key conference matches and gave the Cobber a legitimate third threat at the net. She had at least four kills in eight of the 11 MIAC matches and had a season-high nine against St. Thomas on Sept. 28. Beseman also recorded at least five blocks in four league matches this year.

Cobber Volleyball Ranked No.9!

The Concordia volleyball team moved into single digits in the national rankings on Tuesday. The Cobbers are now ranked ninth in the latest AVCA Division III National Poll. CC moved up one spot from last week’s poll after beating St. Olaf and St. Mary’s over the weekend.

Concordia is now 16-3 on the season and has won four straight matches. The Cobbers have also posted 3-0 sweeps in their last nine wins of the year. That includes all five conference victories. CC is 5-1 in the MIAC and tied for first place in the league standings.

Concordia continues to be the top ranked team from the MIAC, Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC) or Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) in this week’s national poll.

The Cobbers are led by the senior quartet of Ashley Beseman, Jenna Green, Amy Sykora and Katie Vohnoutka.

Over the weekend – Sykora finished with 66 assists and now has 635 on the season and 2,710 for her career. She is less than 330 from moving into second place on the school’s all-time assist list.

Green had match-high kill totals in both matches. She had 15 kills and accounted for 8.5 points against St. Olaf and then put up 12 kills and record 13.5 points vs. St. Mary’s on Saturday. Green now has a team-leading 258 kills for the year and 1,217 kills for her career. Vohnoutka posted four kills and had nine points at St. Olaf but then rebounded to come away with 10 kills and 13.5 points against the Cardinals. She also had 14 total blocks on the weekend and now has 264 for her career. Vohnoutka recently climbed into the school’s all-time top 10 block list. Beseman had her best match of the weekend on Friday when she came up with seven kills and 11.0 points against the Oles. Beseman was also a wall at the net on defense. She had 11 blocks in the two matches combined.

Concordia has only one match this week. The Cobbers will travel to St. Paul on Wednesday, Oct. 12 to take on Macalester at 7 p.m.

AVCA Division III Coaches Top 25 Poll
2011 Week #6: October 11, 2011
1. Calvin (22) 18-0
2. Washington-St. Louis (2) 21-0
3. Emory 24-1
4. Wittenberg 19-2
5. Eastern 20-1
6. Heidelberg 21-2
7. Southwestern (Texas) 21-2
8. Christopher Newport 21-3
9. Concordia (Minn.) 15-3
10. Carthage 18-4
11. Juniata 16-5
12. St. Thomas (Minn.) 18-3
13. Colorado College 20-5
14. Hope 15-3
15. Cal Lutheran 15-4
16. Univ. of Chicago 20-2
17. UMass-Boston 17-2
18. Springfield 21-0
19. Puget Sound 14-2
20. SUNY Cortland 25-1
21. Elmhurst 19-4
22. Pacific Lutheran 14-3
23. UW-Whitewater 15-5
24. UW-Platteville 17-8
25. Bowdoin 15-1

Others Receiving Votes: Whitworth 25; Otterbein 13; Washington & Lee 13; Wartburg 11; Occidental 5; Tufts 5; Wisconsin-Stevens Point 4; McMurry 3

Cobber Volleyball Back In Top 10!

The Cobber volleyball team cracked the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) top 10 for the second time this season. Following their sweep over nationally-ranked St. Thomas, Concordia jumped into the No.10 spot in the latest national rankings.

Concordia is the top ranked team from the MIAC, Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC) or Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) in this week’s national poll.

It is the second time in 2011 that the Cobbers have been ranked 10th in the Division III national poll. They climbed to No.10 on Sept. 20 but then fell back to the 12th spot last week after falling to Bethel 3-2.

Concordia is 14-3 on the season in overall games and 3-1 in MIAC play. The Cobbers are currently tied for first place with four other teams in the league standings. Of the team’s 14 wins this year, six have come against nationally ranked opponents.

The Cobbers are led by the senior quartet of Ashley Beseman, Jenna Green, Amy Sykora and Katie Vohnoutka. Vohnoutka was named the MIAC Hitter of the Week on Monday after hitting .381, putting down 11 kills and adding seven blocks and five digs in Concordia’s 3-0 sweep over nationally-ranked St. Thomas on Wednesday.

Concordia will return to action when they hit the road for their annual conference away doubleheader weekend. The Cobbers will play at St. Olaf on Friday night at 7 p.m. and then travel south to take on St. Mary’s on Saturday at 3 p.m.

AVCA Division III Coaches Top 25 Poll
2011 Week #5: October 4, 2011
1. Calvin (21) 15-0
2. Washington-St. Louis (3)17-0
3. Emory 20-1
4. Wittenberg 14-2
5. Eastern 18-1
6. Christopher Newport 18-2
7. Carthage 15-2
8. Heidelberg 18-2
9. Southwestern (Texas)17-2
10. Concordia (Minn.) 13-3
11. Juniata 14-4
12. St. Thomas (Minn.) 16-3
13. Colorado College 17-5
14. Cal Lutheran 13-4
15. Hope 12-3
16. Chicago 18-2
17. UMass-Boston 13-2
18. SUNY Cortland 21-1
19. Puget Sound 12-2
20. Springfield 16-0
21. Whitworth 11-4
22. UW-Whitewater 15-4
23. Pacific Lutheran 12-3
24. UW-Platteville 14-6
25. Elmhurst 13-4
Others Receiving Votes: McMurry 30; Wartburg 30; Bowdowin 26; Otterbein 16; Washington & Lee 16; Occidental 14; Bethany (WV) 6

Monday Mess – The Referee Edition

Every week the Concordia Sports Information Department takes a light-hearted look back at all the Cobber athletic activities from the previous weekend.

This week we highlight the Cobber women’s golf team who finished fourth at the MIAC Championship Meet. We also shine the spotlight on men’s golfer Pat Deitz who earned All-Conference honors for the second time in the past three years and uncover one of the unsung heroes on the volleyball team.

This week’s Monday Mess rant is dedicated to the most thankless job in all of sports. We chronicle the difficulty of being a referee at the high school or college level and wonder if the lack of younger officials could lead to the downfall of college athletics in the future.

Click on the link to read the full Monday Mess:
Monday Mess – The Referee Edition – Oct. 3, 2011

Cobber Teams Anchored In DIII Top 25

Both the Cobber volleyball and women’s soccer teams stayed anchored in the top 25 of Division III. The CC volleyball team dropped a pair of spots and is now ranked 12th in the latest AVCA poll while the Cobber women’s soccer team is currently ranked 22nd after being ranked 16th last week.

The Concordia volleyball team is currently 13-3 on the season and is 2-1 in conference play. They have been ranked in the top 25 of the nation the entire season and have been nationally rated for 74 of the past 81 weeks. The Cobbers will host No.11-ranked St. Thomas on Wednesday, Sept. 28 at 7 p.m. CC is coming off a 3-0 win over St. Kate’s on Saturday.

The Cobber women’s soccer team has also been ranked inside the top 25 the entire year. Concordia is 4-1-3 on the season. They will host St. Mary’s on Saturday, Oct. 1 at 1 p.m.

AVCA Division III Coaches Top 25 Poll
Week #4: September 27, 2011
1. Calvin (22) 14-0
2. Washington-St. Louis (2) 14-0
3. Wittenberg 12-1
4. Emory 17-1
5. Eastern 15-1
6. Christopher Newport 14-2
7. Carthage 13-2
8. Heidelberg 13-2
9. Southwestern (Texas) 12-2
10. Juniata 10-4
11. St. Thomas (Minn.) 12-2
12. Concordia (Minn.) 12-3
13. Hope 12-2
14. Colorado College 13-4
15. Cal Lutheran 10-4
16. Chicago 15-1
17. Puget Sound 11-1
18. UMass-Boston 8-2
19. SUNY Cortland 17-0
20. Pacific Lutheran 10-2
21. Springfield 15-0
22. UW-Whitewater 10-4
23. UW-Platteville 10-5
24. Elmhurst 13-3
25. Occidental 9-4

Others Receiving Votes: Bethel (Minn.) 27; McMurry 15; Wartburg 13; Wisconsin-Oshkosh 13; Washington & Lee 12; Whitworth 10; Tufts 8; Bethany (WV) 6; Millikin 5; Coe 4; Alma 2

NCAA Rankings  National  Women
Division III  4th Poll  – September 27, 2011
1. Messiah (Pa.)    6-0-1
2. William Smith (N.Y.)    7-0-1
3. Wheaton (Ill.)  8-0-0
4. Emory (Ga.)   7-0-1
5. Trinity (Texas) 8-0-0
6. Johns Hopkins (Md.) 8-0-0
7. Williams (Mass.)  4-1-1
8. Hardin-Simmons (Texas)  6-1-0
9. Wartburg (Iowa)   7-0-1
10. Virginia Wesleyan  10-0-0
11. Illinois Wesleyan  7-1-0
12. Washington (Mo.) 7-1-0
13. Centre (Ky.)  6-1-0
14. Ithaca (N.Y.)   5-0-2
14. Transylvania (Ky.)  7-1-0
16. College of New Jersey 5-1-0
17. California Lutheran 7-1-0
18. Amherst (Mass.)  5-0-0
19. UW-Stevens Point 6-2-0
20. U. of Chicago  5-2-0
21. Wheaton (Mass.)  6-1-2
22. Concordia-Moorhead (Minn.) 4-0-3  
23. Union (N.Y.)  7-1-0
24. Skidmore (N.Y.) 6-2-0
25. Ohio Northern 5-1-2

Also receiving votes: Arcadia (Pa.), Tufts (Mass.), Roanoke (Va.), St. Olaf (Minn.), Puget Sound (Wash.), Haverford (Pa.)

Cobber Volleyball Ranked In Top 10!

After a five-year absence, Concordia has once again reached the top 10 in Division III volleyball. On the strength of their 3-1 record, and wins over the No.9 and No.12-ranked teams in the country, the Cobbers jumped into the top 10 of the nation in this week’s release of the AVCA DIII National Poll.

It is the first time that CC has been ranked in the top 10 of the nation since the end of the 2006 season when they spent the majority of the year perched in the top 10.

Concordia was ranked 15th last week but earned wins over #9 Juniata and #12 Colorado College to improve their overall season record 12-2 and jump five rankings slots. The Cobbers are now the highest ranked MIAC team. Defending MIAC regular-season champion St. Thomas dropped down to the No.12 spot after losing to Carthage (Ill.) and Southwestern (Texas) last week.

The Cobbers will now turn their attention to the bulk of the MIAC regular season. The Cobbers will play at Bethel on Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 7 p.m. They will then return home to host St. Catherine on Saturday, Sept. 24 at 3 p.m.

AVCA Division III Coaches Top 25 Poll
1. Calvin (22) 11-0
2. Washington-St. Louis (2) 14-0
3. Wittenberg 8-1
4. Emory 13-1
5. Eastern 9-1
6. Christopher Newport 9-2
7. Carthage 11-2
8. Heidelberg 10-2
9. Southwestern (Texas) 9-2
10. Concordia (Minn.) 12-2
11. Juniata 6-4
12. St. Thomas (Minn.) 10-2
13. Hope 9-2
14. Colorado College 9-3
15. Cal Lutheran 7-4
16. Puget Sound 10-0
17. Chicago 11-0
18. UMass-Boston 5-2
19. Pacific Lutheran 9-1
20. SUNY Cortland 13-0
21. UW-Whitewater 8-3
22. Occidental 7-2
23. UW-Platteville 8-4
24. Wartburg 9-2
25. Springfield 10-0

Others Receiving Votes: MIT 21; Nebraska Wesleyan 20; Trinity (Texas) 20; Washington & Lee 15; St. Olaf 14; Coast Guard 12; Whitworth 11; Elmhurst 6; Bethany (WV) 2

Sykora Named MIAC Setter of the Week

MOORHEAD, Minn. (9/19/11)—Concordia senior Amy Sykora (Rapid City, S.D.) was named the MIAC Setter of the Week it was announced on Monday. Sykora had 143 assists, 36 digs, seven service aces and eight blocks in helping the Cobbers win four of their five matches on the week.

Sykora becomes the second player from Concordia to earn an MIAC weekly award. Last week fellow senior Jenna Green was named the MIAC Hitter of the Week.

No.15-ranked Concordia opened the week by sweeping Hamline in the conference opener. Sykora had 15 assists and eight digs as the Cobbers dispatched the Pipers in exactly one hour.

Sykora’s real worth to Concordia showed up in the Colorado College Invitational on Friday and Saturday where she helped the Cobbers go 3-1 and record a pair a wins over teams ranked in the top 12 of the country. For the weekend, Sykora had 128 assists, added seven service aces, 28 digs and seven blocks. Sykora has become a force in the Mile High state. As a freshman she was named the Tournament MVP at the Colorado College Invite.

The Cobbers beat Endicott (Mass.) and perennial national title contender Juniata on Friday. Against No.9-ranked Juniata, Sykora had a tournament-high 43 assists and chipped in seven kills and nine digs. It was the fourth time this year she has recorded a 40-plus assist total for a match.

Sykora then led the way on Saturday as the Cobbers beat No.12-ranked Colorado College in the final match of the tournament. She had 34 assists against the host Tigers and had three blocks and six digs.

Sykora currently leads the MIAC in overall assists. She has 448 assists in the team’s first 14 matches of the year. Sykora has also cemented her spot as one of the top 3 setters in the history of the program. She currently has 2,523 career assists and is 517 assists away from moving into second place on the school’s all-time assist list.

Concordia will now turn their attention to the bulk of the MIAC regular season. The Cobbers will play at Bethel on Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 7 p.m. They will then return home to host St. Catherine on Saturday, Sept. 24 at 3 p.m.

Cobber Volleyball 2011 Preview

MOORHEAD, Minn. (8/29/11)– Not much has changed for the Concordia volleyball team since they last left the court in the NCAA Tournament in November. The Cobbers return all six starting players and have everyone back from a team that went 24-7 on the year and was within one game of the MIAC regular season championship.

The two biggest reasons that head coach Tim Mosser has been looking forward to this season come in the forms of returning All-Americans Jenna Green (Sr., Dilworth, Minn./D-G-F HS) and Katie Vohnoutka (Sr., Eden Prairie, Minn.). Both players have been in the CC starting lineup for three years and both have been handfuls for any opposing defense to try and stop. Green led the team in kills in 2010 and was seventh in MIAC in both kills and digs. Vohnoutka was second on the team in overall kills but led the team in kills and blocks in conference play. She finished the year second in the MIAC in blocks and third in kills in league play. Green has 949 kills and 1034 digs in her three-year career and will likely become only the second player in the history of the program to surpass the 1000 kill, 1000 dig mark. Vohnoutka has 914 career kills and should become the 11th member of the 1,000-kill club in school history.

While Green and Vohnoutka will draw the most attention from opposing team’s defense, the Cobbers have several other front line players that can carry the team for an entire match. Senior Ashley Beseman (Raymond, Minn./MACCRAY HS) and sophomores Allison Bruggeman (Moorhead, Minn.) and Brooke Tastad (Montevideo, Minn.) all had over 100 kills on the year. All three players also showed the versatility that green and Vohnoutka bring to the team. Beseman was second on the team in blocks in 2010 while Bruggeman was third on the team in blocks and fourth in digs.

The Cobbers will also return their offensive quarterback and defensive specialist. Three-year starter Amy Sykora (Rapid City, S.D./Stevens HS) has posted 700-assist seasons the past two years and has 2,075 helpers in her career. She is third on the school’s all-time assist list and should jump into the second spot during the season. Sophomore Rachel Wiinanen (Maple Grove, Minn.) stepped into the libero role last year and had over 325 digs in her first season.

Mosser has also started the task of restocking the cupboards for next year as he brought in five freshmen that will all learn from their experience of playing with a group that has remain intact for two straight years.

Concordia will start the season with another target on its back. The Cobbers are one of only two teams in the MIAC to be ranked in the top 15 in the AVCA preseason poll. CC will have plenty of opportunity to show they belong among the nation’s elite. Concordia will travel to four top-tier tournaments during the regular season and will face four teams ranked in the top of the 13 of the nation. The pinnacle of tough competition will come at the Colorado College Invitational where they will face two-time national champion Juniata (Pa.) as well as Washington University (Mo.) who is ranked third in the preseason poll and advanced to last year’s NCAA semifinals as well as host Colorado College who starts the season ranked No.13.

If Concordia can be successful during their tough non-conference schedule then by the end of October they should be able to set their sights on a MIAC championship and a deep run in the NCAA Tournament.

Complete 2011 MIAC Volleyball Season Preview

2011 MIAC Coaches’ Preseason Poll
1. Concordia (8) – 117
2. St. Thomas (3) – 106
3. St. Olaf (1) – 94
4. Saint Benedict – 92
5. Saint Mary’s – 81
6. Bethel – 75
7. St. Catherine – 49
8. Augsburg – 45
9. Carleton – 42
10. Gustavus – 37
11. Hamline – 33
12. Macalester – 15

Another Top 25 Preseason Ranking!

When it comes to national rankings the Cobber volleyball team will start the 2011 season where they left off in 2010. Concordia is ranked 14th in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) preseason poll it was announced on Thursday.

The volleyball team is the second Cobber fall team to start the year ranked in the top 25 of the nation. The Concordia women’s soccer team is ranked 25th in the NSCAA preseason poll.

After making the NCAA playoffs for the seventh time in the last eight years, Concordia finished the year by being ranked 20th in the final AVCA national poll. It was the seventh time in the past eight years that CC has been ranked in the top 25 of the nation at the end of the year. During that time the Cobbers have spent a remarkable 75 weeks ranked in the top 25 of Division III.

The Cobbers went 24-7 in 2010 and had a mark of 9-2 in conference play. The 24 overall wins marked the seventh time in the past nine seasons that CC has won at least 20 matches in a single season. Concordia finished in third place in the MIAC and was only a single game out of first place.

Concordia will be led by returning All-Americans Jenna Green and Katie Vohnoutka in 2011. Green is a two-time All-American who led the team in kills in 2010. She had 391 on the year which is the most by any Cobber player in a single season since 2006. She had double-digit kill totals in all but five matches and finished the year with at least 10 winners in the last 12 matches of the year. Vohnoutka was second on the team in kills has posted 686 winners in the past two seasons. Vohnoutka led the team in blocks and service aces during the season. She had 107 total blocks which is the most by a player since the 2007 season.

Concordia will open their season on Friday, Sept. 2 when they compete in the UW-Eau Claire Classic. The Cobbers will also play non-conference tournament at Wartburg College (Iowa) and Colorado College. CC will begin their quest for the MIAC regular-season title when they host Hamline on Sept. 13 at 5 p.m.

Complete AVCA Preseason National Rankings