Westminster Recaps Highlights of the 2009-10 Athletic Season
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 5, 2010
SALT LAKE CITY – With five conference championships and seven national tournament appearances, Westminster’s Athletics Department had a very successful 2009-10 season. The highlight of the year included a second consecutive national championship for both the women’s alpine ski team and women’s snowboard team.
Through the winter sports season, Westminster’s teams overall ranked 75th of 172 schools in the NAIA Director’s Cup Standings. The final Director’s Cup standings will be released on June 23.
Below is a recap of the college’s 13 athletic team’s performance during the 2009-10 season:
Men’s Basketball Fall in Second Round of Nationals
The Westminster men’s basketball team went 27-6 during the 2009-10 season and advanced to the second round of the NAIA National Championships. They won the Frontier Conference regular season and tournament championships for a second consecutive season and earned the No. 4 overall seed at the national tournament.
The Griffins started the season 3-4 before running off 10 consecutive victories. Following a road loss in conference, Westminster posted a school record 14 consecutive wins including an 80-74 victory against Evangel in the opening round of the NAIA National Championship. The winning streak and season both came to an end with a 65-51 loss against Azusa Pacific in the NAIA second round.
Ben Walker finished third in the country in field goal percentage shooting 66.5% during the season. Walker led the team in scoring at 15.4 points per game and also collected a team-best 195 rebounds. Blair Prowse was second on the team in scoring at 14.1 points per contest. He averaged 2.9 three-pointers per game to rank eighth in the NAIA. Weston Anderson averaged 12.7 points with a team leading 124 assists.
Prowse was named an NAIA Third Team All-American and First Team All-Frontier Conference. Walker was also named First Team All-Frontier and was an Honorable Mention All-American. Anderson was also named First Team All-Conference. Head Coach Tommy Connor was named the Frontier Conference Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season.
Westminster led the NAIA with six Daktronics/NAIA Scholar Athletes. Anderson, Brandon Buford, Chris Cassity, Tanner Gregory, Conner Nielsen, and Walker all made the list by posting a GPA between 3.5 and 4.0.
Women’s Basketball – Frontier Conference Champs
The Westminster women’s basketball team finished the season at 27-7 and claimed a second consecutive Frontier Conference regular season championship. The Griffins were ranked a school-best No. 9 in the final coaches’ poll and earned a No. 3 seed in the NAIA National Championships. They advanced to the second round of national tournament for the third time in four seasons.
After starting the season 4-4, Westminster won 13 straight games. That was the second longest winning streak in school history. They finished 13-1 during the Frontier Conference season and dropped an 80-60 decision in the Frontier Conference Tournament Championship game to Lewis-Clark State College. The Griffins defeated Lambuth 67-55 in the NAIA National Championship opening round before falling 62-52 against Oklahoma Christian in round two.
Westminster led the NAIA in field goal percentage at 49.1% with a 3-point field goal percentage of 40.9%. McKenzie Jessop led five Griffins who averaged double figures in scoring at 13.0 points per game. Jessop also led the team with 238 rebounds and 104 steals. Her 3.2 steals per game was the fourth highest total in the NAIA. Nicole Yazzie posted 13.3 points per game while distributing 149 assists. Keshia Catten averaged 13.1 points per game and set a school record with 80 three-pointers in a season.
Jessop was named the Frontier Conference Player of the Year and Third Team All-American. She became the third Griffin to be named the Frontier’s top performer and the fifth to make the All-American team. Jessop was also named the Frontier Defensive Player of the Year and First Team All-Frontier Conference. Yazzie was the Frontier Freshman of the Year and First Team All-Frontier. Catten joined Jessop and Yazzie on the All-Frontier First Team while Allie Eastman was named Second Team All-Frontier Conference. Head Coach JD Gustin was honored by the Frontier Conference as the Coach of the Year for the second time in his career.
Five Griffins were named Daktronics/NAIA Scholar Athletes this season. Catten, Dani Evans, Jessop, Nicole Lynch, and Michelle Pace were all honored by the NAIA for posting a GPA between 3.5 and 4.0. The five recipients is the second most for a single season in Westminster history.
Women’s Alpine Skiing Finish Second Year as National Champs
The Westminster women’s alpine ski team claimed a second consecutive national championship after winning both events at the USCSA National Championships. Westminster won the slalom event and giant slalom at the national championships. The Griffins have now won the championship in each of the two years of the program.
Westminster won every event they competed in during the season. They opened the year by sweeping the three races at the Rocky Mountain Invitational. That was followed by another sweep at the Weber State Invitational. The Griffins qualified for the USCSA National Championships by winning the Western Regional.
Kendall Brown won the USCSA Individual National Championship by claiming both the slalom and giant slalom individual titles. Camilla Maria Franschini finished fourth overall while Perrine Voisin was seventh.
Brown and Ulrikke Nicolaisen led four Griffins named Academic All-American by making the First Team. Franschini and Voisin were each named honorable mention.
Women’s Snowboarding Earns Second Consecutive National Title
The Westminster women’s snowboard team claimed a second consecutive national championship at the USCSA National Championships. The Griffins won the overall title after one first place finish and two second place finishes in the three events. Westminster had five total points topping Sierra Nevada College and Duke by wide margins. This is the second straight national championship in just two years of the snowboard program.
Desiree Diselrod finished second overall at the National Championships with 21 total points anchored by a second place finish in the boardercross competition. Claire Gentile finished fourth overall after winning the boardercross. Lisa Swift finished sixth in the final results.
Westminster had three snowboarders USCSA Academic All-American. Diselrod and Gentile were each named to the second team while Hallie Beaver was named honorable mention.
Men’s Alpine Skiing Places Second at Nationals
The Westminster men’s alpine ski team finished second overall at the USCSA National Championships. The Griffins tied Sierra Nevada College for the overall title but finished second on tiebreakers. This is the second consecutive year that Westminster has finished one spot out of the title spot.
Marc Perathoner won the USCSA Men’s Individual National Championship with a third place finish in the giant slalom and winning the slalom event. Lorentz Gedde-Dahl finished fifth at the national championships while Jacob Ringbrandt placed 12th.
Five Griffins were named USCSA Academic All-Americans. Jens Aune and Jurgen Karner made the first team while Gedde-Dahl and Perathoner made the second team. Ringbrandt was named honorable mention.
Men’s Snowboarding Places Second at Nationals
The Westminster men’s snowboard team finished second overall at the USCSA National Championships. The Griffins finished second in each event to eventual national champion Sierra Nevada College, marking the second straight year they have finished in this order. Westminster had six points in the overall standings, three behind Sierra Nevada and five ahead of third place West Virginia. Westminster has now finished second in each of the two years of the program at Westminster.
Andrew Peabody was the top finisher for Westminster with a sixth place finish. He finished ninth in the slopestyle and sixth in the halfpipe. Peabody also finished 10th overall in the giant slalom event.
Westminster had three USCSA Academic All-Americans with Robin Hill and Zach Lancaster making the second team. Mark Speicher was an honorable mention Academic All-American.
Men’s Lacrosse Make it to Semi-Finals in MCLA Nationals
The Westminster men’s lacrosse team finished the 2010 season with a 13-8 overall record and won the RMLC West Division regular season championship. They advanced to the championship game of the RMLC Tournament and earned an at-large invite to the MCLA National Championship. The Griffins then advanced to the semi-finals of the national tournament, including an upset win over No. 2 Dayton in the second round.
Westminster spent much of the season ranked in the top 10, and at one point posted wins in nine of 11 games. They finished the season 4-1 on Dumke Field and were 6-2 against ranked opponents. They extended a perfect record in opening round games at the MCLA National Championship to 4-0 and reached the semi-finals for the third time in four seasons.
Dallas McLellan, Matt Lambourne and Jacob Wayman were all recognized by the MCLA for their performance during the season with the Griffins. McLellan was named a First Team All-American at goalie and becomes the first three-time All-American in Westminster lacrosse history. Lambourne was named a Second Team All-American at defense. This is his first All-American recognition and he becomes the fourth Griffin in history to make it at defense. Wayman was named a Third Team All-American at midfield. For Wayman, this is his first All-American honor and just the third midfield All-American in Westminster’s history.
Women’s Lacrosse Finish Second Year with a 5-8 Record
The Westminster women’s lacrosse team completed the second year of the program with a 5-8 overall record. They opened the year with three consecutive victories, including back-to-back wins on the road at Boise State. The Griffins finished 2-4 in Rocky Mountain Women’s Lacrosse league games.
Kaicee Beal finished the year with 51 goals and 58 points. She posted at least four goals in a game 10 times during the season and scored in 12 of the 13 games she played. Sage West finished with 42 points behind 20 goals and a team-best 22 assists. Lindsey Mark added 24 goals while Erika Rebentisch posted eight goals and nine assists. Jessie Mulvey made 83 saves in goal with a 34.9 save percentage.
Beal was named First Team All-Conference, becoming the first Griffin to receive that honor. West was named Third Team All-Conference.
Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Place Third in Conference Championships
The 2009 season was a new beginning for the Westminster men’s and women’s cross country teams under the direction of first year coach Craig Binkley. The season began with a sixth-place finish by the men and a fifth-place result by the women at the Roger Curran Invitational. The women bounced back to place second at the Carroll College Invitational, where the men came away with a third-place result. Each team finished third at the 2009 Frontier Conference Championships that were hosted by Westminster at Sugar House Park.
Westminster’s Amanda Theobald placed second at the conference meet to earn All-Conference recognition for the second consecutive year. She also qualified for the NAIA National Championships for a second straight year and remains the only Griffins harrier of all-time to qualify for the event. She placed 160th at the national meet with a time of 20:20 over the 5K course.
David Bonomi, David Sondrup, and Benjamin Young were all named Daktronics-NAIA Men’s Cross Country Scholar Athletes. The women had Helen Ho, Kathy Ho, and Theobald named Daktronics-NAIA Scholar Athlete. All six were also named Academic All-Frontier Conference.
Men’s Soccer Advances to Post Season for 21st Year
The Westminster men’s soccer team advanced to postseason play for the 21st time in 26 seasons in 2009. Westminster completed the season with a 10-7-2 overall record and went an impressive 6-1-1 at home. After starting the season with three consecutive losses, Westminster went 3-0-1 in the next four games. They earned a 2-1 overtime victory over No. 19 MidAmerica Nazarene and a 3-1 defeat of NCAA D2 Adams State during that stretch.
Along the way the Griffins knocked off a 22nd-ranked The Master’s College team that eventually would play for the NAIA National Championship. They season was capped with a 1-0 loss against Great Falls at the Unaffiliated Conference Tournament in Omaha, Nebraska.
Dennis Sellis, Daniel Duke, Val Campbell and Spencer Luczak all were named All-Unaffiliated Conference for their performance during the season. Sellis finished with a team-best eight goals and 21 points n the season. Luczak recorded four goals and Duke led the team with 1,640 minutes played while recording three assists. Campbell appeared in 17 games between the pipes and made 82 saves with a goal against average of 1.39.
Omid Adibnazari, Campbell, Duke, Tysen Gehring, Gary Gonzalez, James Kuhn, Luczak, James Milgate, Chandler Shields, and Justin Solomon were all named Daktronics-NAIA Men’s Soccer Scholar Athletes for 2009. This was the second time this honor has been given to Adibnazari, Duke, Kuhn, Milgate, and Solomon.
Women’s Soccer Place Second in Conference Championship
The third season of women’s soccer at Westminster saw the Griffins advance to the championship game of the Frontier Conference Tournament. Although they dropped a 5-0 decision to Carroll College in that championship game, the Griffins completed the season at 9-10-1 overall with a 4-2-1 mark at Dumke Field.
Westminster picked up the program’s first-ever win over a ranked opponent when they shutout No. 23 Embry-Riddle Aeronautical (Fla.) 1-0. They also earned a 0-0 tied against No. 17 Carroll and twice put together four-game unbeaten streaks. The Griffins advanced to the conference title game behind a 1-0 win against Rocky Mountain College in the semi-finals.
Corie Walch and Dayna Winter-Nolte each were named All-Frontier Conference, becoming just the third and fourth players to receive that honor in school history. Walch finished the year with three goals and two assists from her outside midfield position. Winter-Nolte made 17 appearances in goal and finished the year with 56 saves and five shutouts.
The Daktronics-NAIA Women’s Soccer Scholar Athlete team featured three Griffins. Maddie Maldonado and Elaina Pappas were recognized for a second consecutive season while Danielle Rankin made her first appearance on the team.
Women’s Volleyball Finishes Fifth in Conference
For the third consecutive season the Westminster women’s volleyball team challenged themselves during the preseason. Westminster faced five teams ranked in the top-20 during the team’s first 12 matches, including the top three teams in the rankings. Although they finished just 3-9 during that opening stretch, they used that to finish fifth in the Frontier Conference and 9-20 overall.
Twice during the conference season, Westminster ran together three-match winning streaks and won four straight home matches without dropping a set. They pushed No. 19 Carroll College to a 15-13 fifth-set in the home meeting. The Griffins had 12 matches go past three sets during the season and were 2-2 in five-set matches.
Tahnie Blymiller led the Frontier Conference with 548 digs and was named the Frontier Conference Libero of the Year. Ericka Evans joined Blymiller on the All-Frontier Conference First Team after posting a team-best 291 kills and hitting .183. Talita Kresser was named the Frontier Conference Newcomer of the year and Megan Evans was named to the All-Freshman Team.
Ericka Evans, Katie McLintock, and Kelsey Schaufler were all named Daktronics-NAIA Women’s Volleyball Scholar Athletes. This was the second