Busy, busy weekend for Hardrocker athletics
By Brad Blume
Sports Information Director
South Dakota School of Mines
RAPID CITY --- The South Dakota School of Mines had an extremely busy weekend as three Hardrocker sports program finished their regular seasons and two others had home openers. The football team closed out its season with a loss to Mayville State, the men’s and women’s cross country team competed in the NAIA Region III meet in Sioux Falls where a runner qualified for the NAIA National Championships and the SDM volleyball team finished up the regular season with two home matches. The men’s and women’s basketball teams both had a doubleheader home opener over the weekend as well.
In Saturday’s contest Hardrocker men’s basketball team put up quite a fight for 40 minutes and just wouldn’t go away, making the Dakota Wesleyan Tigers earn a victory, 95-91, in the non-conference bout.
South Dakota School of Mines junior Brandon Smith takes the ball to the hole during the Hardrockers home opener Saturday night at the King Center in Rapid City. Photo by Brad Blume
The Hardrockers showed great effort and determination in the game. And despite never having the lead in either the first or second half, South Dakota Mines was able to rally from at least a 10-point deficit in both stanzas and make a game of it down the stretch.
“In the first half, we were taking quick 3’s and (the Tigers) were getting long rebounds,” said Hardrocker head coach Jason Henry. “We got back in the game by being patient on offense. We hit some shots --- had some easy looks.”
The Tigers let a big lead slip away in the first half and went into the locker room with only a four-point edge, 44-40. That mirrored the second half, when the Hardrockers went on a nice rally with about four minutes to play, capitalizing on DWU turnovers. SDM just ran out of time as the Tigers escaped with the win. SDM is 0-3 on the young season.
Individually, SDM freshman Michael Ross (Fort Worth, Texas) had an outstanding night, cashing in for 21 points, while sophomore Robbie Fedor (Monticello, Minn.) helped in the cause with 19 points and freshman Scott May (Aurora, Colo.) dished in 11. Big man Brandon Smith (junior from Amenia, N.D.) led the game in rebounding, pulling down eight while Donny DeGooyer got his hands on five.
“We are learning as we go,” Henry said. “That’s just part of the deal when you got freshmen.”
In Sunday’s game, the Hardrockers’ hard work and effort finally paid off Sunday afternoon as the Hardrockers staved off a Mount Marty College rally for their first win of the season, 64-63. “It nice to get that monkey off our back and get a win,” said Henry. “And it’s nice knowing that we can get a win with this group of guys. We keep telling the team that they just need to keep competing and good things will happen and it finally did.”
The loss marked the second straight game that the Lancers had been defeated by a margin of one point. Mount Marty saw a similar occurrence happen Saturday night, falling to Black Hills State, 72-71.
“They are so well coached,” Henry said of the Lancers. “They play hard and come after you and keep coming after you.”
It was a momentum changing game from the first buzzer as the ‘Rockers would go on a scoring surge only to see the Lancers catch back up. The tempo was fast, the intensity thick and it was pretty obvious the bout wouldn’t be decided until the final horn.
The turnovers were pretty plentiful as well as Mount Marty committed 24 and the Hardrockers recorded 22.
“It’s just that type of game,” Henry said. “It’s the second night (of competition) and we just went back and forth with each other.”
SD Mines held the advantage for most of the game, going into halftime with a 43-41 edge. The Lancers outscored SDM 22-21 in the final frame, but couldn’t quite get over the hump.
“We hit our shots and showed patience on offense,” Henry said. “And even when we weren’t getting good looks and the ball wasn’t falling, we were able to get the stops at the other end when we needed them.”
The Hardrockers looked good from the perimeter, knocking down 7-12 from behind the arch and ending the game with a 24-49 effort from the field. The Lancers made 22-51 in the game for a 43 percent effort and was just 6 of 16 from the ‘3’.
“It’s fun to watch those guys and it���s fun to coach those guys,” Henry said of the Hardrockers.
Individually, sophomore Robbie Fedor paced the ‘Rocker offense with 14 points and teammate Michael Ross contributed with 10. Junior Donny DeGooyer dished in nine and A.J. Trennepohl and Brent Cass both added eight to the total.
The win gives the Hardrockers a 1-3 record on the season and won’t see action again until Nov. 16-17 when they travel to a tournament in Nebraska.
“It was the right time to get a win with us not having a game for two weeks,” Henry added.
The Lady Hardrockers looked very sharp Saturday evening in a 62-59 victory over Dakota Wesleyan University.
The Hardrockers never established a good lead in the game mainly because the Tigers kept clawing their way back every time SDM tried to pull away. The same was true for the ‘Rockers.
At halftime, DWU held a two-point edge, 31-29, but SDM outscored the visitors, 33-28 in the second half.
Senior Amber DeWeerd (Rock Valley, Iowa), paced the Hardrocker offense with 15 points, followed by sophomore Bethany Holyoak, who dished in 12 and had nine rebounds while NAIA First Team All American Melanie Vedvei (senior from Lake Preston, S.D.) put up 11.
The Hardrockers shot 50 percent in the game converting 27 of 54 shots from the field. In Sunday’s bout, The Mount Marty Lady Lancers had an excellent second half of play, shot lights out, and gave the South Dakota School of Mines its first loss of the season.
It was a battle of NAIA Top 25 teams as South Dakota Mines drew a No. 16 preseason ranking while MMC reported in at No. 17.
“They are a good team,” said Lady Hardrocker head coach Barb Felderman. “They are very deep. I think Black Hills State surprised them a little (Friday night) in their loss.”
Mount Marty fell to the Yellow Jackets, 65-60, while SD Mines won their Friday night bout over Dakota Wesleyan, 62-60.
The Lancers had a very productive day on the perimeter Sunday, converting 10-21 from three-point range and ended the game with 50 percent shooting from the field.
The ‘Rockers on the other hand had difficulty keeping pace and just couldn’t get the ball to drop in the second half. SDM finished 9 of 22 from the field in the first half and 15-30 in the second period for a 46 percent for the game.
“It just seemed like we were out of sync all weekend,” Felderman said. “We just couldn’t get into a flow. It was very disappointing.”
Senior Melanie Vedvei cuts down the baseline and past a DWU defender during play Saturday at the King Center. Photo by Brad Blume
The Lancers gained the advantage early in the first stanza and went into halftime with a 39-29 edge and outscored the Hardrockers, 47-39, in the second half as well.
Individually, Vedei paced the ‘Rocker offense with a 21-point effort, including an 8-10 performance from the free throw line. Teammate Holyoak, sophomore, put up 15 points and freshman Stephany Bjustrom added 14 markers. Senior Amber DeWeerd led the game in rebounds, pulling down 10 of the Hardrockers’ 29.
“We didn’t give up. Stephany, Bethany and of course Mel all played well offensively, “Felderman said. “But we couldn’t get a complete player to do well both on offense and defense.”
The Hardrockers are now 2-1 on the season and will be home again next weekend hosting the First Western Bank Lady Hardrocker Classic.
Most of the Hardrocker cross country team finished up the season at Region III meet in Sioux Falls. Senior Rob Hahn (Sioux Falls, S.D.) got an opportunity to advance to the NAIA meet Nov. 17 in Wisconsin after placing 15th in the men’s race in a time of 26 minutes 11.14 seconds.
As for the rest of the Hardrocker men, senior Kyle Kattke (Black Hawk, S.D.) finished 40th in a time of 26:46.11, junior Colton Reid came in 69th after clocking a 27:42.25, Marcus Moor (sophomore from Kadoka) finished 129 in a time of 29:38.70, Corbin Haller (freshman from Sidney, Neb.) cross the finish line in 131st in a time of 29:44.77, junior Scott Anderson (Sioux Falls secured 144th with a 30:46.22 and Erik Bjornebo was 146 with a 30:54.82.
The race had 157 athletes compete, in which Allen Wood of Black Hills State won in a time of 25:09.02. The SDM men finished 11th as a team with 294 points. The Yellow Jackets took top honors with 36 points.
In the women’s race, Olivia Johnson of Northwestern College (Iowa) had the fastest time, clocking a 17:51.51.
South Dakota Mines’ top runners were freshmen Brittany Hovdenes in 27th and Kendra Crisman in 30th. Hovdenes had a time of 19:39.01 and Crisman came in with a 19:42.61. Both harriers are from Rapid City Stevens.
As for the rest of the Lady Hardrockers, sophomore Samantha Diede (Huron, S.D.) put forth a great effort and finished 89th in a time of 21:27.49, Jessica Chretien (junior from Rapid City, S.D.) clocked a time of 22:08.29 for 108th, Kim Kerce (a freshman from Colorado Springs, Colo.,) took 124th with a 22:55.32 and Molly Vukelich of Rapid City, S.D., clocked a 24:55.35 for 146th.
The women’s race had 154 runners.
Hahn will advance to the National Championships in Kenosha Wisconsin on Nov. 17.
The Hardrocker football team closed out its season Saturday, falling to the Mayville State Comets, 20-14, in Mayville.
The game was very competitive through the four quarters of play and SDM had an opportunity to take the lead late in the game, but fell just short on their last drive deep into Mayville territory. SDM ends its season with a 3-7 overall record and 1-6 in Dakota Athletic Conference play.
Senior Lukas Munsell (Mills, Wyo.) rushed for a three-yard touchdown and junior Joshua Jones (Long Beach, Calif.) carried the ball in from 10 yards out. Justin Whalin (freshman from Rapid City, S.D.) was perfect on both extra points to account for all the scoring.
Individually, Munsell paced the offense with 101 rushing yards and caught two passes for nine yards.
Freshman Trevor Roberts (Vancouver, Wash.) had a tough day throwing the ball, going 3-11 for 33 yards with one interception.
Joe Sanchez (freshman from Gilbert, Ariz.) again had an excellent day punting the ball, kicking the ball six times for 186 yards.
Defensively, junior Tyrell Anderson again had a big game with 10 tackles. Freshman Tom Lunzman (Gretna, Neb.) had seven tackles on the day and freshman Everett Brill (Eklo, Nev.) added five. Junior Peter Guck (Perham, Minn.) had a big day with two interceptions as well.
The Hardrockers will graduate six seniors from the team including: Munsell, Charlie Hankins (Fall City, Neb.), Anthony Rud (Belmont, Calif.), Steve Perez (Pueblo, Colo.) and Mike deStigter (Sioux Falls, S.D.).
The Lady Hardrockers closed out the regular season at home this past weekend hosting Dickinson State and Minot State. SDM split on the weekend, defeating the Beavers Friday, followed by a loss to the Blue Hawks Saturday.
In Friday’s match, SDM defeated Minot State, 3-1.
The Lady Hardrockers had somewhat of a sluggish start and surrendered the first frame to the Beavers, but rebounded nicely, dominating on their side of the net and taking advantage of Minot mistakes to easily win the next three games.
“Our girls have fallen into that nasty cycle of just doing enough,” said Hardrocker head coach Beth Honaker. “And when a team like Minot shows up, we paid the price.”
The Hardrockers went on to defeat Minot State, 27-30, 30-17, 30-17, 30-21.
Honaker gave the Beavers a lot of credit and they seemed well prepared for the match, but too many unforced errors down the stretch were ultimately MSU’s downfall. Minot committed 50 hitting errors while SDM had only 24.
“They blocked extremely well in Game 1 and took us completely out of our game,” Honaker said. “They covered the dump and tip and played defense well.”
The Hardrockers cruised from their and saw some good efforts from a lot of different athletes. SDM senior middle hitter, Jennie Malone (from Rapid City), paced the offense with 16 kills and made good on 27-30 attacks. Junior outside hitter Renae Keppen (Dakota Dunes, S.D.) also performed well at the net, knocking down 11 kills and was 29-31 on the attack.
“On a positive note, our bench did very well tonight. Jennifer Markoff served very well. She is in a tough role during practice,” Honaker said. “She sets on the other side of the net, but I still feel comfortable putting her into the match.”
Five-time DAC Libero and three-time NAIA Region III Libero of the Week, junior Jenny Hiykel (Omaha, Neb.) who most recently earning both honors this week, came through again Friday for the Hardrockers, collecting 22 digs, was 25 for 26 on serve receive and also shined at the at the serve line, going 21-26, with one ace.
Junior Stephany Carpio shows good form as she is set to receive a ball during play against Dickinson State Saturday at the King Center. Photo by Brad Blume.
“I think Hiykel continue to prove she is the best libero in the conference,” Honaker said.
Senior Jenifer Markoff (Arvada, Colo.) came in off the bench and did well at the line, going 12-15 and got an ace and junior setter Tessa Howe also had a good night, with 47 assists.
Against Dickinson, Mines fell 3-0. The Blue Hawks defeated the Hardrockers, 30-18, 30-19, 30-25.
Dickinson proved why they are a Nationally ranked team and undefeated in conference play. Individually, Malone, who was named DAC Player of the Week, led the team offensively with 10 kills and was 25-28 on the attack. Hiykel, who earned her sixth DAC Libero of the Week honor, had 32 digs in the match and Howe had 27 assists.
The Hardrockers close out the regular season with a 21-5 overall mark and 9-5 in conference play. Thetyhead to the post season as the No. 3 seed in the DAC tournament.
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