By Brad Blume
Sports Information Director
South Dakota School of Mines
RAPID CITY --- All sports season are reaching the meat of their schedules at the South Dakota School of Mines as the Hardrocker football team and volleyball team are busy with Dakota Athletic Conference opponents. The golf team is reaching the end of the fall schedule and the cross country team is literally off and running.
Before heading into the weekend’s game against the Dickinson State Blue Hawks, South Dakota Mines had some impressive statistics compared with the rest of conference. The Hardrockers led all DAC teams in five different categories and were second in three more. SDM topped the list in: scoring defense, sacks against, total defense, turnover margin and third down conversion and were runners-up in scoring offense, total offense and rushing offense.
The Hardrockers are also doing well, defensively, on the national level. SDM is listed in the Top 10 in seven different categories including: opponents’ third down conversions (fifth), pass defense effiency (fifth), scoring defense per game (fifth), opponent penalties (sixth), pass defense per game (sixth), punt returns yards per attempt (eighth) and total defense (eighth).
In Saturday’s contest, the Hardrockers fell to the Blue Hawks, 24-3. The SDM defense played very well on the day, having a number of goal line stands in the first half of play and keeping the game within reach heading into the fourth quarter, trailing by just a touchdown, 10-3. But two Blue Hawk touchdowns midway through the final stanza spoiled any hopes of a ‘W’ for the young ‘Rocker squad.
Individually for the Hardrockers, junior Joshua Jones (Long Beach Calif.) led the team in both rushing and receptions. The Air Force Academy transfer had 46 yards rushing on 17 carries and caught five balls for 34 yards. Senior Lukas Munsell (Mills, Wyo.) had 27 yards rushing on 10 carries and 23 receiving yard after catching four passes.
Quarterback Jason Beilstein (Lodi, Calif.) put forth a good effort, completing 18 of 30 attempts for 127 yards.
Defensively, Tyrell Anderson (junior from Green River, Wyo.) continues to pace the Hardrockers in tackles, recording 15 total in Saturday’s contest. He had eight solo tackles and seven assisted, including one for a loss. His performance also earned him Dakota Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week honors.
Junior Chad Westendorf had six tackles on the day for the Hardrockers and junior Jarrod Luze (White, S.D.) came up with five tackles, including a sack on the quarterback for a seven yard loss. Junior Colton Clark (Worland, Wyo.) and senior Charlie Hankins (Fall City, Neb.) were also credited with a sack, taking the quarterback to the ground for a loss of 6.5 yards.
Hardrocker Joe Sanchez also earned conference honors as the DAC Special Teams Player of the Week. As the punter, Sanchez put the boot to the ball seven times for a total of 227 yards Saturday. He averaged just over 30 yards a punt and had a long of 47.
Next up, the Hardrockers are home for ‘M’ Days as they play host to the Minot State Beavers in a 1 p.m. kickoff.
The Lady Hardrockers’ record improved to 14-2 over the weekend with their first conference road trip, which resulted in a split. SDM got a win over Dakota State, 3-1, and then fell to Jamestown College in a extremely competitive and intense match, 3-2.
The Hardrockers defeated the Dakota State Trojans, 18-30, 30-20, 30-15, 31-29. “We are one of the few teams in the conference that doesn’t change our style of play when we are home or away,” said SD Mines volleyball head coach Beth Honaker. “We have consistently struggled with a slow start.”
In the match, junior Ashley Kauffman (Fort Morgan, Colo.) led the team offensively with 16 kills and was 35-39 on the attack while Jennie Malone (Rapid City, S.D.) went 27-30 on the attack with 13 kills. Junior Tessa Howe (Omaha, Neb.) continued to shine at the setter position, tallying 49 assists and junior Jenny Hiykel (Omaha, Neb.) collected 37 digs to lead the Hardrockers.
In the Jamestown match, the Jimmies were able to stave off a ‘Rocker rally and barely squeak out a win, 30-22, 30-26, 24-30, 22-30, 15-13.
“We were down, 0-2, to one of the best teams in the DAC,” Honaker said. “To come back on their court in that tight atmosphere says a lot for our girls.”
Sophomore Katherine Hanson (Sioux Falls) shined offensively, recording 19 kills while going 40-45 on the attack. Kauffman also had a big game with 14 kills and was 43-51 on the attack and Malone was 38-39 for attacks with 11 kills. Hiykel again led the team in digs with 47 and Howe had 41 assists from the setter position. Junior Amanda Cammack (Sturgis) had an impressive defensive showing, recording two solo blocks and four assisted.
Hiykel received conference honors for her efforts last weekend, earning the DAC Libero of the Week for the third consecutive week. She was also honored at Region III Libero of the Week for the week of Sept. 16-22.
���This was probably one of her least productive weekends,” Honaker said of Hiykel’s performance. “She wasn’t digging or reading that well, but she is still coming up with the numbers to lead the conference. I still have yet to see her play to her full potential.”
The Hardrockers are now 3-2 in conference play. They head back on the road this weekend for more DAC matchups. SDM plays Minot State Friday and Dickinson State Saturday.
The South Dakota School of Mines women’s cross country team competed at the Blue Hawk Invitation last Thursday where the Lady Hardrockers finished fourth as a team tallying 92 points.
“I was very excited with the way that our women competed,” said Hardrocker head coach Jerry Schafer. “We improved our times anywhere from a minute to two and a half minutes.”
The University of North Dakota won the women’s division with 19 points, Dickinson State was second with 57 and Montana State University – Western was third with 68 points.
Individually for the Hardrockers, freshman Kendra Crisman (Rapid City) had the fastest mark, finishing 12th in a time of 20 minutes 10 seconds.
“Interestingly enough, her time (Thursday) was 10 seconds faster then last year’s winning time (at Dickinson),” Schafer added.
Her effort in the race also earned her DAC Women’s Cross Country Runner of the Week, making her the first Hardrocker woman to receive that award.
Teammate Brittany Hovdenes (freshman from Rapid City) was close behind Crisman, clocking a 20:19 for 14th place and sophomore Samantha Diede (Huron) finished in a time of 22:35 for 29th place,
“Sam probably had the biggest improvement between this meet and the last one (three weeks ago),” Schafer said. “I was pleased with the way we ran.” As for the rest of the Hardrocker thinclads, Kim Kerce (freshman from Colorado Springs, Colo.) had a career best time of 23:45 for 32nd place, Jessica Chretien (junior from Rapid City) was a spot back in 33rd place with a mark of 24:17 and freshman Molly Vukelich (Rapid City) was 35th in a time of 25:38.
Next up, the SDM men and women head to the University of Colorado Invitational in Boulder, Colo. The meet is slated to be high powered with a number of top ranked NCAA Div. I teams in attendance.
“It will be our toughest course we run on, the toughest competition we run against and a raise in altitude,” Schafer said. “I am hoping we improve on our efforts thus far.”
The South Dakota School of Mines men’s and women’s golf teams returned from a trip to North Dakota where they competed in the Jamestown Jimmies’ Invitational at the Jamestown Country Club Sept. 16-17.
On the men’s side, it was Minot State that carded the lowest score, shooting a two-day team total of 604, with Dickson State a close second at 619. Jamestown College secured third place with 651 strokes while the Hardrockers settled for fourth with a 663.
Individually, Minot’s Justin Alberle won medalist honors with a 36-hole score of 146, followed by teammate Jordan Kelly who put up a 148.
Hardrocker Brandon Eisenbraun cracked the Top 10 for the first time this season, coming in with a 75 after Day 1, followed by an 81 on the second day for a total of 156, which netted him a tie for seventh place in the tournament. Teammate Same Hermanson shot a 157 (80-77), which also earned him a spot in the Top 10, tying for ninth.
“They each had one good day where shot in the 70’s,” said Hardrocker head coach Eric Glenn. ���They needed to figure out a way to put two good days together.”
Looking at the DAC standings, Eisenbraun moved into 10th place with 22.5 points, while Hermanson is back in 11th with 22 points. To advance to the Region III tournament, an individual has to finish in the Top 10 of the conference standings and Glenn said that both have the potential to do so.
The other Hardrocker scores from the tournament had Bryce Taylor firing a 184 (98-86) and Ricky Clausen ending with a 166 (82-84).
“We have a very young group,” Glenn said. “They are all freshmen and sophomores out there.”
On the women’s side, Dickinson State tallied the lowest team score for the second week in a row with 705 strokes with Black Hills State again taking second with a 750. Jamestown carded a 764 for third, Minot State was fourth with 780 and the Lady Hardrockers secured fifth with 894.
Individually, Blue Hawk Megan Fisher is establishing herself as an early Dakota Athletic Conference favorite, shooting the lowest score, also for the second-straight week, posting a 154 while Yellow Jacket Anne Langdell applied pressure for second place with a 169.
The Hardrockers’ lowest round came from Kajada Stevens, who shot 204 (100-104) over the two days. Teammate Ayla Brausen carded a 222 (109-113), Stephanie Leber had a 229 (110-119) and Jodi Kaup rounded out the tournament with a 239 (115-124).
“Every girl we had out there this weekend had a personal best score on the first day,” Glenn said. “We have to give Lisa Steever (assistant coach) a lot of the credit. She has been doing a good job working with all the girls. She is our swing coach.”
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