By Brad Blume
Sports Information Director
South Dakota School of Mines
RAPID CITY --- This past week proved to be on of the busiest for the South Dakota School of Mines athletics programs as the winter season sports were added to the mix along with a couple of fall programs. The Hardrocker volleyball team traveled to Jamestown, N.D., and Madison while the football team played host to Mayville State and the men’s and women’s basketball programs both opened their seasons at home against Montanta squads.
The Hardrocker men kicked off the 2006-07 season in a non-conference matchup with one of the better NAIA teams in the region, taking on Rocky Mountain College out of Billings, Mont.
South Dakota Mines defeated the visiting Bears, 79-75. The Hardrockers jumped out to a 10-0 lead and never looked back. The bout was tied at 62-62 in the second half, but Rocky Mountain never did gain the advantage in the 40 minutes of action.
The Hardrockers saw three players reach double figures, with senior post player Casey Schmitz (Williston, N.D.) leading the way with an 18-point effort. He also had four rebounds and two blocked shots. Senior Brandon Lord (Taylorsville, Utah) and junior transfer Andrew Brown (Dickinson, N.D) also played well each netting 15 points and coming down with six rebounds.
The Hardrockers head East River this weekend for more non-conference action, taking on Mount Marty College in Yankton on Friday, followed by a game with Dakota Wesleyan University Saturday in Mitchell.
With just two returning players in the lineup (both juniors) the young Lady Hardrocker basketball team looked impressive with a 71-62 victory over the University of Great Falls Argonauts Sunday afternoon at Goodell Gymnasium.
SDM started three freshmen along with last year’s Dakota Athletic Conference MVP in Melanie Vedvie as well fellow junior returnee Amber DeWeerd.
Vedvie (Lake Preston) paced the Lady ‘Rockers, chipping in 27 points and had a game high 11 rebounds to go along with her five assists. Freshman Madi Hotovec (Phoenix, Ariz.) also looked good in her college debut with a 16-point effort. DeWeerd (Rock Valley, Iowa) contributed with 11 points and freshman Bethany Holyoak (Moorcroft, Wyo.) put up 10 points.
The women head to the eastern side of South Dakota for non-conference bouts with Mount Marty College and Dakota Wesleyan University.
The Hardrocker football team suffered a heartbreaking defeat this past Saturday, falling to Mayville State, 12-6, on Dunham Field at O’Harra Stadium in Rapid City.
The Hardrocker held the lead for a majority of the game, but an interception in the fourth quarter that was returned for a touchdown put the Comets out in front with little time remaining.
Mines got on top in the second quarter when quarterback Jason Beilstein (freshman from Lodi, Calif.) completed a 12-yard pass to running back John Henderson (Long Beach, Calif) in the second quarter. The extra point was blocked. Mayville had a field goal in the third quarter to cut Mines lead in half and then came up with the big turnover to win the game.
Offensively, the Hardrockers had 205 yards of total offense while the Comets racked up 288 yards and defensively came up with two big interceptions and tallied 70 tackles on the day, four of those going for lost yardage.
Individually, sophomore running back Kyle Krajewski of Oshkosh, Neb., was the leading rusher for Mines, carrying the ball nine times for 38 yards. Henderson was the leading receiver, catching two balls for 27 yards. Junior Lukus Munsell also had two receptions for 26 yards, freshman Nick Kirkham, of Rock Valley Calif., had two catches for 21 yards, Tyler Clay (sophomore from Springview, Neb.) tallied 20 yards on two receptions and senior tight end Galen Hoogestraat (Chancellor, SD) had one catch for 19 yards.
Beilstein was 12-23 on the day for 127 yards passing and three interceptions.
Defensively, sophomore Chad Westendorf (Geddes, S.D.) had another interception in Saturday’s game and returned it 20 yards. Freshman Pete Guck (Perham, Minn.) also had his second-consecutive game with an interception and returned it 30 yards before being tackled. Westendorf is currently third in the DAC with four picks on the season.
Freshman Jeremiah Jordan of Phoenix, Ariz., paced the Hardrockers with 11 tackles (four solo, seven assisted), while Westendorf and senior Jake Hahn, from Chadron, Neb., both tallied 10 tackles for the game. Freshman Zach Marcus (Olivia, Minn.) had one solo tackle for a loss and also shared one with junior Mike deStigter (Sioux Falls).
The Hardrockers fall to 1-8 on the season and are still winless in conference play. They will finish out the 2006 season against the Dickinson State Blue Hawks Saturday at home. Game time is slated for 2 p.m.
The Lady Hardrockers are rapidly nearing the end of the regular season after finishing two of four matches on the road this past weekend. South Dakota School of Mines split over the weekend and in doing so have pretty much guaranteed a berth in the post-season tournament.
Mines fell to Jamestown College 3-0 this past Friday, but then rebounded to take down Dakota State, 3-0 on Saturday. The split gives the Hardrockers a 14-8 mark overall on the season and a 5-7 record in DAC play and fifth place in the conference standings.
With just two more matches in the regular season, the Hardockers could still climb or slide in the standings, but should remain in the Top 6 and qualify for the DAC tourney.
In the Hardrockers most recent matches, the Jamestown Jimmies instilled a little revenge on Mines, winning the match, 30-15, 30-19, 30-21. The Hardrockers then travel to Madison on Saturday and defeated the Trojans, 30-26, 36-34, 30-18.
In the Jamestown bout, sophomore Tessa Howe (Omaha, Neb. was 11-11 on the serve with an ace and also had 30 of the team’s 32 assists. Katherine Hanson (freshman from Sioux Falls) made good on 15 of 19 attacks and had eight kills and junior transfer Agnieszka Koperek (Belchatow, Poland) had 11 kills and was 18-25 on the attack.
Against Dakota State, Howe was 17-18 on the serve, Hanson was 19-21 on the attack with 13 kills, Koperek was 29-34 on the attack wit h12 kills and Rapid City native Jennie Malone (junior) also had 12 kills and was 18-20 on the attack. Sophomore libero Jenny Hiykel of Omaha, Neb., went 34-35 on serve receive and had 20 digs for the game.
The Hardrockers finish out the season this weekend in matches at Dickinson State and Minot State.
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