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Hardrockers fall sports programs can see the end in sight for the regular season as the football team has just three games remaining, the cross country team will compete in the conference championship meet this weekend and the volleyball team’s post season conference tournament is less then a month away
By Brad Blume
Sports Information Director
South Dakota School of Mines
RAPID CITY --- The Hardrockers fall sports programs can see the end in sight for the regular season as the football team has just three games remaining, the cross country team will compete in the conference championship meet this weekend and the volleyball team’s post season conference tournament is less then a month away.
The South Dakota School of Mines cross country teams returned from the Mt. Marty Invitational cross country meet on a successful note this past weekend.
On the women's side, freshman Samantha Diede (Huron, S.D.) and Molly Tobin (Lincoln, Neb.) ran personal best times for the 5K course in Yankton, SD. Diede finished 54th out of 125 runners with her time of 21 minutes and 4 seconds while Tobin took 83rd with a time of 22:02.
"I was very pleased with the way the women raced today. Both Sam and Molly got out and raced from the front half of the pack,” said Hardrocker cross country head coach Jerry Schafer. "They showed great improvement, I think the hard training is starting to pay off for them."
The men ran their best team performance of the season with the first five coming in within 21 seconds of each other.
"That was a tremendous pack time," coach Schafer said. "We cut our pack time in half and the men got out fast like we had planned. They just kept working throughout the race and started to run as a group. With many of the Region teams at this meet I think it gives us an idea of where we fit and where we need to improve in the next three weeks.”
The Rocker men were led by Colton Reid of Colstrip, Mont., (25th) and Shane Hague of New Underwood, S.D. (26th). Both finishing four tenths of a second apart in 26:59, for the 8K course. They were closely followed by Kyle Kattke of Black Hawk, S.D., (28th) and Nate Hicks from Utica, S.D., (30th) in 27:04 and 27:05 respectively. Last week's team leader, Andy Lein of Gordon, Neb., rounded out the scoring for the Rockers with a time of 27:20 placing 37th overall. Marcus Moor from Kadoka, (69th) finished sixth for the Hardrockers with a time of 28:30, besting his previous mark by 1:47.
The Rocker men finished fourth out of 12 teams and 136 runners.
The Hardrockers return to action on Friday at the Dakota Athletic Conference Championships in Minot, ND.
The Hardrockers took another one on the chin this past Saturday falling to the Dakota State Trojans, 31-7. The young Mines group did manage to break a three-game scoring drought, but found their stride a little too late as their DAC opponent held a 24-0 lead at the half that was too much for the freshman laden Mines team to come back from.
“If we would have played the first half like we played the second half I would have been tickled to death,” said Hardrocker football head coach Dan Kratzer. “We kind of let that game slip away from us early after some miscues on special teams.”
The Rockers got on the board late in the fourth quarter when freshman wide receiver (Phoenix Ariz.) hauled in a 15-yard pass from quarterback Jason Beilstein (Lodi, Calif.). Beilstein was 10-24 on the day for 126 yards with one interception. Beilstein’s favorite target was Kyle Krajewski. The sophomore running back from Oshkosh, Neb., had four catches for 43 total yards, while junior wide out Lukus Munsell had two reception for 40 yards.
Long Beach freshman John Anderson got back to his true form, leading the rushing attack, carrying the ball 11 times for 63 yards. Krajewski also had 11 carries, netting 48 yards. Both backs were each able to break a gain for a 20-plus yard run during the game as well. As a team Mines tallied 124 rushing yards and 126 passing yards for a 218 total offense. Dakota State had 213 yards rushing and 136 receiving for a 304 total.
Defensively, senior Jake Hahn had another outstanding showing. The Hays Springs, Neb., linebacker led the team with 10 tackles, netting seven solo and three assisted. Sophomore Kyle Kurth (Pierre) also had a productive day for the defense, grabbing eight solo tackles and one assisted for nine total. Sophomore lineman Matt Westendorf (Geddes, S.D.) was credited with a sack for a six-yard loss, senior Mike Mule (Billings, Mont) had a sack for negative two yards and senior lineman James MacCormick (Ashland, Ore) and junior lineman Mike Kennedy (Pine Bluffs, Wyo.) shared a sack for a loss of eight yards. MacCormick also had nine total tackles for the game, six solo and three assisted.
The loss gives the Hardrockers a 1-6 overall record and an 0-4 mark in the DAC.
“We will continue to fight and we refuse to give up. We just need to continue to find intensity,” Kratzer added.
Next up the Hardrockers will make one final trip to North Dakota this weekend, this time heading to Valley City State to square off with the Vikings.
The Lady Hardrockers got a break from DAC play this past weekend, traveling to Nebraska for a two non-conference matches against the NCAA Div. II Nebraska-Kearney Lopers Saturday and the York College Panthers Sunday. The ‘Rockers split the road trip, falling to Nebraska Kearney 3-0 and then taking a win over the Panthers, 3-1.
In Saturday’s bout, the Lopers defeated Mines 30-22, 30-20, 30-21.
“We didn’t play our best, but we were in all three games for a majority of the match,” said Hardrocker head coach Doug Tabbert about the match with Nebraska-Kearney. “They are a very good team --- a Division II power. They were definitely a step up in the quality of play we are use to.” Individually, Jennie Malone (junior from Rapid City) had a fine offensive performance, going 23-26 on the attack with 11 kills. Agnieska Koperek also shined with eight kills while making good on 26-33 attacks.
Hardrocker libero Jenny Hiykel led the team in digs with 21 and setter Tessa Howe tallied a team-high 32 assists. Both girls are sophomores and both from Omaha, Neb.
”We competed hard we just didn’t play as well as we had earlier in the season at times,” Tabbert said.
In Sunday’s contest, the Hardrockers defeated the Panthers 20-30, 30-20, 30-19, 30-19.
Despite the win, Tabbert said it was a little unsettling how his team performed.
“It was a match where we didn’t play that well, but it was still good enough to win the match,” Tabbert said.
The Hardrockers were very good on the serve, going 100-103 with nine aces. Malone was 19-20 with three aces and Hiykel went 22-24 with three aces. The Hardrockers made good on 131-149 attacks and tallied 66 kills. Katherine Hanson (freshman from Sioux Falls) was 27-29 with 13 kills, Malone was 24-26 with 13 kills, sophomore Stephanie Carpio (sophomore from Yuma, Colo.) had 12 kills and was 26-29 on the attack and Amanda Cammack (freshman from Sturgis, S.D.) tallied 10 kills and made good on 16-21 attacks.
Hiykel was 30-31 on serve receive and the team totaled 79-85. Hiykel also had 15 of the team’s 58 digs and Howe was again the leader in assists, grabbing 48 of the Hardrockers’ 56.
“I think we are making progress,” Tabbert added. “We didn’t’ play well but we found a way to win the match.” The Hardrockers are back in action this weekend, playing host to Mayville State and Valley State. The Comets play Mines Friday night at the King Center and the Lady Vikings set sail Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m.
The men’s basketball team will be in action Saturday evening in the annual alumni game. The current lineup will square off with former greats with a 5:30 p.m. tip-off.
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