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Here is a very unofficial list of the Top 10 moments in Cobbers sports from the 2011-12 season. It was compiled by the Concordia Sports Information Department and will most likely exclude some player/coach or team success. The list is only a way for Cobber fans to relive the great year in Cobber athletics and is in no way a official comprehensive summary of all the great things that happened during the 2011-12 athletic season.


No. 3–  A new week means the top 10 Cobber stories from 2011-12 heads into the final 3. The third top story from last year took Concordia fans on a thrill ride from September until November. The CC volleyball team had a “storybook” season as they won both the MIAC regular season and postseason tournament and hosted the NCAA Regional Tournament.
Cobber Volleyball Team
The Cobbers won 11 of their first 12 matches and never looked back. Along the way to the postseason, Concordia beat Division III powerhouse Juniata, won a pair of non-conference tournaments and strung together an MIAC-record streak of 30 consecutive set victories. CC finished the regular season with a record of 10-1 in league play and a 22-3 overall record.

Concordia cruised through the MIAC postseason tournament by sweeping St. Ben’s and then edging St. Thomas. To add the perfect cherry on top of an already amazing sundae, the Cobbers were selected to host the NCAA Regional Tournament – the first time in program history CC had hosted a national tournament match.

The Cobbers also set individual records as well. Jenna Green, Amy Sykora and Katie Vohnoutka all earned All-American honors making it the first time in program history that the storied program had three All-American in one season. Green also became the third player in school history to be named the MIAC Most Valuable Player.

All in all, Concordia finished with a 27-4 record. That is the second most wins in a single season in school history. CC was also ranked in the top 25 of the nation the entire year and spent six weeks ranked in the top 10 of Division III.

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Welcome to the MIAC Championship version of “5 Things We Learned on Saturday”! It’s taken us 24 hours to digest all the things that occurred on Saturday (getting in shape for the Thanksgiving Day feast!) and now we are ready to share the top 5 things we learned from a terrific day of Cobber athletics.

5 Things We Learned On Saturday, Nov. 5
1. There is nothing like a championship game/match!  
There is nothing like playing for a title. The anticipation in the days leading up to the championship game/match (pay attention and study for class – yeah right!), then waking up on Gameday and getting ready for the game, feeling the nerves in the locker room before the game and then walking out onto the field/court and taking in the crowd and atmosphere – a one in a million feeling! We wish everyone could experience that feeling once in their life. We also wish that teams, players and coaches who routinely get to the title contest would step back and realize what an experience it is to play for a championship. It is something you will always remember. Remember to cherish the moment and don’t let it pass.

2. Cobber fans are the best in the MIAC!
Whether it be packing the swimming pool for an early-season meet with St. Thomas and Macalester to traveling to St. Joseph to root on the women’s soccer team or staying at home and turning out in numbers to be boisterous for the volleyball championship match – nobody in the MIAC does it better! Sure, there are other schools in the conference that have better followings for a single sport but when it comes to supporting the teams across the board – Concordia is in a league of its own.

On Saturday the Cobber women’s team had an unbelievable following at St. Ben’s – and even outnumbered the Blazer home fans. The Kernel made an appearance over a hundred miles away from campus and the field looked more like Jake Christiansen Athletic Complex than St. Ben’s. Less than four hours later Memorial Auditorium was rocking for the volleyball team and their title win over St. Thomas. At times, the gym was as electric as we have ever seen it for a Cobber game.

The bottom line is that other schools can talk about how great their fans are for one sport or another, but when it comes to overall athletic sport – and the willingness to travel to road games – there is only one Cobber Nation! All this, plus the Cobbers fans do it with class!

3. Tim Mosser and Dan Weiler are really good coaches
There are times when coaches take too much of the blame for what the players do on the field or get too much of the credit for the success. Sometimes there are coaches that don’t get enough credit. That is the case with CC volleyball coach Tim Mosser and women’s soccer coach Dan Weiler. What Eddie Vedder is to Pearl Jam and Bono is to U2, that is what Mosser and Weiler are to the Cobber athletic department. To take the John Buccigross-based hook one step farther (and use a hugely popular cliche these days) – Mosser and Weiler are “Rock Stars”!

The two have been the leaders of the top programs in the MIAC for many years. In the past nine years, the two have combined for five MIAC regular-season championships, seven MIAC Tournament titles, 18 trips to the MIAC playoffs (yes, that is every single year in the past nine seasons) and 12 NCAA tournament appearances. There is no other school in the MIAC that can even come close to touching those achievements in volleyball and women’s soccer.

4. The MIAC Conference Office is the best in the business
What Tim Mosser and Dan Weiler are to MIAC volleyball and women’s soccer – the MIAC Conference office is to the NCAA. Executive Director Dan McKane, Assistant Exec. Director Matt Higgins and assistant Natalie Arians (one in a line of many tremendous short-term assistant hires) promote – and show support – for the conference student/athletes better than anyone in the business. They work tireless hours, put up with tons of stubborn coaches and administrators (although we don’t know of any!) and never get discouraged from the mission of showcasing the MIAC in the best possible light.

Before Dan took over as Executive Director the league office rarely showed up for all the championship games/matches/meets and was never a presence at the coaches and administrators meetings. Now, there is always a representative at every championship and the coaches/administrator meetings usually have all three office members in attendance.

On Saturday Dan took in the women’s soccer championship in St. Joseph and then drove to Moorhead to be in attendance at the volleyball championship match. They handed out the trophy to the winning team and took time to get pictures of the winners with the MIAC banner for the conference website. That simple gesture means more to the coaches and athletes then they will ever know.

Kudos to all three on a terrific job! A special “pat on the back” goes to Matt who had recaps, pictures and stats from all the championships on the web within hours of the games being finished – he is a great help to the SID’s in the conference !

5. There is nothing like beating the Yankees
No explanation needed

And that is what we learned on Saturday.

We can now look forward to the NCAA Tournaments which brings a whole new level of excitement to the teams! Plus, the men’s and women’s hockey teams start conference play and the basketball teams are one week away from the start of their seasons.

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Welcome to the second season! Tonight’s MIAC semifinal match starts the postseason run for the Cobbers. Concordia won the last 11 matches of the
regular season and did not lose in the month of October. CC’s last loss came on Sept. 21 at Bethel. The Cobbers tied for the MIAC regular-season championship with a 10-1 conference record. It is their second regular-season title in program history. They also won the championship in 2006 when they went on to also claim the conference tournament title. Concordia is currently ranked No.8 in the latest AVCA Division III national rankings. It is the highest they have been ranked all year and marks the fifth straight week they have been ranked in the top 10.

St. Ben’s enters tonight’s match after having dispatched Gustavus 3-1 in the MIAC quarterfinals on Tuesday. The Blazers are 18-11 on the season and are making their 11th straight conference tournament appearance. This year’s St. Ben’s team has a decided youthful look. CSB has 10 freshmen on the roster and two are in the top 10 of the MIAC in statistical categories.

Fans can follow the action on the web by going to the live broadcasts link at the bottom of the athletic website: Concordia vs St. Ben’s Live Video/Stats

Cobber Volleyball Matchday Links
Complete Cobber Gameday Preview (pdf)
Concordia Volleyball Page
St. Ben’s Volleyball Page
– Concordia vs. St. Ben’s 2011 Match Recaps – Sept. 2 | Oct. 29
Last Match – Cobber Match Recap vs. St. Ben’s
LastMatch – St. Ben’s Match Recap vs. Gustavus
Cobber 2011 Season Stats
St. Ben’s 2011 Season Stats
Cobber NCAA Stats Team/Individual Rankings
St. Ben’s NCAA Stats Team/Individual Rankings
AVCA Division III National Rankings
NCAA Central Region Rankings
MIAC Volleyball Standings and Stats

Cobber Head Coach Tim Mosser Video Preview


Cobber Volleyball Matchday Preview
#4 College of St. Benedict (18-11/8-3 MIAC)
at
#1 Concordia College (23-3/10-1 MIAC)
November 3, 2011

Memorial Auditorium
Moorhead, Minn.

GAME TIME: 7 p.m.

SERIES:
St. Ben’s leads 28-22-0
SERIES STARTED: 1978
SERIES SYNOPSIS: The Cobbers ended a five-match losing streak at the hands of the Blazers when they posted a 3-1 win at home last season. CC has now won three straight over CSB including a pair of wins this year. The last time that Concordia beat the Blazers before last year was in 2006 in the championship match of the MIAC Tournament…the two teams have hooked up in the playoffs in three of the last five years. In 2009 and 2007 CSB prevailed in the league semifinals and in 2008 St. Ben’s won 3-1 in the NCAA Tournament Regional Final…Concordia owns a 7-6 mark against St. Ben’s in the 13 matches played in Memorial Auditorium since 1990. CC has prevailed in seven of the past eight played in Moorhead…head coach Tim Mosser is 17-17 lifetime against St. Ben’s.          

EARLIER THIS YEAR:
The teams have played twice in the 2011 season with Concordia coming out on top in both matches. They first hooked up in the very first tournament of the year at the UW-Eau Claire Invitational. The Cobbers came away with a 3-1 (25-18, 25-17, 23-25, 25-23) win in the second match of the tournament. Concordia hit .331 for the four-game match and came up with 13 blocks. Katie Vohnoutka had a team-high 19 kills to go along with five blocks. She was one of three CC players to have five blocks in the match. Ashley Beseman and Alison Bruggeman also had five stops at the net. Jenna Green had 15 kills and 29 digs while setter Amy Sykora had 37 assists. St. Ben’s hit .209 for the match and was led by Chelsie Sobieck who had 19 kills. Chelsea Rachel had 30 digs and Taya Kockelman chipped in 24 assists.

The second match was on Saturday in the last regular-season match of the year. The Cobbers had to rally from a 2-1 deficit to scratch out a 3-2 (23-25,25-12,21-25,25-20,15-7) victory in St. Joseph.  St. Ben’s won the first set of the match 25-23 but then CC won nine of the first 12 points in the second and went on to a commanding 25-12 win.The momentum of the match turned again midway through the third set. With Concordia leading 15-9, the Blazers won six straight points and tied the score at 15-15. The teams then traded points until 20-20 when CSB won four straight and finished off the set by winning five of the final six points. The Cobbers finally grabbed firm control of the match, and the MIAC title, midway through the fourth set. Leading 14-12, Concordia went on one of their patented mid-set runs and ran off five straight points. They would never let the Blazers get to within three points and won 25-20. The energy carried into the fifth, and final, set as CC bolted to a 5-1 lead. CSB rallied and got as close as two points at 8-6 but then Concordia claimed the match by winning seven of the final eight points.

Concordia hit .235 for the match which included a .500 mark in the second set and a .389 clip when the match was on the line in the fifth set. The Cobber defense limited St. Ben’s to a .115 attack percentage for the match.

Green came away with a match-high 22 kills for the Cobbers. She also had 14 digs. Vohnoutka added 12 kills and three blocks. Beseman once again provided clutch points in a big match. She tied a career high with six blocks and added four kills. Sykora had a match-high 45 assists. It is the sixth time this season she has had at least 40 helpers in a single match. Defensive specialist Rachel Wiinanen came away with a match-high 23 digs, only the second time in her career that she has had more than 20 digs in a match. Freshman Kelly Reed had five blocks and eight kills and Danelle Loomis came away with 14 digs.

St. Ben’s had three players with more than 10 kills in the match and was led by Sobieck who had a team-high 19 winners to go along with 16 assists. Rachel had 21 digs and Kockelman added 43 assists.

Matchday Tipoff 
(What you need to know about Thursday’s Concordia/St. Ben’s match-up)

Cobber Notes
– Concordia won the last 11 matches of the regular season and did not lose in the month of October. CC’s last loss came on Sept. 21 at Bethel
– The Cobbers have enjoyed another outstanding year at home. Concordia is 8-0 at home this season and 16-1 in the past two seasons
– The Cobbers are making their 11th straight MIAC playoff appearance. They have been to every single conference tourney since the league adopted the single elimination in 2001
– CC is 10-7 in their 10 MIAC playoff appearances. That includes an 8-2 mark at home in the conference tourney. CC is 8-0 at home against any MIAC school not named St. Olaf
– The Cobbers are 3-4 in the MIAC semifinals. In those seven semifinal matches they are 3-0 at home and 0-4 on the road.
– Concordia is 3-2 against St. Ben’s in the league playoffs. The home team has won all five matches between the schools. CC beat CSB in 2002, 2004 & 2006 while the Blazers prevailed in 2002 & 2009
– The Cobbers have had 19 of their 26 matches settled in three sets. CC is 18-1 in those 19 matches
– Concordia moved up to No.8 in the latest AVCA Division III national rankings this week. It is the highest they have been ranked all season. They have now been ranked in the top 10 of the country for five straight weeks.
– Senior Jenna Green has a team-leading 358 kills and 380 digs on the year. She needs 42 kills and 20 digs to become the first player in school history to record 400 kills and 400 digs in a single season.
– Green is currently fifth on the school’s all-time kill list (1307) and continues to add to her school-record dig total (1414). She is also No.1 on the school’s all-time list of attack attempts (4,112))
– Green led the MIAC in kills during the conference regular season. She had 152 kills and averaged 4.11 per set. Green was also ninth in digs (4.14)
Katie Vohnoutka led the MIAC in hitting percentage (.379) and was third in blocks (1.22/s)
– Vohnoutka recently moved into the Cobber top 10 list for career blocks. She now has 282 total blocks and needs 16 more to move ionto ninth place. She is also ninth in block assists (191)and 10th in solo blocks (91). Vohnoutka is seventh in program history in kills (1212).
Amy Sykora continues to move closer to thye No.2 spot on the school’s all-time assist list. She has 2,942 career assists and needs 98 more to surpass Marsha Suko (1994-96). She only needs 58 to become only the third player in program history to record 3000 career assists.
– Sykora was third in the MIAC in assists per set this season (9.81)
– Junior Danelle Loomis led the MIAC in total service aces in conference matches (19)

Blazer Notes
– Like the Cobbers, St. Ben’s is making their 11th straight MIAC playoff appearance. The Blazers are 10-9 in the conference tournament, including Tuesday’s 3-1 win over Gustavus. The strange fact about CSB in the league playoffs is that all nine losses have come on the road. St. Ben’s is 3-9 away from home in the MIAC postseason. The Blazers are also 4-2 in semifinal match with two of their three road wins coming in the semifinals
– The Blazers lived up to their MIAC Preseason Coaches’ Poll expectation. The conference coaches picked CSB to finish fourth. CSB technically tied for third but is the No.4 seed for the playoffs
– St. Ben’s snapped a two-match losing streak with their win over the Gusties. The Blazers are 5-5 in their last 10 matches
– CSB was 7-2 at home in 2011 and 11-9 on the road. They were also 5-1 on the road in the MIAC regular season
– St. Ben’s was 4-2 in matches that went to five sets
– St. Ben’s had a pair of players earn MIAC Player of the Week honors. Chelsea Rachel was named the MIAC Setter of the Week on Oct. 24 and Lexi Rinde earned Hitter of the Week honors on Sept. 19
– The Blazers led the league in kills (13.48/s) and assists (12.36/s) in conference matches. They were also third in hitting percentage (.204)
– Freshman Alexa Rinde was third in the MIAC in hitting percentage (.289). She was also fourth in kills per set (3.51). Rinde has had at least 10 kills in nine of the last 12 matches. She had a season-high 22 winners against St. Mary’s
Chelsie Sobieck was seventh in the MIAC in kills per set (3.28). She had at least 10 kills in 21 of their 29 matches and had a season-high 22 against UW-Eau Claire. She had 19 kills in both previous matches against the Cobbers
– The Blazers have another freshman in the top 10 of the MIAC. Setter Taya Kockelman was eighth in the MIAC in assists per set (7.84). She has 771 asists on the year and had a season-high 45 helpers against St. Kate’s

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To paraphrase basketball wise man Allen Iverson – “We talkin’ about Previews – not a feature, not a feature, not a feature – we talkin’ about Previews…we talkin’ about Previews, how silly is that. I know that they are important, I honestly do.  But we talkin’ about Previews man. What are we talkin’ about? Previews.

And that is what The Mess rant is about this week – Previews. As the calendar turns the page on October and we head into November, we have now stumbled into the preview season (cue the theme music from Twilight Zone). Forget about Halloween. The real scary late-October tradition is previews.

In the coming weeks you will see previews for conference championship meets, previews for league playoffs, previews for NCAA Tournaments, previews for upcoming seasons and even previews for the upcoming conference previews. There is one thing the Mess has learned about previews (once again to paraphrase a hackneyed line) – everyone has one and they all stink!

Put it this way – The Mess would rather get a spinal tap and a root canal, at the same time, than write a preview. Nothing good ever comes from a preview and nothing original is ever written in a preview. The Mess has never had a coach, player, parent or fan come up to us and say, “that was the best preview I have ever read – you really did a great job.” Nope, no sir. In fact it is always the opposite. Coaches, players, family and fans all get upset if someone isn’t mentioned or too many facts are given away.

Let’s take a look at the different ways The Mess has been criticized about previews over the years:
1) We have had coaches tell us that the preview was not very good because it had the audacity to point out that the team was going to be good that year (after the team had finished in the top 4 of the MIAC the year before and didn’t graduate a single player).
2) We’ve had coaches tell us that the preview was bad because it wasn’t positive enough or didn’t give the team enough credit (despite the fact the team finished in the bottom two of the conference the year before, hadn’t had a top 7 finish in the league standings for five years and lost their top two athletes).
3) We’ve received e-mails from parents who were upset that their son/daughter wasn’t mentioned in the preview despite the fact that the son/daughter hadn’t started a game in their career and had played less than half the games the year before.
4) We’ve even had players get upset because we wrote they were going to have a great season (it put too much pressure on them) despite the fact they were a two-time all-conference player and the top returning player at their position in the MIAC.

So you see Mess fans, nothing ever good – or original – comes from previews. We dare you to e-mail us with an original line, or quote, you have seen in a preview in the last five years. Go ahead, we’ll wait. How about we save you the time and just tell you it hasn’t happened. Coaches these days are too guarded about what they tell the SID for the preview. And then the SID is too paranoid they will upset someone, so they just stay right in the middle of the road.

Just once The Mess would like to write: “If this team doesn’t make the playoffs it will be the biggest disappointment in program history and the coach should think about getting into a new profession.”

There are other times we write previews for teams that are horrible, have no shot at winning – or making the playoffs – and we would like to write: “If this team wins one or two games (or finishes higher than ninth place in the MIAC) the coach should be given a bonus and named the Coach of the Year.”

Those things will never happen and so the reader is left to wander through word after word of milquetoast.

So, feel free to read all the previews coming out in the next few weeks – they are sure to REALLY (insert winking avatar here) shed some light on the upcoming playoffs, championships or seasons. As for The Mess, we will be in our office with all the windows open, our feet in an ice bucket and consuming mass quantities of Mountain Dew in order to keep from falling asleep as we type up these beauties!

The Mess Video of the Week
We are going to veer a little off course for The Mess Video of the Week. Since we spent this week’s rant on bashing what is bad about college sports information jobs, we figured we should pump up the tires of something that is great about college sports information. This week’s Mess Video of the Week was produced by the University of Miami Athletic Media Relations Office and was a 2010 College Sports Media Award Winner. Not only does it have a great inspirational message but it does a tremendous job at highlighting all the athletic programs at the university. It is original, engaging and will hold your interest – basically the exact opposite of a college sports preview.

It is only 2:45 which gives it another non-preview quality – straight forward and to the point.

We think that even non-Miami fans will enjoy this video as it could be about any college. It also has a great sports-related message about “heart”.

The Rest of the Mess
Another great weekend in Cobberville! The football team ran away from Hamline (no snide comments please) and the volleyball team swept both conference matches at home. It was a nice relaxing weekend before the big season overlap push (the fall seasons head down the stretch and this weekend the winter sports schedules start). The Mess was able to kick back and enjoy having only two home matches while watching the football game live via video stream.

We will leave you with the one great memory of the home matches over the weekend. The Mess enjoyed seeing the volleyball team’s opponents cheer like they were going to the World Series when they came close to winning a set. Not the match, or to take the lead in the match, just the fact that they might win a set off the most dominant team in the conference. Both visiting teams were all pumped up to win a set but then had their hopes dashed as the Cobbers, like Lucy does to Charlie Brown when he tries to kick the football, pulled the set away at the last second.

It was fun to see all the excitement generated by the home crowd, the opposing teams and the CC volleyball squad as they won their 27th straight set. That unheard of total is a school record and ties the MIAC record for most consecutive sets ever won. Which leads us to believe that – “it’s volleyball’s world and we are just living in it!”

The Mess Weekend Media Rewind
Fargo Forum recap of the Cobber volleyball team’s win over Gustavus
Fargo Forum recap of the Cobber women’s soccer team’s win over St. Olaf
Video Highlights of the Cobber/Gustavus volleyball match
Video Highlights of the Cobber/Carleton volleyball match
Video Player Profile on Volleyball All-American Katie Vohnoutka

The Mess Picture of the Weekend
This week’s Mess Picture of the Week comes from the only home contests of the weekend. The Cobber volleyball team has steamrolled its opponents the past month and the Picture of the Week speaks at least 1,000 words on the dominance of the team. Once again the Picture of the Week has great levels of action and great facial expressions.

The picture is of All-American Katie Vohnoutka about to put the hammer down on another one of her 271 kills of the season. What makes the picture is the look on senior setter Amy Sykora’s (#6) face. She know what is about to happen and can’t believe Katie is so far above the ball. All that plus, CC fastpitch coach Megan Johnson and trainer Anna Bratsch make an appearance in the background! Special recognition goes to photographer Issac Vatnsdal who has taken his volleyball pictures to a new level.

(You can click on the picture to see the larger version to get the full effect)

The Mess Photo Galleries of the Weekend/Week
Check out the award-winning picture galleries from the weekend.
Football vs. Hamline
Volleyball vs. Gustavus
Volleyball vs. Mayville State
Men’s Soccer vs. St. Olaf
Women’s Soccer vs. St. Olaf

* Special thanks goes out to Sheldon Green who took the awesome pictures from soccer, Isaac Vatnsdal for the volleyball shots and Tim Bye who is the road photographer for football.

Click here to view all the galleries from the Cobber SID Flickr Page

“Now That’s A Big Mess” Stat Line of the Weekend
Once again it’s volleyball’s world and we are just living in it. The Big Mess Stat Line of the Weekend goes to Cobber All-Americans Jenna Green and Katie Vohnoutka. In the matches on Friday and Saturday the two combined for 43 kills, 44 digs and 48.5 points – in only six sets! That is almost half of the team’s total output for the two matches. The Concordia two-headed monster is poised to make a long run in the playoffs.

Social Media Mess of the Week
Each week we will honor the best Cobber Twitter Tweet or Cobber Facebook post that we come across with our Twitter account or Facebook account

Since everyone at Concordia was away from campus and taking advantage of the mid-sem break, this week we are forced to go outside Cobberville to get the Social Media Mess of the Week winner. One of the Mess’ favorite follows is Deion Sanders. One of his hooks is the hashtag #HOP which stands for “Hold On Playa”. Basically a different way of saying “What’s up with that?” or “You can’t be serious”. Someone tweeted this gem to Deion: ”
“my 8yr son pos to go get 1$ out my pocket for school, I catch him at the bus stop #HOP !! i knw u can count, give my 100 back! ”
The Mess can sympathize Dads who have 8-year-olds that are always trying trying to one-up them! If you don’t follow Deion, you should. He has great tweets about life and doing what is right. 

Queens of the Mess
Let’s see. Who should we give this one too? Hmmm…oh…how about the volleyball team. Look up the term no-brainer in the dictionary and this decision is front and center. The Cobber volleyball team has been untouchable in the past nine matches. Concordia has won 27 straight sets which is a new school record. It is also believed to tie the longest streak ever in the MIAC. They have also won nine straight matches and are now 21-3 on the year. CC is also 8-1 in league play and tied for first place in the MIAC standings. Concordia also clinched its 11th straight MIAC playoff berth and its eighth 20-win season in the last 10 years. If they win their final two matches of the regular season they are assured of at least a tie for the MIAC regular-season championship (the first since 2006) and the No.1 seed in the upcoming conference playoffs.

King of the Mess
Despite having a sub-par year as a team, there is one player on the men’s soccer squad that consistently plays at an unbelievable high level. Senior Riley McGlynn has had a hard time backing up his record-setting numbers from last year. However, he has always worked hard and been a terror on opposing defenses. He takes a beating every game and, like the Energizer Bunny, he just keeps going and going and going.

The Cobbers played a pair of games out in California over the mid-sem weekend and came away with a tie and a loss. CC scored two goals in the two games and guess who got both? That’s right, Mr. McGlynn. He now has a team-leading six goals on the year. More importantly the four points puts him at 96 career points. He only needs four more points (2 goals, 1 goal and two assists or four assists – you get two points for a goal in college soccer) to become the second player in program history to reach the prestigious 100-point mark. The Mess couldn’t think of a better way to end a career than to go out and get a hat trick in his final collegiate game at home against St. John’s on Saturday!!!

The Tom Burnett Unsung Hero of the Week
Might as well stay with a good thing and recognize a pair of volleyball players that rarely get any attention. Once again The Mess will offer up a pop quiz. Quick – name a non-senior on the CC volleyball team that has played in all 24 matches? Bonus points if you said Rachel Wiinanen or Alison Bruggeman – this week’s Tom Burnett Unsung Heroes of the Week. Wiinanen, the team’s defensive specialist, had a team-high 35 digs in the two matches over the weekend. Bruggeman added 11 kills, 16 digs and three blocks as she continues to give the team solid play on the court. As every sports fan knows, it takes more than just a couple of stars to win titles and Wiinanen and Bruggeman have been huge the entire season.

The Mess Fans of the Week
This week’s Fans of the Week come from Friday’s volleyball match against Gustavus. The picture shows a part of the audience that made the atmosphere electric in the Cobbers’ 3-0 win. Despite the start of mid-sem break, over 300 fans flocked to Memorial Auditorium to cheer loud and proud for their beloved maroon and gold. So instead of saluting one fan, or a small group of fans, The Mess would like to say thank you to everyone in the crowd on Friday. (Be sure to enlarge the pic (click on the pic itself) and see if you can spot any Concordia dignitaries in the crowd!)


Once again we ask our 10’s of readers to submit Cobber fan pics! Please send your Cobber fan pictures to: cobbersportsinformation@gmail.com.  Remember – the winning entry receives a special Cobber prize!

Upcoming Mess Games of the Week
Judgment Saturday!!!
Football at home vs. Bethel – 1 p.m.
Women’s Soccer at home vs. St. Ben’s – 1 p.m.
Volleyball at St. Ben’s – 3 p.m.

It’s time for another Judgment Saturday! This Saturday should be an awesome display of athletic pressure, quality teams and pure playoff drama! The football and women’s soccer teams play at “The Jake” at 1 p.m. The football season has come down to a two-game schedule. If CC can win the final two games against Bethel and St. Olaf, there is a great chance they will earn an at-large berth to the NCAA playoffs. And, as any cliché-filled coach will tell you, you have to take it “one game at a time”, which means the battle with Bethel will be the first playoff-like atmosphere.

The women’s soccer team is currently in third place and still has a chance to win the conference regular-season title as well as clinch their ninth-straight MIAC playoff berth. If they can beat Augsburg on Wednesday, that would set up a huge showdown with league-leading St. Ben’s on Saturday. Like the football game, tensions will be high and every play will take on extra meaning as it could be the last game for the three Cobber seniors.

Finally, the Cobber volleyball team plays at St. Ben’s. CC and the Blazers are two of the three teams tied at the top of the MIAC standings entering the final week. Both teams have tough mid-week matches and if they can pull out wins, will square off in a winner-take-all for the conference title. The two teams have a great rivalry at the end of the year and in the playoffs. It will be another high-level, nail-biter.

The Mess is hoping that the streak of five straight “Mess Game of the Week” wins continues and that all the CC teams keep their drive for the playoffs going! In any case, both home teams need all the fan support they can get so come out to The Jake on Saturday and be LOUD!!!!!

That’s a wrap for another Mess. Make sure you click away from any season or playoff previews you might come across. We paraphrased a famous quote to start this Mess and we will now en this Mess by paraphrasing another famous quote – this time from the movie “Billy Madison“:
“…what you’ve written is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever seen. At no point in your rambling, incoherent preview were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone who clicked on that is now dumber for having read it. I award you no points…”

And may you all be shown mercy if you do read the previews.

Feel free to tell your friends about the Mess and don’t forget to check us out on Twitter and Facebook

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And now for the newest feature for the Cobber Sports Information blog site – 5 Things We Learned On Saturday.

Since Saturday is traditionally the busiest day of the Cobber sports week, we thought it would be handy to be able to recap the day in five easy steps. That way in case you missed any of the Cobber action because you were at the lake, in the woods hunting, celebrating with friends in a different city or just bunkered in at home – you would be know what went down in Cobber athletics on each and every Saturday.

Without further hype – let’s get to this Saturday’s 5 Things We Learned

5 Things We Learned On Saturday, Oct. 22
1. The Cobber volleyball team is good – no, they are really good.
It’s gotten to the point that opposing teams cheer like they just won the conference title when they are close to taking a set off the Cobbers. Concordia staved off two set points against Carleton and then kept their consecutive set win streak alive at 27 by sweeping the Knights.

2. When in doubt – go to Jenna Green 
The Cobbers went to Green both times they were faced with set point and both times she delivered winners at the net. Green now has a team-high 322 kills on the year which marks the second straight year she has eclipsed the 300-kill mark.

3. Even against winless teams turnovers will haunt you.
The Cobber football team was on their way to rolling over winless Hamline when they fumbled deep in their territory and allowed the Pipers to kick a field goal in the second quarter. That pumped life into Hamline and they proved to be a tough opponent to keep down as CC had to fight until the fourth quarter to pull out the win. CC also fumbled at the start of the final quarter which led to the Pipers’ only offensive TD of the day. In the end the Lou Holtz turnover equation read – 2 Cobber turnovers = 9 Hamline points.

4. There’s a reason Special Teams have the name “Special” Teams
The other Hamline TD came courtesy of an 80-yard kickoff return. The Pipers pulled the ol’ Tennessee Titans full-field lateral and returned the kickoff all the way to the house to cut CC’s lead to 21-9. Concordia has now allowed two kickoff returns for a TD in the past three weeks. Before this year, CC hadn’t allowed a kickoff return for a score since the 2009 season (which ironically also came against Hamline)

5. It’s always a special “Situation” when Cobber teams travel to Cali
The Cobber men’s and women’s soccer teams are playing a pair of games in California over mid-semester break. On their flight to LA-LA land the Cobbers were accompanied by Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino of “Jersey Shore” fame. Weren’t not sure what it had to do with their results on Saturday – but like most characters on the show when forced with the decision of what to wear to a club –  CC was unable to make up their mind and settled for a pair of ties.

For the women’s team it was their fifth tie of the season which sets a new school record for deadlocks in a single season.

And that is what we learned on Saturday.

 

 

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The Cobber volleyball team moved into single digits in the national rankings on Tuesday. Concordia is now ranked ninth in the latest AVCA Division III National Poll. CC moved up one spot from last week’s poll after beating St. Olaf and St. Mary’s over the weekend.

Concordia is now 16-3 on the season and has won four straight matches. The Cobbers have also posted 3-0 sweeps in their last nine wins of the year. That includes all five conference victories. CC is 5-1 in the MIAC and tied for first place in the league standings.

Concordia continues to be the top ranked team from the MIAC, Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC) or Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) in this week’s national poll.

The Cobbers are led by the senior quartet of Ashley Beseman, Jenna Green, Amy Sykora and Katie Vohnoutka.

Over the weekend – Sykora finished with 66 assists and now has 635 on the season and 2,710 for her career. She is less than 330 from moving into second place on the school’s all-time assist list.

Green had match-high kill totals in both matches. She had 15 kills and accounted for 8.5 points against St. Olaf and then put up 12 kills and record 13.5 points vs. St. Mary’s on Saturday. Green now has a team-leading 258 kills for the year and 1,217 kills for her career. Vohnoutka posted four kills and had nine points at St. Olaf but then rebounded to come away with 10 kills and 13.5 points against the Cardinals. She also had 14 total blocks on the weekend and now has 264 for her career. Vohnoutka recently climbed into the school’s all-time top 10 block list. Beseman had her best match of the weekend on Friday when she came up with seven kills and 11.0 points against the Oles. Beseman was also a wall at the net on defense. She had 11 blocks in the two matches combined.

Concordia only has one match this week. The Cobbers will travel to St. Paul on Wednesday, Oct. 12 to take on Macalester at 7 p.m.

AVCA Division III Coaches Top 25 Poll
2011 Week #6: October 11, 2011
1. Calvin (22) 18-0
2. Washington-St. Louis (2) 21-0
3. Emory 24-1
4. Wittenberg 19-2
5. Eastern 20-1
6. Heidelberg 21-2
7. Southwestern (Texas) 21-2
8. Christopher Newport 21-3
9. Concordia (Minn.) 15-3
10. Carthage 18-4
11. Juniata 16-5
12. St. Thomas (Minn.) 18-3
13. Colorado College 20-5
14. Hope 15-3
15. Cal Lutheran 15-4
16. Univ. of Chicago 20-2
17. UMass-Boston 17-2
18. Springfield 21-0
19. Puget Sound 14-2
20. SUNY Cortland 25-1
21. Elmhurst 19-4
22. Pacific Lutheran 14-3
23. UW-Whitewater 15-5
24. UW-Platteville 17-8
25. Bowdoin 15-1

Others Receiving Votes: Whitworth 25; Otterbein 13; Washington & Lee 13; Wartburg 11; Occidental 5; Tufts 5; Wisconsin-Stevens Point 4; McMurry 3

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Every week the MIAC puts out a weekly notebook that details all the top highlights from the conference teams the past week. Also featured are the top five stories from the conference. This week’s top five includes the Cobber volleyball team’s rise back into the top 10

Check out this week’s edition of the MIAC Notebook:

MIAC Notebook – Oct. 5, 2011

Top 5 MIAC Stories

St. Thomas men, St. Olaf women claim 2011 MIAC Golf Titles
A picture-perfect weekend for golf set the stage for the MIAC’s first championship event of the 2010-11 season, and the 2011 MIAC Golf Championships certainly didn’t disappoint with a record-setting team performance on the women’s side, a close race that came down to the final holes on the men’s side, and a number of terrific individual performances.

The St. Olaf women’s team unseated three-time defending champion Gustavus by setting MIAC Championship records for 18-, 36-, and 54-hole team scores. The Oles carded a 309 for their first 18 holes and 319 over 36 holes to break each record, then they obliterated the 54-hole record by 28 shots with a final score of 939. St. Olaf’s Vanessa Kleckner won individual medalist honors and headlined the 10-player All-Conference team, which featured four Oles.

The St. Thomas men won their first MIAC title since 1980 by shooting a three-day total of 897 to edge Gustavus (901) and three-time defending champ Saint John’s (902). Tommie freshman Alex Karpaun and St. Olaf senior Justin Volling tied for individual medalist honors by each shooting a 5-over-par 221 over the 54 holes. The duo headlined the MIAC Men’s Golf All-Conference team, which recognized the Top 10 including ties, and was separated by just seven shots.

Wild football weekend in the MIAC
it was a wild weekend for football in the MIAC that featured a top-five upset, a record crowd and a record blowout at St. Thomas and Augsburg coming back to remain among the ranks of the unbeaten.

Dan Dobson’s 335-yard passing performance helped St. Olaf complete a 20-point fourth quarter rally to defeat No. 5 Bethel University on Saturday. Trailing 28-10 early in the fourth, Dobson engineered three straight scoring drives as the Oles won in Arden Hills for the first time since 1992. He was 10-for-13 for 188 yards in the fourth quarter, including an 82-yard TD strike that brought the Oles within five points. He also rushed for two TDs in the game, including the game-winning one-yard plunge with 25 seconds left.

St. Thomas football broke a 29-year-old stadium record for attendance last Saturday as 10,421 came out to watch the Tommies’ 63-7 win over archrival St. John’s. The 63 points tied a modern record for points by a Tommie team, were the most UST has scored at O’Shaughnessy Stadium since 1929, and the most UST has ever scored at home against an MIAC opponent. QB Dakota Tracy threw five touchdown passes and the Tommies scored TDs on nine of their first 10 possessions. St. Thomas had 13 tackles-for-loss, including seven sacks. UST blocked a punt and returned it for a TD. Tim Albright tied a school record with nine PAT kicks and broke a school record for career PAT kicks, now at 85.
With a come-from-behind, 35-14 victory over Carleton on Saturday, Augsburg’s football team improved to 4-0 on the season, marking the third time that Augsburg has started a season 4-0 in school history. In the 1973 campaign, Augsburg started the season 5-0, and in 2008, the Auggies opened the season 4-0. It marks the fifth time in school history that Augsburg has been unbeaten after its first four games of the season; in addition to 1973 and 2008, Augsburg started 2-0-2 in 1928 and 3-0-1 in 1929. Augsburg hosts fellow unbeaten St. Thomas (5-0) this Saturday at 1 p.m. at Edor Nelson Field.

Cobber volleyball back in the Top 10
The Cobber volleyball team cracked the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) top 10 for the second time this season. Following their sweep over nationally-ranked St. Thomas, Concordia jumped into the No.10 spot in the latest national rankings. Concordia is the top ranked team from the MIAC, Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC) or Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) in this week’s national poll.
It is the second time in 2011 that the Cobbers have been ranked 10th in the Division III national poll. They climbed to No.10 on Sept. 20 but then fell back to the 12th spot last week after falling to Bethel 3-2. Concordia is 14-3 on the season in overall games and 3-1 in MIAC play. The Cobbers are currently tied for first place with four other teams in the league standings. Of the team’s 14 wins this year, six have come against nationally ranked opponents.

Second time the charm as Carleton’s Wills breaks scoring record
After scoring three times Tim Wills (Sr./Portland, Ore./Central Catholic) was named the MIAC Men’s Soccer Player-of-the Week. However, that honor pales in comparison to officially taking over as the Carleton College’s all-time leading scorer.
He scored twice in the Knights’ victory over Cornell College on Sunday, bringing his career total to 29 goals. He converted a penalty kick in the 13th minute, tying Bobby Phillips ’09 atop the scoring list. Wills then took over sole possession of the top spot on the chart with another score midway through the second half. Wills now owns the two most prestigious records in team annals, as he was already the all-time leader in assists with 29. Wills’ week began with tallying the game winner in 3-1 victory over pre-season co-favorite Macalester on Wednesday.

Auggie men’s soccer solid on defense
Augsburg’s men’s soccer team claimed its seventh shutout of the season on Sunday with a 3-0 victory at Wisconsin-Platteville. In building an 8-1-1 record so far this season, Augsburg has outscored its opponents by a 20-3 margin, and its 0.29 team goals-against-average is fourth-best among NCAA Division III teams in the latest national statistics rankings. Augsburg’s 0.7 shutouts-per-game average is ninth-best nationally. Sophomore goalkeepers Clayton Lynch (SO, Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Xavier HS) and Will Morlock (SO, Grand Haven, Mich.) have been solid, with Lynch netting four shutouts and a 0.32 goals-against-average in his six starts (nine shutouts in 14 career starts), and Morlock recording three shutouts and a 0.25 GAA in his four starts (11 shutouts in 18 career starts). Augsburg hosts Carleton this Saturday at 7 p.m. at Edor Nelson Field.

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