Fall 2015: Athletics
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Volleyball Takes Conference — Proceeds to Nationals
After an up-and-down start, the MNU volleyball team captured its fourth straight conference title and tournament to qualify for Nationals for the fifth year in a row. The Pioneers started 6-5, but won 16 of their next 20 matches to finish strong. Sophomore Rachel Kater earned a National Setter of the Week honor along with three conference weekly honors. The Pioneers were 25-9 moving on to the Opening Round of Nationals on Nov. 21.
Men’s Soccer Goes to Nationals
Men’s soccer enjoyed another fine season in one of the toughest conferences in the NAIA. With two HAAC teams ranked in the top 5 and MNU sitting at #11, an 8-2 conference record is impressive. Six Pioneers earned All-Conference honors (Alvaro Beltran, Eduardo Heringer, Lucas Machado, Bryce McClanahan, Stephane Philippe and Eddie Morales). A win over Benedictine at the conference tournament sent the team to Nationals to face Roosevelt (Ill.) on Nov. 21.
MNU Athletes Make the Grade
The NAIA named 20 MNU students Scholar Athletes and 8 teams Scholar Teams in 2014-15.
The MNU women’s soccer team enjoyed one of its best seasons in program history, going 12-5-3 (8-2-2) heading into postseason play. The Pioneers earned the #3 seed in the tournament and garnered six All-Conference honorees (Taryn McClendon, Sarah Schmidt, Kalyn Pfaff, Anesa Curic, Kelli Reid and Hannah Benedict). The team ended their post season earning a first-ever #25 ranking.
After making the playoffs last year, the Pioneers got off to a tough start in 2015, losing four of their road games. Running back Javon Taylor averaged over 100 yards rushing per game and tied a national record with a 99-yard touchdown run in Week 9. MNU finished the season 6-5 overall and 4-1 in the Heart of America South earning them second place in the division.
MNU Cross Country started their first season with high expectations and a small squad of dedicated runners. Early individual wins on the women’s side, along with a team win at Johnson County Community College bolstered the team. The men started strong, winning the William Jewell invitational. As competition grew stronger, Pioneer times have gotten faster, and training seems to be working. Both teams placed in the top five post season. Kaylee Shanley, Halley Dean, Jac Chelman and George Robinson qualified for Nationals Nov. 21.