Pioneers’ Season Wrap Ups
| by Carol Best firstname.lastname@example.org
MNU cross country enjoyed another successful campaign. The men's team finished fifth, and Carlos Guzman earned a Conference Runner of the Week honor. The women's team won its third consecutive conference title and qualified for Nationals as Nate Wiens was named Heart Coach of the Year. Kaylee Shanley, Rachel White and Lila Dreves were named All-Conference.
Women's soccer enjoyed the best season in program history. After an opening-game tie, the Pioneers won 11 straight, including games against No. 2 ranked Benedictine and No. 23 ranked Central Methodist. A second-place finish in the Heart was the best finish for the program, and a Top 25 ranking occurred for the second time.
Bobby Reiss was named Heart Coach of the Year, Alanna Castaneda was Newcomer of the Year, Maria Garcia was Freshman of the Year, and Jessica Longhurst, Savannah Moxley, Hannah Benedict, Anesa Curic, Rachel Slack and Elvia Villagomez joined them as All-Conference honorees. Alanna Castaneda and Hannah Benedict were also named honorable mention All-Americans.
The volleyball season was a struggle for the Pioneers. An extremely difficult early season schedule saw MNU play four of the preseason top five teams in the nation along with several other ranked squads. After a 2-15 start, MNU never got on track. A three-game winning streak in the middle of the season showed promise for a team in a rebuild and will be used as a springboard for the future of the program. Libero Savannah Mathews and middle hitter Marina Sanches earned All-Conference honors.
Pioneer men's soccer featured several new players in 2018, but an early season victory over No. 8 ranked Hastings provided a springboard to a 10-2 start. The impossibly difficult Heart Conference lived up to its reputation in the final month of the season. However, a four-game losing streak kept MNU out of the national tournament for the first time since 2010. Felipe Hideki was named Conference Newcomer of the Year, and he was joined by Ivan Ruiz Vidal, Johannes Keisers and Javier Beltran on the All-Conference team.
MNU’s first football season with Head Coach Todd Sturdy started with a nonconference loss followed by two impressive conference wins. A five-game losing streak put the young Pioneers in a hole, but a win over undefeated and No. 6 ranked Evangel was the highlight of the year. Running back Jamar Moya earned Conference Freshman of the Year. He was joined by Brandon Watson, Chris Salgado, AJ Reeves, Ryan Huerta, Isaiah Robinson and David Haney as All-Conference honorees.
MidAmerica Nazarene University is committed to five core covenants that are the foundation for every Pioneer team, student athlete, coach, administrator, and campus community member. These core covenants are visible throughout MNU athletics and extend beyond the playing field. Read through the athletics Core Covenants document below -