Pioneers' Season Wrap Ups
| by Carol Best firstname.lastname@example.org
By Sports Information Director Chad Jenkins
Cross Country Women Looking for Another Championship
Coach Kevin O’Grattan and the MNU Cross Country squads have been preparing for the Heart Championships, with competitions at the Eagle Invitational in Fayette, Missouri, the Missouri Southern Stampede in Joplin, Missouri, the Columbia Invitational in Columbia, Missouri, and the Mid-States Classic in Winfield, Kansas. The three-time defending Heart Champion women’s squad looks to make it four in a row as they now head back to Fayette to compete at the Central Methodist-hosted Heart Championships November 9, with an eye to nationals in Vancouver, Washington November 22.
Football Asserts Itself This Season
Second-year Head Coach Todd Sturdy has MNU back in the national conversation after earning a top-25 ranking for the first time in several seasons. A five-game win streak and the rushing attack led by sophomore Jamar Moya have the Pioneers looking to move higher in the rankings and challenge the top of the conference in 2020. Running back Moya, defensive back David Haney, kicker Pablo Pereira, and linebacker Jackson Berck earned Conference Player of the Week honors.
Volleyball Doubles Its Wins
First-year head coach Molly Karagyaurov turned a nine-win team into a 19-win team as the Pioneers qualified for the conference tournament. Middle hitter Jacqueline Calvert, Libero McKenna Webster and Setter Kourtney Hansen have earned Conference Player of the Week honors. And Calvert ranks 10th in the nation in hitting percentage (.349) while Rachel Dossett ranks 31st in blocks per game (1.1). Webster ranks 40th in digs (546).
Men’s Soccer Finishes Seventh in Tough Conference
Head Coach Kevin Wardlaw’s 16th season resulted in a seventh-place finish in the tough Heart of America Conference. Several key injuries turned a promising start into a disappointing finish, but some standout seasons have the Pioneers primed for a return to the top of the conference next year. Freshman midfielder Mathieu Ecourtemer was third on the team in goals and freshman midfielder Jayedon Manswell turned in a solid first season as well. Senior forward Felipe Hideki earned a Conference Offensive Player of the Week honor while finishing second on the team in goals despite missing six games due to injury.
Women’s Soccer Wins
At-Large Bid to Nationals
First-year head coach Bryce McClanahan led the Pioneers to their second consecutive second-place finish in the Heart of America Conference while achieving their highest ranking in program history (#18). The squad lost in the conference tournament semifinals but won a bid to the NAIA Championships Nov. 22. Goalkeeper Kailee Barnhard earned four Conference Defensive Player of the Week honors including a National Defensive Player of the Week. Junior forward Savannah Moxley received a Conference Offensive Player of the Week honor while leading the team in goals and points. Sophomore forward Maria Garcia, junior midfielder Brylee Johnson and junior midfielder Elvia Villagomez compiled double-digit points in one of the best seasons in program history.
MNU Athletics is in the NAIA Division I—Heart of America Conference.