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Saturday's Dakota Wesleyan University women's basketball victory reaffirmed a theme of the 2015-16 season: when the Tigers put a full game together, they're tough to beat. That took until the third quarter Saturday against Nebraska Wesleyan, but when the Tigers outscored the Prairie Wolves over a 10-minute span, the No. 16 Tigers broke open a three-point game at halftime and won 79-56 at the Corn Palace in Mitchell.
Quinci Herll is leading by example. And it's a pretty good example for the two-time defending state champion Mitchell Kernel gymnastics team to follow.
ALEXANDRIA — Standing at 5-foot-9 inches, Hanson's Kynedi Cheeseman is not exactly a towering presence on the basketball court. But in a starting lineup of teammates who happen to be shorter than she is, Cheeseman is frequently the center and leading forward on the Class B No. 2-ranked Beavers. It hasn't posed much of a problem for Hanson, which is 13-3 and hosts Class A foe Madison today in Alexandria. "I'll do pretty much whatever I need to do for us to win," she said. "Playing center doesn't bother me a bit."
In the Dakota Wesleyan University athletic training department, more is better. With the opening of the DWU/Avera Sports and Wellness Complex, the school has expanded its athletic training space on campus, now with two locations to use and more than four times as much room for treating athletes. "Space is the biggest advantage with this training room," said Jarod Guthmiller, the Tigers' head athletic trainer. "This is obviously going to be more open and more conducive for rehab purposes."
Dakota Wesleyan University's softball team didn't have the pitching it needed in 2015 and because of deficiency, the Tigers were 10-34 on the season. But 2016 brings about a new outlook on the Tigers, which has more arms available to pitch and brings back some of the conference's best bats. The Tigers open the season today at St. Cloud State (Minn.) with a doubleheader and a four-game series with the Huskies inside the school's inflatable bubble. DWU head coach Ed Kieff said youth will be served early after the program brought in 13 freshmen in the latest recruiting class.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The following is the final story in a three-part series on Dakota Wesleyan's new athletic fieldhouse and what it means for the future of Tiger sports. Count Great Plains Athletic Conference Commissioner Corey Westra among those who are fans of the new Dakota Wesleyan University/Avera Sports and Wellness Complex. "For our level of NAIA conference to have another facility of this quality, we're very lucky," Westra said last week. "This will be the new gem in the conference."
SCOTLAND — The Scotland High School football team's defensive unit was stout all season in 2015, holding opponents to 12.4 points per game. As a dividend for the team's defensive leaders' work, two standout Highlanders will be playing college football. Linebacker Tanner Iwan will play at Division II Northern State in Aberdeen and defensive end Kreg Kepplinger will move on to play at Morningside College. Both students signed National Letters of Intent on Wednesday to make the moves official during a ceremony at Scotland High School.
One of Ed Kieff's favorite parts of the new athletic fieldhouse at Dakota Wesleyan University has nothing to do with the building's state-of-the-art batting cages or sheer size of the building. Instead, the Tigers' head softball coach said he loves the fact that it allows for athletes and local community members alike to intermingle while each works out and uses the building.
EDITORS' NOTE: The following story is the first in a three-part series on the impact of the new Corrigan Fieldhouse at Dakota Wesleyan University and its effect on Tiger athletics. It's going to be a while before the smile leaves the face of Dakota Wesleyan track and field and cross country coach Derik Fossum. That's because Fossum and his team are no longer hurdling in hallways and fighting for practice space. Instead, they can call the new Glenda and Fritz Corrigan Fieldhouse and Athletic Institute home.
WAGNER — Wagner's Emily Brunsing and Ali Kuca have been playing basketball together since the third grade, when they were on the same team through Boys and Girls Club basketball. And when they're on the floor together for the Red Raiders' girls varsity basketball team, the experience shows. Both of the players are regularly double-double contributors for Wagner (10-3) and a key reason why the Red Raiders have won 10 of their last 11 games after an 0-2 start. "Ever since we were little, we've been playing together," Kuca said. "It worked then and it works now."