The Sporting Life
Griffin’s Court and Field Success Continues
The Westminster men’s basketball team returned to the NAIA Division I National Championships this season for the first time since 2010. The Griffins went 19–13 overall during the year, and they finished second in the Frontier Conference with an 11–5 record.
They advanced to the championship game of the Frontier Conference Tournament with a 90–84 win over Lewis–Clark State in the semifinals at the Behnken Field House, which marked the sixth-straight season the Griffins had hosted a game during the conference tournament.
Tallon Robertson (’14) was named an Honorable Mention All-American, while also taking Frontier Conference Defensive Player of the Year honors. Robertson was also named First Team All-Frontier Conference. Blake Skidmore (’14) was selected to the league’s second team, and Jordan Pryor (’16) was tabbed the Frontier’s Sixth-Man of the Year.
For the fifth-straight season, Westminster led the NAIA in Scholar-Athletes. A total of six Griffins were named to the academic honors list in 2014. Marcus Parry (’14) made the list for a third time, becoming just the fifth Griffin to be honored in three seasons. Adam Rainbird (’14) was named for a second time, with Stephen Matthews (’15), Colton Moon (’15), Robertson, and Skidmore being selected for a first time.
That group of six was also named Academic All-Frontier Conference. They were joined on the conference team by Adam Egan (’16), Jordan Hamilton (’15), and Pryor.
The Westminster women’s basketball team continued its dominance of the Frontier Conference with a second-straight sweep of both the regular season and conference tournament titles.
Westminster finished the year 26–3 overall and 16–0 in Frontier play. They were undefeated in conference action for the second time in school history. The Griffins also set a school record by recording 19 consecutive wins.
They qualified for the NAIA Division I National Championships for an eighth-straight season. The Griffins were a No. 1 seed in the field of 32, recording the first top-seed in program history. They reached the quarterfinal round for a second-straight year and third tie overall with wins against William Woods and MidAmerica Nazarene. The season came to an end with a 75–58 loss versus Wiley.
Alli Blake (’14) became the third player in school history to be recognized as a NAIA First Team All-American while also taking Frontier Conference Player of the Year honors. Blake was also named First Team All-Frontier Conference.
Tia Pappas (’15) was named Honorable Mention NAIA All-American and won the NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball National Championship Hustle Award. She was selected as the Frontier’s Defensive Player of the Year and named first team all-conference.
Amy Krommenhoek (’15) took the Frontier Sixth-Player of the Year honor, while head coach Shelley Jarrard was selected as Coach of the Year for a third-straight season. Shelby Ellsworth (’15) was named second team all-conference, and Krommenhoek was named honorable mention.
Blake, Pappas, and Katie Walker (’14) were each named a Daktronics–NAIA Scholar-Athlete for the first time in their careers. The three were also named Academic All-Frontier Conference and were joined on that team by Brooke Blonquist (’16), Ellsworth, Krommenhoek, and Kelsi Wells (’15).
The Westminster men’s lacrosse team made the move to Division I of the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association in 2014 and didn’t miss a beat. The Griffins finished the year at 11–7 overall and qualified for the MCLA National Championships as the tournament’s No. 9 seed.
The Griffins went 5–1 at Dumke Field in 2014, and they reached the semifinals of the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse Conference Tournament. They outscored the opposition 263–154 during the year, while scoring on 43.1 percent of their man-up opportunities.
Collin Madsen (’15) was selected as an MCLA First Team All-American for a second-straight year and was named first team for back-to-back years overall. Josh Holland (’16) was selected as a Third Team All-American, with Kyle Postler (’15) receiving honorable mention recognition. The three were joined by seven others on the RMLC all-conference teams.
The Westminster women’s lacrosse team completed 2014 at 8–7 overall and just missed out on an invitation to the Women’s Collegiate Lacrosse Associates National Championships. While they finished 0–3 in Rocky Mountain Women’s Lacrosse League action, the Griffins advanced to the championship game of the conference tournament with a 17–10 upset of top-seeded and 1th-ranked Colorado in the semifinals.
Four different Griffins scored at least 30 goals during the year with Dana Barraco (’14) leading the way with 59. Barraco also led the team with 32 assists to finish with 91 points, the fifth-most for a season in school history.
Barraco was named First Team All-American by the WCLA to become the first Griffin named to the first team at the Division I level. Maggie HerrNeckar (’15) was named a Second Team All-American for the second-straight season. HerrNeckar finished with 43 goals and 13 assists to place second on the team in both categories.
Key Fall Matchups:
August 21 The men’s soccer team opens the season with a home game against Carroll.
August 22 Long-time soccer rival Embry–Riddle (Arizona) returns to Dumke Field.
September 6 Women’s soccer plays at home for the first time when they face Eastern Oregon.
September 19 The new year of Griffin volleyball welcomes Montana Western to the Behnken Field House for the home opener.
September 20 Great Falls comes to Dumke Field for a crucial Frontier Conference men’s soccer match.
October 18 Frontier-rival Carroll comes to town for an important volleyball match at the Behnken Field House.
November 2 A Senior Day doubleheader takes place at Dumke Field as the soccer team faces Rocky Mountain.
November 8 The volleyball team honors its lone senior in Alexis Aalona (’15) before a match against Montana Tech.
About the Westminster Review
The Westminster Review is Westminster University’s bi-annual alumni magazine that is distributed to alumni and community members. Each issue aims to keep alumni updated on campus current events and highlights the accomplishments of current students, professors, and Westminster alum.