Website traffic – Members of the Department of Athletic Communications who post content to CUWFalcons.com are always pushing to provide the latest and most up-to-date information for fans as it becomes available, and the 2016-17 athletic year was again successful. During the year there was a 65 percent increase in viewership. In all, 27,561,904 web page requests were made to the server between September 1 and May 25.
What just happened – Falcon fans always are hungry for information and before they left for work or after they finished up their last class of the day was when they visited CUWFalcons.com the most. The 3 pm hour was the most visited time at CUWFalcons.com during the 2016-17 athletic year, as 1,685,442 web page hits were requested or 6.12 percent of the total views throughout the year. As well, the 9 pm hour was close behind with 1,664799 web page hits and 4 pm was third with 1,648,659 web page hits.
It gets busy around here – CUW teams competed in 489 events during the 2016-17 athletics season. Those events took place from September 1, 2016, through May 25, 2017. Triathlon began the athletics calendar, while Gavin Falotico from Men's Track & Field competed at the NCAA Division III Championship on May 25, 2017, to close out the year.
Playing at home – Of the 489 events during the 2016-17 athletics year, 166 were played at home. That number was eight more than in 2015-16 when the Falcons competed in 158 home events. The overall record for CUW on its home playing surface was 109-50-1 or a .681 winning percentage. No program took advantage of home games better than Women's Volleyball who was a perfect 10-1 inside the R. John Buuck Field House. Of the 17 sports we used to measure this statistic, 13 finished about .500 in home competition during the past athletic year.
Conference record – The Falcons were once again excellent in conference play, posting an 119-53-4 record in the 14 sports that were a member of a conference this past year. CUW takes part in the NACC, MLC and MWLC conferences. Women’s Tennis and Women’s Volleyball each posted undefeated records in league play, while 12 of the 14 had records above .500.
All-Americans – CUW had two student-athletes honored as All-Americans during the 2016-17 season, both happening on the same day (May 25). First, Gavin Falotico (Men’s Track & Field) finished seventh in the javelin throw at the NCAA Division III Championships to secure his All-American accolade. Later that night, Bryan Thomas of the Baseball program was named ABCA Second Team All-American for his impressive senior season.
All-Region honorees – The Falcons were once again well-represented on All-Region lists during the 2016-17 season. CUW had 15 student-athletes earn All-Region status in their respective sports. Here is a list of those student-athletes: Gavin Falotico (Men’s Soccer) – NSCAA Second Team All-Central Region, Colin Dibb and Dagoberto Diaz (Men’s Soccer) – NSCAA Third Team All-Central Region, Nora Imperl (Women’s Cross Country) – USTFCCCA All-Midwest Region, Eric Kittel (Men’s Basketball) – D3Hoops.com All-Central Region Third Team, Gavin Falotico (Men’s Track & Field) – USTFCCCA All-Midwest Region, Cassandra Sprotte (Women’s Track & Field) – USTFCCCA All-Midwest Region; Emily Brekke and Lexi Holsten (Softball) – NFCA All-Great Lakes Region Second Team; Carly Sobrilsky and Maddie Zazas (Softball) – NFCA All-Great Lakes Region Third Team; Bryan Thomas (Baseball) – ABCA First Team All-Midwest Region and D3Baseball.com Second Team All-Midwest Region; Matt Schubert (Baseball) – D3Baseball.com Second Team All-Midwest Region and ABCA Third Team All-Midwest Region, Allison Kurek (Women’s Lacrosse) – IWLCA All-Great Lakes Region Second Team; Garrett Wohlford (Men’s Lacrosse) – IMLCA All-West Region Second Team. The Falcons also had two student-athletes earn Academic All-Region honors in their respective sports as Faith Palmreuter landed on the NSCAA Scholar All-North/Central Third Team in Women’s Soccer and Emily Brekke was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District Team in Softball.
Players of the Year – Both Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse produced the Defensive Player of the Year this past spring. Garrett Wohlford and Veronika Metanova were outstanding as goalies for both programs, helping both to a share of a regular season championship. In addition, Men’s Lacrosse also saw Ryan Voskuil honored as the Rookie of the Year in the MLC. In Women’s Volleyball, Megan Mayer was chosen as the Freshman of the Year. In track & field, Nora Imperl was named the Track Athlete of the Meet at both the indoor and outdoor championships. The Falcons also had several coaches honored as Coach of the Year, Stacey Brunner-Jones (Women’s Basketball), Steven Anschutz (Women’s Tennis), and Janelle Katz (Women’s Volleyball), while Russ De Lap (Women’s Track & Field) was named Co-Coach of the Meet at the outdoor championships.
All-Conference accolades – CUW was once again well-represented on All-Conference lists throughout all sports. The Falcons had a total of 91 student-athletes receive All-Conference honors. Any player who was listed on a first or second team, honorable mention or all-freshman team was listed in the 91 student-athletes.
Advancing to the national stage – The Falcons had three teams secure conference tournament championships and advance to the NCAA Division III Championship in their respective sport during the 2016-17 athletics year. In the fall Women’s Volleyball secured an NACC Tournament title for the first NCAA Tournament appearance for CUW in 2016-17. The spring saw both the Men’s and Women’s Tennis programs win NACC Tournament titles to advance to the NCAA Tournament. Individually the Falcons had two wrestlers (Mason Baumgartner and Mason Mergener) advance to the NCAA Championship, while Gavin Falotico of Men’s Track & Field also participated in the NCAA Championship in the javelin throw.
National rankings – Only one student-athlete can be crowned a NCAA Division III statistical champion per year and the Falcons had numerous who were close to winning, however, a top-10 finish will always be respected. In all, eight student-athletes ranked in the top-10 in their respective statistical categories and three teams. Below is a list of student-athletes and teams who achieved a top-10 ranking nationally in a statistical category:
Matt Schubert (Baseball) – seventh in doubles (20)
Scott Plachinski (Baseball) – ninth in saves (9)
Eric Kittel (Men’s Basketball) – third in triple-doubles (1)
Richie Guess (Football) – seventh in forced fumbles per game (.44), second in fumbles recovered (4)
Isaiah Tenette (Football) – ninth in kickoff return touchdowns (1)
Garrett Wohlford (Men’s Lacrosse) – fourth in goals against average (6.63), sixth in save percentage (.609)
Veronika Metanova (Women’s Hockey) – second in short-handed goals (3)
Veronika Metanova (Women’s Lacrosse) – seventh in save percentage (.565), eighth in saves (191)
Emily Brekke (Softball) – fifth in saves (5)
Men’s Basketball – eighth in assists per game (18.3), ninth in total assists (512)
Men’s Lacrosse – fourth in scoring defense (6.16)
Women’s Lacrosse – sixth in save percentage (.565)
Social Media – The Department of Athletic Communications strives to connect with its fans via its various social media accounts and this past year strived to provide a better experience with game day photos and videos. In addition, there were 2,063 tweets posted with 404 new followers being added to bring the total Twitter followers count to 3,133. As well, CUW Falcons Instagram account has 1,454 followers, which is 474 more fans than last year.
Those behind the scenes – Steven Schauer and Brian Schipferling would like to thank all those who helped the Department of Athletic Communications throughout the 2016-17 athletic year, especially the staff of 20 student workers who tirelessly helped the behind the scenes efforts. Those student workers assisted in updating CUWFalcons.com in a variety of capacities, ran scoreboards, took official statistics and did other tasks as needed to run the games the fans watch with ease. As well, our broadcasters deserve credit for their work in calling dozens of Falcon games and on a positive note, none of them were ejected from a contest.
Athletic Communications working overtime – Those who work in the Department of Athletic Communications had to work a little extra during the 2016-17 athletic year, as they were challenged with the task of hosting a multitude of tournaments (regular season and postseason) and various other athletic events.