MEQUON, Wis. – The 2014-15 athletic year was another successful one for Concordia University Wisconsin. The Falcons had a multitude of wins, memorable moments and impressive performances en route to more championships and awards. The CUW Athletic Communications Department again tries to sort through all the great moments and give you, the fans, the top five stories from the year, as well as an honorable mention story.
The list of stories was compiled by both the Athletic Communications Department and a committee of coaches, and like all lists is subject to debate. The list of top stories will be revealed over the next six weeks with a story being released each Tuesday. The No. 1 story from the 2014-15 athletics season will be released July 21.
Baseball, Volleyball set program wins record
The Concordia University Wisconsin Baseball and Volleyball programs have a lot of similarities. Both have seen their fair share of success over the course of their history. Both have second-year head coaches who were attempting to return those programs to a high-level in the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference. And both of those programs have reached new heights during the 2014-15 athletic season.
First, the volleyball team was one of the better stories of the fall season for Falcons athletics. They posted a 24-7 overall record, surpassing the 23 games won in both 2007 and 2010. What's more impressive is CUW won just a total of 28 games the three years prior to the 24 wins this past fall.
CUW was dominant on its way to 24 wins, capturing 17 of those in a sweeping fashion. The Falcons placed second in the NACC during the regular season, finishing with a 10-1 conference record. They had three players earn All-NACC First Team honors, including Freshman of the Year Ashley Jehlicka. Seniors Hannah Griffiths and Britta Duchow joined Jehlicka on the First Team, while Janelle Gabrielsen-Katz was named Co-Coach of the Year. Jehlicka also was named the AVCA Midwest Region Freshman of the Year after her impressive rookie season.
The Baseball team continued its rise under second-year head coach Eddy Morgan in the spring of 2015. The Falcons won 25 games, surpassing the 24 wins during the 1991 season and advanced to the NACC Tournament Championship game for the second straight season.
The Falcons went just 11-9 in NACC play, but turned it on towards the end of the season. CUW won eight of its final 10 games, which included a victory over 2015 NCAA Tournament participant, Carthage College. The Falcons beat three NCAA Tournament teams in 2015 (St. John's (Minn.) and Concordia Chicago).
Like the volleyball team, the Falcons had a NACC Freshman of the Year of their own, in left-handed pitcher Carter Buuck. Buuck was also named to the ABCA Midwest All-Region Third Team. He, along with pitchers Josh Ruppel and Andrew Heideman, have landed in high-level summer collegiate leagues this summer.
Freshman Nathan Thyssen also had an impressive season for the Falcons, as he led the nation in triples with 11, while also being named All-NACC Second Team.
Both the Baseball and Volleyball programs appear to be on the rise and setting the program record for wins could be a top story featured on CUWFalcons.com for several years in the immediate future.