MEQUON, Wis. – Concordia University Wisconsin is preparing for another busy weekend in the closing days of February. Eight teams will be competing this weekend and five of those will be partaking in postseason action, whether it's in the conference tournament, championships or NCAA regionals.
Men's Basketball is aiming for its first-ever NACC Tournament title on Saturday, while Men's and Women's Track & Field is competing in the NACC Indoor Championships on Saturday as well. Wrestling will hit the mats for the NCAA Division III West Regional, while Women's Hockey opens up play in the NCHA Tournament.
#CUWStatsInfo gives you an inside look into the things you need to know heading into this weekend's conference tournament and NCAA regional action.
First Trip: The Falcons will be playing in the NACC Championship for the first time in program history when they visit Aurora on Saturday. It will also mark the first time CUW and Aurora have met in the NACC Tournament since the league began in the 2006-07 season.
Kittel's Scoring: Sophomore guard Eric Kittle (Brillion, Wis.) has been on fire as of late, scoring 20 or more points in three of his last four games. Kittel had 20 points in the Falcons 76-70 NACC Tournament semifinal win at Benedictine on Tuesday and is leading the team averaging 12.3 points per game.
Valuing the Basketball: The Falcons and Spartans are the two best teams in the NACC when it comes to taking care of the ball. CUW and Aurora both average a NACC-best 12.3 turnovers per contest. The Falcons have committed 10 or fewer turnovers in six of their past seven games, including both conference tournament wins.
Series History: CUW is 4-9 against Aurora during the Shawn Cassidy era (2007-08 to present). The Spartans have won five straight in the series, including both games this season. The last game was a 77-74 classic where the Spartans' Brandon Smith hit a game-winning 3-pointer with 1.6 seconds remaining.
Track & Field
Throwers: A big strength for the Falcons at the NACC Indoor Championships will likely be in the throwing events. On the Women's side, CUW has three of the top five marks in the weight throw this season, led by Andrea Kassees (Waukesha, Wis.) who ranks second at 14.78 meters. Karli Tatum (Milwaukee, Wis.) and Colleen Sauvey (De Pere, Wis.) have recorded the third and fifth best throws at 14.05 and 13.10 meters. Tatum and Kassees are second and third in the shot put as well heading into Saturday.
On the Men's side, Andrew Faber (Germantown, Wis.) has had an impressive season, ranking second in weight throw (16.90 meters) and third in the shot put (13.91 meters). Frank Jesse Long (Elwood, Ill.) has the same mark as Faber in the shot put, while he ranks 10th in the shot put.
Mauermann's Success: Senior Emily Mauermann (Janesville, Wis.) has had great success at the NACC Indoor Championships over her career. Last season Mauermann won the 400-meter dash, while participating on a 4x400-meter relay team that set a school-record. In 2013, Mauermann placed second in three events (200, 400, long jump) at the indoor championships.
Roy's Rookie Year: Jake Roy (Appleton, Wis.) has been impressive in his rookie season with the Falcons, as he has the second fastest time in the 400 heading into the weekend. Roy ran a 52.15 last weekend at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Tune-Up meet. He also ranks seventh in the 200-meter dash.
3,000: The CUW Women's Track & Field team has three runners who have top-seven times in the 3,000-meter run heading into the weekend. Marya Haegler (West Bend, Wis.) has the second fastest time (10:33.56), while Larissa Schlitz (DeForest, Wis.) and Ashley Scheele (Kohler, Wis.) are sixth and seventh.
Ambrocio's Quest for Four: Senior Sean Ambrocio (San Antonio, Texas) has had quite the career for the Falcons and this weekend he will try to become the first four-time national qualifier in school history. Ambrocio was an All-American at 125 lbs. last season and is 24-2 this season, while wrestling at 133 lbs.
Reuteler's Return: Jake Reuteler (New Berlin, Wis.) is trying to return to the national meet after qualifying a season ago. Reuteler qualified at 197 lbs. last season and has posted a 22-7 mark at the same weight class in 2014-15.
How Many Will Make It? The Falcons are coming off a dominant NWA Tournament performance two weeks ago, where six wrestlers captured conference titles. Included in those is senior Casey Kenealy (Hartford, Wis.), who was named the NWA Outstanding Wrestler. How many of those conference champions will put up another impressive performance at regionals?
Playoff History: The Falcons have won just one playoff game in their short history and they will look for number two on Saturday in a Slaats Cup Playoff game at St. Scholastica. The Falcons and Saints are about as even as you can get this season, going 1-1-1 against one another. Each game was decided by one goal or less.
Heckendorf's Record Setting Season: Senior Emily Heckendorf (Merrill, Wis.) has had an outstanding season for the Falcons, scoring a school-record 16 goals. She has recorded a point in seven-straight games and has scored a goal in five straight, including her first career hat trick on February 13 against Marian.
Falcons Top Line: Heckendorf hasn't been the only player on her line producing points this season, as all three members of the Falcons top offensive line have recorded 20 or more points. Heckendorf leads the way with 26, while junior Alexis Machuga (Rochester Hills, Mich.) and sophomore Veronika Metanova (Palatine, Ill.) have tallied 22 and 20 points, respectively.