Writing History One Spike at a Time

It took only a few words for junior captain Lauren Nevinski to sum up the 2016-17 Concordia Volleyball season. For the first time in school history the Falcons clinched an automatic bid into the NCAA National Championship Tournament.

“It’s an unreal feeling,” Nevinski said.

The Falcons finished with the best record in school history, with a record of 22 wins, 8 losses. Nevinski, a middle hitter, led the team in solo blocks with 9.

“I’d say the best part of the season for me was beating Aurora to win the conference. No other team in Concordia history has done that so it was incredibly special to be a part of,” Nevinski said.

After winning the NACC conference championship 3-1 over Aurora, the Falcons left for Saint Paul, Minn., where they would eventually lose to No. 2 ranked Cal Lutheran, the reigning national champions.

“I think being able to go and compete against one of the best teams in the country was huge for us as far as mentality goes. This season proved to everyone involved in the program that we have the potential to go further into the NCAA tournament and play at an extremely high level,” Nevinski said.

And as the spring semester ends, the volleyball program continues to take steps forward to improve for next season.

“I think winning conference was really an eye opener for a lot of us. I’ve never been on a team that has made it to a big tournament like that so I think it’s just made us raise the bar on our expectations and our preparation,” said Nevinski. “We’re trying to keep making history.”

Coming Home for Homecoming

November began the start of festivities for Concordia as the school kicked off homecoming week.

“Homecoming is always a really festive time on campus,” said student Maddie Stressler. “Everybody really goes all out. The football game’s crowd is always huge and there’s always events going on somewhere on campus.”

Food, lawn games, and free t-shirts included the start of Freddy Fest.  With Concordia’s student-run radio station WCUW “The Talon” providing music for the event, students flocked to the Regents Courtyard to tailgate before the Falcon football team took to the field.

After an exciting first half, the homecoming court crowned their king and queen.  Seniors Erin Kline and Jonathon received the crown in front of the crowd. Halftime festivities continued as the 2006 Falcon Football team took center stage as they were honored for their accomplishments on the field.

“Seeing those guys get honored at halftime was really cool,” said Allison Neuberger. “Not only was it really awesome to see that alumni still appreciate Concordia, but it was also amazing to see one of the guys propose to his girlfriend. To be a part of that is pretty special.”

After the festivities of halftime ended, the Falcon football team took the field once more to battle against Rockford. Ultimately they won 49-46 in thrilling fashion after scoring a touchdown to take the lead with under a minute left to play.

To end homecoming weekend, Concordia students danced the night away at the River Club.

“The venue was really nice, as was the music,” said Tyler Martinkus. “To top it all off, the decorations really fit the theme of Once Upon a Time. Overall the whole thing was just an amazing time.”

As the night drew to an end, so did the week of festivities. And as the last guests strolled on out into the night, students anticipated next years’ activities.

A Club For Everyone

At the beginning of the 2016 fall semester, Concordia University announced the addition of its newest student organization: the Black Student Union (BSU).  The driving force behind its addition is to help raise awareness.

Despite what the name may imply, the BSU is a place for individuals from every race, gender, and ethnicity. It mission is to act as a “safety net” for students, providing them with a culturally responsive atmosphere in which students can thrive.

“The entire purpose of the club is to make people of all backgrounds feel welcome, as well as educate people on many different types of cultures,” member William Turner said. “Many clubs have a small mission, project, or event that is centered on making students feel welcome, but the entire core of the BSU is centered on making students here at Concordia as well as community members feel welcomed into our community.”

A key point in BSU’s purpose is its emphasis on community involvement.  This focus is evident through BSU’s recent campaign: “Project CHANGE”.

According to BSU member Kristina Aguilera, Project CHANGE was established to give words of encouragement to K-8 and high school students, discuss college readiness, and share the benefits of Concordia University.

“It’s a collaborative project between the Athletic Department, School of Education, and the BSU in which an athlete, a student from the education program, and a professor will visit and speak to the students about the importance of giving your best effort in everything you do in life,” Aguilera said.

Although raising cultural awareness and ensuring academic success for students and future generations are important to the club, what truly sets it apart is its open door policy.

“Our members come from all different backgrounds and walks of life, but when we’re together, everyone kind of forgets all that, and you’re able to focus more on who that person is,” said Turner.  “It’s not important what color your skin is, or what you talk like, or ever where you came from.  It’s come as you are.  No one is going to try to change you or make you participate in something you feel uncomfortable in.  That’s what I think makes the BSU so special.  It’s for everyone.”

Tale of the Tape: Concordia Football

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As the fourth week of the Division III football season rolls around, the Falcons enter their bye week with a 2-1 record. As they, along with the rest of the teams in the NACC start conference play, let’s recap the season so far.

During the first two weeks of the season, the Falcons went 2-0. The first, a 31-14 win at Finlandia demonstrated roster depth as the Falcons were without several starters, including junior quarterback Aaron Nixon. His replacement, senior quarterback Joe Federico, threw for 361 yards and three touchdowns while the Falcons’ defense gave up only seven points to the Lions offense. The Lions also scored as a result of a special team error by the Falcons.

The second game again demonstrated the strength of the Falcons’ defense. The Falcons only allowed 14 points in a 24-14 victory over an Augsburg team that defeated Concordia in a 54-21 rout last season. The victory is the Falcons’ first win over the Auggies in six seasons.

“We’ve had a lot of quality wins as a program, but I don’t know if there has been a bigger one than this,” Falcons Head Coach Greg Etter said.

Following the first 2-0 start in the Greg Etter era, the team lost a close game to Alma 31-28, as the Scots scored with 31 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter to take the lead.

“I think the first half of the game was somewhat of a wake up call for our guys,” said Etter. “The second half I felt we played like the score was zero, zero and played much better.”

The Falcons will begin NACC conference play at Lakeland University October 1 at 1 p.m. After last year’s debacle against the rival Muskies, which ended in a post-game brawl, the entire team been focused and locked in.

“It’s been great to see our guys locked in within every aspect of preparation this week. Our senior leadership has done a great job setting the tone for the rest of the team and I think it’s going to lead to a lot of success,” Etter said.

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