Thursday, January 27, 2022

Battle of the 'Burgs


written by STEVE ULRICH
your must-read briefing on what's driving the day in NCAA Division III


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1. Battle of the 'Burgs

174 Final - Kyle Briggs (Wartburg) vs Solomon Nielsen (Augsburg)

It may be the best rivalry in Division III wrestling - Wartburg vs. Augsburg.

The top-ranked Knights and the third-ranked Auggies meet in Minneapolis tonight for the 39th time. Over the past four years, one of the two teams have been ranked No. 1 in the country and 2022 is no exception.

The annual "Battle of the Burgs" dual meet features the two teams that have dominated NCAA Division III wrestling over the last three decades. Since 1995, every Division III national title has rested at either Augsburg or Wartburg, with defending national champion Augsburg winning 13 titles since 1991 and Wartburg winning 14 titles since 1996. With the NCAA Division III National Tournament not being held in either 2020 or 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Augsburg will enter the 2022 championships as the "defending" national champion, having won the last NCAA tournament in 2019.

Wartburg holds a 22-16 lead in the series and has won 10 of the last 11 duals. 

The key matchups:

141: #2 Sam Stuhl (A) vs. #7 Zeyren Terakuna (W)
157: #2 Tyler Shilson (A) vs. #10 David Hollingsworth (W)
174: #2 Zane Mulder (W) vs. #4 Solomon Nielsen (A)
285: #5 Tyler Kim (A) vs. #6 Jordon Brandon (W)

rankings provided by

>> Stream the match ($)
>> Live Bout-by-Bout results
>> Gameday Program



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WBB: Washington College (11-5) at Haverford (13-5), 6:00
MBB: Johns Hopkins (13-2) at Gettysburg (10-6), 7:00

2.  The Streak is Over

Alan Babbitt
photo by Alan Babbitt

The third-longest win streak in Division III women's basketball history is over.

Fourth-ranked Trine went on the road to Holland and upended No. 1 ranked Hope (16-1), 70-62, to snap the Flying Dutch's 61-game winning streak.

It is Hope's first defeat since falling in the second round of the 2019 NCAA tournament at Wartburg. The longest active streak now belongs to second-ranked Christopher Newport (33).

Tara Bieniewicz led the Thunder (13-2) with 18 points. Trine shot 49 percent from the field and stuck 10 three-pointers.

The number of unbeaten teams in DIII women's basketball is now down to six, as Christina Antonakakis poured in 44 points to lead MIT past No. 15 Springfield (16-1).

Unbeatens (6): Christopher Newport (16-0), Roger Williams (16-0), Transylvania (15-0), New York U. (14-0), Wisconsin Lutheran (14-0), Webster (13-0).


3.  Breaking Down the Preseason Top 20

Tufts Women's Lacrosse Goalie Wins National Accolade | Tufts Now
by Laurel Pfahler, US Lacrosse Magazine

"Salisbury capped a perfect season with the program’s fourth national championship, and they start 2022 as the team to beat, earning the No. 1 spot in the Nike/USA Lacrosse Division III Women’s Preseason Top 20.

Salisbury, which has made it to the NCAA semifinals each of the past three completed seasons, returns Lydia McNulty for a fifth year, as well as other top players such as attacker Erin Scannell, midfielder Lauren Valenti and defender Caroline McKenna.

Tufts, the No. 2 team, suffered its only loss of 2021 in the national championship game, falling by one goal to Salisbury. The Jumbos will be tough to beat this season with USA Lacrosse Magazine Preseason Player of the Year Molly Laliberty in goal and several other key players returning.

  1. Salisbury
  2. Tufts
  3. Franklin & Marshall
  4. Middlebury
  5. St. John Fisher
  6. William Smith
  7. Ithaca
  8. Washington and Lee
  9. Messiah
  10. Gettysburg

>> Conference Call: NESCAC (4), C2C (2), Centennial (2), MAC (2), NJAC (2), SUNYAC (2), Empire 8 (1), Landmark (1), Liberty (1), NCAC (1), ODAC (1)

>> Breaking Down the Top 20


4.  Who's Who in the Top 20

by Harrison Silcox, US Lacrosse Magazine

"The case can be made for a number of teams to earn the top spot in the Nike/USA Lacrosse Division III Men’s Preseason Top 20, but it’s Salisbury that enters 2022 season at No. 1.

The Sea Gulls lost in a thriller to RIT — ranked second — in the national championship game in May, and with a roster that is again stacked with talent, Salisbury is hoping to go on another long run through the postseason. The Sea Gulls have made it to the national semifinals every year since 2015.

Cross Ferrarra and Jarrett Bromwell lead the way for a team that returns most of its talent. RIT, which returns Ryan BarnableQuinn Commandant and others, enters 2022 with new faces on defense after graduating its starting close defense last spring. For the preseason Top 20, that’s what separates Salisbury and RIT.
  1. Salisbury
  2. RIT
  3. Tufts
  4. Christopher Newport
  5. Lynchburg
  6. York
  7. Colorado College
  8. Franklin & Marshall
  9. St. John Fisher
  10. Cabrini

>> Conference Call: MAC (3), NESCAC (3), C2C (2), Liberty (2), Atlantic East (1), CCIW (1), Centennial (1), Empire 8 (1), Independent (1), NCAC (1), OAC (1), ODAC (1), SAA (1), SUNYAC (1)

>> Breaking Down the Top 20

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5. Watchlist

Why this basketball star washed his teammates' clothes
Buzz Anthony, Randolph-Macon

Basketball (M): #1 Randolph-Macon at Hampden-Sydney, 7 p.m. EST

  • It's the 154th meeting between these two long-time rivals. The Yellow Jackets (15-1, 7-0) have won eight straight in the series. The Tigers (10-5, 5-3) have won 75 percent of their games at Fleet Gymnasium.
  • Stream the Game

Basketball (W): No. 22 Hardin-Simmons at No. 20 Mary Hardin-Baylor, 5:30 p.m. CST
  • The Cru (14-2, 11-0) has won 13 in a row but will be tested by the Cowgirls (12-3, 7-3). UMHB looks for a season sweep after winning by 12 on Dec. 11.
  • Stream the game

6.  Comings and Goings
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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Title IX at 50

written by STEVE ULRICH
your must-read briefing on what's driving the day in NCAA Division III
>> Good Wednesday morning. Can Wayne Gretzky really be 61 today?

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1. Title IX at 50

Title IX at 50
by Gail Dent, NCAA

"The NCAA began its Title IX at 50 celebration during the 2022 NCAA Convention in Indianapolis. The celebration commemorates the anniversary of the landmark federal law signed in 1972 that prohibits gender discrimination in educational programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance.

The Association will host programs, tributes and other activities through spring 2023, alongside member schools who also are recognizing the anniversary.  The efforts will culminate at the 2023 Women's Final Four in Dallas, where Divisions I, II and III will hold their basketball championships. 

In addition to the creation of a special Title IX at 50 logo, a dedicated website is available at, which includes a membership tool kit that provides ideas and suggestions on how schools and conferences can celebrate on their campuses and in their communities. Various materials and stories also will be archived on the site, along with the Title IX at 50 report that will detail progress made over the years and where additional work needs to be done."

>> History Lesson: "Title IX is part of the Education Amendments of 1972 and was signed into law June 23. It states, "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance." 

>> What's Next: "Celebratory activities also will take place at this year's NCAA Inclusion Forum on June 15-16, and various recognitions will occur at 2022 NCAA championships. Additionally, communications efforts will include social media features, resource materials, dedicated stories and Title IX membership spotlights."

>> Quotable: "Title IX is turning 50 years old, and we are taking this opportunity to celebrate, motivate, encourage and support women and everyone engaged in improving equity for all," said Amy Wilson, managing director in the NCAA office of inclusion. "While progress is being made across intercollegiate athletics, including with our championships, the journey is not over."

>> Go Deeper


2. What Keeps a President Up at Night
by Mary Dana Hinton, Hollins

"Long before COVID, those of us who are privileged to serve as college or university presidents had no shortage of worries to keep us awake at night.

For nearly a decade, we have been bracing ourselves as we approach a demographic cliff in the next five years, beyond which lies the specter of declining enrollments and serious budget shortfalls. In the meantime, our current student bodies, from more diverse backgrounds than in the past and with shifting characteristics, have rightly demanded that we provide more support services on campus, and those services have significant costs attached.

Then there is what is likely the single greatest cause of our sleepless nights: the long-lamented broken business model in higher education. Expenses, demands and needs—along with price tags—are increasing rapidly, while families’ ability and willingness to pay lag behind."

>> Situational Awareness: "All that was pre-COVID. During the pandemic, each of those issues has taken on even greater importance. As a result of the past 18 months, social justice movements are finally demanding necessary and significant institutional change. That faulty business model is now in a million little pieces as the revenue losses and expenses of COVID have damaged—in some cases decimated—many of our institutions financially. And student need is greater than ever."

>> What's Next: "So what does all this have to do with sleepless college presidents? We now have an obligation to acknowledge, support and prepare for those students to arrive on our campuses knowing that their learning and development have been compromised. Part of this acknowledgment means partnering with K-12 schools in order to understand what will be needed and how we can support their efforts. Turning away and hoping for the best will be to our peril. Rather, we must prepare our institutions to be student-ready."

>> The Final Word: "College leaders must not solidify inequity. And yet as I toss and turn during another fitful night, I realize that if we do not take the initiative to respond in this moment, to actively address the urgent needs of K-12 students by becoming a legitimate partner with the public schools doing their best to serve them, that is precisely what we will be doing. And if that happens, we should all lose sleep."

>> Continue Reading

3.  Former Red Hawk Soars to MLS

The Montclarion
by Matt Orth, The Montclarion

"It’s Jan. 9, 2022. Michael Knapp, former midfielder for the Montclair State University men’s soccer team and current midfielder for the United Soccer League (USL) team the New York Red Bulls II, was already living his dreams of being a professional soccer player. But, moving into a bigger professional league was not in his realm of personal possibility.

“My agent called me two days before the draft and he told me, ‘Mike, I think you’re on the [Major League Soccer] draft board, but don’t expect to be drafted by anyone since you are already pro,'” Knapp said. “So in my mind, I was thinking I was not [going to] get drafted because of what my agent told me. But [then again], he also told me to keep my head up.”

Two days passed. Knapp’s head was kept up, but all of a sudden on the day of the 2022 Major League Soccer (MLS) SuperDraft, he started to feel different emotions than usual. It was almost as if what his agent had told him was not going to come to fruition.

And with one of the most out-of-the-ordinary ways to find out that a player has made it into the big leagues, Knapp was officially drafted with the 61st pick in the third round of the 2022 MLS SuperDraft to Austin FC."

>> Soccer Sense: “The day of the draft I was just in the gym in the sauna thinking, ‘Man, I have a weird feeling. I have a feeling I’m going to get drafted,’ but because of what my agent told me, I didn’t think much of it,” Knapp said. And then, the strange feeling Knapp had became a reality. A lot of people in Knapp’s circle kept reposting something on Instagram in the middle of the night, waking him up. Confused, he blew it off and went back to sleep. And then, he got one of the biggest texts he would ever get from his agent confirming his suspicions. “My agent texts me [saying], ‘You have been drafted to Austin FC."

>> College Days: "In two seasons, Knapp established himself as one of the top players at Montclair State and within the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) as a whole. He won NJAC Rookie of the Year in his first season, then proceeded to win the Pat Baldiserra Midfielder of the Year Award in the conference the very next season."

>> Quotable: “[In terms of] where I came from, I didn’t play at an academy; I went to Division III, got injured and kept on working,” Knapp said. “You just have to put your head down and go to work. Don’t listen to anybody and believe in yourself. That’s why everyone was so happy when I got drafted — I believed in myself when nobody else did."

>> Read More

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4.   Lightning Round


  Denise Bierly won her 500th career game as the Eastern Connecticut women's basketball team downed Keene State, 56-27, on Monday.

 John Carroll junior Alex Phillip and Washington (Mo.) sophomore Emma Kelley were named the USTFCCCA DIII Athletes of the Week

  Concordia-Wisconsin sophomore Spencer Herman was named the AVCA Player of the Week. He hit .529 with 6.33 kills per set in a loss to Loras.

  Happy birthday to Scranton SID John Gatto.

    5.  Watchlist

    James Haag
    James Haag, New York U. 

      Volleyball (M): #1 Springfield at #5 New York U., 6:30 p.m. EST
    • The top-ranked Pride (3-0) and the fifth-ranked Violets (1-0) square off in Brooklyn. James Haag had 12 kills for NYU in its season-opening upset of #1 Carthage.
    • Stream the game
      Basketball (W): #4 Trine at #1 Hope, 7:30 EST
    • The Flying Dutch (16-0, 8-0) puts its 61-game win streak on the line at home against the Thunder (13-2, 6-1). Irresistable force meet immovable object - Hope averages 93.6 ppg, while Trine allows just 48.6.
    • Stream the game
      Basketball (M): #5 UW-Platteville vs. #10 UW-La Crosse, 7:00 CST
    • Another WIAC slugfest as the Eagles (15-2, 6-2) take the road to battle the Pioneers (17-1, 6-1). Expect a low-scoring affair as UWL and UWP are 1-2 in the league in scoring defense.
    • Stream the game

    6.  Comings and Goings
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