The University of Montana Western volleyball team had three players earn all-conference honors. Seniors Kendra Mendicino and Breanne Kelley and freshman Joanna Avery were honored. (read more)
The University of Montana Western football team has officially announced the commitment of two new recruits that will be joining the program in 2015. (read more)
The University of Montana Western was named one of the NAIA Champions of Character member institutions. UMW received the award for demonstrating a commitment to the core values of the NAIA. (read more)
The University of Montana Western’s football team will head to Havre to take on Montana State-Northern in the 2014 season finale and a victory secures a winning season. (read more)
Bulldog senior safety Jesse McCloud wins Frontier Conference defensive player of the week for the second time this season for his play in Montana Western’s win over College of Idaho. (read more)
Montana Western's volleyball team visited Great Falls and Havre this weekend and split the road matches winning on Friday and dropping their match on Saturday. (read more)
UMW volleyball has three all-conference selections
The Frontier Conference named their all-conference teams and three Bulldogs received honors. Breanne Kelley was named to the NAIA Champions of Character team, Kendra Mendicino was named to the second team, and Joanna Avery was named to the all-freshman team.
The NAIA Champions of Character honor for UMW was awarded to Breanne Kelley. She is a senior outside hitter from Polson, Mont. The NAIA utilizes a Live 5 campaign to promote their five core values. Each year they select team members who have exhibited these five values to the fullest extent. The values that are considered are integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship, and servant leadership.
Montana Western’s Kendra Mendicino was named to the Frontier Conference second team. She is a senior libero from San Diego, Calif. Mendicino had 557 digs this season for an average of 5.68 per game. She started all 98 games for UMW this season. During her career at UMW she had 1103 digs and played in 213 games for the Bulldogs.
UMW had a unique mix of veteran and young talent. One of the newcomers to the Bulldogs was Joanna Avery. She is a 6-foot middle blocker from Victor, Mont. Avery was named to the Frontier Conference all-freshman team. She settled in midway through the season and madeher impression on the conference. Avery had 103 kills during her first season and made a statement throughout the conference that she will be someone to contend with at the net for the next three years for the Bulldogs.
Montana Western closed their season versus No. 1 ranked Rocky Mountain last Friday during the Frontier Conference tournament.
Bulldog football signs first two recruits for 2015
Montana Western’s head football coach B.J. Robertson has announced the signing of two recruits to NAIA/Frontier Conference letters of intent to attend class at UMW and play football for the Bulldogs. The newest additions are Missoula native Bo Hughes and Fairview’s Cody Vitt.
Hughes is a 6-foot 200 pound quarterback/defensive back that excelled at Loyola High School. He spent the past fall in Bozeman at Montana State. During his senior year he threw for 1948 yards and rushed for 1226 yards. He accounted for 24 touchdowns on the year. He was a three time all-state quarterback and a two time all-state defensive back. Following his senior season he was selected to participate in the Shrine game and the Badlands Bowl.
He was an honor roll student at Loyola High School and earned academic all-state honors. He intends to major in education while attending classes at UMW. He is the son of Todd and Anne Hughes.
Vitt is a 6-foot 210 pound running back from Fairview High School. He spent the past fall at Montana State. During his senior year in high school he helped lead Fairview to an 11-1 record and Class C state runner up. He rushed for over 1600 yards averaging 12 yards an attempt. He averaged 133 yards rushing a game and had 21 receptions for 346 yards on the season. He averaged 3.5 touchdowns a game his senior season scoring 42 touchdowns in 12 games. He was selected as the team MVP following the 2012 season and received invitations to play in the Badlands Bowl and the Montana Shrine Game. During his prep career he was a three time all-state and all-conference selection.
He plans to study natural horsemanship while attending classes at UMW. He is the son of Dale and Jill Vitt.
UMW selected as an NAIA Champions of Character institution
Montana Western received the Champions of Character award based on their scorecard throughout the academic year. The Bulldogs were one of 168 schools that were five star award winners.
The member institutions earn points throughout the academic year by showing a commitment to teaching and training student-athletes in character development, conduct in competition, academic focus, character recognition and character promotion. Member institutions earn points for their student-athlete grade point averages and participation in competitions exhibiting sportsmanship and high character throughout the academic year with minimal to no ejections.
Montana Western earned a Five Star Bronze award.
Bulldogs travel to Havre in search of winning seasonThe Bulldogs are riding a three game winning streak and are coming off an emotional win versus College of Idaho in which they honored the seniors prior to the game. The wins have come against two then-top 25 teams and College of Idaho who narrowly beat the Bulldogs in the first matchup.
“Excited to get a win for our seniors. I'm so proud of how this team battles for four quarters,” said Bulldog head coach B.J. Robertson on the win over College of Idaho. “We ask our players for two things....great effort and great attitudes and I believe these guys are bringing that each week.”
Montana Western will face MSUN in Havre on Saturday at 12 pm. The Bulldogs are currently 5-5 overall and 5-4 in the Frontier Conference. The Northern Lights are 1-7 in conference play and 2-7 overall. In the first matchup UMW rolled to a 50-30 win on Sept. 20.
“Northern has a high powered offense with a strong running game and play making receivers,” said coach Robertson. “We will need to put points on the board because they will find a way to get theirs. Add in that it will be senior day and we better be prepared for a battle.”
The teams combined for over 1,000 yards of total offense in the first meeting. The Bulldogs rushed for 249 yards and threw for 255 for a total of 504 yards. UMW was efficient on offense and converted on 10-of-14 third downs. Sam Rutherford led the Bulldog ground attack rushing for 99 yards on 15 carries with one touchdown. Quarterback Tyler Hulse accounted for five total touchdowns running for three and connecting with Matt Lickfold through the air for two. On the day Lickfold had six receptions for 141 yards and two touchdowns. Freshman receiver Matt Furhman had four receptions for 67 yards in the win.
The Bulldog defense was able to get in on the scoring fun as linebacker T.J. Benson returned an interception 25 yards for a touchdown. His interception was one of three turnovers forced by UMW. Benson also returned a fumble recovery and senior linebacker Ryan Otto had an interception. Defensive back Ben Sulser led the team in tackles with 10 total stops and fellow secondary mate Dakota Pineda had nine total tackles including 8 solo stops. Defensive lineman Reno Ward had 8 total tackles and a tackle for loss.
UMW has quietly made some ripples in the conference standings. Although the teams they have beaten have heard the Bulldogs loud and clear. The wins over the ranked opponents in the past three weeks have either knocked those teams out of the playoff chase or made it very difficult for them to get in. UMW has been on the verge of breaking into the rankings and with a win this weekend should garner more attention.
They are currently a half game behind EOU for third place in the Frontier. A win this weekend would give the Bulldogs a 6-4 conference record and at least a share for third place in the conference. Kickoff for Saturday’s game is scheduled for 12 pm.
UMW Volleyball to wrap regular season
The Bulldog women enter an important week where they are hosting two conference matches that will have a direct impact on seeding for the Frontier Conference tournament and they will be honoring their seniors on Saturday. Saturday’s match versus Lewis-Clark will be the final home match for six seniors.
On Thursday UMW welcomes Montana Tech to Straugh Gymnasium. It will be the second time the two teams have met this season with the Ore Diggers winning the first meeting in straight games on Oct. 2. Tech will be facing a different team than the one they faced a month ago. The Bulldogs have won six of their last eight matches and have found a cohesiveness mixing veterans with first year players.
“This will be a big weekend for us because it will determine seeding for the conference tournament,” said head coach Lisa Griffiths. “We have been playing well and are peaking at a good time but everybody is tough and it seems like everyone in conference is playing their best volleyball right now.”
Montana Tech is currently 4-8 in conference play and positioned one spot ahead of the Bulldogs. The match will have a direct impact on where each team will be seeded for the tournament. The Bulldogs have put themselves in a position to overtake the Diggers with a win.
Tech is led by Bailie Cortner and Makenzie Bauck. Cortner has over 200 kills on the season and is averaging 2.3 kills per game. She has been assisted by Bauck who has 580 assists on the year and averages 6.6 per game. Kimmy Kavran leads the team in digs averaging 4.4 per game and has 440 on the season.
“It's been fun to see all of the hard work coming together for the girls and have the team peaking at the right time,” said Coach Griffiths. “The girls are playing hard and are focused on finishing the conference season strong and then extending their season as long as possible.”
On Saturday UMW hosts Lewis-Clark State College in the 2014 regular season finale. The Warriors are currently 9-3 in conference play and sit in second position in the standings. They are led by Treneisha Doyle who is averaging less than three kills per game and Robyn Schirmer is averaging 7.4 assists per game. Defensively Russia Robinson is averaging 4.9 digs per game.
Montana Western will honor six seniors on Saturday prior to the match. The seniors are Emily Erickson, Breanne Kelley, Paige Latimer, Madison Mansch, Kendra Mendicino, and Brea Mitchell. The current group of seniors has led the Bulldogs all season. Two of the ladies lead the conference in two statistical categories. Paige Latimer leads the Frontier Conference in assists per game averaging nearly 10 a game and has 753 on the season. Senior libero Kendra Mendicino leads the conference with 485 digs and 5.5 a game. On the offensive attack seniors Emily Erickson and Breanne Kelley lead the team in kills. Erickson has 267 on the season and is averaging over three a game while Kelley has 221 and averaging better than 2.5 a game.
“I can't believe it is already time for this group to graduate but I am so happy for them. They have been such an integral part of growing the program and getting us to where we are now,” said Coach Griffiths. “They have been committed from the beginning and dedicated to do their absolute best every day. They are a pleasure to work with and I am really going to miss them when they're done. Right now, we are all focused on sending them out with the season they deserve.”
Thursday night’s match versus Montana Tech will begin at 7 pm in the Straugh Gymnasium. On Saturday afternoon Lewis-Clark will visit with game time set for 2 pm. The senior presentation will occur prior to the match.
UMW’s McCloud named Frontier Conference player of week
The University of Montana Western faced College of Idaho on Saturday afternoon at Vigilante Field and won in a close game 30-27. Senior Jesse McCloud a Churchill, Mont., native was selected the defensive player of the week for the Frontier Conference for his role in UMW’s win.
Senior Jesse McCloud was honored prior to the game along with nine other seniors in the Bulldog football family. He came through in the clutch and put the finishing touches on the victory by intercepting an errant Yotes’ pass to help secure the victory.
McCloud had seven solo tackles and six assisted tackles during the win. In addition to his 13 total stops he had two pass break ups and sealed the Yotes’ fate with his interception late in the game.
The award is the second time during the 2014 season that McCloud has earned this honor. In the week one victory over Montana Tech he also received the honor.
UMW volleyball splits on final regular season road trip
The Bulldogs went to Great Falls on Friday night and continued their hot streak sweeping the Argos 3-0. They won by scores of 25-21, 25-16, and 25-23. The win was the sixth win for the Bulldogs in their last seven matches. The conference victory was their third win in their last four Frontier matches.
Emily Erickson led the Bulldogs with 14 kills and contributed 13 digs. Kendra Mendicino led the team in digs with 23 and Breanne Kelley had 16. Paige Latimer led the offensive attack with 34 assists.
Saturday evening Montana Western visited Havre to take on the Skylights of Montana State-Northern. The Bulldogs' winning ways came to an end on this night as they dropped the match 0-3.
The Bulldog offensive attack was led by Erickson who had 12 kills on the evening. A combination of young and old led the team defensively with freshman Brianna DeCock credited with 17 digs and senior Kendra Mendicino led the team with 24 digs of her own.
Montana Western comes home for their final two matches of the regular season next week. They will take on Montana Tech on Thursday at 7 pm and Lewis-Clark on Saturday at 2 pm. Saturday's match will be the final home match for the Bulldogs and will honor the seniors with a pre-game presentation.
Bulldogs come back and win on senior day
Montana Western continues to come through in the clutch and walk away with victories. The Bulldogs hosted the Yotes’ from the College of Idaho on Saturday afternoon and made senior day a memorable one. With the forecast showing rain and worsening weather UMW came back and scored with just over two minutes remaining to take a three point lead and the defense came through with a big interception to secure the victory.
Late in the fourth quarter the Bulldog offense took possession at midfield. Dylan Kramer began the drive with a modest five yard gain and Sam Rutherford followed with another five yards for a Bulldog first down. Senior quarterback Tyler Hulse then scampered to his right and down the sideline for a 31 yard gain to the Yotes’ nine yard line. UMW was turned away the series before falling short on a fourth and one from the two trailing by four. Montana Western made good on this trip and scored the go ahead touchdown. Sophomore running back Sam Rutherford took the handoff and started left and cut it back to score to give the Bulldogs a 30-27 lead.
College of Idaho had one last possession to either tie or take the lead. UMW’s defense stepped up and made a key stop for the third consecutive game. On the Yotes’ first down play quarterback TeeJay Gordon slung a pass that was broken up by a diving Dakota Wainwright. Gordon’s second down pass did not find its’ mark and fell harmlessly to the ground. College of Idaho faced a third and ten from their own 34 yard line and dropped back to pass. The pass was tipped and found the waiting hands of senior defensive back Jesse McCloud. The Churchill, Mont., native returned the ball to the Yotes’ 15 yard line where the offense took over. With a minute and a half remaining and C of I having one timeout in their pocket the UMW offense needed one first down to secure the win. On fourth and one senior running back Michael Lake gained the first down and the celebration began.
UMW rushed for 300 yards on 47 carries. Sophomore Sam Rutherford led the attack gaining 131 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries. Helena High School product Tyler Hulse rushed for 53 yards on nine attempts with a long of 31 yards. Hulse threw for 168 yards and two touchdowns with zero interceptions. His favorite target was Beau Brekke who hauled in six receptions for 106 yards and two touchdowns.
Defensively the Bulldogs received a big game from Jesse McCloud. The senior in addition to the key interception recorded seven unassisted tackles and finished the day with 13 total tackles. Linebacker Dakota Wainwright came up with the diving pass break up and when not defending the pass registered a sack, a tackle for loss, and eight total tackles. Junior Joe Coker had a tackle for loss and made seven total stops on the day.
The Bulldogs have won three games in a row. The win over College of Idaho came on the heels of victories over then-No. 15 Eastern Oregon and then-No. 13 Rocky Mountain. UMW will travel to Havre to take on Montana State-Northern on Saturday Nov. 8 at 12 pm in the season finale. The Bulldogs look to continue their hot streak and finish the regular season with a 6-4 Frontier Conference record.
Montana Western cross country off and running
Head coach Lynn Reynolds has officially announced the signing of his first cross country athlete to the newest Bulldog athletic program. Geneva Plakke is a freshman at Montana Western and has committed to running for the Bulldogs. She most recently ran for Superior High School in the spring of 2013.
Plakke moved to Superior, Mont., following her freshman year in Soda Springs, Idaho. During her freshman year she helped the Soda Springs High School team win the state championship. Despite her new school not competing in cross-country she was able to find a way to lace up her running shoes competitively. As a junior she was all-state in the 3200 meters helping her team win the track state title despite having only three athletes.
Geneva is a four year honor student during her high school career. She is undecided on what she will study while attending classes at Montana Western. She is the daughter of Shawn Plakke and Billie Humphreys.
UMW volleyball looks to continue winning ways
The Bulldog volleyball team will wrap up their road portion of the regular season this weekend when they face Great Falls and Montana State-Northern on the road. Montana Western has had the winning formula since leaving for a tournament in Denver three weeks ago.
UMW has won five of their last six matches including two of three versus Frontier Conference opponents. While winning those five matches they have won all three of their contests that have gone five games. The last five game match was versus Carroll College in front of a raucous home crowd that came to support their Bulldogs as well as show support during the annual Pink Game.
The Bulldogs are led by their seniors. Kalispell native Paige Latimer leads the team as well as the conference averaging 10 assists a game. Fellow senior Kendra Mendicino leads the conference in digs with 438 on the season. They are joined by seniors Emily Erickson and Breanne Kelley who lead the Bulldog attack. Erickson has recorded 241 kills and Kelley has 209 on the season.
Head coach Lisa Griffiths has found the right combination of experience and youth lately. Freshman Joanna Avery has made herself known averaging better than 10 kills over the last six matches. Her match high was 16 versus NCAA-II opponent Fort Hays State (KS). Huntley, Mont., native and fellow freshman Brianna DeCock has gained valuable experience this season and has been averaging better than 10 digs a match over the last three weeks with a match high of 19 digs versus Johnson & Wales (CO).
The Bulldogs have four matches remaining before the Frontier Conference tournament and will bring their regular season to a close next week. UMW appears focused on the task at hand with their matches this week. Friday’s match will begin at 7 pm in Great Falls and Saturday’s match will begin at 6 pm in Havre.