The University of Montana Western’s volleyball team has announced the addition of a libero/defensive specialist from Pocatello, Idaho to the 2015 recruiting class. (read more)
Bulldogs upset ninth ranked Concordia Irvine
The 7-3 Bulldogs led start to finish, extending their lead to 18-5 in the first half of the contest. The 11-2 Eagles’ comeback bid was stifled by the 17 second-half points of UMW senior Jordan Overstreet. Coach Steve Keller credited the win to an unbelievable effort from the entire team. “We played great defense against a top 10 team and were dominant,” said Keller. “This is probably the biggest win I’ve witnessed in my eight years with the program.”
Junior forward Dexter Williams Jr. lead all scorers with 24 points in 33 minutes of play. Overstreet finished with 19 points in the contest, and senior guard Steven McCall was the third double-digit scorer with 18 points.
The Bulldogs face Vanguard University Saturday in their final game of the Arizona tournament before returning home for the holiday break.
Seven Bulldogs recieve scholar-athlete honors
To be nominated to for the award student-athletes must have junior or senior academic standing and have a minimum grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale.
“These guys are great examples of the high caliber student-athletes we have at Montana Western,” said Coach B.J. Robertson. “They set an excellent example for the rest of our team and student body.”
The seven Bulldog football players selected for the award included senior safety Jesse McCloud of Manhattan, Mont., who was also honored as an AFCA-NAIA second team All-American this week. McCloud is studying K-12 Art Education with a Health and Physical Education minor.
The remaining Montana Western honorees were juniors and each is also a Montana native.
Linebacker Taft (TJ) Benson, Libby, Mont., is pursuing a degree in Health and Human Performance. This season Benson recorded 78 tackles and collected two turnovers for the Bulldogs.
Running back Dylan Kramer, Laurel, Mont., is working toward a double major in Secondary Education Modern History and Physical Education and Health. Kramer accumulated 398 total yards on offense as well as 397 kickoff return yards during the 2014 season.
Wide receiver Connor Lamping, Helena, Mont., is studying Business Administration.
Defensive back Robert (Dilan) Starkel, Twin Bridges, Mont., is a Biology major.
Quarterback Charlie Switzer, Richey, Mont., is pursuing an Environmental Science degree.
Linebacker Anthony (AJ) Wilson, Helena, Mont., is studying K-12 Physical Education and Health with a minor in Special Education. On the field, Wilson was recognized as a second team All-Conference player this season by the Frontier Conference.
Men's basketball extends streak
The Bulldogs were led in scoring by Tim Lott a 6-3 guard from Portland, Ore. who made his season debut in the second half of the contest. A junior college transfer required to establish eligibility during the first semester, Lott led all players in scoring with 15 points including a 7-8 effort from the free throw line. Senior point guard Stephen McCall contributed 13 points and juniors Dexter Williams Jr. and Ryan McCarty added 12 a piece in a game in which the starters saw limited action.
All 11 Bulldogs suited for the contest contributed to the final score and saw more than 10 minutes of playing time. Coach Steve Keller felt the win was "a good team effort on both ends of the floor." The win was the first for Montana Western against the Griffins, a member of the Canada West Universities Athletic Association. The Bulldogs return to the court Friday to face the Concordia University Irvine Eagles, which claimed the ninth position in the latest NAIA poll.
McCloud named AFCA NAIA All-American
McCloud was selected to the 2014 NAIA Coaches’ All-American Second Team for his work during the past season for the 6-5 Bulldogs, despite missing two games due to injury. The AFCA All-American Teams are selected exclusively by collegiate coaches, and are considered the most prestigious of the post-season awards.
McCloud, a 6-foot, 196 pound safety from Manhattan, Mont. just concluded a four year career as a starting safety for the Bulldogs, playing his final two seasons for Coach B.J. Robertson. “I’m very excited to see Jesse recognized for his hard work and leadership,” said Robertson. “Being named an All-American is a great reward.”
Appearing in nine games during the 2014 season McCloud recorded 60 total tackles, and his five interceptions placed him in the top 20 nationally for interceptions per game and total interceptions. In his 40 game career as a Bulldog, McCloud accumulated 246 total tackles, 13 interceptions, and two blocked kicks.
McCloud will remain at Montana Western this spring to complete course requirements for a K-12 Education degree in Art and a K-12 Physical Education and Health minor.
Women's basketball falls at buzzer
The Bulldogs built a four point lead early in the first half only to trail by one at intermission following a surge from the sharp shooting Buffaloes. Milligan shot 30% from beyond the arc in the first half and finished with a 35% shooting percentage on the night.
In the second half the Bulldogs fell behind by as much as 11 before racing back behind the play of Junior Sierra Higheagle. Higheagle led all scorers with 20 points in 30 minutes of action. Senior Jenna Banks chipped in 13 for the Bulldogs but missed on a chance to tie the game from the line in the closing minute. After a quick Milligan basket, Higheagle burried a 3 bringing the Bulldogs even with just 0:16 to play. After a timeout Milligan drove the length of the floor and burried yet another trey as time expired.
According to Coach Lindsay Woolley the game was "a good indicator of the work we need to do defensively, we have some work to do before our next game." The Bulldogs look to regroup quickly as they travel to Las Vegas December 18-20 for three games before the Christmas break.
Bulldogs battle MSU-Billings
The Bulldogs continued to battle through a tough preseason schedule in which they have faced NCAA division I or II opponents in more than half their contests. Friday's game was also the third in five days for Coach Steve Keller's squad. The Bulldogs began the week with a pair of rare home games, defeating Northwest Indian College in two high scoring contests to move the Montana Western season record above .500 for the first time in a month.
NCAA DII Montana State University Billings has faced three other Frontier Conference teams this season, losing those four contests by a combined 16 points. The Bulldogs ensured that the Jackets would go without a win against the conference battling to a 37-30 halftime lead and extending the margin through the second half. Senior Jordan Overstreet, Three Forks, Mont., lead all scorers with 20 points followed by fellow senior Stephen McCall, Las Vegas, Nev., with 17. "Jordan hit some big shots for us and then shot well from the foul line at the end of the game" said Keller. "Stephen McCall played his best game so far with 5 rebounds and 3 assists to go with 17 points."
Junior Dexter Williams Jr., Jacksonville, Fla., was the third Bulldog to score in double digits with 11 on 4-6 shooting from the floor and a 3-5 effort from the line. Williams Jr. also hauled down a game high 7 rebounds. Keller was impressed with his squad's defense "the whole team was unblievable tonight, we held them to 36% shooting and 9 for 33 from three, it was a total team effort."
The solid offensive and defensive showing was much needed by a squad that has struggled to find consistency. According to Keller "this was our third win in a row and it was a total team effort. We are finally learning how to win, its just taken us a little time."
Three UMW spikers named Scholar-Athletes
The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced volleyball student-athletes that have been named 2014 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes. The University of Montana Western had three women earn the honor. The student-athletes were seniors Breanne Kelley, Madison Mansch, and Kendra Mendicino.
In order to be nominated a student-athlete must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale and must have achieved a junior academic status.
"I am very proud of these three girls for being great examples of true student-athletes," said head coach Lisa Griffiths. "They are dedicated in the classroom and on the volleyball court and I am happy to see them get recognized for those achievements."
Breanne Kelley is a senior from Polson, Mont. She was an outside hitter for the Bulldogs and played in 367 games during her career. She had 761 career kills and defensively had 903 digs. Breanne is majoring in elementary education.
Madison Mansch is a senior from Missoula, Mont. She graduated from Loyola Sacred Heart High School. Madison was a setter for the Bulldogs and had a career high of 157 assists during her senior year. She is majoring in health and human performance.
Kendra Mendicino is a senior from San Diego, Calif. In her two seasons as the Bulldog libero she played in 213 games. Kendra had a team leading 557 digs in 2014 and over 1,100 digs during her career. She is majoring in health and human performance.
"I'm excited to see them graduate and go out into the world and continue their successes," Coach Griffiths continued. "We will miss them here but I know they will have a positive impact wherever they go."
UMW’s Selin to play in FCS Bowl
Phil Selin just finished his senior season for the Montana Western Bulldogs but his playing days have not ended. He has accepted an invitation to play in the first ever FCS National Bowl on Sunday December 7 at 12 pm MST.
Selin is a 6-foot-2 240 pound defensive lineman from Great Falls, Mont. He led the Bulldogs and the Frontier Conference in sacks two consecutive years and earned first team all-conference honors following his senior season. He ranked seventh nationally in total sacks with nine in 2014. Phil had a team leading 10.5 tackles for loss for 40 yards of opponents lost yardage.
The FCS National Bowl is an annual post-season college football all-star game consisting of the top seniors from college football’s Football Championship Subdivision and elite non-FCS schools. The FCS National Bowl is the only FCS level all-star game that will feature a number of pro scouts from the NFL, CFL, and arena leagues. The game attracts players from across the country including Mont., Texas, Rhode Island, and many other regions.
The game is coached by pro coaches and features coaches such as NFL coach Mike Stock formerly of the Green Bay Packers. The game has confirmed scouts from the Miami Dolphins, St. Louis Rams, Oakland Raiders, Buffalo Bills, New York Giants, Jacksonville Jaguars, Philadelphia Eagles, Green Bay Packers, and five CFL teams. In addition to the NFL and CFL scouts the AFL will be represented by 10 team scouts.
The game will be played on Florida International University’s campus at Ocean Bank Field at FIU Stadium. The game can be viewed online as a live stream at SFSN.TV at 12pm MST on Sunday December 7, 2014.
Montana Western volleyball signs Pocatello specialist
University of Montana Western’s head volleyball coach Lisa Griffiths has announced the signing of Jacqueline Cuttlers to a NAIA/Frontier Conference letter of intent to attend class and play volleyball for the Bulldogs.
“I chose UMW for the academics, but also for volleyball,” said Cuttlers of her decision. “The coaches are great and I know I can succeed there.”
Cuttlers is a 5-foot-1 libero/defensive specialist from Century High School in Pocatello, Idaho. During her senior year she recorded 517 digs and 512 serve receptions defensively. In addition to her specialty she recorded 42 aces and had 10 kills. Jacqueline was a first team all-state selection for her play her senior year. She was a three time all-state selection as she earned second team honors following her sophomore and junior seasons.
"Jacqueline is a high level player who I am thrilled has chosen to become a Bulldog. I have watched her play for a long time and I know she has the skills, determination, and work ethic to be successful here,” said UMW head coach Lisa Griffiths. “Her championship experience speaks for itself and I think she will make us better immediately by joining a strong group of returning defensive players."
Jacqueline plans to study physical therapy while attending class at Montana Western. She is the daughter of Jon and Ginger Cuttlers.
UMW can’t overcome turnovers and cold shooting
The University of Montana Western women’s basketball team took to the road with early season road games. They wrapped a two game tournament in Dickinson, S.D. over the Thanksgiving weekend with a game versus Jamestown. The Bulldogs opened the trip with a solid 60-48 win versus DSU on Friday night. The following day they took on Jamestown and came up short by a final score of 54-67.
In the Jamestown game the UMW team committed 19 turnovers and went cold in their shooting. The Bulldogs shot under 12 percent from behind the three-point line going 2-for-17. In addition to the cold shooting from behind the arc the Bulldogs went 10-for-18 from the free-throw line.
Montana Western was led by senior Jenna Banks and freshman Sierra Higheagle. Banks had 13 points in 25 minutes of playing time and Higheagle had 13 points in 29 minutes.
The Bulldogs are off this week and will take on Northwest Indian College on Monday, December 8, in Straugh Gymnasium on Montana Western’s campus. The game is scheduled to tip off at 5:30 pm.