Pointers Sports after Winter Break

Will Rossmiller

wross460@uwsp.edu

Women’s Basketball

Going into the season, the coaching staff and players knew that it would be a challenge to match the production of graduated guard Sam Barber.

Photo by Jack McLaughlin. Alyssa Olp drives to the hoop and puts up a shot.

Photo by Jack McLaughlin.
Alyssa Olp drives to the hoop and puts up a shot.

The Pointers women’s basketball team has still experienced success this season, just maybe not what they were hoping for.

The team is currently 13-5 overall, 6-3 in conference, which is good enough for third in the WIAC.

The Pointers held the 24th spot in national rankings last week, but after a loss to Platteville, they fell out of the top 25.

Despite dropping out of the national rankings, the Pointers are still in the running for a WIAC regular season title. The two teams in their way are UW-Oshkosh and UW-Whitewater and both still have to face the Pointers at home.

It has been a strong team effort thus far. Seven players average more than 18 minutes per game and six of those players have contributed seven points or more for the Pointers.

One player that has stepped up this season has been senior post player Myranda Tyler. Tyler leads the team in points per game, 12.2, rebounds per game, 8.6, blocks 25, and is second on the team with 25 steals.

A berth in the Division III NCAA tournament is still up in the air right now but if the Pointers right the ship and defeat some tough division opponents, they have a shot at doing something special this year.

 

Wrestling

After experiencing one of the most successful seasons in school history and going 17-8 during the season, the wrestling team has not reached the level of play from last season.

The Pointers have more losses now than all of last season, with an 8-10 record.

The Pointers participated in one large meet during winter break, competing in the Budd Whitehil Duals at Lycoming College. The Pointers started off the meet well but lost their last two matches and finished with a record of 2-3 at the Duals.

Since returning to school, the team has not fared much better, going 1-2 in last weekend’s Border Brawl at UW-Whitewater.

The Pointers have two more matches until they compete in the WIAC championships on Feb. 15 in La Crosse.
While the team may not be experiencing the same success as last year, there are team members that have put up good numbers over the season.

Sophomore Jordan Kordana has had another strong season, winning 17 of 20 matches. Junior Jamey Simmons leads the Pointers in matches won with 21 this season.

Senior Dustin Wozniak has the best match winning percentage on the team, only losing two of 20 matches in which he has participated.

Despite a less than spectacular start, the Pointers wrestling team can still turn it around in time for the WIAC championship. Worst case, the team should still qualify some individuals for the NCAA Midwest regional.

Swimming and Diving Team Over the break, the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams participated in one meet and it was hosted by Stevens Point.

In the Point Invite, the men’s swimming and diving teams both took first place out of the four teams in attendance. The women’s swim team finished third, with the diving team finished fourth out of the five women’s teams present.

Some freshmen on the men’s team have really stepped up their game and it showed at the Point Invite. Justin Fernandez won in the 400 yard individual medley. His fellow freshman, Sam Jekel, won the 50 yard freestyle.

For the women’s team, another freshman, Katelynn Homeyer, won in the 100 yard breaststroke.

Last week both men’s and women’s teams competed against UW-LaCrosse, with the men’s team winning 141-102 and the women’s team losing 171-72.

The Pointers have one more meet, the Minnesota Challenge, from Feb. 7-8, before competing in the WIAC championships from Feb. 20-22 in Brown Deer, Wis.

 

Track and Field

Photo by Jack McLaughlin. The Pointers track and field team has jumped over the competition so far this season.

Photo by Jack McLaughlin.
The Pointers track and field team has jumped over the competition so far this season.

The indoor track and field season started with the Pointers hosting the Pointer Open on Jan. 18, competing with other teams from around Wisconsin.

The Pointers won a majority of the events at the open and started the season off on the right track. No team scores were taken at the event but it is safe to say the Pointers gave a strong performance.

The highlight of the Pointers’ competition was Maggie Martin breaking the school record in the weight throw. Martin registered a throw of 17.04 meters, just less than 56-feet.

The Pointers men’s and women’s track teams both competed in the UW-Platteville Tri Meet. The women won the event and the men’s team finished third of the three teams present.

Both teams are set to compete in the Thadd Metzger Invite in Kenosha, Wis. on Friday.

It may be early, but the women’s team win at Platteville is a good sign. It is a long indoor and outdoor season for the track and field team, and this is just the start of it.

Men’s Basketball

It is a season for the record books for Pointers men’s basketball as the team has gone a perfect 18-0 up to this point.

The number one ranked team in the country has been nothing but impressive in their showing of dominance this season, outscoring their opponents by an average of more than 17 points.

The Pointers are off to the best start in program history, and with only seven regular season games left, do not appear to be slowing down anytime soon.

The Pointers have not only been a big deal in Stevens Point. Folks from around Wisconsin, and even outside the state, are starting to notice the Pointers as a Division III powerhouse.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published an article about the Pointers success in the Jan. 21 issue. The Las Vegas Review also published an article on the team back on Dec. 29 when the team was playing in Vegas over break.
The Pointers have been led by their two prolific scorers, seniors Tyler Tillema and Trevor Hass. Tillema leads the team with 21.8 points per game, while Hass averages 19.1.

Besides leading the team in scoring, Tillema has the team lead in rebounds, assists, and blocks.

Hass may not lead the team in scoring but has had some incredible performances this season, including breaking the school’s single game scoring record with 45 points on Feb. 25 against UW-La Crosse.

The stat that may be most telling about the Pointers success is their opponent’s shooting percentage. UWSP has held opponents to just 42.4 percent shooting, with only 31.3 percent from the three-point range.

The Pointers understand that good defense is what gives them the best chance at making a long run in the NCAA tournament.

Women’s Hockey

After going 12-13-3 last season, the Pointers women’s hockey team has already equaled its win total from last season.

Photo by Jack McLaughlin. Megan Menotti slaps a shot toward the goal.

Photo by Jack McLaughlin.
Megan Menotti slaps a shot toward the goal.

The Pointers currently stand at 13-4-2 and hold a conference record of 5-2-1 in their first season in the WIAC. UWSP is currently ranked eighth in Division III in the country but have fallen on tough times recently.

The team has gone 1-3-1 in their last five. Two of the losses and the tie came against two of the better teams in the country, Gustavus Adolphus and UW-River Falls, but if the Pointers want to be the best they have to beat the best.

With the WIAC playoffs fast approaching, starting in the end of February, the Pointers have an opportunity to improve on an already successful season up to this point.

UWSP is led by three point scorers this season. Senior forward Cassandra Salman leads the Pointers with 12 goals and has chipped in four assists.

Senior forward Allie Tanzer is second on the team in goals with seven and assists with eight. Coming off her strong freshman campaign, Emily Jester lead the team in assists with 12 and has also netted four goals.

In front of the net, junior goalie Janna Beilke-Skoug has been the Pointers main puck stopper, with a save percentage of more than 94 percent.

The Pointers have the pieces in place to be not just a good team, but a great team. It is just a question of whether they can figure out the puzzle before the postseason comes around.

Men’s Hockey

Photo by Jack McLaughlin Kyle Sharkey celebrates after a goal.

Photo by Jack McLaughlin
Kyle Sharkey celebrates after a goal.

If not for the outstanding play by the men’s basketball team, more people would be taking notice of the season that the Pointers men’s hockey team is putting together.

With the record of 14-2-2 and a Division III national ranking of 3 in the country, the men’s hockey team has had one its best seasons in recent program history.

Last season the Pointers only won 15 games the entire season. Now they’re only one game from matching their total from all of last year.

With the start the team has gotten off to, they have a realistic shot at winning the WIAC regular season championship. Currently only UW-River Falls stands between UWSP and that goal.

Like the women’s team, the Pointers men are a recent addition to the WIAC after leaving the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association Head coach Chris Brooks has always been persistent in enforcing the importance of the entire team’s efforts to achieve victories and that one player cannot single handedly win games. This year’s team seems to be taking that mantra to heart.

Eight players have at least six goals, while 11 players have at least six assists. Even with a solid team effort in place, some players have stepped up for the Pointers men.

Junior forward Garrett Ladd leads the Pointers with 14 goals and 15 assists. Junior goalkeeper Brandon Jaeger has been a stable performer in the net, saving 92.6 percent of shots on goal.

The Pointers have some tough tests ahead of them on their schedule with UW-Eau Claire coming to town in mid-February.

If they can defeat their conference foes, UWSP could be a WIAC regular season champion and have a great shot at a strong showing in the postseason.

 

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