College News

Published October 12, 2011 10:33 am

Southwestern played at #26 DMACC Monday night and lost to the Bears with scores of 25-21, 25-20, and 25-17. Head volleyball coach Melissa Blessington said, "I'm very pleased with our performance tonight. Our team did a great job putting the ball away. We had a few serve receives that we got stuck in and that was the difference in the game. I am very impressed with how our team is coming around. We have played some great teams and we are showing that we are able to do some really great things."

Kills were very balanced with Blake Sullivan leading the way with 8. Followed by Josey Ellis and Sam Weed with six. Megan Simms finished with five and Amber Thomas with three. Sullivan also lead the way in blocks with four. Thomas and Katelyn Coyle each had two. Coyle led the team in assists with 26. In digs Mariah Kruse had 11 followed close by Ellis with nine and Simms with eight.

Southwestern will be playing on October 14 and 15 at the Iowa Central Community College Invitational in Fort Dodge.

Published October 10, 2011 5:23 pm

BaseballAlumni_MG_4395It was a great weekend for Spartan athletics!  Many alumni made it back to town for the Athletic Alumni & Family Reunion Weekend.  To view the complete photo album, please visit SWCC's Facebook page.

Approximately 22 people came to A&G Restaurant in downtown Creston on Friday night when they got to town.  On Saturday, alumni games were played in volleyball, women’s basketball, softball, and baseball.  Then, Saturday night, approximately 60 people came to the Elk’s Lodge for hors d’eouvres and mingling.  Everybody had a good time and Bill Krejci, SWCC athletic director, said there were former athletes reunited who hadn’t seen each other since college.

Published October 10, 2011 8:43 am

The spartanheadSouthwestern men's basketball team finally got a chance to play someone other than themselves in practice Sunday when they played three scrimmage games at the JUCO Jamboree in Cedar Falls. The Spartans have been in pre-season workouts since the beginning of September, and official practice since October 1, so Head Coach Mike Holmes likes for his team to get an early exhibition to break the routine. Holmes said, "Even though it is much too early for us to have our offensive reads and defensive decisions perfected, the jamboree is an opportunity for players to see where they are in relation to other teams, and rewards them for a physically demanding pre-season."

Published October 7, 2011 9:56 pm

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The Spartans took down the Yellowjackets in a three-game match on Friday, October 7. Starting out the night with a 25-15 win, the Spartans took the momentum and ran with it, finishing the next two games 25-18 and 25-21.

Sophomore Josey Ellis led the Spartans with 14 kills, while Blake Sullivan followed with 10. For digs, Mariah Kruse finished with 10 and Kaley Folkerts with nine. Assists were controlled by Katelyn Coyle who wrapped up the night with 25. Aces were brought in by Ellis with three and Chrystal Olerich and Caleigh Fowler both had two.

The Spartans will play again on Tuesday, October 11, against DMACC in Boone.

Published October 6, 2011 11:11 am

Starting Friday afternoon, there will be many familiar faces returning to Southwestern's campus. The athletic department will host its Second Annual Athletic Alumni & Family Weekend on October 7 and 8. For the complete weekend agenda, visit SWCC's athletic page.

SWCC faculty, staff, and students are invited to participate in the weekend as well. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at 641.782.1437 or ext. 437 and let her know if you plan to eat with the group. Meals cost $5 per person.

Published October 6, 2011 9:38 am

KirkwoodVball_MG_3763The Spartan women took on the Kirkwood Eagles in a three game set on Wed., October 5. With the first game ending with a score of 10-25, the Spartans upped their intensity. The next two games ended with scores of 15-25 and 16-25. Libero Mariah Kruse said this about the night, “We started out kind of rocky and it was hard to get our momentum back. Then we lost our intensity, overall it was a rough night.” 

Freshman Katelyn Coyle led the team in assists with 17.  Sophomore Josey Ellis ended the night with five kills and Blake Sullivan and Samantha Weed both ended with four. Coyle ended the night with 10 digs and Mariah Kruse was right behind with nine. Coyle and Kaley Folkerts were the only two with aces, both ending with one.

The Spartans next game will be this Friday, Oct. 7 at 5 p.m., against Graceland JV. This game will kickoff the Athletic Alumni Reunion Weekend.

Published October 5, 2011 12:00 am

Coaches Gilcrist and Dahlseng are eagerly awaiting the start of this year's basketball season. In the meantime, however, they are finding themselves busy with practices and conditioning. Any downtime the two receive, they have managed to occupy by hitting the recruiting trails as much as possible. Over the last week, Gilcrist and Dahlseng visited with seven recruits at six different high schools. The pair visited Bellevue West (NE), Omaha North (NE), Bedford (IA), Martensdale-St. Mary's (IA), Southeast Polk (IA), and Ottumwa (IA). The seven recruits are individuals Coach Gilcrist believes will continue to build upon the foundation of his first recruiting class. He said, "I cannot thank the team I have enough for all of their hard work. They have bought into what Coach Dahlseng and I have preached all season and it has given us confidence that this program is headed in the right direction. In order to be successful in recruiting, you have to have a team that you can sell. I know that anyone who watches this team work will see how much progress we are making every day. The future of the Spartan Women's Basketball Program is very bright and hopefully we can build on this year by bringing in another great class next year." Signing day for this year's senior class is April 8, 2012.

Published October 4, 2011 4:12 pm

Southwestern women's volleyball traveled to Grand View University and came away with a win in three sets. The scores of the game were 25-23, 25-19, and 26-24. The game leaders were sophomore Blake Sullivan in kills with nine followed by sophomore Amber Thomas with six. In defense freshman Mariah Kruse led the team with 14 followed by freshman Kaley Folkerts with 11. Freshman Chrystal Olerich led the team in aces with two. Katelyn Coyle led the team in assists with 26.

Coach Melissa Blessington commented, "The team had a very balanced attack tonight in offense. Not only did our middles Sullivan and Thomas play well, our outsides Megan Simms and Josey Ellis did very well. Both had five kills for our team. I was very happy with our aggressive play tonight. This was the first time all year we really went after a team to win. Chrystal Olerich came off the bench tonight and served amazingly, giving us the spark we needed in all three games."

Published October 3, 2011 8:30 am

From Coach Huntington:

We had a fantastic meet at the Grand View Viking Invitational. This was a very important meet for both the men's and women's teams here at Southwestern. We needed to see if we could come off of three weeks of increased mileage and a really fast course at Augustana and compete at the level we need to be at as the season crosses the half way mark. We have had some tremendous growth lately and this meet was a big test for us both physically and mentally. Ewing Park is a very tough course. There are several large hills with a lot of sharp turns over uneven ground. It is not a speed course and the competition was very good with a nationally ranked team in the field and several colleges who will contend for their conference championships.

Published October 3, 2011 8:26 am

A thirst for knowledge and an eagerness to learn are the reasons this October may be one of the best for Coach Gilcrist. “Oftentimes, I think coaches believe they have all the answers or know everything that they can do to make their program successful. Although I believe Coach Dahlseng and I have a clear direction we would like to take this program, I understand that there are millions of ways to do the same thing successfully. I want to learn from the success of other coaches in the basketball profession. Most importantly, I like attending clinics and realizing that many times, we are doing the same things other programs are doing.” Beginning with last week’s Nike Championship Basketball Clinic in Omaha, NE and this weekend’s South Dakota Basketball Coaches Clinic, Coach Gilcrist will attend four clinics before the end of October. Already having learned from coaches such as Jim Calhoun (Head Men’s Basketball Coach at UCONN), Matt Painter (Head Men’s Basketball Coach at Purdue), and Tara VanDerveer (Head Women’s Basketball Coach at Stanford), Coach Gilcrist also appreciated the instruction provided by less-known coaches Tim Miles (Head Men’s Coach at Colorado State), Rob Jeter (Head Men’s Coach at UW-Milwaukee), Ryun Williams (Head Women’s Coach at South Dakota), and Mike Neighbors (Assistant Women’s Coach at Washington). This week, Coach Gilcrist will head to the Missouri Basketball Coaches Clinic followed later in the month by a Halloween trip to Minneapolis for the Minnesota Basketball Coaches Clinic. Coach Gilcrist concluded, “Ultimately, it is my job to make sure that this program is a success. I have to be willing to understand that I may not have all the answers; I cannot be blind to other approaches that may be successful for us now or in the future. Finally, it is a great opportunity for me to connect with high school and college coaches all over the country. In order to grow this program, I have to make sure I am available to recruit all the best talent in the Midwest and have the connections to send them to the four-year level.”