Hello Mustang Fans!
Every week seems to be a big week for our fall sports.
This is just a great example of the talented student-athletes and the teams we have in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).
The NSIC is located in the NCAA Division II Central region, which includes the Great American Conference (11 institutions) and the Midwest Intercollegiate Athletic Association (14 institutions).
In the next couple of weeks, we will begin to see the NCAA Division II Regional Rankings in the news.
The first ranking for soccer will be announced Tuesday. Football will have its first ranking on Oct. 28. Volleyball will have its first ranking announced on Nov. 8.
Each sport has an NCAA Regional Advisory Committee made up of athletic administrators, head coaches and/or staff members of the institutions within the region.
When you talk about rankings, this evening, the Mustang football team will host Minnesota State University, the No. 1-ranked team in the country in NCAA Division II Football.
This will be the first time in SMSU football history that the Mustangs will be hosting the top-ranked team.
It should be an exciting game, and I would like to invite you and your family out to SMSU's Mattke Field at The Schwan Regional Event Center at 6 p.m. today to cheer for the Mustangs.
The SMSU men's and women's basketball teams began practice Tuesday.
On Thursday, all three of our basketball teams took the floor for the annual SMSU Late Show.
Each team displayed their talent in short scrimmages. The always competitive 3-point contest was exciting with Bree Holleman and Nick Smith each making 17 baskets to end the contest in a tie. To conclude the evening, the men's basketball team put on quite a dunking exhibition with Will Giddings taking home the dunk contest title in an impressive fashion.
The fans were treated to great prizes. The dance team and cheerleaders both performed at the event.
We also saw two honorary coaches for the SMSU women's basketball take the bench during the scrimmage. SMSU President, Dr. Connie J. Gores coached the brown squad, and Dr. Jan Loft, Dean of Arts, Letters and Sciences, coached the white team.
Our SMSU students and community members came out in full force to support the Mustang basketball teams.
Thank you to all who attended.
For all the latest information on the SMSU Department of Athletics go to www.smsumustangs.com.
This Week In
The SMSU women's soccer team (11-1, 7-1 NSIC) went 1-1 last weekend, beating Upper Iowa on Saturday before suffering its first loss of the season, a 1-0 decision, to Winona State is a very intense match Sunday.
The Mustangs are currently in second place in the NSIC, heading into conference play this weekend on the road.
Minnesota State is 9-0 in the conference and currently in first place in the NSIC.
Today, the Mustangs will play MSU-Moorhead (0-11 overall, NSIC 0-9) at 1in Moorhead before traveling to Aberdeen, S.D., on Sunday to compete against Northern State (6-5-1 overall, 3-5-1 NSIC), also starting at 1 p.m.
The No. 6-ranked SMSU volleyball team (15-3 overall, 9-0 NSIC) had a pair of NSIC wins last weekend, beating Winona State and Upper Iowa.
The Mustangs swept MSU Mankato (8-9 overall, NSIC 4-6) on Friday and will battle Concordia, St. Paul, the No. 1-ranked team in the country.
After this weekend's matches, one team will sit atop the NSIC in volleyball, Concordia-St. Paul or SMSU.
Last year, the Mustnags led Minnesota State in the fourth quarter before the Mavericks tied the contest in regulation and eventually won 34-31 in double overtime.
The SMSU men's and women's cross country teams are coming off their best performances of the fall.
The Mustangs placed fifth among 12 teams in the men's race at the Briar Cliff Invite last week. The SMSU women's team finished sixth among nine teams.
The invitational was held at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in McCook Lake, S.D.
The University of Sioux Falls won the men's team title with 31 points, while the USF women's team won the team crown with 45 points. The SMSU men finished with 137 points, while the SMSU women earned 168 points.
Trent Smith paced the SMSU men with an 11th-place finish among133 runners with a time of 26 minutes in the 8,000-meter race. Alejandro Sanchez came in right behind Smith with a time of 26:07 to record 13th place.
On the women's side, Amanda Grengs led the Mustangs in the 5,000-meter race with a time of 19:23 to finish 19th among 94 runners. Paige Yi was 22nd with a 19:27.
Both SMSU squads will compete at the NSIC Championship next Saturday at Yankton Trails Park in Sioux Falls, S.D.
I would like to wish all of our teams the best of luck this weekend!
Congratulations to Rick Haberman, who provided the correct answer to last week's Mustang Hoofprints Trivia Question: Who won last year's Slam Dunk Contest at the SMSU Late Show?
Lavione West has won the SMSU Late Show Slam Dunk Contest each of the last five years.
Which team was the last ranked opponent the SMSU football team defeated and in what year?
The first person to send me an email me at MustangHoofPrints@SMSU.edu with the correct answer to this question will receive an SMSU t-shirt.