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Home Features Bulldogs Win Back-to-Back CIT Championships — Again

Concordia University, Nebraska won both championship games in CIT 2017. Photo by Jenna O’Laughlin.


by Taylor Roby


The Concordia Invitational Tournament wrapped up on Saturday evening with both Bulldogs teams taking the championship titles again, this time on their home court.

As CIT approached, some were highly anticipating it, while others had no idea what to expect. However, it is safe to say that the CIT did not disappoint.

“I had been told that there were going to be a lot of people and they definitely weren’t wrong about that,” freshman Kaitlyn Sims said. “I thought it was really cool, especially how many people from other Concordia schools came. I thought it was nice how we interacted with fans from other schools. It was definitely a great experience and a fun atmosphere.”

The second day of CIT began with the women’s consolation game between Concordia University Wisconsin and Concordia University Chicago. The game was close until the Concordia Wisconsin Falcons strung together a 15-4 point run. Concordia Chicago tried to fight back, but they couldn’t do it. Thus the Concordia Wisconsin women’s team achieved a 86-67 victory in the women’s consolation game.

Following that, the men’s consolation game was also played between Concordia University Wisconsin and Concordia University Chicago. Led by Concordia Wisconsin’s Josh Hau with 19 points, the Falcons soared to victory with a 81-66 victory over Concordia Chicago.

Bulldogs and Cougar Fans began to flood the arena in preparation for the championship games. The women’s championship game was close throughout the first quarter until the Bulldogs press wore the opponents down. After the first quarter, the women’s team gradually pulled away leading to a 89-62 victory over the Concordia Ann Arbor .

“It was awesome winning in Seward in front of all of these people,” sophomore Quinn Wragge said. “Winning CIT is always one of our goals going into the season, and it feels good to accomplish that.”

The Concordia University, Nebraska men’s team battled Concordia Ann Arbor for the title as well. They kept it close at times early in the first half, but steadily pulled away after that. The game resulted in a 85-58 victory for the Bulldogs. Bulldog fans flooded the court to help the teams celebrate their victories.

After the championship celebrations briefly subsided, the award ceremony was underway. Both CUNE women’s and men’s teams were given their trophies, and the All-Tournament Teams were announced.

The Women’s All Tournament Team boasted Wragge (CUNE), Samantha Blissett (CUW), Kari Borowiak (CUAA), Taylor Jacobsen (CUC) and Mary Janovich (CUNE).

The Men’s All Tournament Team was made up of senior Chandler Folkerts (CUNE), Eric Kittle (CUW), Mitch Pelissier (CUC), Connor Phee (CUAA) and Tanner Shuck (CUNE).

In addition, Folkerts and Wragge were named the Most Valuable Players for the second year in a row.

“Winning the MVP award is never really a goal of mine, because we have so many players on our team that would have been deserving of this award,” Wragge said. “I couldn’t have received that award without my team helping me out both this year and last year!”

Aside from the play, the games featured a mascot dance off, routines from each school’s dance team, and even a special performance from the CUNE football team. Students roared as Concordia University, Nebraska’s President Brian Friedrich was included in the football team’s choreographed dance.

“I’d say my favorite part was watching the football player’s dance at halftime of the championship game,” freshman Jessica Knedler said. “It was super funny and the crowd on both sides had a blast.”

The entertainment provided by fans, cheerleaders, and the Bulldog Pep Band also added to the fun. The cheerleaders helped lead cheers in the student section while the band played like “Sweet Caroline” as students sang along to.

“I was happy to be a part of the years CIT. I think our teams won the tournament both on the court and in the stands,” Pep Band member sophomore Daniel Hakes said. “Most people don’t realize it, but the bands can be pretty competitive too. I am really happy with with the atmosphere that our Pep Band helped create.”

Finally, to wrap up the tournament, Campus Chaplain Rev. Ryan Matthias gave a closing devotion. He reminded fans and players that Concordia is the Latin word for “harmony” and literally means “with one heart.” Regardless of the outcomes of the game, we have something much bigger to celebrate. As fans united in doing the wave and singing the Common Doxology, the unity of Concordia University Systems was evident.

“Seeing so many people gathered in Walz Arena singing the (Common) Doxology after the tournament was definitely one of the coolest things that I have been apart of here at Concordia,” Hakes said.

Walking around campus following the CIT one will notice fans smiling, students high-fiving each other and the weekends atmosphere still lingering. As the Bulldogs continue to celebrate the accomplishments of CIT, the basketball teams will take what they learned from CIT and use it to fuel them for the remainder of the season.

“CIT helped us figure out some things we need to work on and will help us as we keep preparing for all of our games,” Wragge said. “CIT also helps us learn how to play in a crazy and intense atmosphere, so that will hopefully prepare us for more exciting and close games to come!”


Read more about CIT’s history and other events here

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