CUNE Women Sweep Concordia Chicago in Championship Game
The Concordia Invitational Tournament women’s championship game was won by the Concordia University Nebraska Bulldogs Saturday evening. The women demolished the Concordia University Chicago Cougars 85-33.
The Bulldogs started off their championship game much like their semifinal game against Concordia University Wisconsin. They took the early lead and ballooned it into a massive run that Chicago could not overcome.
Head women’s coach Drew Olson was proud of the energy the women brought to the court Saturday, saying, “I thought our team came out with good energy. We fought really hard to play.”
Freshman Kristen Vieselmeyer had similar thoughts to Olson, saying, “I think we did good. As a team we really played as a unit and we stuck with our full-court press, which is hard on teams. And we played well as a team. We had a few breaks where we didn’t shoot very well, but then we regrouped as a team and finished it out.”
Olson also had some critiques for the night, saying, “We didn’t shoot real well, but to continue to compete – to extend the lead while not shooting well – shows the type of team we can be.”
Nebraska had issues scoring throughout the game. The team had a 43% field goal percentage throughout and a worse 25% 3-pointer percentage, making seven out of their 28 attempts. Compared to their 46% FG percent and 40% 3-pointer percentage from the night before, the paint was not as nice to the Bulldog women for the championship game.
“Some things just don’t happen. Yesterday… we shot great. So some days as a shooter, it’s just not feeling right.” said Olson.
Vieselmeyer was the top scorer of the night with a whopping 21 points. Sophomores Taysha Rushton and Mackenzie Toomey filled out the rest of the top three with 13 and 10 points respectively. Vieselmeyer also led the team in rebounds and Rushton led in assists.
Vieselmeyer and Rushton were also named to the All-Concordia Women’s Team Saturday during the awards ceremony. Rushton was named MVP of the entire tournament as well.
Both teams were ecstatic to have the opportunity to participate in another CIT, as it has not occurred since Jan. 2020. Olson was especially excited to compete against the other Concordias. He made an announcement in the Janzow cafeteria on Friday afternoon to encourage students to attend the tournament, and later participated in the halftime hype dance. During the men’s halftime show on Friday he even dressed as Bruiser the Bulldog.
Olson was in awe of the support that came out for the women saying, “That environment, with our students, man, it should be like that every single game. It was so fun. [There is] so much pride in Concordia Nebraska that it’s so sweet to keep the trophy here at home.”
Vieselmeyer shared similar sentiments about the nature of the games saying, “It was a crazy experience. My older sister was able to play in it and she just told me stories about how fun it was and how the environment is indescribable, and she was right. I’m blessed to be able to play in a game like this. The crowd and the community we have is awesome.”
Concordia University Chicago senior Jaylene Wade was disappointed in the ultimate result of the championship game, but was proud of the work the team had put in. She said, “I felt like today’s game went pretty good. I mean, we didn’t have the outcome we wanted, but I feel like our plan was to get to the championship game. We did that, so I’m proud.”
She continued, “My first CIT was my freshman year; it was at Concordia Chicago. [CIT at Nebraska] was a good environment. We came out here, we played our best… we had fun. It’s nothing like Chicago. It’s a close second.”
Ultimately, the experiences and the memories are what make CIT such a fun weekend for all the teams and fans. Olson explained, “I’m just so happy for our players to be able to experience this, ‘cause we haven’t in the past two years. So happy for our students… that’s what college should be like. College should be just crazy fun and energy, and CIT brings that out of us.”
The women’s team is now 15-7 overall and goes back to regular conference play on Feb. 1 against Midland University in Fremont.