Matt Steichen has been the sports editor at the Farmington Independent and Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications from Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, Iowa. He has previously been a sports writer at the Sioux City Journal and Le Mars Daily Sentinel and the sports editor at the Austin Daily Herald.
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For the first time in the history of NCAA Division II women's volleyball, Concordia University (34-2) captured a fifth consecutive NCAA Division II Championship by defeating top-ranked, previously unbeaten and tournament host California State University San Bernardino (32-1) in straight sets (25-20, 31-29, 25-18) on Saturday night at Coussoulis Arena. The Golden Bears have now won 30 consecutive NCAA Tournament matches and have eliminated CSUSB in four consecutive years.
Farmington basketball coach Shane Wyandt figured there would be some mistakes made by his young and inexperienced team in Friday night's season opener against Rochester John Marshall. But even he was surprised by just how many things the Tigers were left to work on after a 59-35 loss to the Rockets. The team committed 36 turnovers, shot 28 percent from the field and made less than half of its free throws as it started the season with a 24-point loss to a team it beat by 31 a year ago. "Those categories tell the story of the game," Wyandt said.
Tuesday, Dec. 27 at Schmitz-Maki Arena 1 p.m. Sartell-St. Stepehns/Sauk Rapids-Rice vs. Rosemount 3 p.m. Apple Valley vs. Hastings 5 p.m. Park Cottage Grove vs. Lakeville North 7 p.m. Eastview vs. Farmington Wednesday, Dec. 28 1 p.m. Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser of Game 2 3 p.m. Loser of Game 3 vs. Loser of Game 4 5 p.m. Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2 7 p.m. Winner of Game 3 vs. Winner of Game 4 Thursday, Dec. 29 1 p.m. 7th-place game 3 p.m. 5th-place game 5 p.m. 3rd-place game 7 p.m. Championship game
When talking about his team's hopes of winning a third straight Missota Conference title recently, Farmington head coach Jon Holmes insisted Chaska/Chanhassen and Shakopee should be considered the favorites. The Stormhawks looked the part in last Tuesday's conference opener, scoring early and often in an 8-1 rout of Farmington at Schmitz-Maki Arena. It was the Tigers' third straight loss and their most lopsided setback since a 9-0 blanking at South St. Paul in 2005.
From the coaching staff, to the roster to the style of play, this year's Farmington girls basketball team will look a lot different than last year's squad that went 23-4 and came up a game short of its first-ever state tournament. Coach Jason Berg resigned not long after the Tigers' emotional section finals loss to Rochester Mayo in March.
Guards Austin Bassett and Darren Beenken are back from last year's otherwise senior-heavy team. What are you looking for from those two players this year? Those two along with Varner are the only guys with any real varsity game experience so we need those guys to accept on court leadership roles. Who are some other guards that could be ready to make a varsity impact? We have some depth at guard this year, but it's very young depth. We will be asking a lot of young guys to develop and mature quickly this season which isn't easy to do.
Farmington couldn't recover from slow starts in a pair of non-conference losses last week. The Tigers allowed three first-period goals to Hastings standout Danielle Duffy in an eventual 3-2 loss last Tuesday night at Hastings Civic Arena, then gave up two first-period goals in a 3-1 setback to Rochester Mayo Thursday night at Schmitz-Maki Arena. Freshman forward Michaela Tonsager provided the lone goal 2:25 into the first period, putting away a rebound after a shot by Haley Doll.
Farmington once again saved its best for last at the Class 2A State Swimming and Diving Championships. The Tigers, who set all-time program bests last year when they placed 17th at state with 43 points, raised the bar with another record-setting performance in Saturday's finals at the University of Minnesota Aquatics Center.
The boys hockey team once again prepared for the season with some scrimmages in Duluth last weekend. How did it go? We had a good weekend up north. Friday afternoon we had practice at Amsoil Arena in Duluth with a tour of facility with Bulldog equipment manager and fomer Tiger Kyle Lemke. We also got to see UMD play Mankato that night. Saturday we had split squad outings against Eveleth (won 5-1) and Virginia (won 4-1) and a varsity scrimmage against Proctor (won 4-1).
Farmington turned in seven school-record swims and qualified six events for the upcoming Class 2A State Meet during a third-place finish in the Section 1AA Championships Saturday at the Rochester Rec Center. Rochester John Marshall beat runner-up Rochester Mayo 381-374 for the team title. The Tigers were third in the seven-team field with 316 points. "Keeping with Lady Tiger tradition, we had an awesome prelims and an even better finals," Farmington coach Jen Marshall said. "Girls were dropping chunks of time in every event. As a team we dropped a total of 88.83 seconds in prelims.