It is expected that any start up program would have some growing pains. The first year of competition for the University of Montana Western Cross Country team was no exception. This season has been a different story though. Year two has showed improvement all across the board, including having the record books written in on a couple of occasions. (read more)
The Frontier Conference announced today that Mindy Kaufman (Alta, Wyo./Teton) was selected as the Women’s Cross Country Runner of the Week. She becomes the first runner in school history to be awarded with the honor. (read more)
Looking to battle themselves back to a .500 record and first place in the conference, the University of Montana Western Bulldogs (8-8, 3-1) welcomed the No. 25 Lewis-Clark State Warriors (6-7, 2-2) to the Straugh on Sunday afternoon. The Dawgs all-around team performance helped them beat LC State, a team they haven’t beaten in over 10 years, in four sets (25-21, 25-13, 22-25, 25-18). (read more)
The University of Montana Western (3-2, 2-2) found themselves back home after two road defeats looking to break their losing streak, and they did just that. Behind an explosive offense and stifling defense, the Dawgs thrashed the MSU-Northern Lights (1-3, 1-2) 50-6 at Vigilante Stadium on Booster Bash Weekend. (read more)
Starting off the conference slate 2-0, the Montana Western Bulldogs (7-8, 2-1) were looking to go three for three. A game of costly errors and blown leads ended that goal, as the (RV) Montana Tech Orediggers (9-6, 1-2) took the win 3-1 in front of a raucous crowd at Straugh Gym in Dillon. (read more)
The University of Montana Western Rodeo team was back in action this past weekend at the Big Sky Regional Rodeo. The men’s and women’s teams’ combined to win four individual events, while keeping their places relatively secure in the overall standings. (read more)
The University of Montana Western football team made the 13-hour trip to Ashland, Ore. with hopes of upending No. 12 Southern Oregon, last year’s national runner-ups. The Raiders had other ideas though, as a touchdown in the last minute dashed those hopes, beating the Bulldogs 24-20 in front of 2310 fans at Raider Stadium. (read more)
Perseverance has been the name of the game when it comes to the University of Montana Western Bulldogs volleyball team this season, and Friday night’s game was no exception. The Dawgs (6-7, 1-0 FC) rallied back from a 0-2 set deficit to take the match in a thrilling five set victory (16-25, 16-25, 27-25, 25-19, 15-13) to open up conference play against the University of Great Falls (6-8, 0-1 FC). (read more)
Matt Strickland has been named as the associate head coach for the Montanan Western men’s basketball team, head coach Steve Keller announced today. (read more)
Cross Country Making Strides at Season Halfway Point
The season started with a dual meet at the College of Idaho in Caldwell. With only two schools running, this was seen more as a warm up event than anything else. Still the Bulldogs had five runners place in the top 10, with Paul Bielwaski (Shelby, Mont.) finishing fourth on the men’s side and Mindy Kaufman (Alta, Wyo.) finishing seventh on the women’s side.
Next up on the slate was the Frontier Conference Preview Meet in Helena, Mont. Here the women’s team finished fifth out of six schools, but sophomores Kaufman and Beth Jansma (Bozeman, Mont.) both placed in the top ten. The men’s team finished the meet fourth out of seven teams, paced by Russell Kujala (Plains, Mont.) and Bielwaski who finished 16th and 17th respectively.
Their most recent event took place in Great Falls, Mont. for the University of Great Falls Triangular. Montana Western history was made here when Kaufman finished the race in first place, making her the first Bulldog, man or woman, to win a race in the programs history. Her time of 19:07 was four seconds better than the next finisher. Jansma also placed in the top ten again, coming in in sixth. Kujala paces the men at the Triangular, followed closely by Bielwaski.
The Monday after the Great Falls event, the Frontier Conference announced that Mindy Kaufman’s performance was good enough to win conference Runner of the Week, another first for the Bulldogs program.
Three more events are planned for the regular season, starting with the Rocky Mountain College Invite on Oct. 8th. The Dawgs sent two runners to the NAIA National Championships last year. By the way this season is going, it wouldn’t be a surprise anyone if that number increases.
A full recap of the seasons remaining races can be found at umwbulldogs.com
Rodeo Announces Schedule for Home Competition
On Friday evening, there will be a performance at 5:00 p.m. Admission will be free to faculty and students.
Saturday’s rodeo events start at 9:00 a.m. with slack. The second performance will occur a few hours later at 6:00 p.m., followed by the Top Ten Calcutta at the Lion’s Den.
The rodeo will conclude Sunday morning at 10:00 a.m. with the top ten short round competition.
A full recap, as well as links to full results can be found on umwbulldogs.com
Kaufman Wins Frontier Conference Runner of the Week
Kaufman finished first out of 23 runners at the University of Great Falls Triangular competition this past Friday in Great Falls, Mont. Mindy had a time of 19:07 and an average mile of 6:09. Other schools are the competition were Great Falls and Rocky Mountain.
Mindy and the rest of the Cross Country team will be back in action on Oct. 8th when they travel to Billings, Mont. for the Rocky Mountain College Invite. A full recap will be available on umwbulldogs.com
Bulldogs Close Out Home Stand With Huge Win
Shaking off the tough loss against Tech on Thursday, the Lady Bulldogs came right out of the gate taking set one 25-23 and set two in a very convincing score of 25-13. The Warriors, a team that lost two straight coming into play, sensed another tough battle and never trailed in set three, winning 25-22. Try to prevent LC State from climbing back into the game, the Dawgs played a teeter totter fourth set before pulling away to win 25-18, and to take the match 3-1.
Cady Siemion, Bailey Wilson, and Kylie McCree each had 10 kills on the afternoon. Wilson also had three blocks. The cornerstone of the assist game, Callie Hanson, once again had a very solid match, tallying 41 total assists. Dylan Fowler led the Dawgs with 17 kills, followed by Siemion and Wilson with 13. Along with Wilsons three blocks, Britney Chilcott added three of her own to the teams total of 9. For the Warriors, Kennadie Clute had 11 kills and 17 digs and Amber Hillstead had 19 assists.
Heading into today’s play, the Warriors had beaten the Bulldogs in 29 straight contests going back to 2006. Those 29 straight victories included 24 wins by a match score of 3-0.
Coach Brent Lewis was thrilled to hear that that streak had been broken, but said the success was all on his players. “I didn’t mention anything about LC being ranked before the game. I just didn’t want that in their heads. But we obviously had girls that wanted to prove something and they went out and did it.”
In regards to his team never giving up and having a strong willed tenacity, Lewis said, “I really don’t know where that came from. They’ve just taken it open themselves to get the job done and push when it matters the most.”
The Bulldogs will now have the week to practice before heading out on a lengthy road trip, which starts in Billings against Rocky Mountain on Friday, Sept. 30th. The next home match will be Oct. 20th versus University of Great Falls. A full recap of all games will be available on umwbulldogs.com
Bulldogs Break Losing Streak by Steamrolling Lights
The Bulldogs came out of the gates as if they had something to prove, and by the end of the first quarter had built a substantial lead. Hunter Thomsen (Great Falls, Mont./CMR) found pay dirt first, as he scampered 30 yards for the touchdown. Not to be outdone, fellow running back Austin Urlacher (Pasco, Wash./Chiawanna) was next to find the end zone. This time it was by way of a 37-yard run to make the score 14-0. The passing game joined in on the fun as the quarter came to a close when J.D. Ferris (Dillon, Mont./Beaverhead County) connected with George Sherwood (Kalispell, Mont./Sentinel) on a 4-yard touchdown pass to bring the score to 21-0 after one.
MSU-Norther finally got on the board when Tommy Langley hit his first of two field goals, a 38-yard attempt, at the 10:19 mark in the second quarter making the score 21-3. Seth Mason (Hamilton, Mont./Hamilton) would go on to add a field goal of his own, a 29-yard try to bring the score to 24-3. Less than three minutes later, Ferris would hit Charlie Switzer (Richey, Mont./Richey-Lambert) on a 2-yard touchdown pass to make it 31-3. The Dawgs closed out the scoring in the first half when Urlacher would once again run for a touchdown, this one good for 22-yards to make the halftime score 38-3.
In the third, Langley hit his second field goal with 8:54 on the clock to make it 38-6. That would be the last time that the Lights would score in the ballgame. Mason would go on to hit a 35-yard field goal late in the third, and J.D. tallied his third touchdown of the game by hitting Tyler Murray (Hamilton, Mont./Hamilton) for an 8-yard strike. A Northern safety would add two more points on the board for the good guys, and wrapped up the scoring to give us our final of 50-6.
Ferris finished the game with three touchdowns and 274 yards. The Bulldogs as a team racked up 517 yards compared to the Lights 226. Thomsen ran for 117 yards on 21 carries, including a touchdown. Urlacher averaged more than 8-yards a carry and finished with 85 on 10 attempts. Urlacher also had a 100 yard receiving day, catching two passed with a long of 45. Murray caught three for 63 yards, and Sherwood tallied 45 yards with the same number of catches. For the Lights, Zach McKinley rushed for 71 yards on 23 carries and Jess Krahn passed for 139 years on 20 completions.
On the defensive side of the ball, T.J. Benson had 11 total tackles, including a sack. Michael Bennett was right behind with 10 total tackles. Logan Sprouse for the lights registered a game high 12 tackles.
The Dawgs will now take a week off before heading back into action against Montana Tech on October 8th. Results and recap can be found at umwbulldogs.com
Orediggers Hand Bulldogs First Conference Loss
The Bulldogs battling were neck and neck with Tech in the first set, coming from behind numerous times only to drop the set 21-25. Team errors were a major problem during set two which prevented them from getting anything going offensively, losing to Tech 14-25, putting them down 2-0 in the match.
Losing by 11 points was clearly as wakeup call, as the Dawgs came storming back in set three. 13 kills and a lack of errors allowed UMW to take set three 25-22, but more importantly prevent the straight set defeat.
Set four looked to be more of the same, with the Lady Bulldogs jumping out to a huge lead. Leading 24-20, it looked like Montana Western would force a decisive fifth set. The return of errors would put a stop to that though, as the Dawgs dropped the fourth set on a controversial call 26-28, giving Montana Tech the win at 3-1.
Tessa Miller (Manhattan, Mont./Manhattan) had 10 kills in the match, followed by Kyla Palmer (Stevensville, Mont./Stevensville) with 9. Callie Hanson (Spokane, Wash./East Valley) continued her excellent play in terms of assists, finishing with 28. Lastly, Dylan Fowler (Belgrade, Mont./Belgrade) led all players in the match with 20 digs.
The Bulldogs will now take a few days off to regroup, while at the same time preparing for Sunday afternoon’s matchup against the No. 25 Lewis-Clark State Warriors. First serve is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. A full recap, as well as a live webcast of the game can be seen on umwbulldogs.com
Rodeo Teams Place Third at Big Sky Regional Rodeo
On the men’s side, the team finished the rodeo third overall with 510 points, only ten points behind second place Montana State. Northwest College won the team portion with a staggering 715 points. The men’s team is now third in the season standings with 1,379.50 points, less than 200 points behind first place Montana State. Northwest College sits in-between the two squads after two rodeos.
The women’s team also finished the rodeo in third place. They accumulated 155 total points, while Miles Community College collected 275 points for second, and Montana State ran away from the competition with 680 points. The Lady Bulldogs still hold a firm grasp on second place in the season standings with a total of 1,061 points. Montana State University sits in first, with 1,835.50 points.
When it came to the individual performances, the Bulldogs were on fire, winning four of nine separate events. Tanner Butner started things off by winning saddle bronc riding with a score of 143. The Dawgs came away with the victory in bull riding as well, thanks to Ruger Jarvis-Piva’s score of 160. The men’s final individual competition success came when Michael Vines teamed up with MSU’s Dalton Carr to take the honors in team roping with a time of 21.4 seconds.
Other standout performances from the men included Talon Schneiter and Tristian Hansen playing 3rd and 4th respectively in bareback ridings. Jacob Worthen also placed 4th, this time in steer wrestling. Alonzo Skunk Cap finished 5th in the men’s all-around.
Amber Chevallier made sure that the women came home with an event win as well, edging out MSU’s Sydney Browning to by two tenths of a second in barrel racing. Hannah and Callie Wollenburg placed in the event as well, finishing 4th and 6th respectively.
In breakaway roping, Charleyne Yeager finished third with a performance of 7.7 seconds. The Lady Dawgs also had to place in goat roping with Tess Turk finishing third with 17.5 seconds and Darby Yeager securing the goat in 20.3 seconds.
There are just now two events left in the fall season. Next up will be the Dawson Community College Rodeo this Friday thru Sunday. A full recap of the events can be found on umwbulldogs.com. Complete results from all rodeos can be found at collegerodeo.com.
No. 22 Bulldogs Fall in Heartbreaker to No. 12 Southern Oregon
After a feeling out process in the first quarter, SOU found the scoreboard early on in the second when quarterback Jack Singler connected with Matt Retzlaff for a 6-yard touchdown pass. The Bulldogs would answer back almost immediately when J.D. Ferris (Dillon, Mont./Beaverhead County) capped off a 5-play, 68-yard drive with a 2-yard pass to Ryan Sullivan (Sidney, Mont./Sidney) to even up the score at 7-7. The back and forth action continued when Sean Tow ran the ball in from three yards out to put the Raiders up 14-7, which would end up being the score at the half.
Scoring was hard to come by again in the third quarter, with the only points coming by way of a Marcus Montano 22-yard field goal to give SOU a 17-7 lead heading into the final quarter of the game.
Montana Western chose not to go down without a fight. Ferris connected with Charlie Switzer (Richey, Mont./Richey-Lambert) on a 10-yard pass for his second touchdown of the game, pulling the Dawgs within three at 17-14. Ferris wasn’t done though, as his 7-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Murray (Hamilton, Mont./Hamilton), his third of the afternoon, put the Dawgs on top with only 2:55 remaining by a score of 20-17. But with 51 seconds on the clock Singler hit Zach Davis for a 7-yard score to put the Raiders on top for good, with our final score of 24-20.
The Bulldogs racked up a total of 437 total offense yards in the game, led by J.D. Ferris’ 345 yards and three touchdowns. Hunter Thompson (Great Falls, Mont./CMR) led the rushing game with 69 yards on 17 carries. The receiving core was paced by Beau Brekke (Salmon, Idaho/Salmon) who had 118 yards on six catches. SOU’s Jack Singler passed for 387 yards and two scores.
On the defensive side of the ball, Jason Ferris (Dillon, Mont./Beaverhead County) led all players with 15 total tackles, 11 of them solo. Julius Rucker had 12 total sacks for the Raiders.
The Bulldogs now look to regroup, as they will take on MSU-Northern back home in Dillon next Saturday on Booster Bash weekend. Game time is scheduled for 1 p.m.
Bulldogs Win Thriller to Open Conference Play
The Bulldogs had three players with over 20 attacks on the evening. Tessa Miller (Manhattan, Mont./Manhattan) registered 20, Kylie McCree (Belgrade, Mont./Belgrade) had 29, and Bailey Wilson (Burley, Idaho/Delco) led the Dawgs with 35. For the Argonauts, Madison Wilhelm had a game high 52 assists. Callie Hanson (Spokane, Wash./East Valley) led both teams with a .545 attack percentage.
On the defensive side of the ball, Dylan Fowler (Belgrade, Mont./Belgrade) was her consistent self with 14 digs. Also with 14 digs was Jami Flink (Missoula, Mont./Sentinel), who took advantage of some rare playing time and turned in a “phenomenal back row performance,” in the words on head coach Brent Lewis. Britney Chilcott (Stevensville, Mont./Stevensville) tallied 4 blocks in the winning effort.
Lewis talked about how the team had a plan going into the game, and that was what eventually helped them secure the victory. “We had a very specific game plan that we were trying to execute on both side of the net. It wasn’t going so well before intermission, but we regrouped and finally got back to the game that we planned on playing. Playing as a team and some internal fire from the girls helped us pull through.”
Montana Western was 0-3 in matched that went to five sets on the season, which is something the team was looking to redeem themselves on. “I told them this was the chance that we were waiting for. At the switch we were down 8-4, and told them they could still finish strong. They did and finally found themselves on the winning side of a five-setter,” Coach Lewis said.
With the victory the Bulldogs only find themselves one game under the .500 mark, coming back home to play at the Bulldog Athletic Recreation Center for the first time this season. They will be opening the home portion of the conference slate tomorrow night when they take on MSU-Northern at 7:00 p.m. A full recap of all the action, as well as a live stream of the game can be found on umwbulldogs.com.
Strickland Named to Bulldog Basketball Coaching Staff
Strickland will be entering his third year of coaching, previously being a women’s assistant at Gillette College in Gillette Wyo. He also has worked basketball camps for Central Michigan University.
Strickland played his high school basketball career at Price High School in Los Angeles, Calif. In the 2008-2009 season Strickland helped the knights win the CIF Southern Section title. Matt then transferred to Mount Pleasant High School in Mount Pleasant, Mich. for his senior season. During his senior season at Mount Pleasant they won the Saginaw Valley League Championship before later losing in the Class A Elite Eight playoffs. While in high school Strickland was a 2010 Class A All-State honorable mention.
Matt went on to play college basketball for Gillette College Pronghorns in Gillette Wyo. from 2010 to 2012. Matt still holds the single season record for 3 pt. FG% at 43% and is 3rd on the singles season assist record with 91 for the 2011-12 season. After playing two years with the Pronghorns, Strickland transferred to Billings, Mont. to play for the Rocky Mountain College Battlin’ Bears. While playing for Rocky, Strickland helped them win back to back Frontier Conference Titles from 2012-2014. During these seasons Matt and the Bears also made it to the NAIA National Tournament.
Matt graduated from Rocky Mountain College with a Bachelor’s in Exercise Science and a Minor in Coaching Theories.