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Peaks and previews: September 14

Here’s what you need to know about sports this week

By Ella Roberts, Sebastian Studier and Aaron Heckmann

Recaps:

Sept. 1-2: Volleyball finishes opening tournament 3-1

Bethel University’s volleyball team finished up their opening tournament at the Kathryne Pals Invitational hosted by the University of Northwestern Sept. 3. On the opening night of the annual contest, the Royals ran into a pair of tough opponents facing Wisconsin-Stevens Point who received votes in the AVCA Top 25. The Royals came up short by scores of 25-22, 17-25, 25-17, 13-25, 13-15. BU then ran into UMAC champions and No. 15th-ranked Eagles as the hosts took it in three sets by scores of 16-25, 23-25, 15-25. The Royals split their last day of the Invitational winning in straight sets against St. Norbert; 25-19, 25-20, 25-15; then losing their final game to Coe College in four sets; 25-14, 22-25, 22-25, 14-25. 

The Bethel University volleyball team, coming off its six NCAA Tournament appearance during a 23-7 year, began the 2022 season ranked 20th in American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) preseason poll. BU is 18-3 in its season openers under head coach Gretchen Hunt. | Photo by Carl Schmuland
Sept. 3: Cross Country Opens Season with First Place Finishes at Twin Cities Twilight

The Bethel University men’s and women’s cross country squads each won the team title in their annual home meet, the Twin Cities Twilight, Sept. 3. The women’s team finished first of five teams and the men finished first of six teams. The Royals totaled 29 team points which topped second-place St. Scholastica University’s 41 points on the women’s side, while the men tallied 41 team points beating St. Scholastica, Hamline University, and Augsburg University – all three conference teams. 

Photo by Austin Lagesse
Sept. 3-4: Men’s and Women’s golf earn a second and third place finish

Both the men’s and women’s Bethel golf teams found success Sept. 3 and 4 with the men finishing 2nd in the Augsburg Fall Invitational and the ladies finishing 3rd in the CSB Invite at Blackberry Ridge Golf Course. The men had an impressive showing, earning 2nd place in a 16 team tournament, shooting 601 as a team in a 36-hole event. Connor Schubring performed particularly well for the Royals, shooting two under par for the weekend. The women’s team had an equally impressive performance, finishing 3rd in their 13 team tournament. The women shot 633 on the weekend with Anna Tollefson and Greta McArthur leading the way for the Royals, both shooting 153 in the tournament.

Bethel’s 601-shot performance at the Augsburg Fall Invitational tied the Royal record for a 36 hole course under head coach Nick Cocalis. | Photo by Austin Lagesse
Sept.3: Strong second half aids Bethel Football in season opening win 

The Bethel University football team won its fifth straight season opener 41-9 against Pacific Lutheran University Sept. 3 at Royal Stadium. The Royals overcame a slow start in the first quarter where they had only had a field goal and lost their senior starting quarterback Jaran Roste to an injury four plays into the game.

Led by junior quarterback George Bolt, the Royals scored two touchdowns in the second quarter on the strength of 5 and 56 yard touchdown passes to juniors Aaron Ellington and Joey Kidder, respectively. The Royals exploded in the second half, adding 24 points to the board. After utilizing their passing game in the first half, Bethel flipped the script and scored three rushing touchdowns. Freshman running back David Geebli made a statement in his Bethel debut, with eight carries for 66 yards and two touchdowns. Junior running back Bryce Kunkel scored a touchdown as well, with 116 yards on 21 carries. 

The Bethel University football team won their fifth straight season opener 41-9 against Pacific Lutheran University Sept. 3 at Royal Stadium. | Photo by Carl Schmuland

Previews: 

Sept. 14, 16: Men’s and women’s soccer preview

Both the men’s and women’s Bethel soccer teams are on the road this week with matchups against St. Olaf University and Coe College. The women will be going into battle with a tough history against the Lions, sitting with an all time record of 6-20-1 against St. Olaf. The women beat the Lions in their most previous matchup, narrowly getting the 1-0 victory last season. They will get a chance to keep this trend going and start a winning streak on the 14th. The men will draw their attention toward a matchup against Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a team that will be unfamiliar to the men as the last time the Royals played the Kohawks was 2013. The men have found success against Coe in the past, with an all time record of 2-0 against the Kohawks. 

Sept. 17: Men’s and women’s MIAC tennis opener

Bethel University’s men’s and women’s tennis team will compete in the MIAC opener on Saturday. The men’s team will open its season at Ona Orth Athletic Complex and the women’s away at St. Paul Academy after their season opener against University of Wisconsin-River Falls. The men (11-9, 5-4) finished fifth in the standings last season, finishing behind Saint John’s University, Macalester College, Carleton College and Gustavus Adolphus College. The team wasn’t far behind Saint John’s and Macalester, so they are looking to move up the standings this fall. The women (11-11, 6-4) also finished fifth in the standings last season behind Gustavus, Carleton, St. Catherine University, and St. Olaf. Both Royal tennis teams will look to make a splash and climb the standings this year on Saturday.

Men’s tennis  (11-9, 5-4) finished fifth in the standings last season, finishing behind Saint John’s, Macalester, Carleton and Gustavus. | Photo by Austin Lagesse

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