MUSTANG HOOFPRINTS: A hearty welcome to incoming Mustangs

Hello Mustang Fans!

On Wednesday, it was the first day prospective student-athletes could sign a National Letter of Intent to attend Southwest Minnesota State to continue their academic and athletic careers.

During the fall early signing period, men’s and women’s basketball; baseball; softball; volleyball; women’s golf; wrestling and tennis all have the opportunity to send out National Letters of Intent to prospective student-athletes to receive their commitment.

The early signing period started Wednesday and runs through Nov. 20.

It is an exciting time of year when our coaching staffs are able see all their hard work recruiting pay off.

We would like to welcome all the prospective student-athletes, who signed letters of intent, and their families to the Mustang Family. For all the latest signings and information on the SMSU Department of Athletics go to

This Week in SMSU Athletics

Women’s soccer

The SMSU women’s soccer team received an at-large bid for this year’s NCAA Division II Central Region Tournament. The No. 5-seeded Mustangs will travel to play No. 4-seeded Central Missouri in Mankato at 1 p.m. Friday. No. 1-seeded Minnesota State is hosting the region tournament.

SMSU (14-3-2) is making its first NCAA tournament appearance in the program’s 18-year history. Central Missouri also enters the tournament with a record of 14-3-2.

The winner of the quarterfinal match between the Mustangs and the Jennies will face the Mavericks (17-2-2) at 1 p.m. Sunday in Mankato.

Congratulations to SMSU head coach, T.J. Buchholz, who has been named 2013 NSIC Coach of the Year last week in an announcement by the league. Congratulations are also in order for freshman goalkeeper Brienna Dehkes, who was named NSIC Goalkeeper of the Year, and six of her teammates who were named to the 2013 NSIC All-Conference team.

Dehkes and Miranda Cadena were named to the All-NSIC first team, while Autumn Hayes, Kendahl Fisher, and Megan Kilroy were named to the All-NSIC second team. Danica Requejo was named to the All-NSIC honorable mention team.

We wish the Mustang women’s coccer team the best of luck Friday as they battle the Jennies.


The No. 8-ranked SMSU volleyball team (21-6 overall, 15-3 NSIC) won a very important conference and regional contest Tuesday night, beating Augustana in four sets.

The Mustangs travel to play at Minnesota State-Moorhead on Friday to battle the Dragons at 7 p.m. On Saturday, SMSU heads to Aberdeen, S.D., to take on No. 20-ranked Northern State in its final contest of the regular season. The results of the matches this weekend will have a major impact on the NCAA Division II Central Region rankings.

Congratulations to senior Rachel Westby, along with sophomores Emilee Gutzmer, Claire Sames and Abbey Thissen who were all named to the 2013 NSIC Volleyball All-NSIC first team last announced last Thursday by the conference office.

A big thank you to Rachael for her four years of dedication and hard work in the classroom and on the volleyball court. Your efforts will truly be missed by your coaches, teammates, SMSU and the entire Marshall community.


The SMSU football team (6-4 overall, 4-2 NSIC South) concludes the regular season at 1 p.m. Saturday in Sioux Falls, S.D., as the Mustangs face Augustana (4-6 NSIC, 2-4 NSIC South) at Kirkeby-Over Stadium.

Congratulations to head coach Cory Sauter, his staff and the SMSU football program for bringing us the first winning season since 2008 and just the ninth in program history.

The Mustangs have a chance to participate in postseason play with a win on Saturday. The 48th Mineral Water Bowl will be held Dec. 7 in Excelsior Springs, Mo.

The Mustangs need to end the season as the highest-ranked team in the final NSIC standings, not to qualify for the six-team NCAA Super Region 3 playoffs to represent the NSIC in the bowl game. SMSU would face a team from the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA).

Cross country

The SMSU Men’s and women’s cross country teams competed last weekend at the NCAA Central Region Championships in Sioux Falls, S.D., hosted by Augustana College.

Trent Smith crossed the finish line first for the Mustang men in 69th place to lead SMSU to a 20th place finish last Saturday.

Amanda Grengs crossed first for the SMSU women for a 122nd finish. The women finished 29th in the 30-team field.

The women collected a total time of 2:08:03 for 829 points. The men collected a total time of 2:58:21 for 558 points.

This competition concludes the cross country season with many of our runners transitioning right to the winter indoor track and field season.

Men’s basketball

The SMSU men’s basketball team opened its season last weekend, going 1-1 against a pair of MIAA and Central Region opponents.

The Mustangs lost Game 1 of the SMSU Classic last Saturday 72-89 to Fort Hays State. On Sunday, SMSU beat Northwest Missouri State 72-50.

The Mustangs travel to play South Dakota State University at 7 p.m. Monday at Frost Arena in Brookings, S.D.


The SMSU wrestling team began the 2013-14 dual season Wednesday with an 18-15 loss to Concordia-Moorhead at P.E. Gym.

The Mustangs are coming off a season in which SMSU went 13-6 overall and 3-5 in the NSIC.

In 2012-13, the Mustangs sent four individuals to the NCAA National Championships and all of them are back for the 2013-14 campaign – Justin Reinsma (133 pounds), Jacob Begin (165), Kyle Begin (174) and Travis Peralta (184).

Jesse Nelson enters his seventh season at the helm of the Mustang wrestling program (38-40-1).

Women’s basketball

The SMSU women’s basketball team opened up its 2013-14 campaign with a 101-43 victory over Crown College on Monday.

The Mustangs were led by Alison Nagel who scored a career-high 28 points in the contest.

This game was the ninth time in school history SMSU has been over the 100-point mark.

Southwest Minnesota State left for California on Wednesday to play a couple of non-conference matchups on the west coast. The Mustangs will face Notre de Namur, Calif., at 7:30 p.m. Friday before ending the road trip against Cal State-Monterey Bay at 4 p.m. Saturday at 4 p.m.

I would like to wish all of our teams the best of luck this weekend!

Go Mustangs!

Trivia Contest

Congratulations to Rick Haberman, who provided the correct answer (at the same time) to last week’s Mustang Hoofprint’s Trivia Question: Who was the last Mustang Volleyball player to be inducted into the SMSU Hall of Honor?

Jenai Hutchinson Wright was inducted into the SMSU Hall of Honor in 2011 and played both volleyball (1989-92) and basketball (1989-93) for the Mustangs.

Trivia Question

The SMSU Women’s Basketball team scored 101 points against Crown College on Monday night. In 2008, the Mustangs scored more than 100 points in four games that season. Can you name the four teams?

The first person to email me at with the correct answer to this question will receive an SMSU T-shirt.