Category Archives: Women’s Sports

Ron Grahame officially sets September 1 retirement date, DU announces

Photo: Courtesy of The Denver Post

As expected, Vice Chancellor for Athletics, Recreation and Ritchie Center Operations Karlton Creech spent his first year observing department operations while making few operational or personnel changes. One of his key lieutenants during this period was Ron Grahame, who acted as Interim Athletic Director following Peg Bradley-Doppes’ departure and currently holds the title of Associate Vice Chancellor & Department Athletic Director. During his long career, Ron provided an experienced and steady hand, especially when it came to DU hockey operations, Denver’s premier sport.

During the 2018-2019 academic year, DU Athletics finished yet another year of incredible success with their 11th Director’s Cup in 12 years.

Now, according to Denver Athletics, Ron Grahame will retire in about two weeks, on September 1st, followed by a handful of other changes within DU’s athletic department. We will have more on Ron Grahame’s storied career and contributions to the University in an upcoming feature but anyone who knows Grahame knows that he put DU athletes first in all of his decisions. A native of Victoria, British Columbia, Grahame was one of the greatest goaltenders in DU Hockey history. He played in the NHL and spent most of his professional career supporting and guiding Denver athletics. He will be truly missed by all at DU. Continue reading Ron Grahame officially sets September 1 retirement date, DU announces

Cozy Summit League relationships cast dark shadow over Augustana

Photo: Courtesy of Argus Leader. The new Summit League’s office in Sioux Falls, South Dakota on the Sanford Health Campus is now nearing completion. 

Conference coaches jokingly refer to the Summit League as the ‘Sanford League’. But let’s hope the Dakota-centric league rethinks their reliance on North and South Dakota for new members. With only 880,000 people in South Dakota and 760,000 people in North Dakota, a fifth DI member from one of the two states, Augustana University, may be too many – even for die-hard locals.

Can a small state like South Dakota support a third Division I program? Will Augustana cannibalize other South Dakota member fan bases? Will the addition of yet one more member persuade non-Dakota members to either depart or deter new member schools from other states from joining? Continue reading Cozy Summit League relationships cast dark shadow over Augustana

Why Baseball and Augustana College Drove UMKC’s Summit League Return

Why did the Summit League add UMKC and why now?

The addition of UMKC takes the number of schools in the Summit League to 10 – an ideal number for scheduling, travel partners and stability.

But not so fast.

It has been known for quite some time that current Summit member Fort Wayne has been expected to leave the conference for a more geographically convenient landing spot, like the Horizon Conference – even Summit League commissioner Tom Douple has admitted so. And, it seems Western Illinois is always balancing precariously on the financial ropes. But interestingly, the biggest concern of many Summit League members is the future of baseball. With only six teams, the Summit barely meets the NCAA minimum for an auto-bid to the NCAA Tournament. The loss of either the Mastodons or Leathernecks would likely be fatal to baseball – especially to Summit League members on the southern flank. Continue reading Why Baseball and Augustana College Drove UMKC’s Summit League Return

Rapid Reaction: UMKC Returning to Summit League

According to a report from the Washington Post, the University of Missouri Kansas City (UMKC) is leaving the Western Athletic Conference and returning to the Summit League for the 2020-2021 season. The addition of UMKC will bring conference membership to ten schools. The move makes it unclear what will happen with Augustana College – a school considered to be a shoo-in for the Summit League’s tenth opening when they transition to Division I play.

Interestingly, reports cited an ‘invitation’ which was extended by the Summit League to UMKC. According to the Washington Post, “We’re thankful to the WAC and their commitment to Division I excellence. We accepted the invitation to return to the Summit League because, after careful review, we believe it will help us achieve our goals,” UMKC Chancellor Mauli Agrawal said in a statement. Continue reading Rapid Reaction: UMKC Returning to Summit League

Five Big Takeaways from 2018-2019

DU Women Dominated the Field

While recent season’s showed DU men overshadowing their women counterparts, 2018-2019 was the Year of Women in Athletics at DU. Women’s hoops, led by Jim Turgeon,  went 18-14 and won a first round NIT road contest against New Mexico. Women’s golf won the Summit League and went to the NCAA’s. Gymnastics advanced to the NCAA team finals – the first time ever and showed that they have the potential to be the first women’s team at Denver to win a national championship. Liza Kelly directed women’s lacrosse to a 16-4 record and advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals. Women’s soccer, a long time staple at Denver, went 13-6-2, won the Summit League and went to the NCAA playoffs. Women’s tennis drove their way way to a 17-6 record with a power five schedule, won the Summit League and went to the NCAA’s. Volleyball went 27-3 – undefeated during the Summit League regular season and advanced to the NCAA’s.

What is even more amazing, these women’s teams may be even better next season. Continue reading Five Big Takeaways from 2018-2019

It’s that time again to give back – #1Day4DU

The University of Denver has targeted only one day as their primary campaign to drive giving to the University – and today is the day.

Once again, there are a number of great causes you can give to during the University of Denver’s #1Day4DU. And, it is easier than ever this year to navigate your giving options and help DU students.

As usual, we hope part of your gift giving will include Denver Athletics – the most successful division at the University. We also believe Club Sports & Alpine Club provide valuable experiences for students and create lifelong bonds between participants and the University of Denver.

As a reminder, the Denver Athletic Department just completed one of their best years – ever. The Athletic Department is headed for yet another Director’s Cup. But that means Denver must continue to recruit and retain some of the best coaches, staff and athletes in collegiate athletics. And, there is ‘cost-of-attendance’ to retain students who are many times from out of state or even outside the US.  So, we believe the option to Invest in the Student Athlete is a great choice this year.

Please take some time today and give. And, of course, GO Pioneers!

Big Comeback Falls Short; Nerves doom Mok in NCAA women’s singles tournament

A first set to forget doomed Bianca Mok in the first round of the NCAA women’s singles tournament, as her storied career now comes to a close after a 6-1, 7-6 loss to Kansas star Anastasia “Nas” Rychagova.

“I think overall she was just more steady than I was this time,” Mok said after play ended, referring to their unfinished match in Lawrence two weeks ago. In that contest she was convincingly beating the #13 ranked player in D1 college tennis (it was abandoned after KU clinched the team victory). Continue reading Big Comeback Falls Short; Nerves doom Mok in NCAA women’s singles tournament

Last Pio standing Bianca Mok faces familiar opponent in NCAA singles tournament

In the traditional three-act structure employed in narrative fiction, the final act  is resolution, with first a climax and then everything tied up and resolved.

Monday, on the hot and humid shores of Lake Nona in Orlando, DU senior Bianca Mok will be standing in the middle of the third and final act of her rivalry with University of Kansas juggernaut Anastasia “Nas” Rychagova, the #13 singles player in college tennis. The two will square off at 3:30pm MT in the first round of the 64-player NCAA singles tournament (the doubles tournament is this week as well but the Pios did not have a team that qualified). Continue reading Last Pio standing Bianca Mok faces familiar opponent in NCAA singles tournament

Denver Women’s Lacrosse travels to the Belly of the Beast

Photo: Courtesy of Denver Athletics. DU’s standout goalie, Carson Gregg, is a key to this season’s success

Denver Women’s Lacrosse Travels to play the Maryland Terrapins Saturday afternoon in the NCAA quarterfinals – and it will not be an easy assignment.

Maryland women’s lacrosse (19-1) has won 14 national championships and is the top overall seed yet again this season. To add to the challenge, unseeded Denver (16-3) must travel to College Park, Maryland to play the vaunted Terps on their home turf. Continue reading Denver Women’s Lacrosse travels to the Belly of the Beast

Hoch-Bullen’s 5 Goals Leads Denver to NCAA Elite Eight in Historic 9-5 Revenge Rout of Michigan

#17 DU shocked 7th-ranked Michigan in a 9-5 second round upset in the NCAA Tournament May 12. Photo: DU

The 17th-ranked Denver Pioneers (16-3) women’s lacrosse team made school history on May 12, 2019 in Ann Arbor, Mich., exacting a revenge upset on the #7th-ranked University of Michigan Wolverines (16-4) , 9-5 in the second round of the NCAA tournament. DU now advances to the NCAA Elite Eight for the first time in program history, and will play the top-ranked University of Maryland Terrapins on May 18 at 5pm MT for a trip to the NCAA final four.

Michigan had beaten Denver 12-10 at DU’s Barton Stadium earlier this season, and the Pioneers were in no mood to allow Michigan to win again. Continue reading Hoch-Bullen’s 5 Goals Leads Denver to NCAA Elite Eight in Historic 9-5 Revenge Rout of Michigan