VOLLEYBALL
As expected, St. Thomas head volleyball coach Cole Tallman made an immediate impact in 1999, his debut season. He guided the Tommies to a 21-11 record, including a 10-1 MIAC regular-season dual record and tie for the MIAC championship. Eight losses came to top-20 teams in NAIA or Division III.

Tallman, the former head coach at Division I Furman, should reach 500 career coaching wins early this season. He’s built a record of 496-152 (.772) in 15 seasons.

Tallman is looking to build on a tradition of St. Thomas volleyball success. In its 16-year conference history, UST has won 80% of its matches, with five championships with four second-place finishes. The Tommies, who surpassed 400 all-time match victories in 1998, have won 60% of their all-time matches with winning seasons in 14 of the last 17 years.

The Toms, looking to get the school’s first NCAA playoff berth since 1992, must replace four accomplished seniors — Jenny Schmitt, Jill Kraus, Kirsten Johnson and Rachel Myskevitz. Schmitt set career records in assists (4,304) and digs (1,627); Johnson holds the career record in blocks (271, with 132 solos); and Myskevitz is the career record holder in service aces (283). Kraus will serve as UST’s assistant coach this season.

St. Thomas’ 24-player roster includes 16 newcomers — 10 of whom stand 5-10 or taller. Leading the returners are 5-9 senior OH Steph Blanda (246 kills, 357 digs), a co-captain; 6-2 sophomore OH Katie Reynolds (228 kills, school-record 122 blocks); and 5-9 opposite Sara Diercks (129 kills, 166 digs). Other returners are senior co-captain Megan Bergseth; junior Michelle Domeyer; and sophomores Shannon Moore, an All-Region softball player, 5-10 Becky McIntyre and 5-9 OH Tessa Pritts.

Tallman’s first recruiting class includes two upperclass players — 6-2 junior Jen Ulstad, who made the all-tournament team in basketball for UST at last March’s NCAA Final Four; and 5-10 sophomore Erin Keating, who attended Northern Colorado last year. Three all-staters top the incoming freshmen — 5-10 setter Jane Gibbs of Lakeville; 5-10 middle blocker Tessa Niebuhr of Alden; and 5-11 OH Kelly Schnoor of Davenport (Ia.) Assumption. In addition, 5-10 middle block Emily Buehler was a 2X Area Player of the Year at Zumbrota-Mazeppa.

The Toms will play another tough schedule with non-conference matches vs. UW-Eau Claire and UW-River Falls and tournaments at UW-Superior, Bethel and St. Mary’s. The MIAC Tournament will be played Nov. 3-4 at Macalester, with the winner advancing to the NCAA playoffs.

2000 St. Thomas Volleyball Roster

Seniors
–Steph Blanda, OH, 5-8, Maplewood/Tartan
–Megan Bergseth, Opp., 5-9, Fargo, N.D./North

Juniors
–Sara Diercks, Opp., 5-8, Faribault
–Jen Ulstad, MB, 6-2, Madison/Lac Qui Parle
–Michelle Domeyer, OH, 5-6, Dubuque, Ia./Wahlert

Sophomores
–Rebecca McIntyre, Opp., 5-10, Sun Prairie, Wis.
–Tessa Pritts, OH, 5-8, Fairmont
–Shannon Moore, Setter, 5-7, Kenilworth, Ill./New Trier
–Katie Reynolds, OH, 6-2, Mora
–Erin Keating, Opp., 5-10, Fargo, N.D./North

Freshmen
–Sarah Bach, OH, 5-9, Staples/Staples-Motley
–Samantha Schroeder, MB, 5-10, Maple Lake
–Brigit Tyrrell, Setter, 5-7, Oak Park, Ill./Trinity
–Michelle Marquardt, Opp., 5-9, St. Cloud/Tech
–Kelly Schnoor, OH, 5-11, Davenport, Ia./Assumption
–Emily Buehler, MB, 5-10, Mazeppa/Zumbrota-Mazeppa
–Laura Hedlof, MB, 5-10, Blomkest/Willmar
–Sarah Arnquist, OH, 5-10, Hoffman/West Central
–Tessa Niebuhr, MB, 5-10, Alden
–Jane Gibbs, Setter, 5-10, Lakeville
–Erin Haase, Setter, 5-6, Blue Earth
–Amber Ulstad, MB, 5-10, Madison/Lac Qui Parle
–Larissa Olen, OH, 5-10, Mora
–Kirstin Pins, MB, 6-0, Dubuque, Ia.
–Amanda Hentges, Back, 5-5, Jordan
–Lindsey Feuling, OH, 5-9, Chippewa Falls, Wis./McDonell

MEN’S CROSS COUNTRY
The St. Thomas men’s cross country team is looking to make some noise from coast-to-coast in 2000.

Eighth-year coach Pete Wareham appears to have another team capable of bidding not only for an MIAC championship but also for UST’s fourth consecutive top-12 NCAA finish.

Highlighting the October schedule are the St. Lawrence Invite in New York and the MIAC championships in St. Paul. The Toms hope to close out the season in November at the NCAA championships in Spokane, Wash. UST is looking to qualify a team to the NCAA meet for the 19th time in the last 23 seasons.

The 1999 Tommies put five runners in the top 13 at the MIAC meet and scored 43 team points, yet took second to St. John’s total of 34. (Only twice previously since 1971 has an MIAC team scored 43 or less points and not won the team championship.) St. John’s has won four MIAC championships in a row with the Tommies second each season. Those schools have combined to win 20 of the last 22 team titles (13 by UST), and likely will be the teams to beat again in 2000.

At the 1999 NCAA meet, the Toms’ 12th-place team finish was achieved with five runners bunched within 20 seconds. All five return — seniors Ryan Kollmann (8th MIAC, 101st NCAA), Dan Draine (5th MIAC, 100th NCAA) and Rick Chapko (13th MIAC, 84th NCAA); junior Nick Maddox (6th MIAC, 67th NCAA); and soph Brian Preus (11th MIAC, 108th NCAA). Other key returners include senior Steve Henderson (151st NCAA) and soph Levi Severson (25th MIAC).

Kollmann, a three-time track and field All-American , was second in the NCAA indoor 1,500 and fourth at the NCAA outdoor 1,500 last season. He was slowed by a stress fracture last fall but is ready for another All-America bid. He’s trying to join a select group of MIAC cross country four-time all-conference finishers, and already is a six-time All-MIAC honoree in track and field.

Draine, one of the MIAC’s most improved runners, qualified for the NCAA track nationals last spring in the 3,000 steeplechase.

Wareham has nine freshmen among his 23-man roster.

MEN’S SOCCER
St. Thomas men’s soccer program should reach three milestones this fall: head coach Denzil Lue needs two wins to reach 200 in his 21 seasons; th
e Toms need three victories to reach 300 overall in the history of the program; and they need one win to hit 200 all-time conference victories.

Lue has a 21-year record of 198-115-43. UST has a winning all-time record against all 10 MIAC opponents.

The 2000 Toms play 10 home games, including eight of their 10 in September.

With just two seniors this season, the youthful Toms will be led by captains Mike Tamasi and Kor Xiong.

Junior Ryan Dolan returns after scoring a team-best eight goals in 1999. Dolan has recorded nine goals and six assists for 24 points in his first two seasons.

Other top scorers back include junior Peter Lefebvre and sophomore Chad Nelson. The Toms also return starting goalkeeper Will Loepfe, who had two shutouts in 1999.

In 2000 non-conference play, the Toms will travel to Iowa for two games, and also trek to Duluth and the Milwaukee area.

WOMEN’S CROSS COUNTRY
Under 21st-year head coach Joe Sweeney, the St. Thomas women’s cross country team will have the same team goals in 2000 — work hard, show improvement, stay healthy and get to the NCAA meet. The Tommies have had a team or a runner at nationals 19 of the last 20 seasons and look to continue that in 2000.

UST graduated four of its top seven from a team that placed 14th at nationals and a close third in the conference. The biggest loss was Heather Phillips, a two-time All-American, the MIAC cross country champion in 1996 and 1999 and MIAC runner-up in 1997.

Leading the returners are junior Kelly Faris (9th MIAC, 45th NCAA), soph Lindsey Hansen (26th MIAC, 148th NCAA) and junior Becky Mooney (34th MIAC, 155th NCAA).

Faris was the 1996 MIAC cross country champ as a freshman and redshirted in 1997. She’s also a six-time All-MIAC honoree in track and field and qualified for the 2000 NCAA meet in the 5,000 and 10,000.

Also battling for top-seven spots will be juniors Sara Kittelson and Sarah Peil; and freshmen Amber Beck of Forest Lake, Alana Lucio and Laurel Stack of Henry Sibley, Stacy Torkelson of Pine River and Melissa Zeimet of Dubuque (Ia.) Wahlert.

The Toms will look to peak at three late meets — the MIAC Championships (Oct. 28 at St. Paul’s Como Golf Course), the NCAA Regionals (Nov. 11 in Waverly, Ia.) and the NCAA nationals (Nov. 18 in Spokane, Wash.).

WOMEN’S GOLF
Sophomore Kris Paulson, the 1999 MIAC medalist, leads a deep St. Thomas women’s golf team into the 2000-2001 seasons.

Fourth-year coach Cathy Lombritto thinks her team has the depth to improve on last season’s fourth-place conference finish. The St. Thomas had the low team round on the last day of the 1999 MIAC Championship and missed third place by one stroke. They came back with a solid spring season and finished 1999-2000 ranked eighth nationally in Division III. The MIAC Championships will be played Oct. 8-9 in LeSeuer.

Paulson will be joined by senior Katie Sweeney, juniors Abby Owen, Leah Wangerin and Katti Seversen, and sophomores Tricia Gavin and Lisa Navarro. Six freshmen are also to trying to break into the Toms’ lineup.

WOMEN’S SOCCER
The St. Thomas women’s soccer team will look to post its fourth top-two MIAC finish and earn its third NCAA playoff berth since 1996.

Second-year head coach Colleen Carey will anchor her defense with senior Molly Grahn, a third-team all-region pick in 1998 and is a two-time All-MIAC player.

Toms also return top scorers in junior Natalie Walz (5 goals, 6 assists in 1999), senior Katie Dolan (6g, 3a) and soph Tess Thompson (5g, 1a).

Freshman goalkeeper Jessica Christopher, a Minnesota prep all-stater from Coon Rapids High, is expected to soldify the Tommies in net.

The 2000 Toms have 10 home games, including six of their eight October dates. UST has compiled a 21-7-1 record in its last 29 home games. The Toms played 12 of their 18 games on the road in 1999 when they finished 10-7-1.

Toms face another tough schedule, including games with 1999 NCAA runner-up Macalester, the University of Chicago, UW-Eau Claire, UW-Stevens Point and a September trip to southern California.

 

 

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