Sports shorts

Defensive end and sack specialist David Bass will play in the annual East-West Shrine Game on Saturday, January 19, 2013 in St. Petersburg, Florida. The game will be played at Tropicana Field home of the Tampa Bay Rays and is considered a way to showcase your talent to NFL scouts before the draft. Bass is the second Griffon to play in the game as kicker Greg Zuerlein was invited last year. Western's all-time leading rusher Michael Hill will play in the Raycom College Football All-Star Classic in Montgomery, Ala. on Saturday, January 19.  His team will be coached by ex-NFL head coach Dan Reeves.  The practices are open to the public. Travis Partridge, Michael Hill, Macon Allen, and David Bass were selected to the first team Don Hanson All Super Region 3 team. Ben Pister and Shane Simpson were honored by being selected to the third-team all defense. Griffons baseball held its first practice of the highly anticipated season.  The Griffons start the season with high expectations as Collegiate Baseball Lineup ranked them No. 25 in their preseason poll.

Women’s Basketball holds on against Quincy

Missouri Western held off the Quincy University Hawks on Nov. 27 with six players scoring in double digits to seal the victory, 81-67. The first half belonged to the Griffons as they claimed a lead early on. Junior forward Sharniece Lewis lead the team, landing four 3-pointers. Senior forward Brittany Griswold pitched in with 11 points of her own.

Western capped off the first half with a 20-10 run, breaking their seven-point lead out to a 44-27 game at the half. Overall, they shot 51.9 percent from the field and 64.3 percent from beyond the arc.

“Our defense started out right,” senior guard Alicia Bell said. “I think that when our defense plays well, it really helps give our offense a lot of momentum.” The Hawks came back in the second half ready to fight. They cut the Griffons 17-point lead to eight with just under 10 minutes to play. Senior guard Kallie Schoonover helped make it double digits again with two free throws, but Quincy responded with a 4-0 run making it a six-point game with 5:55 left to play. Western refused to give up, outscoring the Hawks 16-8 in the remaining minutes. With a final score of 81-67, the Griffons claimed the victory and improved to 6-1 on the season. “In the second half,” said Lewis. “We weren’t playing our game. We weren’t doing everything we normally would do. It was just not being in the right places and our communication.” Western improved on their amount of turnovers, only committing 12 on the night. But they struggled from the line, only hitting 57.1 percent (20-35). However, they out-rebounded Quincy 37-35 and had 12 more steals in the game. “We’re still struggling on our free throws and overall execution,” coach Rob Edmisson said, “but we really improved on our turnovers.”

Volleyball falls short against UCO in 5 sets

Sarah Faubel going for a spike in saturday's game against UCO on Oct. 13
[caption id="attachment_12756" align="alignleft" width="199"] Sarah Faubel goes for a spike in Saturday's game against UCO on Oct. 13.[/caption] Central Oklahoma -- 3 Missouri Western -- 2 (25-20, 26-24, 17-25, 18-25, 15-8) In an effort to avoid being swept by the Central Oklahoma Bronchos, the Griffons had a comeback run, pushing the game to five sets to ultimately take a loss in the end on Oct. 13. The Griffons hoped to show a spark of life during a disappointing Homecoming week; after a loss earlier in the day for soccer and the football team taking its first loss of the season, the last thing the Griffons wanted was to be swept around the board on Homecoming. The Bronchos seemed to beat the Griffons mentally more than physically, especially in the first two sets. Although the Griffons looked more athletic, the Bronchos were always in the right place at the right time. There were obvious communication problems on the Griffons side as too many balls hit the floor. The Griffons have been very inconsistent defensively this season. At times they are defending all over the court; getting blocks, digs and anything to keep the ball in the air. Other times, they seem to be out of place, standing too long and not adapting to what the other team is doing offensively. Unfortunately the first two sets were the worse of the two. The Bronchos had two girls who continued to find openings in the Griffons' defense and made them pay for it with 38 kills between them. The team has been changing the lineup around all season, but recently there have been bigger changes more often. Sarah Faubel, who in the past played libero, has been up at the net getting more kills as an outside. She has seen a lot of different positions and seems to handle them all with confidence. “It just kind of depends on what our team needs every week,” Faubel said. “Sometimes someone will be hurt and I’ll go outside, and sometimes things just aren’t connecting so I’ll go to other spots, but I’m totally OK with going anywhere.” Faubel had a great night with 11 kills and nine digs. Freshman power hitter Melissa Cairns has been dynamic at the net all season. Although she is still recovering from a torn labrum in her hip, it hasn’t seemed to affect her game. Lately she has been transitioning more to the outside as well as playing back row -- a big change for her that she still is trying to get used to. “For me, personally, I think it does affect [my focus] because I’m not the most comfortable passer,” Cairns said. “So that carries around with me the whole way but it’s one of those things you just have to get past it.” Cairns finished with eight kills and seven digs. With a combination of lineup changes and unexpected injuries, the Griffons are still working to find what works best for the team. The Griffons have a tough schedule ahead of them as they play the 19-2 Nebraska-Kearney Lopers at 7 p.m. on Tuesday at MWSU Fieldhouse followed by the 21-1 Washburn Lady Blues at 2 p.m. on Oct. 20 in Topeka, Kan.

Edmisson hired as head Women’s Basketball coach

Rob Edmisson hasn't had a losing season -- ever. In 22 seasons as a basketball coach, that alone stood out as the 48-year-old was waiting to hear back from several schools about a job. When Western sought out to hire somebody, Edmisson was a man the Griffons envisioned. They snagged him off the market Thursday night. Edmisson was hired as the eighth Women's Basketball coach in Western's history after being announced at the Griffon's press conference Friday afternoon, and will take over for Lynn Plett, who was let go after five seasons at the helm. During the search, Western Athletic Director Kurt McGuffin said a winning coach mattered, as well as a Midwest guy and somebody who could build a program. Edmisson fit that description according to McGuffin. "When we look for a basketball coach, we look for the right fit: someone to build a program," McGuffin said. "I kept going back to coach Edmisson. When our job came open, we talked early, and then I kind of went through his background, and I said 'gosh, we know a lot of the same people.' And I continued to call them and get their input on coach Edmisson. And I found what I thought we needed here." The Director of Athletics spent 28 days searching through a list of over 200 applicants. He narrowed it down quickly, and with help from several people, McGuffin brought in two candidates for a visit. Edmisson made the cut to the final two. From there, McGuffin made the decision to go with the former Oklahoma City coach, who was fresh off of a NAIA Championship, having just won it nine days prior. "We're going to take this program back into even higher status," Edmisson said. "Ultimately, our final goal is what I experienced nine days ago -- a national championship. And that's where we're headed." Edmisson hoists over 400 wins as a collegiate coach and another 100 in high school. He led Oklahoma City to a 35-1 record with a talented group that had three Division I players. He took the Stars to seven straight post-season tournaments and topped it off with the 2012 championship. After that performance, he knew it was time to move up. "This isn't going to be just Rob Edmisson show up and all of a sudden we win 30 games," Edmisson said. "It's going to take the whole community to get going. But what we are going to do is get this back to hanging banners. That's our goal; that's our mission. We will get there." Edmisson credited McGuffin as a huge factor in why he chose Western. He stated that the new A.D. is the face of the program, and they immediately shared a bond. McGuffin took over as the head of Western athletics in late October. The Griffons have six available scholarships, and after losing all-time leading scorer Jessica Koch, they need them. Koch, who finished with 1,776 points, is just one of five seniors that the Griffons lose. Returning starters include a trio of seniors in Kallie Schoonover, Alicia Bell and Brittany Griswold, who suffered a stress fracture in her right foot in the final month of the season, ending her junior campaign early. Plett finished his five-year tenure with a 46-89 record, which included a 33-72 MIAA record. He was fired less than 24 hours after Western lost to Washburn in the first round of the MIAA tournament, as McGuffin pointed to change needing to be made. Edmisson will almost certainly show a roster change if he follows the same path he took at Oklahoma City.

Women fall in MIAA Tournament

Missouri Western was unable to extend its season, falling 80-63 to top-seeded Washburn in the first round of the MIAA Tournament at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Mo. The outside shot was going in early as Jessica Koch hit three 3-pointers, Kallie Schoonover hit one and the Griffons got out to a 18-7 lead. Abby Stone protected the basket by blocking four shots in the first four minutes. Washburn got things turned around in a hurry, going on a 23-0 run that included a string of six 3-point makes to give the Lady Blues a 30-18 lead. Western fought back and went into the halftime break trailing 43-34. “Any run that they had was going to be deflating,” Koch said. “We wanted to be with them the whole game.” Western cut the lead down to eight midway through the second half, but were unable to get within striking distance as Washburn extended the lead. “Early in the second half, we continued to fall back,” coach Lynn Plett said. “They just got too many second chance points.” Koch, the MIAA's leading scorer, put in 25 points including 6-for-10 from 3-point range and had four assists in her last game as a Griffon.  She finished her career as Western's all-time leading scorer with 1,776 points. “It wasn't a negative year, it was a very positive year,” Koch said. “Even though we lost today, it was a great year for us, and I love Missouri Western.” The Griffons were defeated two times during conference play by the Lady Blues, but up-tempo guard Ashleigh Curry missed both games. Washburn held her to 10 points on 4-for-12 shooting and limited her from getting out and scoring in transition. “It frustrated me, but I had to keep my head and get back in the ball game,” Curry said. “I was just frustrated.” Schoonover was the third player who scored in double-figures for the Griffons as she hit 4-for-8 from the field, putting in 11 points. Western couldn't overcome the size of Washburn, getting out-rebounded 46-to-21 and 20-to-13 on the offensive glass. Washburn post players Dana Elliott and Cassie Lombardino pulled down 11 and 10 rebounds while the leading rebounder for the Griffons was Curry with seven. “I think a lot of it came down to the rebounding, and they were getting to the free throw line,” Schoonover said. “The balls were falling to them, and they were attacking.” The Griffons attempted just two free throws to Washburn's 15 attempts in the first half of play. The Lady Blues shot 50 percent from 3-point range on the day. Western finished its season at 7-20.