Fall semester sports highlights
The team clinched a fourth straight Great Lakes Valley Conference title, becoming the first Greyhound squad to win four straight conference crowns. UIndy was led by a strong senior class that finished its tenure with the most wins in program history over any four-year period. After closing out the regular season with nine straight wins, the team held steady at No. 13 in the year’s second-to-last AFCA Division II Coaches Top 25 Poll. Garnering its third postseason bid in the last four years, the team was one of 28 teams to qualify for the 2015 NCAA Division II Football Championship. The Hounds lost to Colorado State-Pueblo in the playoffs and finished the year with a 10-2 record.
The volleyball team neared the end of the regular season 13-15 overall with a 9-6 GLVC record with three matches left. They are poised to make the conference tournament for the 16th straight season. The Hounds had a number of standout performances this year, as junior Becca Lira, freshman Maggie Gibson and freshman Bri Heffernan all garnered GLVC Player of the Week honors.
Entering the season at #15 in the Division II Wrestling Coaches’ Association Poll, the Hounds’ wrestling team features three returning national qualifiers, two of whom are returning All-Americans. In addition to the team ranking, all three top returners appeared in the individual rankings. At 125, three-time national qualifier and two-time All-American Josh Kieffer is in the No. 4 spot in the initial rankings after finishing sixth at the NCAA Division II National Championships a season ago. The defending Super Region 2 champion at 125, Kieffer also earned sixth-place honors at Nationals in 2012 as a freshman. UIndy, which finished 19th at the 2015 NCAA Division II National Championships, is coached by alumnus and 2000 All-American Jason Warthan in his seventh year leading the program.
Paced by senior Alex Cushman and sophomore Kieran Casey, head coach Kathy Casey’s cross country teams experienced one of their more successful seasons in recent history. Cushman took first at the Queen City Invitational and recorded four runner-up finishes. The Fort Wayne native was named All-GLVC following
a second-place finish at the GLVC Championships and was an all-region selection, again finishing second at the NCAA Midwest Regional to advance to the Division II NCAA Championships. The women’s team had three members earn All-GLVC honors with Casey (7th) and seniors Emily Odle (9th) and Jasmine Al-Anzi (13th) all placing in the top-15 at the conference championships. Casey and Al-Anzi also garnered all-region recognition, placing 19th and 21st, respectively, at the NCAA Midwest Regional. The group had one team victory in the 19-team field at Indiana Intercollegiates and placed fifth at the GLVC Championships.
The women’s soccer team closed out the season with three straight wins to finish 5-8-4 in head coach Holly Cox’s debut season. The finale included a thrilling buzzer beater from freshman Stephanie Burdsall, whose goal came with just four seconds left to beat in-state Saint Joseph’s in overtime Oct. 28. The men’s team closed the regular season with four straight wins to claim the No. 2 seed in the GLVC men’s soccer tournament. The Hounds beat Drury, 2-0, in the opening round to advance to their third consecutive GLVC semifinal. Led by nine all-conference honorees, the Greyhounds went on to earn the program’s second-ever NCAA Tournament berth, falling 2-0 to third-seeded Saginaw Valley in the opening round.
Coming off the program’s first NCAA Sweet 16 appearance in March, the men’s basketball team entered 2015–16 with lofty expectations and a No. 8 ranking in the NABC/Division II preseason coaches’ poll. Head Coach Stan Gouard, in his eighth season, returns two starters in Jordan Loyd (15.6 ppg) and Lucas Barker (7.5 apg), and added several key transfers. UIndy had two exhibitions against Division I opponents to prep for the regular season, narrowly losing on both occasions. At Valparaiso (Nov. 3), the Greyhounds fell 75-67 to the Crusaders after pulling within three points with 30 seconds on the clock. Two days later the Greyhounds had Auburn on the ropes in Auburn Arena, as Gouard faced his former coach Bruce Pearl. Loyd (33 points) and sophomore Eric Davidson (31) each had outstanding performances, but the Tigers escaped with a 114-109 win in overtime.
Swimming & Diving
For the first time in more than two decades, the swimming and diving program enters the season with a new head coach. After 21 years of leading the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams, Gary Kinkead retired last spring. Cue Jason Hite, a former All-American and assistant coach at Division II power Drury University. Hite was a team captain on Drury’s 1997 national runner-up squad and most recently helped the Panther men’s and women’s teams to a combined four national championships as an assistant over the previous three seasons.
Head coach Constantin Popa enters his fifth year at the helm for the women’s basketball team and hopes to return to the tournament for the fourth time in his tenure. UIndy finished the 2014–15 campaign with a 12-16 record and returns three starters, including a pair of Second Team All-GLVC selections in Princess German (17.9 ppg) and Nicole Anderson (12.4 ppg). The Greyhounds were picked to finish fifth in the GLVC East Division in the preseason coaches’ poll.
Lacrosse to debut soon
The inaugural UIndy lacrosse season will kick off this spring, led by coaches Greg Stocks and Jillian Howley. The couple relocated to UIndy from Lake Erie College in Painesville, Ohio. Coach Stock will coach the Greyhound men after launching Lake Erie’s lacrosse program in 2007. In his final season on the Storm sideline, he won the Eastern College Athletic Conference Championship. Stocks and the youthful men’s Greyhound team—comprising mostly true freshmen—will host five home games in 2016, including one against his former team April 7. Meanwhile, Howley will lead the UIndy women. The Long Island, N.Y., native became a first-time head coach in August 2011, guiding Lake Erie to a 30-23 record in three seasons. Howley led LEC to back-to-back runner-up finishes in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletics Conference regular-season standings, as well as consecutive GLIAC tournament semifinal appearances.
The first-ever UIndy lacrosse game at Key Stadium is scheduled for Saturday, February 20, 2016, when the women host Urbana University. The men open the season on the road that same day in South Carolina against the Mars Hill Lions, the defending South Atlantic Conference champs. Both teams will be home March 5 for the first-ever UIndy lacrosse doubleheader.