After notching their first-ever nine-win season and winning the inaugural Great Lakes Valley Conference football championship on Nov. 10, the cherry on the top came when the Greyhounds (10-2, 8-0 Great Lakes Valley) secured their first-ever NCAA Division II playoff berth when the pairings were announced by the NCAA Division II Football Committee on Nov. 11. The nationally ranked No. 18 Greyhounds’ 31-24 win at Urbana helped secure the No. 4 seed in the Super Region #4 playoffs, where they defeated eighth-ranked and fifth-seeded Midwestern State (9-2, 7-1 Lone Star) 31-14 on Nov. 17. At press time, UIndy was preparing to travel to the country’s No. 1-ranked team, the top-seeded and undefeated Colorado State-Pueblo ThunderWolves (11-0, 7-0 Rocky Mountain Athletic) for a second-round match-up on Nov. 24.
School records continued to fall as, one week after reaching nine wins for the first time in school history, the Greyhounds picked up their 10th win in front of a beyond-capacity crowd of 6,300-plus at Key Stadium. Indianapolis, which has not lost to a D-II team since the season opener August 30, is making its first postseason appearance since joining Division II in 1979. Its only other NCAA playoff berth came in 1975 when the team competed as a Division III squad. Just six teams from each of the nation’s four regions advanced to the 2012 NCAA D-II Championships.
The Division II playoffs continue every Saturday until the national champion is crowned in Florence, Ala., Dec. 15.The win over Urbana on Nov. 10 ended a championship drought for the football team that has lasted since the Greyhounds won the Heartland Collegiate Conference in 1981. The Hounds also dominated the recently released All-GLVC list. Fourteen UIndy players garnered all-conference accolades, including a league-best 13 first-team honorees. In addition, three Hounds picked up major year-end awards from the GLVC, as wide receiver Mar’quone Edmonds was named the GLVC Offensive Player of the Year, placekicker Scott Miller the Special Teams Player of the Year, and Bob Bartolomeo the Coach of the Year.
Edmonds has rewritten the record book for wide receivers at UIndy, as his 93 catches for 1,272 yards and 17 touch-downs are all individual single-season school records. His accomplishments this season have also established him as the top receiver in school history, with career records of 250 receptions, 3,211 yards, and 41 touchdowns. Edmonds is only two touchdowns behind UIndy Athletics Hall of Famer Dick Nyers ’56, whose record of 43 total touchdowns has stood since 1955.
One of the Hounds’ All-GLVC First Team members was Klay Fiechter. The junior running back/return man was also named one of 24 candidates for the 2012 Harlon Hill Award, awarded annually to the country’s top D-II player. Fiechter is the sixth UIndy football player to be named a Hill candidate, including teammate and 2011 candidate Chris Mills. With his touchdown against Midwestern State, Fiechter moved all alone into second at UIndy with his 28th career rushing TD, and he is third all-time with 32 career total touchdowns.
Mills, the All-GLVC First Team quarterback, has helped UIndy set school records for points (454, 37.8 ppg) and touchdowns (60). The junior has completed 226-of-335 passes this season for 2,849 yards and 26 touchdowns as he became UIndy’s career leader in passing touchdowns (64).
The No. 19 UIndy volleyball team once again ranks as one of the top teams in the nation and the region as the Greyhounds earned the top seed and right to host the NCAA Division II Volleyball Championship Midwest Regional, Nov. 29–Dec. 1 on campus at the Ruth Lilly Center. The Greyhounds (27-7, 15-3 GLVC) are making their sixth straight NCAA Tournament appearance and the seventh in school history. This is the second time UIndy has hosted the regional, after they hosted and won in 2009 on the way to the only Elite Eight appearance in school history. Senior outside hitter Kristina Kerrigan (pictured) was named Great Lakes Valley Conference Player of the Year and became only the second GLVC Player of the Year in school history after setter Beth Robbins in 2008. She also earned first team all-conference honors for the third year in a row to join assistant coach Kyleigh Gerlach (2007–09) and Shaun McAllister (2002–04) as the only three-time First Team All-GLVC players in school history.
Sophomore setter Meghan Binkerd was also named All-GLVC First Team, while senior libero Amy Oldenburg and junior middle blocker Brittany Anglemyer made the All-GLVC East Division Team. Head coach Jody Rogers made history of her own this season when she picked up career win No. 400 on Oct. 30 with a 3-1 victory at Saint Joseph’s. Rogers has led the team to 14 consecutive 22-win seasons, seven NCAA tournaments, three GLVC titles, and a berth in the Elite Eight, and won 2009 AVCA National Coach of the Year honors. In November, Rogers went to Massachusetts to be inducted into the Hall of Fame at her alma mater, Newton North High School.
Freshman Reid Strain (Fox River Grove, Ill.) has made an immediate impact on the UIndy program. He ranks among the top 10 players in NCAA Divison II with 12 goals this season after a hat trick against Illinois Springfield (Oct. 7). Strain’s potential as an impact newcomer was evident before the season when he was selected to play internationally on Puerto Rico’s Under-20 national team. He scored goals against Barbados and Bermuda to help Puerto Rico advance in World Cup qualifying. The next round will be played in Jamaica later this year, the first time that any national team at any level in Puerto Rico has been able to advance in World Cup qualifying. Strain’s performance for the U20 team also earned him a call-up to the senior national team when it played Spain on August 15.
“Being a member of this team has allowed me to get closer to my roots by immersing me in the Puerto Rican culture.” Strains says. “I also take immense pride in representing Puerto Rico and celebrating my heritage.”
Both the men’s and women’s squads have released their schedules for the 2012–13 campaign, featuring four games against Division I competition. The men headed north to Hinkle Fieldhouse for an exhibition game against Butler on Nov. 3, losing 47-63. The women played a pair of close exhibitions at Dayton on Nov. 1, losing to Wright State 57-66, then traveling to Cincinnati Nov. 3 to play Xavier, also losing 51-67. Later in the season, UIndy women’s basketball will play a final exhibition against traditional Division I power Green Bay on Nov. 30. The home schedule for the men features six consecutive games at Nicoson Hall to open the season and started with a 79-64 win over long-time local rival Franklin on Nov. 10. Prior to the men’s game, the women opened their regular season with a 79-48 win against Lake Superior State from the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
The women return the leading scorer in the Great Lakes Valley Conference from last season in senior guard Kristin Turner (Seymour, Ind.) and the all-time leading shot blocker in school history (and GLVC outdoor track high jump runner-up) in senior center Sydney Weinert (Fort Wayne). The men have a host of new faces, including three Division I transfers who will be making their on-court debuts in Tyrae Robinson (Gary, Ind.) from Ball State, James Hollowell (Indianapolis, Ind.) from Eastern Illinois and Jared Grady (Durham, N.C.) from Delaware State. The Greyhounds also return second-leading scorer and former professional baseball player Reece Cheatham (pictured, Indianapolis) from last season.
—Matt Holmes, Assistant Athletic Director, Media Relations