It was a banner year for Division II basketball program Calvary University as the NCCAA released their annual Winter/Spring 2018-19 Scholar Teams. To be eligible for this award, teams needed a minimum grade point average of 3.40 on a 4.00 scale for all combined student-athletes on the team.
Southwestern Christian University’s women’s basketball team took the lead this year with a 3.78 team GPA, as Calvary University followed closely behind in second place out of the 31 teams that received national recognition. The Lady Warriors collectively achieved a 3.74 team GPA to receive this honor.
“What we’ve seen across our level of basketball is the importance of the student in the term student-athlete,” Head Coach Tressa Shoemaker said. “One of the most important things we can do is to promote an environment where we foster growth in the classroom and in turn, develop the next generation of teachers and leaders to continue that mindset.”
“We seek to recruit highly motivated ladies who are academically driven to be great,” said Shoemaker. “They love the Lord and are seeking to grow in their relationship with Him above all. They care about their classes and their degree with all that they have, they are highly motivated, they have a high GPA, they are selfless and sacrificial, and they display a great work ethic.”
“Our program and our recruiting have both been carefully designed for excellence in all areas,” said Shoemaker. “Here are the pillars of what we strive for in the classroom.
We advocate for our Academic Center.
We implement mentors, study groups, and accountability.
We put teammates together in classes to help motivate and encourage each other.
We think studying is important.
We educate on our academic standards.
“I am proud of this team,” stated Shoemaker. “They have taken a lot of ownership in what we’ve asked them to accomplish both on and off the court. Every girl on this team had a choice to make each day to take responsibility for their academics. Some of these ladies told me that they were making it a goal to do better in the classroom than the previous semester. That showed dedication and sacrifice for themselves and for their teammates. They desired to strive for excellence and to make sure they wouldn’t let their teammates down. The future is exciting for the ladies in this program.”
The #3 seeded Lady Warriors were eliminated in the semifinal round of the NCCAA DII North Regional Tournament on Friday afternoon as the team fell to #2 Providence 65-73 in Dubuque, Iowa.
“I feel for our young ladies as they have traveled a long way and really had a terrific season,” Warrior Head Coach Tressa Shoemaker said. “This was a disappointing loss for us.” The Pilots and Warriors battled earlier in the regular season with the Warriors winning the game by a narrow margin. With a trip to the region championship on the line, both teams took the court.
Calvary went up early in the first half with easy transition baskets. Providence fought back with tough three-point shooting and great rebounding to take a three-point lead into the break. As the second half began, the Warrior game plan was to stop the Pilot three-point shooting, and then the Pilots started to do a good job hitting some tough 15 footers while continuing to hold the rebounding advantage.
“I am proud of the strength, encouragement, courage, attitude, and effort these girls put forth every single day,” said Shoemaker. “They are always seeking to give of themselves and never take. They are seeking to give glory to God in all they do. They are not selfish and are a group that is forming a legacy that will win a championship one day soon.”
Taylor Hunter finished with 28 points. Anna Holloway added 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Despite battling back at several points throughout the game, the Calvary basketball team couldn’t overtake the red hot Moody Archers as the team fell 70-73 in the semifinals of the NCCAA DII Regional Tournament on Friday night. Ques Harris led the Warriors with 24 points and six rebounds in the loss. “We credit Moody and their staff as they played with a veteran poise that we just didn’t have all the way through,” Warrior Head Coach Matt Sanders said. “I thought our game plan was solid and I am proud of my guys for continuing to battle to the end.”
From the opening tip, the Archers jumped out to an early lead as Calvary found it tough to find the scoring column. “We missed entirely too many layups and easy buckets that would have pushed us over the top,” Sanders said. The Warriors weren’t about to go down easily as they came roaring back toward the end of the first half with solid defense. “At the half, we stressed to the team how bad they needed to want it,” stated Sanders. “They responded well and we were able to turn a ten point deficit into a lead with a few minutes to go. The lead didn’t hold up in the end as Moody ended up winning 73-70.”
“I challenged our guys that we missed getting that one final championship play,” Sanders said. “I felt like we were ready and that we would come away with the win but that just didn’t work out for us.” The off-season begins for us next week. This team is hungry and we are still on a mission.”
Zak Kirkman hit a free throw with under a minute to play to help the Warriors defeat a tough Barclay College Bear team 62-59 in Haviland, Kansas on Friday night. With the win, the Warriors are 4-2 in the MCCC Conference heading into tournament week. This important win helped them earn the #2 seed for the upcoming tournament that will take place in Kansas City.
“I am always grateful for every win,” Warrior Head Coach Matt Sanders said. “We had a long drive today. Barclay pressured us all evening and we were really fortunate to win that game. We were the best defensively we have been all season.” The Warriors came into the game after losing a tough one Tuesday night vs. Manhattan Christian. Defensively they wanted to make a big impact on this game.
In the opening half, Calvary held Barclay to 25 points. It was a great defensive half. There were missed offensive opportunities with some missed layups that would have given them a larger lead at the half, but the team responded in a large way as the second half was beginning. They came out and went on a 15-2 run to start the 2nd half. Turnovers once again were an issue but the team got key stops and rebounds when it counted most.
“I felt like we overcame a lot of adversity late in the game,” said guard Ben Jones. “We really came together as a team to get the job done.”
“These guys worked hard and we are happy to be heading home 4-2 in the conference,” Coach Sanders said. “It has been a long time since Calvary University has been in this position and we are just beginning.” Ben Jones finished the night with 12 points and 11 rebounds. He had a monster alley oop dunk that will be on the season highlight reel for sure. Zeb Green finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds.
The Warriors return home for a game on Thursday evening as the team begins play in the 2019 MCCC Conference Tournament.
Specs: Freshman, Setter from Lufkin, Texas. 5ft 4in
We are excited to welcome our newest Warrior to the Calvary
family. Kennedy’s fiery personality and compassion for her teammates are
evident to all. She brings a high competitive drive and volleyball IQ. As an
experienced setter, Kennedy can provide the type of energy and edge we need to
run a quick, powerful offense. We can’t wait to see how God will use her to
make an impact on the Calvary volleyball program.