Pioneers prep for postseason, basketball tips off
Many teams have battled for a conference title and are now preparing to contend for national championships.
In only its second season since the program’s revival, both the men’s and women’s cross country teams are headed to nationals on Nov. 19 in Elsah, Illinois at the North Farm Cross Country Course. Though both teams were initially ranked in the bottom half of the conference, they defied these rankings at the Heart of America Athletic Conference Championship at Swope Park on Nov. 5. The women’s team took the title by defeating reigning champion Benedictine College by a single point. The men’s team took second after tying with Baker University. The deciding factor came from MNU’s sixth runner Pablo Perez edging out Baker’s sixth man by 12 places.
Once again, the No. 9 men’s soccer team is heading to the national tournament after winning the Heart of America Athletic Conference regular season title. The team suffered its first loss since late September when it fell 1-0 to Missouri Valley College in the conference playoff semifinal on Nov. 9. MNU will have to make do without a postseason title to top off a 15-3-1 season as the Pioneers move into the opening round of the national championship. MNU will face off against Wayland Baptist University (Texas) at home on Nov. 19.
After defeating Central Methodist University in a 3-0 sweep on Nov. 9, the No. 13 MNU volleyball team played in the conference championship on Nov. 12 at Grand View University. Though the Pioneers fell to the Vikings 3-1, the team automatically earned a berth in the national championship since they achieved the best record in the HAAC, winning the regular-season conference championship. MNU will head to Sioux City, Iowa for the national championship tournament.
The Pioneers ended its 6-5 season on Nov. 12 at No. 12 Missouri Valley College in a 31-17 loss. Senior running back Javon Taylor ended his MNU career with 3,996 rushing yards, breaking Greg Gates’s previous record of 3,692 career rushing yards and putting Taylor at the top of MNU’s all-time rushing list.
The defending NAIA national champions have returned to the court, starting the season at No. 1 in the Coaches’ Preseason Top 25 poll. The team started its season 1-0 after defeating Mount Mercy 83-69 on Nov. 12.
After falling short in the Fab Four last season, the Pioneers look to advance even further this year. In the Coaches’ Preseason Top 25 poll, the team received the No. 8 ranking. MNU currently holds a 2-1 overall record.
Carlos Guzman- More by this author
Carlos Guzman ('19) is a sophomore at MNU. He is from Overland Park, KS. He is the Opinion Editor for The Trail Blazer. He is a biology major with an emphasis in pre-medicine and is also pursuing a minor degree in Youth and Family Ministry. He aspires to become a physician. Carlos is also on the cross country and track and field team.