The Upper Iowa Pep Band has shown commitment throughout the basketball season by playing at every home doubleheader basketball games. Most recently were the two doubleheaders on Feb. 21 and 22. They will also be playing at the men’s basketball game against the University of Minnesota Duluth on Wednesday, Feb. 26.
Pep Band Plays With Passion
Written by Samantha Vorwald
Present at almost every doubleheader basketball games this year has been the Upper Iowa Pep Band. They consist of approximately 12 members including their director Dr. Jeffrey Butikofer and they play lively music for the entertainment of the crowd during the break between periods. This group of volunteer students put in time to practice once a week for an hour along with their other activities. While it is a commitment to be a part of this group, it is also fun.
The Pep Band was started when Dr. Alan Walker was still president. He was interested in having a Pep Band for the basketball games to help the time pass between the periods. Fred Kinne had been the first one to direct the Pep Band for a couple years. Fred Kinne had a past with music: he had been a band director for Sumner schools and the Upper Iowa band when UIU still had a regular band. He returned to Upper Iowa in the 2007-2008 academic school year to direct the Pep Band for a couple years while he was principal at Starmont schools. After that, he left and the Pep Band hit a rough patch. Since the Pep Band needed students to volunteer their time at least once a week for practice and then to play at the doubleheader basketball games, it took a lot of time from students. Scheduling was an issue and still is an issue today. However, despite the lack of student commitment, Dr. Butikofer took the reins again in 2010 and has directed it since. This is his fourth year directing the Pep Band.
Dr. Butikofer shared his main goal for the Pep Band is to give the students an opportunity to play and to have fun. He said the challenge is finding people who are willing to make the commitment. Recently, the level of commitment seems to have risen as it is evident by their performing time last year. They were present in the stands at every home doubleheader including the playoff game. The only games they missed were those over winter break. This year, the Pep Band made an appearance once again at almost every doubleheader, the only exception being over winter break and when a doubleheader happened to fall on Valentine’s Day against the University of Minnesota Duluth.
A lot of the songs the Pep Band plays are considered classics from the 1980s such as “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor and even some contemporary music like “Party Rock Anthem” by LMFAO. Also amongst these two is Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” in which the student section occasionally sings along and Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin.’” Dr. Butikofer shows a passion for the Pep Band. He is always collecting music and has now acquired so much that he doubts the Pep Band will be able to play it all, but he tries his best to get music they enjoy and the crowd enjoys.
Dr. Butikofer also has three seniors who will be graduating at the end of the academic year: Trevor Hunt, Amy Holley and Jacob McWilliams. “They are kind of my core group.” But Dr. Butikofer has hope for next year and is prepared for what comes his way. Overall, he stressed “It’s a lot of fun. It’s definitely one of my favorite things.”
Senior, Joey Woods looks for an opening in the Wildcats defense on Feb. 22 in Dorman Gym. Upper Iowa University took the win over Wayne State College 85-74.
Peacocks Take Hard Route to Beat Augie; Secure Home Playoff Game With Weekend Sweep
Written by Gregg Fairley
The Upper Iowa men’s basketball team did what they usually do—getting the job done the hard way. The Peacocks faced Augustana on Friday, Feb. 21 in Dorman Gymnasium and came with away with a win in overtime.
The two teams traded the lead several times throughout the first half with senior Joey Woods continuing to be the man Upper Iowa turned to. The two teams were neck-in-neck as the clock hit all zeros in the second half. In the extra session, Augustana took a four-point lead as they hit the 100 point mark, but the Peacocks responded by using the long ball. UIU hit four treys in as many possessions. Freshman, Josh Weeber led the way knocking home three of the four en route to his 22 points. UIU iced the 104-100 win with free throws in the final half minute.
The Peacocks came into the game having won five of their last six games and it looked as though they were still brimming with confidence. Weeber, Woods, senior David Smith and junior Grant Lang all made important shots. Woods and Lang led the way combining for 45 points.
The Peacocks took a season-high 75 shots making 36 of them while also hitting another season high 14 three-pointers. The win put Upper Iowa in prime position for a home playoff game Wednesday.
With four seniors being honored for their service Saturday night against Wayne State College, the game had a little more importance than usual.
The energy was electrifying in Dorman Gym as the Peacocks cruised to an early lead in the game with the previous night’s overtime hero Weeber dropping the first points of the game. The Peacocks had an 11-8 lead with 14 minutes on the clock. The Peacocks went into halftime with a score of 37-31.
The Peacocks didn’t let up on the scoring when the half resumed and took a commanding 11-point lead thanks to five straight points from Lang. However, the Wildcats improved and got to within single digits until sophomore, Jordan Hay, stepped his game up and dropped layups for four points before setting up Woods for a layup.
The home team finished out the game with a 23-5 run and a final score of 85-74, which set the Peacocks up nicely for their game on Wednesday night against the Bulldogs of the University of Minnesota Duluth in the NSIC/Sanford Health Men’s Basketball Tournament. This is the second consecutive year UIU has entered the post-season as a four seed with a home game in the first round. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. Wednesday night.
Junior, Olivia Winkler tries to fight past the Wildcats of Wayne State College. The Peacocks lost in Fayette on Feb. 22 78-56 leaving their conference record 4-20.
Wildcats Savage Senior Day in Fayette
Written by Greg Marshall
The 4-20 (NSIC) Upper Iowa women’s basketball team came to their senior day in Fayette with a tough test against number 11 ranked Wayne State University. Following the game on Saturday, Feb. 22, the Peacocks honored their lone senior, Sam Thrapp, who played in her final home game of her collegiate career in the regular season.
On the floor, the Peacocks missed their first 12 attempts, helping the Wildcats to a 14-0 lead within the first 8 minutes of the match. Slowly, the Peacocks broke down the Wildcat lead with a strong performance from Carly Pagel. The sophomore then converted a three-point play. A minute later, junior, Lauren Buck added a jumper to pull UIU within nine, 22-13. After that, the Wildcats answered with a basket of their own.
Pagel then began to bring her A-game as she scored three straight baskets for UIU to pull within five of their guests, 24-19. At the 16-minute mark, the Peacock offense went cold. The Wildcats sealed the 78-56 victory in Fayette to improve to 26-3 overall this year and 19-3 in the NSIC. The Peacocks end the regular season with a 5-21 overall mark and a 4-18 conference record.
The key performances for the Peacock women’s basketball team were Pagel (20 points, 8 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 block, 1 assist), Buck (13 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist), junior, Whitney Kieffer (11 points, 1 rebound), and Thrapp (5 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists).
Up next, the Peacocks will enter the 16-team NSIC/Sanford Health Women’s Basketball Tournament as they travel to North Dakota to face a tough battle against Minot State (14-8 NSIC) on Wednesday, Feb. 26.
An expected blizzard was supposed to impact Fayette on February 20, but only bitter winds and rain was the result. On February 21, these icicles hanging on a tree outside of Baker-Hebron Science Hall were slowly melting in the sun.
Students on the Upper Iowa University campus in Fayette enjoyed a reprieve from the bitter winter weather on February 18. The temperatures were reaching almost forty degrees Fahrenheit that day.
Huskies Prove to be Too Much for Peacocks
Written by Greg Marshall
In front of around 250 fans dressed all in pink for the “Play 4 Kay” night, the Peacock women’s basketball team was looking for a strong performance to begin Stormin’ Dorman week Feb. 15. On a seven game losing streak, Upper Iowa (4-16 NSIC) battled hard to try to get a win they badly needed. The Peacocks kept up in the race with the Huskies for around 30 minutes. Despite Whitney Kieffer’s admirable performance, the Peacocks couldn’t keep pace with their foes from the north in this old fashioned matchup in Fayette.
The junior wing swiped her seventh steal and pulled within two points of her career-high 35 with a jumper in transition. Unfortunately, that was the last time UIU would score for the next four and a half minutes. The Huskies shot 43% from the field in the 88-79 win compared to UIU’s 40%.
The Peacocks forced a season high 21 SCSU turnovers, including 14 steals. Leading the way for UIU was Kieffer with 33 points, 7 rebounds and 7 steals, while junior Lindsay Carroll added 15 points on 5-5 shooting. Junior, Lauren Buck netted 13 points of her own, while sophomore Carly Pagel totaled 7 points.
The Peacocks return to Dorman Gym for the final two regular season games next Friday and Saturday, Feb. 21-22. UIU welcomes the Vikings of Augustana College Friday at 6 p.m. Tip-off with the Wildcasts of Wayne State College on Saturday is slated for 4 p.m. Upper Iowa is 0-2 against Augie and WSC already this season.
Peacock Softball Off to a Slow Start
Written by Zach Carlyle
Bentonville, Ark.—The Upper Iowa softball team finished Valentine’s weekend on the wrong end of a six-game sweep at the 8-State Classic hosted by the University of Arkansas at Monticello. The Peacocks now sit at 1-7 to start the 2014 season dropping by an average of three runs over the weekend. Although UIU was able to crank out five home runs, the 41 runs allowed were too much to overcome.
Day one of the tournament got off to a slow start at 9:30 a.m. when UIU took on the Gorillas of Pittsburg State University. Trailing 5-0 after two innings, sophomore Jacqueline Flood hit a two-run bomb in the top half of the third to put the Peacocks on the board. Sophomore and teammate Brooke Redmond, however, had a tough outing in the pitching circle.
Pittsburg State picked up a run in the fourth and three more in the sixth from a three-run home run by the Gorilla’s Tiffany Brown to open up a 9-2 advantage. In the top of the seventh frame, junior Katie Mnichowicz answered with a three-run long ball of her own, but that would be all the scoring for UIU. The Peacocks dropped game one 9-5.
The final game of the doubleheader saw a gutsy performance in the pitching circle from Flood, but UIU couldn’t manage the run support needed to knock off Missouri Western State. The Peacocks managed just one hit in the 2-0 defeat.
Day two of the classic began with a heart breaker. Through seven innings, the Peacocks and the Hawks of Quincy University were tied 5-5 heading to extras. UIU collected two runs in the second and fifth innings before tying the game at 5-5 in the bottom of the seventh inning. But Quincy scored four runs in the top of the eighth to seal the 9-6 victory.
In the second outing, Upper Iowa managed five runs off of 11 hits, but the tournament hosts Arkansas-Monticello never trailed behind. The Blossoms raced out to a 6-0 lead before UIU closed the gap to two runs after the sixth inning, 7-5. However, the comeback fell short. UAM scored the final three runs and earned the 10-5 victory as the Peacocks again were swept.
Day three saw much of the same. Upper Iowa’s struggles continued on Sunday as a late comeback against the Tigers of Ouachita Baptist University fell short. OBU jumped out to a 5-0 start after three frames, and despite a two-run fifth for UIU, the effort wasn’t enough as the Tigers sealed an 8-3 victory.
Game two was a much different story, however. UIU led 1-0 through four innings, but the Crimson Storm of Southern Nazarene University scored three runs in the fifth en route to a 3-2 victory.
The Peacocks tallied 42 hits in the 6 games played, but UIU could not convert the runs necessary to grab a win. Redmond and Flood each suffered three losses to begin their sophomore seasons, but the two combined for 26 strikeouts to just 13 walks in the process.
Offensively, UIU was inconsistent despite five bombs. Flood led the way with 10 extra base hits in 18 at-bats. Here seven RBIs were the best on the team as well. The reigning NSIC Freshman of the Year put up a .389 batting average for the Peacocks.
Mnichowicz’s three-run home run and two-run shot were a big factor in her .277 average. The Palatine, Ill. native tallied seven runs and six runs batted in as well.
Senior Missy Olson’s solo bomb on day two was just a small part of her big weekend. The St. Olaf, Iowa product hit .412 over the weekend with four runs scored and two RBIs. Olson is currently hitting .458 for the Peacocks.
Upper Iowa has a week off to rest and get ready for the Division II Midwest Regional Invitational in Rosemont, Ill. hosted by Lewis University. The Peacocks begin the tournament with a twin bill Saturday, Feb. 22. The first game against the Warriors of Wayne State University is slated for 10 a.m. while game two against the Rangers of the University of Wisconsin-Parkside is set for 12 p.m.