Thursday, March 11, 2010

The countdown to nationals

I haven't blogged in a long time because we're just so busy. And successful, too. Soccer, volleyball and basketball...all did so well this year.

Now we're playing softball, if the skies would stay clear and the ground would dry!

But where do I spend all of my time right now? Planning the best-ever USA Gymnastics Collegiate National Championships! Tickets are on sale now at a special web site,, where you can also read all about this three-day event. TWU has dominated this national championship, winning the team title 9 times in 16 years. Now we've got it in our home city and on our home floor. Plan on being a part of the excitement April 15-17!

We're going for #10 in 2010!

Friday, November 6, 2009

A Pioneer Proud Day...

Thursday, Nov. 5, 2009, is a date to circle on your calendar or planner if you are a fan of TWU Athletics. Why you ask? Because that was easily one of the best days in the recent history of the Pioneer Nation!

The TWU soccer, volleyball, and basketball teams all competed and all won yesterday. The Pioneer soccer team (pictured) defeated Texas A&M-Commerce in penalty kicks (4-1) in a quarterfinal game at the 2009 Lone Star Conference Soccer Championship. The T-Dub volleyballers did their part by picking up a critical LSC win in five sets over Southeastern Oklahoma State at Kitty Magee Arena. The TWU hoops squad then put the icing on the Pioneers' cake with a 79-75 exhibition win over the University of North Texas across town at The Super Pit.

Freakin' awesome. That's how I would sum it up in two words.

So go to your closet, dig out your maroon TWU shirt that you haven't worn in a month or so and put it on. Wear it with pride. The Pioneer student-athletes earned that right for you yesterday.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Rain, rain, go away

Usually we're praying for rain. But we've had so much in the past week that I'm actually wishing that the radar screen would clear out. No more huge green masses with steady rain coming through north central Texas please. It's the hill country, down by San Antonio, that's in a drought.

The weatherman has had an easy time of it. Even I could put out an accurate forecast with the weather system we're sitting in right now.

But I should have known it would rain this weekend. It was the start of the fall softball season! So we got rained out on Saturday and postponed the debut of our newly refurbished backstop and dugouts. You must come see how fan friendly we've made Pioneer Field!

The rain didn't stop soccer from playing though. We got through Friday with a victory over the other T-Dub - Texas Wesleyan. And we played... sloshed... slid... waded through a hard-fought match against #15 St. Ed's on Sunday afternoon. Our team denied them a goal on 25 shots in regulation! Great defense, ladies! But it didn't end in our favor unfortunately. The ball rebounded around the box and SEU knocked it in just over minute into overtime. Tough break.

Besides my shoes, the rain has soaked the Pioneer Golf Course too so we've rescheduled our Round of Thanks golf scramble for our corporate sponsors until the 21st. It's supposed to quit raining in a couple of days and then get sunny. We need everything to dry out!

But the rain is good in many ways including less money spent on watering the fields.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Lone Star Conference Fall Sports Preview Series

Melanie Robotham, the Lone Star Conference's outstanding Director of Media Relations, is currently putting together a very comprehensive Lone Star Conference Fall Sports Preview series. TWU hasn't been spotlighted yet (don't worry, they will get to the Pioneers), but if you want to study up on the Pioneers' LSC volleyball and soccer opponents I encourage you to read this series. The articles can be found on the official Lone Star Conference website. Also, a big thank you to Nick Eatman for the editorial content in this series.

Time for two-a-days!

The off-season for TWU Athletics is officially over as the Pioneer volleyball and soccer squads began two-a-day preseason practices earlier this week. Shelly Barberee's volleyball team is looking to build on last season's 20-13 record and qualify for the Lone Star Conference (LSC) postseason volleyball tournament for the seventh year in a row. Early reports about our volleyball crew are promising. The returners look good (in particular junior OH/MB Danielle Veitenheimer) and the transfers and freshman (especially junior MB/RS Launa McClung) have been impressive.

Fleur Benatar's soccer group is fighting through the Texas heat to get ready for their upcoming season. The Pioneers finished 9-8-2 last fall but just missed qualifying for the LSC postseason tourney. FB and her players are working hard in an effort to get a few more wins this year and contend for the conference championship. Junior defender Natalie Holovach and senior forward Chastity Hayter should be integral players for TWU this season. Freshman Amanda Allen, an import from Enoch, Utah, should also provide the Pioneers with improved scoring potential.

The TWU volleyball team opens play this year at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs tournament Aug.28 and 29. The Pioneers' soccer team will begin their season on Aug. 28 at Dallas Baptist University. Check out the complete volleyball schedule by clicking here. The entire soccer schedule is available here.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Not quite driving in the slow lane

First of all, let me post a huge CONGRATULATIONS to Beth and Zane Jillson on the arrival of beautiful Madison Grace last week! Welcome to the Pioneer family, sweet baby girl!

So I'm at a couple of functions last week and I get asked a few times by different folks if I'm enjoying my "down time" this summer. I smile and say that we're humming right along and that there really isn't any down time. The pace may not be fast and furious, but we're definitely not driving in the slow lane. The parking on campus is better and weekends are not cluttered with home events, but preparations are well underway for 2009-10. Before you know it, the Soccer and Volleyball student-athletes will be here for preseason and Student-Athlete Orientation. There's lots to do!

Yes, the front office staff can take some vacation days and many of us head to conventions and seminars. The office suite is quieter somewhat since most of the staff doesn't have to keep office hours in the summer. Except for basketball, all the coaches are off...but they really aren't off completely. They still pop in and out of the office. They recruit...and conduct summer camps...and recruit...and come to campus when their freshmen are here for Orientation.

As for camps, Gymnastics, Soccer and Softball camps have been great! We're not busy in Pioneer Hall because of the arena floor renovation. Normally this building would be a beehive of activity with Basketball camp, Volleyball camp and other outside camps like Point Guard College. But instead it's teeming with roofers, construction workers, floor installers, electricians, and until recently, the guys from Restoration Specialists. There were fans everywhere drying out the carpets, baseboards, ceiling tiles and sheetrock from the water damage Pioneer Hall incurred on June 10th. That's when those freakishly high 70-80 mph winds blew in with that massive thunderstorm and ripped up some of the roof and allowed it to rain inside the building! Thank goodness the new maple floor had not been delivered yet. The roof over the arena was secure anyway but I'm extremely thankful that Kitty Magee Arena was empty. We're drying out and I heard yesterday that we're getting new carpet. I guess there's a silver lining.

Not only is Pioneer Hall a mess, there is also work going on down at Pioneer Softball Field as we replace the backstop and do a few more renovations with the dugout protective fencing/netting. When this project is complete, it's really going to enhance our already gorgeous facility even more. I can't wait to show it off!

So while our wonderful Facility Manager Beth Palmer oversees all the stuff going on in Pioneer Hall, I'm headed to Florida next week with my family for vacation. I guess this constitutes my "down time" for the summer!

Stay cool, everyone!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Camping with the Pioneers

The 2009 TWU Athletics summer camps are underway! Our gymnastics instructional camp began on Sunday afternoon. Our soccer instructional day camp kicked off this (Monday) morning and our softball elite camp will take place on Tuesday, Jun. 16.

Two more softball camps are scheduled for next week - a General Skills Day Camp on Monday, June 22, and Tuesday, June 23, and a Pitcher/Catcher Day Camp on Wednesday, June 24, and Thursday, June 25.

A soccer Speed and Performance Camp will also be held Monday, July 6 - Wednesday, July 8.

Registrations are still being accepted for the upcoming softball camps as well as the soccer Speed and Performance Camp. Campers can register online by clicking here.