Success found at its roots

Goals have been scored, matches have been won and the bitter, cold evenings waiting in line to enter the Ralph for hockey games aren’t far ahead.

With many UND athletes beginning another season in a green and white uniform, last year’s successes carry high expectations.

Not only did achievements happen on the field, they were revealed in classrooms and the community.

North Dakota student athletes volunteered over 8,000 hours of their time in the community and 60 maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA last fall.

“It was an amazing year,” UND Athletics Director Brian Faison told UND Insider. “We’ve got some outstanding young people representing the University of North Dakota across the board in all of our sports programs  — and some great coaches. But it was a year I saw record academic performance from our student athletes. Certainly, in community service, they were off the charts again. Fantastic.”

On top of seemingly countless hours spent off the courts and fields, student athletes shaped one of UND’s most successful seasons in 2013-14.

Mark Pryor is now leading a hungry UND volleyball team that collected its first ever conference championship last season, while Bubba Schweigert is building a strong foundation for the future of North Dakota football.

Both coaches may be new to Grand Forks, but UND women’s basketball coach Travis Brewster knows the feelings that accompany a historic celebratory finish. The season ended when Texas A&M took down the Green and White in the 2014 NCAA Division I women’s basketball championship, but it was the journey there that made it extraordinary.

“It was a fantastic run (last season),” Faison said. “To do what they did, to get that regular season championship and then to win the conference tournament here on their home court — and win it convincingly — it was something special.”

The men’s basketball team also found success in a second place finish in the conference.

The fall season of UND sports already yields the potential for new accomplishments, and oftentimes its the drive of student athletes that fuels their performance.

“At the end of the day, the student athletes need to have the focus and discipline and come in and go after it,” Faison said. “And that’s the type of person the coach goes after.”

Elizabeth Erickson is the Sports Editor of The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected].