Morningside’s women’s basketball team broke four school records during its NAIA Division II National Championship season.
Morningside’s women’s basketball team broke four school records and tied another during its 2014-15 NAIA Division II National Championship season.
The Mustangs won their fourth NAIA II National Championship during the Jamie Sale coaching era with a 59-57 victory against Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) rival Concordia University in the NAIA II National Championship Game on March 17 in Sioux City to finish with a 37-1 record.
One of the Mustangs’ most impressive victories of the season was a 55-26 triumph against Ashford University on Nov. 8 in Clinton, Iowa, to set a record for the fewest points allowed in a game. The Mustangs topped their previous record that was set in a 98-33 rout of Dana College on Feb. 16, 2005.
Morningside also set a school record for consecutive home court victories with a streak of 39 consecutive wins that began with a 63-60 triumph against Northwestern College on Jan. 16, 2013, and ended with a 77-62 victory against Briar Cliff University on Feb. 28, 2015. The Mustangs broke their former record of 31 consecutive home court wins that extended from 2003 to 2005.
Morningside tied a team record with 10 blocked shots in an 83-75 win against Doane College on Feb. 14 to match a single-game standard previously set against Missouri Western State on Nov. 20, 1992.
Jessica Tietz, a 6-2 junior forward from Bancroft, Neb., and Ashlynn Muhl, a 6-0 senior forward from Minneota, Minn., were individual record breakers.
Tietz drilled 149 of 253 field goal attempts for 58.9 percent to shatter the former Morningside single-season record for field goal accuracy of 57.1 percent set by Shawna Paskert during the 1991-92 season. Tietz, named the Most Valuable Player at the NAIA Division II National Tournament, averaged 9.3 points and 5.2 rebounds per game while coming off the bench for the majority of the season. She climbed to 21st place on Morningside’s all-time rebounding list with 524 career rebounds and to 32nd place on the college’s all-time scoring list with 868 career points.
Muhl, who drilled 58.7 percent of her field goal attempts this season, made 450 of 788 field goal attempts for 57.1 percent during her Morningside career to break the Mustangs’ former career shooting accuracy standard of 55.9 percent set by Trish Martin from 1997 to 2001. Muhl finished her career as the seventh leading rebounder and 18th leading scorer in Morningside history with 837 career rebounds and 1213 career points, respectively.
Muhl was the Mustangs’ leading rebounder and second leading scorer this season with averages of 9.1 rebounds and 12.3 points per game. She had the Mustangs’ top single-game scoring and rebounding performances of the season with 31 points in an 85-63 victory against Midland University on Nov. 19 and 17 rebounds in an 80-72 loss against Concordia on March 3. Muhl had a team-high 15 double-doubles and was the Mustangs’ leading rebounder in 22 of the 33 games she played.
Aside from leading the Mustangs in rebounding, Muhl also topped the team with 31 blocked shots for an average of 0.9 rejections per contest.
Taylor Bahensky, a 5-9 sophomore guard from Omaha, Neb., was the Mustangs’ leading scorer with an average of 12.5 points per game. Bahensky led the Mustangs with 25 double figure scoring efforts and five scoring performances of 20 points or more. She was the Mustangs’ best 3-point field goal shooter with 40 treys in 101 attempts for 39.6 percent and was the team’s most frequent visitor to the free-throw line with a team-high 115 free throws in 159 attempts for 72.3 percent. Aside from her scoring exploits, Bahensky was also the Mustangs’ defensive leader with 96 steals for an average of 2.5 thefts per game.
Lexi Ackerman, a 5-10 sophomore guard from Rock Rapids, Iowa, was the Mustangs’ top playmaker with a team-high 142 assists for an average of 3.7 assists per game. She was the Mustangs third leading scorer with an average of 9.4 points per contest.
Madison Braun, a 5-8 freshman guard from Bellevue, Neb., averaged 8.1 points per game as the only freshman in the starting lineup and was the Mustangs’ top 3-point threat with a team-high 72 3-point field goals in 211 attempts for 34.1 percent.
Jordyn Wollenburg, a 5-10 junior forward from Gretna, Neb., was the Mustangs’ best free throw shooter with 47 free throws in 59 attempts for 79.7 percent. She averaged 6.4 points per game and was the Mustangs’ third leading rebounder with a norm of 5.1 caroms per contest.
Morningside posted a 37-1 record en route to the NAIA Division II National Championship during the 2014-15 season for its school-record 12th consecutive 20-win season. The Mustangs won the GPAC regular season championship with a perfect 20-0 league record and made their 13th consecutive appearance in the NAIA Division II National Tournament. The Mustangs have a 363-69 record for a .840 winning percentage over the last 12 seasons and were NAIA Division II National Champions in 2004, 2005, 2009, and 2015.