Bucky got lucky

By Ryan Miller

Sports Editor

 

Wisconsin Badgers men’s basketball team defeated the University of Arizona Wildcats in overtime to make their way into the Final Four. The West Region final game was expected to be close as the Wildcats were the one seed and the Badgers were the two seed, and a close game it was with a final score of 64-63.

Wisc. got off to a slow start in the first half. They were missing short jump shots and layups. The Wildcats took advantage of Badger mistakes and got off to an early lead.

Hustle plays and defense kept the Badgers in the game until their offense came alive. They slowly cut down the Wildcats lead and by the end of the first half were only down three points with a score of 28-25.

In the second half Badger’s seven foot forward Frank Kaminsky took control of the game. Kaminsky is a triple threat player; he can shoot from the perimeter, play the post, and score off the dribble. The Wildcats did not have an answer to defend Kaminsky and he went on to score 28 points and have 11 rebounds.

The rest of the Badger’s offense was not consistent throughout the game. Point guard Traevon Jackson scored ten points, and was the only other Badger to join Kaminsky in scoring double figures.  
 Ben Brust, normally an offensive threat for Wisc., scored only five points. He is a three point specialist, but only attempted three shots from beyond the arc. The Wildcats defense did not give Brust any easy looks and guarded him tight throughout the entire game.

In the last ten minutes of the second half, neither team had an significant lead. Each possession determined who would be in the lead and control the game. With a minute left in the game Jackson made a layup and put the Badgers up 54-52.

However, with 32 seconds left in the game, Wildcats’  Rondae Hollis-Jefferson had a timely dunk to tie the game. With 30 seconds left, the shot clock was off and the Badgers were in control of the last possession of the game. Jackson let the clock wind down to ten seconds before making a move. He penetrated the defense and made space, but his jump shot was short hitting off the front of the rim.

Kaminsky was the deciding factor for the Badgers in overtime. He made six of the ten Badger points scored during overtime play. Similar to the last minutes of the second half, overtime was a nail biter.

With only 29 seconds left in overtime play the Badgers were up 64-63. Jackson had an opportunity to make it a three point lead, but missed his layup allowing the Wildcats to take control of the game.

The Wildcats missed their first attempt to take the lead from the Badgers, but got an offensive rebound. The ball was put in the hands of Wildcats’ Nick Johnson, Pac-12 player of the year, with seconds left in the game. Before getting a shot off Johnson committed an offensive foul on his drive to the basket, turning the ball over to the Badgers.

3.2 seconds left in the game and Badgers have possession with a one point lead and two timeouts remaining. The official handed Badgers’ guard Josh Gasser the ball for what appeared to be an inbound play to clinch the Badgers’ spot in the Final Four.  However, the pass was tipped by a Wildcats defender and the play was under review.

The officials reviewed the play for five minutes to determine who last touched the ball. The original ruling of Badgers’ ball was overturned, as the officials claimed that Jackson last touched the ball before it went out of bounds.

The Wildcats had 2.3 seconds to inbound the ball and get a shot off. The ball went to Nick Johnson, who took one too many dribbles and could not get a shot off before the buzzer went off.

Coach Bo Ryan of the Badgers enters the Final Four for the first time in his successful coaching career with the 64-63 victory over University Arizona. He has been the Badgers’ head coach for 12 years and has a winning percentage over .720.

Before this season Ryan has coached the Badgers to five Sweet 16s and one Elite Eight appearance. This year’s team is arguably the Badgers’ best team under the direction of Coach Ryan and rightfully so, making it to the Final Four for the first time.

If the Badgers keep playing their game a National title is not an imaginable feat, but an expected accomplishment. In post-game analysis, sports broadcaster and former NBA player Charles Barkley even said he would take the Badgers winning plus ten over the Milwaukee Bucks.

Tune in on April 5 to watch the Badgers play in the semifinals of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

 

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<p class=Coach Bo Ryan holding onto the game net and celebrating with players after victory

Photo via Google Images

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<p class=Frank Kaminsky photo via Google Images

 

‘Rehumanization’ at center of music theatre capstone project

By Melissa Vach

Arts & Entertainment Editor

 

Free and open to the public on April 12 from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m., in the Viterbo University Fine Arts Center Recital Hall, seniors Aubrey McCarthy, Brion Michael Rock and Victoria Valentine will perform their music theatre capstone projects.

 

“The thesis of my project is about ‘rehumanization,’” Valentine, a senior music theatre major and dance minor from Houston, Texas, told Lumen. McCarthy and Rock were unable to be contacted about their projects.

 

“(My project) is about self-restoration, valuing our own humanity,” Valentine said. “The goal is an active recognition of humanity in every person we pass and encounter.”

 

Valentine’s project is a 30 minute performance piece that will include acting, dancing and singing. She has choreographed a dance piece to the song “Wake Up” by Motopony, which she and fellow senior McCarthy will perform together. She will also be singing four solos that comprise different styles of music, one of which is a piece from Bernstein.

 

“My project has a little unconventional structure,” Valentine said. “I have little scenes that take us through the journey of the entire piece. In these little snippet scenes that are the meat of the show, these two people keep running into each other. (It’s like) that one person where you think you see someone you know and go up to say ‘hi’ to them, then you realize, ‘Oh, you’re not this person I know.’

 

“(My project) takes a look at these two people who this keeps happening to, so then they’re sort of forced to address the person that they don’t know and recognize their humanity,” Valentine said.

 

Valentine has been planning for her project since she saw her first senior show as a freshman.

 

“I think most performance majors in the theatre department will say that they have been thinking about their senior show since they first saw a senior show their freshman year,” Valentine said. “I’ve had an idea floating around in my head for the last four years, and last semester was when it started to become more solidified. About half-way through last semester I knew the structure and what I wanted to say.

 

“I hope that my show is a sort of short breath or reawakening for people,” Valentine said. “If throughout my show people looked around at each other more than they saw me, that would almost mean that it was successful.

 

“I hope that people can see each other a little more deeply and see themselves a little more clearly because we get so tied up in what we think is important and all of our goals that you don’t necessarily see other people or even ourselves sometimes,” Valentine said. “And we really do need that to be whole.”

Music department to produce ‘Gallantry’ and ‘Il Signor Deluso’

By Melissa Vach

Arts & Entertainment Editor

 

The music department will perform two comedic one-act operas, “Gallantry” by Douglas Moore and “Il Signor Deluso” by Thomas Pasatieri, in their chamber opera on April 3–5, from 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m in the Fine Arts Center Recital Hall. General admission is $12.

 

Music faculty member David Richardson is the director and will provide piano accompaniment. Brent Wilson is the guest director. Wilson has guest-directed the music department’s production of “Trouble in Tahiti” and has been a member of the summer opera workshop held at Viterbo.

 

Moore’s “Gallantry” parodies soap operas. The main cast comprises of Doctor Gregg, his nurse Lola, their patient Donald, and an announcer who occasionally interrupts the action of the play to sing commercials.

 

“Doing a soap opera, you have to be serious while playing funny,” Anna Parks, a senior vocal performance major from de Pere, Wis., told Lumen. “It’s just a different feel (compared to other operas).”

 

Parks (Lola) has had numerous roles in previous music department productions, including the role of the Mother in “Amahl and the Night Visitors” as well as Belinda from “Dido and Aenaes,” both from fall 2013.

 

Television shows such as Modern Family have helped Parks develop Lola’s character. She has watched numerous bedside manner operas to see what the nurses do.

 

“I don’t want to be over-the-top,” Parks said. “I feel like when people are doing this type of soap opera they feel like they have to put it all out there and be extreme.”

 

Constant singing with either the doctor or her love interest with no breaks leads Parks to say that the opera is “a musical workout. Just pacing myself I think is a challenge.

 

“It’s a modern opera, and modern operas have been known to be atonal,” Parks continued. “On one page of music I change keys eight or nine times, which is unheard of.”

 

“The cast is really working to get the right intervals and the right notes,” Megan Mellenthien, sophomore vocal performance major from Milwaukee, Wis., told Lumen. “Moore seems to have taken this opera and thrown in the hardest intervals he can.”

 

Mellenthien is Parks’ cover for “Gallantry.” She has also been a cover for one of the witches from “Dido and Aenaes.”

 

In opera an understudy is called a cover, Mellenthien explained.

 

Like “Gallantry,” the music for “Il Signor Deluso” has provided challenges for the singers. Pasatieri’s “Il Signor Deluso” is an opera comedy of errors, in which the characters believe their lovers are having an affair with others.

 

“The music requires excellent technique,” Carly Ochoa (Célie), junior vocal performance major from Sparta, Wis., told Lumen. “For my part, I’m singing a lot of high notes.”

 

Célie is the lead female role.

 

“A lot of what would normally be spoken is sung, there’s nothing accompanying in the background,” Ochoa continued. “You just have to practice it a lot, singing notes and having them hang in the air.

 

“For example, I sing something, then Rosine (another character) sings something, so I have to stay in pitch so she can come in,” Ochoa said.

 

“The music is contemporary,” Richardson, the director, said. “It’s much different than learning Mozart.”

 

Richardson rehearses with the students when they are meant to come in during a piece or making sure they are hitting the right pitches.

 

“Both (operas) are comedies, so they’re both very over-dramatic,” Richardson said. He hopes that “the audience is going to be able to have an enjoyable night of great music and community. (And the operas) are both in English, so maybe the audience will come away thinking, ‘Oh, I like opera,’ and they’ll come back.”

 

The operas produced by the music department are as much about educating students as they are about educating the community, Richardson said.

Arms and the Man upcoming at the Weber Center

By Melissa Vach

Arts & Entertainment Editor

 

The theatre department will produce George Bernard Shaw’s play “Arms and the Man,” April 4-5 and 11-12 at the Weber Center.

 

“Arms and the Man” tells the story of a young Bulgarian woman, Raina, living during the Serbo-Bulgarian war. She is engaged to a Bulgarian man named Sergius, but she falls in love with a Swiss soldier named Bluntschli.

 

Senior music theatre major Libby Anderson portrays Raina, senior acting major Jonathon Dull portrays Sergius, and junior acting major Joe Gay portrays Bluntschli.

 

“I hope (audiences) find the play funny,” Liz Stauble, stage manager and junior BFA in arts administration and theatre with an emphasis in stage management from Minneapolis, Minn., told Lumen. “I think it’s hilarious.”

 

Stauble was stage manager for “Picnic” last spring and assistant stage manager for “Little Women,” and “Secret Garden.”

 

As stage manager, Stauble communicates with the entire design and production team, and makes notes on what the director says to the actors during rehearsals. During show time, Stauble will call the show, giving lighting and sound cues to the theatre technicians.

 

Trevor Walker, from Viterbo’s sister school Saint Mary’s University in London, is directing the show.

 

“At one point in the rehearsal process, two actors were supposed to kiss and the director’s cell phone went off,” Stauble said. “(Walker) said, ‘that’s funny, let’s use that.’ So now when these two try to kiss, all these distractions keep going off, keeping them from doing that.”

 

“This is our fourth show in the Weber Center’s space, and we are doing more and more shows down there each year,” Erek Weis, senior BFA theatre major with an emphasis in technical production and a focus in technical direction from McFarland, Wis., told Lumen.

 

Weis is technical director for the show. He was also technical director for “Picnic.”

 

“The space is larger than our Black Box Theatre but much smaller than our main stage theatre,” Weis continued. The Black Box Theatre seats 144 people, and the Main Theatre seats 1100, according to the Viterbo Fine Arts Center Website.

 

“The size of the space fits the scale of the show nicely, so I believe that is one reason that the Weber Center was chosen for this particular production,” Weis continued.

 

“One of the biggest disadvantages of working down at the Weber Center is the distance,” Weis said. “We have to move everything we need from our shops here on campus down to Weber. (But) while it is inconvenient it does help us learn what it would be like to build and travel a show, which is nice.”

 

Showtimes are 7:30 p.m.– 9:30 p.m for the Friday and Saturday showings. The 2 – 4 p.m. showing on Sunday, April 13 has been cancelled. Tickets are $20.

Club Spotlight: History Club

Club Spotlight: History Club

By Brittany Thompson

Assistant Editor

Viterbo has over 30 student-run organizations and clubs, some with years of past history, and others just beginning. One of the newest to the university is History Club (HC). Dylan Klein, senior history major from Caledonia, Minn. and current HC president, discussed past and future events with Lumen.

Q. Who is allowed to join?

A. HC is open to all members of the Viterbo community. Potential members should have at the very least a meager appreciation of history.

Q. What sort of events are HC involved in?

A. During our two years as a club, HC has held two annual events that I would consider the highlights the Presidential Debate and Historians’ Mess (HC’s themed dinner). On March 19, we held our second Annual Presidential Debate with special appearances by history department faculty members: Andrew Hamilton, Michael Smuksta and Keith Knutson.

Students, each representing a former president of the United States, debated one another. Hamilton served as the debate moderator while Professors Smuksta and Knutson debated one another as FDR and Ronald Reagan, respectively. Pizza, refreshments and laughs were shared by the nearly 20 students/faculty in attendance.

Another important aspect of the club is our attempt at exposing members to potential career options in a rather limited field. Last year, we brought in an archivist from Watkins Incorporated; a company in Winona, Minn. that has manufactured health remedies, baking products and household items since the nineteenth century. In February, we visited the La Crosse History Museum and were taken on a tour of the archives by its curator.

Q. What upcoming events can the Viterbo Community look forward to?

A. Our Second Annual Historians’ Mess. At this event, members of the HC get together and reflect on the past year. This year the dinner will have a 1920s Prohibition theme. Attendees of the event will be serenaded by the finest music the ‘20s had to offer. We hope that everyone will come dressed to reflect the time period. If that is not enough to pique your interests, there will even be 1920s Trivia. The Historians’ Mess is about unwinding after a stressful year with some good-natured humor directed at students and faculty.

Q. Where would you like to see improvements for the club?

A. First and foremost, we need to increase general interest in the club. The problem is that people either love or hate history with the fiery, burning passion of a thousand suns. We need to organize more HC events that will appeal to more people on campus. Also, we need to improve our campus-wide communication.

Anyone interested in attending the Historians’ Mess or attending other History Club events can contact Dylan Klien via email: dklein04935@viterbo.edu

 

Student art to be unveiled in upcoming art show

By Melissa Vach

Arts & Entertainment Editor

 

Senior Studio Art majors Danielle Stark and Jori Hoffer, from Prairie du Chien and Wausau, Wis. respectively, will be presenting a series of original works in a BFA Art Show March 12 through April 9 in the art gallery on the third floor of the Fine Arts Center. There will be an opening reception in the evening on Wednesday, March 12 from 7:30 – 9 p.m.

 

Danielle Stark

 

Stark will have 10 pieces on display that will be a mix of oil paint, watercolor and ink. At the time of Lumen going to press, she has not yet decided whether she will include ceramics.

 

Some of Stark’s artistic influences include the artists Jim Dine and Edward Gorey.

 

“I’ve taken bits and pieces from a lot of different artists,” Stark told Lumen. “Jim Dine has been one that I have looked at since my freshman year at Viterbo. He has a very playful quality with the materials he uses, which I like to think that I do myself.

 

“I specifically look at his bird pieces since I work with birds with almost every work I make,” Stark continued. “They have such a dark and creepy quality about them that I love and take influence from for my own work.

 

“Edward Gorey is another artist that I really enjoy, specifically his work in his book The Doubtful Guest,” Stark said. “He pairs his works with little bits of writing that make this very cute and weird creature creepy. I enjoy the idea of creating a story with my work.”

 

Stark considers herself an abstract realist, specifically referencing the birds her art typically focuses on.

 

“Although my birds do have a realistic quality about them, there’s no doubt that I abstract them to exaggerate a quality that I like about them,” Stark said. “They’re such beautiful creatures, but they’re also so awkward looking. I think I relate very well to that awkwardness and I think I can see myself in a lot of those birds, so I put a lot of my own thoughts and feelings into the creation of each work. I tend to lean more toward a darker theme with each piece, which is, quite honestly, a reflection of my life in the last few years.”

 

The amount of time Stark has spent developing the pieces for her art show has been considerable. Her watercolor pieces take her on average about 10 hours to complete, whereas she said her oil paintings have taken at least 40 hours per painting.

 

 

Jori Hoffer

 

Hoffer will have 12 pieces on display, which will be a mix of monotypes, intaglios, watercolors and gouache paintings. She does not consider her artwork to fit in a particular style, though she takes influence from artists such as Will Cotton and Egon Schiele.

 

“I like Cotton because of his subject matter and his treatment of paint,” Hoffer told Lumen. “I like Schiele for his bold use of line, his selective placement of color and his bold subject matter. It reminds me that I can depict whatever I want. However, it does not occur to me to look toward other artists for inspiration or when I need help conceptually, so the only similarity between our works is the fact that we like to paint the same things or, sometimes, I like to work loosely like Schiele does.

 

“I like to have animals in my work because I give them their own story,” Hoffer continued.

 

“Oftentimes, I see and hear of people who treat animals as inferior beings,” Hoffer said. “Speaking English or living in a house isn’t a telling sign of intelligence. Animals have their own type of intellect and are capable of relatable thoughts, feelings and emotions. I believe that I tap into that by layering on their personality and giving them room to grow on the page. It lets the viewers let go of their notions, whatever they may be, and see animals how I see them. 

 

“I know that when a lot of people look at my work they only see amusing stories like lions figuring out bubble gum or a rat adjusting her tiara,” Hoffer said. “If they found joy in those narratives alone that would be fine.

 

“Yet I would like to invite them to look further and draw back the whimsical curtain,” Hoffer said. “Why do I depict the scenes I do? Sometimes I am inviting individuals to question their, oftentimes, preconceived notions of how the world is. Are their thoughts and feelings their own, based on their experiences, or are they that way because someone told them so? I’m choosing unusual filters, hoping to promote new thoughts and different emotions.”

 

Hoffer hopes to go on to graduate school to continue studying art after graduation.

 

“I’m not sure if that means continuing with painting or going over to Europe to focus on art history or museum studies,” Hoffer said of her decision. “I just want to be surrounded by art. I want to make art, learn about it, read about it and be around others who appreciate it.”

What happens on the Mat

Lindsay Knudtson

Contributing Writer

 

“One of my favorite yoga instructors would say, ‘Inhale peace and exhale love.’ Personally, I believe everyone’s mental health, especially college students’, could use a little more peace and love,” Alex Kent told Lumen. 

 

Kent, a Viterbo University senior social work major from Oak Park, Ill., said that although he had tried other types of yoga prior to hot yoga, he tried hot yoga for the first time at Root Down Yoga Studio two years ago when it was recommended to him by a friend.

 

“Hot yoga sounded intense and I went in expecting a great workout,” Kent said.  “While inhaling peace and exhaling love may just be a saying, I do believe yoga offers more than just a physical workout.  It gives me the opportunity to breathe deep and release tension. After class I felt refreshed, cleansed, relaxed and strangely energized.  It helped me to take my mind off of everything else, to focus on myself and feel a sense of peace.”

 

There are a number of yoga studios in La Crosse; however, Root Down Yoga Studio, 1217 Caledonia Street, while now one of two studios offering this type of yoga, was the first local studio to offer hot yoga.

 

The classes at Root Down are modeled after those of Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga, Mandy Roush, owner of, and instructor at, Root Down Yoga Studio told Lumen.  This style was introduced into the American yoga scene by Baron Baptiste, a yoga teacher and author of several books including: “Journey into Power” and “40 Days to Personal Revolution.”

 

“Where some types of yoga focus on holding a specific pose for an extended period of time, Power Vinyasa yoga involves synchronizing breathing with fluid movement, or moving more quickly and smoothly from posture to posture,” Roush said. “At Root Down we practice this style of movement in a room which is heated to an average of 95 degrees, but may be warmer depending on how many bodies are in the room.”

 

Yoga, in any style, is a workout designed for both the body and the mind, Roush explained. Through a system of breath control, physical postures and mindfulness, yoga ultimately creates a deep level rewiring of the sympathetic nervous system, the same system responsible for the fight or flight response, because it reduces stress through the creation of new neural pathways within the sympathetic nervous system. 

 

“Think about how you can face challenges with calm,” Roush said.  “When tension builds, or something goes wrong, you can become upset and use negative energy, or you can face that tension with a sense of peace. This can lead to healthier relationships, better health, an increased sense of happiness and even less stress.”

 

While Roush acknowledged that she has not always practiced hot yoga, she does believe that it offers powerful advantages over non-heated varieties.

 

“On a purely physiological level, the tissues in the body become more pliable when warm,” Roush said.  “This feels more comfortable and reduces the chance of injury for people who might not be as flexible as they move from posture to posture.  Also, it prompts a deep soaking sweat which helps clear the pores and rid the body of toxins.”

 

Many people are afraid to try yoga because they don’t believe their body will be flexible enough, or they worry that others will judge them because they may not know what they are doing, Roush stated. 

 

“You don’t have to be flexible to practice yoga, but you have the opportunity to become flexible,” Roush said.  “Yoga presents a style of movement that does not discriminate against age, weight, or ability. A yoga practice can be customized to suit an individual’s level of fitness or age.”

 

“I see yoga as a suitable form of exercise for everyone from beginners to elite athletes,” Kent said. “If your workout isn’t as intense as you had desired, you can increase the intensity by going deeper into poses, trying more challenging poses or holding poses longer. But if it’s too intense, you can take it easy, maybe not do every position, or just do what feels comfortable for you.”

 

For those interested in trying yoga but who lack the confidence, Root Down offers an “absolute beginner” class.  Compared to the other classes, which typically have over 50 students, the beginner class is limited to 20 students and provides extra hands-on help, Roush said.

 

“Give it a shot,” Kent said. “Give it the good ‘college try’ and go two or three times. If you don’t like it, so what? Your first class at Root Down is free, it’s a great opportunity to try something new, and I guarantee you’ll at least get a good workout.”

 

Roush tries to keep her prices reasonable for college students by offering a first-month-unlimited special to new students for $30.  After the first month prices do rise, but students are eligible for 20 percent off class packages. 

 

“It really isn’t affordable if you pay class by class, but if you have any type of extra cash and can commit to going at least two to three times a week, it is a great investment,” Kent said.  “Take some of your monthly party fund and change it into a yoga fund. It’s worth it because if you really make hot yoga a part of your life, not only will you sweat bullets, you will feel refreshed, cleansed, relaxed and peaceful.”

 

Men’s basketball carries momentum into next season

By Tom Pfister

Contributing Writer

 

The Viterbo men’s basketball team wrapped up their 2013-14 season on Feb. 26, with a record of 16-14—their last game a loss in the Midwest Collegiate Conference (MCC) quarterfinals when the V-Hawks were defeated by Grand View University 73-63. The V-Hawks had a 32-24 lead at the half, but were unable to finish the game ahead of Grand View.

 

“It is always hard when a team feels that they have the ability to do well and make it far in the playoffs but come up short,” graduating senior, and forward from Eastman, Wis., Cole Lewis told Lumen. “It is never easy, but it can help motivate those still on the team to make it different for the next year.”

 

Despite the early playoff exit, the squad finished with a record that has improved over the last four seasons. After winning the MCC championship in 2009-10, the team went 6-25 in 2010-11, 11-19 in 2011-12, and 16-15 in 2012-13.

 

With the conclusion of the 2013-14 season, the V-Hawks are looking to maintain the momentum and improvement they have shown over the last four years going into next season.

 

With four seniors graduating—Matt Turba, Izac Sheforgen, Cole Lewis and Jasper Duberry—the V-Hawks must attempt to replace the leadership they brought to the program. Turba and Lewis earned MCC all-conference awards this season, scoring 9.8 and 16.1 points per game respectively. Turba also led the team in assists (2.41 assists per game) and steals (2.1 steals per game).

 

“The team will probably miss the leadership of guys that have been around for so long and been through so many games, but there are also other guys who have the ability to be leaders next year,” Lewis said. They have learned from the leadership of the team this year and have experienced enough to lead the team themselves.”

 

The V-Hawks will be returning MCC all-conference player David Shepard, who averaged 13.2 points per game and led the team in rebounding (6.5 rebounds per game). Freshman Jake Bamke will be the other returning starter for the V-Hawks.

 

Assistant Coach Ryan Thibodeau—having recently completed his sixth season with the V-Hawks—has seen first-hand the improvements needed for next season. Their strategy will include an offense tailor-made for the returning players and a tough man-to-man defense.

 

“We try to accentuate strengths offensively,” Thibodeau told Lumen. “We don’t have a ‘put-out’ player to score whenever we need to stop a run; we rely more on being a team and working off of one another. Defensively, we have always been a top-notch program.”

 

The V-Hawks do not want to have next season be one that is based on rebuilding and replacement, Coach Wayne Wagner, the V-Hawks head coach for the past 14 seasons, told Lumen. Four years ago, the team dropped to a record of 6-25 after winning a conference championship in 2009-10.

 

“We hate to feel like we need to talk about rebuilding,” said Wagner. “We hope our underclassmen are experienced enough to avoid a drop-off. We hope they have seen enough competition and know what they need to work on.”

 

The V-Hawks have worked on strengthening their underclassmen by building a stronger chemistry between the underclassmen and upperclassmen and spending more time in the weight room.

 

“This group has been really good about committing to becoming better,” Wagner said. “The upperclassmen have shown the willingness to get better each year and to bring the underclassmen with them.”

 

The readiness of the returning players will be crucial to the team’s success next season. The V-Hawks will be tweaking their offense to accentuate their current players’ strengths and are hoping for a seamless transition, Wagner explained.

 

“We need to accomplish two things: individual development, such as strength, quickness and athleticism, and a quicker development of chemistry,” Wagner explained. “We need to find opportunities to develop a bond both on and off the court.”

 

On defense, their man-to-man approach will remain the steady signature of the Viterbo program.

 

“Our man-to-man defense has been a proven approach for us,” Wagner stated. “It’s rooted in my background.” A former Viterbo basketball player himself, Wagner spent his playing years in a man-to-man defensive approach.

 

The approach has paid off the last four years, with Viterbo being ranked highly in the country for their scoring defense. The team also led the conference in scoring defense this year.

 

“Our defense has zone principles with players in help positions,” Wagner said. “When I know our defense is set and right, I hear the other team say ‘they’re in zone, they’re in zone.’”

 

A challenge for the V-Hawks will be competing with other MCC schools in recruiting. We are the only team that has a system of development from freshman to seniors. Other schools in the conference bring in junior college players year to year, Thibodeau explained.

 

With an ever-changing MCC conference, the V-Hawks will have to wait to see where they are projected to finish next season. Good or bad, the team will be heading into the 2014-15 season with momentum and a winner’s mentality. They are not afraid to play as the underdog, either.

 

“The underdog mentality has always been successful for us,” Thibodeau said. “These returning players don’t want to hear that they’ll be good in two years—they want to win now.”

Viterbo students return from Cincinnati Mission Trip

By Eric Starr

Contributing Writer

 

While spending time with fifth through eighth grade students in Cincinnati, Ohio, Viterbo University volunteers, including Matt Krueger, a senior business management major from Green Bay, Wis., met one sixth grade girl who told them she had a gun pointed at her after she and her friends had been throwing snowballs at cars.  As if it was everyday business, the girl then proceeded to do her homework. 

 

During their spring break, 25 Viterbo students went on a mission trip to Cincinnati to help communities suffering from intense poverty and violence by doing volunteer work, including packaging food and supplies for shipping all over the world, to spending time helping children in the Wesley Chapel Ministries afterschool program with their homework.  The trip itself was organized by Campus Ministries and funded through the Student Government Association.          

 

“I’ve always wanted to go on a service trip like this, whether it’s just in town here or off campus,” Krueger told Lumen. “Serving others has always been a big part of my collegiate career.”

 

Having participated in Student Government and Operation River Watch, Krueger has always had an interest in public service, but never had the chance to go on a service trip until now. 

 

Krueger helped out during the trip by bagging hygiene products, such as toothbrushes and shampoo, stuffing newsletters, filing papers and mixing cans of paint for houses.

 

“I think seeing the joy on the kids’ faces in that afterschool program” was the best part of the trip, Krueger explained. “I think they appreciate what all of those volunteers do for them.”

 

The volunteers spent time with the students by talking and getting to know them, plus helping them with their school work. Seeing these children, some of whom (volunteers said) probably are not getting enough attention at home, make jokes and learn new things has given the volunteers a sense of hope.

 

“This little boy, a lot of people would definitely push him to the side because he was kind of naughty and goofy, like your typical little kid,” freshman Molly Schmitz, a studio art major with a psychology minor from Oelwein, Iowa, told Lumen. “I was helping him do his homework, and you could tell that he was just so happy to have someone listen to him and help him with his homework, even though he was misbehaving and being a goofball. I just know that one-on-one attention is so important, and could tell that maybe he wasn’t getting that from home. This program was really giving him what he needed, and the fact that it was a Christian organization showed that he was getting that religious side of things. It gave me a sense of hope, definitely.”

 

Volunteers such as Schmitz and Krueger left Viterbo by bus, which drove nine and a half hours to reach Cincinnati. There, they witnessed urban poverty firsthand and got a chance to help through packaging food for those in need, serving breakfast, cleaning, organizing and working with children in the afterschool programs.

 

Living quarters were supplied by the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor, who allowed the volunteers to sleep and cook their meals in the Tau House building, which used to be a convent but is now a living space with bedrooms for weekly service groups.

 

Assistant Director of Campus Ministries Emilio Alvarez told Lumen how incredible it was to see the students go into the trip thinking that they were going to change a lot of lives, but to find that their own lives were changed as well. 

 

“[Students] find out that we can learn from the experiences of others, the gratefulness of others,” Alvarez explained. “We can learn from their deep stories, we can learn how to be hospitable while they in and of themselves are thankful and are hospitable in return. It goes to the core of servant leadership. From what I experienced as a campus minister, a lot of the students came back affected by the people we helped. It is inspiring for me to see those changes occur.” 

 

To give an example of this, Alvarez told Lumen of the Monday night when the volunteers got to listen to Tommy Thompson tell his story. Thompson used to be a very successful plumber, but due to the economy, he lost his job and experienced homelessness for two years.

 

His willingness to share his experiences shattered stereotypes and preconceived notions about homelessness, Alvarez explained. The biggest message of his story is that homelessness does not discriminate; anyone can become homeless. If this is true, the question remains why people discriminate against the homeless: why they won’t make eye contact with them, why they treat them so differently, Alvarez continued. Even the smallest eye contact and the faintest gestures can really give a homeless person a feeling of dignity, like giving your support. The volunteers were then free to ask him questions.   

 

Krueger and Schmitz both told Lumen they would go on the trip again and would recommend it to other students as well.  Both report that the trip was a great way to make new friends and they encouraged other Viterbo students who may be considering going next year to do so.  The trip will be offered again next year, along with other opportunities including a potential trip to the Twin Cities, Alvarez said.    
                
 
                                  

     

Headed in right direction

By Ryan Miller

Sports Editor

 

Under the direction of new head coach Ashley Balazs, Viterbo University’s softball team has already surpassed last season’s wins. Currently, the V-Hawks are 5-11 after trips to Rochester, Minn. and Tucson, Ariz.

In Rochester, the team did not end up with a win, but their trip to Arizona was a different story. The V-Hawks had five wins in Tucson. Two of their wins were against stiff competition in 10-6 Indian Weseleyan and 12-9 University of Great Falls.

“I am looking forward to seeing the team continue to grow,” Balazs told Lumen. “I am a firm believer in the process of success and I believe the girls’ hard work will pay off as we get farther into our season.”

Balazs took over the softball program as head coach in November replacing Andrea Tsilis. Tsilis left Viterbo, because she accepted a job in Chapin, S.C. as a program coordinator for the recreation program.  

“The five seniors have been instrumental in my transition to Viterbo,” Balazs said. “As a new coach it is always helpful to inherit senior leadership. Since day one, they have bought into my vision and plan.

The first priority of any new coach is always to change the culture and environment to fit their specific style, Balazs said. In order to turn this program around, time and energy must be invested every single day.”

Conference play for the V-Hawks starts on March 22 against AIB College of Business. According to the preseason polls for the Midwest Collegiate Conference Viterbo is picked to finish sixth.

“Preseason polls are based on the past and do not take into account offseason preparation,” Balazs said. “I am not concerned about where we stand now, only where we end up.

“My goals for this season are to compete and improve every day,” Balazs said. “In order to do that we must approach each day with a purpose and continue to move forward.”

 

Ashley Balazs Image</p>
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<h1 class=photo of Coach Ashley Balazs retrieved from athletic website

 

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