The University of Denver (DU), located in Denver, Colo., is the oldest private university in the Rocky Mountain Region, founded in 1864. DU currently enrolls 5,000 undergraduate students and 6,000 graduate students. The main campus is a designated arboretum and is located in the University Neighborhood, about seven miles south of downtown Denver. The Denver Pioneers athletic teams’ colors are crimson and gold. Famous alumnae of the University of Denver include former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, former U.S. Olympic figure skater Michelle Kwan, and Peter Morton, founder of the Hard Rock Café chain.
The Denver Pioneers support 17 varsity sports, 11 of which Seattle U teams will face throughout the 2012-13 school year. The school offers eight total men’s sports, five of which Seattle U teams will face this coming season, and nine total women’s sports, six of which Seattle U teams will face this season. This is also Denver’s first year in the Western Athletic Conference, as they left the Sun Belt Conference and joined the WAC on July 1, 2012.
The Pioneers finished 22-9 in 2011-12, as well as 11-5 in conference play. Their 22 victories set DU’s NCAA Division I record, including non-conference wins over Southern Mississippi and St. Mary’s, who were both NCAA Tournament participants. Then-sophomore forward Chris Udofia was named SBC Defender of the Year and All-SBC First Team and then-senior guard Brian Stafford earned All-SBC Second Team honors, joining Udofia on the NABC All-District 24 First Team. Stafford and Udofia led the team in scoring with 14.5 and 13.9 ppg, respectively. Udofia also had a team-leading 72 blocks. Following the 2011-12 season, it was announced that the Pioneers had the fifth biggest attendance increase in the NCAA, marking the second straight year they were among the NCAA’s top 10 largest attendance increases. Head coach Joe Scott enters his sixth season at the helm, as the Pioneers and Redhawks will first meet on Saturday, Jan. 12 at KeyArena. Seattle U will make the trip to Denver on Thursday, Feb. 7.
Denver women’s basketball finished the season with a 19-12 overall record and 11-5 conference record. They earned their second straight 19-win season and a first-round bye in the Sun Belt Conference tournament, but fell in the quarterfinals to Florida International, 67-59. However, they defeated BCS foes Minnesota and Oregon and recorded the program’s 600th all-time victory. Then-senior Kaetlyn Murdoch led the team in scoring with 16.5 ppg, 49 total blocks, and 513 total points. Emiko Smith led the team with 199 assists and 71 total steals. Murdoch also became just the third Pioneer in Denver’s Division I history to pass the 1,800 total points mark. Also excelling academically, the 2011-12 team finished 20th on the WBCA Top 25 Team Honor Roll. Led by new head coach Kerry Cremeans, former Associate Head Coach at Auburn University, the Pioneers will look to make their mark during their first season in the WAC. They will face the Redhawks for the first time in Denver on Sunday, Jan. 13 and will travel to Seattle on Thursday, Feb. 7.
Men’s golf placed seventh at the SBC Championships in 2011-12 and individually, then-sophomore Chun-Ji Kim finished tied for fourth and was named to the All-Sun Belt Conference team, finishing three over par for the tournament. This was the first All-SBC team honoree for Denver since 2009. Then-sophomore Ole Ramsnes led Denver with a 73.90 average over the season, competing in all 10 tournaments for the Pioneers. DU returns the majority of their team from last season, only losing Troy Anderson, who finished second on the squad for the year with a 74.50 average. Sophomore Andy Yang also qualified for the U.S. Amateur Open in July. Led by head coach Eric Hoos, in his 13th season at the helm, the Redhawks and Pioneers will first meet at the WAC Championships at Rio Secco Golf Club in Henderson, Nev. from Monday Apr. 29 – May 1, 2013.
Denver women’s golf earned their ninth-straight SBC title in 2012, led by then-freshman Rachael Watton’s individual title, at the SBC Championships. As a team, the Pioneers finished eight over par and Watton won the individual title in a playoff with Florida International’s Katie Munday. At the NCAA DI Women’s Golf West Regional, the team’s 11th-straight NCAA DI regional berth, the team finished 19th with 51-over par for the tournament. Then-junior Kelly Drack led the Pioneers in scoring on the year, averaging 74.66 strokes in 29 tournament rounds, and also recording three top-10 finishes. Led by head coach Sammie Chergo, who enters her 16th season at Denver, the Redhawks will first face the Pioneers at the WAC Championships in Mesa, Ariz. from Monday Apr. 22 – Wednesday Apr. 24.
Though neither Denver nor Seattle U men’s soccer are members of the WAC, they are both members of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF), as Denver is part of the Mountain Division and Seattle U is part of the Pacific Division. The Pioneers ended 2011 with a 5-11-3 record overall and a 3-6-1 conference record. Christian Volesky led the team with six goals and 13 points, two different players led with four assists, and Jarod Stigall led the team with 38 shots. Excelling not just on the field but in the classroom, eleven Pioneers were named Academic All-MPSF. The Pioneers have started 2012 with a 0-1-2 record, with all three matches thus far going into double overtime. They fell to No. 5 UNC Charlotte, 2-1, before tying Drexel and UC Davis. Josh Wren currently leads the team with two goals so far in 2012. Led by head coach Bobby Muuss, entering his sixth season at the helm, the Redhawks will first face DU at CIBER Field in Denver on Sunday, Oct. 21.
In 2011, the Pioneers finished 16-5-0 overall and 9-2-0 in conference play, third in the SBC overall, before falling to Florida International in the SBC tournament semifinals. Then-sophomore Kristen Hamilton recorded a team-high 16 goals, nine assists, and 41 points, and was also named to the SBC All-Tournament Team. Hamilton, then-sophomore midfielder Nicholette DiGiacomo, and then-freshman defender Sam Harder, all three of which have returned in 2012, were named to the NSCAA All-South Region Second Team. In the 2012 WAC preseason poll, Denver was chosen to finish first in a poll of the league’s head coaches. DU currently ranks third in the WAC in 2012, with a 3-1-1 overall record. Kaitlin Bast leads the team with two goals, four points, and 10 shots, as well as one game-winning goal. Led by veteran head coach Jeff Hooker, entering his 21st year leading the program, the Redhawks and Pioneers will first face on Seattle U’s senior day, Sunday, Oct. 28 at 12 noon.
Swimming & Diving (Men’s and Women’s)
At their final SBC Championships, both the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams left their mark on the conference as back-to-back champions, winning their second straight in 2011-12. Denver also had 18 first-place finishers, including then-junior Rachel Burns and then-freshman Daniel Ettelson who swept the 100 Freestyle for Denver. Ettelson also set a new career-best with a time of 44.63. Samantha Corea swam for the Canadian National Team at the 2012 Canadian Summer Nationals in July and the 2012 U.S. Open Swimming Championships in August and Blake Worsley qualified and competed with Team Canada at the London Olympics in summer 2012. Nine Pioneers earned Mid-Major All-American Honorable Mention following the 2011-12 year. Ettelson, Burns, Corea, and Worsley all return for the 2012-13 campaign. The men’s team shares membership in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) with Seattle U while both women’s teams are in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). Led by seventh-year head coach Brian Schrader, Seattle U will face the men’s team at the MPSF Championships in Long Beach, Calif. on Wednesday, Feb. 20 – Saturday, Feb. 23, and the women’s teams will first meet at the WAC Championships in San Antonio, Texas on Wednesday, Feb. 27 – Saturday, Mar. 2.
The team finished 2011-12 with a 12-9 dual record and Enej Bonin led the team at the No. 1 singles spot with a 11-7 dual record. Yannick Weihs led all players with a 23-12 overall record. In doubles play, Bonin/Jens Vorkefeld led the team with a 19-7 overall record. Earning the No. 1 seed at the SBC championships, Denver was upset by No. 4 seed South Alabama in the men’s conference semifinals. Weihs and Bonin were named to the All-SBC Men’s Tennis Singles Team and the Bonin/Vorkefeld pair was named to the All-SBC Men’s Tennis Doubles Team. With Bonin and Vorkefeld both returning for the Pioneers, led by head coach Danny Westerman entering his seventh season as head coach, DU will first face the Redhawks on Friday, Apr. 5 in Denver.
DU women’s tennis finished the 2011-12 season with a 12-11 overall record, led by Sophia Bergner with a 13-9 dual record at the No. 1 singles spot. In doubles action, Bergner/Steffi Rath led with a 11-9 dual record at the No. 1 doubles spot, both of which are slated to return as seniors in 2012-13. Earning a No. 4 seed at the SBC Women’s Tennis Championships, the team fell to No. 59 North Texas in the semifinals, 4-2. Bergner and Rath both earned All-SBC Recognition, as Bergner was named to the All-SBC Singles Team and both student-athletes were named to the All-SBC Doubles Team. Fourth-year head coach Jeremy Wurtzman will lead the Pioneers versus the Redhawks for the first time on Saturday, Apr. 6 in Logan, Utah.
The Pioneers finished 13-16 overall and 10-6 in conference play in 2011, falling to Florida International in the quarterfinals of the Sun Belt Conference championships. Then-junior Faimie Kingsley was named to the All-SBC First Team and led the Pioneers with 351 kills and 172 blocks to go with a .344 hitting percentage. She was the first Pioneer since 2009 to be named to the All-SBC Volleyball team. The team will continue to count on Kingsley’s leadership, as she has returned for her senior season. The Pioneers have started 2012 with a 3-3 record, led by Colleen King with 53 kills and Kingsley with 26 blocks. First year head coach Jesse Mahoney and new assistant coaches Tom Hogan and Katelin Batten will lead the Pioneers as they first face the Redhawks at the Connolly Center on Saturday, Sept. 15, and as Seattle U heads to Denver for their regular season finale on Thursday, Nov. 15.
The Denver athletic department also sponsors men’s hockey, women’s gymnastics, men’s and women’s lacrosse, and men’s and women’s skiing, which the Seattle U athletics department does not sponsor. Seattle U, on the other hand, also sponsors baseball, men’s and women’s cross-country, men’s and women’s track & field, women’s rowing, and softball that Denver does not sponsor.
2012 marks Seattle University's first year in the Western Athletic Conference and first year as a full NCAA Division I member since 1980. For current information on these events and other Seattle University athletics news, visit GoSeattleU.com.