Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Braun and Rietema Earn Preseason Honors as Valpo's Tabbed Third in the Mid-Con

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Tamra Braun (Savage, Minn./Prior Lake H.S.) and Betsy Rietema (Grand Rapids, Mich./Christian H.S.) were each named to the Mid-Continent Conference preseason all-conference team and Valparaiso was picked to finish third in the Mid-Con according to balloting of the league's head coaches, sports information directors, and selected media outlets.

Braun was named to the Mid-Con's Preseason First Team after earning First Team All-Conference honors at the end of last season. The junior averaged 10.1 points and 7.4 rebounds per game last season for the Brown and Gold, while posting five double-doubles. She also ranked 23rd in the nation in blocked shots, averaging 2.4 per contest. The 6'5" center has 98 career rejections, tie for second on Valpo's all-time list.

Braun is joined on the First Team by Oakland's Anne Hafeli, Jayme Wilson, and Nicole Piggott along with Elisha Turek of Oral Roberts and Zane Teilane of Western Illinois. Teilane was also named the Mid-Con's Preseason Player of the Year.

Rietema was selected to the Mid-Con's Preseason Second Team after averaging 10.2 points and 4.3 rebounds per game last year. The junior finished tenth in the conference in free throw percentage last season, shooting 73.9% from the charity stripe. The 6'1" forward went 13-of-14 from the line at IUPUI last year, marking the fifth best free throw shooting night in school history.

Rietma joins Tina Hill of Chicago State, IUPUI's Brooke McAfee and Kia Hayes, and Liz Obrecht of UMKC on the league's Second Team.

As a team, the Crusaders were tabbed to finish third in the league for the 2005-2006 season behind Western Illinois and Oral Roberts. Valpo received one first place vote out of the 25 ballots that were cast. Oakland was picked to finish right behind the Crusaders followed by UMKC and Chicago State. Southern Utah was selected to finish seventh while IUPUI and Centenary round out the poll.

Last season, Valpo finished 18-10 overall and 12-4 in the Mid-Con, despite numerous injuries throughout the year. Head coach Keith Freeman's squad finished in a tie for second place in the league's standing and returns seven letterwinners, including three starters, from last year's squad. The Brown and Gold have finished in the top two in the conference each of the last four seasons.

Valpo will open the preseason on November 5 at home with a 5 p.m. contest against Grand Valley State. The regular season begins November 18 against Northern Iowa at 7:05 p.m. at the ARC.

2005-2006 Mid-Continent Conference Preseason Poll
Team - Points
1. Western Illinois (11) - 290
2. Oral Roberts (7) - 280
3. Valparaiso (1) - 267
4. Oakland (5) - 261
5. UMKC (1) - 180
6. Chicago State - 157
7. Southern Utah - 119
8. IUPUI - 91
9. Centenary - 47
(First place votes in parentheses)
W Tennis Valpo 0 Chicago, Ill.
Apr 14 Chicago State 7
M Tennis Valpo 7 Homewood, Ill.
Apr 15 Chicago State 0
Baseball Valpo CCD
Apr 15 Toledo
M Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
W Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
Baseball Valpo 4 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 17 Milwaukee 0
M Tennis Youngstown State 1 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 6
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 18 Milwaukee 3
Softball Oakland 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 18 Valpo 11
W Tennis Youngstown State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 0
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19 CCD
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 2nd/3 (191)
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 3rd/5 (82)
W Tennis Cleveland State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 0
Softball Oakland 1 VU Softball Field
Apr 19 Valpo 2
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 19 Milwaukee 5
Softball Oakland 4 8 inn.
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Tennis Cleveland State 5 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 20 12th/15 (314)
Baseball Kalamazoo 3 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 21 Valpo 10
Baseball Ohio Northern 2 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 22 Valpo 1
Softball Valpo 3 Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22 Western Illinois 1
Softball Valpo 5 Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22 Western Illinois 4
Softball Valpo Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 24, 5:00 p.m. #21/21 Notre Dame
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25, 2:00 p.m. UIC
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 25, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 26, 3:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 2:00 p.m. Wright State
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 27, 2:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Western Michigan Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 5:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Chicago State Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Indiana (resumption of suspended game)
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 4:00 p.m. Indiana
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 2
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 2
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 2, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 3
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 3
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 3, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 3, 1:00 p.m. Green Bay
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 3, 3:00 p.m. Green Bay
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 4
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 4
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 4, 12:00 p.m. Green Bay
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 4, 12:00 p.m. Valpo