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Editorial

UWRF athletic department has impressive winter season

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March 5, 2015

As Div. III winter sports are wrapping up over the next couple of weeks, the Student Voice would like to give a shout-out to the UW-River Falls athletics department for one of the most memorable winter sports seasons in recent memory.

Recruiting student-athletes to a Div. III university is not easy, because these students do not receive scholarships or special treatment for being a college athlete. With a Falcon Center segregated fee being voted upon this week, college athletics are at the forefront of our minds.

We believe that the Falcon Center will play a vital role in the future success of this university, because high-quality facilities will lead to bigger, faster and stronger athletes, and those athletes will lead to higher enrollment and more community excitement.

Despite all the budget concerns, it’s a great time to be a Falcons supporter as the women’s hockey team is on the verge of playing in yet another NCAA Tournament, and the men’s hockey team is one win away from its first WIAC Tournament championship, and third conference tournament title in its history.

The women’s hockey team needs the support of the student body at 2:05 p.m. on Saturday, March 7, as the Falcons battle the UW-Stevens Point Pointers for a second-straight WIAC Tournament championship. The Falcons are 2-1-1 against the Pointers this season, and all four games were decided by one goal or less.

The men’s hockey team has more on the line, as the Falcons need a win over Stevens Point at 7 p.m. on Saturday in Stevens Point. Not only are the men trying to do something the program has not done since 1996, win a conference tournament, but a berth in the NCAA Tournament is clearly on the line.

The men’s basketball team, meanwhile, had an astounding turnaround season, posting a 10-6 WIAC record in route to a third place finish. Head Coach Jeff Berkhof was named WIAC co-Coach of the Year for his incredible recruiting and coaching abilities. Berkhof lost practically his entire 2013-2014 roster entering this season.

While the season is still young, the women’s softball team is hitting a strong early stride in Head Coach Faye Perkins’ last season at the helm. It will be a special year as Perkins has been the face of UWRF softball for over 20 years.

Junior David Paynotta placed first at the WIAC Track and Field Indoor Championships last weekend as he set a school record in the 60-meter dash. Paynotta will be running for a NCAA championship next weekend.

Winning is contagious, and winning helps recruitment, and Falcons athletics is winning. Congratulations to the UWRF athletic department on a great winter season.