Viterbo athletics cap off fall season with national appearances and conference successes


Noah Nelson, Sports Editor

2022 has been a win-filled season for fall sports at Viterbo University, including multiple national qualifying teams and All-Conference individual performers. Athletic Director Barry Fried said of the season, “We’ve had arguably the best overall fall sports season in school history.  So many teams and individuals have shined.  We’ve had nationally ranked teams, conference champions, national qualifiers, and so many outstanding performances among our fall sports.” 

Early in the season, the Lumen did a story on the Women’s Cross Country Team. Since then, athletes and coaches alike have since found success. The women ran two races before the previous article was published and have competed in five since. In those more recent races, the women won twice, including the NSAA Conference Championship in Dickinson, ND. The women had four All-Conference performers, with Madelyn Adam being the team’s highest finisher at third overall. Tori Gerber won the team’s Champion of Character Award. Coach Don Fritsch won NSAA Coach of the Year at this event as well. 

On Nov. 18, the women traveled to Jacksonville, FL to compete at the NAIA National Tournament. Madelyn Adam ran the fourth fastest National performance in Viterbo history with a 19:27. Brenna McDonaugh came in just behind at 19:32, taking fifth on the all-time list. Anya Hirsch came in at 19:38, taking sixth.  

Women’s Soccer has also completed its season, falling short in their conference tournament. The women lost 2-0 to #1 ranked Bellevue but had numerous All-Conference performers. Grace Bruechel was named Conference Newcomer of the Year as well as First Team All-Conference while scoring the sixth highest number of goals in the NAIA. Sophomore Jenna Bennett continued strong form, posting First-Team All-CAC this year to follow a second team win last year. She also won the Champion of Character Award to highlight her already impressive season. 

On the men’s side, the story was similar. The soccer team faced Florida National and lost 1-0. The V-Hawks only took five shots all game and were unable to come back from a 26th minute goal by FNU. Eight team members were selected to the All-Conference teams. Goalkeeper Ernesto Ascenzo was named the CAC’s Goalkeeper of the Year due to only allowing five goals all season. Jacob Battista was the team’s points leader for the year with 20; he was also named First Team All-Conference.  

Men’s Golf competed in multiple events since the Lumen last covered them, notably traveling to Whistling Straits in their last event. Nick Tennis, the team’s best performer for the week, said of the event, “The conditions were really tough—30-40 mile an hour winds and 35 degrees—but it was a good test of perseverance.” These conditions resulted in the event being called off on the second day, but it was a valuable experience for the team to test endurance in such difficult conditions. 

For Women’s Golf, the team’s season was short, but they were able to compete at some “high-level courses,” according to team captain Caylee Beyer. The best team finish was fourth place at the Lorus Invitational. Individually, Beyer took home NSAA Player of the Week in the first week of season by posting a two-day score of 177 and finishing ninth for the event.  

On the bowling side, there has been less action because both Men’s and Women’s are considered winter sports. However, the women already have an individual winner in Lynn Piekarski. She took home first place at the Titan Invite in Neenah, WI. Brayton Fandrich was the best performer for the men at this event, taking fifteenth and knocking down 1100 pins. 

The fall season has been largely successful for Viterbo Athletics. More information on our sports teams can be found on the Viterbo Athletics website at