Former Bluejay Taryn Schuette wins NAIA National Championship with Concordia University
For the second year in a row, and for the third time in program history, the Concordia University-Nebraska (Seward, Neb.) women’s basketball team earned an appearance in the 2019 NAIA Women’s DII National Championship game.
After coming up short in 2015 and 2018, the team’s mantra for the 2018-19 season was “Focus and Finish.” The third time was the charm for 13th year head coach Drew Olson, as the Concordia University Bulldogs defeated the Southeastern University Fire of Lakeland, Fla., 67-59 on March 12, 2019, in the national title game held at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa.
Sabetha native Taryn Schuette is a junior with the Bulldogs and helped her team to the title by contributing 11 points and five rebounds in national tournament wins versus Wilberforce University (Ohio) and Cardinal Stritch University (Wisconsin). Schuette was three for six on 3-point shot attempts in the Wilberforce game.
After playing in 19 varsity contests as a sophomore, Schuette earned varsity action in 32 games as a junior — logging 350 minutes, grabbing 64 rebounds, adding 129 points, dishing out 20 assists, and swiping 22 steals on the season. Schuette scored in double figures in four games, including a 19-point outburst in 14 minutes of playing time to lead all scorers in a game against Peru State College on Nov. 2, 2018.
The Bulldogs began the 2018-2019 season ranked number one in the NAIA women’s national poll, and that ranking held true to the final horn in the title game. In addition to the National Championship, the team also won the Concordia Invitational Tournament held in Ann Arbor, Mich., were regular season co-champions of the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC), and were the GPAC Tournament champions. Concordia University-Nebraska finished the 2018-19 season with a 35-3 overall record, and lofty expectations remain for a program that has recorded 105 wins and only eight losses since 2016.
The team says farewell to one senior in Quinn Wragge from Crofton, Neb., but returns 11 players — including Schuette — who saw action in 30 or more games in 2018-19.
Concordia University varsity roster includes the following: Riley Sibbel of O’Neill, Neb., Taylor Cockerill of Waverly, Neb., Delani Fahey of Ord, Neb., Claire Cornell of Elm Creek, Neb., Mackenzie Helman of Lincoln, Neb., Elle Luehr of Wood River, Neb., Mackenzie Koepke of Lincoln, Neb., Jayda Lyon of Colorado Springs, Colo., Rylee Pauli of Omaha, Neb., Quinn Wragge of Crofton, Neb., Colby Duvel of Max, Neb., Taryn Schuette of Sabetha, Elsie Aslesen of Elk Point, Neb., Philly Lammers of Omaha, Neb., and Grace Barry of Lincoln, Neb. Drew Olson is the team’s head coach. He is assisted by Tae’lor Purdy-Korell and Taylor Jacobsen. Student assistants and manager Maggie Goltz, Jadyn High and Sara Sauceda.