Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.
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The fifth-ranked UWRF women's hockey team defeated a pair of nationally ranked opponents last week to extend its winning streak to five straight and improve to 5-1-1 on the season. The Falcons rolled to a 6-2 victory over ninth-ranked St. Thomas University Tuesday, Nov. 14 and a defeated 10th-ranked UW-Eau Claire, 4-1, Saturday, Nov. 18.
Three freshmen divers and a senior swimmer competed with the best in the state at the WIAA Division 2 State Swimming and Diving Championships Friday, Nov. 10, at the University of Wisconsin Natatorium in Madison. Divers Eva Mikla, Madison Berg and Isabel Seyffer all made their state debuts with Mikla leading the way with a ninth place score of 351.3. Berg finished 11th with a score of 334.95 while Seyffer placed 13th with 330.45. Senior swimmer Maddie Seyffer finished 16th in her second state appearance in the 500 yard freestyle with a time of 5 minutes, 37.34 seconds.
The St. Croix Valley Fusion girls hockey team kicked off the season on a high note with an 8-1 victory over Rochester John Marshall Saturday, Nov. 18, in Rochester, Minn. The Fusion took control from the start with four goals in the first period, starting with freshman Jaden Woiwode's first varsity goal 7:42 in with an assist from linemate Jordan Erickson. Anna Albrightson followed with assists from Kamryn Jacobs and Madi Harer before Taylar Meier scored the next two goals, one off an assist from Albrightson, to stake St. Croix Valley to a 4-0 lead.
Both the UW-River Falls men's and women's basketball teams christened Page Arena with victories in their first regular season games in their new home Wednesday, Nov. 15. The Falcon men led wire-to-wire in an 85-73 win over Central College in the first game of the doubleheader while the women completed the sweep with a 58-52 win over Carleton College. Senior Brennan Witt recorded a double-double in the men's win with 15 points and 11 rebounds to lead five Falcons in double figures in scoring.
Twice injuries have robbed Griff Christenson of his senior season of football — first in 2011 at Hudson High School and again in 2016 at UW-River Falls. But last Saturday, Nov. 11, Christenson was finally able to end a senior season on his own terms as a graduate student at Pacific University College of Optometry in Forest Grove, Ore.
If you think this season was all about winning for the Wildcat volleyball team, listen to head coach Sara Kealy describe what she'll remember most. "The chemistry that this team had, more so than the wins and losses," she said. "I think it's about the relationships that you build and what you can add to each other's lives. And I talk about the seniors but I think my juniors and sophomores and my lone wolf freshman have added something invaluable to each other's lives outside of how to pass, set and hit a volleyball."
The River Falls volleyball team's quest for a state championship and undefeated season fell two points short in a five-set thriller to Burlington in the WIAA Division 1 state title match Saturday, Nov. 4, at Green Bay's Resch Center. After storming back from two sets down to tie the match, the Wildcats led 13-11 in the fifth and deciding set before Burlington scored the final four points to hand the Cats a 20-25, 17-25, 25-22, 25-17, 13-14 loss and win its third state championship in the last seven years.
The UW-River Falls women's hockey team swept Bethel College in a home-and-home series last weekend, winning 7-5 Friday, Nov. 3 in St. Paul and 5-2 Saturday, Nov. 4, at Hunt Arena. Jessie Anderson and Amy Auran netted a pair of goals each in Friday night's win while Ashley Effertz and Carly Moran tallied a goal and assist each. Sam Young netted a goal while Erica Schramel and Madi Nolan each had two assists. Angie Hall finished with 14 saves.
Senior running back Michael Diggings rushed for a career high 224 yards and three touchdowns and the UW-River Falls defense held UW-Stevens Point to 217 total yards as the Falcons snapped their four-game losing streak with a 21-14 victory over the Pointers Saturday, Nov. 4, in Stevens Point. Diggins increased his league-leading rushing total to 1,190 yards to become the first Falcon to go over the 1,000 yard mark since Taylor Edwards in 2011. Diggins scored on runs of 3, 2, and 21 yards to give him 16 rushing touchdowns on the season, tops in the WIAC.
Wildcat senior Maddie Seyffer qualified for the WIAA State Swimming and Diving Championships for the second straight year and will be joined by three freshman divers when the Division 2 meet gets underway Friday, Nov. 10 in Madison. Seyffer placed fourth in the 500 yard freestyle at the sectional meet at UW-Stevens Point Saturday, Nov. 3 to earn a return trip to state while freshmEn Eva Mikla, Madison Berg and Isabel Seyffer swept the top three spots at the diving sectional the night before in Hudson.