Alumni athletes in the news

Mack Johnson (courtesy of University of Sioux Falls)
Mack Johnson (courtesy of University of Sioux Falls)
Emily Pascavis (courtesy of Moorhead State University)
Emily Pascavis (courtesy of Moorhead State University)
Michala Walther (courtesy of College of St. Scholastica)
Michala Walther (courtesy of College of St. Scholastica)
Elissa Pheneger (courtesy of North Central University)
Elissa Pheneger (courtesy of North Central University)

A number of former Roseville Area High School and Concordia Academy athletes have made newsworthy contributions to their current collegiate teams in recent weeks. Here's a recap of some of them.

Mack Johnson
The 2013 RAHS graduate is a junior on the men's basketball team at the University of Sioux Falls in South Dakota. Last month, he earned a player-of-the-week honor.
Dec. 4-5, Johnson put together a two-game stretch in which he scored 67 points, the highest total for back-to-back games in his collegiate career. Johnson scored 39 of those points in Sioux Falls' 85-79 victory over Upper Iowa.
In the Upper Iowa game, Johnson shot 67 percent from the field (10-of-15) and went a perfect 16-of-16 from the free-throw line. The 39 points was the most by a Sioux Falls player in more than 20 years.
The next night, Johnson added 28 points by going 4-of-8 from three-point range and 6-of-6 at the line.
For the season, Johnson is leading the team in scoring averaging 16.1 points per game through 14 contests. He is shooting just a hair under 50 percent from the field and 92 percent from the free-throw line. He also leads the team in steals and is second in assists.
Through 15 games, Johnson has scored 226 points to put his college total at 895 points. He had also made 39 consecutive free throws entering last weekend's action.
Sioux Falls entered last weekend's action with a 9-5 overall record and was 4-4 in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.

Emily Pascavis
The 2012 Roseville Area High School graduate has earned four athlete-of-the-week honors so far this season as a member of the Minnesota State University-Moorhead women's swimming and diving team.
The college senior has been named the New South Intercollegiate Swim Conference diver of the week three times and also was named the MSUM athlete of the week in mid-November.
Among her accomplishments this season was winning both the one and three-meter diving competitions at an invitational at Gustavus Adolphus. Pascavis broke the school record and notched a national pre-qualifying meet score on the one-meter board.
As a junior at Moorhead, she had a breakout season that included a trip to the national meet. She placed first seven times, set personal bests eight times and was a three-time NSISC diver of the week.

Michala Walther
The 2015 Concordia Academy graduate is a freshman on the women's basketball team at the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth. In 13 games for the Saints, Walther has led the team in scoring four times, including a stretch of three games in a row.
Walther, a 5-foot-9 guard, first led St. Scholastica in scoring in a game on Dec. 4 when she put up 18 points in a 71-67 loss to Martin Luther. Three games later she began her streak of being the highest-scoring Saint when she scored 16 points in an 83-58 win over Finlandia on Dec. 12.
Three days later, Walther scored 17 points in an 87-63 loss to the University of Wisconsin-Stout and hit for 14 in a 62-50 win over Crown on Jan. 2.
For the season, Walther is third on the team in scoring with an average of 10.8 points per contest. She reached double figures in her first collegiate game, a victory over Dubuque on Nov. 13. She then had a streak of four games in which she scored seven or fewer but since then has scored in double figures in seven of the last eight games.
St. Scholastica started the season with a victory but then went on a seven-game losing streak. Starting with a win over Northland on Dec. 11, the Saints won four of five heading into last Saturday's game at Wisconsin-Superior.

Elissa Pheneger
The 2013 Concordia Academy graduate plays volleyball at North Central University in Minneapolis but her accomplishment happened away from the court. Phenger was recently named to the NCAA's Division III National Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
Pheneger, a junior, is NCU’s current student-athlete advisory committee president and will represent the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference and the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference on the national level.
All NCAA Division III schools are required to have a student-athlete advisory group, which provides insight on the student-athlete experience and offers input on the rules, regulations and policies that affect student-athlete lives.
Pheneger will serve a two-year term on the committee starting later this month.
Last fall, Pheneger made NCU athletic history when she became the school's first volleyball player to surpass 2,000 career assists and 800 career digs. She is only the second NCU player to reach the 2,000 assist plateau and has a good shot at breaking the school record for assists next season.

Brian Meyers can be reached at or 651-748-7819. Follow him on Twitter @BMeyersNews.


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