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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Kirkwood Community College - Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Muhl collects 900th win with No. 1 Eagles

KEOKUK - Kim Muhl quietly and humbly collected his 900th victory as  the head coach of the Kirkwood women's basketball program Wednesday  night when the top-ranked Eagles clipped Southeastern, 73-66, in the  ICCAC conference opener in Keokuk.

There was no announcement to the crowd after the game. And there was  no celebration, no hugs and apparently no mention of the achievement  by Muhl's players in the locker room.

"I don't know if they knew or not. Which is good," he said during a  telephone interview on the bus ride back to Cedar Rapids.

Muhl did give himself a treat before heading home. "A hamburger at  Wendy's," he said, laughing.

Muhl, 64, has posted an incredible record at Kirkwood with 900 wins  and only 158 losses in 31 years, with seven national titles along the  way. As usual, he downplayed Wednesday's milestone.

"It's one of those things," he remarked. "You don't think about it  right now, because you're getting ready for Iowa Lakes on Saturday.  Maybe next summer I'll think about it.



Appel returns to help lift Eagles

Luke Appel has spent too much time on the disabled list this season  for the Kirkwood Eagles.

First he rolled his ankle and missed two games early in the year, then  he suffered a freak injury in the weight room a few weeks ago and  missed three more outings.

Appel returned Wednesday night and scored 20 points as the 16th-ranked  Eagles topped Marshalltown, 89-73, in a non-conference game at Johnson  Hall.

Appel stopped by the trainer's room after the contest for them to  examine the tip of his ring finger on his left hand, which is his  shooting hand. He's lucky the entire finger is still there.

"I dropped a weight and broke my finger in the weight room," he  explained. "It cracked my finger straight in half. You could see the  bone.

"I almost amputated my finger," he said.

When he dropped the 45-pound plate, his finger got caught underneath.  It's still bent out of shape and discolored, but he felt good enough  to play.



Muhl nets 899th victory at Kirkwood

COUNCIL BLUFFS - Kim Muhl is on the verge of reaching another  milestone as the Hall of Fame women's basketball coach at Kirkwood  Community College.

The top-ranked Eagles clipped Jefferson College, 78-68, in the second  round of the Iowa Western Classic Saturday to give Muhl his 899th  victory in 31 years at Kirkwood.

Muhl's first chance to reach 900 wins will come Wednesday night when  the Eagles visit Southeastern Community College in Keokuk at 6 p.m.

Muhl has compiled an 899-158 mark at Kirkwood with seven NJCAA  Division II national titles. The Eagles are 9-0 this season heading  into conference games.

Paige Bradford scored 18 points on 8-for-9 shooting and grabbed six  rebounds to guide Kirkwood past Jefferson. Amara Lipsey finished with  16 points, seven rebounds and four assists.

Kemara Watson contributed 14 points and seven rebounds off the bench  for the Eagles. Tatiana Hodges-Johnson pitched in with eight points  and eight rebounds. Ju Gaston had six assists.



No. 1 Eagles cruise by Mineral Area College

COUNCIL BLUFFS - The top-ranked Kirkwood women's basketball team  bolted to an 18-4 lead in the first quarter Friday afternoon and  cruised to a 74-46 victory over Mineral Area College in the opening  round of the Iowa Western Classic in Council Bluffs.

The Eagles (8-0) will face Jefferson College in the second round  Saturday at 5 p.m.

Tatiana Hodges-Johnson led Kirkwood with 13 points. Delani Harris  netted 11 points and five rebounds. Paige Bradford finished with 10  points and eight rebounds. Natalie Tomaszewski also grabbed eight  rebounds for the Eagles. Jheda Kennedy had four assists.

Jada Manase scored 12 points for Mineral Area College (6-2).



No. 14 Eagles sink Lake County

The 14th-ranked Kirkwood Eagles used a balanced attack Tuesday night to smother the College of Lake County, 98-64, in a men's basketball game at Johnson Hall.

DJ Purnell led the Eagles (6-3) with 19 points and seven rebounds. Gacoby Jones and Chris Burnell scored 14 points for Kirkwood. Devonte Thedford had 11 points and Niko Gosnell added 10 points.

Seybian Sims and Griffen Clark contributed nine points apiece and Jalen Taylor had eight markers.

Kirkwood shot 54.5 percent from the floor, with Purnell going 6-for-7. Jones grabbed eight rebounds. Thedford had five assists. Gosnell blocked four shots.



KCC volleyball claims 9th at nationals

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The Kirkwood Eagles got off to a slow start at the national volleyball tournament in West Virginia this past week, but there was no stopping them once they got rolling.

The Eagles claimed a 3-2 victory over Gulf Coast State Saturday morning to finish ninth in the NJCAA Division II tournament at the Charleston Civic Center.

Kirkwood won 20-25, 25-18, 25-22, 20-25, 15-13. The Eagles were seeded No. 9 in the tournament and Gulf Coast State was seeded No. 6, so it was a mild upset.

Kirkwood lost to top-ranked Parkland in the opening round, but the Eagles bounced back with three straight victories in the consolation bracket to finish with a 3-1 record with triumphs over two higher-seeded clubs.



Short-handed Eagles fall short

EAST PEORIA, Ill. - The ninth-ranked Kirkwood men's basketball team lost to Illinois Central, 72-66, in a non-conference game Saturday in Illinois.

Devonte Thedford and Seybian Sims, two normal starters for the Eagles, did not play in Saturday's game for unspecified reasons. Luke Appel and Connor Kasperbauer, who helped Kirkwood win the national title last season, did not play due to injuries.

Kirkwood defeated Illinois Central, 87-68, in the season opener Nov. 1 at the SCC tournament in West Burlington.

Jamal Stephenson and DJ Purnell led Kirkwood (5-3) with 16 points. Purnell grabbed 13 rebounds. Niko Gosnell blocked four shots.



KCC volleyball aiming for 9th at nationals

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The Kirkwood women's volleyball team won both of its matches in the consolation bracket of the NJCAA Division II national tournament Friday and will play for ninth place Saturday.

The Eagles (28-15) will face Gulf Coast State (23-7) at 8 a.m. in the final match of the consolation round.

Kirkwood began the tournament Thursday with a 3-0 loss to Illinois Central, but the Eagles bounced back with a 3-0 conquest of Mercyhurst North East and a 3-1 victory over Catawba Valley Friday.

Kirkwood, the No. 9 seed, swept Mercyhurst, 25-11, 25-12, 25-20. Anna Gorsich had 12 kills and Aubrin Dittmer had 10. Madi Wagaman collected 19 assists and Rachael Nelson had 17. Maranda Wheelock made 21 digs.



KCC volleyball swept at national meet

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The Kirkwood women's volleyball team was swept by Illinois Central, 3-0, in the opening round of the NJCAA Division II national tournament Thursday at the Charleston Civic Center.

Kirkwood (26-15) will face Mercyhurst North East (19-8) in a consolation match Friday at 11 a.m. as it tries to battle back for ninth place in the 16-team tournament.

Kirkwood is seeded No. 9 for the national tournament and Illinois Central is No. 8, but the Eagles were swept 25-15, 25-21, 25-20.

Anna Gorsich had 12 kills for Kirkwood. Madi Wagaman and Rachael Nelson had 13 assists. Olivia Richards made 16 digs and Maranda Wheelock had 14. Maggie Peters blocked five shots.



Clark sparks No. 9 Eagles by John Wood

Griffen Clark learned what it takes to win a national championship  last season as a freshmen when the Kirkwood Eagles captured the NJCAA  Division II national crown.

Now Clark is trying to impart some of that wisdom into this year's  team as a sophomore.

"I would say the biggest thing about last year is how together you  have to be as a team, especially when things get tough: How do you  respond?," he remarked Wednesday night.

"And I think we learned how important leadership is, to have guys in  the locker room who are going to keep everything under control. When  things are going well, keep them going well, and when they're not  going well, turn it around."

Clark helped turn things around Wednesday for Kirkwood when he popped  in three straight 3-pointers in less than three minutes to help the  ninth-ranked Eagles pull away from John Wood College and post a 64-48  victory at Johnson Hall.

The Eagles (5-2) were clinging to a 44-42 lead with less than nine  minutes left. His three triples ignited a 16-0 run as Kirkwood took  command at 60-42 and pulled out of danger.



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