Published on July 26, 2018

Genesis Collegiate Challenge Renews Rivalry

The Genesis Collegiate Challenge will renew the rivalries of the men’s and women’s basketball teams of Augustana College and St. Ambrose University on Sunday, Oct. 28 at TaxSlayer Center.

The campuses of Augustana College and St. Ambrose University are separated by only a few miles and a river but because of different sanctioning organizations, the schools’ basketball teams have not regularly competed in recent years.

Augustana College is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (Division III) and St. Ambrose is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.

The games will officially be exhibitions and will not count toward season won-loss records.

The women’s game will tip-off at 2:15 p.m. The men’s game will follow at approximately 5 p.m.

Admission will be free. There will be discounted concessions.

“The Genesis Collegiate Challenge will not only bring together the basketball teams, which is something local fans of the two schools have asked for, but will also include cheerleading squads, dance teams, mascots and the St. Ambrose Marching Band,’’ said Kate Murphy, director of corporate
communications and marketing, Genesis Health System.  “We expect that even though the games will officially be exhibitions, the atmosphere and the games will be highly charged as the teams play for Quad-Cities pride and the Genesis Collegiate Challenge trophies.’’

Sister Joan Lescinski, CSJ, Ph.D, president of St. Ambrose University, said the two schools are natural partners in the Quad Cities region.

“We are proud to participate in this event in an arena that is such a valuable asset to the Quad Cities community,’’ Sister Joan said. “We also are pleased to do so through the sponsorship of a great community partner in Genesis Health System. Augustana is a true community partner as well, and our Fighting Bees and their Vikings will compete with mutual respect and in the spirit of true sportsmanship.’’

Steven C. Bahls, president of Augustana College, said, “We’re excited to bring these two powerhouse schools together in a friendly competition that will provide fun, family entertainment for the Quad Cities area. By bringing these former rivals together, we hope all Quad Citians feel proud that we are a region that boasts top-notch organizations, like Genesis, but that also has the best facilities in the TaxSlayer, and outstanding higher education that draws the best and brightest minds to our area.”

The Genesis Collegiate Challenge will match veteran coaches for each team.

Grey Giovanine will be starting his 20th season as head men’s coach at Augustana.  In recent years, the Vikings have been an NCAA Division III national power with national runner-up finishes in 2015 and 2017. In the past four seasons, the Vikings have gone 105-22 and have made the final eight in NCAA Division III four straight years.

The 2018-2019 season will be Ray Shovlain’s 36th as head coach at St. Ambrose.  He has won more than 600 games in charge of the Bees and his teams have earned 10 NAIA National Tournament appearances and 18 20-win seasons.

The Augustana men lead the series with St. Ambrose 59-36. The teams have not played since the 2012-2013 season.

St. Ambrose women’s coach Krista Van Hauen will be starting her ninth season as head coach of the Queen Bees. Her combined record is 154-91.

She has directed three teams to the NAIA National Championship Tournament in eight seasons.

The Queen Bees have also been impressive off the court under Van Hauen. Several of her teams have earned academic accolades for their high team grade point average.

Mark Beinborn is beginning his seventh season as the Augustana women’s coach. His teams have compiled a combined 32-19 record over the past two seasons, the best two-year stretch for the Vikings since the early 1990s. The Vikings were 15-10 last season. In the 2016-2017 season, the Vikings were 17-9, the best record for the women’s program in 24 years.

St. Ambrose women lead the series with Augustana 32-4. The last meeting was in the 2009-2010 season.

There will be one national championship team in action. The St. Ambrose dance team is the defending NAIA national champion.

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