Student Life caters to Whitworth ideal

Whitworth prides itself on the close-knit community that has been established through Student Life. The idea of community here is a strong selling point for most. Student Life works hard every year to ensure that residents have the best possible experience. Resident Assistants are given extensive training and taught how to handle most situations to best meet the needs of residents. The year begins with Traditiation, which is in place to build community within the first few nights on campus. The Traditiation experience sticks with people and, in some cases, defines their college experience. That time is for making long-lasting friendships, feeling comfortable on a foreign campus and starting a new chapter of life. Whitworth’s student life has put together a creative orientation experience.

There are also seminars for students to engage in during the first week on campus. Seminars such as “I am from...” or “Valuing a Diverse Community” serve the purpose of introducing students to a new culture. While these are wonderful seminars for information, they don’t function well in allowing students to create relationships with others.

These are often seminars to be attended with parents and there is little communication between students and leadership.

“Hopefully there are places for everyone to plug in and feel connected,” said Kathy Storm, vice president of Student Life.

However, these experiences can, at times, focus on a specific type of student who is outgoing and generally speaking, an extrovert.

Some students are uncomfortable with participating in Traditiation activities. Being with that many people doing activities meant to quickly create bonds can be overwhelming, yet there aren’t many attractive alternatives. If students do not join in, they risk not being plugged in right away or not making these crucial, initial friendships.

“We did try one year to offer an opportunity for students to meet and have coffee with faculty members in lieu of traditiation, but no one showed,” Storm said.

While this was a good move by Student Life, the students who are likely to be uncomfortable with Traditiation are also likely to be uncomfortable with meeting faculty in a one-on-one setting so early in the year.

This board understands that appealing to the needs of everyone is impossible. However, we also believe that more could be done to cater to a wide range of needs.

One possible alternative is engaging students more with RAs on a personal level during the orientation season. Typically, four to six RAs are in charge of Traditiation in each dorm community. If the resident assistants who were not in charge initiated outside events for students who were uncomfortable with Traditiation, more students could be effectively assimilated into the community. More could also be done during orientation in the individual halls, with the exception of hall meetings, to get students acquainted with their RA and neighbors.

More personal interaction within the first few days could be beneficial for comfortability. Whitworth prides itself on wonderful community and although traditiation is beneficial for most, community also begins with one-one-one relationships for some.

 

Editorials in the “In the Loop” section reflect the majority opinion of the editorial board, which is made up of five editors.

 

Bucs stay in conference title contention with weekend sweep of pioneers

After NAIA powerhouse Lewis-Clark State edged past the Whitworth baseball team 9-8 in extra innings last Tuesday, the Bucs rolled past Lewis & Clark College in a three-game sweep Friday and Saturday. Whitworth improved its record to 17-10-1 overall and 11-4 in Northwest Conference action, and now sit just two games behind first place Pacific University. Despite taking an 8-5 lead in a late rally on Tuesday night, the Bucs fell 9-8 to host Lewis-Clark State in the 13th inning.

“We were proud of how our guys battled and played last Tuesday,” said head coach Dan Ramsay. “Tough games like that help develop our team’s character and bring us closer together.”

Whitworth trailed 3-0 after six innings but took the lead with a five-run rally in the seventh. Senior third baseman Landon Scott was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to bring in the first run, followed by an RBI single to left field from freshman designated hitter Paul Miller, an RBI ground out by senior first baseman JR Jarrell, and a two-run single from freshman catcher Josh Davis.

The Warriors answered with two runs in the bottom of the seventh to tie the game 5-5, but the Bucs took advantage of three Lewis-Clark errors in the eighth and scored another three runs. Lewis-Clark sent the game into extra innings and took the win when, with bases loaded, senior pitcher Nick Combo walked the Warrior batter on a 3-2 count to force in the winning run for Lewis-Clark.

“We battled them tough to come back and make a good game of it,” freshman pitcher Dan Scheibe said. “The intensity of our extra innings battle with them will probably prove valuable later on down the road in other high-intensity situations.”

In Friday night’s game, sophomore left fielder Tyler Pfeffer hit his eighth and ninth home runs of the season to drive the visiting Bucs 9-1 past Lewis & Clark in the first game of the weekend.

Pfeffer’s first homer boosted Whitworth to a 3-0 lead in the third inning, and his second scored three more runs in the fifth. Senior center fielder Kevin Valerio followed with a single up the left field line, extending the Pirates’ lead to eight.

“Tyler’s two three-run home runs were huge in terms of momentum in game one,” Ramsay said. “Our ability to score runs increases when we execute on offense.”

Miller claimed his first home run as a Buc in the seventh inning to give Whitworth a 9-0 lead over the Pioneers. Lewis & Clark’s sole run came off an RBI single in the bottom of the eighth.

Scheibe was the starting pitcher for the Bucs and struck out eight straight batters in Saturday’s opener, helping Whitworth to a 6-2 win over the Pioneers. He tossed seven innings for the Bucs, allowing one run off five hits and striking out 13 batters. Jason Renner relieved Scheibe, pitching the final one and one-third innings.

“I was hitting spots and getting stronger as the game went on,” Scheibe said. “It’s easy to go out and throw when I’ve got confidence in my hitters to pick me up and have my back offensively.”

Whitworth led 3-1 after three innings off an RBI single by Valerio, a Lewis & Clark error, and an RBI single by Scott. Sophomore second baseman Gerhard Muelheims scored off freshman short-stop Nick Motsinger’s RBI single to first base in the sixth inning, Jarrell scored in the seventh when Lewis & Clark’s pitcher hit senior catcher Michael Takemura with the bases loaded, and Valerio scored the Pirate’s final run off freshman right fielder Thomas Wakem’s RBI single up the middle in the ninth.

“We respected Lewis & Clark as a club and knew that if we backed down they could come up and beat us,” Scheibe said. “The key was showing up and playing our game, and we were able to do that for the most part.”

But after cruising past the Pioneers in games one and two, Whitworth played 10 innings in the final game of the series after Lewis & Clark rallied back from an 8-4 deficit to tie the game 8-8 in the ninth.

“[Lewis & Clark] is a young team with some talented players,” Ramsay said. “We knew they weren't going to roll over and knew they were going to put up a fight.”

But Jarrell stepped to the plate in the 10th inning with the bases loaded and polished off the three-game sweep with a grand slam over the left field wall.

“Game three's big momentum changer was obviously JR’s grand slam in the top of the 10th,” Ramsay said.

The Bucs are set to host Central Washington University on April 10 in a double-header makeup game before facing Pacific on Merkel Field April 14 and 15.

“[Friday and Saturday’s games] will be some of the most important baseball games we've had on our campus in 20 years,” Ramsay said. “It would be awesome to have a ton of support and get as many fans out to the field as possible.”

Whitworth currently stands second in the NWC behind Pacific, so the winner of Friday and Saturday’s series could potentially be the champion of the conference.

 

Story by Corina Gebbers Staff Writer

Contact Corina Gebbers at cgebbers15@my.whitworth.edu.

Women's tennis splits weekend home matches

The Whitworth women’s tennis team came out of the weekend 1-1 after a decisive win against Willamette University and a close loss to Linfield College on Friday and Saturday at the Scotford Tennis Center. The Pirates, who finished out their final conference matches at home, moved to 7-3 in the Northwest Conference and 11-5 overall.

"The team played very well this weekend; I’m pleased with pretty much everything,” head Coach Jo Ann Wagstaff said. “We played much better against Linfield. We had a shot at winning the match.”

Junior Jessi Steele won three of her four matches on the weekend, two of them singles matches, improving her singles win-streak to 14 matches. She hasn’t lost a home match this season and is 15-1 in singles overall this year.

On Friday the Pirates swept the Bearcats in doubles and pulled out several close three-set matches on their way to a 7-2 win.

The No. 1 singles team of Alli Marshall and Erica Bosman made quick work of Willamette’s No. 1 doubles team, winning 8-2. Steele and freshman Saryn Mooney defeated the Bearcats No. 2 doubles team 8-4. In No. 3 doubles, senior Claire Hemming and junior Megan Wingfield finished out the sweep with an 8-1 win.

“We beat Willamette’s second doubles team fairly decisively after they beat us last time we played. It was a good win,” Wagstaff said. “We worked really hard on our volleys since spring break with our doubles team, and it’s paying off.”

Marshall also took care of business in No. 1 singles as she defeated senior Bearcat Shannon Palmer 6-2, 6-2. It was Marshall’s eighth win in singles and 18th win overall.

After taking an early 4-0 lead against the Bearcats, the Pirates lost their next two matches but won the final three to halt Willamette’s comeback and seal the victory.

Bosman lost in one of the most competitive matches of the day, falling to Willamette’s No. 2 singles player 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7-3). Mooney also lost a close three-setter in No. 3 singles 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.

“Longer matches are physically harder, obviously, but they prepare me mentally for similar matches in the future,”  Bosman said.

Steele notched her second win of the day in No. 4 singles, defeating Bearcat senior Emily Bee 6-1, 3-6, 6-1.

Wingfield won a close match in No. 5 singles, defeating Willamette sophomore Emily Funabiki 6-3, 3-6, 1-0 (10-6). Senior Siri Carlson finished off the Bearcats in No. 6 singles, wining 6-3, 6-4.

The Bucs fought just as hard on Saturday, but fell to the Linfield Wildcats, the top team in the Northwest Conference, 6-3.

The Pirates fell into a 4-0 hole early after the Wildcats took all three highly competitive doubles matches and the No. 1 singles match. All three doubles matches were within four games, the third match going into extra games as Hemming and Wingfield fell 9-7.

“We need to keep improving at the same rate in doubles,” Wagstaff said. “We have been working so hard at doubles though we need to remind ourselves about ground strokes in singles.”

The first win of the day came in No. 2 singles as Bosman defeated sophomore Caroline Brigham 6-3, 6-3, after Brigham beat her in doubles.

“I think my singles and doubles games are very different,” Bosman said. “When I’m playing doubles I can see my opponents strengths and weaknesses and I can use it against them in singles later.”

Steele followed two matches later who beat Willamette’s No. 4 singles player 6-1, 6-4.

Whitworth’s third win came in No. 6 singles as Hemming defeated freshman Kelly Watanabe 6-1, 6-2. This was Hemming’s 12th singles win of the season and 24th win of the season.

“It’s very helpful to play a team like Linfield right before the conference tournament,” Carlson said. “One through six they are very competitive, especially in doubles, it helps to play teams like that.”

The women’s tennis team will travel to Oregon this weekend to take on Lewis & Clark College and George Fox University on Friday and Saturday in the last conference matches before the Northwest Conference Tournament.

 

Story by Nathan Webber Staff Writer

Contact Nathan Webber at nathanwebber13@my.whitworth.edu.

Men's tennis secures spot in Northwest Conference Tournament

The Pirate men’s tennis team clinched a spot in the Northwest Conference Tournament over the weekend after claiming two key victories over Willamette University and Linfield College on Friday and Saturday. “Winning these two matches was huge,” junior Cameron Williams said. “Willamette was a very tough team and we clinched the post-season with the wins so it was a huge confidence booster for us.”

The Pirates, who improved to 7-3 in the Northwest Conference and 10-6 overall, only lost three matches all weekend and have won five of their last six conference matches.

“We had a great trip,” head coach Mike Shanks said. “We pulled out a great win versus the No. 2 team in the conference last year, Willamette, and got into a good rhythm today against Linfield. It was a very satisfying trip.”

The match went back and forth on Friday but the Pirates finished strong as the bottom three singles players took the last three matches, finishing off the Bearcats.

After dropping the competitive first doubles match of the day, the Bucs took the next two to gain an early 2-1 lead.

Williams and sophomore Dustin McConnell made quick work of the Bearcats’ No. 2 doubles team, winning 8-1. Seniors Ben Hamming and Stefan Dernbach broke the 1-1 tie in doubles with an 8-3 win in the No. 3 slot.

After Willamette junior Joshua Wong helped defeat senior Daniel Redfern in doubles, Redfern returned the favor in No. 1 singles by beating Wong 3-6, 7-5. Wong retired before the conclusion of the third set, giving Redfern the win.

“My opponent started cramping and it just got really bad so he had to retire,” Redfern said. “We got out to a good start in the match though, which was huge. It’s nice to know for sure you made the post-season.” The Pirates dropped the next two match ups, tying the match at three. The No. 4 and No. 5 singles matches each went into three sets but the Pirates pulled out both of them, sealing the victory.

In the No. 4 singles match, Hamming beat Bearcat sophomore Will Cooper 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 and in the No. 5 singles match sophomore John Talbot overpowered Willamette sophomore Will Agnew-Svoboda for the 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 win.

Freshman Chris Engelmann added one more win to the Pirates total, defeating Willamette freshman Jack Schreiber 6-1, 6-1.

“We had four of our six singles matches go into three sets,” Williams said. “They might have had the upper hand but we regrouped after the rain delay and pulled out the victory.”

Saturday the Bucs fought through some close matches to claim the 9-0 victory over the Linfield Wildcats.

Redfern and junior Micah Spaun got Whitworth on the board with an 8-4 win in No. 1 doubles and No. 2 and No. 3 doubles followed suit as the Bucs swept the Wildcats doubles teams.

Redfern added another win on the board as he beat Linfield junior Zach Lyons 7-6 (7-5), 6-2. This was Redfern’s 12th singles win of the season and 20th win overall.

Williams had a similar match as he defeated the Wildcats No. 2 singles player 7-6 (7-5), 6-3.

The rest of the singles matches went smoothly as no other Linfield player won more than three games in a set.

“This was the last road trip of the season for us so it was great to end it like that,” Williams said.

Whitworth will have two nonconference games April 9 and 10 against the Community Colleges of Spokane and Lewis-Clark State College before playing the last two conference matches at home April 13 and 14.

 

Story by Nathan Webber Staff Writer

Contact Nathan Webber at nathanwebber13@my.whitworth.edu.