Volleyball splits on the road to end on a high note

Whitworth volleyball split games on the road the weekend of Nov. 2, losing to the Pacific Boxers 3-2 before finishing the season with a win against the Linfield Wildcats 3-1.

The Pirates found themselves in a hole to start the match as Pacific quickly went up 5-0. Whitworth steadily made its way back, forcing 12 ties and three lead changes in the set, including a run of three kills in a row from junior outside hitter Jalana White to tie the game at 15. The Bucs took their first lead of the night off of a Boxer attack error and then carried on to win the set 25-22.

“We fought really hard,” White said. “We didn’t start out strong but we finished strong and pulled it together about halfway through the set.”

Pacific jumped ahead again in the second set 6-3 but Whitworth came back again, taking the lead 10-9 on a kill from junior outside hitter Abi Hedlund. The Boxers trailed the Pirates before coming back to tie the game at 22 and then 23, then a kill from junior middle blocker and Pacific errors gave Whitworth a 25-23 win.

Whitworth got down in the third set 6-3 but fought back with kills from Hedlund and junior middle blocker Briauna Stadeli and an ace from freshman setter Maddye Dinsmore to tie the set at 14. The Bucs went up 18-15 before Pacific went on a run to win the set 25-21.

“Our communication fluctuates,” junior libero Whitney Santos said. “Sometimes we’ll be really loud and positive, sometimes we’ll be really quiet and that was the key factor in our change in play.”

Pacific kept the momentum and took advantage of a single lead change in the fourth set to gain control of the lead and win 25-21, tying the match 2-2 and forcing a fifth set.

The Boxers took the lead in the final set 5-2 but the Pirates challenged that when a kill from Hedlund and a kill from White followed by a service ace tied the game 8-8. Pacific shut down the run before Whitworth could challenge any more to win the final set 15-10.

“We took them to five games and it was a tough match,” Santos said. “We played with heart and we played with everything we had and I think that’s what’s so commendable about our team – we always play our hardest and we never give up.”

Despite the loss, Whitworth was able to carry the strong match against Pacific into the game against Linfield the next night and come out to win the first set 25-20.

“We played at about the same pace we did the day before,” head coach Steve Rupe said. ”We were able to finish plays and finish rallies. We just played a solid match.”

The Wildcats led in the beginning of the first set but kills from White, Hedlund and Stadeli gave the Bucs the lead 4-3. Whitworth gradually widened the gap, with its largest lead at 22-12 on a service ace from sophomore defensive specialist Katie Adams, and went on to win 25-16.

Linfield found a rhythm in the third set of the night, taking advantage of Pirate errors early, and went up 2-0. Whitworth worked to take the lead away, going on 6-0 and 4-0 scoring runs, but the Wildcats led the rest of the set to win 25-23.

A kill from junior middle blocker Kristine Kardell put the Pirates up 1-0 to start the fourth set. Whitworth pushed to control the speed and the Wildcats kept up through the whole game to force multiple match points in a set with a total of 14 ties.

“Every time they tied it up with us we sided right back out,” Rupe said. “We finally broke through with a side out and then made good defensive plays.”

At 27-27, the Bucs’ final sideout came from a kill by freshman outside hitter Nicole Leonard, followed by a kill from Hedlund to end the match 29-27.

Whitworth finished the season with a record of 10-13 overall and 6-10 in conference, and the last half of the season proved to be promising for the year to come.

“We had a rough start to the year and there’s a lot of adversity that happened on our team,” Santos said. “To know that we’re good enough to compete with good teams and since we’re all coming back, that’s just really exciting for us.”

Megan John Staff Writer

Contact Megan John at mjohn16@my.whitworth.edu.

Men’s soccer clinches NWC title

Whitworth men's soccer team clinched the 2012 Northwest Conference title, despite losing two of its final three games of the regular season.

In the first game, the Pirates faced a Willamette team with five conference losses on the year, including one to the Whitworth earlier in the season. The Pirates needed only one more conference victory in their final three match-ups to clinch the NWC crown. Willamette's Trevor Jensen led the Bearcats with two assists and a goal, his eighth and fifth on the season, respectively.

Jensen wasted no time putting the Pirates under pressure, assisting teammate Tyler Yates to his third goal on the year in the 27th minute, putting Willamette up 1-0. Jensen put the Bearcats up 2-0 all by himself just after halftime, firing a shot from about 30 yards out and beating Pirate senior goalkeeper Kyle Novak. Although holding a 2-0 lead, Willamette did not show they were a second half team this year, allowing 25 goals in the second period of games as opposed to only three in the first period of games.

The Bucs contributed to that fact, storming back for two goals in the second half, sending the game to overtime. Sophomore forward Robby Ubben scored just after the hour mark on an assist by freshman defender Spencer Wolfe. Junior defender Balin Larson had the second goal for the Pirates, slotting away a penalty kick in the 82nd minute of play.

Willamette pushed on in the first period of overtime and found the game-winner from Austin Jacobson, assisted by Jensen. Although the Pirates lost for the first time this season, the bigger picture still allowed two more chances for the Bucs to clinch the 2012 NWC crown.

The second to last game of the season slated Whitworth against the Linfield Wildcats (7-9, 5-7 NWC). The Pirates faced off against Linfield in their first regular season game of the year, beating the Wildcats 2-0. Last weekend's match saw a closely contested game throughout, with Linfield matching Whitworth's shots on goal. However, the Bucs' pressure on the Wildcat defense and a pass from junior defender Andrew Flint opened up a shot opportunity for freshman forward Karl Muelheims, who shot it low to the near post, beating Linfield goalkeeper Scott Goodman in the 50th minute.

“[Flint] played it to me and my initial thought was to dump it in the box,” Muelheims said. “But once I pushed the ball past the defender I felt like I had time to get a shot off, so I took it and it went near post low corner.”

The goal turned out to be enough for the Conference title, as senior goalkeeper Kyle Novak and the Pirates' defense posted their 13th shutout of the year. It was the first time Whitworth won the Northwest Conference title outright since the 2009 season.

The final game of the season for Whitworth sent the Pirates to face Whitman in Walla Walla, Wash. Head coach Sean Bushey did not play a single regular starter in the game, giving less-experienced players more time on the field. And even yet, the Bucs still put up a fight, coming back from a one goal deficit to tie the game with less than 15 minutes remaining.

Sophomore midfielder Tyler Clarke saved the day for the Pirates, putting away a breakaway chance assisted by senior forward Kekoa Mountcastle.

But Whitman was not to be denied, seizing the game-winner just four and a half minutes into the overtime period, on a header by substitute Joe Virden that beat the back-up junior goalkeeper Nate Bell. Bell made just his fourth appearance of the season, and made eight saves throughout the match.

The Pirates are now preparing for a postseason run, with their first round game in the 2012 NCAA Division III Tournament being hosted by Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, this Saturday Nov. 10. The Bucs will face Mississippi College, the American Southwest Conference champions with a 12-5-2 record on the year.

Korey Hope Staff Writer

Contact Korey Hope at khope16@my.whitworth.edu.

Bucs earn pair of crucial NWC victories

Whitworth and Linfield remain tied atop conference with four games to play The women’s soccer team won a thriller in sudden death overtime at home on Saturday against Pacific University and followed the win up with a victory over George Fox University at home.

The Pirates are tied with the Linfield Wildcats for first place in the NWC as four conference games remain on the schedule for each team.

On Saturday, the weather was harsh in Spokane and impacted the game.

“It was rough, it was cold and windy,” freshman forward Tiara Pajimola said. “But we did what we always do; come together as a team when we need it the most.”

The lone goal of the match came in the seventh minute of sudden death overtime. Freshman forward Hannah Bokma received a cross in the six-yard box and hit  a header into the upper left corner of the goal. The cross came from senior defender Carly Schilperoort after she took it down the line, passing multiple defenders.

The goal was Bokma’s second of the season.

“Hannah did a great job finishing, it was a great pass by Carly, and our defensives line [did well], Jamie coming up and working the ball up with me,” Pajimola said. “We were able to get the corner off. We worked well as a team.”

The contest was a tough matchup for the Bucs as they continue to contend for a conference title against Pacific squad that was 5-7-3 overall.

“Pacific’s always really physical and we just had to hang in there,” freshman goalkeeper Andrea Stump said. “Obviously it went to overtime which was kind of tough. But we just kept our heads about us and stayed composed and ended up on top.”

Whitworth out-shot the Boxers 6-1 in the second half and 15-5 overall.

“We worked the ball well,” head coach Jael Hagerott said. “We created a lot of scoring opportunities.”

Sunday slated the Bucs against the George Fox Bruins. The Bruins were in last place with a 1-9 record.

“It was definitely a battle,” senior midfielder Mackenzie Grow said. “It shows that we have to play well against any team the whole time or they’ll come right back at us.”

Whitworth outshot the Bruins 19-8.

“Overall it was a good performance by the team in terms of how we worked the ball,” said Hagerott.

The Bucs scored their first goal of the match in the 23rd minute. Grow passed a ball up the middle to Pajimola who was able to get a shot in the lower corner of the goal.

In the second half, the Bruins put more pressure on the Bucs and were able to get a goal to tie up the match in the 77th minute. The Pirates responded with a goal in the 81st minute of the match to clinch the victory.

In the 82nd minute, Pajimola dribbled up the sideline, beating George Fox defenders and striking a ball in the air behind Bokma. Bokma was able to twist her body and get a foot on the ball which sailed above the George Fox goalkeeper’s hands and into the goal.

The game ended 2-1 and brought the Bucs to a  9-1-2 record in conference.

The Bucs will be on the road as they face Willamette and Lewis & Clark this weekend.

“They’re both rough teams, they’ll fight; they’ll be scrappy for the ball,” Grow said. “We have to come out ready to play.”

The few final matches will determine the postseason for the Bucs, as only the first place team moves on and the Bucs are competing for that top spot with Linfield. Each team has four regular season matches remaining, and will play one another to conclude the season.

Whitney Carter Staff Writer

Contact Whitney Carter at wcarter15@my.whitworth.edu

Wildcats cruise in victory over Pirates

Linfield solidifies national ranking with dominating win against Whitworth The Whitworth football team took a tough beating last Saturday from the Wildcats of Linfield College, who are currently ranked number three in NCAA Division III, 54-14.

“Linfield is a very good football team,” Whitworth head coach John Tully said. “[They are] very deserving of being ranked 3rd nationally. They played a good game and we didn’t play a good game and this was the result.”

It was a rough day for the Bucs, (5-2, 1-2 Northwest Conference) who did not manage to get on the board until more than halfway through the fourth quarter.

“We just came out flat and they just were more explosive than us to be honest,” senior wide receiver Jake DeGooyer said. “We got down in the first half and never recovered from that.”

Sophomore defensive back Kainoa Raguindin forced a fumble early on, which gave the Pirates’ possession, but sophomore quarterback Bryan Peterson threw an interception on the next play to give Linfield prime field position.

The Wildcats managed to find the end zone twice at the end of the first quarter and then again at the beginning of the second, to produce three touchdowns in under seven minutes. The Linfield defense was relentless as well, holding Whitworth to only 32 yards of offense in the first half. Linfield led 28-0 at the half.

The Wildcats continued to roll in the third quarter. Finally in the fourth Peterson connected with sophomore wide receiver Austin Ehlo in the end zone for a Pirate touchdown to avoid a shutout. Several minutes later junior running back DJ Tripoli ran 20 yards for another Whitworth touchdown. Tripoli led the Bucs in rushing on the day with 67 yards.

The Pirates’ injury streak continued in the second half when sophomore defensive back Paul Miller went down with a knee injury.

“We’re down a lot of starters on defense,” Raguindin said. “Younger guys and the next people in line have to step up.”

Raguindin had a career-high game with 15 tackles. DeGooyer led the Bucs with 69 receiving yards.

“I don’t think you want to read too much into getting beat,” Tully said. “Unfortunately we lost two games in a row to two very good football teams. The thing we do right now is look at the things we can improve on and things we can do better to come out on top on the scoreboard.”

The Pirates come home to the Pine Bowl this weekend to take on the Loggers of Puget Sound (0-5, 0-2 NWC).

Tully specifically mentioned the influence of fan and student support for the Bucs.

“I’m looking forward to playing at the Pine Bowl with our students at the game,” Tully said. “They’ve been so supportive and we need that. They do make a difference. When they’re way into it our players feed off of that.”

Sena Hughes Staff Writer

Contact Sena Hughes at shughes15@my.whitworth.edu.

Bucs take care of business on home pitch

Junior defender Will Wren scored three goals last weekend, lifting the Whitworth men’s soccer squad to a 2-0 victory over Linfield on Saturday, and a 1-0 win over Willamette on Sunday. The matches were the first Northwest Conference games this year for the Pirates, putting Whitworth (5-0-1, 2-0 NWC) in the early driver’s seat. In Whitworth’s first game against the Linfield Wildcats, the Pirates’ fast pace kept their opponent out of sync the entire match. The fast-paced style of play won a free kick for Whitworth down the left side in the 15th minute. Mike Chavez crossed the ball into the box and found the head of Will Wren who smoothly directed it into the back of the net at the near post.

“It was all just kind of instinctive,” Wren said when recounting his first goal.

The instincts Wren was feeling continued nine minutes later on a corner kick taken by junior Anders Nostdahl. He crossed the ball in towards the back post, where it got past Linfield’s goalkeeper Scott Goodman and fell right to Wren’s head once more, and he calmly put the Bucs up 2-0 with just under 20 minutes left in the first half.

The Pirates not only dominated the game on the offensive side, but on the defensive side as well, allowing only two shots the entire game.

“We just work so well together, we all have great chemistry,” said Wren. “We also have great coaches. They have a ton of experience and they help us out a lot.”

The Wildcats’ leading goal scorers Jake Baker and Danny Snelgrow were completely halted, and found themselves playing more defense than offense. With Whitworth’s suffocating defense and pressing offense, Linfield (2-2, 0-1 NWC) failed to get any shots on target.

On Sunday, Whitworth took on the Willamette Bearcats in the second game on the weekend, and wasted no time implementing their fast style of play once again. Although it took them 83 minutes to break through, Will Wren managed to get the job done once again, this time with his feet.

He remained in the attack quite a bit during the match, allowing him to receive the ball on the left flank late in the game. From there, Wren maneuvered past two Willamette defenders to the middle of the field and fired a shot from 18 yards out that deflected off the hands of the Bearcats’ goalkeeper Brayden Calder, and into the goal. Calder, a freshman, had a fantastic performance up to that point, keeping the Bearcats in the game until the end with critical saves early in the game and just before halftime.

However, the Pirates’ quick and relentless attacking took a toll on the Willamette defense and goaltender.

When asked about the team’s conditioning and fitness, Wren explained that the quick pace of Whitworth’s game requires them to be fit, so the conditioning comes with the style of play.

“We have a lot of quick guys, too. Like [Andrew] French on the outside, he always makes things happen with his speed,” Wren said.

Willamette was a difficult task for the Pirates’ offense, more so than Linfield. The Bearcats held Whitworth to just three shots on target in the game as opposed to Linfield’s allowance of nine. Whitworth’s defense, however, continued its stellar play, allowing a total of just one shot on target for the whole weekend. Senior goalkeeper Kyle Novak went the first 177 minutes on the weekend without having to make a save.

The team is back in action next weekend, traveling to George Fox (0-6-1, 0-2 NWC) on Saturday, and then to Pacific (2-5, 0-2 NWC) on Sunday.

Korey Hope Staff Writer

Contact Korey Hope at khope16@my.whitworth.edu.