Men’s golf takes first at NWC Fall Classic

The men’s golf team  concluded a tough tournament outing this weekend to finish first in the conference at the Northwest Conference Fall Classic at the Tri-Mountain Golf Course. After the first day of competition, Whitworth led the University of Puget Sound by one stroke with a score of 301.  On the second day, Whitworth pulled ahead to beat Puget Sound by 19 strokes with a second round score of 286.

“We pretty much knew it was going to be the usual top five teams for us to compete with,” head coach Warren Friedrichs said.  “All in all, everybody played very well.”

Junior Jesse Salzwedel shot 73, 70 to finish first for the men and second overall in the conference.  Junior Stephen Plopper and freshman Lyle Rudnicki both finished tied for second overall for the Pirates and tied for fifth overall, with Plopper shooting 72, 75 and Rudnicki shooting 80, 67.  Lyle Rudnicki’s second round score of 67 ended up being the best individual round of the tournament.  Freshman Oliver Rudnicki tied for tenth overall shooting 76, 74 and Freshman Samson Martinez rounded out the scoring for the men’s team shooting 80, 79.

The first day of the tournament was met with heavy rain, but the second day was calmer .

“The rain held off until the last three holes this time around, and thus, our scores ended up being much better,” Friedrichs said.

Jesse Salzwedel had a strong performance in returning to the lineup for the first time since the Lewiston Triangular on Sept. 15.  However, Friedrichs says that he wasn’t surprised with Salzwedel’s performance.

“He’s been like that, always a great tournament player,” Friedrichs said.

Salzwedel indicated that the time off would have been a problem, except for a number of reasons.

“It wasn’t as different [coming back] as I thought it would be,” Salzwedel said.  “I’d been in conference tournaments before in high positions so I was able to find my groove early on.”

His presence was also felt by his teammates who enjoyed his veteran leadership.

“Jesse did a good job of motivating us this weekend,” Lyle Rudnicki said.  “He gave us a pep talk before the match that made us feel a lot better.”

However, Salzwedel was not the only one who made an impact that day.  The three freshmen on the Whitworth team came in and played resiliently.

“It was good to see that when one round wasn’t so good, they could come back and play better in the next,” Friedrichs said.  “We really needed everybody today and we got them.”

Thus, the freshmen had strong and crucial play down the stretch that heavily contributed  to the team win.

“I was super stoked to see the maturity of these freshmen after the first round,” Salzwedel said.  “They stepped up and played really great in the second round to contribute to a phenomenal team score.”

Going into competition this weekend, with five teams having a shot at the title, the Pirates stayed focused on what they could control.

“We needed to play how we were capable of playing,” Lyle Rudnicki said.  “We knew that we could go out there and win the tournament.”

Despite the individual confidence of the players, team play really governed their mindset going in.

“It wasn't all about one person shooting well, it was about everyone contributing and putting up a good score when they were needed most," Lyle Rudnicki said.

As the men’s team concludes the fall season with the conference championship, the men will have an advantage in points as they approach the spring season with the rest of the conference teams.

“To win like we did was good,” Friedrichs said.  “Now we have to turn our attention to the spring classic.”

“Mentally, this is huge for us,” Lyle Rudnicki said.  “As freshmen, winning our first NWC Fall Classic gives us a lot of confidence going forward.”

“We need to remain patient now.  Just because we won, doesn’t mean we’re going to nationals,” Salzwedel said.  “We just have to keep an optimistic attitude and trust that things will come out the way they’re supposed to.”

The Whitworth men’s team will continue competition in the spring.

Connor Soudani Staff Writer

Contact Connor Soudani at

Weather troubles Whitworth golf at PLU Invitational

Strong winds and rain create challenge for Pirates during conference match The Whitworth men’s golf team continued its season this weekend after a week off by competing at the PLU Invitational on the Chambers Bay Golf Course.  The wind and rain, however, made for a rough first day of competition.

“We haven’t had these kind of conditions before in this season,” Whitworth head coach Warren Friedrichs said.  “It was tough going out there.”

Freshman Oliver Rudnicki led the way for the Pirates on day one, shooting a 74 through 18 holes.  Freshman Tyler McQuilkin shot 76, junior Stephen Plopper shot a 79, senior Christian Boudreau shot 84 and freshman Lyle Rudnicki rounded out the first day of scoring for the men with an 85.  Whitworth shot a team score of 313 to finish fourth out of eleven teams after the first day of competition.

“305 was more of the target for us today, but unfortunately we just couldn’t get it,” Friedrichs said.

High winds of around 25 mph combined with relentless rain and the dunes and narrow greens with traps made for some of the most challenging conditions that the Pirates have faced all year.

“It was pretty rough out there today,” Oliver Rudnicki said. “It was really windy that first nine, but the back nine played better.  We just had to grind it out really.”

Host Pacific Lutheran University led the team scoring with 304, followed by University of Puget Sound with 305 and Whitman College with 310.  Whitworth finished fourth with 313, followed by George Fox and Willamette.

While tallying eight strokes more than they had hoped, the men were confident about shooting their goal on Monday.

“If Lyle [Rudnicki] starts shooting what he did at Whitman, we’ll have a much better shot at hitting our mark of 305 ,” Friedrichs said.  “We just couldn’t get a fourth score in the seventies today, and it killed us.”

Oliver Rudnicki was focused on what he had to do for the conclusion of the tournament on Monday.

“The weather will be the same, so the game plan will be the same,” Oliver  Rudnicki said.  “We’ve got to get through that first nine and go low on the back nine for our best shot with scoring.”

As for the finishes of the other teams this weekend, Friedrichs isn’t discouraged.

“I knew this season that it would come down to five teams for conference and that any one of them could win any tournament at any given time,” Friedrichs said.  “Conference conditions won’t be like what we had today though, and having Jesse [Salzwedel]  around will help.”

Despite the gloomy conditions of the day, the team did find a bright spot in freshman Tyler McQuilkin, who shot a 76  through 18 to finish second in team scoring.  McQuilkin finished the day with his best tournament appearance since the Lewiston Triangular on Sept. 15.

“It feels pretty good to finally get out there and go to work,” McQuilkin said.  “The conditions were rough but it was a lot of fun to play out there.”

This revived play of McQuilkin is a key for the Pirates’ continuation of the tournament on Monday, and his consistency will be needed.

“I think I can keep it going.  A lot of things felt better out there and I can learn from that and move forward,” McQuilkin said.

As the men prepared for Monday’s competition, there were a lot of things that the men wanted to keep in mind.

“We came off a good win last weekend at Whitman which is keeping our spirits high,” Oliver Rudnicki said.  “However, these guys on the other teams are mostly all from the Pacific Northwest, so they know how to play in the wind and rain.”

Due to Whitworthian press time, results from Monday’s competition were unavailable for the print issue. Check online at for extended coverage of Monday’s competition.

The men’s team, who are preparing for conference now, will have a tight race as golfers compete for roster spots on the conference team.  The NWC Classic will be a true testing point for the Pirates on their quest for nationals this season.

The NWC Classic will commence on Oct. 27-28 in Ridgefield, Wash. at the Tri Mountain Golf Course.

Connor Soudani Staff Writer

Contact Connor Soudani at


Men's Golf Update:

The men’s golf team completed its last tournament before the conference tournament this weekend at the PLU Invitational.  While sitting in fourth place after competition on Sunday, the Pirates moved up to tie with Whitman College and finished third after a strong performance on Monday.

“I feel good about the team’s performance this weekend,” head men’s golf coach Warren Friedrichs said.  “We were able to send a couple of players who didn’t play in the last tournament, which is always nice to do.”

Freshman Oliver Rudnicki led the way for the Pirates, tying for third at the tournament after shooting a 74, 75.  Freshman Tyler McQuilkin finished second on the team for the men and tied for 14th overall, shooting a 76, 79.  Junior Stephen Plopper shot a 79 each day while senior Christian Boudreau shot 84, 78 and freshman Lyle Rudnicki shot 85, 82 to round out the scoring for the Pirates.

“The conditions were considerably better on Monday, but we still didn’t perform at our best,” Oliver Rudnicki said.  “We’re fired up to go to conference though because we feel like we can play a lot better.”

As the conference tournament draws closer, the competition for the conference title will be tough.

“There are some pretty good teams out there in PLU, UPS, Whitman, Linfield and ourselves,” Friedrichs said.  “It’s the deepest league I’ve seen since I took over, but we’re building our depth with these different opportunities in tournaments.”

The Pirates will compete at the Northwest Conference Classic at Tri-Mountain Golf Course on Oct. 27 and 28.

The Crow's Nest: Oliver and Lyle Rudnicki, men’s golf

As Whitworth prepares for a run at the conference championship, it will need help from a large freshmen group, including freshmentwins Lyle and Oliver Rudnicki. Looking back on their journey, the twin brothers have gone through quite a bit to get here. Born in England, the brothers ended up moving to Redmond, Wash., with their family and attended Redmond High School soon after.

After playing for nine years, it was important to the twins to be in a smaller, more intimate class setting for college.  Head coach Warren Friedrichs introduced that environment to them with Whitworth.

“They didn’t express a need to stay together when going to college,” Friedrichs said.  “They’re not rooming together and they have very different academic interests.”

Despite this, Lyle and Oliver both liked the hospitality of the student body and the way they fit in on the team.  Their competitive nature was only heightened by this experience.

“We’ve always been competitive with each other,” Lyle said.  “When you have a twin brother, you’re competitive in everything, and I mean everything.”

When the men’s season began, not even Lyle and Oliver knew what kind of impact they would have on the team.  Over the last two tournaments, the twins splashed onto the scene.  Lyle had a first-place finish at the Whitman Invitational on Oct. 1.  After beating his brother in the previous tournament, Oliver also had a noteworthy finish at the Whitman invitational, finishing 10th overall.

“They have very different personalities,” Friedrichs said.  “Oliver is more quiet, while Lyle is more of a carefree kid.”

The significant personality differences have even generated a nickname for Lyle.

“Yeah, coach calls Lyle “cas” because he’s so casual and relaxed when he plays out there,” Oliver said.  “Me, I like being serious when I play; it helps me stay focused.”

However, Friedrichs is not the only one to notice the contrasting personalities.

“Lyle will hit a bad hole and laugh it off, but they both play very relaxed out there in their own way,” junior golfer Jesse Salzwedel said.

Being relaxed has granted the brothers the ability to stay mentally positive during matches.

Despite their outstanding game mentality, it is their work ethic in practice that gets Coach Friedrichs’ attention.

“I was impressed initially, and still am, in the fact that they both spend so much time working on every facet of their game,” Friedrichs said.

That work ethic is something the twins have carried with them for a long time.

“You can’t get better until you make your weaknesses your strengths,” Oliver said.

As the Pirates progress through the season with aspirations for postseason play, the Rudnicki twins hope to be a part of it as best they can.

“They care a lot about what they do and they really want to contribute to our success,” Salzwedel said.

The freshmen brothers will look to continue their strong play and help Whitworth as the season goes on.

“We really just want to do what we can for our teammates,” Lyle said.

Connor Soudani Staff Writer

Contact Connor Soudani at

Sports recaps: Sept. 20 - Sept. 26

Women’s soccer extends win streak The Whitworth women’s soccer team continued its winning streak and improved to 5-0 in conference play with a pair of wins against George Fox and Pacific (Ore.). On Saturday, the Pirates secured their second road victory of the year. Senior midfielder Mackenzie Grow scored the game-winning goal in overtime after a closely matched game. The final score was 1-0. On Sunday, the Bucs were once again victorious over the Boxers of Pacific University. Grow was able to capitalize on a penalty kick for the first goal of the match. The second goal came in the second half from sophomore midfielder Jackie Day. Next week the Pirates will compete on Saturday and Sunday as they host Pacific Lutheran University and the University of Puget Sound.

Men’s soccer earns sweep during Oregon trip

The men’s soccer team traveled to George Fox and Pacific (Ore.) last weekend, collecting two more conference victories and taking their record to 4-0 in Northwest Conference play. Sophomore striker Robby Ubben put away a corner kick taken by junior midfielder Anders Nostdahl in the 31st minute against George Fox on Saturday, which was enough for senior goalkeeper Kyle Novak, who saved all three shots on target from George Fox to produce another shutout for a 1-0 victory. Strong defense supported by two goals from freshman forward Samuel Engle in the second half helped Whitworth post its seventh shutout in eight opportunities this season en route to a 2-0 victory over Pacific. The final three undefeated teams in NWC play will be in Spokane next weekend, as Whitworth hosts Pacific Lutheran (5-3-1, 4-0 NWC) on Saturday, and Puget Sound (7-1-1, 4-0 NWC) on Sunday.

Theon leads Whitworth in Idaho

The men’s golf team began the first day of competition with an outstanding 36 holes last weekend at the North Idaho Invitational. After the first day of competition, both of the attending men’s teams were standing strong at fourth and fifth respectively.  Stephen Theon led the Pirates with a 72-74 first two rounds. The men’s team continued the tournament on Monday, Sept. 24,  which was after press time for The Whitworthian. Check online at for results and extended coverage of the event.


Men’s golf online extended coverage update:

Whitworth men’s golf conclude play in Idaho

The men’s golf team concluded play at the North Idaho Invitational on Monday. After three rounds of play, the two competing Whitworth men’s teams finished fifth and sixth respectively.

Freshmen Whitworth golfers has strong showings to bolster the team finishes in the tournament..  Freshman Oliver Rudnicki shot a combined score of 222, leading team two with a sixth place finish overall. Freshmen Stephen Thoen also finished tied for 12th place with a combined score of 226.

Freshman Lyle Rudnicki shot a combined 225 to lead team one, giving him a 10th place finish overall.  Additionally, freshman Samson Martinez shot 228 to finish 16th overall in the tournament.

“The performance of these freshmen today shows me that we have a very talented group of newcomers with great depth,” said head coach Warren Friedrichs. That depth was especially needed this weekend, as junior Jesse Salzwedel was unable to compete for personal reasons.

“We have good focus and the team environment we’ve fostered is excellent at this point,” Friedrichs said.

“It was great opposition and we got common competitive rounds.  Ultimately, we wanted to see who would step forward this weekend.”

Fortunately for the Pirates this week, both team one and two were competitive throughout the tournament.

“I think we’ve played in a lot of big tournaments before, and practice has really helped us prepare mentally for these things,” said freshman Oliver Rudnicki.  “The team camaraderie we have makes it really good to play on a team you’re excited to play for.”

While team unity is important, Friedrichs emphasized that performance that is at the top of the Pirates’ list as the season goes on.

“We want to put the Northwest Conference in the national spotlight,” said Friedrichs.  “Our league is improving, and that means we’ll need to get consistent play of our team as well as a player or two to step up when we need them to.”

The men’s team will play next weekend at the Whitman Invitational in Walla Walla, Wash. on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1.

Whitworthian Sports Staff