Men's tennis competes against Whitman, unable to secure first win

The men’s tennis team fell to Whitman 7-2 Saturday on the outside courts of the Scotford Tennis Center. “I told the team that I feel happy with the way they played, as we came away with a couple matches against a nationally-ranked Whitman,” assistant coach Cameron Williams said. “However we don’t feel content, since we have a lot of expectations for our team.”

Whitworth went down 2-0 in their doubles matches before senior Chris Engelmann and junior Drew Adams won their doubles match 9-8 in a tiebreaker. The match kept the Bucs within striking distance going into singles play. This was the pair’s first doubles win of the season.

“Chris and I have had a lot of close doubles matches this year, so it was nice to finally finish one,” Adams said. “I thought we were consistent and made them play really well, forcing them to finish plays.”

No match is easy against conference-leading and defending-champion Whitman, and the Missionaries showed that in their singles play. Whitworth lost every singles match, except for senior Matt Goebel’s dominant contest with Goebel winning in straight sets.

“In singles today I was good at being consistent and kept the ball deep while keeping my opponent moving,” Goebel said. “Overall we played well today, putting in good rallies in doubles and getting smart points.”

Along with Goebel’s win, the other big highlight of the day was Adams’ and Engelmann’s doubles match. The pair had to come up with a win to keep Whitworth alive, and they did so in a nail-bitter.

The crowd was drawn into the match and erupted whenever Engelmann or Adams smashed home a big point. The crowd went even wilder when the pair won a point at the net to put the match away.

“Drew and I are a good combination, since I have a lot of power while he has great finesse,” Engelmann said. “Our styles complement each other, so we need to continue learning to play with each other to get our chemistry.”

Whitworth is still searching for its first win this season, but they have faced some tough competition at the start, and suffered a tough loss to George Fox. However, the coaches see the team improving with every match, and are confident that they can turn these positive results into wins.

“The most tangible goal is where we land in conference, so we want to finish top four so we can make the conference tournament,” Williams said. “We need to know when to go for big shots and when to be patient.”

Whitworth plays again next weekend in Tacoma, Washington against the University of Puget Sound on Saturday, and Pacific Lutheran University on Sunday.

 

Kyle Cacoyannis

Staff Writer

Tennis splits road contests

The women’s tennis team split their two matches on their trip down to Salem, Oregon and Walla Walla, Washington last weekend, blowing out Willamette on Saturday, but losing on Sunday to Whitman. Whitworth added more to its recent success with an 8-1 win over Willamette in Salem, Oregon.

“I definitely see the team getting better with every week. We have been working hard in practice and are bringing what we learn to matches,” sophomore Bella Hoyos said. “In doubles Anabelle [Burns] and I were super consistent and forced a lot of errors.”

Hoyos won her doubles match with sophomore Anabelle Burns 8-1, and also won her singles match in straight sets starting at the No. 2 spot. Senior Saryn Mooney and senior Morgan McDivitt also won their doubles match and both of their respective singles matches.

Whitworth capped off a sweep in doubles with a 5-1 win in singles. Every match the teams won ended in straight sets.

Freshman Jennifer Adams won her doubles match with Taylor Pena 8-5, and also won her singles match in straight sets starting at the No. 3 spot.

“As a freshman, it’s pretty nice to be doing well, but I’m starting to get in my groove a little bit,” Adams said. “In doubles we were able to hold serves and stay focused, and in my singles match I was able to play consistently.”

Sunday’s match against Whitman in Walla Walla was also not very close, except this time Whitworth was on the other side of the score, losing 7-2.

“The major difference between Saturday and Sunday was the caliber of the team on the other side of the net,” head coach Rachel Aldridge said. “When we play our best tennis we are closely matched with Whitman, but we did not play our best tennis today.”

Whitworth lost all three of their doubles matches, but Bella Hoyos and Morgan McDivitt came up with wins in their respective singles matches. Hoyos continued her winning form, doing so in straight sets, while McDivitt had a grind-out win in three sets after losing the first one.

“I tried to think of the score as zero to zero after losing the first set, and focus on playing patient and just playing my game,” McDivitt said. “The players we played against today were definitely harder and more consistent than yesterday.”

Whitman finished first in the Northwest Conference last year, and currently remain tied in first place with Linfield. With the loss on Sunday, Whitworth remains in fourth place in the conference, where they have a 3-2 record.

 

Kyle Cacoyannis

Staff Writer

Baseball comes out swinging, sets game record

Whitworth’s baseball team opened up conference play with a bang. Rather, they came out swinging. And swinging. And swinging some more. The Pirates took both ends of the Saturday doubleheader from Whitman, but failed to complete the sweep by losing the final game on Sunday afternoon. Coming off a weekend where the Pirates put up 47 runs in four games in Kerrville, Texas, Whitworth continued its scoring ways against Northwest Conference opponent Whitman College in a big way.

In the front-end of a Saturday doubleheader, Whitworth senior Dan Scheibe stole the show from the pitcher’s mound, notching 10 strikeouts in seven innings of work while allowing a single run, on a solo home run, on five hits.

Senior Carson Blumenthal relieved Scheibe after seven innings, but continued the dominating performance, striking out three Missionaries while not allowing a hit over the final two innings.

The Pirates’ took the first game from the Missionaries, 8-1.

“The offense’s job is easier when you have a guy competing on the mound,” freshman infielder Joel Condreay said.

As nice as it is for an offense to compete when a pitcher is dominating on the mound, it is just as simple for a pitcher to compete when your offense is dominating at the plate. That’s exactly what happened in the back-end of the doubleheader on Saturday afternoon, and it was led by Condreay.

Not 5. Not 10. Not 20. Whitworth tallied 29 runs in this baseball game, a Whitworth Pirates baseball all-time record. The Pirates racked up 11 extra-base hits in the game, 10 of which were of the two-bag variety. Three of those doubles belonged to Condreay, who finished the game 6-6 (with a walk as well) with 5 RBIs.

Whitworth finished the game 31-for-55 at the dish, a scorching .564 batting average. The game ended with the Pirates winning 29-6.

“The most impressive thing was that every time our defense allowed a few runs, our line-up punched back twice as hard,” senior pitcher Nick Scourey, the starting pitcher in the second game, said.

Whitworth committed four errors in the first two innings with Scourey on the mound, yet only allowed a pair of runs in those innings.

“Our defense could have been better. Today was a step in the right direction, but as a whole, we aren’t where we need to be yet,” Condreay said.

The Pirates were unable to come away with the sweep, falling to the Missionaries 5-2 in the final game of the three-game set on Sunday afternoon. “We let one slip today, but learned a lot of valuable lessons,” senior pitcher Cory Mack said.

“It says something about the expectations for our program when you take two of three games in a weekend, and you’re left wanting more,” head coach Dan Ramsay said. “Even if we win every game, and don’t allow any runs the entire weekend, we’re always going to find something we can improve on.”

Whitworth heads to Ellensburg, Washington for a double-header against Central Washington on Wednesday this week before hosting George Fox at Merkel Field for the first home Northwest Conference games of the season this weekend.

 

John Ekberg

Staff Writer

NWC home loss for tennis: Pirate women win two of nine matches at home

The women’s tennis team began conference play against the defending conference champion Whitman Missionaries on Saturday. The Pirates pulled through on two singles matches, but fell in the remaining seven doubles and singles showdowns. Despite the one-sided end result, the matches themselves proved close set to set. In No. 1 doubles, junior Taylor Peña and freshman Jennifer Adams fought a tight match with twins Courtney and Morgan Lawless to an eventual 8-5 match loss. With such a well-rounded set of opponents in the Lawless twins, Peña said she had to focus on intricacies of her opponents’ game in order to exploit what weaknesses she could.

“My strategy was to hit everything cross-court and then wait for her to hit a weaker ball [so I could] come up to the net and put it away,” Peña said. “She doesn’t miss but sometimes you can produce a weaker shot if you hit a good shot yourself.”

However, interim head coach Rachel Aldridge said the team focuses on other game aspects in practice.

“Generally when we’re trying to construct a point it’s good to be able to recognize your opponent’s weaknesses. But in general, you don’t know who’s going to be on the other side of the net on any given day so in practice we work a lot on constructing and winning a point rather than banking on your opponent’s error.”

In No. 2 and No. 3 doubles, the team of sophomores Annabelle Burns and Bella Hoyos fell in a close match, 9-7, while the team of Morgan McDivitt and Saryn Mooney lost 8-5.

Singles proved to be the bright spot for Whitworth as Saryn Mooney defeated Jenna Dobrin at No. 2 singles and Bella Hoyos defeated Morgan Lawless at the No. 3 spot.

In the end, the Pirate women were in a positive mood from the competition.

“We were happy just to get some games off of them, but we all played really well and so we were really happy we could all do our best,” McDivitt said.

The Whitman matchup is the first conference matchup for the Pirates under Aldridge. Aldridge, who took over for longtime coach Jo Wagstaff this season, was pleased with the team’s performance against the 29th-ranked Whitman squad.

“Honestly, I feel like [we] came out even better than I expected,” Aldridge said. “There’s little things to tweak to maybe have a different end result the next time we play them, but overall, I’m very pleased with how everybody played.”

 

Connor Soudani

Sports Editor

Soccer shuts out Whitman for title

After 14 victories, three ties and one loss, the Whitworth men’s soccer team closed out their 2014 regular season with their 15th win. With a final score of 3-0 against Whitman, the men secured their fifth NWC title in the last eight years. “The whole week coming into this game, we knew what had to be done, what our mission was, what our job was: Our determination and our discipline to go out there and get what [was] ours,” freshman midfielder Kash Choudhary said. “We came in with hunger. This [was] our time and nobody could take it from us.”

Freshman forward Eric Espinoza gave the Pirates a lead off of a rebound from senior forward Michael Ramos in the 24th minute of the game.

“The changing formation allowed our offense to stay higher,” Espinoza said. “For my role, I needed to not just fly up, meaning not just run to score, so I was lucky enough to get a rebound to make the goal go in.”

Senior midfielder Tyler Clarke doubled the score for the Pirates when the ball crossed from the left to the right side of the net, volleyed into the goal and found the back of the net in the 32nd minute.

The final goal found the back of the net on the 69th minute by Choudhary with his third goal of the season off of a rebound from junior defender Spencer Wolfe, for his third assist of the season.

“After watching the film from the last time we played this team, we decided to add wingers into our formation and go with three forwards,” Choudhary said. “We also tried to make the field as wide as possible and depended a lot on our midfielders for this. This way we were able to exploit spaces that opened up on the field. Now we continue to grind on to the next game at [the national tournament] with a hard week of training.”

As the Pirates enter the national tournament next weekend with a one-loss elimination format, they need to be prepared, sharp and patient, Choudhary said.

“[Head Coach Morgan Cathey] mentioned [the championship] a lot and that we as a team have been working for a year to put ourselves in the best position to win [conference] and continue on to play-offs,” freshman goalkeeper Tony Watters said. “[Last Saturday’s game] was an incredible experience and it was the best soccer of the year because we played the Whitworth style, the Whitworth way: possessing the ball and being in control of the game.”

The Pirates outshot the Missionaries 20-9 with two equal corner opportunities.

Watters made three saves for the Pirates’ sixth shutout.

“We played with a solid defense. We had three in the back tracking the attacking forwards and a lot of it was what the guys were doing in front of me,” Watters said.

“I think we are playing good soccer at the moment. We scored quite a bit of goals in the past five games,” Cathey said. “We’re strong, fit and healthy, and we are in the right position going into the national tournament.”

 

Jessica Razanadrakoto

Staff Writer

Racism hides beneath the surface of professional sports

I have been a fan of professional sports for as long as I can remember. Watching college and professional football every weekend hasn’t been a hobby; it’s been an obsession.

Growing up my heroes were Jerry Rice, Jeff Garcia, and Julian Peterson. I never read comic books, because my superheroes were real, and they played on Sundays. I remained under the illusion that sports was simply about competing with your teammates and that winning was the only thing that mattered. It took me longer than I care to admit to realize the injustices faced by individuals, and how archaic the system can appear.

A recent study by besttickets.com, which has been featured on Deadspin, ESPN, and the Huffington Post, ran a piece titled “The Unofficial 2014 NFL Player Census”. This piece looked at the physical stature of every position as well as the racial breakdown of the each position, team, and the league as a whole.

Not surprisingly the most common race amongst NFL players is African-American, a group of players that make up almost 70% of the league as a whole. What is unsettling about this number is the difference between black players and black coaches. Certain positions have different racial distributions and different positions have higher tendencies to become coaches, but the divide of 7 of every 10 NFL players being black and 7 out of 8 NFL head coaches being white is concerning. The premise of a group of composed mainly of black men being ordered around in a highly structured atmosphere immediately calls to certain aspects of pre-civil war America.

While discussing the topic of slavery in a class this semester, I was enlightened to the fact that slaves weren’t just used for labor but for entertainment as well. Slaves were woken up in the middle of the night, and subsequently brought in to dance and do other things to entertain their owners.

My immediate thought was, “Do I contribute to a modern exploitation of men, mainly black, when I sit down on my couch and watch football every weekend it’s available?” From there began a decision to examine the issue of race in elite level sports, and how I see my role in perpetuating the idea of people’s bodies as my own entertainment.

From the moment men and women step on the field, court, ice, whatever it may be, their personhood to the general public starts to decline. Their persons are assaulted with every mistake, and they have no escape from the national spotlight. The most amazing thing, something that I am completely guilty of, is the reaction to athlete’s injuries.

Rarely do fans root for anyone to get hurt, but if Percy Harvin were to tear his ACL next week, I would be more concerned with how his injury would affect the Seahawks season rather than thinking the mental and physical anguish Harvin would be be forced to undergo in having been told that his season was over.

Athletes on the field have the unfortunate situation of being worshipped for their abilities as an athlete and completely disregarded for their individual personhood. As with articles I’ve written in the past, as well as the current NFL media cycle, no news is good news when it comes to a player’s off-the-field activity. Even NFL golden boy Russell Wilson admitted to being a high school bully earlier last week, which in light of the recent string of domestic violence cases could tarnish his near-perfect image.

Fans also believe that their favorite athletes owe them something. When pictures of Johnny Manziel partying at clubs in Las Vegas surfaced, the immediate reaction was, “Why is he partying when he has football to prepare for?” These players aren’t allowed to live everyday lives because the public only sees them as a form of entertainment.

When Bulls star Derrick Rose was slow to come back from two knee injuries, fans complained that he didn’t care about the game after he was awarded a large contract. Rarely was the idea that Rose was experiencing a mental block and could be hesitant to return to the court ever brought up after his former invincibility had been challenged.

Many star athletes have been able to reach where they are because of their ability to stay healthy, and returning after a major injury can lead to hesitancy on the court, a quality that can end careers even if the body is ready to return.

Even after athletes are thought of as objects to entertain the masses, there is a racialized stigma all over the sports world effecting people of every color, origin, and creed.

A few things have made me look at sports through a lens of racial inequality that runs though elite sport in the past. The first was several years ago when I learned about the Rooney Rule, an NFL rule stipulating that all teams must interview at least one minority candidate for a head coaching position. I saw this as unnecessary as it was my belief that the best coach would be hired regardless of race.

Then NFL teams began abusing this rule, typically interviewing a token minority candidate with no intention of hiring him. Usually this coach was a lower level position coach internal to a specific team, or a coordinator that flew around the country to satisfy teams need to interview a minority. This was only scratching the surface of really examining what the systemic problems of elite sports meant.

In a recent conversation with Professor Keith Farrington, who helped with this article due to his background in racial sociology and his deep love for the Patriots and the rest of the NFL, this scene was laid out between us.

“A white man sits in a luxury box, looking down on his field on which several men, majority black, sacrifice their bodies to entertain several million people,” I said, “These men are sacrificing their mental and physical futures, and as well compensated as they are, they are millionaires where owners make billions.”

Laid out in these basic terms it is hard not reach into a slavery comparison, whether warranted or not. Professor Farrington sat quietly for a moment, then responded, “I hate to hear it said like that as a fan, but that is one very real way to see what professional sports are in the world.”

Our conversation then moved on to how the NFL can continue to replicate the pre-civil war south when discussing the NFL pre-draft combine. The combine, held in Indianapolis each year, takes stock of how large, how fast, and how smart these players are. The only problem is that only the physical measurements are ever made public. Professor Farrington expressed his  concern for how the combine could be seen as a troublesome activity given the historical context.

“It’s tragically similar to a slave auction,” Farrington said  “these great men are brought out and tested so that they can later be picked on their physical merits.”

Anyone with cable can watch hundreds of men do the bench press, run a 40-yard dash, and catch a football, but every interview is done behind closed doors. The combine, while I consider it an important pre-draft exercise, could easily draw comparisons to a slave auction in which physical talent is at a premium, but those observing disregard mental

This is a continuing problem in sports, both at the college and professional levels.

Given recent information about Whitman’s lack of racial diversity it is interesting to see what athletes here have to say about the issue of race in athletics on our own campus. I had the opportunity to interview Evan Martin, a Junior basketball player who is also African American, to see what he had to say about the lack of diversity on campus.

“Obviously it isn’t where anybody would really want it to be.” Evan said “But at the same time I don’t think the school is trying to limit diversity in any way.”

Martin went on to say that he thinks that the Whitman basketball program is one of the more diverse in the league.

“I went to a suburban high school, so I’m used to having a pretty white student body, but most of my basketball teams were pretty diverse in terms of color.” Evan said “I look around most of the teams that we play in our conference and they are whiter than ours.”

Sports have been seen as a space where race isn’t supposed to matter, whatever gives a team the best chance to win is the action that gets taken. But at the end of the day different people are searching for different goals.

Owners want to be popular and make money, the coaches want to win to keep their jobs, and most players simply want to make sure they have a job in six months win or lose. The difference in goals leads to teams getting pulled in different directions and strain within the team.

It is very rare for reports to come out about racial strife within a team, the main objective has to be winning for everyone involved, but the racial disparity does need to be looked at. Whether white owners are hesitant and hire black coaches, black players don’t feel like they can become coaches, or whatever reason it may be, the racial inequality amongst these groups it disturbingly large.

Even here at Whitman we have a basketball program that is drastically more diverse than the general student body, which is in no way a knock on either of the teams, but on Whitman. If one of the primary ways we attract racial minorities to Whitman is play sports, we need to refocus on the way we present ourselves and the reputation that Whitman has in the larger College community.

The Pioneer, Whitman College

Dylan Snyder

Originally found here: http://whitmanpioneer.com/sports/2014/10/16/racism-hides-beneath-the-surface-of-professional-sports/

A group of Northwest colleges and universities is collaborating to feature some of each other’s articles in online and print editions. Content found in the “Around the Northwest” section is written by non-Whitworth students and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Whitworthian. Content is used with permission from the listed newspaper.

Men's soccer trounces Whitman in blowout victory

After six goals scored and four assists performed by 10 different Pirate players, the Whitworth men’s soccer team took home a 6-1 victory against the Whitman Missionaries during Homecoming Weekend. “All week, we focused on desire and purpose, which were what we focused on [Saturday],” senior Michael Ramos said.

This made Saturday’s game a positive response to their first loss on the previous weekend, junior midfielder Sam Engle said.

The Pirates’ first two goals came in the first half, similar to their Whitman game last year played on Nov. 9.

Sophomore forward Rylan Berriman gave the Pirates a lead off of an assist from junior defender Spencer Wolf in the seventh minute of the game. Whitman’s goalkeeper moved forward into the field hoping to pick up the ball, but the ball went past him to Berriman. Berriman kicked the ball with his left foot and found the left corner of the net.

“The game opened up and we had a lot more room for us to attack. We went to the ball and had better scoring positions,” Engle said.

Pirate forwards and midfielders came together in the box in front of Whitman defenders. After three attempts, a fourth kick by freshman midfielder Jonah Snyder led the ball to find the back of the middle of the net for his first career goal.

The score, off of an assist from freshman midfielder Kash Choudhray, doubled the lead for the Pirates with only six minutes left to play in the first half.

“Great performance from everybody, especially the guys in the back in the first half where they were so good to not let problems arise,” Head Coach Morgan Cathey said. “They solved, they learned, they grew and then from there, in the second half, we could see then that in the third goal, [the way the players scored] was more confident.”

In the 64th minute, Ramos kicked the ball across from the right to the left side of the net to Choudhray, who gave the Pirates their third goal with his first career goal as Pirate.

The key to success on the scoring play could be attributed to unselfish play and putting trust in other players, Ramos said.

“We got a bunch of guys in the score sheets,” Engle said.

Less than three minutes later, Berriman scored the Pirates’ fourth goal off of an assist from Engle.

The Missionaries scored their first and only goal in the 73rd minute. However, less than five seconds later, Ramos scored the fifth goal for the Pirates, unassisted.

With less than six minutes left to play in the game, sophomore midfielder Sam Donaldson’s unassisted goal gave the Pirates their sixth and final goal of the game.

“We found good spaces and pockets then goal after goal came and this is what we need going into next weekend: confidence and knowing that we did our best,” Cathey said.

The Pirates improved to 10-1-1 overall and 5-1-1 in the NWC.

Whitworth travels to Tacoma to play Puget Sound on Saturday, Oct. 18 at 2:30 p.m.

 

Jessica Razanadrakoto

Staff Writer

Women's Soccer avoids shutout in NWC loss

This weekend’s game proved to be a struggle for the women’s soccer team as they faced off against the Whitman Missionaries for their first official Northwest Conference game of the season. After splitting a set of games in Texas last week, the Pirates lost to the Missionaries, 1-2, bringing their record to 1-3-1 overall. The Pirates focused on a highly defensive strategy; however, junior goalkeeper Andrea Stump ended up saving the net three times in the first 40 minutes.

“We know how Whitman plays, so our strategy was to recognize which areas they’re weak in and exploit those areas while at the same time trying to defend against what they’re good at. We tried to fight back the whole game. I think our resilience was really our strong point,” Stump said.

The Pirates continued defending shots and increased their offensive tempo, with junior Tiara Pajimola taking two unsuccessful wide shots at Whitman’s goalkeeper, Haley Case. The first period ended with no goals for either side.

“Coming out stronger in the first half and having energy last through the duration of the game are some areas we are working on as a team,” Pajimola said. “But overall our focus today was hitting clean shots, which I think we did better than games in the past.”

Two Whitman goals early in the second half put the Pirates in a tough spot.

“I think the defense did well even though [Whitman] scored twice,” sophomore forward Megan McCart said. “Overall, it was a good team effort.”

McCart succeeded in targeting Whitman’s forward Kelsey Peck and shutting down her attempts to distribute the ball across the field.

To avoid the shutout, the Pirates aggressively took the ball down the field, earning three more fouls as a result of a last push by the offense. No more shots were made until the final minute of the game, in which McCart scored her first goal this season with a free kick, avoiding a complete shutout by Whitman.

“Maybe a different team would say ‘2-0 down. We’re not going to play anymore.’ But we fought back with the goal down to the last minute. I think if we continue that we’ll only get stronger and stronger,” Head Coach Jael Haggerott said.

The team is hoping to adapt players to different roles so they can improve upon their fifth place finish in conference play last season, McCart said. The women play at home this Saturday in another NWC game against Lewis & Clark.

 

Leah Dassler

Staff Writer