Men's basketball shares no love for NWC teams

It may have been Valentine’s Day weekend, but the Pirates showed no love for Northwest Conference foes George Fox and Pacific on the last home games of the regular season. After defeating George Fox handily 90-76, the Bucs blew out the Pacific University Boxers on Saturday, 89-50, in what would be their second-largest margin of victory this season.

The George Fox Bruins boasted a No. 2 ranked scoring average in the NWC coming into the matchup at 76 points per game; however, they would be without the NWC leading scorer Jonny Howard (17.3 ppg) who was excused by the coaching staff for the game. 

From the first Whitworth possession, the Bruins fell into a full-court press. The Pirates were not outwardly phased by the high-intensity defense early on, and junior forward George Valle set the offensive tone early with a 3-pointer. 

“I think there were a couple times tonight when we got a little flustered with their full-court pressure,” Valle said. “We started throwing the ball all over the court and turning it over, but I think it takes someone to make a play at that point and step up and calm the tide and I was able to do that a couple times tonight.”

In many ways, the first half proved to be a showcase of patented Whitworth-style basketball. As such, aggressive play on both sides of the ball as well as good ball movement on offense led to an early double-digit lead for the Bucs. A late first half run with 1:30 remaining by George Fox would prove frustrating for head coach Matt Logie as the Pirate lead was cut to 11 when the first half came to an end. Logie was even called for a technical foul for hitting the front of the scorer’s table as the team made their way into the locker room. 

“We were a little sloppy with our execution, a little sloppy with the basketball so we just talked about the things we do against the press and how to be better at it,” Logie said. “Guys just need to learn and grow from it. Some of these guys haven’t played against pressure like that very frequently and within our system so we’re growing and sometimes that comes with growing pains.”

The tight play characterizing the last few minutes of the first half continued through the first five minutes of the second. Logie began showcasing his frustration with referees more openly after foul calls and before time

outs. It took time for the Pirates to return to an offensive rhythm like the one they had during most of the first half. However, a 3-point-play opportunity from senior forward Adam Wilkes with 11:14 to go became the spark that would put the Bruins away for good. 

With 1:17 left to play and a 20-point Whitworth lead, the last of the starters were subbed out en route to a 90-76 Pirate victory. 

The Bucs finished the game shooting 50 percent from the floor with Valle adding 18 points and five rebounds to go along with sophomore forward Christian Jurlina’s 23 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. Sophomore guard Kenny Love was noticeably quiet with his performance on Friday. In foul trouble early on, Love accounted for six points on 1-5 shooting from the field. 

Senior night on Valentine’s Day against Pacific began emotionally for Wilkes and senior forward Taylor Farnsworth as they were recognized by the athletic department for their four-year participation on the basketball team. 

“I can’t describe it, man,” Wilkes said. “I mean, I’ve been here for four years and to see four years of work culminate in not only a good game for me personally but, more importantly, a really, really solid team win against a good opponent. It means everything.”

While Valle started things off offensively with five of Whitworth’s first nine points as part of his 11 first-half points, Wilkes provided a significant offensive spark with eight points in the first half off the bench. 

Pacific’s star players in Mitch Wettig and Riley Grandinetti were held to just nine combined points in the first half as the Pirate defense stifled the Boxer offense under the basket and beyond the arc. In the paint, the Boxers were stymied with just 10 points and zero second-chance points as part of just seven field goals made on 26 attempts. 

The Pirates on the other hand were converting from every spot on the floor by shooting 50 percent from the field, 36.4 percent from beyond the arc and a perfect 100 percent from the stripe. Unlike the night before, Whitworth held their significant lead at the half, 41-23.

Despite the already one-sided game through one half of play, the Pirates continued their offensive and defensive onslaught and increased the lead to 66-32 with just over nine minutes to play. The lead increased even more to 39 points with six minutes to play before major substitutions were made. 

The 89-50 victory for the Pirates would prove their largest margin of victory this season since their 103-49 victory over D’Youville on Nov. 15.

“Tonight was probably our best full effort on both sides of the ball. We were able to put a whole game together so that gives us a lot of confidence moving forward that we’ve seen what that looks like on both sides,” Logie said. “Hopefully we can continue to execute like that moving forward.”

The seniors, Wilkes and Farnsworth, combined for 18 points in their last regular season home game of their college careers. Jurlina added 16 and Valle came away with 18 points for the Pirates as well. 

With these two wins, the Bucs close in on becoming the first NWC school since the 1965-70 Linfield Wildcats to win six NWC championships in a row. The two home wins also add to the over 150 home victories the Pirates have accumulated since the 2001-02 season. 

The men’s regular season will conclude with games on Friday and Saturday at Pacific Lutheran and Puget Sound with the NWC Tournament to follow the week after.

Connor Soudani

Sports Editor

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

Men's soccer shines in opening two rounds

Senior Micheal Ramos continued his season-long shooting form on Friday night with his 14th goal of the season in Whitworth’s 1-0 victory over Covenant College in the NCAA Tournament. The Pirates continued their winning streak on Saturday evening, outscoring Berry College 2-0 in the second round of the tournament. “Mainly, for the team, it’s not about the result, it’s about the process: getting better every week and it’s been a huge satisfaction, not only for me, but for a lot of other players that have dedicated their life to soccer,” Ramos said. “[However,] now that we’re in postseason, we focus more on the result because we need to win to stay in the tournament.”

Friday’s game proved more challenging for the Pirates, as the Scots outshot the Pirates 8-6 while edging the Pirates in corner kicks, 6-5. In contrast, Saturday’s match proved more manageable, as the Pirates dominated the first half with a 21-4 shot advantage along with 6-0 on corner kicks.

Ramos scored the first and only goal for the Pirates with six minutes left to play in the game on Friday night. Freshman midfielder Eric Espinoza was credited for the assist when Ramos received the ball and dribbled it to the left side of the box. He then kicked it with his left foot and the ball ended up in the back of the lower-right corner of the net.

A Covenant player tried to tie the game on a corner kick with two minutes left, but the Pirate defenders cleared the ball to secure the win.

“We were successful, we did everything we needed to do, the way we needed to play. We created space with patient passing and movement,” Espinoza said.

On Saturday evening, junior midfielder Sam Engle took advantage of a Viking defender’s miscue and scored an early leading header goal for the Pirates in the 11th minute. Defenders, senior Colin Shockman and junior Spencer Wolfe, were credited for the assist.

At the beginning of the game, the opposing team did not perform their best, whereas, in the second half, they showed that they wanted a goal. The Pirates learned from their coaches that the Vikings score a lot of their goals in the second half, which displayed their determination in the second half, Espinoza said.

Espinoza doubled the score for the Pirates off of a short pass from freshman midfielder Austin Cassity, who beat his defender in the 67th minute.

“It was one of the most complete performances we’ve had all year: to not give up goals in five straight games,” Head Coach Morgan Cathey said.

Sophomore goalkeeper Timmy Costa made two saves on Friday night and one save on the following day, claiming the Pirates’ eighth shutout with Costa’s sixth shutout of the season.

Whitworth men’s soccer continues their NCAA Tournament play in the round of 16 against Christopher Newport University on Saturday.

 

Jessica Razanadrakoto

Staff Writer

Basketball puts on a show at homecourt

The Whitworth men’s and women’s basketball teams took the court Saturday at the Whitworth Fieldhouse for the opening night doubleheader. Led by head coach Helen Higgs, the Whitworth women kicked off the night against nonconference opponent Eastern Oregon University. The Pirates started off slow defensively against the high-powered Eastern Oregon offense. Eastern Oregon scored 31 points in the first half shooting 54.5 percent from the field.

“The first half we were trying to figure out how to attack their defense in the most effective way. At halftime we talked about what adjustments we needed to make to our shooting percentage and on defense we needed to work on taking the ball away,” Higgs said.

Standout junior guard KC McConnell carried the Pirate offense in the second half, helping the Pirates construct their late comeback. McConnell led the team in scoring with 22 points.

“After ending the first half on a high note we really brought the energy to the game in the second half,”  McConnell said.

In the second half, the Whitworth offense overcame a 10-point deficit to eventually take a 13-point lead with 4:20 left in the game. The Pirate defense was able to hold on to the lead for a Whitworth win, 67-55.

In the second game of Whitworth’s basketball home opener, the men’s team dominated D’Youville University in a high-scoring 103-49 win. In the first half of play, Whitworth was strong on both sides of the ball scoring 54 points and holding D’Youville to 13 points. Going into half, sophomore forward Christian Jurlina put on a shooting clinic, scoring 20 points with three three-pointers.

Kari Johnson-6 copy

Whitworth continued to prove dominance over its New York opponents in the second half. Newcomer and junior guard Matt Staudacher had his first start at home for the Pirates. Staudacher, a transfer student from Canada’s NCAA DII Simon Fraser University scored eight points and dished out four assists.

“It has been a wonderful experience so far with this program,” Staudacher said. “Ever since I walked on campus I have had nonstop support from the fans, coaching staff and most importantly, my teammates.”

At the end of regulation play, Whitworth put D’Youville away with a final score of 103-49.

“I’m excited about the effort so far from this team this season. I felt like we moved the basketball around really well tonight,” Head Coach Matt Logie said. “We have to continue to grow defensively. We have to work on our principles and understanding of the defense we run.”

The men’s and women’s teams both play Thursday, Nov. 20, at home against Rutgers-Newark.

 

Joshua Omdal

Staff Writer

Cross country and the Battle at Bush Park

Bush Pasture Park served as the location for yet another cross country race this season with the NCAA DIII West Regional Meet on Saturday.

As both the men’s and women’s cross country teams prepared to return to competition after their strong performances at the conference meet, many factors for both teams would come into play.

For the women, they would be without one of their captains, senior Christina Williams, and would have to contend with the injuries of junior captain Amanda Blankenship, who was limited in practice leading up to the regional meet. The women were ranked 32nd nationally going into the meet and third in the region with NWC foe Willamette ranked first in the region and California powerhouse Claremont Mudd Scripps ranked second.

On the men’s side, the team would be looking to continue what was the pinnacle of their season thus far at the conference meet. With a ranking of sixth in the region coming in, the men had their sights set on UPS and Whitman as they tried to improve on their finish at conference against those teams.

The men performed well through the first few miles with junior Chris MacMurray and senior Taylor Steele taking the early team leads and then shifting to Steele and junior Colton Berry for the remainder of the race. MacMurray would finish third for the team with a 27:11.3 on the 8K course. Steele and Berry would both take home all-region honors with Steele’s 26:15.4 finish in 20th and Berry’s 26:33.4 time for 34th.

Senior Trent Dudley, who finished in 27:15.8 and fourth for the team, is concluding his cross country career where it all began.

“I’ve been doing cross country since 4th grade. I just realize that I started cross country at Bush Park and I actually ended cross country at Bush Park so it’s just really weird,” Dudley said. “I threw up training in that park and had all my conference meets there and then this race. I guess it’s just right that I ended my season there and my career.”

The women were boxed out of front pack right from the start; they were forced to let other teams take the lead into the first hill. Junior Kellyn Roiko held the lead for Whitworth runners with junior Amanda Blankenship eventually passing her up. 

As the race came down to the final stretch, Blankenship was hitting her stride while Roiko was fighting to remain competitive. In the end, the women would get four athletes on the all-region team with Blankenship finishing 21st with a time of 23:06.2 and Roiko finishing 28th in 23:15.2. Sophomore Kristen Schoenike and junior Jessica Arnzen would fall in at 31st and 32nd, respectively.

“The women just fell down and still had a good race,” Head Coach Toby Schwarz said. “Kristen had a race like she’s always had. Amanda didn’t get out fast enough. Kellyn was sick. Katie [McKay] had the best race of her life. Thais [Pedro Trujillo] ran well. Bailey ran well considering she was sick. The women ran well; they just had unfortunate circumstances for some of them.”

The good overall team performance would prove to not be enough for a second-place finish as the CMS women unloaded on the field for 54 points to the Pirates’ 147. Willamette would finish first with 31 points.

“CMS was really good. They’ve been a top 15 national team for the last couple of years and they just hadn’t been running that way this year,” Schwarz said. “I think Willamette could potentially win or be a top five team and I think CMS will be somewhere between fifth and 10th at nationals.”

The Pirate women fell just short of their nationals goal.

Afterwards, Roiko leaned on the shoulder of her teammate sophomore Kendall Chin and got hit by the emotions of the day.

“I was pretty upset because I had my goal for the race to be in top 10 and I know that I could have been up there but I just didn’t have a very good race,” Roiko said. “Getting third again is really tough and I was just upset over my performance and just felt kind of bad about that.”

With all the races at Bush Park behind them and both teams now done for the season, athletes and coaches prepare for indoor and outdoor track to begin in January.

Connor Soudani

Sports Editor

Volleyball falls in three sets to CLU on the road

After winning the conference title alongside Pacific Lutheran University, Whitworth’s volleyball team traveled to Thousand Oaks, California, to compete in this year’s NCAA Division III Tournament. Whitworth, matched up in the first round against third-ranked California Lutheran University, lost in a 3-0 sweep on Friday night. The Pirates finished the season with a 21-6 overall record. Freshman Cassandra Mendoza led the team with 13 kills while junior Nicole Leonard made 15 digs. Northwest Conference Player of the Year Maddye Dinsmore added 28 assists and 11 digs for the Pirates. Whitworth’s .097 hitting percentage, however, could not overcome CLU’s aggressive team attacks and .231 hitting average.

“[CLU] is an offensively powerful team. They have more than one offensive weapon. They also did a great job of passing well and playing great defense,” Head Coach Kati Bodecker said.

In the first set, CLU’s hitters put down three subsequent kills to gain the advantage before Whitworth tied the game at 12-12 with a kill from Mendoza. The Regals picked up their offensive tempo and pushed kills past Whitworth’s blockers to pull ahead on an 8-3 run. CLU let two hits from sophomore Haley Vick and Mendoza get past its defense before blocking an attack from Vick, finishing the set.

“The team focused on playing our game and playing with all our heart. We knew this [would be] a challenging game,” Leonard said. “We figured that we had nothing to lose. We had no pressure, so we decided to play free, pressure-less, and together as a team.”

The Pirates exchanged kills with the Regals until Leonard tied up the second set at 9-9 with a service ace. The Regals then took the lead with nine kills. After a timeout, Whitworth rallied to break the Regals’ streak with a kill from junior Shawna Korshavn. Vick made two more kills, but two Pirate service errors gave the Regals another win.

“[CLU] is very strong offensively. They hit the ball straight down and over our blocks. Our team ‘s focus was on defense. We really focused on digging the ball well and putting up solid blocks,” Korshavn said. “But then we also focused on our serve-receives. We wanted to make sure our first contact was always solid so we could get a good set and a good hit.”

During the third set, both teams improved their hitting percentage but Whitworth’s .130 hitting average could not surmount CLU’s .311 average. The Regals quickly gained a four-point lead and did not let up offensively for the rest of the match. Leonard and Mendoza broke the Regals’ streak with two kills each but Mendoza’s final kill was blocked. Although Whitworth had one more team attack than CLU in the final game, the Regals shut out the Pirates, 25-17.

“We are so proud of ourselves this season because we lost a lot of [seniors] last year...We had a young team,” Korshavn said. “My junior class had to step up as leaders. We really thought this would be a growing year—a learning year—with a whole new team and we ended up winning conference.”

With this loss, the Pirates season comes to a close after winning conference alongside the nationally-ranked PLU team. Bodecker completed her second season as head coach of the team and will now face an offseason with a team that is returning all of its players. As a result, the team will have five seniors, including Dinsmore.

 

Leah Dassler

Staff Writer

Swimming wins in haphazard quadrangular meet

After spending more than 10 hours on a bus, the Whitworth swim teams pulled off a win in a quadrangular swimming meet against Whitman, Pacific and Lewis & Clark on Saturday afternoon. Because of a traffic accident on I-84, a potential six-hour drive turned into a 10-hour drive that delayed the Pirates, forcing them to be late for their meet against Pacific. On top of that, Whitman was also late to its own meet against Lewis & Clark because of the traffic. Therefore, both meets were canceled and a quadrangular meet was held instead.

“We came from a very non-ideal circumstance after a long drive. We didn’t expect to race Whitman, we weren’t prepared for it, but we were able to rally and win the meet, so I call it a success,” junior Bridget Louis, the winner of the 400-yard individual medley in a time of 4:49.81, said.

Another win for the Pirate women came from sophomore Jerusha Dressel in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:10.50.

The Pirate women edged Whitman, 108-88, won against Pacific, 106-90 and defeated Lewis & Clark, 133-61.

For the Pirate men, freshman Brandon Smith took the 1,000-yard freestyle in a time of 9:58.26 and the 500-yard freestyle in 4:54.78. In addition, junior Wes Walton won the 400-yard individual medley in a time of 4:13.73. Freshman Jason Smith won the 100-yard backstroke in 53.37 while junior Kyle Wicks won the 100-yard breaststroke in 59.51.

Moving from a dual meet to a quad meet was unexpected for the teams, senior Wes Tatum said.

“It was a weird meet, quad meets are scored differently. In a dual meet, depth can be used to win the meet, whereas in a quad meet having one or two all-star swimmers make the difference between winning and losing,” Tatum said.

The Pirate men edged Whitman, 100-96, won against Pacific, 118-76 and overcome Lewis & Clark, 147-35.

The Whitworth teams knew it was going to be hard, especially competing with the Whitman team, who has the national champion in the 100-butterfly along with other skilled swimmers in other events, Tatum said.

“Staying mentally strong and mentally tough [helped],” Dressel said. “I was pretty tired on Saturday, physically from the school, but still put my best into the race and to my events.”

Whitworth swim teams continue competition on Dec. 5 at the Husky Invitational.

 

Jessica Razanadrakoto

Staff Writer

Swimming swamps competition at home

The Whitworth Pirates’ swimming teams won their only two home meets of the season against the Willamette Bearcats on Friday night and against the Linfield Wildcats on Saturday afternoon. Similar to last season’s meet, the Pirates swept the Bearcats with the Pirate women winning 10 of the 11 events, outscoring them 144-60. In addition, the men seized all 11 events instead of 10, blowing Willamette out of the water, 155-49. The performance the next day was more of the same against Linfield where the Pirate women won 136-69 and the men won 164-41.

“Racing the teammates and working hard these past couple of weeks [were key],” sophomore Logan Streit said.

The Pirate men took both relays on Friday night. Juniors Wes Walton, Kyle Wicks, Lucas Lin and senior Wes Tatum won the opening 200 yard medley relay with a time of 1:35.98, while Walton, Wicks, Lin and senior Callum MacKintosh won the closing 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:27.80.

The Pirate women freshman Jane Holmes, sophomore Jackie Beal, junior Bridget Louis and senior Alisa Stang took the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:53.74. Freshman Makayla Barringer, Holmes, sophomore Jerusha Dressel, and Stang won the 200 freestyle relay with a time of 1:42.68.

“We had a lot of girl freestylers in the sprint events that dropped a lot of time and that was an area we needed to improve,” Schadt said. “There were five or six women that all improved in that area from where they were a couple of weeks ago.”

Junior Malia Santos took the Bearcats’ only victory in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 25.83.

“We’ve been training really hard and I’ve been working on a few key things with my speed,” Walton said. “For my freestyle, I was working on the correct underwater distance to swim before I came up to the surface.”

The Pirates’ main goal for the season is to take home the top spots in each event in the conference meet, and the Pirates proved they were capable after this weekend, Streit said.

On Saturday afternoon, freshman Patrick Wilbur led a 1-2-3 finish for the Pirates in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:48.64, junior Kevin Moore led another one in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:55.11, and junior Trevor Case led the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:14.10.

“We all stepped up and tried to go 1,2,3 for all the events, [which] we did very well, so I hope we continue the momentum,” Streit said.

Walton, Tatum, Case and Wicks took the first 400-yard medley relay with a time of 3:33.48, ending with the closing win of the 400-yard freestyle relay led by Wilber, Streit, Lin and Mackintosh.

The Pirate women won the opening 400-yard medley relay and all nine individual events.

“I really love relays, they’re my favorite parts of swim meets,” Dressel said. “When I dive into the water, I’m not just swimming for myself, but for the other three girls.”

Wildcats sophomore Rita Cohen, Elizabeth Fry, Erin Nelson and Nikki Overton took Linfield’s only victory in the closing 400-yard freestyle relay (3:46.18 – 3:46.64).

Eight different swimmers combined to win all nine individual events on both days. Streit took first place in the 200-yard freestyle (1:47.49) and the 100-yard Freestyle (49.12) on Friday night, while Walton was the double winner for both the 200 yard individual medley (1:57.49) and the 200 yard backstroke (1:55.05) on Saturday afternoon.

Both Pirate teams improved to 2-0.

Whitworth Pirates travel to Pacific next Friday, Oct. 14 and Lewis & Clark on Saturday, Oct. 15 for their next competition.

 

Jessica Razanadrakoto

Staff Writer

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

Going Mad for Basketball

Never is the Whitworth Fieldhouse so packed with fans as it is during a basketball game. But last Saturday’s event was not just a basketball game. Students packed the stands in Pirate garb and with excited expectations to cheer on their 2014-2015 men’s and women’s basketball teams during Midnight Madness. In anticipation of the upcoming season, Associated Students of Whitworth University and the basketball teams partnered to put on the annual event in celebration of basketball, Pirate pride and a new season of competition.

“Midnight Madness is a way to get the campus excited about basketball season. It’s a long-held tradition on a lot of campuses across the country,” men’s basketball Head Coach Matt Logie said. “Tonight is a celebration—an opportunity to introduce our players to the students, and to let them know who’s representing them as the season kicks off. ”

The teams started the night with warm-ups before selected crowd members competed in a dodgeball game. The game was only one of many competitions involving fans. ASWU went to great lengths to include the crowd in the festivities. Raffle winners had chances to compete in a dance-off, a half-court shot for a chance to win one semester’s tuition and blindfolded musical chairs. Competition winners received new bicycles, iPads, and gift cards.

“People come for the free T-shirts and giveaways. Mostly it’s the tradition of the basketball program, though, that allows [Midnight Madness] to be what it is and [draws] the crowds in,” junior point guard George Valle said.

The men’s team entertained the crowd with a dunk contest between sophomore Forrest Baker, sophomore Riley Moreen, and senior Adam Wilks. The judges—including President Beck Taylor and several members of the student body—named Baker the winner.

“I think my favorite event was the dunking competition,” sophomore spectator Katrina Ulnick said. “I came because I like the energy of the event. I don’t usually go to sporting events but I think it’s really fun coming to Midnight Madness and meeting the players.”

The teams also engaged in a battle of the sexes during a three-point contest between Baker and junior Briann Maley. Baker won again. The cheer squad then took the crowd’s attention with a halftime performance created especially for Midnight Madness. To wrap up the night and prepare the audience to support the teams this season, the emcees taught the crowd cheers.

“There’s a lot of excitement this year because [the women’s basketball team] is ranked nationally for the first time in pre-season,” sophomore point guard Jessica Thoens said. “We’re 24th, so this year we want to get people to come out to our games to support us, and to give them a reason to come out—to see us actually play and compete.”

Both teams’ captains asked the student body to come to the Fieldhouse on Saturday, Nov. 15, to support them in their season openers. The women will play Eastern Oregon University at 5 p.m. and the men will follow with a game against D’Youville College at 7 p.m.

 

Leah Dassler

Staff Writer

Swimming swamps competition at home

The Whitworth Pirates’ swimming teams won their only two home meets of the season against the Willamette Bearcats on Friday night and against the Linfield Wildcats on Saturday afternoon. Similar to last season’s meet, the Pirates swept the Bearcats with the Pirate women winning 10 of the 11 events, outscoring them 144-60. In addition, the men seized all 11 events instead of 10, blowing Willamette out of the water, 155-49. The performance the next day was more of the same against Linfield where the Pirate women won 136-69 and the men won 164-41.

“Racing the teammates and working hard these past couple of weeks [were key],” sophomore Logan Streit said.

The Pirate men took both relays on Friday night. Juniors Wes Walton, Kyle Wicks, Lucas Lin and senior Wes Tatum won the opening 200 yard medley relay with a time of 1:35.98, while Walton, Wicks, Lin and senior Callum MacKintosh won the closing 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:27.80.

The Pirate women freshman Jane Holmes, sophomore Jackie Beal, junior Bridget Louis and senior Alisa Stang took the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:53.74. Freshman Makayla Barringer, Holmes, sophomore Jerusha Dressel, and Stang won the 200 freestyle relay with a time of 1:42.68.

“We had a lot of girl freestylers in the sprint events that dropped a lot of time and that was an area we needed to improve,” Schadt said. “There were five or six women that all improved in that area from where they were a couple of weeks ago.”

Junior Malia Santos took the Bearcats’ only victory in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 25.83.

“We’ve been training really hard and I’ve been working on a few key things with my speed,” Walton said. “For my freestyle, I was working on the correct underwater distance to swim before I came up to the surface.”

The Pirates’ main goal for the season is to take home the top spots in each event in the conference meet, and the Pirates proved they were capable after this weekend, Streit said.

On Saturday afternoon, freshman Patrick Wilbur led a 1-2-3 finish for the Pirates in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:48.64, junior Kevin Moore led another one in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:55.11, and junior Trevor Case led the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:14.10.

“We all stepped up and tried to go 1,2,3 for all the events, [which] we did very well, so I hope we continue the momentum,” Streit said.

Walton, Tatum, Case and Wicks took the first 400-yard medley relay with a time of 3:33.48, ending with the closing win of the 400-yard freestyle relay led by Wilber, Streit, Lin and Mackintosh.

The Pirate women won the opening 400-yard medley relay and all nine individual events.

“I really love relays, they’re my favorite parts of swim meets,” Dressel said. “When I dive into the water, I’m not just swimming for myself, but for the other three girls.”

Wildcats sophomore Rita Cohen, Elizabeth Fry, Erin Nelson and Nikki Overton took Linfield’s only victory in the closing 400-yard freestyle relay (3:46.18 – 3:46.64).

Eight different swimmers combined to win all nine individual events on both days. Streit took first place in the 200-yard freestyle (1:47.49) and the 100-yard Freestyle (49.12) on Friday night, while Walton was the double winner for both the 200 yard individual medley (1:57.49) and the 200 yard backstroke (1:55.05) on Saturday afternoon.

Both Pirate teams improved to 2-0.

Whitworth Pirates travel to Pacific next Friday, Oct. 14 and Lewis & Clark on Saturday, Oct. 15 for their next competition.

 

Jessica Razanadrakoto

Staff Writer

 

Volleyball wins big home games to tie PLU for lead in NWC

After a quick shutout on Friday night and a close win on Saturday, the volleyball team has their first chance at a conference title since the 2011-2012 season. The team is now tied with Pacific Lutheran University for first place in the conference. Pressure mounted in this important weekend for the team as they took on rivals for the title—PLU and University of Puget Sound. Whitworth took a lead over PLU in the first set and never let up. Solid blocks from sophomore Brenna Bruil, sophomore Haley Vick, and junior Nicole Leonard challenged PLU’s outside hitters, who hit a .000 hitting average. Vick and Leonard also made several early kills, leading to an initial six-point gap which PLU could not close. Leonard made two service aces halfway through the match which only added to the high level of energy circulating in Pirate territory. As the match point approached, PLU climbed back with a four-point streak, tipping the ball into the Pirate’s open center and capitalizing off of Pirate errors. Leonard finally finished off the set for the Pirates with a kill.

“All this week at practice we focused on blocking and it carried over hugely in the game tonight,” Bruil said.

Freshman Cassandra Mendoza started the second set off with two kills, and the Pirates quickly accumulated a three-point lead. PLU tied up the game at 10-10 after they targeted the Whitworth defense’s weak point with more tipping, while improving their blocking to counter Whitworth’s strong left-side hitting. Following a timeout, Whitworth regained the advantage in the match by concentrating a series of kills to the Lute’s left back. Bruil put down two subsequent kills after long rallies, giving the Pirates another win.

“We came back [after the tie] with the mentality that we really have nothing to lose. Ever since I’ve played here we’ve never beaten PLU, so we just went after it with that ‘nothing-to-lose mentality,’” junior Elizabeth Ginley said.

During the final match, PLU drove Whitworth to many long rallies in which their hitters aimed successfully at Whitworth’s open left front side. Whitworth struggled to keep up on the scoreboard as both teams exchanged digs and kills. PLU again relied heavily on tipping to earn points, but Whitworth finally pulled ahead after service aces from both Bruil and Ginley. Vick topped off the scoreboard with her 10th kill of the night and hit the highest individual hitting percent for the team—.412. Ginley led the Pirates in number of digs, making 18 overall.

“PLU really played to our past weakness of the shorter tip balls in the shallow part of the court,” Ginley said. “I think what we did better against them this game versus the last time we played them is we really [read] the hitters, and we were able to anticipate the shorter balls.”

On Saturday night, Whitworth went toe to toe with UPS. Coming into the game, both teams came into the match tied for second place in the conference alongside Pacific Lutheran. The Pirates suffered a loss in the first game due to repeated blocking errors. UPS’ solid hitting sent Pirate defense scrambling and the women couldn’t make many successful plays. UPS narrowly won 25-23.

“[After the first set] we were focusing on our errors and the point behind us. We had the conversation of looking forward and focusing on that next point because we play well when we’re enthusiastic, and I thought we did that,” Head Coach Kati Bodecker said.

UPS continued making kills on the Pirates’ open right back and center. Korshavn and freshman Karina Lees made much-needed offensive plays, tying up the game at 23 points. Lees made the most of her time off the bench, leading her team with 15 kills. Korshavn, Lees and Bruil made the final three kills which led to the Pirate’s close win at 26-24.

The Pirates managed to take an early five-point lead with stronger hitting after halftime. Outside hitters Korshavn and Leonard swung harder to get the ball past UPS’s wall of blockers and successfully targeted open spots in UPS’ right side. Junior setter Maddye Dinsmore dropped a strategic tip into UPS’ left side to maintain the Pirates’ three-point advantage and Leonard finished with a low kill.

In the final match, UPS fought back, putting up their best blockers to counter Vick’s, Lee’s and Leonard’s powerful attacks. Neither team could gain advantage until UPS hit three subsequent attack errors. Korshavn and Bruil blocked out UPS’ final attack to tie up the game at 23 points. Dinsmore then made her third service ace of the night to give the Pirates the advantage. A final attack error by UPS’ attackers gave the Pirates their third narrow win.

The Pirates play Whitman in Walla Walla, Washington on Wednesday, Oct. 22, at 6 p.m.

 

Leah Dassler

Staff Writer

Spotted from the Crow's Nest: Eduardo Lopez

Men’s soccer Head Coach Morgan Cathey brought a distinct coaching philosophy with him when he came to Whitworth, but he also attracted some talent. Senior Eduardo Lopez followed his former assistant coach, Cathey, from California State University Stanislaus to Whitworth University, where he has put his talent to work for the men’s team. “A coach can make a lot of impact on a player,” sophomore defender Spencer Wolfe said. “The ability to come up here and play again for Morgan [Cathey] so they could build on that personal relationship, but also that soccer relationship that they had built, played a big role in getting Eddie [Lopez] up here.”

Lopez redshirted his freshman year, which was common at CSUS, to help the freshmen learn how to play college level soccer, as it is different from playing high school soccer, Lopez said.

Lopez competed in 16 matches and made five starts through his last two seasons at CSUS, a Division II School.

Cathey not only impacted Lopez as a player, but also as a person.

“He’s been the best coach I’ve ever been coached by,” Lopez said. “He’s just a great person on and off the field. If I had any questions, I would go straight to him. I really like his vision, the way he wants his team to play. He [is] always positive. If you did something good, he acknowledged you for it, which makes you want to strive for more.”

When Cathey announced he was taking the Whitworth job in the spring of 2013, Lopez was devastated.

After a year without Cathey as part of his college soccer experience, Lopez contacted his former assistant coach, asking him if there was room for him at Whitworth, to which Cathey said, “Definitely,” Lopez said.

Lopez visited in the spring of 2014 with his father and his sister Laura Lopez, while staying with Whitworth soccer team member Wolfe.

“[When Lopez] came, we went out for dinner… so I got to know him a little bit before the rest of the team did,” Wolfe said. “I thought he was a good fit then, and ever since he came I thought he was an even better fit.”

It is important for Cathey to let the players know that he has their best interest at heart, not just on the field, but also off the field, Cathey said.

“It is important for [Lopez] to know that I care about [him] and that I am going to do everything I can to make sure that he is successful on the soccer field, in the classroom, and more importantly to make sure that he is successful in life,” Cathey said.

This season, Lopez wants to have a senior year in which he gets to fully experience college, as it is his first year living away from his family, Lopez said.

“It was mixed emotions for me. He has always lived at home, [and] didn’t have too much responsibility besides just being a college student and a soccer player. So, I was worried, but I never doubted his capability,” Laura Lopez said. “I was jealous that he did what he did... in a good way, because I wish I would have done what he did. I am extremely proud of him.”

Having a player like Lopez come in and start makes a difference, Wolfe said.

Cathey believes that one of Lopez’ strengths is the ability to step into the midfield and defend a forward or a midfield player that has dropped off in the defensive line.

“I knew that he would enjoy our soccer environment. I knew that he would enjoy the school,” Cathey said.

 

Jessica Razanadrakoto

Staff Writer

Football falls to fifth-ranked Linfield in McMinnville

The Whitworth Pirates were unable to stop the fifth-ranked and undefeated Linfield College Wildcats, losing 65-13. Whitworth struggled on the defensive end of the ball, giving up over 709 yards in total offense to Linfield. In mid-season Northwest Conference play, Linfield picked up their fifth win improving to 5-0 overall and leading the conference with a record of 3-0.

The Linfield defense established dominance early in the game, slowing down Whitworth’s normally fast-paced and productive offense. Linfield sacked Whitworth senior quarterback Bryan Peterson five times and forced two interceptions. The Pirates were held to a season-low 264 yards.

“We are constantly trying to improve ourselves each week. We try to win the battles against ourselves and learn from our mistakes and successes,” Peterson said. “On Saturday we lost the battle against ourselves and it showed in the game.”

Linfield took an early lead over the Pirates, 20-0, early in the second quarter. Whitworth finally placed a score on the board thanks to a 29-yard passing touchdown from Peterson to senior wide receiver Drew Clausen.

Before the first half was over, Linfield tacked on two more scores to bring the lead to 35-7.

Whitworth’s defense was unable to stop Linfield’s aerial attack led by sophomore quarterback Sam Riddle. Riddle threw for three touchdowns in the second half by spreading the ball out to three different receivers.

“I’ve been in the Division III level of coaching for a while now, and Linfield is definitely the best team top to bottom,” Head Coach Rod Sandberg said. “We learned a lot about the big picture aspect of our program. This game was a great motivating factor for next season.”

With three more games left in the regular season, The Pirates currently stand at fifth place in the Northwest Conference, but are still in the running for the second place spot.

Whitworth plays at home against University of Puget Sound this Saturday, Oct. 25, in the Pine Bowl at 1 p.m.

 

Joshua Omdal

Staff Writer

Cross country caps off Oregon trip against NWC foes

The cross country teams are approaching the conclusion of their season and each meet is starting to be more indicative of where they are talent-wise compared to other NWC teams. At the Lewis & Clark Invitational last Saturday, those results were true to form, Head Coach Toby Schwarz said.

The women finished first of 12 teams and the men finished eighth of 14 teams behind conference opponents Whitman and University of Puget Sound.

The women won the invitational for the second year in a row despite not having three of their top five runners to finish in scoring position. Of those three, the Pirates were missing senior Christina Williams due to a stress fracture in her pelvis. Williams won the meet as an individual last year.

Junior Kellyn Roiko finished third overall for the 6K course with a time of 22:47.6, followed closely by sophomore Kristen Schoenike in sixth place with a time of 23:22.9. Freshman Bailey Scott had one of the best races of her season after finishing 12th overall with a time of 23:34.8. Sophomore Kendall Chin and junior Katie McKay were within seconds of Scott, finishing in 23:36.1 and 23:37.3, respectfully.

“There are two 3K laps on this course, and so it’s especially hard to stay focused and make the choice to keep trying to move up on the second lap,” Schoenike said. “I think that was the biggest factor for me was just staying focused during the second lap.”

The women finished first despite sophomore Allie Wood finishing 10th on the team and junior captain Amanda Blankenship finishing in the 12th team spot.

On the men’s side, the team had uncharacteristic finishes from their top five scorers. Senior Taylor Steele crossed the line in 28th place for the Bucs in a time of 26:35.2 for the 8K course. Junior Colton Berry was next through the tape in 26:47.5 for 34th place, followed closely by senior Trent Dudley in 26:48.2 for 35th. Freshman Logan Veasy finished well with a 27:11.5, while junior Matt Ferris rounded out the men’s team scoring with a 27:21.8.

“I kind of got out slower, but Trent [Dudley], Chris  [MacMurray] and Taylor [Steele] were leading it for the guys up through the first mile,” junior Colton Berry said. “The race got out a little bit slow for the first mile, but our top guys came through at five [minutes] flat.”

“We’re pretty much the fourth-best team in the conference and we’ve kind of proved that over the last several meets,” Schwarz said.

The difference came with the finishes of junior Chris MacMurray who came through outside of the team scoring with a 27:28.4, and of freshman Grant Bingham who finished with 28:58.4.

“We just need those people to run what they’ve done earlier in the year and other people to do what they did today and we should be fine,” Schwarz said.

Both teams will take their customary break from competition and return for the NWC Championship meet in Salem, Oregon on Nov. 1 at 10 a.m. The women will be looking to take on defending conference champion Willamette, while the men will look to move up and improve on their fourth-place ranking in conference as they eye Whitman, UPS and the defending men’s champion, Willamette.

 

Connor Soudani

Sports Editor

Spotted from the Crow's Nest: Samson Martinez

Junior Samson Martinez defines “family” in his own special way. He refers to it as a verb rather than a noun. Family relates to the people he’s close to, to the people that support him through his life, his struggles and his successes. He considers his closest friends to be family even though they are not blood-related, Martinez said. Martinez’s list of priorities is straightforward: God, family, work and school, friends and golf. Yes, golf is last on that list. However, Martinez said the relationships he forms with his teammates go far beyond the sport itself.

“They’re not just my golf teammates, they’re like a family to me and I would do anything for them. We care for each other like brothers,” Martinez said.

With so many high priorities in his life, Martinez said that golf practice allows him the opportunity to work on a variety of other priorities in his life.

“For me, golf practice, although it’s really hard and vigorous and makes me want to get better at my game, it’s also my social hours because I’m just out there for two and a half hours with some of my best friends at Whitworth and it makes for a great time,” Martinez said. “Golf helps me to fulfill those priorities.”

Everything Martinez involves himself heavily in, whether it be golf, academics, being a resident advisor or filling in as a babysitter, Martinez involves himself in because he sees the opportunity to develop the familial relationships in them, Martinez said.

“I just have this belief that when you ‘family’ each other, when you grow as brothers and not just friends, that bond allows you to accept that we’re not going to always believe the same thing, we’re not always going to agree with one another, we’re not always going to like each other but we will always be there for each other and we will always support each other through our life events,” Martinez said.

That mentality is taken directly from the way Martinez interacts with his own family.

“Some people feel like when their family comes to watch them play tournaments they feel like an added pressure or they don’t like it,” junior Oliver Rudnicki said. “Not the case at all with Samson, he likes them being there and being able to watch him.”

However, with all of the commitments Martinez has, it is still important for him to make everything a priority.

“The last thing I would ever want is to be with my teammates or be with my residents and have them get this vibe that I’m not fully invested in them,” Martinez said. “The best way to make an impact on the people around you is to fully invest in them and have their complete focus or have your complete focus on them.”

Even his coach has taken notice of the way Martinez keeps balance in his life.

“From my vantage point, he manages it all pretty well. I mean he’ll hit the books, he’ll tell me [he’ll be studying] four hours on a Friday night because he knew the weekend was busy and we had a tournament,” Head Coach Warren Friedrichs said. “He will hammer through a class while everyone else is out there having a good time.”

Despite the great deal of time and effort Martinez has to invest in order to push himself in everything he does, it is undoubtedly worth it in the end, Martinez said.

“People have asked me to sacrifice a couple things but I just can’t get myself to do it because every single thing I’m involved in right now has changed my life in an amazing way,” Martinez said.

However, on the days when things do not go the way Martinez expects them to, at least in golf, he leaves a reminder for himself on the head cover for one of his drivers.

Jeremiah 29:11 states, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

“Life’s not always going to be perfect, but I have a hope that God has a plan for me that’s better than I think,” Martinez said.

If that plan is any better than what Martinez is living out right now, then it should be pretty good.

 

Connor Soudani

Sports Editor

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

Volleyball takes two wins on Homecoming stretch

During Homecoming last weekend, the volleyball team defeated both George Fox and Lewis & Clark at home. In the past, the Pirates have tended to split wins on Homecoming weekend, but this weekend marked the first Homecoming since 2011 in which the volleyball team earned two wins at home. The women now stand second in the Northwest Conference, holding six wins and two losses in conference play. On Friday night, the women shut down George Fox in three games. In the first set, the Bruins managed to stay two points behind Whitworth until the Pirates strung together an 11-4 run. Junior Shawna Korshavn led the team with four kills. The teams exchanged kills in the last minutes of the match, but the Bruin hitters could not overcome the Pirates’ six-point lead. Freshman Cassy Mendoza finished the match with a final kill.

During the second game, Whitworth started off strong with a 9-0 run. Sophomore Brenna Bruil dominated on defense with six successful attacks. Although George Fox attempted to make a comeback to 24-17 near the end of the game, their service error led to another Pirate win.

“Our intensity was a really strong point. The other team did a really good job tipping, but I also felt that we were in control the whole game,” Leonard said.

The Bruins fought back in the third set, gaining a two-point lead before the Pirates moved ahead with a 5-2 run due to several Bruin errors. Bruil finished the match with her twelfth kill of the night. Junior Nicole Leonard led the team with 18 digs while junior Mallorie Schoesler followed closely behind with 14 digs.

On Saturday night, Lewis & Clark challenged the Pirate defense with 14 kills in the first set. The Pioneers took a five-point lead early on while Whitworth struggled to overcome attack errors. The Pirates climbed back up to 22-24 but the Pioneers prevailed with a kill.

The Pirates came back in the second set, improving their hitting percentage from .044 to .105. Freshman outside hitter Cassandra Mendoza made four kills in the first ten points, as each team struggled to gain a lead. The teams tied at 19-19 but Whitworth won on a 6-3 run. In the third set, the Pirates shut out Pioneer attacks with four blocks. The Pirates won on Mendoza’s service ace.

“This weekend we were focusing on playing like we have something to prove because we’re second in the conference right now,” Schoesler said. “Tonight, our blocking improved. We really focused on that in practice. Getting more touches on the blocks really helped us with our defense.”

During the fourth set, Lewis & Clark gained a narrow lead until Leonard and junior Shawna Korshavn made a combined three kills to take the lead. Mendoza made five successful kills after that, while Leonard wrapped up the Pirate win with her sixteenth kill of the night.

“We knew that Lewis & Clark was going to match up well with us well defensively and so we were going to have to earn our points. I think we were prepared for that battle tonight,” Head Coach Kati Bodecker said.

Overall, the Pirates out-blocked the Pioneers 10 to six—their highest number of blocks this season. They will play Pacific Lutheran at home on Friday night.

 

Leah Dassler

Staff Writer

Offenses light up scoreboard in Pirate home victory

With alumni, students and parents packed into the Pine Bowl Saturday afternoon, the Pirates kicked off Homecoming weekend against the previously undefeated Willamette Bearcats with a high-scoring 61-45 victory. For Whitworth, the win was their first Homecoming win since 2008. Along with Homecoming, Whitworth celebrated its inductees into the Whitworth Heritage Hall of Fame who were recognized in a halftime ceremony.

Coming off of their first conference loss, the Pirates needed a win to keep their season on track.  Whitworth demonstrated a strong offensive and defensive presence throughout the game.

Willamette was the first team on the board, scoring a 67-yard rushing touchdown by running back Dylan Jones. Jones had a breakout game for Willamette, rushing for 350 yards, a little less than half of Willamette’s offensive attack.

Former starting running back sophomore Griffin Hare and starting senior wide receiver Anthony Fullman both did not suit up for the game due to injuries.

Whitworth’s defense continues to give up a large total of yards this season. The Pirates have allowed a little over 1,200 yards and 74 points in the past two games. Although the Pirates did give up big plays, they responded with an explosive effort on special teams and offense.

On the kickoff after the first Willamette touchdown, Whitworth freshman wide receiver Brett Moser received and returned a kick off for a touchdown putting the score at 7-7.

Whitworth started to get their high-tempo offense in motion late in the fourth quarter. With 6:26 left in the first, Whitworth was able to score three unanswered touchdowns due to takeaways by the defense, placing them in excellent field position for the scores.

Sophomore running back Duke DeGaetano had two rushing touchdowns from the goal line and senior quarterback Bryan Peterson threw one 9-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Drew Clausen.

“We put that play in practice this week, and every time we ran it I was wide open, when we ran it in the game Drew’s pass gave me the opportunity to make a play on the ball,” senior quarterback Bryan Peterson said.

The first quarter was the most productive offensive quarter, placing the score at 28-14 going into the second quarter.

The second quarter featured a touchdown by senior wide receiver Connor Williams and two field goals by freshman place kicker Michael Zeng. Whitworth was able to maintain a 41-35 lead after giving up three touchdowns to Willamette going into the half.

Whitworth came out at halftime firing on all cylinders. After several big stops on defense, the Pirates held Willamette to only ten points in the second half.

“The defense really stepped it up in the second half,” sophomore outside linebacker Dalin McDonnell said. “We met up on the sidelines in between drives and concluded that the team that is going to win this game is the team that makes the most defensive stops, and we were that team for the rest of the game.”

From a pair of touchdowns by junior Connor Williams and one rushing touchdown by DeGaetano,  the game ended with a final score of 61-45 in the Pirates’ favor.

Williams led the team with 15 catches for 163 yards and 3 touchdowns. DeGaetano had the best game of his collegiate career after leading the team in rushing with 141 yards and three touchdowns.

“We had our best week of practice of the season going into this game,” Head Coach Rod Sandberg said. “We worked on how we could just get better, as a team, individually, and as coaching staff. We worked hard, had a lot of fun and it showed in the game today.”

Whitworth took their second NWC win of the season while Willamette suffered their first loss.

The 4-2 Pirates travel down to Oregon this Saturday, Oct. 18 to play against fifth-ranked and undefeated Linfield University for their fourth conference game of the season.

 

Joshua Omdal

Staff Writer

Women split NWC games at Whitworth Soccer Field

The women’s soccer team split wins during their sixth and seventh Northwest Conference games this season, bringing their conference record to 2-5. Saturday’s game against Pacific Lutheran University resulted in a 3-0 loss, but with improved defense in Sunday’s game, the Pirates pulled off a victory against the University of Puget Sound. During a scoreless first half, Whitworth kept the ball mainly in PLU territory. PLU’s contentious offense fought back, outdoing the Pirates in goal attempts six to two. Freshman Katie Bischoff attempted Whitworth’s two shots on the goal, but both went wide. Junior goalkeeper Andrea Stump saved three out of six PLU shots. The remaining shots hit wide and high.

PLU’s aggressive offensive play following halftime ended in the penalty box before PLU could make a goal. Four minutes into the period, PLU took the ball up the right side of Whitworth territory, shooting the ball wide off the goal post but then scoring off of the rebound.

“PLU’s strategy was to kick [the ball] to their wide players and to overlap the outside backs to cross in the back side. We just weren’t tracking the back side,” Bischoff said.

PLU targeted Stump’s open left side for their first goal. Junior Tiara Pajimola, in response, dug in offensively with an ineffective high shot. PLU scored again in the 77th minute, with another left-side play. A foul on Whitworth resulted in a penalty kick and PLU’s third goal in the 84th minute. This is the only time this season another team has scored more than twice on the Pirates.

“We had an excellent first half today in terms of our possession and the opportunities we generated on the goal,” Head Coach Jael Hagerott said. “Today was not a bad game despite the score. Once you’re 1-0 behind, you have to take risks in order to score, and we ended up paying for it.”

On Sunday, Pajimola started the Pirates off with a goal on University of Puget Sound in the second minute. She continued the Pirate’s possession and offensive focus, stealing the ball from UPS defense and taking a high shot at the goal. Stump saved four shots in the first sixteen minutes. The Pirates scrambled for a successful defensive play to deflect a corner kick from UPS. UPS’ offense pushed possession in favor of the Loggers, who outshot the Pirates 15 to two in the first half.

Sophomore Hannah Langbehn led Whitworth defensively in the second half, thwarting five of PLU’s unsuccessful shots on the goal. UPS’ defense protected their goal equally as well as the Pirates, shutting down all of Pajimola’s and sophomore Megan McCart’s offensive movements.

“[Saturday] we took risks. I don’t think it was defense, I just think it was the way we were trying to score after we got down. [On Sunday], I’d say we were playing tougher and we didn’t let up like we did a couple of times yesterday,” Langbehn said.

The Pirates will play George Fox University in Oregon on Saturday at noon.

Leah Dassler

Staff Writer