Winter sports preview

Nichole Oh | Staff Writer

As fall sports are beginning to wrap up, the Whitworth men’s and women’s basketball and swim teams are just getting started on their 2018-2019 season. Wondering what to expect? Here’s what you can look out for this year as teams approach season openers.

This year, junior Byron Rossmiller of the men’s swim team has the goal of placing in the top three in the 200 meter backstroke at the national meet.

“As a men’s team, we are trying to win the conference meet. They always put up stiff competition, so nothing is going to get handed to us, but I think we can be confident in our training,” Rossmiller said.

In their most recent meet against George Fox University and Pacific University, “everyone swam out of their minds, we of course have things to work on as a team but the best part of the last couple weeks has been watching the team rally and start to make deep connections,” he said.

Despite coming away with wins on both the men’s and women’s side, the team is focusing on making sure to stay hard on themselves and train like they lost.

“I can confidently say that this is the most motivated and happy group I have ever trained with,” Rossmiller said.

On the women's side, the team is fairly young, however, Rossmiller believes they will be a power in the conference that will come as a surprise.

“I don't think the girls even quite know what they are capable of yet, but I think we should expect to see some fast swimming and a high finish at conference,” he said.

Looking at the women’s basketball team this year, the Pirates are welcoming in six freshman into the program.

“We have so much talent coming in and it is going to be fun to see how the team works together and all the different ways that people are able to contribute,” senior Madison Moffat said.

Moffat is entering her fourth year on the women’s basketball team and this year she hopes to be able to fill whatever role the team needs from her.

“Our team is working towards becoming extremely fundamental, communicating more on both ends of the floor, and improving our team defense, all of which we think will contribute to greater success throughout the season,” she said.

One thing that she has taken away throughout her years is the value of preparation and repetition, and the way that translates to confidence on the court on game day.

Sam Lees of the men’s basketball team has two things he is looking forward to, which includes getting the opportunity to play really good schools early on, giving the team a challenge and an chance to show who they are, along with the depth, versatility, and work ethic the team has this year.

“We have a group of guys who have put in heaps of work for a really long time, we’re tough and feel primed to live into our potential,” Lees stated.

Every year the goal is to win the Northwest Conference regular season and tournament championship, and for the team this year a national championship is not out of question.

“We will get closer to those goals through smaller, measurable goals which include greatly improving our defensive efficiency,” he says.

Personal goals for Lees this season include filling his role to he best of his ability, being a good teammates, and continually improving.

The fall sports season has kicked Whitworth off to a great start in defending the NWC all sports trophy. With some of Whitworth’s best sports coming up this winter, Whitworth looks to widen its lead towards its 12th consecutive all sports trophy.