Sports Roundup: Fall Athletics in Full Swing
By Conor Wilson
The No. 10 nationally-ranked Viking women played two important matches this week finishing with a 5-2-0 season record in all events. The Vikings traveled to Golden, Colorado on Wednesday to take on the No. 9 ranked Colorado School of Mines. The Vikings fell into a quick 2-0 deficit with Colorado scoring two goals in the first 17 minutes. Western was able to score in the 89th minute when senior defender Emily Nelson headed in a corner kick delivered by senior forward Liv Larson, but the Vikings came-up short falling 2-1.
On Saturday, Sept. 28 the Vikings headed north to open up Great Northwest Athletic Conference play against Simon Fraser University at Terry Fox Field. Larson had another standout performance including a 75th minute goal — her third of the season — and an assist to Nelson in the 87th minute topping off the Vikings 3-0 victory. The Vikings will continue play Thursday Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. against the Central Washington Wildcats at Robert S. Harrington Field.
The men’s and women’s cross-country teams were in action this week with both varsity squads traveling to St. Paul, Minnesota Saturday, Sept. 28 to race in the Roy Griak invitational hosted by the University of Minnesota. The men took home a fourth place finish led by junior Eric Hammel, who took 16th overall — completing the 8 km race in 26:08.7. Senior James Jasperson, and junior Edward Kiolbasa followed closely behind in 26:10.6 and 26:27.4 respectively. The women also finished fourth with a 15th place finish from senior Talia Dreicer who completed the 6 km race in 23:07.1. Sophomore Rebecca Lehman and junior Jane Barr finished second and third for the Vikings in 23:17.2 and 23:19.5.
The men’s cross country team also sent six athletes to compete at the Ken Garland Classic hosted by Saint Martin’s University. The Vikings secured an 89-point, third place finish. Sophomore Jesse Wiley finished in sixth place, finishing the 8 km course in 26:03.96. Sophomore Jackson Mcllroy finished second for the Vikings and 15th overall with a time of 26:34.8.
The number two nationally ranked Vikings Volleyball team continued its dominating success this week remaining undefeated after two games of GNAC competition. On Thursday the Vikings played away against the Western Oregon Wolves, winning the match in straight sets, 25-14, 25-15, 25-16. Junioroutside hitter Alison Davenport led the Vikings attack recording 11 kills, five blocks and 13.5 points. Sophomore Gabby Gunterman provided the defense with a team high 13 digs.
The Vikings continued their dominance on Saturday, Sept. 28 defeating Concordia University 3-1. Seniormiddle Kayleigh Harper had a record-breaking performance, including 13 kills and recorded her 507th career block for Western — breaking the previous school record of 504 set in 1998. Harper also became only the second player in both school and league history to record 1,000 kills and 500 blocks in a career. Vikings Volleyball will hope to keep their undefeated season going Tuesday, Oct. 1 as they host Simon Frasier at 7 p.m.
The Vikings golf team competed in their second tournament of the season, hosting the Western Invitational at the Bellingham Golf and Country Club. The Vikings finished eighth among the 18 team field, and third among all GNAC teams. After finishing second at the Saint Martin’s Invite, senior Ethan Casto continued his early season success winning the tournament with a score of 10 under. Casto is the first Viking to win the tournament since 2012, defeating runner-up Isaac Lee of Simon Fraser University on a second hole playoff. Redshirt sophomore Aidan Thain finished second for the Vikings, taking 18th place. The Vikings will travel to Portland to compete in the Concordia Invitational Oct. 7.