WWU forward Estera Levinte races for the ball against two players from Northwest Nazarene on Saturday, Nov. 2. // Photo by Ian Haupt
By Wilson Turk
As the regular seasons draw to a close for fall sports, post-season championships are ramping up.
After their wins against Seattle Pacific University and Central Washington University, the Viking women moved into the seventh place national ranking. “We are trying to take every opportunity to get better,” junior goalkeeper Natalie Dierickx said. “These conference games just prepare us for the post-season and with only a couple games left, it’s critical that we use them to make our game better.”
The women won the regular season Great Northwest Athletic Conference championship with their 4-0 win against Northwest Nazarene. Junior midfielder Darby Doyle notched two goals and an assist in the match. The Vikings have one last regular season game against SPU on Thursday, Nov. 7, at Interbay Stadium in Seattle before the GNAC championship tournament Nov. 14-16.
The men’s basketball team will enter the regular season with a first place ranking in the GNAC. “Being ranked first is a fun thing because it means that teams have us on their radar and that they respect us but the end of the year standings are what really matter,” redshirt senior Logan Schilder said.
Thursday night ended the men’s basketball preseason against University of Washington with a 61-87 loss. “It’s a cool experience to play in a big arena and against some of the top talent in the country, but it’s more of a building block for us to compare our team to a top team like the University of Washington,” Schilder said.
The Viking’s volleyball team recorded its 20th win for the eighth consecutive season, winning 3-1 against Simon Fraser University. The Vikings ended the match with a season high of 80 digs, led by senior libero Mae Thungc, who recorded 19 digs during the match.
Senior middle Kayleigh Harper added seven more kills to her career total of 1,185 kills, moving into sixth place in Viking history.
Women’s Cross Country
The Viking women had three top 10 finishes at the GNAC championships in Billings, Montana, which led to an overall team win. Jane Barr came in eighth, followed by Rebecca Lehman in ninth and Tracy Melville in 10th. Sophia Galvez and Tovah Swartz-Ireland followed close behind, placing in the top 15. The women beat second place University of Alaska Anchorage by seven points. This conference title was the first won by the women’s team since Western joined GNAC.
The GNAC championships results moved the Vikings up to 11th place in the national rankings.
Men’s Cross country
The men won the GNAC championships with four top 10 finishes. James Jasperson led the team in fourth place, closely followed by Edward Kiolbasa in fifth, Deyago Peraza in sixth and Liam Cossette in seventh. Eric Hamel rounded out the top five runners for Western, finishing in 16th.
The Viking men became ranked 21st in the nation after their performance at the GNAC Championships.
Western men’s soccer team is ranked 23rd in the nation for Division II soccer after their win against Simon Fraser. “There is definitely more excitement around being ranked, and I think it is pushing us to work even harder in training and in matches,” fifth year senior Jeremiah Lee said.
Thursday night’s game was a 4-0 win against SPU. “[It was a] big win tonight,” Lee said after the game. “It’s fantastic to see different people getting on the scoring sheet and stepping up in the big games. That speaks to the depth and strength of our roster.”
The women’s golf team closed out the fall season at the Dennis Rose Invitational with a third place finish at 17 shots over par. Freshman Elise Sumner finished in sixth place with 12 shots over par.
The men’s team placed fourth overall with 21 shots over par at the Dennis Rose invitational in Hawaii. Redshirt sophomore Aidan Thain shot three under par to lead the Vikings with a third place individual finish.
The men finished the fall season with a 30th place ranking in the nation.
At the Head of the Lake Regatta hosted by UW, Western’s two teams placed second and third in the collegiate 3V8+ heat behind University of British Columbia’s team. The course was a 4,800 meter route through Lake Washington and Lake Union.
Three of the Viking women were selected for the all-GNAC preseason team. Senior guard Lexi Bland, senior center Anna Schwecke and junior forward Kelsey Rogers were among the 15 GNAC players selected.
Viking women received a pre-season GNAC ranking of second place.