Spring sports wrap up seasons with big wins, new records

Andrew Hawkins

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As spring in Walla Walla continues to tentatively unfold, varsity sports this semester have drawn definitively to a close. The men’s baseball team recently had its last home game, and the men’s and women’s golf and tennis teams have all completed their seasons. The Pioneer looks back at the achievements and awards of Whitman College’s varsity sports teams over the spring season.
The women’s golf team recently finished its best season in Whitman history.

Collage by Jack Lazar

“We, in our Spring Classic, took first place, which women’s golf has not done before. And we beat George Fox University, [which] was seventh in the nation,” said sophomore golfer Tate Head.

Ultimately, the team took second in the Northwest Conference. In its  final tournament, Head shot an 80 to lead the team.

“Last year was the first time we had a full team, so getting to be one of the top teams in the conference in a season is the best. Next year we have a good shot at going to nationals, because George Fox is losing a lot of their best seniors,” said Head.

Men’s golf had similar highlights. Senior Brian Barton shot par in the NW Conference final tournament, putting up the third best score of the day. Going into the final day of the tournament, Whitman was one of four teams that was in position to take second, standing 19 points behind the leader and just nine strokes behind second-placed Whitworth University. In the end, the team went home with a fifth place conference finish.

Both the men’s and women’s tennis team continued to be dominant forces in the NW Conference.

Men’s tennis finished first in their conference for the fifth year running. This also means that they will compete in Division III nationals.

“This season we beat the number nine team in the nation, Trinity Texas,” said first-year and two-time All-American Andrew La Cava. “Our team has three All-Americans: Etienne Moshevich, Conor Holton-Burke, and myself.”

The men’s successes have given them confidence in their growing presence in the national scene.

“I feel really good about us going to [NCAA] nationals. I think after we beat Trinity our guys realized that we can play with the best teams in the country. We could be one big win away from the final eight at nationals,” said La Cava.

The women’s team ended their season with a conference record of 9-3, after a 5-2  loss in the semi-finals of the NWC final tournament to second seed Linfield.

Sophomore Alyssa Roberg and senior Elise Otto both received all-conference honors from the NWC for the second year running.

A majority of the women’s team –– all but three players –– are sophomores and first-years. With such a young team, the team’s in-conference successes will likely continue for the years to come.

The men’s baseball team, under the direction of Jared Holowaty, ended a rough season with a strong win against Whitworth last Sunday, May 1. After being down 8-2, the baseball team staged a remarkable comeback in the ninth inning. Senior captain Erik Korsmo batted the game-winning hit to beat Whitworth 10-9 .

“It made all our hard work worth it. After the two losses earlier [against Whitworth], we felt like we let our seniors down. To have a moment like that, to run onto the field and dog-pile Korsmo, it’s really something special,” said first-year pitcher Dakota Matherly.

The men’s team ended their season with five wins, one greater than last year.

“As much as we hate to use excuses, we start seven or eight first-years when most teams start maybe one or two. It’s a disappointing record, but now we have more experience and know better the competitive level that we are expected to preform at. We’ll come back next season and, hopefully, kick some ass,” said Matherly.

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