Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 9
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

How Whitman stacks up: A sport-by-sport look at the upcoming fall season

The Whitman fall sports season heated up with the beginning of conference play last week, but how do the teams stack up compared to the rest of the Northwest Conference? The Pioneer takes a look at each sport to discover how Whitman stacks up and how the conference will shake out.

Women’s soccer

Frontrunners: University of Puget Sound, Linfield College

Whitman Preseason NWC Rank: 6th

The Northwest conference is led by a very talented UPS team currently ranked 4th in the NCAA West region standings. Linfield, although ranked behind UPS in the West, put together a 4-0 start to the season, earning a top-25 ranking in the most recent d3soccer.com poll. Whitman comes in ranked sixth in the conference but is hungry to upset the teams vying for national attention. If the women can find ways to translate their time of possession into goals, they could see themselves near the top of the standings.

Men’s soccer

Frontrunners: Pacific Lutheran University, Whitworth University

Whitman Preseason NWC Rank: 4th

Men’s soccer presents one of the most intriguing NWC stories of any of the fall sports. The men started their season with a trip to California. They posted a huge win over Redlands, ranked 9th nationally at the time, followed it by losing in OT to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, ranked 15th Nationally at the time. The team finished the trip by beating Pomona-Pitzer and losing to Occidental, both solid teams. The men certainly have the talent to finish at the top of the conference with players such as junior defender Cooper Schumacher and senior goalkeeper Michael Bathurst. As the California trip showed, however, consistency may be an issue through the long and tiring soccer season.

Women’s volleyball

Frontrunners: UPS, PLU

Whitman Preseason NWC Rank: 8th

The Whitman volleyball team will be facing stiff competition this year from both PLU, ranked 20th nationally, and UPS, ranked 11th nationally. With the guidance of new head coach, Matt Helm, the team is certainly looking to improve on last year’s three-win seasonAfter an intense preseason training schedule, the women have put in the work, but they will have to be able to put it together on the court to determine their NWC future.

Men’s cross country

Frontrunners: Willamette University, George Fox University

Whitman Preseason NWC Rank: 2nd

The Whitman men’s cross country team is poised for a big year. The men ran strongly at the Whitman Invitational, placing second behind only Lewis & Clark State College, the second-best NAIA team in the country. Unfortunately they followed it up at the recent Sundodger Invitational, placing 15th overall and sixth of the NWC schools in attendance. This drop was reflected by the men dropping out of the West regional rankings. This team, while certainly in need of stronger running at the moment, has a shot at taking the conference if they can stay injury-free.

Women’s cross country

Frontrunners: Lewis & Clark College, Linfield, Whitman

Whitman Preseason NWC Rank: 3rd

The women’s cross country team has quietly been one of Whitman’s most successful over the past four years, sending individual members each year to the NCAA championships and sending the entire team in 2010. With another strong supporting cast, the women will be looking to recapture the NWC title this year. The women showed their potential at the recent Sundodger Invitational, placing fifth overall. Lewis & Clark won the overall race and Linfield finished just in front of Whitman with a fourth-place finish. Although the women are very talented this year, they will need strong running to upend the powerhouse that is Lewis & Clark.







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