WRITTEN BY: LOUSI SCHÜLER & GRIFFIN ASELTINE | STAFF WRITERS
While it was largely a story about the incoming Freshman talent for the Sea Lion’s cross country team, the team was able to pull together place third at the PacWest Championships for one of their best finishes of the season. The squad was led by sophomore Alexandra Hernandez with a 21:47.76—she placed eighth out of 100 athletes. But the third place showing wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for the freshman Bartello sisters, freshman Josie Frye, sophomore Jocelyn Duran and junior Hallie Swenson—all who placed in the top 50. Senior Emily Loogman and Junior Hayley Richardson placed in the top 100 to further help the team’s total points at the tournament. Overall it was an extremely successful season for the young squad as they placed 14th out of 28 schools at the NCAA West Regional in Monmouth, Oregon.
Men’s grade: B+
Second-season Head Coach Curt Wheeler had strong ambitions for both tennis squads coming into the 2016 season, with strong schedules set up in order to bring his teams one step closer to the ultimate goal of an NCAA Championships berth.
The men’s team faced a brutal struggle to start the season, dropping five consecutive matches in a row. But they managed to gradually rebound their way into a rhythm, going 10-5 over their next 15 matches, including a five-game winning streak in March. While they finished the season with a losing record at 12-13, they ended their season on a high note, winning two matches at the PacWest Championships in convincing fashion to claim the conference consolation title.
The women’s team showed promise at the beginning of the year with a 4-2 record, but an ensuing five-game losing streak dragged them into a deep hole leading into the season’s final stretch. After slowly climbing their way out, the women’s team managed to finish the regular season at 9-10. They would win their opening match at the PacWest Championships, but would then fall in back-to-back games as their season came to a close at 10-12.
Men’s grade: C+ Women’s: B+
Under the fifth season of head coach Bill Carr, the men’s basketball team had high expectations coming off of a 21-8 season in 2014-15. Unfortunately, 2015-16 would not be the season that the team had hoped for. Promise was shown in the first month with a 5-2 start, but several close losses and a four-game losing streak to end the season left the squad at 13-14 and 8-12 in conference play. Despite the disappointing record, starting point guard Josh Rodriguez received multiple individual honors, including the PacWest Freshman of the Year. In April, Carr accepted the head coach position for Santa Clara’s women’s basketball team at Santa Clara University, making 2015-16 his final season at PLNU.
In head coach Bill Westphal’s 17th and final season, the women’s team fought to a 5-0 start and a nine- game winning streak from January to February en route to a 19-10 record and a 12-8 record in the PacWest. While it would be enough to clinch the number 6 seed in the conference championships, PLNU fell in their postseason matchup to Academy of Art, 77-70. Alex Brunk received PacWest All-Tourney Team honors and was voted to the All-PacWest team with Madison West. Following Westphal’s retirement, Lisa Faulkner, who spent four seasons as an assistant coach for Boston College, was hired to fill the position.
Men’s grade: B+
The men’s soccer team, led by head coach Phil Wolf in his fourth year, saw its best season since 2007. They rode a five-game winning streak at the start of October on the way to a 9-5-3 overall record, and an 8-3-2 record in conference play for a total of 26 points—good for fourth place in the PacWest rankings. Individual honors included Daniel ten Bosch and Tyler Allen (NSCAA and
All-PacWest Team), Manu Montal (co-Player of the Week; Sept. 29-Oct. 4) and Taylor Kang-Illescas (Freshman of the Week; Nov. 2-8).
The women’s soccer team, led by head coach Tim Hall in his eighth year, continued its long-term success with a 14-5 overall record and an 11-2 record in conference play, which included a six- game winning streak to end the season. Despite the hot streak, the team would ultimately lose its NCAA Championship matchup to Sonoma State, 2-0. Individual honors included Morgan Pearce (NCAA All-American, All- West Region, All-PacWest, and PacWest Defender of the Year),
Ariel Oriarte (All-West Region, Goalkeeper of the Year, All-PacWest), and Keagan Bolibol (All-West Region, Freshman of the Year, All-PacWest). Hall was also recognized as the PacWest Coach of the Year.
The Sea Lion’s volleyball team’s season was impressive, and one filled with multiple school records. Many of the records were broken on the last game of the season against Concordia University. From an individual performance, it was a special game for Leavitt and senior Savannah Wedemeyer. After notching her second kill of the game, Leavitt surpassed 1,500 career kills— which put her at sixth place all-time behind Rochelle Short. This came at the same time as senior Savannah Wedemeyer came into the match, who ranked third all-time in school history in career assists with 3,946. Wedemeyer led the team with 31 assists in her final regular season game as a Sea Lion. The squad went on to lose their first round match to Western Washington University, 0-3 at the NCAA Championships.