Daily Archives: February 26, 2012

Men’s tennis takes a swing at the new season

Freshman Luke Klienmen serves during a match against George Fox University on Feb. 24 at home. Photo courtesy of Tyson Takeushi

The men’s tennis team began in full with what assistant coach Matt Levering dubbed its “building season” Feb. 24.

Friday’s match ended with an 8-1 loss for Linfield.

Despite the loss, the team is not disappointed.

This year, seven freshmen joined the squad. With half of the team being new players, Levering said this is a season of transition.

The coaches aren’t looking for wins, Levering said. “I measure success by the amount of effort I see out on the court,” he said.

The match was against the George Fox Bruins, who had a similar season last year.

With more returning players, Levering said he knew this match would be a tough one.

Freshman Lukas Klienman, who played No. 2 doubles, said there is a lot of room for improvement. Klienman acknowledged that the George Fox team would be tough because they have a lot of talented players.

“A lot of their players are 10 times better,” Klienman said. “They’re more experienced.”

Assistant coach Levering also said that experience was a major factor.

The Wildcats are in a period of rebuilding, but not all players are new this year. Senior Cody Levien, playing  with junior Zach Lyons on No. 1 doubles and provided the Wildcats with their only point for the match, with a win of 8-4.

Levien wasn’t concerned about the loss.

“I had fun,” Levien said. “I see it as more of a game than just a sport.”

Levien’s statements seem to be the general consensus of the team. More than wins, improvement and fun are most important.

The weekend’s second game on Feb. 25 proved to be far more successful. The Wildcats beat the Lewis & Clark Pioneers 6-3, making their Northwest Conference  record 1-1.

“What we want to see is improvement in every match,” Levering said, referring to the goals of the team.

With so many new faces on the team, and each player improving with each match, the future looks bright for the men’s tennis team.

This week, the team will have two away matches. The first is against Pacific Lutheran University on March 2. The second will be against Willamette on March 3.

“We have a lot of room for improvement, [but] I think it will be a good season.” Klienmen said.

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Caleb Goad/
Staff writer
Caleb Goad can be reached at linfieldreviewsports@gmail.com.

Lacrosse begins with scrimmage

As the first opening game approaches for the women’s lacrosse team, the Wildcats are preparing by playing scrimmage games.

The team traveled to Forest Grove on Feb. 26 to participate in a tournament.

Three club teams, Portland Purple, Rose City and Ohana, participated in the tournament, as did Pacific University.

The Wildcats played their first game against Portland Purple, losing 11-3.

“Our philosophy is that every game we get better,” junior Libby Sturges said.

In their second game against Rose City, the Wildcats came out on top, winning 8-3.

In the game versus Pacific University, the Wildcats lost 9-3.

The women hope to beat Pacific when they play the team again in a real game on March 14.

The final game against Ohana came out in the Wildcat’s favor, winning 7-3.

“Every half we’ve played this season has been better than the last half,” Sturges said.

While this tournament was good practice for the Wildcats, next weekend is an important game. The
women play against Redlands, a team from California. The lacrosse team hasn’t played a team from California in seven years.

“We always keep it classy,” Sturges said. “We have a great group of girls.”

Freshman Halee Helgerson, who played lacrosse all four years of high school, said she is excited for the season.

“My goal for the team is to have a better record than last year,” Helgerson said.

Next weekend’s game is at 1 p.m. March 3 at home on the soccer field.

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Meghan O’Rourke/
Opinion editor
Meghan O’Rourke can be reached at linfieldreviewopinion@gmail.com.

Support for teams can ensure achievement

Welcome back to what is sure to be another jam-packed semester of exciting sports at Linfield. Unless you live under a rock, you’ll recall that our softball team is the defending national title-holder, and its season got underway last week. Is a repeat title in the works?

The baseball program is beginning the season with high expectations as well, and the chance to finally break open the deep playoff run that’s been millimeters out of reach for the past few seasons.

And in sports news, the Trail Blazers had a recent piece of feel-good news that will have Portland fans everywhere bouncing in their seats with joy and excitement.

But first, our softball team. Last Wednesday, the reigning national champion Linfield softball program began its title defense, and what a defense it was.

Catball pounded helpless National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics foe Concordia-Portland in a back-to-back, 7-3, 10-3 beat down at the newly-christened Del Smith Stadium.

From the look of things, the team is picking up right where it left off last season with a full head of steam. Senior slugger Emilee Lepp had a padded stat line, finishing with five hits, six RBIs and a homer.

The fresh pitching tandem of senior Lauren Harvey and sophomore Karina Paavola had an impressive collective performance as well, striking out 14 combined batters.

Make no mistake, folks: even with many returning starters to anchor the team, promising newcomers plugging holes and a unanimous preseason No. 1 ranking, repeating as national champions is extremely difficult.

I think this team is capable of pulling it off, and hopefully come May, it can take its talents to Salem, Va., and play for the national championship.

On the men’s side of sports, the baseball team looked poised to have a breakthrough season. For the past few years the team has been playoff-bound but has always come agonizingly close to a deep run before running out of gas.

This season’s team received a lofty preseason ranking at No. 4 in the nation.

You will recall that last year the team peaked at No. 3 before eventually finishing at No. 9, and this year’s team looks better on paper than it has in years.

If it can play to its potential and stay healthy, Linfield fans might have double national titles to celebrate for the first time in a very, very long time.

Now, about those Blazers. Earlier this week, former Portland center and current retiree Joel “The Vanilla Gorilla” Pryzbilla has decided to return to Portland for the veteran’s minimum contract, a surprising move that has this writer giddy with anticipation for his first game back.

Pryzbilla has been getting back into NBA shape for months, and after passing a physical Sunday, he’ll be eligible to play as early as March 1.

On Feb. 27, the team will sign him and make a choice on which player currently on roster to waive.

If you ask me, put Greg Oden and his two bum knees on the chopping block and finally rid Rip City of his bloated contract.

It’s time to wash our hands of this “era” and the good vibes surrounding Pryzbilla’s return ought to more than compensate for the severance of this once number one draft pick.

When you really think about it, Pryzbilla’s choice is as inspiring and surprising as any I’ve ever seen. The Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat, two of the NBA’s hottest teams this season, were seriously courting him to shore up their depth in the middle.

It just goes to show that the love for a city like Portland can trump the desire to join a title-contender, and that Rip City’s fans truly are the greatest on Earth.

When Pryzbilla steps onto the court for the first time this season in a Blazers jersey, the Rose Garden just might explode from the sheer noise Blazers are certainly going to make.

With that feel-good story in your minds, I bid you adieu. Go watch some sports this week, both at Linfield and on television. Remember: fans are half of the equation!

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Chris Forrer/
Sports columnist
Chris Forrer can be reached at linfieldreviewsports@gmail.com.

Positive outlook gives next season hope

With the final buzzers going off, both the men’s and women’s basketball teams ended their seasons.

In the final game against the University of Puget Sound, the women’s team met its downfall in a final score of 75-61.

Following the women’s final game, the men’s team also played its final game, in which it lost 80-67.

The teams’ records were less than what the teams wanted, but they still look at the season as a success.

“The season went well,” freshman Alex Christensen said. “We had two great seniors who led us throughout the season. Although we didn’t have as many wins as we would have liked to, it was a year for growth, and I think all of us showed growth on the basketball court and grew together as a team.”

The women’s Northwest Conference record was four wins and 12 losses. The men’s NWC record was three wins and 13 losses.

“The main challenge that we faced was being such a young team,” Christensen said. “Playing against teams that play mostly juniors and seniors, when most of our team was freshmen, made it difficult. We had to learn quickly and grow up fast, but it means that the next few years we will improve.”

Although the teams didn’t win many games, they said the team overcame some big challenges.

“We only had three upperclassmen, which was a challenge,” senior Brynna Fuller said. “It is tough to adjust to the speed of the college game and learn the ropes of the program, but our freshmen did a good job. We also had a few injuries throughout the season that made things more difficult.”

The team did its best to work around the challenge of the large number of new players.

“We improved greatly from the beginning to the end of the season,” Fuller said. “We worked well together as a group and had a lot of team chemistry. We also had a few people step up when we needed them, which was great to see.”

The two teams knew never to give up during their games, which helped them keep a positive outlook on the season.

“We were a team that gave everything we had,” freshman Lauren Sheppard said. “We never lost on a lack of effort. As a team, we became close friends on and off the court. We were able to make great strides in progressing our program.”

Both teams look forward to next season with the hopes that their growth continues.

“Since we have so many underclassmen, we will just keep improving and be able to win some of the close games we had,” Christensen said.
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Kaylyn Peterson/
Sports editor
Kaylyn Peterson can be reached at linfieldreviewsports@gmail.com.

’Cats stomp out first games

Junior first baseman Kyle Chanberlain tries to tag a Lewis & Clark runner when he dove back to the base during the Feb. 24 game at home at Hesler Field. Kaylyn Peterson/Sports editor

Even if a team is ranked top 25 in the nation, it doesn’t mean that playing against a team that is now 0-11 for the season comes easy. The Linfield baseball team still finds a way to pull it off.

“What makes us a good team is that we play the entire game,” senior Jesse Boustead said. “We play every inning and don’t give up.”

The Wildcats played two different games Feb. 25.

The first game was a showcase of the ’Cats’ talent for hitting the ball.

With 13 hits, the Wildcats routed the Lewis & Clark Pioneers 14-5 in the first game. Not only was their hitting successful, but the pitching as well.

Senior Ryan Larson started the game and pitched four innings, only allowing two runs.

Larson probably would have gone deeper into the game, but he was hit in the arm with a hit ball back to the mound. He finished the inning and started the fifth but was pulled after two batters.

Senior Casey Cameron came in for an inning and ended up being the winning pitcher for the ‘Cats. Senior Robert Vaughn and sophomore Garett Speyer also made appearances on the
mound.

The Pioneers played better in the second game against the ’Cats, but eventually fell to Linfield 7-1.

The Wildcats scored the most runs during the third inning, scoring three runs. First to score that inning was senior Zach Boskovich, who scored on junior Clayton Truex’s hit.

Junior Jordan Harlow batted in Chamberlain, scoring the second run of the inning. The last run of the inning was brought in by Truex.

Sophomore Zach Brandon started the game for Linfield and pitched five innings with only one earned run. This game was the second win for Brandon out of two starts.

Freshman Chris Haddeland made his second appearance of the year and pitched four scoreless innings, only allowing one hit.

The game was close throughout the first seven innings, but in the eighth inning, the ‘Cats scored four runs and extended the lead with six runs to ensure their second victory of the day.

The ‘Cats played their final game against the Pioneers in a game that ended in the bottom of the ninth. With a man at first and second, the score was tied with one out.

Junior Michael Hopp came up to the plate and hit a chopper to the shortstop.

In an attempt to get a double play to end the inning, the Pioneers blew the double play with a throw that went past the first baseman. This allowed Linfield’s runner to score from second to win the game.

The ‘Cats didn’t play their best this weekend, but they prevailed and won the series 3-0.

“It’s nice to have three league wins under the belt, and we are working on various lineups to help us be successful down the road,” Cameron said.

The Wildcats’ next games are at 11 a.m. March 3 against Pacific University and  at noon March 4 in Forest Grove, Ore. The team’s next home games will be March 10 and 11 against Willamette University.

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Carson Crepeaux/
Staff writer
Carson Crepeaux can be reached at linfieldreviewsports@gmail.com.