Monthly Archives: March 2012

Women’s tennis faces first loss of season

Linfield’s women’s tennis won two out of three matches this weekend, experiencing its first loss of the year during the March 18 game against Portland State University.

The Wildcats lost 4-3 to the Vikings but triumphed over Pacific University on March 16 with an 8-1 victory. It also claimed the three doubles matches against Whitworth University on March 17, with a score of 7-2. With Portland State not being apart of the Northwest Conference, the Wildcats continue their reign on the number one spot in the NWC.

In the singles competition against Pacific, senior Kiana Nip won her match 6-3, 6-0 against Boxer player Kelsey Trujillo, however, the Wildcats dropped their fourth singles with Boxer player Lillian Do claiming 6-4, 6-2 over Wildcat junior Lexi Thomas.

Pacific was a substantial competitor, but the Wildcats remained consistent, taking four of six single matches. Senior Abby Olbrich had a lengthy run with Boxer Cathlene Goya, dropping the first set 3-6, but gained advantage and won the second tiebreaker 7-6.

Brigham overcame Boxer counterpart Megan Yoshimoto, taking a 6-2, 7-6 victory in the number two singles.

Senior Kiana Nip triumphed over Boxer player Kelsey Trujillo 6-3, 6-0 while her sister, freshman Kaila Nip, went on to win 6-2, 6-3 over Boxer Kelsey Trujillo.

Nip wasn’t the only freshman Wildcat to prevail, as freshman Kelly Watanabe had victory over Boxer Kelsey Lack 6-0, 6-1.

The Wildcats conquered Boxer counterparts in the doubles competition, starting with Wildcat duo Olbrich and Brigham winning the match against Goya and Yoshimoto 8-1.

The Nip sisters defeated Boxer duo of Do and Trujillo, 8-2 while Wildcats Watanabe and Thomas walked away with an 8-2 victory over the Boxer twosome Amber Craviotto and Mizuno.

“We had a really good win against Pacific, and we were all really excited to play Whitworth because they were our biggest rival last year,” sophomore Caroline Brigham said.

The Wildcats took a clean sweep in the doubles competition against the Pirates. Within just 30 minutes of the match, Wildcat duo Brigham and Olbrich, won 8-1 against Pirates twosome, Alli Marshal and Erica Bosman.

Kiana and Kaila Nip defeated opponents Jessi Steele and Saryn Mooney 8-3.

“We felt confident going in and just fought hard,” Kiana Nip said.

Whitworth proved to be tough competition, but the doubles match ended in the Wildcat’s favor with Thomas and Watanabe winning 8-5.

“It was a tough match,” Thomas said. “I thought we were consistent and worked as a team. We kept the ball going and let them make the mistakes.”

The singles competition was successful for the Wildcats despite the losses to Pirates in the fourth and singles rallies.

The Wildcats efforts made for a victorious outcome. Olbrich won 6-3, 6-4 against Pirates counterpart Alli Marshall. Meanwhile, Brigham experienced another victory, claiming a 6-4, 6-2 win over competitor Erica Bosman.

The Nip sisters continued to triumph in the third and fifth singles; Kaila Nip walked away with a 6-0, 6-4 win over Whitworth’s Saryn Mooney, while sister Kiana crushed opponent Megan Wingfield 6-0, 6-0.

The Wildcats’ consistent effort has been a large factor in their winning streak.

Coach Smith notes that the team has been honing in on “consistently choosing the right target to play a quality point.”

Consistency is not the only strategy the team has focused on. Smith deliberated that sharpening the mental aspect of their game has been a priority.

“We’re developing rituals on the court to help keep focus,” Smith said.

The Wildcat’s strategies faltered in Sunday’s match against Portland State, who won all three of the doubles competitions.

Olbrich and Brigham rallied Vikings duo Megan Govi and Marina Todd, who walked away with an 8-6 win.

Wildcats played strong in the singles competition, winning three of the six flights, two of which were in the top two.

Portland State remained a tough opponent, winning the third, fourth and fifth flights of the singles competition.

Kaila Nip experienced her first loss against Vikings counterpart McDonald 6-3, 1-6, 6-3.

“I think everyone on the team is very competitive and we all have a strong desire to win. Our hope is to win conference and I think we can definitely do that again this year,” said Brigham in an email.

The Wildcats will travel to Claremont, Calif., to compete against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on March 30.

Chrissy Shane/
Staff writer
Chrissy Shane  can be reached at

Wildcats claim wins while away

The baseball team dominated this past weekend as it brought in three wins during its series against Whitman College.

Linfield went into the series second in conference, while Whitman placed sixth.

The team started off the weekend with a doubleheader on March 17.

“Our main goal of the weekend was to get a sweep,” freshman Chris Haddleland said. “These are three big wins we

During the first game, the Wildcats commanded attention as they won 21-3.

At the top of the third, Linfield pulled in five runs and continued to set high standards for the Missionaries to follow.

Sophomore Nate McClellan started off the second inning strong with a triple and scored a run for the Wildcats.

In the third inning, Zach Boskovich and sophomore Clayton Truex scored home runs for Linfield.

The Missionaries only scored three runs during the eighth inning.

Senior Ryan Larson pitched seven innings without scoring and had six strikeouts.

Linfield gained its second win against Whitman 11-1, with the Missionaries only scoring one home run in the sixth inning.

Senior Robert Vaughn pitched six innings with no hits and four strikeouts.

Sophomore Kramer Lindell tripled during the third inning, which allowed Boskovich to score a run.

Three runs and three hits were made during the fourth inning.

Junior Michael Hopp hit a double, allowing two runners to score. Then senior Kevin Allan bunted to allow Hopp to make it home.

During the last two innings, five more runs were scored with a triple in the ninth by sophomore Jake Wylie.

Linfield pulled through another win on March 18 against the Missionaries, 9-4.

Sophomore Zach Brandon was starting pitcher. During his innings, he only permitted two runs and a single walk.

In the first inning, the Missionaries scored a run by sophomore Cameron Young.

The Wildcats got back in the groove in the third inning as sophomore Tim Wilson scored a home run and Lindell’s single allowed another run.

Five runs were made in the fourth. The defensive line was tested as three consecutive bunts were made.

Senior Kevin Allan scored a home run allowing Linfield to gain a six run lead.

Three doubles occurred during the sixth by Truex, Boskovich and McClellan, allowing the Wildcats two more runs.

Haddleland and senior Spencer Crepeaux, both pitched innings with no runners scoring, allowing another win for Linfield.

The team will play Whitworth College on March 24 and 25 at noon.

The Pirates are number one in the conference with 5-1.

“It was a combination of things [that made the team successful], we hit the ball extremely well this weekend and all of our pitchers threw well as well,” Brandon said. “ [Also] we executed well when we had runners on base.”

Ivanna Tucker/
Feature editor
Ivanna Tucker can be reached at

Small but mighty: Women’s golf team beats out the rest

Despite difficult weather conditions, Linfield’s women’s golf team took a solid lead for first place both days of the Pacific Invitational on March 17 at the Reserve Vineyards and Golf Club.

“At the first tournament, we didn’t necessarily see our best scores, but it was good to get back out on the course in a tournament environment and get back into the tournament vibe again,” junior Brinn Hovde said.

Sophomore Hannah Christianson finished first overall with scores of 87 and 83. Senior Sophie Corr, who placed sixth, shot scores of 90 and 95. Sophomore Alexandria Smith placed fifth with scores of 91 and 86. Senior Lydia Smith finished ninth overall with scores of 99 and 95, and Hovde finished eighth with 101 and 90.

“Last weekend, I noticed my long irons and 50-yard chips were not very good,” Lydia Smith said. “So, I was able to focus on those this week, and today those shots improved and were a lot better than last week.”

Coming into the tournament, the women anticipated the weather as a challenge.

“The Reserve was flooded, muddy and cold, which are not uncommon conditions that we will be experiencing all season. It’s just another obstacle that we will have to overcome,” Hovde said.

The team expected to have better performance and scores than at the PLU Invitational on March 10 and 11. They also hoped the second day of the tournament would be better than the first.

“Before today, I anticipated that we’d play even better than we did last weekend. As a second tournament, we’ve had more practice, and we’re competing against fewer teams this time,” Lydia Smith said. “Unfortunately, today did not go as well as we had hoped. The weather wasn’t very good. I’m hoping that tomorrow goes better now that we have experienced these conditions.”

As for the team itself, the women are confident in the compatibility of the players, despite their lack of numbers.

“Our team is looking pretty good. We can all shoot around the same score, and a few of us can shoot lower. But it’s fun playing on a team where we are all about the same level,” Lydia Smith said. “We’re hoping more girls will join the team next year though. It’s always nice to have a few extra girls in case someone gets injured.”

The women look forward to improving during the spring season and hope to grow as a team.

“Our biggest challenge will be keeping positive and not dwelling on the bad shots and rounds. That will help us become a stronger and more solid team overall,” Smith said.

The team plays in the Northwest Conference Spring Classic on March 31 and April 1 at the Wildhorse Golf Course.

Kelsey Sutton/
Copy chief
Kelsey Sutton can be reached at

The death of sports media, or the life after ESPN

I find myself at an interesting crossroads of my life as a sportswriter. On one hand, as I continue to delve deeper into the world of sports, the Xs and Os of how each game is played, the more impassioned I am to write about it.

On the other hand, each successive day I study modern sports media I continue to grapple with the somewhat existential question of “Is this really worth it anymore?”

Don’t worry, I’m not going to quit. Unless you want me to, in which case do worry because I’m not going anywhere.

I haven’t been doing mental loop-de-loops over sports writing because of the time commitment inherent to any sort of weekly extracurricular activity; that would be too easy an excuse. And besides, I thrive on doing way too much crap way too often.

No, it’s a far more complex problem and it’s something I’ve been thinking about more and more in the past six to eight months.

I am earnestly unsure if the world of sports journalism is a valid press anymore, if the duties and responsibilities that the pioneers of the industry set out to uphold decades ago are still being embodied in modern sportswriters.

Honestly, I don’t think they are, at all. Sports journalism has devolved into mud-slinging, power-jockeying sensationalism in which the issues on and off the court or field now take a backseat to the person hawking the story.

Sportswriters used to be committed to the programs and organizations they covered. This does not mean they spent their time universally praising a team in spite of a terrible record, locker room issues or awful coaching. It meant that they praised the good, bemoaned the bad and were always quick to identify areas of concern. And the teams understood that.

They knew that the press wasn’t there to massage their egos or to give them a false sense of accomplishment if they didn’t deserve it. But they understood that if you covered their team, it meant that you loved them, you supported them and that at the end of the day, you would die happy wearing their colors no matter how successful they were in any given season.

As I watched the NBA trade deadline approach on the Oregonian’s website, I saw what sports media is today.

It was Oregonian writers who’d covered the Blazers for years threatening to never go to a game again if they made an unfavorable move or didn’t turn the season around. It was a staff writer for a Blazers fan website saying the team wasn’t even worth watching or supporting anymore because of their 20-23 record. It was a Comcast Sports television personality gleefully re-tweeting every message he could find about fans cancelling their season tickets after only 43 games had gone by.

Portland prides itself on having the best fans, the best sports staff and the best city-wide love story in the NBA. As a fan and as a writer, I get this on a visceral level. I live and die on this team, but by God, I would never stop supporting them because of one off-season that isn’t even over yet.

I’m disgusted at these men who call themselves sports writers. They’re sensationalists at best and don’t deserve to cover sports for this city any longer.

Pointing out that the team has problems is one thing, but encouraging fans to stop going to games and supporting the franchise is entirely another. It makes me sick to my stomach.

This kind of so-called journalism has infected the entire world of sports, with ESPN being the chief offender carrying the banner in front of all other sources. If I hear Skip Bayless sit down on Outside the Lines and compare LeBron James’ “Decision” to one more free agent singing I just might put my foot through my television screen.

That’s not news. That’s not even good journalism. What are the comparative advantages and disadvantages to the new signing, Skip? How does it affect the player’s new team, Skip? I don’t give a damn what LeBron did almost two years ago, get over it.

You know there’s a problem with the sports media world when an hour-long episode of SportsCenter devotes roughly 70 percent to gossip, rumors and slander and 30 percent to actual sports and accomplishments.

Think I’m embellishing? Get a stopwatch and time an episode yourself.

Don’t think this doesn’t apply to you, Linfield. College sports are often worse because student athletes feel they are entitled to a glowing review every single issue just because the paper that writes about them is a part of the same institution they are. Guess what? You’re not. You’re no more above reproach for a poor season or poor play than are the Blazers or Timbers.

It would be poor press and an outright sham not to accurately portray what’s happening to a team, whether good or bad.

This sickening dichotomy is something I’m having a hard time getting past. It’s truly making me question if sports journalism is a valid institution anymore, and if it’s not, why keep contributing to it? Why on God’s green Earth would anyone want to contribute to what appears to be a cancerous mess? I guess the question, as I posed at the beginning of this piece, is really all it comes down to. Is this really worth it anymore? I don’t know. I’ll tell you when I figure it out.

Chris Forrer/
Sports columnist
Chris Forrer can be reached at

Track steps ahead in NWC

The Wildcats put their skills on display at the Pacific University Preview on March 17.

Both the men’s and women’s teams scored well all over the board.

On the women’s side of the running portion of the meet, junior Melany Crocker placed second in both the 100-meter and 200-meter dash. Senior Shanna Peaden placed the highest out of the Northwest Conference runners in the 5,000-meter run. Peaden came in fourth with a time of 18:03.66, 24 seconds faster than her seeded time. Linfield also took the one and two spot in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, where freshman Brooke Niemann finished in 12:02.81 and junior Jill Boroughs finished in 12:28.31. The women’s 4×100-meter relay team finished first with a time of 49 seconds.

The women’s team also did well in field events. Pole vaulting for Linfield, juniors Amy Bumatai and Ryann Nolan both vaulted 2.59 meters, earning themselves fourth place. Throwing for Linfield, sophomores Anna LaBeaume and Courtney Alley placed second and third in the discus throw. LaBeaume also placed second in the hammer throw.

The men’s side of the meet started off just as well as the women’s. In the 100-meter dash, sophomore Nick Turner tied for second with George Fox’s Micah Strong with a time of 11.16. Right behind Turner was junior Jason Cheyne, who finished in 11.19. Cheyne also placed the highest out of the NWC athletes competing in the 200-meter run, coming in third with a time of 23.15.

In the men’s 1,500-meter run, senior Eric Weinbender placed third with a time of 4:03.74. The men’s 5,000-meter run ended with senior Scott Gage in third place, higher than any other NWC athletes. Winning the 3,000-meter steeplechase for the men was senior Alex Van Slyke with a time of 10:04.27.

Like the women’s team, the men’s 4×100-meter relay came in first, running the race in 42.97. The men’s team also came in first for the 4×400-meter relay, finishing the race in 3:27.33.

Competing in the field events, the men’s team faired well against the other teams. Senior Daniel Teater placed fourth in the high jump, with a height of 1.79 meters. For the men’s pole vault, senior Kole Krieger vaulted 4.12 meters, earning himself second place. In the men’s hammer throw, junior Kyle Pfeifer placed third. Also placing third in his event, the javelin throw, was senior Sean Boedeker.

The two teams are proving to be well-rounded in every area of competition.

“The season looks to be going really well for the team,” sophomore Meghan Lockwood said.

“The distance runners are really strong, and so are the sprints. The field events have some really strong performers in each event, so I think that overall we have a well rounded team this year.”

The track and field team will compete at the Lewis & Clark Spring Break Open on March 23 in Portland.

Kaylyn Peterson/
Sports editor
Kaylyn Peterson can be reached at