Daily Archives: October 15, 2013

Volleyball team gets first conference win

The volleyball team earned its first conference win on Oct. 12, 3-0 sets against Whitman College after a loss on Oct. 11 against Whitworth University.

The team started these two matches with a new plan after weeks of losing to opposing teams. Head coach Shane Kimura created a new line up for the team that really showed off the talent of the team.

On Oct. 11 the team started off slow with junior Kailana Ritte-Camera led the team with six kills. However, as the sets continued to go the team started to get more in syncs and communicated better. The Wildcats lost three sets in a row with scores of (25-9), (25-20), (25-19).

“Whitworth is a great team and always has been,” junior Victoria Thompson said. “It was the first night of the new line up and in the beginning we were still trying to figure things out since we only got a week of practice in the new positions. But towards the end we got it figured out! Granted, we didn’t win, but we saw that we could.”

The team played again on Oct. 12 against Whitman, where they used their new line up to its full impact to a win of three close sets in a row with scores of (27-25), (25-23), (25-23). Thompson led the team with 15 kills followed by Ritte-Camera with nine kills and freshman Sam Hammons with eight kills. Junior Audrey Frazier led the team with 22 set assists followed by freshman Casie Gaza with 17.

“One of the major differences that the team saw on Saturday was a new lineup.” Gaza said. “I think that having [senior] Kelsey Ludin back was a major part of our win because it gave us more flexibility regarding different lineups. We also played a lot more coherent this weekend and we were a lot more in sync regarding plays, communication and what the goal was for this weekend.”

The team quote that they use often, “Whatever we do, we do together” and this weekend the showed not only that they do work together, but they can also win together.

“I think we just needed that reminder of what a great team we are, and Saturday’s game was a definite confident boost for us,” Thompson said. “Now that we know we can do it, I know that we will carry it over. Our biggest challenge is keeping the consistency from start to finish.”

The team goes up against Puget Sound University on Oct. 18 and Pacific Lutheran University on Oct. 19. Both games will be at home at 7 p.m.

By Stephanie Hofmann/sports editor


Tyson Takeuchi/Senior sports photographer

Junior Courtney Wanamaker serves the ball during the second set against Whitworth University. The team is staying at home for the next two matches against Puget Sound and Pacific Lutheran.


There’s more to a player than the sport

Junior Colin Nelson believes there is more to a football team than a single player, it’s all of them coming together the makes them win.

Nelson has been involved with football for most of his life. When his family moved to a new town right before he went into third grade. His parents wanted him to meet some new people and since he had already played basketball and baseball he knew that he like sports. He signed up for football right then and has been in it ever since. His senior year, he became a captain, which taught him that football was more than a sport.

“It kind of takes a different dynamic, when you’re looked up to that much by your teammates,” Nelson said. “You really have to be an example on and off the field. I took it seriously and I really tried to help mentor the younger guys and really just be an overall role model.”

He has been on the team for the past three years now, but this was the first year that he stayed in town over the summer to work on his playing. There he was able to play against other school like Western Oregon University and Portland State University, which showed him what it meant to be in a college team.

“Just being here and being around the guys was great,” Nelson said. “ Working out with them, working with the quarterbacks to get the timing down and playing that level of competition made a big difference. I had to learn how to step up and those are pretty invaluable experiences.”

With the additional training, Nelson wants to help bring the team closer to their goal if winning the national championship this year. After ended last season with a “sour taste in their mouths” he is just putting in that extra effort to help get them there.

“I just want to continue improving,” Nelson said. “I’m not that big on stats, I’m more about the team. I want to contribute more and more, every game if I can. Just doing the little things right and doing whatever I can to get us were we want to go.”

When he isn’t on the field practicing, Nelson is studying towards in double major of finance and economics with a minor of sports management. He knew from the start that he wanted to do something in the field of science or business since his mom is a nurse and his father is in business. When he arrived at Linfield he found his calling in an economics class.

“Throughout the course I just got really interested in economics and through that then finance,” Nelson said. “I like understanding how things work and economics for me just really explains a lot about how the world works. I find that really interesting.”

He doesn’t however take these opportunities for granted. He knows first hand that not everyone has the chance to do what they want. His youngest brother, Christian, has autism. Nelson hangs up his cleats to bond with his brother over computers, technology and playing video games, which Christian always “destroys” Nelson in. More than anything else, Nelson accounts Christian for shaping his life.

“It just makes me really thankful for the gifts I have,” Nelson said. “I don’t take it for granted that I can play college football or anything like that, because I can see directly in my family someone who will never have the opportunity. It’s just something that has really influenced me as a person.”

Nelson is looking forward to the rest of the season and the couple of years he has left at Linfield. When he first came to the campus on a tour, he knew it was the place for him.

“For me it was really about the people,” Nelson said. “I looked at a lot of different places, because I played football at a bunch of different places. Here between the coaches and the players that I met, I just felt like this was a place where I could come and I know would improve as a football player and a person and a student. That’s really been the case.”

By Stephanie Hofmann/sports editor


Stephanie Hofmann/sports editor

Wide receiver junior Colin Nelson has played football since the third grade and hasn’t stopped since. Nelson has used  what he learned in his life, on and off the field.


Wildcat looking strong going into conference

As a solid player scoring consistent rounds of 78-78 for a 156 total and placing 21st among 59 competitors during his last match at the Oct. 7 Whitworth Invitational, junior Taylor Pernke is a Wildcat golfer who is worth being recognized.

With strong and consistent results from the Wildcat’s first match of the 2013 season at the Pacific Invitational in Forest Grove, Ore., to his most recent performance at Whitworth’s Invitational, Pirnke has proven extremely resilient to physical and mental obstacles in the world of golf making him a strong addition to the men’s golf program here at Linfield College.

Pirnke started his golfing career in the seventh grade with his dad inspiring him to take on the sport which eventually lead him to Linfield.

Although growing up, Pirnke was involved in playing baseball and admits it helped when he began perusing golf, he believes that his progression in golf comes from hard work and practice.

“Practice elevates my game, not so much natural ability,” Pirnke said.

Pirnke has gained his biggest strength as a player, his short game, through hard work and practice.

“If I miss a green in regulation, my chipping and putting always help me score well on the course. I don’t have the best swing, but I am able to score because I can put the ball near the hole around the greens,” Pirnke said.

Another strength Pirnke possesses is a strong mental game, which is critical in order to become a successful golfer.

“I don’t get frustrated for the most part,” Pirnke said.  “I accept bad shots and look to position myself to shoot the best score possible.“

One of the key players at Linfield that inspired Pirnke was a fellow team mate his freshman year was 2010 graduate, Alex Fitch, who also held the number one slot on the Wildcat line-up during his time at Linfield.

“Being able to observe the way he practiced and played help me bring my game upward as I have progressed as a golfer,” Pirnke said.

He also described that Fitch’s mentorship on both the mental and physical side of the game that has supplemented to his game as well.

In addition to being a strong player individually, Pirnke also possesses the qualities that make an excellent team player: modesty in his abilities and the ability to inspire his team mates during tough matches.

Although Pirnke attributes his consistency as one of the factors to the team’s success, he also shows interest in the younger players in the golf program.

“I have taken more of a leadership role on the team which I hope has helped the younger guys out, because their scores are just as important as mine,” Pirnke said.

Pirnke has high goal for the rest of the season.

“Personally, my goal this season is to win individually, but more importantly, I want to have the team travel to nationals in the spring. This requires us to win our conference championship. The golf team has a great legacy as of late as being one of the top teams in the country.

Keeping that legacy is paramount to the success of this program for years to come. The most important goal I have is to help the team win and travel to nationals in hopes of a national championship,“ Pirnke said.

You can watch the Wildcat golfers on Oct. 20 at the Culturame Classic at the Reserve Vineyards and Golf Club in Aloha, Ore.

By Camille Weber/Sports columnist


Tyson Takeuchi/Senior sports photographer

Junior Taylor Pirnke takes a swing during a practice round, before the upcoming tournaments. The Men’s golf team will compete next at the Cuturame Classic on Oct. 20

Tackling the question of rugby vs. football

As Linfield students, we have the privilege of going to a school with one of the American favorite past-time programs in the United States.

Everyone should know by now just how good our Wildcats are in Division III football but to those who are a little late, allow me to fill you in. Linfield College’s football program is the most winningest sports programs in the United States with over a 50-year conference winning streak.

Now I’m actually not here to write about how fantastic our football team is. I’m actually interested in why football is a more popular sport than father-sport, rugby.

Rugby, for those who have never heard of it, is a sport similar to football which originated in England in the 19th century. The sport is best described as a blend of the contact of American football, the running of soccer, and the transition of basketball. It is a game played with the object of the game being to run with an oval ball across the opponent’s goal line or kick it through the upper portion of the goal posts.

Now you may be thinking that the reasoning behind me arguing that rugby should be just as popular a sport than football is absurd.

Well sorry to burst your bubble guys, but football actually originated from rugby. Just like how the United States was originally an English colony, football finds its route deep in English culture.

In rugby, there are 15 players per team. Eight of the players are considered forward, similar to linemen and linebackers in football, while seven players are positioned as a back, which is just like the backs in a game of football. The two most distinctive features of Rugby that distinguishes the sport from American football is the fact that the ball can never be tossed or kicked forward and that there is no padding or protective gear used by the players. In rugby, it is a penalty to have the ball moving forward resulting in the ball being turned over to the other team.

So why do Americans love football so much? Well for one thing the NFL is a nine billion dollar industry along with college football as a six billion dollar industry, so money definitely plays a role in the popularity of the sport. However, rugby and football have similar game rules and are equally dangerous and physically demanding. Why is there such a divide?

The answer lies within knowledge. Most Americans are not aware that rugby is the father of American football. And with the popularity of football seems to be rising exponentially, there seems to be little room for rugby in the United States.

However there is talk among rugby enthusiast of launching a campaign to help make rugby more popular in the United States.  According to 2013 edition of “The Guardian News” entitled “NFL knows U.S. professional rugby union could be a very good deal indeed,” two U.S. based promoters George Robertson and Michael Clements have launched a scheme to bring Americans closer to the game of rugby by creating a summer and spring season of intense rugby playing called The American Pro Rugby Competition. If all goes well, after the NFL season concludes, the American Pro Rugby Competition will begin and create an off-season treat for football fans, allowing more viewers to become more familiar with rugby.

So although it may take several years for The American Pro Rugby Competition to really make an impact on American viewers, at least it is a starting point to get more American-loving football players introduced to rugby. And who knows? Maybe football enthusiast during the off season will be able to appreciate the father-sport of one of America’s most beloved pastimes while enjoying the knit and grit of the game of rugby.

By Camille Weber/Sports columnist


Freshman takes the lead early in the season

Freshman Abigail Heringer has taken the Northwest Conference by storm this season.  As a first year athlete, Heringer has finished consistently within the top-five players at almost every match this fall season.

As a freshman just making her NCAA Division III debut, Heringer has shown the competition that she is a talented golfer and is a strong asset for the Linfield’s women’s golf program.

Heringer picked up her golf clubs at the tender age of four as her grandparents lived right by a golf course and enjoyed the game themselves. She started to take part competitively in the sport in middle school with her membership to the Salem Golf Club, as well as competing for South Salem High School’s golf team.

“Golf takes a lot of practice for everybody,” Heringer said when asked if her natural talent helped contribute to her success in the sport. “It’s definitely not something you can just pick up.”

A natural strength Heringer does have however is good patience.  This personality trait she admits has helped her become a better golfer.

“I guess that’s what may make me naturally good at golf is my patience, but the technical stuff definitely only comes with lots of practice,” Heringer said.

As the years went on, Heringer began to lose interest in the sport. She admits that at the beginning of high school, she struggled with golf and felt as if she was falling out of love with the sport.

“When I met the golf coach that I have now, he showed me a different side of golf, if it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be playing golf here at Linfield. He always knew how to push me as a player and eventually convinced me to play in college,” Heringer said.

Another person who has influenced her golf career is her own grandmother, who introduced Heringer to her high school coach and always supported Heringer during her high school matches.

“She never put the emphasis on winning,” Heringer said. “She was always more focused on whether I was having fun with the sport and not ‘in it to win it.’”

Heringer’s greatest strength she admits isn’t her swing, but her strong mental game.

“I’m relatively short compared to other players in the conference, so obviously hitting for distance isn’t my greatest strength. But when you see me competing you’ll never see me look upset or throwing my clubs and I think that’s one of the things that help me do really well is that I don’t let one bad shot ruin my game,” Heringer said.

Heringer’s mental strength and positive attitude has also proven to be a huge asset for the team as she strives to keep her team looking forward and staying positive.

“I want to help maintain a fun and light atmosphere,” Heringer said. “I like to ask my team mates how they did and listen to what they think they did well in and what they think they need to work on. I also like to point out the brighter side of my team mate’s playing during certain rounds.”

In terms of goals and aspirations for this season, Heringer is looking forward to working on becoming a more consistent player.

“Score-wise, I would love to hit in the 70’s more consistently,” Heringer said. She also expresses that she wants to continue to maintain a healthy relationship with the game and enjoy golfing for the rest of her Linfield career.

The women’s golf program’s next tournament will be a home dual meet against Lewis and Clark College on Oct. 20 at Michelbook Country Club.

By Camille Weber/Sports columnist