With their impressive 20-6 regular season record, the women’s volleyball team earned the first place finish among the independent teams, and advanced to the NCAA tournament for the first time in school history.
On Nov. 15 the Slugs fell to Trinity University (34-6) 3-1 in the first round of the playoffs and faced elimination.
“Our success this year can be attributed to our strong work ethic, positive attitudes and fearlessness and hunger to play together against any team we encountered,” said senior libero Jessica Peng.
Peng led the Division III independent teams with 524 overall digs, as well as 5.7 digs per set. Middle blocker Sandra Gutierrez ranked first in the block solo category with 37 digs.
With only two graduating seniors, the Slugs look to continue their qualification for the NCAA and advance further in the tournament next season.
Men’s and Women’s Cross Country:
Despite a strong season and a No. 5 ranking in the West region, the men’s cross country team failed to qualify for nationals.
“The men’s team peformed well,” junior cross country runner Tyler Hoyt said. “Not as well as they could have, but still a strong finish to the most successful season the team has had.”
The women’s cross country team did not earn a team qualification at NCAA West Regionals last weekend, but sophomore Evie Borchard earned an individual qualification with an impressive race. Only the top seven individuals who were not part of a qualifying team still qualified for nationals as individuals.
Regionals was Borchard’s first race of the season due to a recently diagnosed bone problem, femoral trochlear dysplasia.
“I have only been running a few days a week for the past few months on reduced mileage after taking three months off, so I’ve been trying to make those days count,” Borchard said. “I’m looking forward to hopefully doing better in nationals this year than I did last year.”
Borchard will compete in the NCAA championship meet on Nov. 23 in Hanover, Ind.
The men’s soccer team’s season ended on Nov. 3 with a 1-0 win against Austin College, bringing the team’s overall record to 3-12-2.
“Inexperience and a lack of luck resulted in a poor start to the season,” said sophomore midfielder Daniel Tirosh. “We managed to turn it around to an extent. We were much better than our record suggested.”
With only three graduating seniors, the majority of players are returning for next season. Tirosh is confident next fall will be a stronger season for the Slugs.
The women’s soccer team failed to qualify for the NCAA tournament with a third place finish in the independent league. Finishing 9-7-2, the Slugs rarely lost by more than one goal and finished the season with strong wins over Austin and Dallas.
“Even though we fell short of making it to the NCAA tournament, we were still extremely successful and had some good wins against strong opponents,” said freshman midfielder and defender Megan Carey. “Next year is a new season and we know who we need to beat and what it takes to qualify for playoffs.”
Goalkeeper Gabby Trujillo led the Association of Division III independents in save percentage and was second best in goals scored against.