By Olivia Dobbs
After the Great South Athletic Conference win that advanced the women’s volleyball team to its first NCAA tournament in three years, the Slugs lost to No. 3 Bears from Washington University in St. Louis in the NCAA Regional Quarterfinal on Nov. 13.
The Slugs competed in the game, though they were undoubtedly the underdogs. UCSC fell in three straight sets (17-15, 23-25, 14-25), and senior Kellie Graves led the team with seven kills during the match.
“Overall, I felt we proved to ourselves that no matter who is on the other side of the net, we are able to play with them and show what we can do,” Graves said. “We have always been underestimated every year but slowly women’s volleyball is climbing the ladder and starting to make a name for ourselves.”
By Vanessa Magee
On Nov. 13, the UCSC women’s soccer team fell to Hardin-Simmons University 3-1 in the first round of the NCAA Division III tournament at McGinley Field in San Antonio, Texas. Hardin-Simmons’ offense was driven by freshmen striker Kenne Kessler, who recorded two goals and an assist in the game. Her first goal came in the 15th minute after heading in a long volley from teammate Hadley Schwierking, giving the Cowboys a 1-0 lead into halftime.
In the 55th minute, junior Jordan Lara tallied her 15th goal of the season, assisted by Kessler, to give the Cowboys a 2-0 lead. Eight minutes later, Kessler scored her second goal of the night and 20th of the season to increase Hardin-Simmon’s lead to 3-0.
UCSC responded with a goal from freshman Kayla McCord in the 68th minute to make it 3-1 Cowboys. The Slugs had a few final opportunities at the goal, but every shot was saved by goalkeeper Lexi Stinson, who faced only five shots on net.
The Slugs ended their season with a 5-11-3 record and their first Great South Athletic Conference championship in their first year in the conference.
By Olivia Dobbs
The men and women’s cross country teams competed in the NCAA Division III West Regional Championships in Claremont, California. This meet was the qualifying round to enter the NCAA finals in Winneconne, Wisconsin. The women’s side finished in 7th place, tying for the best finish in program history. The men’s side performed better than coach Jamey Harris expected, finishing in the top 10 after going into the meet unranked.
“Honestly, I was pretty disappointed by our performance at regionals, and I take a lot of responsibility for that,” Harris said. “There were things that I could have done differently, and will do differently in the future, mostly in the way we mentally and emotionally approached the meet, that would have yielded a better result.”
The Association of Division III Independents (AD3I) named 14 men and women All-Independent at the end of the cross country season, including the Women’s Runner of the Year Caitlin Devlin, Women’s Newcomer of the Year Shannon McClish and Men’s Newcomer of the Year Tommy Smail.
The women’s top runner Katie Alioto won all-region honors, finishing 19th out of 133, while Lizzie Meredith finished 36th and Caitlin Devlin 37th. None of the men’s or women’s athletes qualified for the NCAA Championship race.
“It was a hard pill to swallow because I had really high hopes, but this really puts things into perspective,” Harris said. “It was still a very successful season in the way these student-athletes came together, learned to cooperate and really formed a cohesive and supportive team environment.”