Mount Hood

Volleyball serves up first conference win

BY RACHEL SHELLEY
AND CHIANNA TOLTON
SPORTS EDITOR
AND FREELANCER

 

Western Oregon University Volleyball
had their first Great Northwest Athletic Conference
(GNAC) win of the season in Lacey,
Wash. against Saint Martin’s University Saturday
Oct. 25, where they finished 3-1 (25-
12, 25-19, 21-25, 25-21) in the match.
Leading the team offensively was redshirt
freshman outside hitter Alisha Bettinson,
who added 10 kills and five aces for the
Wolves.
“We’ve been really close in a lot of
matches this year,” said Bettinson. “We finally
put everything together to put ourselves
on top.”
Senior setter Jordin Ramos added a
team-high 24 assists while freshman setter
Kiana Cash dished out 18 for the Wolves.
Senior opposite hitter Hannah Deede and
redshirt freshman middle blocker Sydney
Blankenship grabbed nine kills and a teamhigh
four blocks each.
Four Western players added doubledigit
digs led by sophomore outside hitter
Christie Colasurdo with a match-high 26.
Western started off on a 7-2 run in the
first set followed by a 6-3 run by Saint Martin’s
to bring the score within two, 10-8. Bettinson
got her third service ace of the first set
to bring the Wolves on a 6-1 run, bringing
the score to 16-10. The Wolves scored an unanswered
five points before closing the opening
set with a 4-1 run.
The second set saw an early 10-3 lead
by the Wolves where they were able to keep
their momentum with a 7-1 run and finishing
the set 25-19. The third set was won by
Saint Martin’s, where the Saint’s scored the
final seven points after being behind to earn
the 25-21 victory.
The fourth set opened up with the
Wolves scoring the first five points. Ramos
began the 6-2 lead with a kill. The score was
tied at 20-20 after the Saint’s made a run but
the Wolves were able to finish the set and the
match with 5-1 run, earning the Wolves their
first GNAC conference win.
“Error free is carefree,” said senior outside
hitter Sam Moore. “We really took that
into the match and the scores showed it.”
Moore had eight kills, three blocks and an
ace contributing to Saturday night’s success.
The Wolves welcome University of Alaska
to Monmouth Saturday, Nov. 1 where play
will start at 7p.m.

This week’s rugby match

Western Oregon University men’s rugby added a new face to the roster this year, though not in the form of a student athlete wearing a jersey ready to bruise some opponents. Although, new head coach Gavin Curtis has bruised some opponents in his time. He comes well decorated, with 35 years of championship player, coach and referee experience in over six countries including Canada, Jamaica, Bahamas, England, South Africa and U.S.A.

“Not many sports have reached that level of penetration through the world and culture; it’s a good and healthy sport,” Curtis said.

A Zambia, South Africa native, Curtis moved to Fort Lauderdale until recently moving to Portland to finish his degree in renewable electrical engineering at Oregon Institute of Technology (OIT).

“Portland brought me to Monmouth,” Curtis said. “I saw an ad for the WOU coaching job and I applied for it and I was lucky enough to get the job.”

Curtis started playing at age 10 in Zambia with his boarding school where his career took flight. His experience includes all-star teams in Florida, the Eastern region all-star game, coaching at Florida Atlantic University, the men’s club at Fort Lauderdale, refereeing nationally, including the international professional tournament where he traveled to ref the top international players playing in the world circuit.

“I really like coaching more than refereeing,” Curtis said. “Refereeing is nice because you have the opportunity to help everybody play the game and be a part of it, but you aren’t really attached to any team and I really like the concept of being attached to a team.”

Curtis also contributed his leadership and expertise to a men’s over 40’s team where every year they travel to New York to play together. With 15 years playing in this tournament, Curtis and his team have only suffered one loss.

Western Oregon Rugby just recently joined D1 status after the 2011-2012 season. Not only are they thriving for success but they are showing the dedication and motivation needed to be a championship team.

“They practice even when I’m not there,” Curtis said. “So that’s a testament that they are very motivated.”

The team recently competed in a pre-season tournament at Central Washington University. The tournament was set up in two divisions over two days of play. After losing Saturday, the team was sent to the challenger series for Sunday where they ended up winning the Challenger Cup.

“After losing to teams we lost to on Saturday, we realized with rugby, the team really has to buy into the system, we didn’t really have a lot of time as a team,” Curtis said. “Losing on Saturday was bittersweet, there were times I could see good potential, because we played really good rugby, executed really well, and then we came back on Sunday and really put it together. We didn’t just beat the team in the championship, we dominated.” The top two teams make it to the national playoffs and the team has their eyes set on the top four. “The good thing is, we’ve set our sights on them, they know we’re there and we know we can get there,” Curtis said.

With five seniors, there is a lot of room for growth, Curtis said, and he has the tools and experience to build a program.

“My coaching experience is not just with rugby, coaching is understanding how to communicate a message,” Curtis said. “With collegiate sports you really need to pack in a lot of information in a short period of time.” Curtis added that it seems to be working at this point. “I think I’ve created a system that makes the learning curve shorter,” he said.

With a well-established rugby environment in Oregon, one long-term goal for Curtis is to bring high level rugby athletes to Monmouth for a positive youth rugby experience. Curtis encourages any athletes to come out and try, watch, or get hooked on a sport that has a brotherhood atmosphere.

“The guys I’m coaching have been playing since high school,” Curtis said. “After college they can go travel anywhere in the world and play because they are a part of the brotherhood.”

 

 

Football

 

Western’s senior quarterback, Ryan Bergman, threw for 412 yards on 24 of his 41 passes after coming off an injury. It was Bergman’s sixth 400-yard game. Nine of those catches were to redshirt freshman wide receiver Paul Revis, who had 161 yards and a touchdown.

The Wolves had a staggering 412 total passing yards for the game, compared to Central’s 360. The ground game was held to a steadfast for the Wolves as they racked up 24 yards on the ground; a disappointing number after having 133 yards last week against Dixie State.

“I will do whatever I can to give this team the best chance to win,” said Bergman. “Whether that means I throw for 400 yards or hand the ball off 40 times.”

The Wolves found themselves down 17-7 at the beginning of the fourth quarter, but after a quick field goal and an 89 yard pass to senior wide receiver Tyrell Williams, the Wolves were right back in it.

Williams had just five catches but a career-high 171 receiving yards, which puts him third on Western’s all-time list with 2,398 receiving yards total.

The Wildcats quickly marched down the field again to score a touchdown pass with seven minutes to go in the game. The Wolves managed to answer back with a field goal by senior kicker Jesse Correa, but couldn’t manage to score again before the time ran out.

“We played well but have way more potential then what we played on Saturday.” said Revis.

Junior defensive back Breeon Moreno was named the GNAC defensive player of the year and he backed it up with ten tackles, eight of which were solo. Sophomore defensive back Austin Spencer was also a defensive force, contributing 10 tackles in the game and junior defensive back Roger Garrett added an interception to help make the defenses presence known.

The Wolves beat the Wildcats at home earlier this season but have been beaten at Central Washington 11 consecutive times. Western looks to defeat Simon Fraser next week for their homecoming game at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 25.

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