Author: Ryan Whalen
Track & Field
Both the men’s and women’s track and field teams were in action earlier this week, competing in the Rossi Relays at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CMS). On the men’s side, first-year sprinters Kyle Dalton and Jeh Johnson took the lead for the Tigers as both found themselves among the top-20 finishers in the 100-meter dash, posting times of 11.17 seconds and 11.45 seconds, respectively. While underclassmen dominated the sprints for the black and orange, Kevin Cox (senior) had a big day in the long jump, posting a mark of 6.66 meters off of a six-step approach on his first attempt. Cox and the other Occidental jumpers will make the transition from a six-step approach to a 10-step approach for their next meet. For the women, speedster Rachael Hinkel (sophomore) claimed an 11th place finish in the 100-meter dash, finishing as the squads’ top individual finisher. Seniors Ayana Foster and Julie Xu and Jenny Quilty (junior) teamed up with Hinkel to post a time of 4:15.31 minutes in the 4×400 meter relay. The time was good enough to secure a top-10 finish for the black and orange. The Tigers lace up their spikes for their first home meet of the season this week, hosting a dual meet against Pomona-Pitzer Saturday.
Women’s Basketball (13-12 overall, 7-9 SCIAC)
Occidental forward Elizabeth Messick (senior) lit up the stat sheet for the final time in her collegiate career, leading the Tigers to a 71-58 victory over Pomona-Pitzer Saturday. Messick was able to get the job done on both ends of the court, scoring a team-high 15 points and anchoring the interior defense with nine blocks. Fellow seniors Brittani Walker and Crystal Goodwin also stepped up, as Walker pulled down a team-high 10 rebounds while Goodwin dished out five assists. Saturday’s win also pushed the Occidental squad over the .500 mark on the campaign. As the team transitions into the off-season they will look to retain some of their momentum and attempt to fill the large shoes of graduating seniors Messick, Walker, Goodwin, Kristen Treat, Alyssa Mort and Michelle Naito-Lo.
Men’s Basketball (11-13 overall, 6-9 SCIAC)
The Occidental men’s basketball team traveled to Pomona-Pitzer to face off against the SCIAC No. 2 Sagehens Saturday. The Pomonz-Pitzer defense proved too much for Occidental to handle, as the Sagehens snagged a 63-53 senior night victory. First-year guard Joe Compagno proved to be the jack-of-all trades for the Tigers, as he led the team in points (11) and assists (three) while pulling down seven rebounds. Aside from Compagno, the black and orange struggled to produce offensively, managing only 18 points on 26 shot attempts in the first half. Despite an off shooting night, the squad managed to keep the game close with a stout defensive effort. The Tigers held the Sagehens to 37 percent shooting while forcing 20 turnovers and winning the battle of the boards, 42-37. The squad’s season finale at Redlands was in progress at the time of publication.
Men’s Tennis (0-3 overall, 0-1 SCIAC)
The Occidental men’s tennis team has stumbled out of the gate to begin the 2013-2014 season, losing its first three matches. The Tigers dropped their match against non-conference opponent Brandeis University 7-2 Friday. The black and orange was shut out during doubles competition, but managed to snag two singles matches as No. 1 Josh Dancu (junior) and No. 5 David Cotton (senior) each won his respective competition. The Tigers return to action Friday, hosting the Austin College Kangaroos at 3:30 p.m.
Women’s Tennis (0-1 overall, 0-0 SCIAC)
Friday marked the start of the Occidental women’s tennis team’s season, as the squad matched up against non-conference foe Hope International and surrendered the season opener, 6-3. The Tigers picked up two automatic wins since the Royals did not have enough players to adequately fill out all matches. Despite the handicap, the black and orange was unable to top Hope, with standout Kelani Bonis-Ericksen (sophomore) registering the lone win for the Tigers. Occidental will host non-conference opponent Arizona Christian Friday at 2 p.m.
Kirsten Hee (Women’s Lacrosse Goalkeeper No. 28)
While a multi-talented offensive attack has garnered the majority of the headlines as the Occidental women’s lacrosse team has roared out to a 4-0 start in SCIAC play, it has been a 5-foot-3 goalkeeper that has anchored the Tiger defense. Sophomore Kirsten Hee has been one of the key pieces throughout the black and orange’s four game win streak, tallying 209 minutes of time in the crease while maintaining a 39.7 save percentage. Hee’s defensive aptitude comes as no surprise to teammates and coaches, considering that she started 17 of the teams’ 18 games in 2013. With 23 saves so far this season, the Washington state native is already well on her way to eclipse her save total of 52 from a year ago. Hee is sitting on a perfect winning percentage, up 40 percent from last year’s mark. She showed her composure and experience last Saturday, snagging a season-high 10 saves during an 8-7 overtime victory over Pomona-Pitzer. In addition to Hee’s talents between the pipes, All-SCIAC seniors Tori Larson and Rebecca Belding have led the offensive attack, netting seven goals apiece. Hee and the rest of the Tigers travel to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CMS) tonight, taking on the Athenas at 7:30 p.m.
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