Author: Ryan Whalen
Volleyball (14-7 overall, 8-3 SCIAC)
The Occidental volleyball team (14-7 overall, 8-3 SCIAC) continued its success last week, notching three victories against conference opponents. The Tigers extended their conference winning streak to five games and are now tied for second place in the league standings with Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CMS). The black and orange’s first game of the week came against last-place Caltech. The Tigers quickly dispatched the Beavers, cruising to a straight-set victory. The squad then rolled through its Friday match against La Verne, beating the Leopards 3-0 and completing the season sweep. Outside hitters Stephanie Gann (senior) and Dana Michels (sophomore) combined for 25 kills to lead the offensive strike, while starting libero Madyson Cassidy (senior) anchored the defense with 21 digs. Occidental rounded out the week on Saturday with its homecoming game against Whittier. Gann and fellow outside hitter Alyssa Mort (senior) were the spark plugs for the Tiger attack, teaming up for 26 kills. Senior setter Jessie Altman contributed to the offensive performances of Gann and Mort, totaling 40 assists. Cassidy was again the base of the Tiger defense, accumulating 24 digs throughout the night as the team ousted the Poets 3-0 for its third consecutive shutout. The Tigers were in action against No. 3 Cal Lutheran at the time of publication. They host Pomona-Pitzer on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Men’s Soccer (2-14 overall, 1-12 SCIAC)
The Occidental men’s soccer team attempted to break its six-game losing streak on Saturday against first-place Redlands. The Tigers found themselves in a defensive stalemate, forcing the game into double-overtime. Although the black and orange had several opportunities to score, the squad fell to the Bulldogs 1-0 with just 8.5 seconds left on the clock after nearly 110 minutes of play. The unit then traveled to Chapman on Monday, falling 2-0 after being outshot 15-5 by the Panthers. The squad hosts the La Verne Leopards this Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Upper Fields.
Women’s Soccer (3-8-2 overall, 2-7-1 SCIAC)
The Occidental women’s soccer team faced off against two SCIAC opponents last week, hosting Pomona-Pitzer on Patterson Field on Wednesday. The Sagehens overwhelmed the black and orange defensively, as the Occidental attack failed to find the back of the net, losing 3-0. The Tigers followed up their loss with a Saturday shootout against SCIAC-leader Cal Lutheran. Offensive production was through the roof in the contest, with the teams combining for 27 shots (14 on goal). Senior Elissa Minamishin and Taryn Ng (junior) each scored for the Tigers, while Tayler Renshaw (senior) registered three saves in goal. However, as time wound down, Occidental was unable to score the equalizer, surrendering the match 3-2. The team has now lost seven of its last eight games and looks to snap a three-game losing streak today at La Verne at 7 p.m.
Both of the Occidental cross country teams competed in the first SCIAC meet of the year on Friday. Juniors John Guzman Aguilar and Colin Smith earned top-five finishes with times of 25:27 minutes and 25:58 minutes, respectively, to lead the men to a third-place finish. On the women’s side, Jenna Wong (senior) crossed the line in 22:11.29 minutes, coming in fourth place individually as the squad came in second. Wong’s time was also her personal best by more than 38 seconds. Both squads will conclude the regular season in the SCIAC Championships at Prado Park on Nov 2.
Men’s Water Polo (1-17 overall, 0-2 SCIAC)
The Occidental men’s water polo team began conference play last week with a Wednesday game against Redlands. Offensive struggles plagued the Tigers as they fell 17-6 in the SCIAC opener. The black and orange looked to bounce back on Saturday against conference foe Pomona-Pitzer, but a lack of offensive production again stifled Occidental’s chances for victory, and the Sagehens came out on top, 16-7. The team will be back in the pool at 4 p.m. this Saturday for a home game against Whittier.
Sam Stekol (Football WR #19)
Junior wide receiver Sam Stekol has cemented himself as one of the foundations of the Occidental football team’s offense. After five games this year, Stekol has already solidified himself as the team’s leading target in all seven receiving categories. He has caught 12 more passes (33), snagged one more touchdown (3) and accumulated 175 more yards (403) than the next closest player. Stekol’s production has eased the transition in a season where the football team lost All-SCIAC quarterback Tommy Edwards (senior) due to injury and has looked to Bryan Scott (first-year) to lead the team under center. In the Tigers’ first win of the season over Austin College, he proved the most dominant offensive player on the field, reeling in 12 catches for a career-high 163 yards and two touchdowns. The 6-foot-3-inch wideout posted another 100-yard receiving game in Occidental’s second win of the year against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CMS), making big plays at the most opportune times. With four games remaining in the regular season, Stekol is just 312 yards away from surpassing his receiving yards mark from a year ago and has already broken his touchdown total from the 2012 campaign. He and the rest of the Occidental football team host Cal Lutheran this Saturday at 7 p.m. at Jack Kemp Stadium.
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