After the fall and winter sports seasons each had a regular season conference champion, football and men’s basketball, Chapman’s NCAA affiliated sports failed to keep it up, while the men’s lacrosse team is playing for a national championship. To read about the men’s lacrosse team, click here.
Baseball slips up
by Rachel Gossen
Chapman’s baseball team ended its season with a record of 23-16, 16-12. The Panthers were unable to make it into the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) tournament for the second time in the program’s three years in the conference, finishing sixth.
Senior pitcher Kevin Klaess was the staff’s workhorse, tossing a team-leading 78.2 innings pitched. Junior pitcher Matt Smith was second, throwing 56 innings. Though Klaess threw the most innings, Smith was the more effective pitcher, leading the conference in ERA by half a run with a 2.09 average.
Junior infielder Tyler Cook led the team offensively, with a batting average of .377, while sophomore outfielders Forrest Wiederman and Joey Bernal hit five home runs each.
Junior shortstop John Wiehe held the highest on-base percentage of .494, thanks to a team-leading 21 walks.
Chapman will return all of its offensive leaders, and a pitching staff led by Smith.
“Obviously we were hoping for better results as a whole, but we came up short,” Smith said. “We faced a lot of adversity this season and I’m proud of how we dealt with those issues.”
Women take third
by Doug Close
The Chapman women’s lacrosse team lost its conference semifinal to Occidental 9-5 after a regular season that saw it post an 8-6 overall record, 6-6 in conference.
“What stood out to me this season was our ability to make plays when we needed to,” said junior attack Kylee Moore. “We had a couple of games where the score was close, and when we needed to deliver, we did. The highlight of the season was beating Redlands twice. Playing them is always the matchup we look forward to the most throughout the season, and this year was the first time in the program’s history that we have beaten them, and we did it twice.”
With a relatively young roster, the Panthers will look to build on their team chemistry during the offseason to look to string together more consistent home form next season.
“The future is bright,” said junior goalie Tara Sonnemaker. “We will continue to bring in contributing players. Also, because we are such a young team, we can look forward to growing our talent and reaching new levels with the same girls.”
Golf swings to fifth
by Doug Close
The Chapman men’s golf team took fifth place at this year’s conference championships after a season that saw its youthful roster start to find its rhythm.
“Our youth really stood out this season. They’re up and coming,” said senior Kent Paisley. “I think our final round at the SCIAC Championships was really good, and I think our earlier season wins show this team’s true potential. Our (the program’s) future is pretty bright.”
Sophomore Brian Wise, who placed in the top 20 at the championships, was a standout for the Panthers this season as he improved with each tournament. Paisley finished four strokes behind Wise at 237.
Chapman was a distant fifth, finishing 43 strokes behind California Lutheran and Redlands. Chapman finished 10 strokes ahead of Whittier.
Chapman has finished in fifth place each of the three season that Chapman has been in the the conference.
Track lapped in SCIAC
by Doug Close
The Chapman men and women’s track team continued its rebuilding process this season, as junior Fiona Chu claimed fourth place in the women’s 400-meter dash while sophomore Mitchell Bouldin finished fifth in men’s long jump and 14th in the 100-meter dash at the SCIAC Championships.
The men’s team failed to register any team points at the championships, while the women’s team finished eighth in the overall standings.
Sophomores Alex Bliss and Alyssa Bliss also placed for the women, claiming 11th and 13th place in the 100-meter dash, respectively.
“The highlights of the season were watching Fiona Chu breaking her own record three times and cheering her on,” Bouldin said. “Also seeing everybody improve throughout the season was awesome. When somebody beats their previous personal record, the whole team got so pumped up, which helped motivate others to try and set new personal records.”
Chapman will look to build on its steady momentum as new recruits are set to join up with the youthful team next season.
“The future looks bright for Chapman track and field,” Bouldin said. “With this being the first year for men’s track and field, I have a feeling a lot more guys are going to come out and help improve the strength and depth of the team next year. I’m excited to see what’s going to happen and can’t wait until next year.”
Polo floats up to third
by Rachel Gossen
Chapman’s women’s water polo team finished in third place in the conference tournament, which marked the best finish in the program’s history.
Chapman ended the season at 14-15, with a 6-5 conference record.
Junior utility Kate Avery dished out 53 assists, the most on the team.
Senior utility Riley Ford led Chapman with 56 goals, earning her first-team All-Conference honors for the first time in her career.
Senior goalie and team captain Kirsten Spicer racked up a total of 226 blocks this season, leading her to a career total of 590, a Chapman record.
Junior utility Alison Quincy and senior attacker Emily Holmquist were second and third on the team in goals, with 50 and 41, respectively.
“Our defense was incredible this year, which isn’t something you often hear,” Avery said. “We are losing some incredible seniors, but I think our team will thrive. We are coming off the best season we have ever had and I think we will use that momentum moving into next season.”
by Rachel Gossen
Chapman softball suffered its first losing season in four years, ending the season with a record of 15-19, 12-16.
A three-game losing streak at the end of the season crushed all hopes of making it into the conference tournament and left Chapman in sixth place.
While enduring a poor season, junior pitcher Natalie Both finished with a record of 11-13, pitching 150 innings, her most ever, and almost seven times more innings than her other teammates. Her 2.99 ERA was also a team best.
Both and junior outfielder Gabrielle Leveratto were the only two players to make in onto the All-Conference team.
Leveratto led Chapman with 20 RBI and three home runs.
Sophomore infielder Amber Perez was the team leader in hits, with 34. Senior infielder Taylor Cartwright and Leveratto each had 33 hits.
“This season definitely wasn’t an easy one. After our trip to Texas, there wasn’t one time where everyone on the team was healthy,” Leveratto said. “I was definitely hoping for a better season but with all of these obstacles I believe that we did the best we could.”
Tennis lands in fifth
by Rachel Gossen
Both of Chapman’s tennis teams finished in fifth place in the SCIAC Championships.
Sophomore Madeline Saunders led the women’s team in singles with an overall record of 16-9, as well as in doubles with partner senior Sophia Duong, for an overall record of 16-8.
Senior Justin Thompson and sophomore Charlie Werman led the men’s team in singles with overall records of 15-13 and 15-10, respectively. Werman also led in doubles with junior Brett Buford, ending with an overall record 15-8 together.
As of April 30, the most recent rankings by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, Chapman’s women’s team was ranked eighth in regional division, and 33rd nationally, while the men’s team took ninth regionally, and 38th nationally. The final season rankings will be released June 9.
“I don’t think we did as well as we were originally hoping to but I am proud of how we ended the season,” Saunders said. “We play a lot of matches and it can be hard mentally and physically. I am proud that we finished strong.”
Buford agreed with Saunders, and was excited that the team was able to have a strong season.
“We all acted as a cohesive unit and worked really hard in the offseason, which really paid off, as we had one of the best win-loss records Chapman has had in years,” he said. “We are all very supportive of one another, which pushed all of us to give our all each and every match.”