Chapman finished its second full year in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) with both tennis teams, women’s water polo, women’s lacrosse, track and field and men’s golf finishing in the lower half of the SCIAC. Baseball missed the playoffs but the men’s lacrosse team will play for a national championship this week.
By Daniel Starkand
Chapman softball (24-18, 17-11) had a near identical season to its 2013 campaign, winning 24 games again.
The Panthers reached the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) tournament for the second straight season, but were unable to advance to the NCAA Tournament after losing their first two games.
Pitchers sophomore Natalie Both and junior Cassie Oregel were both workhorses on the mound for Chapman this season. Both was named to the All-SCIAC First Team, and Oregel was an All-SCIAC second team honoree.
Both had a record of 10-11 with a 2.03 earned run average (ERA) and 17 complete games. She struck out a SCIAC-leading 173 batters in 148 innings pitched.
Oregel finished the season with a 14-7 record. Her 14 wins ranked third in SCIAC. She had an ERA of 2.36, and she struck out 103 batters in 128 and two-thirds innings.
Sophomore catcher Lisa Perez led the Panthers offensively, with a .333 batting average and five homeruns.
Junior infielder Taylor Cartwright led the team with 26 runs batted in, earning her All-SCIAC Second Team.
“We had a rough start but we turned it around and ended up finishing with a winning season,” Both said. “We had a very new and young team this year so I think it’s pretty impressive we made it to playoffs.”
Men’s and Women’s Tennis
By Jordana Morfin
Both of Chapman’s tennis programs finished in the bottom half of the SCIAC, with the women in fifth and the men in sixth.
Junior Sophia Duong led all singles players with an overall of 20-4. Sophomore Andrea Hammer and junior Rachel Fox have been selected to participate in the NCAA Division III doubles championships. Hammer has also been selected for the singles competition May 22-24.
According to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association polls, Hammer is the 11th ranked player in the West Region.
“We had a great season this year and bettered our records from last year,” Hammer said. “We were all really motivated to give it our all this season and maintain a spot in the national rankings.”
The men’s team posted a record of 8-14, 3-7, finishing sixth at the SCIAC tournament.
Junior Justin Thompson was ranked 20th in the West Region at one point, finishing with a singles record of 12-13. Sophomore Brett Buford had an overall singles record of 15-10.
“I am very sad the 2014 season is over, we continuously pushed and supported each other all season,” Buford said. “I cannot wait to see where our team progresses towards in the coming year.”
By Jordana Morfin
The Chapman women’s lacrosse team ended its season with an overall record of 6-11, 4-8.
The Panthers were eliminated from the SCIAC Championships with a 10-6 loss in the tournament semifinals against Pomona-Pitzer. The loss to Pomona followed a 13-9 opening round victory over Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.
Sophomore midfielder Brooke Martini finished the season as the top scorer for the team with 43 points (37 goals, six assists). Senior attack Allie Kontny came close behind with 41 points.
Senior goal keeper Kara Podesta finished the season with 100 saves.
“Our outcome was one we earned and I’m happy to receive what we deserved,” junior Michelle Mendoza said. “We witnessed teammates and coaches overcome limits and learned to lean on each other for the losses we had.”
Women’s Water Polo
By Mark Carlisle
In its second year in the SCIAC Chapman women’s water polo team struggled, finishing in seventh place out of nine conference teams.
Chapman ended its season with a 4-8 conference record and an 11-24 overall record.
“You can see…maybe a third of our games where a whole team was there and healthy,” said head coach Eric Ploessel. “By the time we got halfway through our conference games, alright now we’re healthy, but we just haven’t been playing together enough. Just very inconsistent this year. Once we got all healthy and back, we should have been playing better.”
Junior utility Riley Ford led the Panthers in scoring, with 45 goals. Sophomore defender Miranda Estrella led the team in both assists, 48, and steals, 63.
Junior goalies Kirsten Spicer and Jordan Gilmore split time in the goal. Spicer allowed 110 goals and blocked 109 for a GAA (Goals Against Average, or average goals allowed per game) of 8.30. Gilmore had a GAA of 9.98, giving up 227 goals and blocking 243 shots.
With only one graduating senior on the team, a more experienced Panther squad will look to climb higher in the SCIAC rankings in 2015.
Track and Field
By Daniel Starkand
Chapman’s women’s track and field program finished up its season coming in ninth place out of nine teams at the SCIAC Championships.
Despite the poor finish in the championships, the team was able to earn dual meet victories over Caltech and Whittier.
Sophomore Lauren Deats was a standout for the Panthers again this season. The sprinter holds the Chapman all-time records in the 100- and 200-meter dashes.
Junior Charlie Truax also turned in a solid campaign, placing third in the high jump, and setting a personal record in the 400-meter hurdles at the SCIAC Championships.
The team will look for a boost in the 2015 season, with the addition of a men’s team.
“I am satisfied overall with 2014 season. We had a small team but very talented group of freshmen and sophomores, and I hope we are on good track for building a stronger team for 2015,” said head coach Anna Wlodarczyk. “We are also looking forward to the addition of the men’s program next school year.”
By Len Hamilton
The men’s golf team finished its second season in the SCIAC with a fifth place finish at the SCIAC Championships.
Under first year head coach Ming Lao, the Panthers shot 964 over three rounds at the SCIAC Championships at Oak Valley last week.
“We really saw that we are as good as any of those other teams,” said head coach Ming Lao. “We need to come together. It is a team score.”
Chapman will lose three seniors and will rely heavily on returners next year, such as freshman Bryan Wise. He led the team in overall scoring average this year with an average of 76.4, ranking 106th in Division III.
Other returners include rising seniors Steven Meyer, Giovanni Chiappano and Kent Paisley.
Lao said the players must improve certain aspects of their games before next season.
“We need to practice more short game,” Lao said. “That’s the key thing I saw.”
Looking forward to next season, Lao hopes to get the team in top form to compete for a SCIAC Championship.
“We’re not scared. We know we are as good and can be as good (as other teams),” Lao said. “It’s not like we are outmatched.”