College fall sports previews: A look at Saint Martin's, Evergreen and SPSCC

mwochnick@theolympian.comSeptember 5, 2013 

Starting her first year as head coach for the SMU volleyball program Kara Peterson instructs twelve year-old Rokki Brown during the Saints' youth volleyball camp July 9th.

STEVE BLOOM — Staff photographer


A team-by-team look at the fall sports teams at Saint Martin's, Evergreen, and SPSCC. The full college fall sports preview capsules and story will be in Friday's Olympian.


Saint Martin's University Saints



Coach: Kara Peterson, first year

2012: 6-18 overall, 3-15 GNAC (ninth place)

Returning starters: 3, plus libero

Top players: OH Kristyn Ross, 5-10, jr.; OH Carrie Starbuck, 5-10, soph.; MH Kyra Davidson, 6-2, soph.; L Halee Hernandez, 5-3, jr.; S Cymbree Decosta, 5-8, sr.; S Candice Pedroza, 5-5, jr.; OH Shea-Linn White, 5-9, soph.; L Kristin Okamura, 5-0, sr.

Outlook: Experience is on the Saints’ side. Of the 17 players on the roster, 11 are returning letterwinners. SMU also is big upfront, featuring five players 6 feet or taller. Four players on the roster (Ross, Hernandez, Julia Wabinga, Hope Mortensen) are South Sound natives.



Coach: Rob Walker, seventh year

2012: 3-15 overall, 2-12 GNAC (eighth place)

Returning starters: 6

Top players: MF CJ Chu, 5-11, sr.; F Dylan Gaydosh, 6-1, sr.; F Matt Olson, 5-6, jr.; MF Ivan Gonzalez, 6-0, sr.; D Luke Chouinard, 6-2, jr.; GK JJ Olson, 5-11, jr.; M Emil Kirov, 5-10, soph.

Outlook: Both of the Saints’ GNAC all-conference honorees -- Gaydosh and Chu (both honorable mentions) return as two of nine returning players who saw action in at least 10 games. Gaydosh’s eight goals was a team-high, and the defense is looking for a fresh start after allowing a conference-worst 61 goals in 2012.



Coach: Rob Walker, seventh year

2012: 7-9-2 overall, 5-7-2 GNAC (fifth place)

Returning starters: 6

Top players: MF Ashley Richardson, 5-3, jr.; MF/F Sasha Dini, 5-7, jr.; F/MF Hanna Massee, 5-5, jr.; D Molly Campbell, 5-8, sr.; D Sammi Thompson, 5-8, sr.; MF/D Clarissa Strayer, 5-7, soph.; GK Gina Cardenas, 5-10, sr.; MF/D Kari Inch, 5-1, jr.; D Jessica Christian, 5-11, jr.; MF Nikki Roberts, 5-7, jr.; D Randi Mielke, 5-4, jr.; Kailey Fuegmann, D/MF, 5-7, jr.; MF Maddie Cecil, 5-6, soph.; F Maddie Hibbard, 5-3, soph.

Outlook: The Saints are junior-heavy (10), paced by Richardson, the GNAC’s freshman of the year in 2011. Scoring was hard to come by in 2012 (19 goals, 157 total shots), but Campbell and Thompson, an Olympia High graduate, anchors the defense and combined for more than 2,400 minutes of action. Cardenas takes over at starting goalkeeper after seeing action in seven matches (12 saves).



Coach: Jason McConnell, first year

2012 conference finish: Men -- 10th; women -- 10th

Top athletes: Men -- Joe Berger, sr.; Josiah Shelman, soph., Alex Nelson, jr.; Aaron Michael, soph.; Women -- Erika Crock, sr; Justine Malek, soph.; Betty Ramirez, jr.

Outlook: The Saints are adjusting to McConnell, who formerly coached at his alma mater, Evergreen, was hired as the Saints’ coach Aug. 20. While no Saints participated in the 2012 regionals, Berger (57th), who sports a 4.0 GPA and Crock (68) paced the SMU men and women, respectively at the GNAC championships.



Coach: Kevin Bishop (men); Bob Grisham (women)

2012: Men -- second at GNAC championships; women -- second at GNAC championships

Top athletes: Men -- Ben Fosnick, jr.; Ryan Pickthorn, soph.; Women -- Mandy Whittmier, sr.; Sarah Salvatori, soph.

Outlook: Last spring marked the sixth consecutive year the Saints men had representation at the NCAA regional, co-hosted by Saint Martin’s at The Home Course, where Fosnick finished tied for 89th (228). ... Whittmier paced the Saints with a fifth-place finish at the GNAC championships, as she and Salvatori finished fifth and sixth, respectively, in GNAC scoring average. Both men and women have three fall tournaments before resuming the split season in the spring.


The Evergreen State College Geoducks



Coach: Angela Spoja, first year

2012: 0-27 overall, 0-18 CCC (10th place)

Returning starters: 4

Top players: OH Cassidy Watkins, 5-9, sr.; RS Molly King, 5-11, jr.; MH Victoria Love, 6-1, jr.; L Meredith Gurr ,5-5, sr.; OH Natimia Barker-Doss, 5-4, jr.; MH Brittany Covert, 6-2, sr.

Outlook: Evergreen broke through and won its first match in 52 tries with a 3-1 win over Montana Western in an early-season tournament in Spokane. Spoja, in her first year, led Tacoma Community College to a 155-60 won-loss mark in eight seasons. Gurr, King and Shelby Clark, a Black Hills graduate, played for Spoja at TCC.



Coach: John Purtteman, eighth year

2012: 13-6 overall, 12-2 CCC (second place)

Returning starters: 9

Top players: F Willie Spurr, 5-11, soph.; D Brady Espinoza, 5-8, sr.; F Dyson Fowler, 5-9, sr.; F Jeff Roland, 5-11, sr.; MF Jack Fortune, 5-11, sr.; MF Joseph Ademofe, 5-7, sr.; D Kodey, Eley, 5-9, jr.; MF Ethan Sumlin, 5-9, jr.; GK Collin Harlow, 6-3, sr.; GK Mauricio Sanchez, 6-4, sr.

Outlook: More could be in store for Evergreen after its best season since 2005 a year ago -- a second-place CCC finish and a trip to the conference title game. Espinoza and Spurr are the conference’s reigning defensive and newcomers of the year, respectively. Already at 1-0-1, including a tie against No. 22-ranked Rocky Mountain College, the Geoducks received votes in the preseason NAIA Top 25 poll.



Coach: Adam Fenster, fourth year

2012: 2-11-1 overall, 2-7-0 CCC (eighth)

Returning starters: 4

Top players: F Rayna Murphy, 5-2, jr.; GK Kaitlin McKenzie, 5-5, sr.; MF Sophie Krauza, 5-5, sr.

Outlook: The Geoducks welcome back Murphy, the team’s leading scorer in 2012 with three goals, while McKenzie ranked seventh in the CCC in save percentage (.698). Nine freshmen round out the roster, including Capital High graduate Loren Switzer, the 2A EvCo defensive MVP as a senior last fall for the Cougars.



Coach: Chris Ertman

2012: Men -- no team placing at CCC championships; Women -- no team placing at CCC championships

Top athletes: Men -- Aaron Jones, jr.; women -- Jamie Cummins, soph.

Outlook: Jones was one of three Evergreen men representatives at the CCC championships last fall, placing 66th (28:26.41) in the 8-kilometer race. Both teams’ first meet is Saturday at the Apple Ridge Run in Yakima.


South Puget Sound Community College Clippers



Coach: Brian Davis, sixth year

2012: 2-15-2 overall, 2-10-1 (NWAACC South)

Returning players: 7

Top players: GK Devon Dieckman, 5-10, soph.; MF Alex Nunez, 5-7, fr.; F Barrett Walhmark, 6-1, soph.; D Jacob Coffman, 5-8, soph.; F Taylor Weatherly, 5-10, soph.

Outlook: A strength for the Clippers is a quick and versatile midfield, paced by Nunez, a Shelton High graduate, who already has two goals on the season. Fourteen of the roster’s 17 players feature South Sound natives, including a pair from Shelton (Nunez, Erik Mendiola), Capital (Dustin Loffler, Ethen Myers), Tumwater (Dieckman, Jordan Prince), and Yelm (Jason Cisneros, Oscar Alverez).


-- Meg Wochnick, staff writer

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