The schedules for collegiate athletics can be a little tricky. It seems like SPU sports should be winding down as we enter spring, but that’s not always the case.
The fall has four sports (men’s and women’s soccer, volleyball, cross country); winter also has four (men’s and women’s basketball, gymnastics, indoor track and field); yet spring only has two (track and field, rowing).
However, these seasons often overlap, which makes it tough for fans (and sports journalists!) to follow. As we transition from indoor sports to outdoor sports, here is a winter recap.
The GNAC champions extended their streak of NCAA Tournament berths to 10 — the longest such streak in Division II — but fell to Cal State Stanislaus 80-72 in overtime in the first round of the tournament on March 14. The Falcons, who earned a No. 2 seed and were ranked No. 11 nationally, ended their season with a 26-6 record.
Senior point guard David Downs earned the GNAC Player of the Year, Daktronics West Region Player of the Year, and a spot on the 2014 NABC Coaches’ Division II All-America Team. Ryan Looney was named the GNAC Coach of the Year.
The Falcons’ season ended with a loss to Simon Fraser in the first round of the GNAC Tournament. Despite an 18-9 record and favorable positioning in the regional rankings throughout the regular season, the women’s basketball team was not selected for the NCAA Tournament. Senior forward Katie Benson earned All-GNAC First Team. She ranks No. 5 on SPU’s all-time scoring list.
Senior McKayla Fricker placed second in the 800-meter run at the NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships. The five-time All-American finished with a time of 2:08:76. Sophomore Lynelle Decker also competed in the event, finishing 11th overall with a personal-best 2:11.86. In all, 10 SPU runners were named All-Region status from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches’ Association.