The top 10 moments for Seattle Pacific athletics in 2013-14:
10. David Downs has a senior night second half explosion (Feb. 22, 2014)
The Falcons were down by 19 points at one point, but that did not stop David Downs from absolutely dominating in the second half of his final game at Royal Brougham Pavilion. SPU struggled early against Montana State Billings before Downs stepped up.
He had 31 of his 33 points come in the second half alone. He was also a major reason that the team went from shooting 23 percent from the field in the first half to 51 percent in the second half. Although the Falcons would eventually lose in overtime, Downs made sure it would be a senior night to remember.
9. Katie Benson being Katie Benson (Nov. 8, 2013–March 5, 2014)
When you are an All-American honorable mention for the Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Association, you get your own spot on the top ten sports moments.
To sum up Benson in one word: unfathomable. During her senior season, she averaged 19.3 points and 9.1 rebounds per game. That placed her on the All-GNAC team for the second straight year. Over her career, she scored 1,645 points, which ranks No. 5 on SPU’s all-time scoring list. She was an absolute force for SPU women’s basketball.
8. Men’s soccer wins against Simon Fraser (Oct. 3, 2013)
The visiting Clan were undefeated going into this game but did not leave in the same fashion. With the game tied at 1-1 in the 78th minute, sophomore midfielder Danny Olivas netted the game winning goal from 17 yards out. SFU was the top ranked team in the GNAC at the time, but SPU moved into first place after this win.
7. GNAC indoor individual titles (Feb. 22, 2014)
Track and field’s outstanding year started with the GNAC indoor championship races. Senior McKayla Fricker was able to place first in the mile, and senior Kishia Mitchell placed first in the 400 meters. The women’s team also capped off the championship races with a first place finish in the 4×400 relay.
6. Volleyball earns its 500th win at Western Washington (Oct. 24, 2013)
WWU was ranked No. 8 in the country at the time and had only lost 13 games at home in 14 years. When SPU beat the Vikings at Carver Gymnasium, it was the Vikings’ second loss in a row at home, which has not happened since 1999.
This was a huge win for the volleyball program. Not only where they able to beat a nationally ranked Viking team on the road, but they also did it for their 500th win. It does not get much better than that.
5. Gymnastics shatters school record (Feb. 28, 2014)
Sophomore Maria Hundley led the way for the Falcons when she won the vault competition, and the team did not stop there. Actually, they would not stop until they had the school record. SPU was able to post a 194.575-point total to smash their old record of 193.950.
The Falcons had been close to a 194-point total all season long and then burst way past it in this meet against UC Davis.
4. Men’s basketball wins GNAC Championship (March 8, 2014)
There is definitely a major theme that runs through most of these moments — beating Western Washington. In order for the men’s basketball team to win its second consecutive GNAC championship, they had to go through WWU. With the game coming down to the final seconds, the Falcons were able to intercept the Vikings’ inbounds pass, which sealed the victory 65-62.
3. Women’s soccer goes to penalty kicks for first ever GNAC title (Nov. 9, 2013)
After losing to Western Washington twice in the regular season, the Falcons finally had some redemption. After a 1-1 tie that lasted through two overtime periods, the game went to penalty kicks. Senior goalkeeper Natalie Harold saved WWU’s first two attempts and SPU never missed on their attempts as they would go on to win the shootout 4-1.
WWU had won the last two GNAC championships, and this was only their second loss for the season. Interestingly enough, SPU also lost twice to Central Washington in the regular season and was able to beat the Wildcats in the semifinals to advance to the finals against Western.
2. McKayla Fricker is DII champ (May 24, 2014)
After a second place finish at the NCAA Division II Indoor Championships, Fricker locked down the No. 1 spot in the outdoor championships. She ran the 800-meter event in both of the championships, but her final race as a Falcon proved to be golden. She ran the race in 2 minutes, 6.18 seconds, which was a personal best and also a full second ahead of the next competitor.
Fricker has completed her career at SPU, and she does so as a Division II champion.
1. Hundley wins multiple national titles (April 13, 2014)
To cap off a great year of gymnastics and the number one spot on our list, winning some gold medals was in order. This is where Hundley steps in at the USA Gymnastics Collegiate Championships.
She won the vault and balance beam outright, while also gaining a three-way share of the title for the uneven parallel bars. So she won three national title crowns in one day … no big deal.
To go along with this outstanding performance, senior Kai Tindall had a four-way share of the gold on the floor exercise. To say this was a big year for SPU gymnastics would be an understatement.
Through all the ups and downs, SPU had a great year of athletics. From multiple GNAC championships to a couple of individual Division II champions, they had it all this year. While it will be difficult to top these achievements next year, the athletes are just getting prepped for better years to come.