Your fix for the week of SFU’s athletic teams

The cross country team caps off a historical season, winning the GNAC Championship

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Photo of cross country runners Olivia Willett and Aaron Ahl standing in front of text that reads
Setter Julia Tays and cross country runners Olivia Willett and Aaron Ahl continue to make their presence felt for SFU athletics. Image Courtesy of SFU Athletics Facebook

By: Isabella Urbani, Sports Editor 

Welcome to the Rundown — your source for athletic news and upcoming games at SFU. We will be looking at results from this week’s fall 2021–22 athletic campaign.

SFU is the only Canadian school to be associated with the NCAA — an American based collegiate program — since the 2011–12 athletic season. SFU was previously associated with the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS), now known as U Sports. SFU has varsity programs in ten sports. 

Editor’s Note: This article was written on Tuesday, October 26, and may not be a current reflection of a team’s performance. 

Volleyball 

Head Coach: Gina Schmidt (2013–present)

Best Record: (21–8) (2016)

Accomplishments: six game win streak

The women’s volleyball team continued their winning streak last weekend, adding two more victories to move to (14–4) on the season. Despite being up two sets to one against Northwest Nazarene University (5–14), their two game lead was erased. Northwest Nazarene rallied back to win the next two games before SFU would win the fifth and deciding game. 

For a second straight week, Setter Julia Tays was recognized as one of Great Northwest Athletic Conference’s (GNAC) Volleyball Top Performers of the week for her season high 62 assists against Northwest Nazarene. She also picked up GNAC’s Volleyball Offensive Player of the Week. With only a handful of games left in the season, the women will look to beat their best record, set in 2016, by going 21–4. To do so, they will have to take on two teams they’ve previously lost to: the University of Alaska Anchorage and Western Washington University. You can cheer on SFU at their last two home games on November 4 and 6 (senior night).

Cross Country

Head Coach: Brit Townsend (1998–present)

Ranked 2nd in Preseason Coaches Polls

Recent Wins: GNAC Championship (October 23, 2021)

The women’s and men’s cross country teams won the GNAC Championships this past week in Lacey, Washington. This marked the first championship for the men and an end to a perfect season for the women. Once more, the work of runners Olivia Willett and Aaron Ahl propelled their teams forward with two first place finishes respectively, also earning them GNAC Athlete of the Year. Willett clocked in at 21:27.3 in her last GNAC championship race, six seconds before the second place finisher. Freshman Katie Cameron, senior Alision Andrews-Paul, junior Megan Roxby and Emily Chilton, all finished within the top 10

It was a different story for the men’s team, who earned redemption after placing second in the 2019 GNAC Championships. Two additional SFU runners were able to finish among the top 10 for the men, beating the reigning champions, Western Washington — “the third-closest in history.”

GNAC’s Team of the Week are competing in the NCAA Championships this Saturday in Oregon. Stay tuned for an interview with junior Aaron Ahl next week on finally being able to turn the tide and claim a championship with SFU. 

Football

Head Coach: Mike Rigell (2020–present)

202122 Overall Record: (1–5)

The men’s team were downed by Angelo State University (6–2) last weekend by a score of 51–10. SFU was held scoreless in the first and fourth quarter, with only a field goal and a touchdown on the night. Kristie Elliot was able to hit a 30 yard field goal in the second quarter after Justin Seiber brought the team to field goal range after 40 yards in 11 plays. Junior wide receiver Robert Meadors went long for the 13 yard pass from Seiber in the third quarter for his second touchdown of the year. SFU will finish their season on November 13 against Central Washington University (5–2)

Soccer: Women

Head Coach: Annie Hamel (2014–present)

202122 Overall Record: (481)

The women finished last week 1–1 at home. They started the week with a 1–0 win against Montana State Billings (6–7–3) before surrounding three goals against the 4ᵗʰ ranked Seattle Pacific University (11–1–1) in a 3–0 loss. Freshman Raegan Mackenzie recorded the lone goal of the game in the 81ˢᵗ minute off a pass from teammate Annika Gross. SFU goalkeeper Nicole Anderson earned her second shutout of the season, turning away the four shots she faced. SFU fell behind early against Seattle Pacific University, conceding two goals in the first half, before giving up a late goal. You can support the women’s team at their last game of the season this Saturday against Western Oregon (5–8–2).