Portland Sports Recap

Tension is in the air around Portland as the Timbers’ season nears its close and as Blazers fans witness the start of a new era in the franchise.

The Timbers advanced to the conference championships with a win over the Vancouver Whitecaps, 2-0, on Nov. 8.

Meanwhile, the Portland Trailblazers try to discover their new identity as they deal with losing key starters from previous years, including LaMarcus Aldridge.

The Portland Thorns, the women’s soccer team whose season ended in September, are looking forward to next year with some added talent to the roster.

Despite losing four out of the five starting lineup, fans may recognize some returners like CJ McCollum, Meyers Leonard and Allen Crabbe.

After two strong seasons, led by arguably the most elite squad the franchise has had in years, the Blazers now enter the 2015-16 season a new team with the loss of LaMarcus Aldridge, Robin Lopez, Wesley Matthews, and Nicolas Batum.

Damian Lillard now leads the pack along with possible breakout star McCullum. The start of the season shows clear signs of a team in the process of rebuilding, but with promising prospects.

The Portland Thorns look for rebuilding as well, coming off a less-than-stellar season. New acquisitions in the off-season promise to bring more depth to the roster.

Midfielder Dangy Bryonjarsdottir was traded from the Boston Breakers as the number two pick overall. She proved herself at Florida State University, helping lead the Seminoles to the NCAA championship.

Another recent addition to the roster is defender Meghan Klingenberg. Playing in the 2015 World Cup, she showed herself to be one the most reliable defenders.

Maluenda Receives National Recognition

Sophomore Sydney Maluenda recently earned both Northwest Conference Student-Athlete of the Week and NCAA Division III Athlete of the Week for her performance on the golf course in the Cal-Santa Cruz Spring Invitational.

Leading by just one stroke after day one, Maluenda finished strong to sign for a two-day total of 147 (73-74), taking medalist honors. Maluenda’s low score also helped lead the Bruins — currently ranked No. 2 — to another tournament win, beating No. 6-ranked Redlands by 19 strokes.

“It’s pretty crazy to be honored by both our conference and the NCAA,” said Maluenda. “It helps to recognize how far myself and the GFU program has come, but also how much further we can go. I have a great support system from family to my teammates and the school itself and they all encourage me to improve.”

According to golfstat.com, Maluenda is No.1-ranked nationally among DIII women with a scoring average of 73.93. Laura Lindsey from Texas-Tyler follows behind her with a scoring average of 74.57. Out of the 15 rounds she has played this year, Maluenda holds a low score of 67 and has a total of 38 birdies on the season.

Maluenda and the Bruins will compete in the Spring Classic at Lake Spanaway Golf Course in Tacoma, Wash. this weekend.

A Look Into the Men’s Golf Season

The George Fox University men’s golf team is preparing to tee it up for their upcoming spring season.

With a few great finishes early on in the fall season and a fifth place finish at the Northwest Conference Fall Classic, the Bruins are getting themselves ready to take on the spring.

“Our main goal this season is to do better than the last season,” said freshman Caleb An. “We had a few really good tournaments in the fall and showed everyone what we’re about. If we can build off of that, I think we’ll have a successful spring season.”

With a roster size of nine players, there is a great deal of depth on the team. Taking the course on this spring are four freshmen, four juniors and one senior. The Bruins lost one key player after the fall season, but will return with a couple lineup golfers including Andrew Grove and Zach Mode. The team also gained a new member, freshman Alex Plusquellec, who played football for the Bruins in the fall.

“A great thing about our team is the rotation can change at any time. All of us are good enough to be in the top five; it’s just a matter of who is hot that week,” said Grove. “It shows the depth we have and it also pushes us to be better. To be the best we have to beat the best. That’s why our team is so competitive.”

To kick off their season, the Bruins will play in the Lewis & Clark Invitational on March 14 at Heron Lakes Golf Club.

Kolin Named NWC Student-Athlete of the Week

George Fox University’s junior Kaylee Kolin received the Northwest Conference Women’s Lacrosse Student-Athlete of the Week for her performance during the week of March 2.


Kolin, a goalkeeper for the Bruins, helped lead her team to an 11-4 victory over Puget Sound, recording 13 saves on 19 shots, good for a .765 save percentage). Kolin continued her great performance against St. Mary’s College, giving up only one goal in a 16-1 victory.


“I feel honored to have been chosen for this award and I am very thankful to my teammates,” said Kolin. “They are the reason this was possible. Defense starts with our attack and works its way back, so without 11 girls in front of me, I wouldn’t be in this position.”


Kolin has played 240 minutes this season and on average surrenders just 5.25 goals per game. She also has 30 saves in the net this year. Last season, Kolin played and started in 12 games, which was the first year for women’s lacrosse at GFU. She faced over 300 shots and recorded 131 saves on the season.


“Preparation for lacrosse started this summer. Each of us did workouts on our own and then transitioned into 5:00am practices when we came back to school in the fall. We haven’t stopped working since,” said Kolin. “It is our team’s philosophy to take care of the little details, the things we can control, and by doing that and pushing hard at practice every day, we have found ourselves successful thus far in the season and hope to continue that success.”


Kolin and the Bruins remain undefeated, beginning their season with a perfect 4-0 record.





Three Bruins Grab NWC Student-Athlete of the Week Award

Zach Rapacz, Annie Veatch and Sydney Maluenda were named Northwest Conference Student-Athletes of the Week after some impressive performances.

Zach Rapacz and GFU baseball took on Whitman College last weekend. After postponing Saturday’s doubleheader to Sunday, the Bruins were still able to get in only one game due to poor weather conditions. The Bruins, though, made that one game count. Rapacz led his team to a win against the Missionaries, 6-5, in heroic fashion. Heading into the bottom of the ninth with the Bruins trailing 5-1, Rapacz came up with bases loaded and one out. He worked the count 2-2 before hitting a bomb over the centerfield fence for a walk-off grand slam.

Rapacz also led the Bruins in a non-counting conference game against Lewis & Clark, which the Bruins won 9-6. Between the two games, Rapacz hit .571 with a double, a homerun, four RBIs, three runs scored, a .667 on base percentage and a 1.143 slugging percentage.

Veatch and the softball team also had a few good wins over Lewis & Clark, going 3-1 against the Pioneers last weekend. Veatch hit .667 with six hits in nine plate appearances. She had three doubles, a homerun and five walks in the four-game series. Veatch also recorded seven RBIs and had an on base percentage of .786.

Maluenda helped lead the women’s golf team to a victory in Arizona, which moved them up to the second-ranked team in the nation. The Bruins played a field of seven teams, six of which were the top ranked teams on Golfstat. Maluenda signed for a 67-69=136 (par 71) to win the tournament by two strokes and making the All-Tournament Team. Her score helped lead the Bruins to a two-day win of 289-295=584.

“Being Student-Athlete of the week is fun because you get to see how much you’ve improved and it motivates you to work harder for your team,” said Maluenda. “Arizona was amazing overall for our team because we continually grow in depth and consistency, which will take us far in the season. We focused on being grateful and that positive mindset helped pull us through a strong field.”

With their low score, the Bruins beat No. 10 Redlands, No. 3 Washington University St. Louis, and the No. 1 team in the nation, Texas at Tyler.

The Portland Trail Blazers mean business

The NBA All-Star weekend has come to an end as NBA teams prepare for upcoming pivotal games to secure a spot in the 2015 playoffs.

Players Wesley Matthews, Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge represented the Portland Trail Blazers at the All-Star game. Matthews made 22 points in the three-point contest, but fell short in qualifying for the final round. In the All-Star game, the Western Conference beat the East 163-158, and four time All-Star Aldridge contributed 18 points, while Lillard scored 11.

The Blazers are 36-17, identical to their previous 2013-14 record. This may seem poor at first glance, but multiple injuries have cost them several games. Three of the five starters – Nicolas Batum, Robin Lopez and Aldridge – have missed a combined total of 36 games. During the previous season, all five starters played up to the All-Star break.

The team has made some essential changes; Coach Terry Stotts prefers players to sprint back on defense, rather than crashing the offensive board. In addition they have limited perimeter shooting from opponents. The results mark them as the second best defense in the league.

Last year, the Blazers were known for their lack of quality bench players and heavy dependence on the starting five. As of now, Steve Blake and Chris Kamen have provided rest for Lillard and Lopez while C.J. McCollum, Thomas Robinson and Meyers Leonard have proven to be valuable in the midst of injuries. Lopez made his debut against the Utah Jazz on Feb. 3 after missing 23 games due to a broken hand.

Improving the offense and defense has placed the Blazers on the market as credible competitors, ranking them third in the Western Conference behind the Golden State Warriors and the Memphis Grizzlies.

Coach Stotts isn’t ready to talk playoffs quite yet, but the recent trade reassures the level of commitment to become championship contenders. On Thursday, the team traded Robinson, Will Barton, Victor Claver, and a lottery-protected 2016 first-round draft pick for Denver Nuggets Arron Afflalo and Alonzo Gee.

Both players add depth to the team’s bench. Afflalo is a strong perimeter shooter, averaging 14.5 points, and Gee’s strong defense prove the franchise is planning for the future.

Two Bruins Receive NWC Student-Athlete of the Week Honors

Kayla Anderson and Miranda Edwords represented George Fox University as they were both named Northwest Conference Student-Athletes of the Week.

Anderson was recognized for her performance on the softball field against Pacific Lutheran and Puget Sound. She helped lead her team to a 3-1 victory in game one and followed it up with a 15-5 mercy-rule five innings win in the second game of the double header. The next day, Anderson and the Bruins took down UPS 7-1 and 16-7 mercy-rule five innings in game two.

“Because we are in one of the best Division III conferences for sports, it is an honor to receive this award,” said Anderson. “With all of the talent seen not only on our team, but in the other schools in the conference as well.”

Anderson hit .571 leading the team with eight hits and nine RBI’s. She had two homeruns and a double, giving her an on-base percentage of .533. For the season, Anderson is tied for first in runs batted in (17) and home runs (4), with a batting average of .500.

“It is extremely difficult to find a balance between school and sports,” said Anderson. “A lot of people don’t understand how much work it takes to participate in any sport here at GFU. That’s why it’s always nice to get honored for that hard work.”

The Bruins are currently the only team in the NWC to remain undefeated for conference play.

Edwords received NWC Student-Athlete of the Week for her performance in lacrosse against Southwestern (Texas). She helped beat the Pirates 22-14 and break a school record of 22 goals. The next day, the Bruins took another victory against the Pirates beating them 12-2.

“It’s nice to be recognized for such an award because there has been so much that has influenced and inspired me,” said Edwords. “This time last year, I could hardly catch and throw the ball, but because of the time and energy that my coaches have invested in me, as well as the patience of my teammates, I have become a better athlete. It’s very rewarding to see the time I’ve put in has made an impact on our team in a positive way.”

Edwords recorded four goals in eight shots in the first game against Southwestern. She went on to score a team record of seven goals in 14 shots in the second game. Edwords recorded just two turnovers for both games.

Men’s Tennis Makes History

Photo Courtesy of Chace Stalcup

The George Fox University’s men’s tennis team played a historic match against No. 13-ranked Whitman College.

The Bruins broke an eight-year streak that the Missionaries had going in doubles, but still fell short 5-4 in the match.

Sophomores Spencer Watanabe and Andrew You led the Bruins in doubles by taking down the Missionaries, 8-3. Juniors Chris Lilley and Chace Stalcup followed in their footsteps, defeating their opponents with an 8-2 victory. In the last set of doubles, sophomore Nicholas Grafton and freshman Vincent Viloria closed for the Bruins and won 9-8 (7-2).

“It was a good win for Chris [Lilley] and I, but it was a bigger accomplishment as a team to sweep Whitman over all in doubles,” said Stalcup. “That hasn’t happened to them in eight years. It was the closest match in league they’ve had in nine or ten years and we almost had them.”

In singles, the Missionaries were able to win the No. 2 and No. 1 spot right off the bat. They took No. 5 after Viloria lost his match 6-2, 6-1. Watanabe was able to take the win over Whitman’s Phillip Locklear at the No. 3 spot. Junior Mitchell Miyashiro took the L against the Missionaries after a 6-2, 6-0 finish.

“Of course it’s tough to come so close to what would’ve been a monumental win,” head coach Neal Ninteman told the GFU Athletic Department. “The real takeaway for us is not that we lost a close match, but rather how closely we competed against one of the premier teams in the nation. We’re right there with them and today proved it.”

After taking down Whitworth University the following day, the Bruins are 2-1 on the season and 1-1 in the Northwest Conference.

Bruin Baseball Starts Right Off the Bat

The George Fox University baseball team started their season off with a tournament in Texas.

The Bruins played a total of four games while in San Antonio. They started the weekend off right on Friday winning both of their games, one against No. 23 Concordia (Texas), 2-1, and the other against Centenary (La.), 7-6.

“Our first tournament was good for us. We went out and played competitive teams. We didn’t go to Texas to see average teams that we could run over,” said freshman middle infielder Kyle Esquerra. “We showed we could compete with anyone in the nation. I’m looking forward to the rest of this season and can’t wait to see how we stack up.”

Sophomore pitcher Nate Higa played both games Friday, earning the save in each. Coming in to relieve Sean Eberhardt in the ninth during the first game, he held Concordia to end the game 2-0. Against Centenary, Higa came into the game in the ninth inning following a lineup of pitchers. With the help from catcher Tyler Hamilton, the Bruins were able to end the game and take the win, 7-6.

“I’m excited to see the rest of the season because we have the making of a very good ball club,” said Higa. “I believe we can achieve any one of our goals this year because this team is very close. We play for each other and it’s a true family on the field.”

Unfortunately, the rest of the weekend did not have the same results as the first games. The Bruins lost to Trinity Saturday morning 7-5 and again Sunday afternoon to the Concordia Tornadoes, 6-4. Although they walked away with a couple of loses on the books, senior right fielder Zach Rapacz had an impressive weekend. Starting the games out with a bomb his first at bat in the first game against Concordia and then following it with a 2-4 performance against the Tornadoes a second time.

“Having the opportunity to start the season in Texas this year was really exciting. It was a good chance to see what we are made of and also what areas we need to improve on” said Rapacz. “It is going to be a very exciting and fun year for GFU baseball.”

Escaping the January Gym Scene

January is about to roll around and a new crowd will soon take over the gym equipment. Some of them might use the machines in a way you could have never imagined.

A swarm of people will be found on the treadmills and ellipticals, partly from familiarity with the equipment and partly out of “first time at the gym ever” embarrassment. The weight room will appear more crowded than usual, with folks glowing with sweat and the hope of accomplishing their New Year’s Resolution of finally getting those muscles worth showing off.

For those who habitually visit the gym, these new faces and appearances may be overwhelming or annoying when it comes to sticking to our routine workouts. What are we to do when our indoor exercise outlet is taken over by newfound dreamers, who may or may not stick around for longer than a month?

If you have to get your daily run in, try taking to the reality of the trails, streets, or sidewalks. It might snow, rain, hail, or even simply be a really cold day with a bit of wind chill. Throwing a twist into your exercises, such as stadium workouts or a bit of a focused core workout, will get the other body parts you’ve been granting only so much attention.

If you can’t work up the warmth to face the cold and can’t stand around waiting for your favorite workout machine, go try something new in the gym. There’s no better time to try out something new than when everyone else is doing the same thing.The only difference is you might have a clue as to what you’re doing. If you have to, pick a different time of day if your usual workout time is clogged with newcomers.

According to the Telegraph, about 12% of gym memberships start in January. However, the Telegraph also said  “Fitness Industry Association said that almost 22 per cent of people who join will have thrown in the towel after 24 weeks. A further 20 per cent will disappear before December.”

If anything, lead by example and try to help out the newbies this time of year. Try a new class or check into at-home workouts that avoid the whole congested gym situation all together. Don’t let the January gym-goers get you down.