Cross country dominated at home, volleyball won two of three games and soccer had mixed results
The Humboldt State men’s and women’s cross country teams stood out at the Baywood Golf and Country Club on Sept. 6, while women’s soccer lost on the road and men’s soccer started the season with a 1-1 record. The volleyball team won two out of their three games at the Toro Classic in Carson, CA.
The HSU cross country team performed well in front of the home crowd as they walked away with sweeping wins in men’s and women’s competition. Senior Daniel Tull took first place for the Lumberjack men, and freshman Hannah Hartwell nabbed first place for the HSU women.
The HSU volleyball team lost their first match in Carson against Cal St. Dominguez Hills (3-0), but were able to bounce back with sequential wins against Academy of Art (3-0) and Notre Dame De Namur (3-2).
Women’s soccer went 0-1-1 on their Bay Area road trip, losing to Academy of Art (2-0) and tying against Notre Dame De Namur (1-1). Men’s soccer was able to go 1-1 on their San Rafael road trip, pulling off a comeback win against Dominican (4-3) in overtime and falling to Holy Names (3-2).
At the Sept. 10 HSU Athletics press conference, each coach and player from their respective sport spoke on their team’s performance and looked ahead to upcoming matches.
Head Coach Jamey Harris was ecstatic about his team’s performance in front of the home crowd at Baywood, and it helped that the Jacks had a supportive home crowd behind them. Harris noted the fact that HSU President Tom Jackson was in attendance, along with several members of the local running community.
“I couldn’t have asked for the season to start any better,” Harris said. “This was sort of an early-season meet just to see where we are at as we go into more specific training.”
Harris also talked about how important it was to the team that the community came out to support and noted how it works both ways, with the team also wanting to contribute back to the community.
“It shows our runners that the community cares and that the campus cares,” Harris said. “It helps them see the value in investing their time in the community, and it becomes a great cooperative relationship that way.”
The cross country team has a little more than a week to train and prepare before they make their way up to Monmouth, Oregon for the Sundowner Invitational on Sept. 20.
Head Coach Kelly Wood was happy about the Jacks bouncing back after losing the first match against Dominguez Hills. Wood talked about the unforced errors that the team made, but also acknowledged that the season had just started.
“We absolutely looked like a team playing its very first match of the season against Dominguez Hills that first night,” Wood said. “We made 36 hitting errors. That’s an insane amount of hitting errors, and that’s a recipe for disaster.”
Despite a rough first match, the Jacks were able to steal wins against their next two opponents at the Toro Classic. According to junior outside hitter Lexi Riggs who had the second-most kills during the classic with 37, the group raised their energy level for those next two matches.
“Everybody stepped up,” Riggs said. “Every single person on the team stepped up and got themselves going. I think what turned it around for us was the energy.”
The volleyball team will travel to the West Region Showcase in San Francisco for matches Sept. 12-14.
The Jacks had a mixed weekend against Dominican and Holy Names, but the win against Dominican was a season opener that many on the team won’t forget anytime soon.
Going into the 53rd minute, the Jacks trailed 3-1. They were able to score twice and force overtime, and then defender Gus Baxter drew a foul in the penalty box and buried the game-winning goal to complete the comeback.
Baxter gave credit to his teammates for putting him in the position to draw the game-winning penalty. He gave credit to Dalton Rice for his two clutch goals, one in the first and one in the second half of the game.
“There were a couple of good passes around the box and then all of a sudden the ball is at my feet,” Baxter said. “I shoot, and it hits the guys hand. I took a deep breath, stepped up to it and buried it.”
The Jacks will get on a plane early Thursday morning and head to Billings, Montana this weekend where they will play Montana State University at Billings and the University of Mary.
The Jacks weren’t able to get a win on their road trip, but they did get the tie in a hard-fought game against Notre Dame De Namur. Despite the results, Head Coach Paul Karver was able to see early-season improvements in the team.
“I think we saw a lot of the hard work that was put in over the offseason,” Karver said. “Going 2-0 would be super fun, but in a weird way, I’ll take where we’re at. The lessons we learned were really important, and that is what the preseason is all about.”
The Jacks will travel up to Karver’s hometown of Portland, Oregon this weekend for matches against Concordia and Saint Martin’s.