Soccer and volleyball fall to Sonoma State, cross country prepares for second Oregon meet
For the Humboldt State volleyball and soccer teams, anything regarding the Sonoma State Seawolves is going to leave a bad taste in their mouth. Sonoma State dealt three different Humboldt State teams a loss over the weekend, all on the road in Rohnert Park.
Men’s soccer was the victim of a come-from-behind effort from the Seawolves, women’s soccer lost a tight game and volleyball lost in four sets. Cross country didn’t compete last week as they continue to prepare for their upcoming meet in Salem, Oregon.
Coaches and players from HSU soccer, volleyball and cross country were at the weekly Tuesday press conference at Lumberjack Arena.
After a good showing at the Sundowner Invitational in Monmouth, Oregon the Jacks’ attention turns to another Oregon course at the Willamette Invitational in Salem on Oct. 5. Head Coach Jamey Harris noted that training is going to be lighter going into this week in hopes that his runners are ready for the upcoming meet this weekend. He also noted the women’s race in Salem will be a 5k instead of the standard 6k, which could lead to faster times.
Harris talked about the men being ranked tenth in the NCAA regional rankings and how it motivates his runners to be even better on race day. For junior runner Elliott Portillo the ranking is something to feel good about, but it serves as a spark to push even harder.
“It’s definitely something very validating,” Portillo said. “It means people are beginning to take notice, and we have to show them that we are deserving of the title.”
Another topic of conversation was the passing of legendary former HSU cross country and track coach Jim Hunt. Hunt coached the cross country and track teams from 1967 to 1986 and produced 64 All-Americans and 11 national champion runners. Harris was visibly emotional as he spoke about what coach Hunt meant to Humboldt State and to him.
“The impact that he [Hunt] had on this university, I can’t even put it into words,” Harris said. “I honestly don’t know what to say, because I feel like I can’t say anything that will be adequate.”
The HSU volleyball team played Sonoma State on Saturday as part of their three-game road trip and lost in four sets by a score of 3-1. The Jacks won the second set and tied the score at 1-1 early on, but Sonoma won the next two sets and won the match. For Head Coach Kelly Wood, she feels that this year’s team is a vast improvement over last season’s team as far as talent, but that the team needs to be more consistent throughout the entire match. She talked about needing all of her players to have a great game, not just a few.
“We’re showing good streaks within the match, but we have yet to pull together an entire, consistent match,” Wood said. “It seems like we need to get all of our cylinders firing during a match, we’ve got a couple on and a few that aren’t on.”
For a team that is still getting their footing under them, going down to Rohnert Park and playing a nationally ranked Sonoma State team is going to be a significant challenge. The Jacks fell just short of completing that task, losing to the Seawolves 2-1 with Lindsay Stoner scoring the lone goal. Head Coach Paul Karver had a very positive attitude about the loss, despite the result.
“The Rubik’s cube is sitting in the corner, it’s two turns away and we just gotta get there,” Karver said. “There was so much heart and determination out on the field and our girls were never going to say die in that moment.”
The Jacks lost on Friday to Sonoma State in the cruelest of fashions, losing the game 4-2 despite taking a 2-0 lead early in the game. Isiah Dairo and Gus Baxter scored early for the Jacks but by halftime they were tied 2-2 and then Sonoma State scored two more times to seal the victory for the Seawolves. Jacks’ midfielder Ethan Waters talked about how the Jacks lost focus after gaining the early lead and eventually falling short.
“We lost momentum,” Waters said. “We have to respect them a little bit more, of course we got the two-goal lead but I think overall we didn’t control the game.”