Volleyball continues losing streak, soccer goes 1-4 in San Diego, and basketball officially starts practice
This past week was another tough one for the sports teams at Humboldt State. HSU volleyball had one of their games canceled on Thursday due to the power outage across Humboldt County and then lost a tough match at home to SF State. Men’s and women’s soccer were on the road in SoCal, taking on UC San Diego and Cal State San Marcos with mostly disappointing results. Basketball season is officially upon us here at HSU, as the Jacks’ men’s and women’s basketball teams held the Lumberjack Madness event on Monday and had their first official practice the following day.
Tuesday’s press conference at Lumberjack Arena featured comments from the head coaches and athletes, plus comments from head men’s basketball coach Steve Kinder and head women’s basketball coach Michelle Bento-Jackson.
It’s been a tough stretch for the Jacks volleyball teams lately as they try to find their footing in a very competitive CCAA conference. After getting some extra rest due to the power outage, the Jacks played at Lumberjack Arena on Saturday against SF State and lost in four sets, 3-1. This marked their sixth straight loss of the season.
Head Coach Kelly Wood noted that while the results are frustrating for her team, the focus is on making progress and getting better.
“We just try to keep the focus off of our record, the winning and the losing and focus more just on making progress day in and day out,” Wood said. “Pretty much everything we’re doing is a competition at this point so that they could just work on battling and getting a little bit tougher.”
Volleyball will head down to the Los Angeles area this weekend to take on Cal State LA and Cal State Dominguez Hills.
Both HSU soccer teams went a combined 1-4 during the San Diego road trip, and the good news for the women’s soccer team was that they got the only win. After losing 5-2 to a UC San Diego team that is preparing to make the jump to Division I next season, the Jacks were able to go down to a hostile environment at Cal State San Marcos and beat them 2-1, earning their first conference win. Lindsay Stoner continued her fantastic season by getting the first goal on a penalty kick, while Erin Siegel scored the eventual game-winner.
Head Coach Paul Karver was very happy with his team’s performance on the road trip, and he felt like after several weeks of good play and disappointing results, the team is finally turning a corner after the win in San Marcos.
“I heard that the earth shook up here when the monkey jumped off our back,” Karver said. “Every story has a turning point, and this has to be ours.”
While the women’s soccer team felt like they were at a positive turning point in their season after the San Diego road trip, the men’s soccer team did not feel the same sort of success in San Diego. The red hot offense was stifled over the weekend as the Jacks lost 2-1 to UC San Diego with Isiah Dairo scoring the lone goal for the Jacks. San Marcos would not prove to be any better for the Jacks as they were shut out in a 3-0 loss
Junior midfielder Rudi Mcclellan talked about what the Jacks needed to do to move on from the tough road trip and focus on the upcoming homestand.
“We take the positives from those losses,” Mcclellan said. “We build this week, keep strengthening ourselves and get excited for these two home games.”
The Jacks return home to face East Bay and Monterey Bay over the weekend.
After the crushing defeat in the CCAA playoffs to end last season, the Jacks are turning their attention to the upcoming year as they return a very talented core of players to the floor along with seven new transfer players.
For Head Coach Michelle Bento-Jackson, the first official practice and leading up to the season opener will be about figuring out everyone’s strengths and weaknesses and how they will fit into a potential gameday lineup.
“We have a lot of new players. And I’m just anxious to kind of figure out how the pieces are going to come together,” Bento-Jackson said. “And figuring out what’s the system we’re going to play this year and what things are we going to change from last year and still put a great product on the floor.”
The first game for the Jacks will be October 28th at Lumberjack Arena against Simpson University.
Last season was a successful one for the Jacks. They went 17-14 overall on the season, and that was good enough to earn them a spot in the CCAA tournament, where they eventually lost to the #1 seed Cal Poly Pamona squad 85-67. With a very talented squad headed into this season, the Jacks look to build on the success from last season.
Head Coach Steve Kinder is excited about an excellent recruiting class coming into this season, including three transfers from Division I schools. Those include Leland Green from the University of Hawaii, Rob Lewis from Texas Southern University, and Raysean Scott Jr from Florida Gulf Coast University.
“That’s a good story, it’s a heck of a recruiting story really,” Kinder said. “Rob Lewis came up first on his recruiting trip and saw the UC San Diego win at home where Amari (Green) hit the buzzer-beater and he was impressed with that and signed with us. And that became a trickle-down or tidal wave effect to getting our other two players.”