MISHAWAKA—During the course of the fall semester, nine varsity sports have started their seasons. Four of which are ranked nationally, or receiving votes nationally. These teams include Men’s Soccer, Women’s Volleyball, Women’s Swimming and Diving and Men’s Swimming and Diving.
The first team to start the fall athletic schedule was Women’s Volleyball. They traveled to West Palm Beach, Fla. to play four games, two of which would be against ranked opponents. They would go 3-1 in that invitational, losing only to No. 13 Viterbo University. They would return to the Weikamp Athletic Center to start their home games on Aug. 25. They rattled off twelve straight wins, two of which occurred in Florida. In their twelve-game winning streak, they only lost five sets total and beating two ranked opponents, No. 16 Indiana Wesleyan University and No. 24 IU Kokomo. The Pilots are 8-4 in the Crossroads League which puts them in 5th place in the conference, they hold a 20-5 record overall. They play next against the University of Saint Francis on Oct. 16 at the Weikamp Athletic Center at 7 p.m.
The Women’s Soccer team was the next team to start their fall campaign. They faced Holy Cross College on Aug. 18 and lost 2-1. The team has had a rocky start to their season, starting 0-8. Despite losing eight in a row, the Women’s Soccer team only lost two games by more than one goal. They also lost two straight games in overtime against Indiana Tech and Anderson University. More recently, the team has won two of their last four including a buzzer-beater goal in overtime against Saint Francis on Sep. 25. They currently sit in 8th in the Crossroads League with a record of 1-2 in the league and 2-10 overall. A bright spot for the Pilots has been their goalscoring. This is led by Esther Karhayu, the junior from Mombasa, Kenya, she has scored seven goals in seven starts and assisted on another. She was awarded a NCCAA National Student-Athlete of the Week award on Sept. 27. The team will next take the field for their Senior Night on Oct. 16 against Grace College.
The next team to take the field for the Pilots was the Men’s Soccer team. The team had a rocky start to their season, which included splitting games in Lakeland, Fla. while at the Southeastern Invitational. After returning home the Pilots dropped their first two games including a loss to the No. 3 team in the nation, Central Methodist University. This put the Pilots at 2-3 on the season. Since then, the Pilots have won seven straight contests including three games in conference. The Pilots currently sit atop the Crossroads League at 3-0 which includes an overtime win against Indiana Wesleyan University on Sept. 29. The Pilots boast a fantastic defense that has only allowed a single goal in their last seven games. The Pilots will take the field next against Grace University in Winoma Lake at 7 p.m.
Next up is the Men’s and Women’s Tennis teams. They are a combined 5-20 in matches so far this season. The men finished 9th in the Crossroads League with a 1-7 record in conference. The women finished seventh in the Crossroads League with a 2-6 record in conference. Both teams lost in the Crossroads League Quarterfinals that took place on Sept. 21. The tennis teams finished up their seasons on Oct. 9 against Manchester University and Judson University.
The Men’s and Women’s Golf teams have also started their seasons with great success in the NCCAA North Central Region Championships that are held in Algonquin, Ill. The Men’s Golf team exited the first day of competition sixteen strokes behind the first place team but railed in the final round to force a playoff with North Central University. The Pilots would finish the tournament with two golfers in the top five and secured their second NCCAA National Championship berth since 2014. The Women took a more traditional victory at the NCCAA North Central Regional Championship leading at the end of each round. They placed three golfers in the top five and went on to capture their seventh straight NCCAA National Championship bid. The NCCAA National Championships will be played in Palm Coast, Fla. from Oct. 18-20.
The Men’s and Women’s Cross Country teams have also started their seasons. So far they have had mixed results but have had some solid individual performances. The women have a young team with eight freshmen, but have continually gotten quicker as the season has gone on. The men on the other hand have had some mixed results, but had five runners set personal bests in their last meet in Kentucky. The cross country teams will run next at NAIA Great Lakes Challenge on Oct. 23 at 11 a.m. in Grand Rapids, Mich.
The Esports team also has taken the stage this fall. The Rocket League team has gone 2-3 in their matches. Most recently, the Rocket League team fell to Kean 3-1, losing all but the first game. The Super Smash Bros team has gone 5-2 in competitions, they have however, dropped their last two matches to Mount Union University and Sacramento State University. The Overwatch team is 6-1 in play so far, this has included two victories over Purdue University. Lastly, the League of Legends team has gone 1-3 in their matches so far this fall. This included a win against Lourdes University. They will take the stage next on Oct. 16 at Bendix Arena starting at 12 p.m.
Lastly, the Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving teams started their season on Oct. 2. The meet was in Grand Rapids, Mich. against Aquinas College and Davenport University. The men split the meet, beating Aquinas 145-53 and losing to Davenport 145-68. The women lost to both teams in the meet, they lost to Aquinas 161-37 and lost to Davenport 133-89. The Pilots did, however, set four program records, two men’s records and two women’s records, at the meet. The Swimming and Diving teams will next take to the pool on Oct. 16 in the Indiana Intercollegiates meet in West Lafayette, Ind. at 12 p.m.
For more information on the Bethel athletic teams visit https://www.bupilots.com/index.