Note to reader: printing began before the conclusion of the men’s and women’s golf NCCAA National Championship; see bupilots.com for final scores.
MISHAWAKA—We are now roughly three months into the school year, and the fall athletic season is well underway. So far, seasons have begun for women’s volleyball, men’s and women’s soccer, tennis, golf, swim & dive, cross-country and esports.
The first team to get its season underway for the Pilots was the men’s soccer team. Their first game was on Aug. 18 against Holy Cross (Ind.) which they won 6-1. Since then, the Pilots are 12-1-1. The team is ranked ninth in the country and first in the Crossroads League. This record includes a top-10 win over No. 10 Grace, with a score of 2-1. One of the team’s top performers so far is Luan Bressy, a junior who has scored thirteen goals in fifteen games. Another top performer for the Pilots has been Finn Popescu. He has started every game for the Pilots and allowed just over one goal per game. The team clinched the regular season title on Oct. 22.
On the other hand, the women’s soccer team started their season with two straight draws against Holy Cross (Ind.) and IU East. Since then, the team has gone 5-5-4. The top performers have included Audrey Lerch, a senior who has scored thirteen goals in thirteen games; and Leena Thomas, a freshman who has scored four goals and assisted on two others in ten games.
The women’s volleyball team got action underway on Aug. 26 against the IUSB Titans. That weekend the team went 3-1. Over the next couple of weeks, the team faced a rough stretch, going just 10-7. Since losing back-to-back matches against Saint Francis and Indiana Wesleyan, the Pilots have rattled off seven straight victories. This includes wins over two ranked opponents, Taylor and Marian. The head coach of the Pilots, Katie Weiss, also picked up her one-hundredth career win on Sept. 14 against Grace in a 3-0 sweep of the Lancers. Since that victory, the Pilots have gone 9-3 including a 9-game win streak against Crossroads League competition.
The men’s tennis team had a rough start to its season, dropping its first five matches. Since then, the Pilots have gone 3-5 including a loss to Huntington in the first round of the Crossroads League Championship. The team concluded its season with a record of 3-10.
Next in line is the women’s tennis team, which scored a win over Huntington in the first round in the Crossroads League championship. The team lost in the second round to Marian 4-0. The team ended its season with a record of 11-4.
The men’s golf team has had an up-and-down season, but won the North Central Regional in the NCCAA to qualify for the NCCAA National Championship in Palm Coast, Fla. The tournament took place from Oct. 24-26. In the regional, Jonah Kumfer shot seven under par for the tournament which included a 67 on day two of the tournament, tying a school record set by Griffyn Carpenter in 2011. Kumfer won player of the tournament, and Head Coach John Fischer won coach of the year.
Next is the women’s golf team, which has not lost a tournament yet this season. This includes winning the North Central Regional in the NCCAA to qualify for the NCCAA National Championship as well. Maria Pardo Victori was a medalist at the tournament for the first time in her career. A week later, at the Battle for Blackthorn, Head Coach Chris Hess surpassed 100 career wins. The team will be going back down to Palm Coast, Fla. to defend their 2021 NCCAA National Championship title.
The swim & dive team got its season underway on Oct. 1. The women went 1-2 in their first meet. This included five swimmers making the NAIA provisional cut: Elisabeth Wolfe in three events, Josefina Gonzalez in two events, Vivienne Kunkler in two events, Kaylynn Harrison in two events and Paula Ronda Bou in one event. The men also went 1-2. This included two school records and two NAIA provisional cuts. Joe Sheets set a school record in the 200 Fly, and Nick Bohm set a school record in the 3 M Dive. Caleb Berrong made the cut in two separate events.
The cross-country teams have competed in two events so far. The men placed fourteenth in the Twilight Invite and ninth in the Raider Invite. At the Raider Invite, three of the top-seven runners set season bests, and Aaron Douglass set his personal best at the invite. The team’s overall time at the invite was enough to hit the qualifying mark for the NCCAA. The women placed fifteenth at the Twilight Invite and ninth at the Raider Invite. The women had four runners set season bests and two set personal bests at the Raider Invite. This included a top-15 finish from Megan Cooper, which enabled the women to also reach the qualifying mark for the NCCAA.
Lastly, the esports team has gotten its season underway. As of Oct. 22, the total record of all the teams was 24-13. The Super Smash Bros team has gone 8-6 so far this season. The League of Legends team has gone 5-3 this season. The Overwatch team has gone 3-1 this season. And lastly, the Rocket League team is 8-3 so far this season.