Say goodbye to star Vikings

Written by | June 6, 2012

Teams lose strong players

This year was full of surprising successes, painful near wins, and comebacks for the Vikings. We became the Pacific Coast Softball Conference two-time softball division winners, women’s soccer took home a co-championship title and volleyball claimed runner-up honors in the regular season and tournament. Hard work does pay off.

Men’s basketball graduates three seniors who made their impact on the court: Charles Odum, Chehales Tapscott and Nate Lozeau. Head coach Tyler Geving said the three players will be greatly missed.

The men’s basketball team finished this season with a 10–6 conference record in 2012 and made it to the Big Sky Tournament semi-finals. They improved nearly two fold from a 5–11 2010-11 season.

“We learned to battle every possession and compete for 40 minutes the second half of the season,” Geving said. “We improved as the season went on, and that’s a sign of the great character of our kids.”

Women’s basketball completed less of a Cinderella story. In a season plagued with injuries, the reigning Big Sky Champions fell to a sixth place finish and had their season cut short without a shot at the Big Sky tournament.

Despite the tough ending, the team graduates three impressive seniors: Eryn Jones, Shauneice Samms and Stephanie Egwuatu. All three players helped the team to their 2011 regular season title, with Jones eclipsing the 1,000 point mark.

Viking football had a season to remember as well. After finishing with a dismal 1–7 record in 2010, the team proved their worth this fall when they improved their record and finished 5–3. The team had the first winning season since 2006 and also set a new Viking record for rushing yards. After being picked second to last in pre-season polls, the Vikings stood behind star-senior quarterback Connor Kavanaugh to finish third in conference.

The team graduates an immense 27 players. Some of their biggest losses will be felt with the graduation of Kavanaugh, running back Cory McCaffrey, small safety DeShawn Shead, defensive tackle Myles Wade, linebacker Ryan Rau and offensive lineman Dustin Waldron.

Off the field and on the green, women’s golf faltered at earning a third straight Big Sky Championship. However, individually, Viking golfers prevailed. Tiffany Schoning and Britney Yada both claimed First Team All-Big Sky titles, a third-time honor for Yada and second for Schoning. Schoning is the lone senior on the team.

Off the green and on the pitch, women’s soccer became the co-regular season champions alongside Northern Colorado. Head coach Laura Schott said the team overcame injuries and adversities on the road to achieve the title. The team graduated seven seniors this season. One of whom is Melissa Trammell, who scored the double-overtime goal that gave the Vikings their share of the Big Sky title.

“This year we graduate a class that only lost a four-year total of five conference games,” Schott said. “They are a great group of young adults and will represent PSU well in the community for years to come.”

Women’s softball completed a stellar season and won both the PCSC division title and conference title. They also sealed their season with a win over SEC competitor Mississippi State in the NCAA Regional tournament. The team was led by Mountain Division Pitcher of the Year Anna Bertrand. The team graduates three seniors: Karmen Holladay, Jenna Krogh and Maggie Sholian.

Track and field registered some of the best individual performances. Geronne Black turned heads this season when she set the Portland State and the Big Sky record for the 100-meter dash. On the men’s side, Sean MacKelvie finished an excellent season in javelin. The team says goodbye to five seniors total.

The women’s volleyball team graduated just one senior from the 2011 roster, libero Nicole Bateham. “[Bateham is] known for her spectacular digs,” head coach Michael Seemann said. “She remains one of the best defenders in PSU volleyball history. Her teammates frequently regarded Nicole as one of the best athletes to play with.”

Bateham and the rest of her Vikings overcame a roster filled with more freshmen than returners to finish as runners up in both the regular season and the tournament. Seemann said the team’s comeback in the fifth set at Montana, a stadium known to be one of the most difficult road venues, was the best moment of the season.

While not all Viking athletics celebrated successful seasons, all the coaches are proud. As teams say goodbye to the seniors that led them, they also prepare for another season in Viking history.

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