Coming in hot after their 3–1 win against Idaho State, the Portland State Vikings traveled to Moscow, Idaho, to play the Vandals and took care of business. Libero Ellie Snook was once again the Big Sky Defensive Player of the Week. The Vikings swept the Vandals 3–0 (25–20, 25–21 and 25–19), hitting .398 compared to Idaho State’s .160. PSU’s Makayla Lewis led the team with 14 kills, Zoe McBride made 11 kills and Maddy Reeb ended the game with 10 kills and two blocks.
In the second set, the Vikings took social distancing to a new level, leading the Vandals 11–2. Less than 24 hours later, the Vikings travelled to Cheney, Washington, to play the beaten-up Eagles, who lost in three straight sets to Sacramento State in their last game. The Vikings showed no mercy to the Eagles and won 3–0 (25–23, 25–19, 25–17). Once again, Lewis led the Vikings with 11 kills and two blocks. Parker Webb wasn’t far behind with 11 kills and one ace. Here’s a nice statistic: The Vikings have won eight of their last 10 games, and are now at 9–6. PSU comes back home to host the 5–11 Southern Utah Thunderbirds on Thursday, Oct. 7 at 7 p.m. and the 5–7 Northern Arizona Lumberjacks on Saturday, Oct. 9.
After 890 days dormant, PSU’s women’s lacrosse team started practice again Monday, Sept. 27, on a cold, rainy day at Peter W. Stott Field. The team prepares to play again after its last season was put on hold because of the pandemic. The lacrosse team was founded in 2015 and plays D-II in the Northwest Women’s Lacrosse League (NWWLL), with other schools in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana. The Vikings are ranked 15th in the nation and played Gonzaga University in the D-II NWWLL championship in 2019.
Portland State Vanguard interviewed one of the head coaches for the season, Krista Busby, about what lacrosse is all about.
“We are a club sport which means we are really student-led so the students take care of all the leadership,” Busby said. The team is always looking for newcomers and holds practice at the Peter W. Stott field every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 6:40–8:10 p.m.
“We usually have three or four people who have never played before in any given year and I always love to see the growth over the year, so definitely no experience required,” Busby explained. Cleats, workout clothes and a mouth guard are all you need to bring to practice; the team provides everything else.
The season starts in late Jan. and ends in early April. If the team makes it to nationals, they play through April. The Vikings won’t have a schedule until roughly November or December. “We have to make our own schedules with all the other colleges,” Bosby said. When that schedule is released in the winter, all away and home games will be on the weekends. “Our games are always on the weekends, we like to make sure that our players can be students first and then athletes,” Bosby explained. “We’d never travel during the week because people would miss classes.” If you’re interested in joining, email the team at [email protected].
After losing a close game against Montana State, ranked #13, the Vikings will play Southern Utah which, like PSU, has a record of 1–3 and 0–1 in conference play. The Vikings played Southern Utah’s Thunderbirds for the last time as they plan to leave the Big Sky Conference for the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) next year.
PSU gave them a good Big Sky farewell, beating the Thunderbirds 20–13. Malik Walker scored the touchdown that secured the win over Southern Utah. Senior quarterback Davis Alexander went 18 for 23 and had one touchdown. Freshman running back Jalynne Mcgee averaged 11.1 yards per game and Beau Kelly led the team in receiving with 59 yards. The game was close through the first three quarters until the Vikings scored a touchdown in the fourth and stopped the Thunderbirds from scoring in the last minutes of the game in a three and out.
The Vikings now sit at 2–3, with wins over Western Oregon and Southern Utah, which is now 1–4 and 0–2 in conference play. With a 1–1 conference record, PSU is eighth in the Big Sky Conference. The Vikings travel to Moscow, Idaho, to take on the University of Idaho’s Vandals, who suffered a one possession 27–20 loss to University of California Davis. Idaho is 1–3 (0–1). PSU’s next home game is on Oct. 16, when the Vikings take on 0–4 Idaho State.
Freshman Abi Hoffman was named Big Sky Player of the Week after her hat trick, scoring three goals against the Sacramento State Hornets in a successful Big Sky Conference opener. Assisted by freshman Lucy Quinn, Hoffman took the opportunity and scored by the fourth minute to get an early lead on Sacramento State.
The Vikings won that match 4–2, with Hoffman scoring more goals than the Hornets’s whole team. The last goal of the match came from Sienna Higinbotham in the 75th minute assisted by Sofi Papastamos. Sophomore goalkeeper Sidney O’Billovich made five saves and the team looked to bring that same energy in Greely, Colorado, against Northern Colorado. The Vikings are currently 3–6–0 and 1–1 in conference play. With seven games left this season, PSU looks to see if they can move up the standings, and are currently sitting at sixth.
Baseball is attempting to make a comeback at PSU and they are looking for new members to start it up again after the club folded two years ago. The team practices every Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at Peter W Stott Center, right next to the Viking Pavilion. According to one club hopeful, Jared Fujiwara, if they can recruit enough players, the team can get uniforms and join a league. The Vikings plan on playing in a league in Portland, Oregon, since the team before them had to play in Salem, Oregon. If you are interested in joining or know someone who would be interested, email the team at [email protected] to bring back the club sport at PSU.
Women’s Water Polo
The water polo season begins winter term after a pandemic-induced hiatus. Practices will be held Tuesday and Thursday nights at 8–10 p.m. at PSU’s Recreation Center swimming pool. The Vikings will have three tournaments this winter and spring: one in February, March and April. The Vikings are in the Northwest division and play among other schools like University of Washington, Oregon State and Western Washington. The Vikings ended the 2019 season fourth in the standings. PSU is ready to be back in the water after over 900 days of patiently waiting. Just like the lacrosse team, the Vikings are always looking for new members. No experience required. To join the club or if you have any questions, email the team at [email protected].
Men and Women’s Cross Country
Both the men and women’s cross country teams moved up to twelfth in the latest U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association’s rankings after the Roy Griak Invitational and the Mike Johnson Classic on Sept. 24. PSU’s Katie Camarena and Jordan Macintosh received the Big Sky Conference Athletes of the Week award. The last time PSU athletes won both awards was 2006. The Vikings prepare for the Santa Clara Bronco Invitational in southern California on Oct. 16 and the Lewis and Clark Invite on the same day in Estacada, Oregon.
Softball is back Saturday, Oct. 2, as the Big Sky Conference champions host Clackamas Community College in a double header, returning to Gordon Faber Recreation Complex in Hillsboro, Oregon. On Oct. 9, the Vikings play Southwestern Oregon University in a double header. Mt. Hood Community College and Warner Pacific University will also be double headers. Vikings softball will be here every Saturday at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m.. The game against Mt. Hood Community College is on Friday, Oct. 8.
Men’s Soccer Club
The men’s soccer team, organized by PSU’s Recreation Center, is more on the competitive side. The team plays other clubs like Oregon State University and crosstown rivals University of Portland. Practices are held Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:20–10 p.m. Just like the women’s lacrosse team, matches are held on the weekends to not interfere with the students’ school lives. Practice is at the Peter Stott Center and the season starts Oct. 16. You can follow the team on instagram @psufc or contact them at [email protected] to try out. If you want to practice with them and not join the team, they would be more than happy to see you there.
Men and Women’s Basketball
The schedules have officially been released for PSU’s men’s and women’s teams. The men’s team starts off the season travelling to Corvallis, Oregon, on Nov. 9, looking to take their first ever win over the Oregon State Beavers. The Vikings made it a close game last year against the Beavers, but not enough to secure the win. PSU starts their conference play Dec. 2 in Pocatello, Idaho, to play the Bengals of Idaho State. Before conference play starts, the Pilots of University of Portland come to PSU’s campus on Nov. 23. The Big Sky Tournament starts March 9 in Boise, Idaho, where the Vikings look to win in order to have an automatic bid in the March Madness tournament, something they haven’t done since 2009.
The women’s team starts their first three games at home, playing Multnomah in a preseason game on Oct. 31. The Vikings will stay in Honolulu, Hawai’i for the Hawai’i Classic, where they will play Prairie View A&M and University of Hawai’i. Conference play also starts Dec. 2, when PSU will be hosting the Idaho State Bengals. On Dec. 12, the Pilots will cross the Willamette River into downtown Portland and play the Vikings for the first time since 2019. Their regular season ends on March 4, hopefully with a win against Eastern Washington.
PSU looks to become Big Sky Conference champions this year for the first time since the 2018–19 season when they went 25–8 and played Oregon in March Madness.