Sports have returned to campus! Students have returned to campus! Fans have returned to campus!
The gridiron Portland State Vikings started off the season traveling to Hawai’i and Washington. PSU put up a massive 35 points against University of Hawai’i’s Rainbow Warriors. The Warriors, however, caught the Vikings off guard by dropping 28 points in the first quarter, but the Warriors weren’t out of the woods yet.
Senior Vikings quarterback Davis Alexander went 23 for 47 and threw for exactly 400 yards, giving the team three of its five touchdowns. After week one, Alexander was fourth in passing yards in the Football Championship Subdivision.
PSU’s Darien Chase is a player the rest of the league needs to watch out for. In the game against Hawai’i, the freshman had six catches for 105 yards. Wide receiver Beau Kelly also made an impact in the game with six catches and 132 yards, gaining a touchdown for the team. The Vikings almost completed their comeback, outscoring the Warriors 28–14 in the second half of the game.
The Vikings’s first home game of the season started with a much needed win after an 0–2 start in matches against Football Bowl Subdivision teams. They played Division-II Western Oregon University. Davis Alexander led the Vikings to a close, low scoring 21–7 win, the lowest scoring game of the season so far. Nonetheless, a win is a win.
The Western Oregon Wolves had scored 35 and 24 against Hawai’i and Washington State University, respectively, two weeks prior. PSU’s Malik Walker led the team in rushing with 89 yards and a touchdown to help the Vikings win. Freshman wide receiver Nate Bennett showed out in that game with 6 receptions and 106 yards. Two touchdowns by Walker and Kelly in the third quarter solidified their win over the Wolves.
On Sept. 25, the Vikings began conference play, facing a red-hot Montana State University (MSU), ranked #13, in a white-out home game, where fans were encouraged to wear white to represent the Vikings. There was a tailgate and free pizza for PSU students along with free t-shirts for the first 300 fans to show their Viking pride.
Despite the large turnout for the Vikings, Montana’s Bobcats had a fanbase of their own, taking up half the stadium with blue and yellow. The Vikings showed confidence when they drew first blood with a field goal. MSU responded with a field goal, and PSU silenced them with a touchdown, giving them the lead of 10–9 at the half. Walker gave the Vikings one of two touchdowns, for a total of 17 points. Walker had 14 carries and 43 yards.
In the two receptions by Chase, he ran for 51 yards against the Bobcats. Bennett made four catches in the game and 45 yards, scoring the other touchdown for the Vikings. PSU couldn’t hold their lead and kept the game close until the fourth quarter. MSU won 30–17.
PSU starts conference play 0–1, but looks to turn it around against the Southern Utah University Thunderbirds. The Thunderbirds are 1–3 and lost their first conference game 50–21 to a strong Eastern Washington University, ranked sixth.
The next Vikings home game is on Saturday, Oct. 16, when they host the Idaho State Bengals. Before playing in Hillsboro stadium against the Bengals, the Vikings go on a roadtrip to Utah and Idaho to play the Thunderbirds and University of Idaho’s Vandals. While the Vikings are on the road, fans can root for them on ESPN+.
Vikings volleyball currently holds a record of 7–6, with a 5–2 record at home. The team, as a whole, has more kills than their opponents, at 554. The Vikings had a rough start to their non-conference season, after playing University of California, Los Angeles and University of Oregon and starting their season with a harsh 2–4 record.
The Vikings dominated against North Dakota State twice, and dominated Gonzaga University 3–1. PSU came back from 2–0 to win three in a row against North Dakota State in their rematch. In that undefeated tournament, PSU’s Makayla Lewis and Parker Webb made the PDX Classic All Tourney team. Junior libero Ellie Snook was awarded Big Sky Defensive Player of the Week after 64 digs in the PDX Classic.
The Vikings destroyed its rival, University of Portland’s Pilots, with a final score of three to one. The Vikings turned their season around early, going on to win six of their last eight games and are sitting at fifth in the Big Sky Conference.
The Vikings won their first away game against Idaho State University in a 3–1 comeback victory, winning three sets in a row after losing the first one and claiming their first conference win of the season. Outside hitter Makayla Lewis had 17 kills this game and 14 digs. Setter Ally Wada 42 assists and 12 digs. This is also PSU’s first of many potential away-game wins of the season.
The Vikings four-game road trip ends Oct. 7, when they host the Thunderbirds. They play Northern Arizona the following Saturday, both games are at 7 p.m. at the Viking Pavilion. All PSU volleyball games are on ESPN+, but this team is one you don’t want to miss this year if you’re on campus.
The Vikings on the soccer pitch have improved tremendously from last year with a 3–5 record. They also began conference play last weekend, hosting the Sacramento State Hornets and winning 4–2. They made 18 shots, eight of which were on goal. PSU’s first win came against Western Oregon University, with goals by Parker Reichner in the 53rd minute and Ani Jensen 11 minutes later to secure the win. Goalkeeper Enya Hernandez made six saves for the team.
The next win came against California State University, Northridge (CSUN), with goals from three different Vikings. A late goal by CSUN before halftime evened the match 1–1. Only a minute before the CSUN goal, PSU’s Sienna Higinbotham gave the team a penalty kick goal. Two minutes into the second half, Ani Jensen scored and Megan Cornett made sure that CSUN wouldn’t have a comeback, scoring one more goal assisted by Hannah Grady. PSU won 3–1 with Enya Hernandez and Sidney O’billovich making nine saves and the team outshooting CSUN 17–13.
The Vikings have a two-game trip to play against University of Northern Colorado and University of Montana on Oct. 1 and Oct. 3. After the trip, they return for two games on Oct. 8 and Oct. 10. The Vikings play their Pacific Northwest rival, Eastern Washington University, and then the Idaho Vandals.
The men’s cross country team is currently sitting at 14 in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association’s West Region men’s rankings. The Vikings showed out at the Viking Rust Buster at Westmoreland Park, here in Portland, Oregon. The men’s team came in second with 39 points. The women’s team came in third with 65 points, behind Oregon State University and University of Portland.
Redshirt senior Jordan Macintosh, a transfer from University of Minnesota, finished third in the 6K with a time of 17 minutes, 58.7 seconds. Senior Kenyan Abdi came in sixth with a time of 18:13.7. Senior Josh Snyder and junior Evan Peters came in ninth and tenth with times of 18:28.0 and 18:29.0, respectively, exactly one minute apart. Redshirt senior Katie Camarena finished seventh in the 4K with a time of 13:47.1, the only PSU representative from the top ten in the 4K.
On Sept. 24, the Vikings cross country teams split up and traveled to Minneapolis for the Roy Griak Invitational and to Monmouth, Oregon, for the Mike Johnson Classic. The men finished seventh and women finished eighth in Minnesota, running with competitive schools like Brigham Young University, ranked second in the Mountain Region, and Iowa State, ranked third in the Midwest Region.
Macintosh finished twelfth in the Gold 8K, with a time of 24:54.9. Snyder and Abdi had similar times of 25:15.2 and 25;29.4. The men’s team finished eighth in Monmouth and the women finished third, behind rival Eastern Washington University. Monica Salazar had a time of 22:47.6, coming in twelfth for the Viks in the classic.
The next meets are the Santa Clara Bronco Invitational on Oct. 16 in Santa Clara, California, and the Lewis & Clark Invitational in Estacada, Oregon.
Almost all PSU games and matches are available on ESPN+. If you aren’t watching them on the screen, come to the Pavilion to watch the PSU volleyball team execute yet another comeback win. Go to Hillsboro and watch soccer and football attempt to secure a win over other competitive schools. The Vikings have never been more hungry.