Pierce Pioneer

NWAC Volleyball Championship 2019

The Blue-Collar Team

On November 21st, 2019, the women’s volleyball team had not only captured their third consecutive Northwest Athletic Conference (NWAC) west region title, they were also able to solidify their spot in Pierce College Athletics history by being the only team to have back to back undefeated conference seasons. Their next goal would be set on capturing the NWAC championship.

The road to the mountain top began with going head to head against the Walla Walla Warriors which ended with a score of three to zero giving the Raiders their first win in the tournament.

On Friday November 22nd, 2019 Pierce College continued full steam ahead as they went on to beat Edmonds Triton’s with a score of three to zero allowing them to advance.

However, there is no journey without it’s adversities and obstacles. As Lane’s Titan’s would go on to beat the Raiders with a score of three to zero giving the women’s volleyball team their first loss in the tournament.

Saturday, November 23rdthe day before the championship game Pierce College’s Raiders would compete in three games. They went on to defeat Rogue’s Osprey’s with a score of two to zero, then followed up by a draw between them and Tacoma’s Titans.

In the end, it came down to the Raiders having to face off against Lane’s Titans one more time in a rematch that would avenge their previous loss. Winning with a score of two to zero, they were placed in the championship game.

Sunday, November 24th2019 The Pierce College Raiders would face off against Spokane Sasquatch. In a back and forth match that had the crowd constantly on their feet, it would ultimately be Spokane that would come out with the NWAC championship.

Coach Greg Finel of the women’s volleyball team looked back at this season as one for the books. When describing the journey getting to the NWAC championship he says “It was a long journey, hard fought every single day and watching the growth from the players from the first day to the last day, I wouldn’t change anything.”

When it came to the mindset going into the championship game against Spokane, Mr. Finel describes it as “It was just be us, we got to where we were by being us and I didn’t want them to change. I wanted them to enjoy the match, of course we wanted to win but it didn’t happen but I wanted them to enjoy every moment of that no matter what the outcome was going to be.”

When it comes to the experience of playing in the championship game Coach Finel says that “it was fun, I mean we were chasing history by going undefeated in the conference, we were chasing history by going undefeated at home for the last couple years, we were chasing history every time we stepped out on that court.”

Lastly when asked if Spokane had any weaknesses if any Finel responded with “Their confidence. We’re a blue-collar team, nothing for us was given. We didn’t come into the season with people thinking over the last four years we could be anything. It’s its Pierce College, We’re Lakewood, we’re Tacoma, we’re Steilacoom. We’re not a high-profile team from a high-profile area everything we got is blue collar we don’t take anything for granted.

The Players had an incredible run this past season and reflect on making it to NWAC championship. Karlee Lewis says “I think it’s amazing we made it that far honestly, we all wanted to do better than what we did last year. We did it.”

When asked about what moments stuck out the most Peyton Foster says “The first time we played highline after they beat us. I personally went into that match kind of scared because they beat us before then after we beat them it was joy and relief.”

When asked about how much closer the team is now than at the start of the season Ainslee Eberlee says “There was definitely a lot of tension but living together fixed that on its own.”

With the season, finally over this 2019 Girls’ volleyball team have left their mark. They captured their third consecutive Northwest Athletic Conference (NWAC) west region title. They also had back to back undefeated conference seasons. What’s left, an echo an echo that rings “Legacy. What is a legacy?It’s planting seeds in a garden you never get to see.”

20 Years in the Making

pierceraiders.com / Courtesy Photo
Ready, set, go! #132 Serin Caldwell (left) and #133 Tiffany Compton(right) Line up at the satring line moments before the first race in the Pierce College’s
Womens Cross Country history.

This year marks the beginning of an era as Pierce College introduces its first ever Women’s Cross Country Team

For the first time in Pierce College’s history, the women’s cross country team debuted on Aug. 31 after twenty years in the making. Daniel Richards, head coach of the team, helped orchestrate the meets and practices, playing a key role in getting this team off the ground.

Richards had conversations with Duncan Stevenson, director of District Athletics, which focused on strengthening the college’s athletic program. This is what led to Pierce adding women’s cross country to the program, which has been a goal of Stevenson for the past two decades. 

“Year one we just wanted to form a team,” said Richards. “Next year, I want to be able to compete in the NY conference; it’s a prestigious conference when it comes to distance running and cross country and I want Pierce to be in the conversation as early as next year.”

As far as how Pierce should be seen in the realm of cross country, Richards mentions that he hopes to make this a place to go and run for. “That’s my goal – competing for and winning conference championships in the next few years,” he said.

Currently the team is excelling as the season progresses, and students are excited that they have this new opportunity available to them. Serin Caldwell, a student on the team, expressed her thrill for being able to be a part of this. “I’ve always loved to run and now that Pierce College has a cross country team I think it’s a great opportunity for lots of girls to go in and do their passion.” 

Other athletes on the team, such as Tiffany Compton, have also expressed their excitement about their experience. “I enjoy my time very well,” said Compton. “I’ve done this since high school and took a two-year break, so it’s really nice getting back into the individual school schedule.”

When it comes to Richards experience coaching he says his favorite part is the comradery. “Meeting these girls with a passion for running, it’s a diverse group of girls and it’s cool seeing how running can bring them together. Sometimes you have a handful of people and you’re like ‘how is this going to form a team?’. It’s cool to see them bond over hard work and practices day in to day out, that’s the biggest reward.”

Over the season, the team has done a total of six games, including their most recent one on Nov. 18 at Saint Martin’s University. Each member has been improving and enjoying their time since the creation of this team, and are looking forward to continuing to do so.

For those that have an interest in learning more about the women’s cross country team, students can check out the sports athletic page on the Pierce College website. Students can look forward to the future of this new team as it becomes a competitive and sought out school to run for. It is here to stay.

Golf-Scramble Scholarship

Matt Wuscher / Staff Photographer
"The Home Course" in Dupont

Pierce College held their 26th annual Golf Scramble this year at the Home Course in DuPont.

The annual Pierce College Golf Scramble scholarship has come and gone for another successful turnout. The Pierce College Foundation has put on this annual event for the 26th time, with the purpose of raising money for students to help aid them while attending. Among the beneficiaries include those exploring fields that venture through math, science, engineering, plus many more. 

Aug. 15 met the fundraiser with clear skies and warm weather, setting the perfect stage to golf. This was the first year the fundraiser was held at the Home Course in DuPont. Nicole Ferris from the Pierce Foundation was nothing short of great in putting this fundraiser together, helping raise over forty thousand for the students of Pierce College.

With that, credit is also owed to the sponsors who played a major role in this event. Not just for donating their time to Pierce College, but for being more than excited to be a part of the event. Casey Debow of Right!Systems mentioned that it was a great environment, Debow having never missed an event to this day. The strong encouragement of sponsors is just another reminder that this brings the community together.

Matt Wuscher / Staff Photographer
Raider Bird makes special appearance

One of the biggest supporters of the annual Golf Scramble scholarship is chancellor Michele Johnson. Johnson showed much enthusiasm when mentioning how she is the only one to play in all 26 events over the years. She did not hesitate in saying that the students are what keeps her participating year after year.

There were many key positions played by participants to help make this a great first year at the Home Course. One key role included the staff of the Home Course such as Ashley Sihachack, an alumni of Pierce. Sihachack helped with the flow of the event, helping participants and Pierce volunteers by answering questions and providing directions.

Amongst that, Sihachack went on to mention that she saw an increase in the number of participants for the event. “The fundraiser was clearly well planned and provides a welcoming environment,” she added. “Not only that, but Pierce showed real initiative.”

Students of Pierce College are amongst the volunteers that participated in this fundraiser, including students Han Duong and William Wasson. Duong felt that the most important thing to tell those unaware of the fundraiser is that it’s a benefit for the students. For those interested in participating next year, Wasson adds that Student Life is the best way to get involved.

The 26th annual golf-scramble Pierce Scholarship fundraiser was definitely one for the books. Helping raise over forty thousand dollars for the students their students. Pierce College continues to show their support and ambition to help students along in their college careers. For more information, click here.

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