Many Sierra Nevada College Ski and Snowboard team members kept on their skis but traded winter for the wake, and joined the SNC Water Ski Club for the last three tournaments.
”Almost all of us have been competitive freestyle, snowboard and alpine racers for the school, ” Club President Cory Johnson said. “That really helps us to prepare for the trick, jump and slalom event when we start competing again this spring.”
The Water Ski club attended their first spring event on March 28-29 at Newberry Springs, CA. The club drove six hours down south with a team consisting of three seniors; John Wilkins, Cory Johnson and a first-timer Spencer Fisch. Fisch joined the team two days before the tournament.
”Arizona State University did a phenomenal job hosting the spring opener tournament this past weekend,” Fisch said. ”I am new to the sport and felt really comfortable with the vibe and support given. I am more than excited for upcoming tournaments, especially the one hosted by UC Davis.”
Fisch landed all his tricks and two out of three of his long jumps on his first tournament ever.” He surprised every person on the side lines,” Johnson said. “People from other schools begin to wonder what we are having for breakfast since we are constantly landing our jumps on the hardest event.”
The club was formed last fall and has been growing since the first tournament in Chico, CA. The club currently only has two women competing, but is looking to recruit more for the last two spring tournaments.
“We have few alpine and freestyle team members joining us for the spring, but we hope that other students would be interested as well,” Johnson said. ”One of the biggest topics at the moment is that where are we going to be practicing and where do we get the funding.”
The water ski club drove to Chico on April 4-5 and practiced over the weekend with Chico Water Ski Team president who let the club train on his private lake. SNC Ski Team member Cannon O’Brien joined the club for the last two tournaments to enjoy competitive skiing not just on snow, but also on water.
”After I was done skiing on snow with our ski team and Branko, I thought it would be fun to spend some time skiing on water instead of snow,” O’Brien said. ”We went to Chico to train for our second tournament this upcoming weekend.”
The club competes in the National Collegiate Water Ski Association (NCWSA) tournaments and is skiing with athletes that have competed in a high level internationally. The next tournament will be hosted by Cal Poly at Ironwood Ranch in Arvin, CA. The club will drive to Arvin with 10 to 12 people on April 10.
By Noël Sabella
On Feb. 27-28, professional rock climbers Alex Puccio and Nina Williams held clinics for adults and children at High Altitude Fitness. A blackout occurred during the youth clinic resulting in almost a dozen climbers wearing headlamps and working together to finish the clinic in addition to a change in the members travel plans after the clinic.
This clinic has been highly anticipated by the staff, management, and climbing community at High Altitude Fitness.
“It’s an amazing opportunity. I’m always excited to learn new techniques but these girls are the best. I don’t think a lot of people understand how big of a deal it is to have them here in Incline teaching this clinic,” said Manager and climber Kyra Fitz.
The Sierra Nevada College ski and snowboard teams dominated during the week and were able to bring back home a lot of hardware. The teams won a total of eight team National Championship titles, 24 individual podiums and four overall team National Championship titles.
Prior to their Feb. 22 match up against UC Santa Cruz, the Sierra Nevada College Women’s Lacrosse Team was 1-1 with a win over Biola and a loss to UC Irvine at the Santa Barbara Shootout Tournament. However, after the tournament, the team faced some difficult changes.
“Nora (Fallon-Oben’s) last day coaching us was at the Santa Barbara Shootout. She had told us two weeks before that she got a job offer at Cornell University. Some girls took it harder than others but we made a point to realize it is a great opportunity for Nora and appreciate what she did for us by starting a women’s lacrosse program. Even with her leaving we are ready to keep the program going. Her energy still sticks with the team, but we have another great coach and a fresh start with Holly (Atkins),” said Freshman goalie Paris Toedt.
Since the Santa Barbara Shootout, Holly Atkins, the Assistant Director of Student Affairs at SNC, has assumed duties as the head coach of the women’s lacrosse team.
“At first I was disappointed about the coaching change because Nora originally recruited me and did so much for me to come here. However, now I have realized that Holly is a great coach and I am so grateful that she has stepped up to the plate. I have nothing but respect for her,” said Freshman Bianka Pacheco.
On Sunday, Feb. 22, SNC faced off against UC Santa Cruz with limited practices with their new head coach and lost 16-11. Despite the loss, the team had some success to build on.
“I think we might have played our best game of the season despite the score. We played as a team by sharing the ball, helping each other on defense and being supportive when we made mistakes. If we continue to build on these, we can continue to get a lot better,” said Freshman Kaitlin McKie.
On Saturday, March 7, the team will travel to Palo Alto, California to play Stanford, who is 4-1 on the season. With their new coach at the helm, the Eagles are optimistic about their chances going forward.
“The coaching change has been hard for us to adapt to as a team. Holly has a totally different coaching style then Nora but I feel good about (Holly) as our new coach. It gives the team a chance to come closer as we adapt through adversity together. I believe the change is good and great things are going to come out of this season,” said Toedt.
Applying for membership to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) will expand the number of Sierra Nevada College sports teams in the 2015 Fall semester.
“The students here are very athletic orientated, so I think this a great fit for them,” said Director of Athletics Branko Zagar. “We plan to join with six new teams.”
Men’s and Women’s cross-country, golf, and soccer teams will be the first added.
“I would play golf,” said Junior Max Irving. “I think that starting more sports teams will improve student opportunities.”
In the beginning of February, NAIA evaluation members visited the campus, concluding the last step to the application process.
“They were evaluating if we could facilitate teams,” Zagar said. “The NAIA board makes the final decision.”
In April, the NAIA will notify SNC’s athletic department on its pending acceptance to the organization.
The NAIA hosts athletic programs, called conferences, that mitigate sport competitions between member colleges. After receiving NAIA acceptance, SNC then applies for acceptance into the California Pacific (Cal Pac) conference.
SNC is unique in that it’s environment, campus and facilities can only pertain to certain sports. The Cal Pac conference also includes softball, and basketball.
“We don’t have any artificial turf baseball fields up here,” said Zagar.
“We have to pick the sports that fit us.”
The rest of the colleges playing in the Cal Pac conference are based in California, except one in Arizona.
“We’re going to be kind of late starting our new teams,” Zagar said. “We’ll be bringing in recruits along with currently interested students onto teams to be competitive.”
NAIA post this information on its about us page. (www.naia.org)
By Johanna Tikkanen
On Feb. 12, the Sierra Nevada College Woman’s Lacrosse team traveled to play their first game of the season in Santa Barbra at the Santa Barbara Shootout. The team took their first victory against Biola University with a score of 16-12. This was the Lady Eagles first game as a non-provisional team. Seven players scored goals and one of the star players, Bianka Perez scored a whopping four goals. In addition, Sophomore Miranda McFarland, Freshmen Lilly Bennett and Sophomore Macy Mannix each scored three goals.
“We were a new team last year, so it was kind of a practice year for us,” Sophomore Macy Mannix said. “It was an exciting victory, especially since it was the first game of the season.”
Despite the fact that SNC doesn’t have a field to practice on yet, it hasn’t stopped the team from preparing for the upcoming season. The team practices four times a week at North Tahoe Regional Park in Tahoe Vista, which is an approximately 20 minute drive away from the SNC campus.
On Feb. 13 the Lady Eagles faced UC Irvine at Storke Field. The team fought hard the whole game but were unable to take another victory for the weekend, and the game ended with a score of 9-18.
“I think that it was a great weekend even though we lost to UC Irvine,” Mannix said. “We gained self confidence from the victory against Biola and we will improve from the loss against UC Irvine.”
Even though the players were busy with the tournament, they also had some free time to visit the sites of Santa Barbara and bond as a team.
On Feb. 22 the Lady Eagles will be playing against UC Santa Cruz on their home field, and the team will be striving for another great victory for the season. Below you can find the schedule for the following months.
Sunday Feb 22 @ UC Santa Cruz
Saturday March 7 @ Stanford
Thursday- Monday March 12-16 @ Desert Tournament
Sunday April 5 @Humblodt State
Saturday April 11 @ San Jose State
Sunday April 12 @ Nevada
Five athletes from the Sierra Nevada College Snowboard team traveled to two countries and nine states in just 24 days, in order to compete in North American Cup and FIS (International Ski Federation) events. The trip brought many great results and experiences as well as an unfortunate injury for one of the athletes.
BY JOHANNA TIKKANEN
Before preparing for regionals at Sierra at Tahoe ski resort, the Sierra Nevada College Ski & Snowboard team competed on Jan. 24- 25 at Squaw Valley. The last years USCSA National Champions defended the title by winning every single USCSA race they attended.
On Saturday Jan. 24, Jaka Jazbec and Andri Arnason were the only two men competing for the SNC mens alpine team. Jazbec took a victory over teammate Arnason who placed second before Stanford’s Evan Eyuboglu, who placed third. The Women’s alpine team took places 1-5. Melissa Daniels took an impressive victory ahead of Emilie Lamoureux and Johanna Tikkanen who placed second and third respectively.
”The team has been working hard for months, and it is starting to pay off.” ski coach Branko Zagar said. ”The lack of snow hasn’t stopped us from training.”
The team practices at home mountain Diamond Peak, six days a week. ”Training at Diamond Peak has been good, except that sometimes we really have to be careful where we set the gates since there is not always enough snow to cover the ground.” Freshmen Mihaela Kosi said.
The snowboarders continued SNC dominance by winning in both men’s and women’s races on Saturday Jan. 24. at the Squaw Valley. slalom race. Junior Marco Gooding placed third right after University of Nevada, Reno athlete Reed January, who placed second. Ian Wieczorek, Cory Rudolph and Adam Lechner followed close behind at fourth, fifth and sixth spot. On the women’s side, Brooke O’Neill dominated the race by winning with almost ten seconds in front of UC Berkley’s Kimberlie Le, who finished in second place, and UC Davis’s Lauren Uchiyama, finishing in third.
The momentum kept going the next day when both the men’s and women’s teams dominated the giant slalom race. Jazbec and Arnason placed first and second beating the rest of the skiers with multiple seconds. The women also dominated the race by having all five skiers in top 5. Johanna Tikkanen took the victory in front of teammate Caroline Klaesson and Emilie Lamoureux. Melissa Daniels and Twwea Palic followed close behind in the fourth and fifth spots. The Alpine team travels on Feb. 4 to Snow King, Wyoming for the FIS Elite series competitions before focusing on regionals and nationals.
The next day the SNC men’s snowboard team filled the podium with Frederick McCarthy, Macky Leal and Marco Gooding placing first, second and third. A total of eight SNC athletes placed in Top 11. SNC athlete Brooke O’Neill continued her winning streak by also winning the women’s race. ”We have a lot of talented athletes on the team and I have no doubt that we are going to be more than ready for this years nationals,” snowboard coach Jon Cherry said.
A couple of SNC snowboard team athletes competed at a USASA slope style and rail jam competition on Jan 31- Feb 1 at Boreal. The first competition was slope style in which SNC athletes took top 3. Austin Smith took the victory in front of teammates Adam Lechner and Brian Walther who placed in second and third. Second competition was a back-to-back rail jam. Austin Smith won the first competition and Adam Lechner the second one.
The USCSA National Championships will be located at Mt. Bachelor, Oregon on March 1-7 where the SNC Ski & Snowboard team will be defending their title. Go Eagles!
Sierra Nevada College Men’s Lacrosse team started practice last September to prepare for their upcoming spring season. The team played five exhibition games and despite suffering their first loss in a year, were able to learn though their adversity. When asked about “fall ball”, Men’s Lacrosse Coach Bruce Meierdiercks said, “I think our fall season was a continuation of where we left off last year. In the fall we added some new people and they seemed to assimilate pretty well with the core group and picked up their intensity level to match the returning players. In a losing effort, we also learned how to come back from five goals down which we never had to do before. It was a good lesson to know we can do it. Just one goal at a time.”
Sophomore midfielder Dylon Fangmeier agreed with the coach, saying, “I think near the end of fall our teamwork on offense really got a lot better than it has been in the past. That will definitely carry on and get better in the spring.”
Both the players and coach are now looking forward to starting their second season together. The team starts practice on Tuesday Feb 3. At this time last year, snow left the team with no field to practice on and in the month of February they resorted to playing on the beach of Lake Tahoe. “I am excited to start practice because there is no snow. I am probably one of the only people up here that do not want snow but it will get us way ahead of where we were last year,” Meierdiercks said. Despite being able to practice now, SNC is still unable to schedule home games during the first half of the season because of the possibility of being snowed out. The first five games of the season will be spent traveling and the next five will all be held at North Tahoe Regional Park in Tahoe Vista where the team practices.
“It will definitely be harder to overcome five straight road games. If we had a few home games and traveled in between it would be easier but we are up to the challenge and I think we will take care of it,” Fangmeier said. Though traveling will be challenging, Meierdiercks believes it will be a necessary learning experience for the whole team. “Intensity level is going to sustain us through the whole season. We have a few more games this year including two big road trips and a couple of games back to back and we are going to have to learn how to play when we are tired because that is how you have to do it if you make the playoffs having four games in five days against very good competition. So this again will be a learning process we have to go through. We will learn a lot about ourselves maturity wise, if we can stay focused with a lot of distractions going on.”
An article “Taking a Look: WCLL” from the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association website previews the teams conference for the upcoming season. It says, “The only knock on this team from last year is that it was the program’s first and provisional year in the MCLA and the team was therefore ineligible for postseason play. Otherwise, 2014 was a sparkling example of what the Eagles can and will do when matched up against fellow WCLL teams.. When pitted up against Nevada, the to-be WCLL champs? The Eagles beat the conference’s title team by twenty one goals.”
This team will not be able to surprise teams like they may have last year but expectations remain high. “I am hoping that we have enough talent to get ranked nationally in the top ten,” Meierdiercks said, “We are going to have a tough schedule with our non-conference games. Southern Oregon was ranked in the top 25 nationally, we also have Concordia and Cal State Fullerton who were ranked 15 and 12 in the country respectively. If we can win our non conference games and take care of our own conference then we should get a bid to the national tournament in Orange County.” Performing well against quality competition will be necessary to put the team where they want to be; competing for a national championship. Fangmeier said, “Next season we expect a championship. That is what we are all shooting for. If we are all trying to get it, I believe we can get it done.”
|Mens Lacrosse Schedule|
|Sat Mar 7, 3:30 PM||@ Humboldt State|
|Sun Mar 8, 1 PM||@ Southern Oregon|
|Sat Mar 14, 2 PM||@ San Jose State|
|Wed Mar 18, 7 PM||@ Concordia|
|Sat Mar 21, 1 PM||@ Cal State Fullerton|
|Sat Mar 28, 1 PM||San Francisco|
|Sat April 4, 1 PM||UC Santa Cruz|
|Sat April 11, 3 PM||Saint Mary’s|
|Sat April 18, 2 PM||Pacific|
|Sat April 25, 2 PM||Nevada|