SMU Sports Update
Ryne Oshiro, Staff Writer
As spring sports are in full swing, complete updates around each current sport are a must. The COVID-19 pandemic altered the timing of the season’s sports, such as volleyball and soccer now being considered spring sports for the 2021 season. In a time where so much negativity has been thrown around, it is refreshing to see Saint Martin’s University sports back in action.
The SMU Golf teams are off to a hot start as both the men’s and women’s are currently finished with their second invitational in two months. The women are led by Jada French, who started the year off strong by shooting a career-low 78. The entire team went on to place 6th overall in the Northwest Nazarene Invitational. In the first week of April, the Saints struggled on a tough course as they placed 15th overall in the West Texas A&M Desert invite. As for the men’s side, Tyler Fitchett continues to help the Saints as best as he can after he posted yet another top-10 overall finish, in Arizona. Fitchett tied for 7th overall as an individual as he led the Saints after shooting 70-72-70 in the three rounds. Although finishing 8th overall in the tournament, the Saints were only one stroke behind Western Washington and Colorado Mesa. The women have one final tournament before the GNAC conference tournament, and the men have two more before preparing for their playoffs.
Michael Russell continues to emerge as one of the Saints’ best sprinters after he finished second twice in both the 100m and 200m dash. Russell ran his season-best 22.31 in the 200m and placed at the top for competitors in the division 2 level. The same happened when he finished his second race of the day in the 100m dash and again finished first for the division 2 runners and second overall. As for the women’s side, Cassidy Walchak-Sloan finished second overall in her 1500m event, with a time of 4:54.25 minutes. The Saints have three more invitationals before their GNAC Championship campaign, and if the past two invitationals have indicated anything, it would be that they are headed in the right direction.
Volleyball is sitting on a 1-3 record after beating Seattle Pacific University to start their year. Following the historic win against SPU, the Saints saw two players tabbed with GNAC offense and defensive players of the week. Kylie Coon provided the offense after achieving 13 kills in 35 swings and Giselle Benetti collected 11 digs in the first game of the week and then a team-high 23 digs in the second match. The lady Saints will look to regain their momentum as they look to get back to their winning ways. As of right now, there are currently nine scheduled games left on the calendar.
Softball is currently sitting at 10-12 overall on the year and 2-6 in conference play. The Saints offense is led by freshman third baseman Britney Patrick who as of April 5, 2021, holds a team-high .310 batting average and a team-high eight stolen bases in eight chances. Helping with the offense is redshirt junior Julia Lucas who leads the team with 13 runs batted in (RBI) and .400 on-base percentage (OBP). Lucas and Patrick look to provide the Saints with momentum as they head back into conference play against tough opponent Western Washington on April 10.
This article reflects statistics that were accurate as of 4/8 and some may have changed since the article was written.