Dons Sports Around the Hilltop

The Dons women’s basketball team starts their season on Nov. 3. Pictured from left to right: Sara Denham, Karolina Nova, Maria Petkova. Photo courtesy of Chris M. Leung/Dons Basketball

Women’s soccer lost this weekend despite efforts from the Dons. The Dons’ defense stood strong for the first 20 minutes of the game, until the Pilots broke the ice, after a long-range goal. At the end of the first half, the Dons were down 2-0. The Dons kept their offensive attack tight, as star midfielder Marissa Vasquez scored the Dons’ lone goal in the 74th minute to score her team-high, sixth goal of the season. Vasquez’s goal brings her one goal shy of her career-high seven goals in a season, which she set last year. Despite their efforts, the Dons fell 2-1 to the University of Portland. The women’s soccer team sits fifth in the WCC standings.

Dons cross country began their postseason in Malibu as multiple Dons were named to All-WCC teams. The women’s and men’s teams are coming off regular-season performances in which they finished in second and fourth place at the Bronco Invitational. Riding high on their momentum, both teams looked to take home the gold. Graduate student Yasmine Abbes continued her stellar season by finishing fourth out of 147 runners, clocking a 19:59.4 in the 6,000-meter event. This was Abbes’ first time finishing that event in under 20 minutes this season. Nátalie Hluší and Grace Copeland also performed well finishing in 11th and 19th place. Abbes was named to All-WCC first team and Hluší was named to All-WCC second team. The women finished fourth out of eight teams. The men’s team was led by Jacob Cann and Ed Buck, who both finished in the top five with Caan finishing second and Buck finishing fourth out of 150 competitors. Cann finished with a career-best 23:20.0 and Buck finished with a season-best 23:29.0.  Both Cann and Buck were named to the All-WCC first team. The men closed the season ranking fifth out of eight teams.

The women’s volleyball team returns to action on the Hilltop at War Memorial Gym on Nov. 2 facing off against the University of Pacific at 7 p.m.

Dons Athletics were in full swing this week as teams approach the end of West Coast Conference (WCC) play. Women’s volleyball and soccer were on the road in the Pacific Northwest with the volleyball team facing off against the Gonzaga University Bulldogs, while women’s soccer took on the University of Portland Pilots. The USF Cross Country team kicked off the WCC Championship in Malibu.

Women’s volleyball opened the match against the Bulldogs with a 6-0 run, led by strong offensive performances from Kennedy Muckelroy, Hayden Goodman, and Maria Petkova. The Bulldogs applied pressure, going on a run of their own, and closed the lead to 6-5. Despite their push, the Dons secured the first set 25-16. Heading into the second set, graduate transfer student Karolina Nova made the first kill of the set helping the Dons open up a 5-2 lead. Soon after, six-foot-three sophomore Lindsey Olendorf sparked a 5-0 run, securing the second set for the Dons, while also finishing with a team-high 12 kills. The Dons and the Bulldogs fought hard in the third set. Both teams sat tied at seven a piece, until the Bulldogs pulled away on a 6-2 run, leading the set at 12-9. In an electric exchange of points, the Dons came back down by three points to level the set at 20-20. After a kill by junior Hayden Goodman, the Dons were at match point with the score at 24-22,  after a block assist from Goodman and Aylen Ayub the Dons won the third set and swept the Bulldogs, bringing their record to 10-13.

Students can attend all home games for free with the use of their One Card.

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