Pacific’s top athletes to look out for this fall

Pacific’s top athletes to look out for this fall

As we approach the start of the fall semester and try to refresh our brains in preparation for a new workload of units, it can become difficult to get back into the swing of things.

This process can be even more difficult for Pacific’s student-athletes, who have undoubtedly been busy preparing their bodies for the wear and tear of another season.

Athletes from 19 different Pacific squads are shaping up to compete in 2015-16, and many of those athletes will be looking to build on strong performances from last year. Here are just a few of the Tiger athletes who showed great potential in 2014 and are looking to continue that success this season.

Tristan Blackmon ‘18 of the Pacific men’s soccer team proved he belonged early in his freshman year, as he had an assist in his first game and an unassisted goal in his third game. He ended up starting 17 games and finished with eight goals on the year, which was the greatest amount in the West Coast Conference. The Las Vegas native was awarded Second Team AllWCC honors, as well as a spot on the WCC All-freshman team.

You will definitely want to make it out to the pitch here at Pacific on Sunday Aug. 23 to see Blackmon and the talented men’s soccer squad take on UC Santa Cruz.

Lexi Elman ‘17 of the Pacific volleyball team followed up her spectacular freshman year with another outstanding season in 2014 as a sophomore. The team’s top outside hitter led the Tigers with 377 kills, 434 points scored and 28 aces.

Elman shined in a Sept. 29 match against the 21st ranked Loyola Marymount team, finishing with 22 kills in the win against the previously undefeated LMU. That performance resulted in a WCC Volleyball Player of the Week nod. Elman was named as an Honorable Mention All-WCC performer at the end of the season.

The volleyball team will begin their 2015 season at the NIU Invitational on Aug. 28.

Junior Ben Stevenson ‘17 looks ready to lead the Pacific men’s water polo team after a great sophomore campaign in 2014.

The 6-foot-4, 185 pound attacker/ driver led Pacific with 54 goals and had 16 multi-goal games. He earned accolades at the end of the season that included All-American honors and Honorable Mention All-Mountain Pacific Sports federation honors.

Stevenson’s season was highlighted by his first five-goal game in a victory over UC Davis in the Kap7 NorCal Classic. The Water Polo team will begin their season on Sept. 5 against California; their first home game will be on Oct. 17 against UC Irvine.

Pacific cross country senior Becky Grabow ‘16 is coming off of a spectacular season in which she posted the second fastest individual time in Pacific history at the WCC Championships on Nov. 1. Grabow finished the race with a time of 21:33, which helped the Tigers finish with the best overall team time in Pacific history.

Grabow and fellow cross country standouts Mia Knipper ‘16 and Lindsay Wourms ‘16 were named the Pacific Athletics Competitors of the Month in October of last year. Grabow also finished first overall in the 1500-meter race at the Chabot/CSU East Bay Legacy Invite in April, posting a time of 4:48.32.

The women’s cross country team will begin their season on Sept. 5 at the Big Wave Invitational in Honolulu.

Our Tiger student-athletes will be doing great things this year. Be sure to check out the teams’ schedules; you don’t want to miss out on any home games!

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Zach Withrow

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