Falling into place

Kerri-Leanne Taylor
Sports Editor

As you spent the first few days of the semester agonizing over which outfit to wear, wondering if you would like any of your professors, or even worrying about whom you would sit with at lunch time (so you would not look like an awkward loner), others amongst the campus community had much greater pressures to face.

Fall-season athletes have been diligently preparing for their respective seasons. Cross country, soccer, field hockey, volleyball and golf hope to make stellar impacts within the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) this year. Official practices have been under way for weeks, as each team hopes its hard work will lead to gaining a championship title.

Both the men’s and women’s cross country teams were ranked sixth in the preseason ODAC poll; however, they hope to vastly improve on these benchmarks. With only a few incoming freshmen, both teams are counting on their experience to help propel their championship dreams. The men’s program returns nine runners, and the women have seven veterans on their roster.

Senior runner Lex Higbee said “I’m feeling really optimistic. We may be a small team, but we have a lot of talent and hard workers. With only two freshmen it’s going to be an uphill battle to get the results we want—but that’s why we do hill repeats”.

The soccer program faces a different, yet equally significant challenge this season. Both the men’s and women’s soccer teams are no strangers when it comes to success, and they are “the ones to beat” this year. The women’s program is a consistent powerhouse, not only within the ODAC, but in the entire nation. The men’s side is also a force to be reckoned with and expect to translate last year’s ODAC championship success into another award-winning season. Opposing teams are sure to rally their greatest efforts when competing against the Marlins, so the soccer teams will have to perform at their best in every match they play.

Senior striker Isaac Arrington said, “I think this year’s team is going to be extremely solid. We want to make the college proud of us, and we reflect what Virginia Wesleyan is all about. We have swag, confidence, and we will definitely produce positive results.”

The field hockey team looks to continue the progress it made last season under new Head Coach Christina Restivo, who guided the Marlins to the program’s second-best finish since 2006. Fifteen veteran players return for the Marlins, led by eight seniors, who are likely to make a huge impact within the conference during their final year of collegiate play.
Senior defender Danielle Pellerin said, “Our team has been working hard since March for the upcoming season, and because of that this has been our best preseason yet. The returners and freshmen have meshed together well, and I expect great things for this season.”

A tough schedule lies ahead for the volleyball team, which begins its 2014 season with seven straight road games and only seven home games on its entire schedule. Numerous challenging match-ups do not intimidate the Marlins, however. The volleyball program has a strong winning tradition, and only expects to continue its success during this season.

Freshman Dare Wright said, QUOTE COMING

Golf also begins its 2014-15 campaign this fall, and the team has elevated expectations for what it wants to accomplish this year. The team has a balanced mix of veterans and newcomers, with seven of each.
Senior Kevin Wolfe said, “We have a group of young studs mixed with a few upperclassmen who are dedicated to changing the culture of VWC golf.” With the same positive outlook, sophomore Ian Chamberlin said, “I feel confident in the group of guys we have this year.”