Redhawk Winter Sports Preview


Javier Plascencia

Aaron Nettles matching up against Utah Valley’s defense on Saturday night at the Redhawk Center.

Winter quarter signals not only the start of a new decade, but the continuation and start of new seasons for a number of Seattle University sports teams.

Seattle U Men’s and Women’s Basketball, Tennis and Swimming are continuing their seasons while golf, track and field, baseball and softball are getting ready to start their 2020 seasons in the coming days and weeks.

The Seattle U Basketball teams have concluded their non-conference schedules and are beginning Western Athletic Conference (WAC) play. Both teams have similar records at this point in the season, with the men currently at 9-9 and the women 7-9.

The Seattle U Men’s Basketball team have especially challenged themselves in their non-conference schedule, losing their first six road games against quality teams such as the University of Washington, Washington State University, Syracuse and St. Mary’s.

The Redhawks managed to bounce back from this and have started the new year with two back-to-back blowout wins. The Redhawks have limited turnovers with defensively sound starts, enabling the offensive side to find mid-game success.

Redshirt Junior Terrell Brown continues to stand out, leading the team in scoring and assists with 20.4 points per game and 4.6 assists per game while remaining second in rebounds. Another key player has been Senior Morgan Means, who has surpassed the 1000 point mark in his Redhawk career.

The Seattle U Women’s Basketball team has had its ups and downs with the high point being a four-game winning streak heading into winter break.

Forward Joana Alves, along with Sophomore Guard Courtney Murphy, have provided the majority of scoring for the 2019-20 team that has already eclipsed their win total from last year.

With many conference games left, both basketball teams still have the chance to end the season strong and make a run at the conference title.

The men’s and women’s tennis teams began their spring season and are hoping to continue to improve after a promising fall.

First-year Jade Lancaster on the women’s team started to emerge as a potential star at the end of her fall season by becoming the first-ever player in team history to make it to the second round of the ITA Northwest Regional Championships in October.

Seattle U Swim team will continue their season into 2020, having already had some strong performances from many swimmers thus far.

The women’s team has performed notably well, as they have won all but two of their meets—often by landslide final scores—and their two meet losses have come by very narrow margins.

The men’s swim team has also had success evidenced by nine swimmers qualifying for the 2020 USA Swimming Futures Championships at the Husky Invitational, which was their final meet of 2019. Junior Jack Neton, Senior Greg Raper and First- year Will Corona have emerged as swimmers to watch.

Other sports such as baseball, softball and track and field are gearing up for their seasons that start in the next couple of weeks.

The softball team is looking to build off last year’s record-breaking season that featured a school record in wins, the WAC title and the program’s first ever appearance and win in the Division I NCAA tournament.

Head Coach Geoff Hirai previewed his team’s upcoming season, noting short and long term goals.

“Our goals are to get better every day. That is something ingrained in our culture of working and conditioning hard,” Hirai said. “Our culture being family-based is a large part of what makes us win. We want to get to the next step which means get back to regionals, super-regionals, and then the world series.”

The team looks forward to a competitive season, especially with the return of multiple upperclassmen.

“We have a really tough schedule, so we are primed to make that jump to the next level and will be ready to roll when WAC play starts,” Hirai said.

Track and Field athletes also have big goals for their upcoming season that begins in just one week.

Sophomore track and field sprinter Zach Gonzalez noted personal and team goals, both of which will contribute to bettering the Redhawks at the WAC Championships.

“My goals for the season are to PR [personal record] in my main event, which is the 400 meters. My big goal that I hope to achieve, but will take a while to get, is to break the school record in the indoor and outdoor 400,” Gonzalez said. “Also, I want to help my team score at conference and stay healthy all year.”

Gonzalez also reflected on the team’s specific relay goals and new additions to the team.

“Our relay teams can do really well this year both indoor and outdoor and definitely break some school records. We have a bunch of new talent as well as returners so we are looking good this year.”

Overall, 2020 is shaping up to be a promising one for the Redhawks as a multitude of teams continue to prepare for the ultimate test of WAC Conference and beyond.

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