September 25, 2016

The Webster Sports Roundup: A look at the season so far

Volleyball

The volleyball team started 2-0 for the first time since 2011, but have just one win since.

The women’s volleyball team has enjoyed success in St. Louis, but have managed only one victory in their previous five games.

Women’s Head Volleyball Coach Merry Graf said the losses provided teaching moments, though she felt the team had higher expectations for some of the games.

“I think that we would all walk away feeling like we underperformed,”

Graf said.

The team made a trip to Terre Haute, Ind., which was a homecoming of sorts for the team-leader in kills (87), senior Sam Kersting. Kersting attended Indiana State University before she transferred to Webster and still has friends in the area.

“For me, its my favorite tournament,” Kersting said. “It’s kind of like going home for me, but we didn’t win like we wanted to. But we learned a lot about our team.”

 

(Video by Sam Masterson)

Men’s Soccer

A victory over the eleventh-ranked team in the country started the men’s soccer team on the right foot, but they have since taken a step back.

The win against Wartburg College on Sept. 6 made them 2-0-1, but they have not won since.

On a recent trip to Naperville, Ill., Senior Mike Wells banged in three goals in a 4-4 tie against North Central College.

Webster is now 2-4-1 on the season, and Men’s Head Soccer Coach Mike Siener said they are still trying to find their way.

“I think we’re coming together,” Siener said. “So were just trying to focus on the process of getting better and the process of getting it all together. And I think we’re getting better.”

 

Women’s Soccer

Since their opening day loss to Calvin College on Aug. 29, the women’s soccer team had conceded just one goal, kept three clean sheets and remained undefeated at home until a 3-0 defeat to the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology on Sept. 13.

Senior goalkeeper Jessica Davis has split time with freshman Rachael Ainsworth in goal this season. On the offensive side, junior Lauren Pratt leads the team with five points (2 goals and 1 assist)

 

Cross-Country

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Jason Hickson (center) races in the Hanover Invitational on Sept. 6. Hickson would go on to win the event. Photo Contributed by Cencio Boca/ Webster Athletics

Despite team struggles early in the season, Senior Jason Hickson posted the fourth individual victory in Webster University history.

Hickson finished ahead of 60 other runners to claim the individual victory in the Hanover Invitational.

Hickson said he ran through tough conditions, high humidity and a wall of exhaustion at 7,000 meters to win the 8k race held on Sept. 6. Head coach Dan Graber said he hopes the individual win will help his young team learn the value of hard work.

“Jason wasn’t in the universe of winning races at some point last year, but he put in a lot of work over the summer to get where he is now,” Graber said. “And I hope that rubs off on some of the younger guys.”

The performance earned Hickson St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC) player of the week honors for men’s cross country athletes. Hickson described the honor as the “cherry on top” of a great week.

 

Golf

Webster’s Golf team has begun their defense of the SLIAC conference championship with good early season results.

Their first tournament was on Aug. 29 and 30 in Janesville, Wi. The Gorloks finished third of 12 teams in the Culver’s Edgewood Classic. Head Coach Andrew Belsky said despite the high ranking they could have done better.

“The first event, we proved what we can definitely do,” Belsky said. “And other than a stretch of about six holes we should have won it.”

With help from sophomores Justin Onken and Jon Hughes, who finished fourth and seventh respectively, the team finished just five shots behind the winners, Edgewood College.

In the second event, Webster finished 11 of 22 schools at the Transylvania Invitational in Lexington, Ky. The team struggled on the University Club of Kentucky Golf Course as they normally do, according to Belsky.

“We’ve gone there for seven or eight years in a row now, and I don’t think we’ve ever had a single good round there,” Belsky said.

The team was led by junior Brodie Dakin, who shot a second round 72 and finished tied 12 of 119 players.

The team had three more days in Wisconsin with the War-Lok Cup Matches on Saturday, and the Wisconsin Lutheran Fall Invitational on Sunday and Monday. The team was ten strokes off the leader at the Fall Invitational, good for second place in the tournament.

 

Women’s Tennis

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Marissa Lewis, then a freshman, returns a ball across the court during an April 2012 practice at the Webster Groves Tennis Center. PHOTO BY VICTORIA CASWELL.

Webster freshman Monica Behrle and senior Marissa Lewis will square off in the finals of the St. Louis College of Pharmacy Invitational next week.

Behrle and Lewis won their respective brackets but decided not to play each other on Sept. 8. Instead, the championship match will be decided sometime next week, according to Lewis. The match was postponed in part due to inclement weather.

“We haven’t played yet because of the rain and the number of matches we played, so I think we’re probably going to play this week,” Lewis said.

To her recollection, Lewis has never played against a teammate in a competitive match.

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