Westmont Magazine Sports in Review
Warrior sports teams continue to be strong competitors at both the regional and national levels. The fall and winter sports seasons produced a number of highlights.
Both the men’s and women’s basketball teams got off to strong starts. The men’s team nearly upset crosstown rival UC Santa Barbara for the second year in a row, leading by three points with a mere four seconds remaining. But a 30-foot shot by the Gauchos tied the game and the Warriors narrowly fell to the Division 1 program in overtime.
The men won the Tom Byron Classic tournament title, defeating Aquinas College (MI) and Sioux Falls College (SD). With a 19-7 record late in the season, they hoped to repeat last year’s dramatic tournament championship and berth in the NAIA national playoffs.
In only its third season, the women’s team has shown tremendous improvement. An influx of talented first-year students led the Warriors in a home upset against Olivet Nazarene (Ill.), a team ranked #24 in the nation. Tied for second in the Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) late in the season, the Warriors had a 19-10 record. They beat Biola at home and Fresno Pacific at Fresno and expect to play in the conference tournament.
Under new head coach Warren Dickey ’84, the Warriors hope to improve their standing in the GSAC this year, finishing in the upper echelon. Eleven seniors return.
In early October the men’s and women’s teams each found themselves ranked #1 in the nation. That marked the first time in school history both programs were ranked #1 at the same time, a feat no school has accomplished since 1991.
The men finished conference play in third and made it to the regional final against GSAC rival and #2 ranked Azusa Pacific. Westmont tied the game in regulation and won in sudden-death triple overtime to win the NAIA Regional Championship and a spot in the NAIA National Tournament.
The Warriors entered the 16-team national tournament seeded 11th and upset sixth-seeded Roberts Wesleyan (N.Y.) in the first round before falling to third-seed Mobile (Ala.). The men finished the year 19-5 with a spot in the NAIA’s Elite Eight.
The women’s team continued their tradition of strong soccer, beginning the season as the top-ranked team in the country. A mid-season win over defending NCAA Division II national champions Franklin-Pierce (NH) 3-2 in overtime showed just how competitive the Westmont program has become.
The Warriors advanced to the NAIA regional final and lost to GSAC rival Azusa Pacific in overtime. The Warriors received an at-large bid to the 16-team national tournament in Miami, Fla., and easily won its first-round match over Trinity Inter-national (III.).
With a spot in the Elite Eight, the team lost to Madonna (Mich.) in a penalty kick shootout, ending their season at 15-3-3.
The 2000 women’s volleyball season began with hopes of returning to the NAIA national tournament for the third straight year. In the end, the loss of four seniors from the NAIA Final Four squad of 1999 was too much to overcome for a young Warrior team, which featured a freshman and two sophomores in the starting lineup.
Westmont finished with a 17-11 record overall and a 9-9 mark in the GSAC.
While the men’s cross country team ranked as high as 17th in the NAIA national polls, they finished third in the GSAC and narrowly missed an at-large invitation to the national meet.
With no seniors and seven first-year students, the women’s cross country faced a challenge. But they showed solid improvement and finished sixth at the GSAC championships.