Westmont Magazine Spring Athletics

by Jacob Norling ’20, Sports Information Assistant

Women's Basketball team after opening round win

This March, WOMEN’S BASKETBALL celebrated one of the most historic senior classes in not only program history, but college history. Stefanie Berberabe, Iyree Jarrett, Sydney Brown, Gabriella Stoll and Kaitlin Larson have all been four-year Warriors, and the group’s list of accomplishments have gone unrivaled in their time at Westmont. Since their start in 2018, the Warriors have won three regular season GSAC titles, two GSAC Tournament Championships and, most notably, the 2021 NAIA National Championship. This season, the group went 27-5 while winning the GSAC Regular Season Championship. Berberabe, the reigning NAIA Player of the Year, was named Co- GSAC Player of the Year, while Jarrett was named to the All-GSAC Team for the third time. Also receiving honors was sharpshooter Laila Saenz, who was named the GSAC Freshman of the Year. Highlights of Westmont’s season included a win over rival The Master’s on January 29 and a win on senior night over Life Pacific on February 12. A week later, on February 19 in Rocklin, Westmont defeated William Jessup by a score of 72-55 to clinch the GSAC Regular Season Championship for the third time in the last four years. Westmont’s season reached a dramatic climax on March 12 in Murchison Gym. With under five minutes to play in the NAIA Opening Round Final, the Warriors trailed Science and Arts (Okla.) by eight points. Then, the Warriors ended the game on a 12-1 run, highlighted by a go-ahead 3-pointer from Jarrett, and punched their ticket back to Sioux City, Iowa, for the Final Site of the NAIA National Championships. It was only fitting that for such a historic class, their final game in their home gym ended in celebration and a net-cutting ceremony. The following week, in Sioux City, the Warriors would eventually fall in the Round of 16 to Central Methodist. Following the conclusion of the tournament, both Berberabe and Jarrett were named NAIA First Team All-Americans. Westmont was the only school in the nation to have multiple members represented on the First Team. Coach Kirsten Moore’s team has always embodied what it means to be a Warrior, in every meaning of the word.

Nate Meithof playing basketball
Nate Meithof

While MEN’S BASKETBALL rode a roller coaster of emotions in the 2021–22 season, the group ultimately ended the season with an admirable run in the GSAC Tournament, where they upset a team that went on to reach the NAIA National Tournament Semifinals. Westmont’s year started with the team’s most impressive run of the season, as the Warriors started 9-0 overall and 2-0 in GSAC play. The club’s eighth win to start the season might have been the sweetest, when Westmont defeated rival The Master’s at home to open GSAC play on November 20. It was the first time since 2016 that Westmont had beaten The Master’s. When the team got to the GSAC Tournament, they made sure to make the most out of their opportunity. First, Westmont defeated Life Pacific in the first round of the Tournament, and then, Westmont had their moment in the sun when they defeated top-seeded Arizona Christian to reach the GSAC Tournament Semifinals. It was in the semifinals that Westmont fell to the eventual tournament champion. Individually, the highlight for Westmont was the play of freshman Nate Meithof, who was named the GSAC Freshman of the Year. Meithof led the conference in scoring, averaging 18.5 points per game and becoming the first Warrior to win the scoring title in 10 years.

Women's swimming

In their third season as a program, WOMEN’S SWIMMING had its most successful campaign yet led by Coach Jill Jones Lin. In February, at the Pacific Collegiate Swim Conference Championships in St. George, Utah, the Warriors finished ahead of all NAIA opponents while setting five individual records. The highlight of the team’s season came at the beginning of March in Columbus, Georgia, where the club competed in the NAIA National Championships. Jones’ team had six Warriors take part in competition at nationals, and every single one of the women flourished. All six competitors earned NAIA All-American status becoming the first members of Westmont Swimming to earn the title in program history. Morgan Bienias, Bridget Hoth, Ella Chaisson, Olivia Garrison, Ella Muench and Rian Lewandowski are Westmont’s first NAIA All-American swimmers. Overall, at nationals, Westmont ended up as the ninth-best team in the nation.

Zola Sokhela passes to Adam King
Zola Sokhela passes to Adam King

At the beginning of March in Brookings, South Dakota, head coach Russell Smelley had 14 Warriors compete in the NAIA TRACK AND FIELD Indoor National Championships. Overall, Westmont was well-represented at the podium, as the Warriors came home with 12 separate NAIA All-American honors. On the men’s side of things, Zola Sokhela received two All-American honors, one with a second place finish in the men’s 1000-meter race and another after a third place finish in the men’s mile. Westmont’s Jack Vanden Heuvel also earned All-American status in the men’s 1000 after an eighth place finish. In the men’s 4x800 relay, a quartet of Warriors (Ben Bodine, John Baker, Andres Leon and Adam King) became All-Americans following a seventh place finish. For the women, Anneline Breytenbach earned an All-American honor in the women’s mile after finishing the race in seventh place. Then, Breytenbach was joined by three of her teammates in the finals of the distance medley relay. With a fourth place finish, Kari Anema, Jaiden Rodrigues, Abigail Hundley and Breytenbach earned All-American honors. The Warriors’ next chance to compete for national honors will come in late May, when the NAIA Outdoor National Championships take place in Gulf Shores, Alabama.

Bryan Peck pitches
Bryan Peck pitches

Following an opening day loss to 19- time NAIA Champion Lewis-Clark State, Westmont BASEBALL went on the program’s most successful run in its history. Beginning on January 28, Westmont ran off a program record 17-game winning streak that spanned nearly a month. In the middle of the winning streak came a historic highlight, when the Warriors celebrated the 350th win in the career of head coach Robert Ruiz. An individual highlight during Westmont’s run was the debut of freshman Bryan Peck, who has taken the NAIA by storm. Peck began his season with five no-hit innings against Lewis-Clark State, and followed up his outing with seven no-hit innings against Benedictine- Mesa the following week. The freshman has continued to prove himself through conference play, as he posted an ERA of 2.65 and a record of 5-1 through his first eight starts. The Warriors, who started 29-4 and 17-3 in conference play, will approach the possibility of breaking Westmont’s single season win record towards year’s end. The current record for the Warriors is 42, set by Ruiz’s 2016 ballclub. The main goal for the Warriors is chasing their first trip to the NAIA World Series in Lewiston, Idaho, at the end of May.


Westmont was happy to host the reigning Major League Soccer Cup Champions, New York City Football Club (NYCFC), for several days. Best of luck to the team on their season!