Fall sports approach the midpoint of the season

Said Nonoal

It is officially October, and that means that the fall athletics seasons are in full swing, as Augustana athletic teams are approaching the midpoint of their seasons.

The men’s water polo team has seen success in its fall season so far. Recently the boys have had matches in Texas, Colorado and Pennsylvania. Despite the heavy travel, the men’s water polo team currently holds a 9-5 overall record with a 5-0 conference record. The team is now entering a three-weekend phase without any matches, and are looking to prepare for the Division Three (DIII) Eastern Championship Tournament, which will determine which teams will qualify for the DIII Water Polo Nationals Tournament. 

“We’re coming out of three straight weekends of pretty significant travel. A lot of mileage logged in terms of our travel. Sometimes it can be tough to stay fresh,” Head Coach Ryan Pryor said. “Our goal is to qualify for nationals and win an MPSF (Mountain Pacific Sports Federation) DIII Championship.”

In women’s volleyball, the team is coming off a split at home with a loss against Grinnell and a win against Loras on Oct. 1. The team currently holds a 14-5 overall record and a 3-1 conference record. The team is looking to become a more consistent and more confident unit as they enter a tough part of their schedule and three divisional matchups.

“Our biggest challenge is ourselves sometimes, and just understanding how we can be a really strong team and gaining that confidence everyday,” Head Coach Kelly Bethke said. The team is approaching the rest of the season one match at a time.

In cross country, the men’s and women’s teams are a combined program, meaning they have a combined coaching staff, which has strengthened the team bond. The women’s team has seen a surge of improvement throughout the season posting various personal records across multiple meets.

One of the team’s biggest challenges has been runners adjusting to new roles this year. 

“Guys and gals who might have been in the top seven or eight runners, but not in the scoring positions are now in a position where they might be third or fourth and that feels a little bit different,” Coach Jake Shaver said. 

Both the men and women are coming off of the Brissman-Lundeen invitational and will return to the same course on Saturday, Oct. 15 for the Augustana Interregional Invitational.

In football, the men currently hold a 2-2 record as they look to snap a two game losing skid to improve to 3-2 against Milkin on Saturday, Oct. 8.

In women’s soccer the women currently hold a 6-3-2 overall record going 1-0-1 in conference matchups. The women will look to continue their two game winning streak against number one conference rival Illinois Wesleyan. 

Though the fall season has only now approached its midway point, many Augustana teams look to be extremely competitive in the upcoming weeks as the championship weeks emerge.