Fall 1996—what a season for the Warrior women! Cross-country finished third in the nation, soccer advanced to the national tournament, and volleyball placed fourth in the GSAC.
Cross-country’s Miriam Niednagel captured All-American honors for the fourth year in a row with a 19th place national finish (Miriam is a nine-time All-American including indoor competition); reigning GSAC champion and All- American Julie Hassan finished 18th; and Brynn Abby finished third for the Warriors. Annaka Gustafson, Lindsay Dubose, Amy Bergenski, and Heather McDowell rounded out the record-setting team.
With a 15-4-1 season record, women’s soccer captured the GSAC championship and entered the NAIA national tournament ranked number one. But a 0-0 tie in the first game and a 1-0 loss in the second knocked them out of the tournament early. Katie Gardinier was named GSAC Player of the Year and NAIA Player of the Week in October, and goalkeeper Debbie Trujillo received honors as a GSAC Player of the Week. The team included several strong first-year students.
Women’s volleyball finished fourth in the GSAC and fifth in the Far West Region. Carrie Tinkham and Dana Nehrenz were named both GSAC and Far West Player of the Week, and Carrie was also named NAIA National Player of the Week. This season, she tied Westmont’s record for the most kills in a game: 25. “The Santa Barbara News-Press” also recognized Corrie Wilhelm as Athlete of the Week. The Warriors ended their season with a 16-16 record, including a win against the nationally ranked California Baptist College.
Three Warrior men represented Westmont at the cross-country nationals this year: team captain Matt Thomson, Noey Meador, who finished 19th and became the first Westmont freshman male to earn All-American honors in cross-country, and Kevin Sturm.
The nationally-ranked men’s soccer team ended an excellent season with a record of 14-5-2. Ben Hook was named GSAC Co-player of the Year.
A building year for Warrior basketball is now underway with a number of new players on the roster.