W Club Newsletter: May 2012

News Release Date:
Wednesday, May 16, 2012


 Greetings from Whitman College Athletics!

Athletic Director
Looks Back
at Outstanding Year
for Whitman Sports

Dear W Club Members - What an outstanding year for Whitman College Athletics! I am so proud of our students
and coaches.


We are striving to build an excellent and highly competitive athletic experience for our students.

Our goal is to attract great students and provide them with highly competitive sport experiences that add quality and value to their Whitman educations.

Whitman College has a renewed commitment to this goal and is extremely grateful to be partnering with members of the W Club to accomplish this goal.

How are we doing?

I am proud to say that as we prepare for commencement this weekend we have just welcomed back three teams from their respective NCAA championship events:


* Men’s Tennis               * Women’s Tennis              * Women’s Golf

Andrew La Cava

The men's tennis team and Northwest Conference Coach of the Year Jeff Northam, after rising in the rankings to No. 1 in the West (No. 8 in nation) and winning a fifth straight NWC title, made a sixth straight trip to the NCAA championships. They earned a first-round bye before falling in the second round to NC Wesleyan's roster of international players.

Alyssa Roberg

The women's tennis team and coach John Hein busted into the NCAA national rankings by season's end and made their first-ever appearance in the NCAA championships. They upended UC-Santa Cruz, John’s alma mater, in the first round before losing in the second round to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.

While superlative seasons for both tennis teams are over, competition continues for at least of three of the players.

Northwest Conference Player of the Year Alyssa Roberg, a junior, and first-year teammate Courtney Lawless, who was voted to the All-NWC First Team, earned spots in the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships slated for next week in Cary, N.C.

Men’s NWC Player of the Year Andrew La Cava, a sophomore, also earned an invitation to the NCAA Singles Championships while senior Conor Holton-Burke and junior Matt Tesmond are alternates for the doubles championships.

Please click here for all of the men's and women's all-conference tennis honors.

Whitman women's golf team

A young women’s golf team, under coach Skip Molitor, shot its way into sixth place after round one of last week’s 72-hole national championship tournament. The Whitties eventually placed 12th among the 19 best NCAA Division III teams in the country.

Junior Tate Head and sophomore Katie Zajicek received all-region honors, as given by the national golf coaches association.

Sophomores Catelyn Webber and Elaine Whaley, along with first-year teammate Kelly Sweeney, joined Zajicek in receiving All-NWC honors as the team won its final regular season tournament, earning a share of the NWC title and advancing to nationals. Molitor was named NWC Coach of the Year.

Meanwhile, freshman Scott Martin made the All-NWC First Team, even though the men's golf team -- in the second place in the NWC standings headed to the final tournament -- struggled a bit in that final competition to fall short of a national tournament berth.

Scott Martin

Whitman's spring success came fast on the heels of a winter sports season that again saw Whitman celebrating an array of stunning triumphs.

The women's basketball team and coach Michelle Ferenz charged into the NWC post-season tournament for the third time in four seasons; they also came within a single point of handing undefeated champion George Fox its only loss of the season.

Jenele Peterson

Senior point guard Jenele Peterson, who led Whitman in scoring and the NWC in assists, earned All-NWC honors for the fourth time in four seasons.

The men's basketball team, under coach Eric Bridgeland, tied for second place in the NWC for a second straight season, advancing again to the post-season tournament. They also beat Whitworth in Spokane for the first time in two-plus decades.

Along the way, senior forward David Michaels worked his way to a mesmerizing season, earning NWC Player of the Year honors as the opening salvo in a string of post-season awards.

David Michaels

Michaels also netted All-American honors from the D3hoops.com website and played in the National Basketball Coaches Association's All-Star Game (click here), and then became the first NCAA DIII player in years to get an invitation to the highly selective Portsmouth Tournament.

The men’s and women’s swimming teams, under coach Jenn Blomme, continued their assault on the upper echelons of the NWC, breaking 28 school records while finishing second (men) and third (women) at the conference championships.

Karl Mering

At that event, junior Galen Sollom-Brotherton became the first-ever Whitman athlete to earn the men's Outstanding Swimmer of the Meet honor -- a feat accomplished one year earlier on the women's side by Katie Chapman as she capped her sophomore year.

Blomme was named NWC Coach of the Year for men's swimming, and Whitman also qualified its first-ever men for the highly competitive NCAA national championships.

Galen Sollom-Brotherton

Sollom-Brotherton earned All-American honors in two events at nationals while freshman Karl Mering reaped that honor in one of his races. Together, they scored enough points to secure 28th-place showing for Whitman (NCAA Division III has 400-plus schools that sponsor men's swimming).

In addition to the great performances noted above, 12 of our 14 varsity programs placed in the NWC's top half. This is staggering in that we have the second highest point total per program in the NWC. As an athletic program in 2012, Whitman earned second place in the very competitive NWC in points per team. I know, I just repeated myself, but I thought it worth repeating.


Most satisfying in the wake of this success is that these accomplishments are the work of truly outstanding Whitman students.

Students in our athletic programs have essentially the same grade point average as the rest of our student body and graduate at a significantly higher rate. In addition, about 40 percent of our students earned NWC Scholar Athlete honors by producing a cumulative GPA 3.5 or above.

I started this note by stating that I am so proud of our students and coaches. I am! And you have tremendous reason to be very proud of your alma mater, student, or friend participating in our program. This has truly been and outstanding year. Great students, great competitive sport, great experiences, and great memories to last a lifetime!

Much thanks to each of you who have supported our students and programs through your gifts to the W Club. Thank you!


Dean Snider
Athletic Director
Whitman College
509-527-5288 (o)
 To make an online donation  to the W Club please click here