This June marks the 50th anniversary of the passage of Title IX, the landmark gender equality law most often associated with paving the way for better opportunities for women in sports.
Title IX helped level playing fields on campuses across the country, including here at Whitman. Today, the college offers nine varsity sports for women—in which more than 120 student-athletes participate.
“I do think the opportunities now for our young women are greater than they ever have been," says Whitman's Director of Athletics Kim Chandler. "... it’s also a result of our coaches who have worked hard to create those paths.”
Here's a quick look at the current state of Whitman women’s varsity athletics: Fiercely committed. Fiercely competitive. Fiercely resilient. Bookmark Whitman Athletics to stay up to date on all the action.
Head coach: Michelle Ferenz (since 2001)
Athletes in the program: 16
Whitman for the win, all the wins! In February 2022, the Blues claimed the Northwest Conference (NWC) Women’s Basketball regular and tournament championships and advanced to the NCAA Tournament, winning their first-round game and ending the season with an impressive 26-2 record, including going undefeated in conference play.
“Whitman student-athletes want excellence. They want people who will support them to be the best they can be—not just in the classroom, but on the court or in the pool or on the field. They want to be challenged. They want to learn how to be leaders.”
–Michelle Frenz, Head Women’s Basketball Coach and NWC Coach of the Year
Cross Country & Distance Track
Head coach: Scott Shields ’91 (since 2010)
Athletes in the program: 12 (Cross Country); 13 (Distance Track)
Two-season athletes. Following a 2019 Northwest Conference championship in Women’s Cross Country, Whitman’s long-distance runners were offered a new opportunity—to compete in Distance Track each spring. Distance track runners participate in track and field
events that are 800 meters and longer.
Head coach: Skip Molitor (since 2008)
Athletes in the program: 5
Winning on GPA. Whitman’s Women’s Golf was recognized by the WGCA (Women’s Golf Coaches Association) as one of the top academic programs in the nation. With a team GPA of 3.767, the Blues ranked eighth overall in Division III and tops among Northwest Conference programs.
Head coach: Heidi Colford (since 2021)
Athletes in the program: 15
Lacrosse is back! Like other teams across the country, Whitman Lacrosse had an abrupt end to their Spring 2020 season due to the pandemic. The following season (2021), they were unable to field the required roster to compete. In late February 2022, they took the field with a team of nearly all new faces, including first-year coach Heidi Colford—and made a triumphant return with a 20-4 win over Eastern Oregon University.
Head coach: Jennifer Blomme (since 2000)
Athletes in the program: 20
Top of the pool! In February 2022, the Whitman women’s swimming team won the NWC Championships—their fourth straight conference title, a remarkable run of championships that began in 2017. Head coach, Jenn Blomme was named the NWC Women’s Coach of the Year.
Head coach: Michelle Voiland (since 2020)
Athletes in the program: 30
Looking forward to a strong future. To start the 2021-2022 season, women’s soccer welcomed 21 new players to their program—from as nearby as Richland, Washington, and as far as Vestibula, Alabama.
Head coach: John Hein (since 2008)
Athletes in the program: 11
Returning serve. With no graduating seniors on the 2021-2022 rooster, Women’s Tennis will come back strong next season with a young team and leadership by returning standouts Angel Le ’23, NWC Player of the Year, and Irene Tsai ‘23.
Head coach: Matt Helm (since 2012)
Athletes in the program: 17
Powerhouse players. Volleyball’s 2021 record (6-19) didn’t reflect their gritty and competitive play—they led their opponents in both aces and blocks. In the fall of 2022, Whitman will return to the court with an experienced group of seniors leading the way.