Freshmen athletes key in continuing success
With a new academic year comes a new class of athletes for all Biola’s teams. The transition from high school athlete to college athlete just adds to the pressure with the process of becoming a college student. Not only do they have to worry about schoolwork and making friends, but also adjusting to the intensity of college sports.
It has been a constant back-and-forth flip-flopping in recruitment between men and women for the cross-country teams. The women’s team has lost 10 runners through the past two years while the men’s team only graduated one last year. This large departure of female runners led to nine female recruits coming in this year and only one male recruit.
Freshmen in cross-country and volleyball show promise with early success
“There are a lot of little adjustments that come when you bring in this many new runners,” head coach Jonathan Zimmerman said about the transition process. “You have eight to nine different training regimens coming in, and it’s been a hot training session.”
For having an inexperienced team, the cross-country women have exceeded expectations early with Biola sweeping the top six places in their first meet— three of the six athletes are freshmen.
The women’s volleyball team has also had early success with their freshmen playing a key part.
“They [the freshmen] are good enough to play right now,” head coach Aaron Seltzer said. “They’re just sitting behind seniors who are more experienced.”
Biola is coming off of a year when current sophomore Amy Weststeyn was voted AVCA/NAIA Freshman of the Year, so there are big shoes to fill for the freshmen.
“You can tell how good your program is going to be in the future by your freshmen. All our freshmen could be starters next year and will get good experience this year,” Seltzer said.
Soccer looks ahead to successful season with newcomers after seniors depart
Biola’s men’s soccer team head coach Bryan Kuderman has high expectations for his freshman class.
“Our freshman class is very good this year. Possibly as good as my freshman class of 2009 which has brought about so much success these past three years,” Kuderman said.
The Eagles will need freshmen to step up, especially in goal, as the two goalies — JT Addington and Josh Crichton — are both freshmen. They will need to replace the graduated All-American Aaron Fenlason.
“The two freshman goalies are in a position of great importance. However, I don’t like having freshmen in goal. They are not ready for such a difficult task either mentally or physically,” Kuderman said. “Nonetheless, they are the two options and have an amazing opportunity to own the position for four seasons.”
As for the women’s soccer team, they have seven incoming freshmen on the squad that will look to build off of a season that had five All-Golden State Athletic Conference players, including all three of their seniors.
With the competition changing this year and three past GSAC teams no longer in competition, it will be a different outlook for athletes no matter the year, and this freshman class is the first in recent years that will not experience the Azusa Pacific University rivalry first-hand. It will show a whole new aspect to the Biola athletic experience.