Raider Volleyball recognizes Sophomores

Wednesday marked the final night of the 2015 NWAC Volleyball regular season, and the final home match for six very special Raider sophomores.  Joined by their families and close friends, the home town fans said “good-bye” and “thank you” to these six special ladies.  Taylor Buell, Lianna Guajardo, Breanna Horvill, and Marissa Morris, played their two year community college career wearing the Raider Maroon and Grey.  Sophomore transfers Sasha Mareko (Yakima Valley) and Melissa Pittelkau (Olympic), added their athletic talents to the 2015 squad.

SOPHS W FAMILIESThe Raiders closed out their West Division league schedule with a solid win against Centralia College, 3-1.  The win put the Raiders in a tie with Grays Harbor for 4th Place in the division standings, forcing a playoff match this Friday, November 13, for a trip to the NWAC Championship Tournament.  Grays Harbor will host the Raiders at Montesano High School at 7 p.m.  A win would mark just the second trip to the NWAC’s for the Raiders in the past six years.

Congratulations Ladies, and thank you for a GREAT SEASON!!!

Pierce College will host the 2015 NWAC Volleyball Tournament in Tacoma

The Pierce Raiders Athletics will be hosting the 2015 NWAC Volleyball Championship Tournament in Tacoma.

Sixteen teams from Washington and Oregon will be participating.

The tournament is being held at the Tacoma Regional Convention Center at 1500 Broadway in Tacoma.

The tournament runs from Thursday, November 19 to Sunday, November 22nd, 2015.

The 2015 brackets, team info, ticket costs, and parking are available at

New scholarship provides opportunity for exceptional second-year student athletes

Colten-BarnesGrowing up, it was always Tim Welch’s dream to play college baseball. He had always been a talented athlete in his youth, but when personal issues arose that forced him to drop out of high school, he believed his dream to become a college athlete was crushed.

He spent years working part-time jobs before enlisting in the military in 1976. He was stationed at Fort Lewis as a Military Police Officer, and eventually started coaching youth baseball on the side.

“I loved coaching, but I still always felt like I blew my chances of ever playing college baseball,” he said.

His captain in the military saw great potential in Welch, and this encouragement inspired him to enroll in classes at Pierce College and earn his high school diploma.

But when Welch left the military a couple of years later, he couldn’t shake the desire to play college baseball. “At the time, I still had the desire and the ability to play baseball,” he said. “The only thing that was missing was the opportunity.”

He marched into Coach Karl Benson’s office, introduced himself and said he’d like to try out for the team.

Benson said he already had a full team roster. “He also said that because I had the courage to come into the office and ask him to play, that I could have a chance,” Welch said.

It quickly became clear to Benson that Welch had talent. “I ended up becoming the starting pitcher, and it was all because Coach Benson gave me an opportunity to try out for the team,” Welch said.

After his first year as a walk-on student athlete, Welch earned an athletic scholarship and was able to finish his associate degree.

Anna-LennoxThis year, the former coach and athlete are teaming up to offer a special scholarship opportunity for student athletes who are in a similar position as Welch. The Raider Award is a $500 scholarship, presented to one female and one male second-year student-athlete who have each completed their first year of athletic participation at Pierce College.

Prospective recipients must have been without athletic scholarships during their first year, and should be a walk-on or invitee who earned a place on the team based on athletic performance.

Nominations for the scholarship are open to all sports.

“We want student-athletes to know that if they work hard and exemplify the dedication and desire that Tim Welch had, they have an opportunity to earn this second-year scholarship,” Coach Karl Benson said.

The recipients for this year’s inaugural Raider Award are Anna Lennox and Colten Barnes.

Lennox, a graduate of Franklin Pierce High School, led the Raider Softball team in nearly every offensive statistic during her freshman year, and split time at third base and as pitcher. She plans to pursue a career in nursing.

Barnes, a graduate of Curtis High School, was one of the standouts on the Raider Baseball pitching staff in 2015. He compiled the team’s third-best earned run average, and had a 3-to-1 strike-out to walk ratio. He plans to study kinesiology and pursue a career in a related field.

Pierce College Foundation hosts the 5th Annual Raiders Dinner and Auction – Get Tickets

Pierce College’s Foundation will be hosting the 5th Annual Pierce Raiders Dinner and Auction on Saturday, January 30th, 2016 at 6 p.m. The dinner and auction will be at the Ft. Steilacoom at the Health Education Center. Tickets are available online for $40.00.

The dinner and auction will help support the team as they get ready to embark on the 2016 season. The team supports their budget by providing scholarships, travel, and uniforms.

Raven Olin receives second Setter of the Week recognition

IMG_1606Freshman setter, Raven Olin, was selected as the West Region’s Setter of the Week, for Week 4 of the 2015 regular season. Olin had two solid performances during the week.  The first came in a 4 set victory in the Raiders’ league opener on the road against Lower Columbia, on Sept. 23, when she recorded 14 assists and 5 digs .  The second was a monster performance against #2 ranked Highline at home on the 25th, in a tough 3-1 loss.  Olin recorded a match high 34 assists and had 13 digs.  After dropping the first 2 sets, Olin helped lead the way to a 25-15 win in the 3rd set, before Pierce lost 25-22 in a back and forth nail-biter in set #4.

The honor marks the second time in four weeks that Olin – from Rogers High School, in Puyallup – has been selected as the West’s top setter.  Her previous award came in Week 1.

Pierce College announces Shawnna Shula as new head coach for Raider Volleyball

SShula.PCVB.2015Pierce College is pleased to announce the selection of Shawnna Shula as the new head coach for the Raider Volleyball program.

Shula has deep roots in the local volleyball community, playing her high school ball at Fife High School for her aunt, hall of fame coach Jan Kirk.  Shula helped lead the Trojans to the 1995 3A State Championship, was selected to the 1995 All State Team, and was named SPSL 3A league MVP in 1994 and 1995.  She went on to play at St. Martin’s University for four years, where she earned All NAIA First Team honors in 1999 and 2000.  She was a 3-year team captain for the Saints and set the career record for assists.

Shula has been coaching at the club level for much of the past 14 years.  She was the varsity head coach at Bethel High School in 2013, and returned to her alma mater as the head coach at Fife High School from 2010-1012, leading the Trojans to the league title in 2010, and a berth in the State tournament.

“I am honored and humbled to be the next head coach of the Raider Volleyball program.  I am very passionate about volleyball and I am excited to start the next chapter of this great program.  I believe that with hard work, dedication, and passion, the Raider Volleyball program will grow to be a successful and dominant program in the NWAC.”

Joining Shula on the Raiders sideline will be long time coaching associate Greg Finel.

Coach Shula currently works as an Educational Assistant with the Fife School District. She graduated from St. Martin’s University with degrees in Criminal Justice and Psychology.

“We are very excited to have Shawnna join our staff, and look forward to great things from the Raider Volleyball program in the season ahead,” said Pierce athletic director Duncan Stevenson.

Raider Baseball opens NWAC Super Regional play

The Raider Baseball opens the newly revamped Northwest Athletic Conference post season playoff format this Saturday, as they travel to Edmonds CC to play Linn-Benton CC in the North Super Regional.  The Raider, who finished the regular season in third place in the West, will take on the Roadrunners, the fourth place team from the South.  Game time on Saturday is 10:00 a.m.  The winner will move on to play host Everett CC, the second place finisher in the North.

The new Super Regional is a double-elimination format, with the three teams playing on Saturday and Sunday to determine one qualifier to the NWAC Championship Tournament next weekend.  To follow the Raiders progress through the playoffs, go to –


Raider Softball earns 10th straight trip to NWAC Championships

The 2015 Raider Softball team earned the program’s 10th consecutive trip to the Northwest Athletic Conference Championships, and will open tournament play this Friday against North Region Champion, Douglas College. The Raiders, who finished the regular season as the second place team in the West (13-5 in league, 20-20 overall) enters the tournament as the #14 seed, while Douglas (22-2, 26-9 overall) is the #3 seed. First pitch on Friday is scheduled for 10:00 a.m.
The Raiders will be led offensively by freshman standout, Anna Lennox, who leads the team with a .411 batting average, and in home runs (14), RBI’s (52), and hits (51). Sophomore centerfielder Molly LaMotte recently broke the Raiders career home run record (28), and has had a phenomenal league performance, leading the entire West Region with a .545 batting average. LaMotte’s 11 HR’s and 35 RBI’s were both second best for the Raiders. Sophomores Maddy Smith (.361) and Tricia Bonifacio (.355) will help provide plenty of pop in the Raider line-up.
Karlee Rose Perry and Lennox will carry the load for the pitching staff. Perry was the work horse this season, compiling a team high 91.1 inning pitched, with an 8-6 record and a team low 4.29 ERA. Lennox (5-4, 5.27 ERA) will give the Raiders a solid 2-armed attack in Portland.
Win or lose, the Raiders will play again on Friday at 2:00 p.m. Their second round game will be against either Wenatchee Valley College (#6 seed, 22-6 in the East, 33-12) or West Region foe Highline CC (#14 seed, 11-7, 16-18 overall).
The NWAC Championship returns to Delta Park in Portland, Oregon. To follow the Raiders and all of the tournament action, go to,