Fall Sport athletes earn NWAC Academic Recognitions

The Northwest Athletic Conference has announced the Fall Sports All-Academic Team and the recipients of the Fall Academic Leadership Award.  Five Raider sophomores were recognized for their outstanding performance in the classroom.  Kaylee Holloway and Cassi Slaughter-Jordao (women’s soccer), Brittany Smith (volleyball), and Corey Dallas and Ricky Young (men’s soccer), were all selected to the NWAC All-Academic Team, which recognizes those sophomore student-athletes with a cumulative grade point average of 3.25 or better.  Slaughter-Jordao, Dallas and Young also received the NWAC Academic Leadership Award, which honors those sophomores with a GPA of 3.50 or better.

Congratulations to these outstanding sophomores for their stellar performance in the classroom!

Carlson steps down as Raider Volleyball coach

Raider Head Volleyball Coach, Doug Carlson,022210_carlson[1]

has announced his decision to step down as the Head Coach of the Raider Volleyball program, effective immediately.  Carlson, who  just completed his fifth season with the Raiders, cited his desire to spend more time with his wife and three teen-aged sons, for his decision to leave the program.

Under Carlson, the Raiders compiled an overall record of 80 wins and 100 losses.  His 2012 squad qualified for the NWAACC Volleyball Championship Tournament in 2012, when the Raiders finished the regular season with and 8-4 record (21-17 overall), good for Third Place in the West.  Carlson’s .444 winning percentage makes him the third most successful coach in program history.  In his five seasons, he coached six West Region All-Stars, with six of his players earning All-Academic recognition for their performance in the classroom.

“It’s been a great five-year run, and I’ve enjoyed my time working with the young women in our program,” Carlson said.  “I’ll miss the daily practices, and the process of building the team each season.  Coaching at this level is a special privilege, and I’m grateful to have had the opportunity.”

Head Coach Doug Carlson making adjustments during a timeout.

Head Coach Doug Carlson making adjustments during a timeout.

Carlson will continue in his position as the Facility Operations Manager for the Health Education Center at Pierce College Fort Steilacoom.

Men’s Soccer opens NWAC post season at Peninsula

The Raider Men’s Soccer team have qualified for NWAC playoffs for the third straight year, and will open post season play against Peninsula College this Wednesday.  The Raiders finished in 3rd Place in the South Division, with a  record of 4-9-1.  The Pirates finished second in the West Division, with a record of 9-1-3, and were ranked #3 in the latest NWAC Coaches Poll.

The teams will play in Port Angeles, beginning at 1:00 p.m.  The winner will advance to play North Idaho College — the top team in the East — this Saturday.

Stout named NWAC Defensive Player of the Week

HStoutSophomore Libero, Helena Stout was named the NWAC Defensive Player of the Week, for Week 8 of the 2014 volleyball season.  Stout’s consistent performance on the court over the past few weeks helped lead the Raiders to a 4th Place finish at the Grays Harbor Crossover Tournament, where she was named to the All-Tournament Team.  Head Coach Doug Carlson said of Stout’s recent performance, “Helena played great for us this week. As always, she anchored our back row in our 2 wins this week. Helena has been excellent all season long, and this is a measure of her hard work and dedication. ”

The Raiders, currently in 5th Place in the West, are looking to make a late season run for a return trip to the NWAC Championships.  The conference tournament will be hosted by Pierce College at the Greater Tacoma Convention & Visitors Center, November 20-23.  The team closes our their home schedule on Friday, 11/7, against Green River CC. Stout.Smith.celebrate

Raider Athlete of the Month: Brittany Smith

BrittanyRaider Athlete of the Month for September
Brittany Smith
#4  –  Team Captain
Position:  Setter
Sumner High School

Brittany has helped lead the Raiders to a 3-0 start and a tie for first place atop the West Region standings. Brittany had a huge night in the season opener against Centralia, collecting 31 assists and 4 service aces.  In the fourth set, she led the team back from a 10-18 deficit, serving for 8 straight Raider points, including 3 aces.

“Brittany has been a great leader for the team, both on and off the court,” according to Head Coach Doug Carlson. “As the setter, she is the quarterback that makes the Raider engine run. She is a tremendous athlete, and a great setter and server.”

Brittany has been twice selected as the NWAC West Region Player of the Week this season.

Coach Cruz leaves Raider Softball

It is with mixed emotions we are announcing Coach Keilani Cruz is leaving Raider Softball to become the graduate assistant softball coach at Central Washington University. Even though everyone at Raider Softball is saddened by Keilani’s departure; the entire Raider Athletics family is excited about this tremendous opportunity she is undertaking and we all wish her the very best.

 Keilani is a 2007 graduate of Curtis High School in University Place Washington, where she was a three sport athlete. She enrolled at Pierce College in the fall of 2007 and immediately became a fixture at shortstop during the 2008 and 2009 softball seasons. Keilani was a 1st team Western Region All-Star both years, and Graduated from Pierce College before transferring to Central Washington University where she was a two year starter.  Keilani was an All-GNAC selection her senior year. The Wildcats advanced to the Division II College World Series both years Keilani played there and CWU was the National DII runner-up in her junior year.

Keilani returned to Pierce College as an assistant softball coach in 2012. She has coached both infielders and outfielders while at Pierce, and has imparted her experience and wisdom as a hitter and base runner to new generations of Raiders. As a player and as a coach Keilani always infused positivity and enthusiasm in every workout on and off of the practice field.


Job Announcement – Assistant to the Director of Athletics

The Pierce College Athletic Department is currently looking to fill a vacancy for the position of Assistant to the Director of Athletics.  This position provides clerical, budget and program operations support for the District Athletics Department to include administration of daily office operations, assisting the coaching staff, student athletes, and general student population as well as direct support to the Athletic Director, works under general supervision and will independently perform a variety of complex clerical projects and assignments.

Responsibilities include processing student athlete compliance and eligibility reports; preparation of department purchase requisitions and purchasing card orders for supplies, equipment, facility rentals, contracted services, team and departmental travel expenditures; coordination of all aspects of team travel; preparation of employment contracts and monthly payroll timecards for temporary staff; assistance in maintaining equipment inventories; provide assistance in preparing correspondence, event planning, and fundraising efforts; maintain and monitor budget records.

The position also maintains files and database records, responds to telephone and email inquiries about department processes and procedures and maintains contacts with coaches, players, campus community, alumni, potential recruits, various vendors, and agency representatives. This position reports to the District Athletics Director.

For more information about the position, or to apply, go to the Pierce College Employment webpage, at –  www.pierce.ctc.edu/dist/hr

Raider Baseball takes 5th Place at NWAACC Championships

The Raiders had high hopes of re-capturing the NWAACC championship going into the start of Thursday’s tournament play at Storey Field, on the campus of Lower Columbia College.   Pierce, who won the West Division title on the final day of the regular season against cross-town rival Tacoma, and 12 of their final 13 league games, came into the tournament as a favorite to be playing on Championship Monday.

The Raiders cruised to a 5-0 victory over Columbia Basin on opening day Thursday, behind a sensational pitching performance by sophomore Ryan Schmitten.  Schmitten – who will take his talents to the University of Washington next year – scattered 8 hits and struck out 4, over 8 innings, and was never really threatened.  West Division MVP DJ Gee, was the offensive star, going 4 for 4 while driving in 3 runs.  Jeff Nelson and Jarred Prather each had two hits on the day.

Following their strong showing in the opener on Thursday, the Raiders advanced to play North Division champs, Edmonds CC, on Day 2.  What was billed as a ‘preview to  Championship Monday’ did not disappoint the fans in attendance.  Leftie Darrien Moran (bound for Western Oregon University next year) shut down the Tritons high-powered offense, allowing just 3 hits through the first 6 innings. Edmonds picked up 3 runs in the top of the 7th inning, to take a 3-0 lead.  But, the Raiders responded with 3 runs of their own in the bottom of the 7th, on 6 straight hits.  Edmonds scored 3 runs in the top of the 10th inning off reliever Tyson Erickson, and the Raiders were unable to answer, falling 6-3.  Leo Valenti went 3 for 5 on the day, and Jarred Prather went 2 for 4.

Saturday’s “loser out” match up with West Division foe Tacoma proved to be the season finale for Pierce.  Sophomore starter Cole Uvila threw a 1-hitter over his six innings of work, striking out 10, but allowing 7 walks, and giving up 2 runs. 

Matt Fish came on in relief in the 7th and gave up 2 runs.  The Raiders loaded the bases with 2 outs in the top of the 8th, only to have Luke Heyer’s drive to left field caught on the warning track to end the threat.  The offense could only manage only 6 hits on the day, and the Raiders fell to Tacoma, 4-2, taking 5th Place at the tournament, and ending their quest for a second NWAACC title in 3 years.

Pierce finishes the 2014 campaign with a record of 28-13, which included a stellar 22-3 regular season record, and the team’s 4th straight West Division title.

Raider hoopsters sign to play at Central Washington

Sophomore standouts Gary Jacobs and Devin Matthews sign their national letters of intent to attend Central Washington University.

Sophomore standouts Gary Jacobs and Devin Matthews sign their national letters of intent to attend Central Washington University.

The “Heart  and Soul” of Raider Men’s Basketball during the team’s historic run over the past two years have signed national letters of intent to continue their education and basketball careers at Central Washington University, starting in Fall 2014.  Guards Gary Jacobs and Devin Matthews, the undisputed floor leaders of the Raider squad that compiled a record of 28-4 in league play from 2012-2014 (best ever for a Raider squad over a two year period), will be taking their talents to Ellensburg to play for the Wildcats of CWU.

Gary Jacobs completes a full court break for 2 of his game high 26 points in 83-65 win over Edmonds CC

Gary Jacobs completes a full court break for 2 of his game high 26 points in 83-65 win over Edmonds CC

Jacobs, who attended Vista High School in Las Vegas, Nevada, led Pierce College in points (12.4), rebounds (5.8), and steals (1.9) per game. He also averaged 3.8 assists and shot 47% from the field. In the NWAACC tournament, Jacobs averaged 15.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, 5.6 assists, and 1.8 steals per game. Following the season, Jacobs earned first-team All-West Region and All-Defensive team honors for the Raiders. Matthews, a 6-3 point guard from Durango High School (Las Vegas, NV), averaged 9.3 points per game this last season at Pierce College. He led the Raiders and was second in the NWAACC with 7.7 assists per game, and finished second on the team in rebounds per game (5.6) and steals per game (1.8). In the NWAACC Basketball Tournament, he averaged 11 points, 7.0 rebounds, 8.5 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. Following the season, Matthews was named first-team All-West Region in the NWAACC.

Devin Matthews directs the Raider offense in the title game against Portland CC.

Devin Matthews directs the Raider offense in the title game against Portland CC.

As freshmen, in 2012-13, the duo led the Raiders to West Division title with a program best 15-1 record, and finished in 8th place at the NWAACC championship tournament.  In 2013-14, Pierce finished in second place in the West, and then made a stellar run at the conference championships, and played in the tournament championship game against Portland CC.  The Raiders lost to Portland in the finale, 92-86.  Jacobs and Matthews were both selected on the All-Tournament team.

Jacobs and Matthews leave the Raiders as arguably the best 1-2 guard combination  in the history of the program.

Baseball captures 4th straight West Division Title!!

Raiders celebrate their 4th straight West Division Title, after defeating TCC, 11-3.

Raiders celebrate their 4th straight West Division Title, after defeating TCC, 11-3.

The Pierce Raiders stormed the field at Tacoma Community College’s Minitti Field for the second time in three years, after capturing the program’s 4th straight West Division Title.  In the winner-take-all final game of the season, the Raiders came back from a 3-2 deficit, scoring 9 runs in their final at bat to take an 11-3 victory and the Division crown.
The two teams entered the weekend tied for first place in the West, with identical 19-2 records.  After sweeping TCC at home on Saturday — 8-2 and 6-4 — Pierce needed just one win on Sunday to bring home the title.  After losing the first game on Sunday, 3-1, despite solid pitching by freshman leftie Cobi Beal, Head Coach Kevin Davis put the fate of the Raiders’ season on the arm of sophomore pitcher Cole Uvila.  Uvila allowed just 1 hit through the first four innings of the 7-inning finale, and the Raiders posted 2 runs in the top of the second, to take a 2-0 lead into the bottom half of the fifth inning.  That’s when the Titans found life and put up 3 runs to take a 3-2 lead.  Both teams went scoreless through the 6th, bringing the Raiders up for their final at bat, down by a run.
In the 7th, the Raiders found their bats and rolled through Tacoma’s bullpen, with 14 Raiders coming to plate in the 9-run outburst.
DJ Gee's game winning 2-run double was the eventual game winner in the season finale at TCC.

DJ Gee’s game winning 2-run double proved to be  the eventual game winner in the season finale at TCC.

Sophomore standout, and Division MVP candidate, DJ Gee drove a screaming double into the left field corner scoring the 2 runs that would be the eventual game winners.  Gee collected 4 hits in his 8 plate appearances on the day, scoring 3 runs, and driving in the 2 most important runs of the Raiders’ season.  DJ Elmer, Colton Nash, Jarred Prather, Josh McCoy, and Jeff Nelson, all had singles in the inning that staked the Raiders to their 8-run lead.
The Titan’s had a lead off single to start their half of the 7th, which was quickly turned into a double play by Pierce.  The game, and regular season ended on a soft ground ball to substitute first baseman DJ Elmer, who stepped on the bag, and the celebration began.
DJ Elmer steps on the bag for the final out and runs to join the dog pile.

DJ Elmer steps on the bag for the final out and runs to join the dog pile.

Tyson Erickson came on in relief of Uvila to pitch the final two innings for Pierce and faced the minimum 6 batters, giving up just one hit.
The win also clinched the #1 seed from the West Division going into the NWAACC Championship Tournament.  This will be the Raiders’ 5th straight trip to NWAACC’s – a program record.  The 8-team double-elimination tournament opens this Thursday, with the Raiders taking on Columbia Basin, the #2 seed from the East Division.  Game time is at 7:35 p.m., at Storey Field, on the campus of host Lower Columbia College, in Longview.  All tournament games will be radio broadcast on the internet at www.klog.com; and, live game stats, game results, and updated bracket information will be available at www.nwaacc.org.