Western women dominating the field, court as Title IX celebrates its 50th birthday

by John Thompson
Office of University Communications

When Title IX of the Higher Education Amendments of 1972 was passed, it effectively ended the ability of any higher education institution to discriminate on the basis of sex, including in athletics. After its passage, the implementation of Title IX resulted almost immediately in a huge jump in women participating in intercollegiate athletics, numbers which have only grown in the last 50 years.

As the campus reflects on the importance of an incredibly impactful piece of civil rights legislation, it is only fitting that Western’s women athletes are once again showing out with conference titles and national playoff berths. As fall sports wrap up with playoff runs - Western is hosting two sets of playoffs this weekend alone - and the season for a national championship runner-up is just beginning, let’s take stock of women’s sports at Western as fall transitions into winter.

Cross Country

Western’s women’s cross-country team finished atop the GNAC (along with the men) after it won the GNAC Cross Country Championships on Nov. 7. The Vikings’ charge was headed up by Mia Crocker and Sophie Wright, and Maera Shannon was named the GNAC Newcomer of the Year. Crocker and Wright both earned All-GNAC Honors for their top-10 finishes. 

Soccer

To say that Western’s women’s soccer program has become something of a juggernaut is perhaps an understatement. Last weekend, Western earned its seventh consecutive trip to the West Regional Finals of the NCAA Division II Tournament after knocking off Point Loma 1-0 at Harrington Field on Saturday and improving to 15-2-4 on the season, with junior Estera Lavinte scoring the match’s only goal 4 minutes into the second half. Western will continue its quest towards a second national title in women’s soccer (it last won it all in 2016) on Thursday when it takes on Concordia Irvine at Harrington Field. Come out and support the team!

Volleyball

Speaking of juggernauts, Western’s volleyball team is heading to the NCAA Championship Tournament for the 10th year in a row, and is the defending West Region champion. Diane Flick’s squad enters the tournament as the #2 seed in the West with a record of 21-5 and will host the eight-team regional this Thursday through Saturday. Western will take on archrival Central Washington University Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. at Carver – let's pack the house with blue!

Basketball

WWU’s women’s basketball team, given a lofty #2 preseason ranking, returns just about everyone from a team that made a magical run all the way to the national title game last winter, falling just short against West Virginia’s Glenville State. The Viks are just a few days away from kicking off the season this weekend in the West Region Crossover Classic against a pair of ranked teams in Azusa Pacific and Cal State San Marcos. Hopes are high for another great year, with four members of the team being picked for the GNAC’s Preseason All-Conference team: Brooke Walling, Mollie Olsen and sisters Avery and Riley Dyskstra. See the team’s upcoming schedule here, and come to Carver and cheer them on!

Congratulations to all of Western’s teams, both men’s and women’s, for a great fall – and good luck to all the teams in the playoffs and coming season!

Wednesday, November 16, 2022 - 8:46am
A Western women's soccer player pushes the ball up the field

volleyball players celebrate  winning a match at Carver Gym

Western women's basketball team meets at center court before a scrimmage