Sports briefs

The women’s tennis team announced its return to the South Park Blocks Saturday by notching its first victory since the program was canceled six years ago.

Women’s tennis scores first victory in six years

The women’s tennis team announced its return to the South Park Blocks Saturday by notching its first victory since the program was canceled six years ago.

After dropping Friday’s match-up with Gonzaga University, the Vikings, an all freshman squad, used a strong singles attack to defeat Big Sky Conference foe Weber State 4-3.

“The night before we’d played a six-and-a-half-hour match against Gonzaga University. After coming off that, the team really responded well,” said head coach Steven Ascher. “The girls came out and fought hard in doubles. In singles we ended up winning four out of six singles. It was an all around great effort from the team. Everyone contributed.”

Lacey Pflibsen ended her weekend 2-0 in singles matches and 1-1 in doubles, her first wins of her collegiate career.

Stephanie Fuchs and Anya Dalkin went 2-0 in doubles matches over the weekend. Dalkin and Fuchs also earned their first singles wins against Weber State.

Ascher said the weekend victories were “huge.”

“It’s just validates all the hard work and commitment and the belief that these six players had starting the program,” he said.

Softball opens season at Cathedral City Kickoff Classic

The softball team went 2-3 over the weekend, opening their season at the Cathedral City Kickoff Classic in Palm Springs, Calif.

The Vikings kicked off the tournament with two losses, falling to the University of California, Riverside 5-4 before losing 4-0 to Colorado State later in the afternoon.

Portland State rebounded Saturday with wins over Utah State and New Mexico State.

Catcher Brandi Scoggins went 2-3 with three RBIs to help freshman pitcher Nicole Latham win her first career game 4-3 over Utah State.

Senior right-handed pitcher Mandy Hill went 2-3 with an RBI while pitching a complete game to score her first win 5-2 in the nightcap over New Mexico State.

Outfielder Shannon Stacey went 3-4 to lead the Vikings. Hill gave up seven hits and fanned three to move her record to 1-1.

The Vikings were shut out 6-0 against San Diego State Sunday to end the tourney. Latham took the loss, dropping her to 1-2 on the year.

Portland State plays in the Louisville Slugger Classic in Las Vegas next weekend. The Vikings open the tournament Friday against Kansas, then play Team Canada in an exhibition match later that day.

Football schedule released

Athletic director Torre Chisholm calls Portland State’s 2008 football schedule “strange.” That’s because there are 13 weeks allotted to play 11 games, essentially giving the Vikings two bye weeks.

The Vikings open Jerry Glanville’s second season at the helm against Western Oregon on August 30 at PGE Park, one of five home games including matchups against Eastern Washington, Idaho State, Northern Colorado and rival Montana.

The team plays road games at UC Davis, Washington State, Northern Arizona, Sacramento State and Weber State.

“Next year is a strange year because there is an extra week in the schedule. It happens now and then,” Chisholm said. “At this point, we’ve elected to play just the 11. Coach Glanville and I agreed that the extra week off for training and resting was more valuable. We discussed if we wanted to play another [Bowl Championship Series] school and we decided the team would be better served by the bye.”

Because there are 13 weeks next season, the Vikings will play their home opener versus Western Oregon one week earlier than usual. Chisholm said he hopes playing another in-state school will generate interest in the game with students still away from campus.

“We’re always going to have at least one game prior to students returning,” he said. “We’ve minimized it a little bit but we also thought that playing that early game, we’ll get some media attention earlier in the season.”