The year 2000 was a season of firsts for the Seattle Pacific University volleyball program. Under first-year coach Kellie Radloff, the Falcons reached the NCAA Division II tournament for the first time after finishing first in the West Division of the Pacific West Conference.

SPU won 20 consecutive matches from August 26-October 28 and its final record of 24-6 included five losses to nationally ranked teams. After advancing to the PacWest championship match for the first time, SPU was defeated by No. 1 Hawaii Pacific, and in the first round of the NCAA regional No. 21 Cal State San Bernardino was the culprit.

"With so many players coming back, this was a springboard to next year," said Radloff. "This team has raised the bar for the program." Among the four starters returning are first team all-conference selections Leah Wiiest and Leilani Kamahoahoa.

In men's soccer, Seattle Pacific needed to scramble during the second half of the season to clinch a playoff berth for the 11th year in a row. Behind PacWest player of the year and All-American Dana Garner, the team was unbeaten in its final 12 regular season games. Unfortunately, the Falcons were pitted against top-rated Cal State Dominguez Hills in the opening round of the playoffs, and were defeated 4-0 to finish 13-5-1.

For the first time in seven years the women's cross country team could not reach the NCAA Championships. Rachel Ross won the PacWest individual title, but SPU relinquished its team title to Central Washington, and at the regional stage the Falcons were edged out of a national berth by just nine points.


With their seasons just underway, both the Seattle Pacific University men's and women's basketball squads are looking poised for post-season competition.

Ken Bone's team was ranked among the top 20 nationally and is the favorite to win the 2001 Pacific West Conference championship. All-conference forwards John Hubbard and Brannon Stone have been joined by transfer center Eric Sandrin, formerly at the University of Portland, to form one of the most athletic frontlines in school history.

The women's team also broke into the rankings and is favored to win the conference. Behind forwards Gus Balogh and Kristin Poe, the Falcons averaged nearly 90 points in their first few games.


Tom Box

This will be the Falcons' final season as a Pacific West Conference member. In October, Seattle Pacific University and nine other institutions from the Northwest, Alaska and California opted to leave the 16-team conference and form a new league beginning in 2001-02.

The new alignment of teams includes Alaska Anchorage, Alaska Fairbanks, Central Washington, Humboldt State (California), Northwest Nazarene, Saint Martin's, Seattle University, Western Oregon and Western Washington. There will continue to be championships for men's and women's basketball, cross country and track and field, and women's volleyball, soccer and softball.

The new league, called the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, hopes to hire a commissioner by March. "A conference of 10 teams, from a scheduling standpoint, is attractive and a good fit," notes SPU Athletic Director Tom Box. "There will be less travel and shorter trips, resulting in less missed class time for our student-athletes."

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