The Cyclones' 2017 fall semester was highlighted by new conference competition, all-conference selections, and impressive performances on the field and in the classroom. All six sports had the opportunity to compete this fall and will start up again in the spring semester, competing in both traditional and non-traditional seasons.
Cross country capped off a strong season at the inaugural American College Athletic Association (ACAA) Championships. They finished in fourth place with a score of 85, closely behind third place SUNY Canton (81). Sophomore Laura Schultz came in tenth place in route to All-ACAA Second Team honors. Schultz and senior Coco Kennedy also received Academic All-ACAA Team honors for both their performance throughout the season and their impressive GPAs. Schultz led the conference with her GPA, followed closely by Kennedy.
Rowing started their season off well, focusing on technique and improvements in their non-championship segment. They competed in two races, finishing the fall at the Head of the American. The Cyclones' novice 8+ finished fourth out of 14 boats, beating out crews from several DI and DII programs. Their time of 21:20.7 was the fastest finish for a Mills novice boat in six years. Head coach Sara Nevin points to the team's ambition and dedication, strengths that will prepare them well for the spring season.
Soccer used a tough schedule and several close games to qualify for the first ever ACAA Championships. After earning the #3 seed, the Cyclones took on #2 SUNY Canton in a hard fought match. Despite falling 2-0, the team had a strong showing, finishing with a season-high 11 shots and 5 shots on goal. Junior Alex Pineda earned several post-season accolades. She earned All-ACAA Team honors, Academic All-Conference Honorable Mention, and was recognized on the All-Tournament Team. Classmates Jessica Wong and Dalia Pimentel also received Academic All-Conference recognition. Joining Pineda on the All-Tournament team was sophomore Paige Shimabuku. The Cyclones now turn their attention to the off-season. They will return a strong squad in the non-traditional season and look to continue to build towards next fall.
As the only winter sport, swimming's season spans over both semesters. The team hosted two large meets in October, welcoming four teams for a double dual meet and the annual Bay Area Invite. The Cyclones were off from competition until the first weekend of December when they travelled to UC Santa Cruz for a three team Invitational. Mills had a very strong showing, with several lifetime best swims, Top Ten times, and top finishes in five events. Melissa Berkay won three events and placed third in another. Morgan Leishman added two first place finishes, second place and a Mills school record in the 1650 free, and two third place swims. The swim team will return early in January for several days of training before heading to Southern California for two meets.
The tennis team used the fall season to build and prepare for the spring. Despite having five novice players, they played strong matches against high-level competition. To cap off the fall season they travelled to UC Santa Cruz for the Slug's Fall Invitational. The two-day event featured three brackets for singles and two for doubles. The Cyclones' hard work in the fall paid off, and all three doubles teams qualified for the consolation semi-finals. Additionally, Roxana Farmer and Perla Barazza advanced to the consolation finals and sophomores Grace Deaton and Dana Culpepper both earned their way into the backdraw semi-finals in singles competition.
Volleyball also earned the #3 seed for the ACAA Tournament and travelled to Alfred State to face off against #2 SUNY Canton. The Cyclones fell 3-0 to the eventual tournament champions. Mills senior Vivian Kang earned All-ACAA First Team honors for her impressive play throughout the season. She led the team in digs, digs per set, and service aces per set. Myeisha Williams received an honorable mention after leading the team in blocks per set and finishing with the second highest number of kills and kills per set. Volleyball will use the non-traditional season to continue to improve and build for the fall.
Outside the playing arena, the Cyclones participated in a beach clean-up in Alameda, welcomed back former student-athletes for a "Mindset of Champions" panel and alumnae picnic, and hosted a Welcome Back Pool Party. Congratulations to all of our student-athletes on an exceptional semester!