Bruins kick off fall sports season
Oct 06, 2017 10:35AM ● Published by Greg James
The 2016 Bruins garnered national attention, won the Region 18 championship and finished the season ranked fifth in the country. (SLCC bruins athletics)
Salt Lake Community College students are back to school, and it is time for fall sports to begin. The Bruins’ volleyball and soccer teams take to the playing surface in search of Region 18 championships.
The men’s and women’s soccer teams enter their second seasons of competition. The 2017 teams hope to continue building the program where they left off last season.
The Bruin women closed out the 2016 regular season with 14 consecutive matches without a loss. They had four ties in that stretch.
In the Region 18 tournament, the women defeated Utah State University Eastern 1-0 in the team’s opening match. Maida Alijac, a Jordan High School graduate, scored the lone goal in the 59th minute. It came off a corner kick from Kenzie Van Buren.
The second round proved not so fortunate for the Bruins. They lost to Snow College 3-2. They failed to defeat the Badgers in the 2016 campaign but managed three ties.
Last season’s leading scorer was Jennifer Mendez. She scored nine goals and had one assist.
The women were scheduled to face Colorado Northwestern Community College Sept. 8 and 9 (after our press deadline) in their first conference matches.
The Bruin men’s team had similar success last season. They did not taste defeat in their final 15 matches of the regular season.
In the region tournament, they were defeated by Snow College 7-6 in penalty kicks. The match finished regulation in a 3-3 tie. Freshman Luis Vargas from Copper Hills scored in the 54th minute to grab the lead for the Bruins, but Snow countered just 10 minutes later to tie it up.
Vargas was the team’s leading scorer last season with 13 goals. Junior Estrada, also a Copper Hills graduate, scored eight goals and had five assists.
The men’s team played its first home match Aug. 29 against Western Wyoming College where it won 5-0. The first conference matches were scheduled for Sept. 8 and 9 dominating Colorado Northwestern by a combined score of 16-1.
Mark Davis is both the women’s and men’s team head coach. Before joining the Bruins he was head coach for the Seasiders at BYU-Hawaii. He has Utah ties as a graduate of Copper Hills High School. He is married and has two children.
Davis is also the current head coach of Real Salt Lake women’s team and was named UWS West coach of the year for his efforts with Real.
The women’s volleyball team is returning Region 18 champion and finished last season ranked fifth in the country. The Bruins posted an 8-2 record in conference play on their way to the national tournament.
Last season, sophomore Andrea Brady was selected to the American Volleyball Coaches Association first team. She was Region 18 tournament most valuable player. Brady ranked third nationally in total blocks with 171.
The Bruins’ leaders in kills last season were Aubrie Steiner and To’a Foleao; both sophomores will return this season.
Women’s head coach Sue Dulaney was named 2016 AVCA West Region coach of the year. This is her 10th season at Salt Lake Community College.
The Bruins hosted the defending national champions Miami Dade College Sept. 1 in the Crystal Invitational where they were swept 0-3. This was a rematch of last season’s quarterfinals at the National Championship tournament. Miami defeated the Bruins 3-0. Otero College, Northwest College and Laramie County Community College also participated in the invitational, the Bruins beat each team.
The Bruins first fielded a volleyball team in 1996. Dulaney is the program’s sixth head coach, and she has compiled 238 victories at Salt Lake Community College, the winningest coach in school history.