Pilots RoundUP: Winter break

Some quickfire updates on how the Pilots fared over winter break.

By Aidan Hyde | February 9, 2024 9:00am
The women's basketball team celebrates after a scored point during their game against San Diego on January 11th.
Media Credit: Ryan Reynolds / The Beacon

Welcome back to the Pilots RoundUP. While school ended for winter break and many students traveled home for the holidays, Pilots athletics had a busy winter schedule filled with games. Here’s what the Pilots were up to during the remainder of 2023 and the start of the new year. 

Women’s Basketball:

On Friday, Dec. 15, 2023, Pilots women’s basketball traveled to play Stanford University and lost 81-51. Rebounding from the loss, on Sunday, Dec. 17, 2023, the Pilots secured a convincing 83-40 home victory against Willamette University.

With Christmas nearing, the Pilots played their final game before winter break on Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2023. Women’s basketball traveled across the Willamette River to face off against crosstown rival Portland State University. Fueled by holiday spirit, and a career-high of 29 points for Kennedy Dickie, the Pilots won 67-54.

Following the winter break, women’s basketball resumed their season on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2024. They faced Gonzaga University at home and lost 74-53. Swiftly regaining their winning form, the Pilots secured a victory against the University of San Francisco with a score of 67-60 on Saturday, Jan. 6, 2024. 

On Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024, the Pilots hosted the University of San Diego and won 65-54. In their last game before the scheduled start of school, women’s basketball continued their winning streak on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024, against Santa Clara University, beating them 73-63. 

Junior guard Maisie Burnham shoots a basket during a Pilot's home game in January.
by Ryan Reynolds / The Beacon

Men’s Basketball:

On Saturday, Dec. 16, 2023 Pilots men’s basketball traveled to play Grand Canyon University and lost 91-63. 

Men’s basketball then had the opportunity to travel to Hawaii to play at the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic Tournament before their winter break. On Thursday, Dec. 21, 2023, the Pilots opened their tournament against the University of Hawaii and lost 69-56. 

In their second game on Friday, Dec. 22, 2023, the Pilots faced the University of Massachusetts and lost 100-78. In their final game of the tournament, on Sunday, Dec. 24, 2023, the Pilots played against Temple University and experienced a heartbreaking Christmas Eve thriller, losing with a close score of 55-54. 

Men’s basketball rested and recovered before returning to action for their first game of the new year on Friday, Jan. 6, 2024. They hosted the University of the Pacific in their West Coast Conference season opener and emerged victorious 78-64. 

The Pilots then traveled to play Saint Mary’s College of California on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024, and lost 95-52. Staying in California, the Pilots traveled to play the University of San Francisco on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024, in their last game before the start of school and lost 96-69.

Photo from the Diamond Head Classic tournament in Hawaii, courtesy of UP Athletics

Men and Women’s Track and Field:

The weekend before the scheduled start of school, Pilots track and field raced at the University of Washington Indoor Preview on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024. On the women’s side, Laura Pellicoro and Marlee Cavitt achieved record-setting times, while several of the Pilot men set personal records. 

Cavitt set school records in the 60-meter hurdles, 60-meter dash and 200-meter dash, posting times of 7.63 seconds, 7.54 seconds and 24.99 seconds, respectively. Pellicoro excelled in the 1,000-meter and the 600-meter, winning both races and establishing personal record times of 2:42.51 and 1:31.56 respectively. 

Nine Pilot men set personal records, with standout performances from Moe Ombougno and Estanis Ruiz. Ombougno finished the 400-meter dash with a time of 49.53 seconds, securing a personal record and the second-best time in program history. Ruiz finished the indoor 800-meter with a time of 1:50.59, also recording the second-best time in program history. 

Men’s Soccer:

On Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2023, in the 2024 MLS SuperDraft, three Pilots were selected to continue their soccer careers as professionals. Kevin Bonilla was drafted 18th overall by Real Salt Lake, Jacob Babalai was drafted 41st overall by Charlotte FC and Buba Fofanah was drafted 81st overall by the Seattle Sounders. 

Aidan Hyde is a sports reporter at The Beacon. He can be reached at hydea25@up.edu.