THIS WEEK'S EVENTS
Mon., Mar. 8---M Tennis---UCSD vs. Rollins---2:00 PM
Tue., Mar. 9---Softball---UCSD vs. Dixie State (DH) ---3:00 PM
Wed., Mar. 10---Swimming & Diving---UCSD at NCAA D-II Championships---All Day
Wed., Mar. 10---W Tennis---UCSD vs. Western New Mexico---2:00 PM
Wed., Mar. 10---M Tennis---UCSD vs. Western New Mexico---3:00 PM
Thur., Mar. 11---Swimming & Diving---UCSD at NCAA D-II Championships---All Day
Fri., Mar. 12---Swimming & Diving---UCSD at NCAA D-II Championships---All Day
Fri., Mar. 12---M Crew---UCSD vs. Gonzaga, USD---7:00 AM
Fri., Mar. 12---Softball---UCSD vs. Cal State Stanislaus (DH) ---1:00 PM
Fri., Mar. 12---Baseball---UCSD vs. Sonoma State---2:00 PM
Fri., Mar. 12---M Tennis ---UCSD vs. Sonoma State---2:00 PM
Fri., Mar. 12---M Volleyball---UCSD at Lewis---7:00 PM
Fri., Mar. 12---W Basketball---UCSD at NCAA D-II Regional---TBA
Sat., Mar. 13---Swimming & Diving---UCSD at NCAA D-II Championships---All Day
Sat., Mar. 13---Track & Field---UCSD at Point Loma Invitational---All Day
Sat., Mar. 13---W Water Polo---UCSD at Aztec Invitational---All Day
Sat., Mar. 13---W Crew---UCSD at Sacramento Invitational---8:00 AM
Sat., Mar. 13---Fencing---UCSD hosts NCAA West Regional---10:00 AM
Sat., Mar. 13---Softball---UCSD vs. Cal State Stanislaus (DH) ---11:00 AM
Sat., Mar. 13---Baseball---UCSD vs. Sonoma State (DH) ---11:00 AM
Sat., Mar. 13---M Tennis---UCSD vs. Hawaii Hilo---2:00 PM
Sat., Mar. 13---M Volleyball---UCSD at Lewis---7:00 PM
Sat., Mar. 13---W Tennis---UCSD vs. Hawaii Hilo---TBD
Sat., Mar. 13---W Basketball---UCSD at NCAA D-II Regionals---TBA
Sun., Mar. 14---W Water Polo---UCSD at Aztec Invitational---All Day
Sun., Mar. 14---Baseball---UCSD vs. Sonoma State---12:00 PM
SWIMMING & DIVING TAKE 28 TO NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
Coach Scott McGihon's Swimming & Diving team, 28 qualifiers strong (14 men and 14 women), will be in Canton, OH this week for the 2010 NCAA Division II Swimming & Diving Championships...Competition begins Wednesday and concludes Sunday at the C.T. Branin Natatorium...The Tritons, who won both divisions of the Pacific Swim Conference Championships in their last outing, placed third on the women's side and seventh on the men's at the 2009 NCAA's in Houston, TX...Fifteen members of UCSD's 2010 NCAA roster competed in Houston last March...Included in that group is two-time defending NCAA 100 freestyle champion Dan Perdew...Perdew, a senior who owns the national D-II record in the 100 free, also won the NCAA 50 freestyle as a sophomore... Three members of McGihon's women's squad--Anju Shimura, Jessica Ferguson and Mercedes O'Brien--were part of last season's NCAA gold medal-winning 200 medley relay team.
In addition to that trio, UCSD's female travel squad will include sophomore Alex Henley, who finaled in four individual events last year as a freshman, Cari Cunningham, Karla Holman, Shea Kopp, Neda Nguyen, Beth Dong, Katherine Tse, Amber Tan, Megan Thomas, Michelle McCadden and Casey Adams. Joining Perdew on the men's unit will be Todd and Blake Langland, Juan Pablo Carrillo, Jereme Barnett-Woods, Kyle Begovich, Chris Baier, Shaun Stringer, Sam Stromberg, Michael Lorch, Sam Duimovich, Julius Espiritu and divers Patrick Cohen and Tyler Runsten.
Hear NCAA Championship pre-meet comments from Coach Scott McGihon.
Read senior Dan Perdew's Q&A.
Follow the Tritons on the athletes' daily NCAA Championship blog.
BASKETBALL OPENS NCAA TOURNEY WITH HUMBOLDT REMATCH
Coach Charity Elliott's Women's Basketball team (25-4), regular season champion of the CCAA for the second year in a row and ranked 12th nationally, garnered its fifth consecutive NCAA Division II Playoff invitation yesterday...The Tritons, who saw their hopes of hosting the eight-team West Regional go up in smoke with a loss in the CCAA Tournament semi-finals, will now go to Seattle, WA...There, they will open against Humboldt State, the very team that knocked them out of the CCAA Tournament and owns two wins in the three meetings between the two this year...Game schedules have yet to be finalized for the Regional's first round...The Regional champion advances to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight in St. Joseph, MO, March 23-26.
Senior Annette Ilg put up 16 of her game high 21 points in the first half as the Tritons opened up a 40-18 lead in the first 20 minutes on the way to brushing aside visiting Cal State Dominguez Hills, 73-48, in the first round of the CCAA Tournament, last Tuesday night at RIMAC Arena...Ilg also pulled down seven rebounds while backcourt running mate Chelsea Carlisle scored 12 points and dished out seven assists...Junior Tiffany Hunter's eight boards helped UCSD to a 46-29 advantage on the glass.
Friday afternoon, Elliott's cagers fell prey to hot-shooting host Humboldt State, suffering an 82-78 semi-final defeat at the hands of the Lumberjacks...Junior Charity Smith had her best game as a Triton, double doubling with a matching 13 points and 13 rebounds, Ilg scored 21 points, Carlisle 15 and Lauren Friedenberg 11 but with Humboldt hitting 51.8% from the floor and a scorching 47.8% from three-point land, that was not enough...The Tritons were able to stay close by soundly beating the Lumberjacks on the boards, 45-32, and forcing 18 turnovers...In a nip and tuck game that was tied 11 times, HSU pushed its lead to eight points with just over 12:33 remaining in the game but UCSD clawed back, poking ahead for the final time, 70-69, on a three-point play by Ilg with 3:15 to go...From that point, UCSD missed a few critical free throws and the Lumberjacks made just enough to sew up the verdict...It marks the second year in a row that the Tritons have won the CCAA regular season crown then failed to reach the championship game of the conference tournament... Humboldt State went on to win the tourney.
Earlier in the week, Elliott was chosen as the CCAA's Coach of the Year and Carlisle picked up MVP honors...Carlisle was the Tritons' fourth conference MVP honoree in the last five years, joining Leora Juster (2006 & '07) and Michelle Osier (2009)... Hunter and Ilg were both All-CCAA second team selections.
BASEBALL KEEPS ROLLING; SONOMA STATE IN FOR FOUR
Ranked third nationally, Coach Dan O'Brien's Baseball team ran its winning streak to 10 games with a four-game sweep at Cal State East Bay last weekend...The Tritons (19-3) improved to 10-2 in CCAA play and vaulted into first place in the league standings... UCSD has outscored opponents, 78-26, in its last eight outings...Next up is perennial conference and national power Sonoma State...The Seawolves, struggling so far in 2010 at 8-9 overall and 2-6 in the loop play (8th), come to La Jolla Friday for the a four-game series that will single games Friday and Sunday with a Saturday doubleheader sandwiched in between.
The Tritons proved themselves capable of winning close ones Friday, using pitching, errorless defense and opportunistic hitting to take two from Cal State East Bay, 5-3, and 3-2...Senior shortstop Vance Albitz had three of UCSD's 11 hits in game one, including a pair of doubles...First baseman Brandon Gregorich and catcher Michael Benton smacked two hits and drove in two runs apiece...Gregorich also scored twice...Starter Tim Shibuya was staked to a 3-0 advantage and went six and two-thirds innings to secure his fifth win without a loss...Sophomore Elias Tuma got the last seven outs to earn his first save...The Tritons trailed, 2-0, in the seven-inning nightcap, but parlayed two hits, a Pioneer error, a passed ball and two wild pitches into three runs and the victory as senior Guido Knudson, warming to his new role in the starting rotation, struck out 11 and gave up six hits while recording his third victory...Knudson had at least one K in every inning and struck out four of East Bay's final six batters.
In a singleton Saturday, UCSD busted out to a 9-1 lead before eventually prevailing, 12-7...Corner infielders Gregorich and Evan Kehoe erupted for three hits and four RBIs each...Kehoe had a solo homer and Albitz cracked another two doubles...Triton pitchers were roughed up for 16 hits on the afternoon, but even without his best stuff, senior Matt Rossman was able to keep his record unblemished, collecting win No. 4 with 5.1 innings of work.
O'Brien's club looked like its old self Sunday, crushing the Pioneers, 18-5, to stay perfect on the trip...The Tritons lashed 22 hits and senior Kirby St. John threw six solid innings to up his record to 4-1...UCSD was already cruising, 10-2, when it clubbed CSUEB pitching for seven runs in the seventh inning to turn the game into a blowout...Junior Kellen Lee went 4-for-5, scored four times and blasted a home run and center fielder Robert Sedin went 3-for-4, scored three, drove in five and had a dinger of his own...Gregorich and left fielder Aaron Bauman each chipped in with three hits, one of the latter's being a third Triton round tripper.
SOFTBALL BACK HOME AFTER SMASHING ROAD PERFORMANCE
On the heels of taking a potential season-turning three-out-of-four games at San Francisco State last weekend, Coach Patti Gerckens' Softball team returns for the first six of eight straight home games this week...The Tritons (11-9) play a non-conference doubleheader vs. Dixie State Tuesday and then welcome CCAA foe Cal State Stanislaus (3-14-1/1-11) for a pair of weekend doubleheaders...UCSD is now 9-7 in CCAA play and has moved up to fourth in the conference standings...Stanislaus comes into La Jolla at the bottom of the CCAA ladder.
The San Francisco trip was all about pitching for UCSD and Gerckens got a pair of gems Friday...In game one, sophomore Camille Gaito posted her seventh win of the season, scattering six hits and striking out seven over six innings of a 6-1 triumph that saw the Tritons break a 1-1 tie with five fifth inning runs...Kellin Haley doubled home Kris Lesovsky with UCSD's first run in the third and the Tritons batted around in the five-run fifth with back-to-back doubles by senior catcher Nicole Saari and freshman DP Nicole Spangler doing the major damage... Lesovsky and Katrin Gabriel each had two hits for UCSD...In the nightcap, sophomore Tess Granath hurled four and two-thirds hitless/scoreless innings in relief of starter Christine Zankich to garner her first win of the year as UCSD upended the host Gators, 3-1...Granath, who was summoned when Zankich ran into trouble in the third, whiffed seven and walked just two...A Lesovksy solo shot to lead off the game gave UCSD an early edge but after SFSU had tied it up, an RBI single by freshman pinch hitter Katie Belanger and a sacrifice fly by Lesovsky that plated Lyndsay Gaylord provided all the additional offense Granath would need.
In Sunday's opener, Gaito tossed a complete game and fanned five but was touched up for three unearned tallies in the third and which was enough for the Gators to take a 3-1 decision...UCSD, which managed just two hits off winning pitcher Ashley Jackson, got its lone run when Saari doubled home junior third sacker Sarah Woofter in the first... The series finale was shaping up as another down-to-the-wire pitchers' duel until the Triton bats came alive late...Following six scoreless innings, UCSD exploded for nine runs in the top of the seventh and Zankich, after surrendering a pair of throwaway runs, closed the door on SFSU, 9-2...The big blow in the seventh was a three-run home run by Lesovsky...Four other Tritons--Saari, Spangler, Mandi Eliades and Jenn DeFazio--popped two hits apiece with both Eliades and DeFazio driving in two as well...UCSD had 12 hits overall...Zankich, who threw a complete game seven-hitter, evened her record at 3-3.
MEN'S VOLLEYBALL DUMPS PACIFIC; NO. 15 LEWIS UP NEXT
Coach Kevin Ring's 14th-ranked Men's Volleyball team closes out a stretch of six consecutive road matches when it travels to the Midwest for a pair of non-conference contests against No. 15 Lewis (IL)...The Tritons, 2-2 in the four road games played to date, split of pair of Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) matches in Northern California last weekend, bringing their record to 6-13 overall and 3-11 in the MPSF.
The trip north started inauspiciously Friday as No. 2 Stanford dominated the UCSD, 3-1 (30-18, 30-20, 28-30, 30-20), registering wide statistical edges in both hitting and blocking...Outside hitter Joel Davidson had 17 kills for the Tritons followed by reserve Carl Eberts with 10...Setter Erik Sierks came off the bench to hand out 34 assists.
UCSD turned it around Saturday, getting 19 kills from senior Frank Fritsch, including two of the final four points in the pivotal first set, as the Tritons whipped host Pacific, 3-1 (31-29, 30-17, 33-35, 30-24)...Fritsch's late-game heroics allowed UCSD to escape from a 29-27 deficit in game one...Three other Tritons also accounted for double digits in the kills department--outside hitter Jason Spangler (13) and middle blockers Adrian Guthals (13) and Cyrus Kiani (12)...Those three plus Fritsch combined to hit .511 while UCSD hit .388 altogether...Junior setter Phil Bannan was back on the beam, dishing out 58 assists while Eberts again provided a spark with three aces...Spangler had a team high 11 digs.
WOMEN'S WATER POLO OVERPOWERS SANTA CLARA
A season full of battles against top-rated opponents finally paid off for the Women's Water Polo team Friday night as Coach Brad Kreutzkamp's club rode a four-goal performance by senior Stephanie Heinrich and some lock down defense to roll past Santa Clara, 10-5, at Canyonview Pool...The Tritons (4-12) now travel crosstown for the Aztec Invitational this weekend...UCSD will match-up against four Eastern schools at the tournament, facing Wagner (8:00 AM) and Maryland (1:00 PM) Saturday then Princeton and Marist at the same times Sunday.
Heinrich scored the Tritons' first two goals against Santa Clara and then got her third in the middle of a 4-0 mid-game blitz that gave UCSD command of the contest...With the score 4-3 favor of the home squad in the second quarter, junior Hanalei Crowell buried a penalty shot and off a turnover seconds later, Heinrich took an inside pass from Felicia Orozco and put a lob over Bronco goalie Wren White to give the Tritons their first three-goal lead of the night...The defensive effort was anchored by senior goalie Markayla Quane who turned away 13 shots.
Hear post-game comments from Brad Kreutzkamp after Santa Clara win.
Listen to Santa Clara post-game interview with senior Stephanie Heinrich.
FENCERS HOST NCAA REGIONAL SATURDAY
Bidding for individual spots in the NCAA Championship field, the Fencing team will host the NCAA West Regional Saturday in UCSD's Main Gym...Stanford, Air Force and Cal Tech will round out the competition...Last year, Coach Heidi Runyan's squad sent five fencers to the NCAA Championships and all are returning this year...They are Ben Dorn (foil), Michael Fong (foil), Jonathon Ott (sabre), Pilar Alicea (foil) and Alicia Trigeiro (sabre)...The Tritons finished 17th at the national meet last year.
TRACK & FIELD TAKES TWIN CITY CHAMPIONSHIPS
The Track & Field team treks crosstown for Saturday's Point Loma Invitational (a handful of athletes will compete Friday at the Aztec Invitational and Saturday afternoon at Occidental) after turning in some huge individual performances while winning both the men's and women's divisions of last Saturday's San Diego City Championships for the third straight year...Coach Tony Salerno's Men racked up 156 points to best runner-up Point Loma by 23 points, while winning eight events and setting a pair of school marks... Meanwhile, Coach Darcy Ahner's Women won nine events and scored 207 points to Point Loma's 157.5.
The record-breaking winners for the men both bettered marks they had set last year and reached automatic NCAA Division II Championship qualifying standards in the process...Junior Casey Ryan, in his first competition since finishing the season with the UCSD basketball team, cleared 7-1 in the high jump...He snared the record on his first try at the height and then narrowly missed at 7-3...Sophomore Nick Howe added five feet to his javelin record, letting loose with a heave of 206-3...Joining Ryan and Howe in the winner's circle Saturday were senior Fred Cook (hammer/179-0 & shot put/52-0), Dane Sandifer (discus/143-6), Bryan Dieffenbach (200/23.42), Leon Baham (110 HH/15.58) and Tobias Haswell (400 IH/53.98).
On the women's side, senior Christine Merrill, defending national champion in the 400 hurdles, snagged an automatic NCAA Championship berth with a 59.82 clocking in her specialty...She also captured the 100 hurdles (14.59) and led off the winning 4x100 relay (46.98) unit that included Kathleen Hitchens, Jaqueline Rose and Kelly Fogarty...Another defending NCAA titlist, senior Linda Rainwater, leaped 5-8 to top the high jump field...Other individual winners for UCSD were Fogarty (100/12.14), Leah Murphy (triple jump/38-9.5), Theresa Richards (javelin/139-6), Marie Archer (hammer/167-10) and Stephanie LeFever (long jump/19-4.75)...The marks by Murphy, Richards, Archer and the relay foursome were provisional NCAA qualifying numbers.
Hear interview with men's javelin winner Nick Howe.
Hear interview with women's javelin winner Theresa Richards.
BIG D-II SHOWDOWNS AT HOME FOR MEN'S TENNIS
With finals looming for his players next week, Coach Eric Steidlmayer's Men's Tennis team will squeeze in four matches prior to the academic break, hosting a quartet of tough Division II opponents--Rollins (Mon.), Western New Mexico (Wed.), Sonoma State (Fri.) and Hawaii-Hilo (Sat.)--this week...The four matches, particularly the two weekend encounters, figure to go a long way towards determining UCSD's NCAA post-season fate.
The Tritons opened last week with a pair of easy victories, clobbering Division I Villanova, 8-1, Monday and then knocking off regional rival Cal Poly Pomona, 7-2, the next afternoon...Erik Elliott (No. 1), Vincent Nguyen (No. 4), Sam Ling (No. 5) and Naveen Dixit (No. 6) were all singles winners both days...Elliott and Jake Fellow as well as Ling/Dixit notched back-to-back doubles wins at Nos. 2-3...Later in the week, the Tritons used the annual Pacific Coast Doubles Championships at nearby La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club as an opportunity to get in competition against some of the top players in the nation...Although wins were in short supply, matches such as the one Ling and Dixit had against a USC pair that played in the main draw of last summer's U.S. Open provided the type of experience that is expected to help down the road.
W-TENNIS DROPS VILLANOVA; HOME FOR TWO THIS WEEK
The 17th-ranked Women's Tennis team will be home for a pair of matches this week, squaring off against Western New Mexico Tuesday and Hawaii-Hilo Saturday...Coach Liz LaPlante's Tritons are 5-2 on the season.
LaPlante's outfit captured all three doubles matches while cruising past Division I Villanova, 8-1, Monday...That was followed by wins in five-of-six singles contests with Taskeen Bains and Natalie Varnay taking Nos. 1-2 and Anita Athavale, Samantha Yeung and Jacquelyn Davis doing the honors at Nos. 4-6...All were straight set triumphs...Last Saturday's scheduled match at Cal Poly Pomona was postponed due to weather concerns.
SACRAMENTO INVITATIONAL ON TAP FOR WOMEN'S CREW
Coach Pattie Pinkerton's Women's Rowing team heads north this weekend for Saturday's Sacramento Invitational, hosted by Sacramento State at Lake Natoma which will also be the site of the WIRA Championships in May...The nine-team field will be split between Division I and II boats...Of most interest to Pinkerton and Co. will be D-II counterpart Humboldt State, a perennial competitor for one of the coveted NCAA Championship slots.
After facing an expected uphill battle at last Monday's re-scheduled San Diego City Championships, the UCSD women bounced back in fine fashion Saturday with an encouraging performance against three Division I squads...In a much-improved outing, the Triton varsity eight was third in a race that saw UC Santa Barbara eke out a two-second triumph over Long Beach State...UCSD's roster of Jesi Bennett, Wanda Chin, Jaime Bigwood, Megan Simmons, Denise Kleckner, Summer Austin, Courtney Escajeda, Lynn Nguyen and coxswain Katrina Paz was another four seconds back...The novice eight, coxed by Stephanie Pham with muscle provided by Ellen Umeda, Katrinka Kettler, Erin Lee, Chantal Creighton, Collette Lefuel, Jen Burke, Alyssa Dixon-Word and April Kim, delivered a forceful performance, winning its race by more than eight seconds over UC Irvine...The varsity four--Kleckner, Simmons, Carolyn Belak, Daisy Orta and coxswain Lisa Yen--claimed third in a hard-fought battle with victor UC Irvine and second place UC Santa Barbara...The Tritons were near the front all the way, but it came down to the final sprint where Irvine managed to shake its pursuers...UCSD was less than half a second behind UCSB.
Listen to Saturday's post-race comments from Coach Pattie Pinkerton.
MEN'S CREW GOES UNBEATEN IN OPENER
The old adage "good things come to those who wait," proved true for Coach Zach Johnson's Men's Crew, which opened its 2010 season Saturday, seven days late due to tenuous weather conditions the previous weekend...Facing off against SoCal foes UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara, Long Beach State and USD on Mission Bay, Johnson's youngish squad powered to victories in all four races it entered-the varsity eight, second varsity eight, novice eight and second novice four.
The varsity eight, which included Nathan Morgan, Jay Dee Morgan, Justin Gordon, Erik Smith, Joey Frank, Ed Yragui, coxswain Cameran Biltucci and two freshmen--Michael Monrean and Drew Madden--hit home eight seconds ahead of runner-up UC Irvine...The novice eight emerged on top in a tight heat where the first four finishers crossed the line within 17 seconds of each other...Manning the boat were Mark Tolentino, Jeff Friesen, Ross Bell, Kenny DeSantis, Justin Walsh, Ryan Brown, Austin Jones, Seeman Farrah and coxswain Ray Scheng...The Tritons will be back in action on Mission Bay Friday morning to hook up with Gonzaga and USD.
Hear Saturday's post-race comments from Coach Zach Johnson.
UCSD TO HOST SOCAL INVITATIONAL AT MISSION VIEJO CC
The UCSD Golf team will host the 60th annual Southern California Invitational, today and tomorrow at Mission Viejo Country Club...The 11-team, 54-hole event will begin with the first two rounds Monday with the final 18 being played Tuesday...Coach Mike Wydra will enter a five-player team and have his remaining three players compete as individual...Senior Raj Samra, juniors Keith Okasaki and Richard Morris, sophomore Mike Neustadt and freshman Anubhay Rastogi have been the top five at recent events.
The Tritons, still trying to find their stride, are coming off a 13th place finish at last week's 17-team Coyote Classic, hosted by Cal State San Bernardino at Arrowhead Country Club...Okasaki carded a three-over par 210, including a final round 69, which left him tied for 11th in the individual standings...Following for the Tritons were Neustadt (224), Morris (232) and Samra (232).
NEWS & NOTES
This week's edition of Triton Talk, UCSD's online radio show hosted by Craig Elsten, will feature Women's Basketball Coach Charity Elliott, Men's Crew Coach Zach Johnson and Brandon Gregorich of the Triton baseball team...The show will be posted Tuesday afternoon at ucsdtritons.com.
Senior Jordan Lawley of the Men's Basketball team, the CCAA's leading scorer ( ), was named the conference MVP in a vote of head coaches...Lawley, a native of Lodi, CA, finished his career with 1,398 points, the most ever by a UCSD player at the Division II level.
The 17th annual Triton Athletic Associates Golf Tournament, benefiting UCSD Athletics, will be held Monday, May 24 at Fairbanks Ranch Country Club...For information on playing or sponsoring, contact the UCSD Athletic Dept. at (858) 534-8460.
For more information on Triton sports, check our website at http://ucsdtritons.com.
THIS WEEK'S EVENTS