THIS WEEK’S EVENTS:
Mon., May 4---Men’s Golf---UCSD at NCAA Super Regional---All Day
Tues., May 5---Men’s Golf---UCSD at NCAA Super Regional---All Day
Wed., May 6---Men’s Golf---UCSD at NCAA Super Regional---All Day
Thur., May 7---Men’s Tennis---NCAA West Regional---5:30 PM
Thur., May 7---Baseball---UCSD at CCAA Tournament---3:00 PM
Fri., May 8---Softball---UCSD at NCAA West Regional---TBD
Fri., May 8---Baseball---UCSD at CCAA Tournament---TBD
Sat., May 9---Track & Field---UCSD at Occidental Invitational---10:00 AM
Sat., May 9---Women’s Tennis---UCSD hosts NCAA West Regional---11:00 AM
Sat., May 9---Softball---UCSD at NCAA West Regional---TBA
Sat., May 9---Baseball---UCSD at CCAA Tournament---TBD
Sun., May 10---Softball---UCSD at NCAA West Regional---TBA
FIVE STRAIGHT CCAA T&F CROWNS FOR TRITON WOMEN; MEN SECOND
Coach Darcy Ahner’s Women’s Track & Field team re-asserted its CCAA dominance, controlling things from start-to-finish in winning its fifth consecutive conference title last weekend in Chico...Meanwhile, Coach Tony Salerno’s men’s team finished in second place, one spot better than last spring...The teams will use this Saturday's Occidental Invitational for their final NCAA tune-ups and last chance qualifying opportunities.
The UCSD women, racking up 10 first place performances, scored 247.5 points, to finish 83.5 pts. clear of runner-up Chico State...Ahner, named CCAA Women’s Coach of the Year for the second time in a row, relied heavily on her “big four”---Christine Merrill, Laiah Blue, Linda Rainwater and Kelly Fogarty...Merrill, the 2009 CCAA Women’s Track & Field Athlete of the Year, won both the 400 (56.22) and 400 hurdles (61.13) and was second in the 100 hurdles...Running-mate Blue bested her in the short hurdles, blazing to victory in a school record 13.64...The ultra-versatile Rainwater repeated her heptathlon (5,102 pts.)-high jump (5-5.25) double and also grabbed fourth in the 100 hurdles...Fogarty just missed matching Rainwater’s back-to-back double, winning the 100 (12.01) but getting silver in the 200 (24.32)...Throwers Danielle Thu (hammer/180-6) and Sarah Hendy (discus/147-11) added to UCSD’s individual gold medal haul and the Tritons prevailed in both relays...It was Merrill, Blue, Fogarty and Katie Skorupa in the 4x100 (46.92) and Skorupa, Deyna Roberson, Blue and Anna Lee McGregor doing the honors in the 4x400 (3:50.93)...Noteworthy efforts were also registered by Stephanie LeFever who was second in both the heptathlon and long jump (18-6) and Marie Archer, the runner-up to Thu in the hammer...Merrill and Blue led a 1-2-3-4 Triton romp in the 400 hurdles with Skorupa and Roberson following them home.
On the men’s side, UCSD piled up 164 points but was still 93 points short of six-time champion Chico State...The Tritons captured five individual events with junior Leon Baham sweeping the hurdles, clocking 14.58 in the 110 highs and 53.24 in the 400 intermediates...Senior Scott Tsuda capped an outstanding CCAA career with his third consecutive triple jump title (48-9) after getting fifth in the long jump (21-5.25)...High jumper Casey Ryan cleared 6-9.75 to win that event and Nick Howe earned Men’s Freshman of the Year accolades after taking the javelin with a heave of 189-10...Senior Nick Morilla was second in the shot put (51-0.25) and teammate Fred Cook recorded third place finishes in all three weight events---shot put, hammer (164-7) and discus (133-0).
CCAA REGULAR SEASON CHAMPS—BASEBALL NO. 1 SEED IN TOURNEY
With three wins in four tries against Cal Poly Pomona last weekend, the fifth-ranked Baseball team added another entry to an historic season by claiming its first regular season CCAA Championship (UCSD won the 2005 CCAA Tournament Championship) ...Coach Dan O’Brien’s crew, now 33-12 overall, finished CCAA play with a 27-9 mark and now heads into this weekend’s double elimination CCAA Tournament as the No. 1 seed...They will meet fourth-seeded Cal State Dominguez Hills in their opening game Thursday at Palm Springs Stadium (3:00 PM)...Second place Sonoma State and third place Cal State Los Angeles square off in the other first round game...The winners play at 11:00 AM Friday and the losers go at 3:00 PM with a second elimination contest set for 7:00 PM...The championship game is set for noon on Saturday with a second game to follow, if needed...UCSD is making its sixth straight appearance in the conference tourney.
In last week's action, Cal Poly Pomona drew first blood with Kevin Bosson and Brad Wilson stopping UCSD, 3-1, on five hits Thursday in Pomona...Hard luck starter Tim Shibuya (6-4) gave up just four hits over eight innings but a hit batter and a walk to start the fourth led to a pair of runs that proved decisive...Friday’s second game at Pomona was a completely different story...The Tritons unleashed a 21-hit offensive barrage on the Broncos en route to a 19-5 whipping...UCSD tallied three in the second, eight more in the fourth and it was off to the races...Second baseman Garrett Imeson, first baseman Brandon Gregorich and right fielder Tim Mort each had three hits with Imeson chalking up three of UCSD’s six stolen bases...Gregorich, who hit a two-run home run, and Imeson’s back-up, Gino Fata, both had three RBIs...Senior Trevor Decker struck out nine over seven frames, cruising to his seventh win of the year, which upped his school career record to 27.
On Senior Day, Saturday, UCSD swept the visiting Broncos, 7-3 and 11-9, to clinch the conference crown outright and finish a perfect 16-for-16 CCAA ledger at home...Junior Kirby St. John logged eight innings to get the win in game one...Sophomore Evan Kehoe had three hits, junior Vance Albitz two and senior third sacker Josh Tanner drove in a pair for UCSD...The regular season finale was an apt illustration of the grit that has made this one of the finest teams in school history...Trailing, 4-0 early, the Tritons rallied to go up 8-4...Cal Poly responded with a five-run sixth inning to reclaim the lead but UCSD countered with three of its own in the bottom of the inning and sophomore Guido Knudson got the final three outs to nail it down...In the critical final comeback, Kehoe’s fourth hit of the game tied it up and a Mort single plated the last two runs...Earlier in the game, senior Matt Cantele became UCSD’s all-time home run leader, breaking a tie with former major leaguer Bob Natal when he launched the 54th of his career over the right field wall.
Listen to Saturday's post-game interview with Head Coach Dan O'Brien.
Hear Saturday post-game comments from sophomore Evan Kehoe.
SOFTBALL TO UTAH FOR THIRD STRAIGHT NCAA PLAYOFF APPEARANCE
It’s on to the NCAA Regionals for Coach Patti Gerckens’ Softball team after settling for second in a rain-shortened CCAA Championship Tournament last weekend in Stockton...UCSD, which was scheduled to face Cal State Monterey Bay for the conference title before the rain struck, is 29-23 overall and has won four-of-its-last-five...The Tritons CCAA disappointment was mitigated by their third consecutive invitation to the NCAA Division II West Regional, this year split into two four-team sites...UCSD was assigned to the St. George, UT venue, hosted by top seed Dixie State...The Tritons will be challenged by Hawaii Pacific (35-9) in their Thursday opener while Dixie State plays Cal State Monterey Bay...The championship game(s) is set for Saturday with the winner advancing to next week's Super Regional.
Frustration was the order of the day for the Tritons in Thursday night's CCAA opener...Cal State Monterey Bay scored twice in the first and after UCSD, powered by a Kristyn Lesovsky double off the top of the left field wall, tied it at three in the top of the fifth, the Otters plated a game-deciding four runs in the bottom of that frame for a 7-3 victory...First baseman Jenni Habib and left fielder Katrin Gabriel had two hits each.
With their backs against the wall, the Tritons rocked the region's No. 1 team, Humboldt State, 8-0, in Friday morning's elimination game...After three scoreless innings, UCSD crossed three runs in the fourth, four more in the fifth and rode the near flawless three-hit pitching of freshman Camille Gaito to the clear cut triumph...It could have been worse as UCSD pounded 13 hits and left 11 runners on base...Four players had multi-hit games, led by Habib who went 3-for-4...Shortstop Mandi Eliades, back in the lineup for the tourney after being sidelined for the past three weeks, had two hits and both were central to UCSD's big innings...Her two-run double put the Tritons on top for the first time and she had three RBIs for the game.
Still alive, UCSD then rode Gaito's arm and center fielder Allison May's bat to a 3-2 afternoon win over Sonoma State, knocking the Seawolves out of the championship hunt...Pitching under a consistent drizzle, Gaito stifled Sonoma State on seven hits, frequently bearing down to extricate herself from difficult situations...With the contest tied, 1-1, in the top of the third, and Habib on second, May launched an offering from CCAA Pitcher of the Year Lindsay Emmel over the left field fence...That proved to be the game-winner...Gabriel and catcher Nicole Saari each had two of UCSD's nine hits.
Earlier in the week, Lesovsky won first team All-CCAA and Newcomer of the Year recognition and Saari was named second team all-conference.
MEN’S CREW BEATEN IN PHOTO AT WIRA GRAND FINAL
Producing what Coach Zach Johnson called, “our best race of the year,” the Triton men’s varsity eight was just nipped by Division I Gonzaga in a cold, rainy grand final at the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Assn. (WIRA) Championships Sunday on Sacramento’s Lake Natoma...The runner-up finish did, however, earn UCSD an automatic spot in the Intercollegiate Rowing Assn. (IRA) Championships which will be held on the same Lake Natoma course, June 4-7.
In a stirring battle over the full 2,000 m., Gonzaga came out with guns blazing, opening up nearly a boat length on the Tritons in the first 400 meters...UCSD battled back to nose in front at the 700 meter mark...The Bulldogs ramped it up again, pulling ahead by three-to-four seats but Johnson’s charges refused to go away, re-taking the lead and getting several seats up themselves...The final 400 meters proved conclusive, however, as Gonzaga put on one final charge to end up less than one seat on top at the wire...UCSD came home less than a second behind the winning time of 5:59.7...USD was third...The Triton boat featured its regular lineup of Andrew Hilton, Ryan Andre, Jay Dee Morgan, Jeff Collett, Kris Grey, Nathan Morgan, Karam Badran and Justin Gordon and was coxed by Cameran Bittucci.
UCSD had good success across the board, taking third overall in the team standings, despite entering just five boats...The JV eight was also second while the novice eight and lightweight novice four were both fourth, all in grand finals...The varsity four won the third level final.
WIRA’S PROVE THORNY FOR WOMEN’S CREW
Persistent stormy weather proved symbolic for Coach Patti Pinkerton’s Women’s Rowing team last weekend at the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Assn. (WIRA) Championships on Sacramento’s Lake Natoma...Hoping to make a statement to the NCAA committee regarding their worthiness for a fourth consecutive NCAA D-II Championship berth, the Tritons instead made that mountain a little steeper with what Pinkerton termed “an ordinary” performance at the WIRAs...Now, UCSD must bank on a surpassing effort at the final national qualifier---the Pacific Coast Rowing Conference (PCRC) Championships---which will be held May 16 at Lake Natoma.
The varsity eight, geared to provide a stern challenge for two-time defending NCAA Division II champion Western Washington, failed to realize its potential in Saturday’s heat and was relegated to the petite final where it finished fourth (10th overall)...The novice eight, in a 20-plus team field, also reached the petite final...The best showing of the weekend belonged to the varsity four (Jesi Bennett, Laurel Copenbarger, Suzanne Chang, Wanda Chin and coxswain Amy Fan) which grabbed a lane in the grand final, placing sixth overall...The second varsity eight also recorded a sixth place finish, as did the lightweight eight.
Changes in the all-important varsity eight boat could be in the offing as Pinkerton looks for speed between now and May 16 and trusts that the NCAA will be placing weight on improved late-season results.
THREE GOLFERS START NCAA REGIONAL TODAY
Coach Mike Wydra will send three individuals from his team to the 2009 NCAA Central/West Regional Tournament, starting today in Lincoln, NB...The 54-hole event will be held at Wilderness Ridge Golf Club with 18 holes being played over three days... Representing UCSD will be senior Billy Olsen, junior Raj Samra and sophomore Keith Okasaki.
WOMEN’S TENNIS HOSTS HAWAII PACIFIC IN NCAA REGIONAL
Coach Liz LaPlante’s No. 10 Women’s Tennis team, boasting a 15-5 record with wins in 12-of-its-last-15 dual matches, will take on No. 15 Hawaii Pacific, Saturday, May 9 at 11:00 AM on the North Courts...It will mark the 28th consecutive NCAA appearance for the UCSD women, who are also champions of the CCAA for the sixth year in a row...The winner of Saturday’s match will advance to the 16-team NCAA Division II Championships, May 13-16, in Altamonte Springs, FL.
These two teams met at the same site, March 2, with UCSD upending the Sea Warriors, 5-4...In that one, the Tritons scored points at each of the No. 3 through six single slots, two going to three sets.
MEN’S TENNIS OPENS NCAA AGAINST TOP-SEEDED HAWAII PACIFIC
Coach Eric Steidlmayer’s surging Men’s Tennis team will get its biggest test of the season when it travels to Hawaii for a first round NCAA Regional encounter against Hawaii Pacific, Thursday at Kailua Racket Club...The Tritons, ranked 29th nationally, are seeded fourth in the region while fifth-ranked Hawaii Pacific is the No. 1 seed...The Sea Warriors downed UCSD, 7-2, in a March 1 match in La Jolla...This is the 10th consecutive NCAA appearance for UCSD which made it to the round of 16 in 2008...The winner of Thursday’s clash will advance to the 16-team NCAA Championships, May 13-16, in Altamonte Springs, FL...Led by senior Kazumi Negishi, the Tritons have won eight-of-their-last-11 matches.
NEWS & NOTES
This week’s Triton Talk with host Craig Elsten will feature interviews with Baseball Coach Dan O’Brien, Women’s Track Coach Darcy Ahner and CCAA Softball Newcomer of the Year Kristyn Lesovsky...The newest edition of Triton Talk will be available online at ucsdtritons.com on Wednesday.
The 16th annual Triton Athletic Associates Golf Tournament is scheduled for Monday, May 18 at Fairbanks Ranch Country Club in Rancho Santa Fe...For information on foursomes and tee sponsorships, call the UCSD Athletic Offices at (858) 534-8460.
For more information on Triton sports, check our website at http://ucsdtritons.com
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