The UCSD men’s varsity eight made San Diego Crew Classic history last weekend by becoming the first San Diego-based squad to ever make the grand final of the Copley Cup.
Coach Zach Johnson’s squad finished fifth in the regatta’s premier race Sunday morning, behind only Cal, Stanford, Michigan and Oregon State. The Tritons beat out Temple finishing in a time of 6:13.2
Steered by coxswain Shawn Kuo and powered by Edwin Clement, Drew Lawyer, Brandon Gonzalez, Benton Sparks, Erik Smith, Ross Bell, Justin Gordon and Drew Madden, UCSD earned its way into the final by finishing third in their Saturday heat, vanquishing, among others, Northeastern, a unit that finished in the top 10 nationally a year ago.
The varsity eight was one of three UCSD boats that reached the grand final. The JV eight also placed fifth and had most of the same opponents--Cal, Stanford and Oregon State--in front of it.
Manning the JV boat were Zach Sharfman, Johny Sutterfield, Joey Frank, Nathan Morgan, Justin Walsh, Ed Yragui, Michael Monrean, Justin Hsu and coxswain Kelly Feldman.
The novice eight produced the best-ever UCSD Crew Classic finish with a fourth place finish in this division.
“The biggest thing to take out of this weekend is that we're coming closer and closer to bridging the gap between ourselves and the top rowing programs in the country,” Johnson said. “The rest of the season is going to be about finishing what we've started and how much can we build on what we did this weekend.”
The Tritons head up to Orange County this weekend for the annual Newport Regatta Saturday at Newport Harbor, where they will clash with USC, UCLA, UC Irvine, USD and Orange Coast College.
The UCSD women’s crew placed fifth in the grand final of the Women's Collegiate Division II/III/Club division Sunday in the San Diego Crew Classic.
Clocking 7:42.84 for the 2,000 meter, the team of Kelley Temes, Alyssa Dixon-Word, Denise Kleckner, Jen Burke, Carolyn Belak, Caroline Baratz, Collette Lefuel, Chelsea Bollinger and coxswain Katrina Kettler, was just six seconds behind fourth place Central Oklahoma, the only other D-II squad to reach the final six.
UCSD’s second varsity eight placed third in the petite final of the same division while the novice eight, despite a nice performance in which it finished a mere six seconds behind D-I San Diego State, failed to advance out of its heat after a fifth place finish.
Coach Pattie Pinkerton’s outfit will be back in action this Saturday when it travels to Los Angeles for a dual meet against Division I Loyola Marymount.
UC San Diego’s softball players swept the weekly California Collegiate Athletic Association honors for the week of March 28-April 3.
Camille Gaito earned Pitcher of the Week honors for the second time this season while Jennifer De Fazio took home Player of the Week honors.
The announcement, which was made on Monday, came a day after Gaito and De Fazio were named Pitcher of Tournament and Most Valuable Hitter, respectively, in April 1-3’s Mizuno Tournament of Champions.
De Fazio connected with the game-winning hit and Gaito was credited with the victory in the Tritons’ 4-3 extra-inning win over Montana State-Billings in the Silver Bracket championship, capping off a weekend where UCSD went 6-1 and defeated defending NCAA Division II national champion, No. 22 Hawaii Pacific.
Gaito earned five wins in five appearances at the T.O.C., posting a combined 0.25 ERA and three complete games with four starts. In 27.2 innings pitched, Gaito limited the opposition to nine hits, one earned run, two walks and a .098 average while striking out 21 batsmen. She came on in relief of Tess Granath in the final against MSUB and retired nine of the final 10 batters she faced.
Gaito improved her record to 18-1 this season and lowered her ERA by six points to 0.46- best in the CCAA and West Region. She also earned CCAA Pitcher of the Week for the week of Feb. 21-27.
De Fazio, the Tritons’ everyday second baseman, hit .579 (11-for-19) with five runs scored, three doubles, six RBIs and five stolen bases, while posting a .737 slugging and .579 on-base percentage in the T.O.C. She scored the game-winning run in the Tritons’ 2-1 win in the Silver Bracket semifinals and then accounted for the game-winning RBI with a two-out single in the bottom of the eighth inning against MSUB in the championship.
She was 8-for-10 with four RBIs in UCSD’s final three games of the tournament and is currently riding a six-game hitting streak. Her five multiple-RBI games in 2011 are a team best.
UCSD previously swept the weekly CCAA honors earlier this season, as shortstop Mya Romero earned Player of the Week accolades alongside Gaito for the week of Feb. 21-27. Center fielder Kris Lesovsky was also presented with the award for the week of March 7-13.
The Tritons currently sit in first place in the CCAA standings with a 20-6 overall record and 14-5 conference clip; they will return to action on Friday and Saturday when they make a return trip to Turlock to take on the Warriors of Cal State Stanislaus (14-18 overall, 11-13 CCAA) in a four-game series. UCSD’s final home series is the following weekend, April 15-16, against second-place Sonoma State (18-9 overall, 14-6 CCAA).
WOMEN’S WATER POLO
The No. 20 UC San Diego women’s water polo team split its pair of non-conference matches on Sunday afternoon against Fresno Pacific and No. 9 Arizona State, taking down the Sunbirds, 10-8, before falling to the Sun Devils, 11-8.
The Tritons put together a 2-1 record on the weekend, including its win over Brown on Friday evening, moving their overall record to 11-15 in 2011. Despite its pair of victories over the Bears and Sunbirds, UCSD head coach Brad Kreutzkamp seemed much more impressed with the Tritons’ performance in the narrow loss to the Sun Devils.
“When you have games that you lose, it’s tough to have the players find things positive that you do in them,” said Kreutzkamp. “We Beat Brown and we beat Fresno Pacific, but I don’t think we really played well in those games. We came out with a lot of enthusiasm against some really talented Arizona State players and we really challenged them all over the pool.”
In the 11-9 victory over Brown, Kirsten Bates scored four goals for her team-high third time this season and Katherine Biehl scored three times.
UCSD will be back in action this weekend at The Bronco, a tournament at Santa Clara University.
After a 19-day layoff for final exams and spring break, the UC San Diego women’s tennis team returned to the courts over the weekend and beat Sonoma State, 5-4 on Friday and Cal State Stanislaus, 5-4 on Saturday before losing to Division 1 UC Davis, 7-0 on Sunday.
In the win over Sonoma State, Cindy Dao and Jacquelyn Davis defeated Haley Hickock and Dana Carollo, 8-4, at No. 2 to put UCSD on the board. The Tritons would come back to win the first four matches in singles play, with Samantha Yeung defeating Hickock in the fourth spot to seal the match for UCSD.
On Saturday the Tritons won four of six singles matches for their fourth consecutive win.
At No. 2, Dao defeated Katie Eng, 6-0 and 6-3; Yeung was victorious in her No. 4 singles match, downing McKenzy Harden, 6-0 and 6-3. Katie Mulloy didn't drop a single game against Erin McGurty at No. 5 and Davis defeated Lexy Harrington, 6-2, 6-0, in the No. 6 singles tilt.
UCSD will be back in action on April 14 at Point Loma at 2:30 p.m.
The 10th-ranked UC San Diego baseball team split a doubleheader with CCAA opponent Cal State L.A. Saturday at Triton Ballpark. UCSD won the opener, which featured 30 hits and 19 runs, by a score of 11-8. In the nightcap, the Tritons had two runners on in the seventh but fell short and lost, 3-1.
UCSD is now 21-11 overall and 14-10 in the CCAA, while Cal State L.A. is 20-12 and 15-9. The Golden Eagles received votes in the most recent Collegiate Baseball national poll.
In the opener Triton center fielder Danny Susdorf went 4-for-5, tying his career high for hits, with two runs scored and three RBI. Third baseman Matt Hubbard, first baseman Evan Kehoe and designated hitter Nick La Face had two hits apiece. Kehoe blasted his first home run of the season.
Senior left-hander Taylor Austin (1-0) got the win in a relief role. He gave up one run on one hit in 3.1 innings and struck out three. Starter Greg Selarz went 3.2 innings and let in four runs (three earned) on 10 hits.
Susdorf and Kehoe each had two hits, accounting for four of UCSD's five in the second game. La Face had the other. All three Tritons have four-game hit streaks going.
On Thursday Tim Shibuya struck out a career-high 11 batters for the third time this season, but the Tritons lost, 5-4, at Cal State LA.
Shibuya (6-2) went seven innings, surrendering five runs (four earned) on 11 hits in his second loss of the year. He walked none, but the 11 hits were the most he's given up during his time at UCSD.
Susdorf had two hits, both doubles, for UC San Diego. Catcher Kellen Lee also had two hits.
It was the first time since March of 2009 that UCSD had dropped three games in a four-game CCAA series.
The Tritons will hit the road to play a four-game set at Sonoma State Friday through Sunday.
TRACK & FIELD
UC San Diego senior Stephanie LeFever was named the California Collegiate Athletic Association Women's Track and Field Athlete of the Week for the week ending April 3.
LeFever became the second consecutive Triton to earn the weekly honor after her record-setting performance at the Mangrum Invitational at Cal State San Marcos on Saturday.
She won the women’s long jump with an impressive leap of 20'1", which was not only good enough for an NCAA automatic qualifier, but also set the school record in the event.
LeFever's jump bettered the previous mark of 19'10.75"--which she shared with former Triton standout Whitney Johnson (2005-08)--by over two inches.
The Aptos, Calif. native also placed fourth in the high jump after clearing 5'2.25" on Saturday.
LeFever is the third Triton to earn CCAA Athlete of the Week accolades on the women's side this season, joining teammates Kelly Fogarty and Danielle Thu.
Fogarty won the award for the second time last week after placing first in the 100 and 200 at the Cal/Nevada Track and Field Championships on March 27. She set new school records in the prelims of each event.
Senior Erin Langford also earned a victory for the Triton jumps team on Saturday, winning the triple jump with a mark of 36'9". Junior Caitlin Meagher had the top time in the 400-meter hurdles at 62.90 while senior Danielle Thu won the hammer throw with a toss of 185'6".
The women's 4x400 relay team of Lauren Irish, Deyna Roberson, Kelly Fogarty and Meagher took first with a time of 3:46.16, improving its existing NCAA qualifying mark in the process. The 4x100 unit also improved its mark, finishing second on the day with a time of 46.77. That foursome features Meagher, Kathleen Hitchens, Jacqueline Rose and Fogarty.
All five of the Tritons' individual victories on the men's side came in field events, with the jumps team accounting for three wins and the throwers claiming the other two.
Junior Nick Howe took a break from his specialty in the javelin to claim the men's high jump with a leap of 6'1.25", while freshman Clint Rosser had the top mark in the pole vault at 14'10.75". Junior transfer Ka Wai Ng won the triple jump once again with a mark of 46'11".
Ryan Eckert bested the field in the shot put with a toss of 48'10" and Ab Shaheen won the hammer throw at 179'6".
All of UCSD's national qualifiers will now travel to Tempe, Ariz. for the Sun Angel Track Classic Friday and Saturday at Arizona State. The rest of the team will take part in the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational on Saturday.
LeFever will take the weekend off in preparation for the Mt. SAC Heptathlon April 13-14.
Freshman outside hitter Nick Iorfino had a match-high 11 kills to help lead the No. 12 UC San Diego men's volleyball team to a 3-0 sweep over No. 5 UCLA Friday at the John Wooden Center.
Scores were 25-21, 25-21 and 25-22 in the match, which lasted just an hour and 25 minutes. The Tritons returned the favor as the Bruins had just swept them at RIMAC Arena on Mar. 26.
UCSD put up 11 blocks and held UCLA to a .105 attack percentage while swinging at .329 itself, the Tritons' fourth-highest total this season. The Bruins failed to hit over .200 in any set and UC San Diego sided out at better than 70% in all three sets.
Outside hitter Carl Eberts finished with 10 kills and five digs for the Tritons. Opposite Shane Veiga had eight kills, four digs and six blocks, while middle Calvin Ross had seven blocks. Veiga led all players with 12.5 points.
The last time UCSD had swept UCLA in Los Angeles was on Feb. 24, 2010.
The Tritons, who have won three of their last five, improved to 9-17 overall and 5-14 in the MPSF.
On Thursday, the Tritons were swept by No. 8 UC Santa Barbara. Scores were 25-17, 25-19 and 25-17 at Robertson Gymnasium.
UCSD, in the middle of a four-match road swing, plays at Cal State Northridge on Thursday and at Long Beach State on Saturday.
--Compiled from press releases issued by the UCSD sports information office