Claremont, Calif (May 5, 2014) This week in Sagehens Athletics saw the Women’s Lacrosse team earn its first-ever NCAA Division III Tournament bid, while a pair of Pitzer athletes earned SCIAC Championships for the Men’s Track and Field team.
Women’s Lacrosse had a bad news/good news weekend with the bad news coming on Saturday when the Sagehens fell in the SCIAC Championship game to Redlands 14-12 in overtime. Aubrey Douglass ’16 tied the score with just 6.5 seconds left in regulation, but the Bulldogs scored the first three goals of the extra session and held on for the SCIAC title. Douglass led the Sagehens with three goals and an assist on the day.
The good news came on Sunday night, when the Sagehens found out that they will get a rematch at Redlands on Saturday in the second round of the NCAA Division III Tournament. It marks the first-ever NCAA bid for Women’s Lacrosse, which started competing at the varsity level in 2008 and first joined the SCIAC in 2010.
Men’s Track and Field and Women’s Track and Field competed at their SCIAC Championships this weekend and both finished fifth overall. The men had a pair of individual champions with Paul Messana ’17 winning the 800 meters and Bennett Kopperud ’16 taking first in the 400-meter hurdles. Both runners built huge leads over the first half of the race and won comfortably, with Messana finishing in 1:52.13 (.73 ahead of the runner-up) and Kopperud winning in a personal best 54.10 (1.39 seconds ahead of the runner-up). Greg Hook ’14 and Messana also contributed to a 4×400 relay team that finished second.
Men’s Tennis moved up to No. 10 in the latest national rankings and solidified its positioning for a bid to the NCAA Championships as well with a 6-3 win over No. 18 Cal Lutheran in the SCIAC semifinals on Friday. The Sagehens had dramatic comebacks at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles to take a 2-1 lead after it looked like the Kingsmen might sweep all three doubles matches. Graham Maassen ’17 and Connor Hudson PO ’15 fought off three match points at No. 3 for a 9-7 win and Jonathan Kim ’16 and Sam Crawford PO ’16 came back to win in a tiebreaker at No. 2. Maassen and Jake Yasgoor ’17 added singles wins, with Yasgoor providing the clinching win at No. 2.
The Sagehens fell in the championship match to No. 1 CMS on Saturday, but the win over Cal Lutheran should be enough to secure a spot in the postseason when selections are announced on Monday afternoon. Women’s Tennis will also find out its NCAA fate Monday afternoon as well after a fourth-place finish in the SCIAC Tournament. The Sagehens were ranked No. 6 in the nation in the final regular season poll and have a strong overall resume, with wins over Middlebury, Bowdoin and Carnegie Mellon out of conference. Claire Willey ’14 had the clinching singles win in a quarterfinal victory over Caltech at the SCIAC Tournament.
Women’s Water Polo saw its season come to a close in a tight match against No. 13 UC San Diego in an NCAA Play-In Match before falling 13-9. The Sagehens trailed 4-1 early but closed to within 7-6 at the half behind goals from Alyssa Woodward ’15 and Hope Grant ‘17. Woodward scored her second goal in the third quarter to cut the lead to 8-7, but UC San Diego was able to hold on. The Sagehens will return almost their entire team next year, when the seven-member Class of 2015 will try to win their fourth SCIAC title in four seasons.
Baseball closed out its 2014 campaign with a 14-2 win over Redlands on Tuesday. Jackson Badger ’14 had a three-run double after being honored for Senior Day, while Coleman Lukas ’14 threw the final inning on the mound. E.J. Lopez ’15 was 4-for-4 with two homers and five RBI at the plate to help send the seniors out with a win.