Tag Archives: college sports

Former Don Angelo Caloiaro Plays in German League All-Star Game

 

Angelo Caloiaro donned a USF uniform for four years at the Hilltop before taking his talents to Europe, where he has excelled in Bulgaria and Germany. (Photo courtesy of Dons Athletics)

Angelo Caloiaro donned a USF uniform for four years at the Hilltop before taking his talents to Europe, where he has excelled in Bulgaria and Germany. (Photo courtesy of Dons Athletics)

Many basketball players are unable to find their way onto an NBA team after completing college, but for those who wish to continue pursuing their dream, forging a career in Europe is an attractive alternative. Former USF Don Angelo Caloiaro recently enjoyed a standout season playing for Mittledeutscher Basketball Club (BC), a team in the Beko BBL (Basketball Bundesliga), a professional basketball league in Germany. Caloiaro, who played for San Francisco from 2008-2012, was selected to participate in the Beko BBL All-Star Game, which took place Jan. 18 this year. The 6-8 forward’s All-Star nod was the culmination of his blazing start to the 2013-14 season, where he has averaged 15.3 points and 7.3 rebounds through the first 18 games.

In the All-Star Game, Caloiaro totaled four points, eight rebounds, and three assists to help Team International top Team National 121-116. He was named to the squad as a replacement for FC Bayern’s Nihad Djedovic, who sustained an ankle injury that would keep him out of the event. Ranking eighth in the Beko BBL in scoring, and shooting an impressive 52.8 percent from the field, Caloiaro arguably should have made Team International in the first place, rather than being chosen to fill in for an injured player. In the end, however, he was awarded the honor of competing amongst the best players in the league in just his second year of playing professional basketball.

“Any all-star event is something to be proud of and I am even more blessed to be participating with such a talented group,” Caloiaro told Lefteris Moutis of eurohoops.net.

At USF, Caloiaro went from a key role player as a freshman to a member of the All-WCC First Team in his senior year. The San Jose, Calif. native earned All-WCC honors after putting up 14.2 points and 6.0 rebounds during the 2011-2012 season, and completed his collegiate career ranked third all-time at USF in three-pointers made, and 19th in points scored. As a senior, he helped lead the Dons to a 20-14 record and an appearance in the College Basketball Invitational.

After graduating, Caloiaro spent a season playing for Rilski Sportist, a team in the Bulgarian National Basketball league, before signing with Mittledeutscher BC in the summer of 2013. While he has undoubtedly created a niche for himself in the world of European basketball, there are still challenges that lie ahead. Mittledeutscher BC currently has a record of 8-10, and Caloiaro will need to step up and cement himself as the leader of the team if they hope to qualify as one of eight teams that make the league playoffs.

Still just 24 years of age, Caloiaro’s youth and skill may also give him the opportunity to eventually sign with a more well-known European team. However, for now he is focused on the present.

“I try to stay concentrated during the season and devote all my attention to the team I am on,” Caloiaro told Moutis.

From San Francisco to Germany, it’s safe to say that the Beko BBL All-Star has been quite successful in doing just that.

Liam Kelly scored the Dons’ only goal against Gonzaga, but it was enough as USF prevailed 1-0. (Photo courtesy of Dons Athletics)

Soccer Teams Wrap Up Season, Karlsen Named to All-WCC First Team

Men

The Dons put forth a strong effort on the road, but ultimately rounded out their season with a tough 1-0 double overtime loss to the Portland Pilots on Nov. 17., after defeating the Gonzaga Bulldogs 1-0 two days earlier in Spokane, Wash.

Despite the loss, USF played well against Portland, taking 17 shots to their opponents’ 11 and keeping the Pilots (9-11-0, 4-8-0 WCC) scoreless through regulation play. The Dons kicked into a higher gear at the start of overtime — senior midfielder Vegard Karlsen had multiple chances to win the game, but his shots couldn’t find the net. In the second overtime, USF continued to put pressure on Pilots goalie Justin Baarts, but to no avail. In the 106th minute, Portland midfielder Matthew Coffey sent a strong kick past San Francisco redshirt freshman goalkeeper Connor Gaal and into the goal, stunning the Dons and giving the home team an improbable 1-0 victory.

On Nov. 15, USF notched a huge win against Gonzaga (9-6-3, 4-4-3 WCC), jumping out to an early lead on senior forward Liam Kelly’s third goal of the season. In the 18th minute, Kelly controlled a pass from senior midfielder Mauricio Diaz de Leon and capitalized on his scoring opportunity to give the Dons a 1-0 advantage. For the rest of the match, USF junior goalkeeper Chase Hauser was able to prevent the Bulldogs from scoring, saving a penalty kick and helping San Francisco hold on in the final minutes. It was an impressive performance by the Dons, who snapped a three-game losing streak with the win.

Although they didn’t end the year with a winning record, many players turned in successful campaigns and rewarded for their efforts. Karlsen was named to the All-West Coast Conference First Team, while junior forward Miguel Aguilar and Diaz de Leon were awarded Second Team honors.

This season also marked Head Coach Erik Visser’s final year with the team. Visser, who began his coaching career at USF in 2001, announced his retirement on Nov. 20. A two-time NCAA champion as a player for legendary Dons coach Stephen Negoesco as well as a three-time WCC Coach of the Year, Visser leaves the program as a central figure in the history of USF soccer whose impact will be felt for years to come.

Women

In their last two matches of the year, the Dons suffered close losses to Portland and Gonzaga, falling by a score of 1-0 in both games.

On Nov. 19 at Merlo Field, USF (6-10-4, 1-6-2) gave No. 12 Portland (16-2-1, 8-1-0) all it could handle, keeping the score tied until the 67th minute, when Pilots midfielder Ellen Parker found an opening off of a corner kick and gave Portland a lead they would not relinquish.

The loss was a disappointing one for the Dons, but the team proved that they can hang with the best in the conference, let alone the nation. Sophomore goalkeeper Madalyn Schiffel’s four saves put San Francisco in position to come up with a win or tie, and junior Mackenzie Krieser got a good look at the goal in the first half, but in the end the Dons couldn’t outlast the Pilots, who clinched the top spot in the West Coast Conference with the victory.

In their previous game, the Dons fell behind early and were never able to recover. Facing Gonzaga (7-11-1, 3-6-0) on the road, USF came out aggressive and attempted two early shots, but in the seventh minute the tides turned, and the Dons gave up a goal to Bulldogs forward Heather Johnson.

The Dons didn’t let their offensive struggles affect their effort, however, as they worked hard to even the score late in the game. Junior midfielder Jaciara Mello nearly tied the match in the 86th minute, but her shot was saved by Gonzaga goalkeeper Christie Tombari.

San Francisco ended the season in ninth place in the WCC, but their multiple heart-wrenching losses suggest that their record would be much better if the ball had rolled their way a few more times. USF lost five games by just a one-goal margin.

The Dons held high academic standards all season long, with the players combining to average a GPA of 3.36. Also, three different Dons were given All-WCC honors. Junior forward Halle Bissin and Schiffel were both Honorable Mention selections, and freshman defender Jessica Nakae was named to the All-Freshman Team.

Volleyball: Dons Outdueled By Saint Mary’s and Pacific

It was a rough week for the Dons, who dropped a pair of road matches against Saint Mary’s and Pacific to fall to 11-15 (7-9 WCC) on the season. On Saturday, the Dons had difficulty matching the Gaels’  offensive firepower, losing in straight sets at McKeon Pavilion.

The Dons hung tight in the first set, and were tied with St. Mary’s at 16-16 before the Gaels took control to take the set 25-20.

USF got off to a quick start in the second set, taking the lead 6-4 on a kill from freshman outside hitter Katarina Pilepic. The match was later tied at 11-11 before a 7-1 put the Gaels in the driver’s seat. Saint Mary’s (15-9, 11-5) won the set 25-17 and continued to shut down the Dons in the third set, which they took by the same score.

Junior middle blocker Valentina Zaloznik finished with a team-high eight kills for San Francisco, and senior setter Mackenzie Murtagh led the Dons with 17 assists. In the match, the Dons had just 29 total kills compared to 46 for Saint Mary’s.

Thursday’s Nov. 14 game in Stockton, Calif. also saw the Dons struggle offensively against the Pacific

Tigers.The Dons won the first set 25-23 in a close set that featured 15 ties. With the two teams locked at 23, kills from senior outside hitter Malina Terrell and Pilepic gave the Dons a 1-0 lead.

Pacific kept its composure despite the early deficit, and took the second set 25-20 after claiming the lead for good at 9-8. In the crucial third set, the Dons fell flat, and Pacific led all the way to emerge with a 25-18 win.

In the fourth set, dominant play from Pacific’s Gillian Howard put the Tigers ahead 17-9 and had them smelling victory. However, the Dons still had some fight left in them, and a USF comeback brought the score to 21-18. Junior middle blocker Valentina Zaloznik kept the Dons alive with a much-needed kill that got them within 24-22, but Pacific (12-15, 5-11) secured the final point on the next play, and the Tigers walked off the court with a 3-1 win.

The Dons have two games left in their season, both of them home matches. USF plays Pepperdine on Thursday, Nov. 21 at 7:00 p.m., and finishes up the year with a match against Loyola Marymount on Saturday, Nov. 23 at 1:00 p.m.

Cody Doolin gets past Nevada’s Cole Huff on his way to the basket. (Photo by Emily Bogden)

Men’s Basketball: Doolin’s Dominance Overshadowed by Tough Loss to Nevada

In an extremely hard-fought battle between two strong offensive squads, it was the University of Nevada, Reno Wolfpack that came out on top over USF on Friday, Nov. 16. Nevada edged the Dons 92-90, and the tight loss dwarfed what was a fantastic night for senior point guard Cody Doolin, who scored a career-high 33 points. Doolin’s previous career-high in points scored was 28 against St. Mary’s in the 2012 WCC Championship Tournament.

On Monday, The Dons stumbled out of the gate, trailing 25-13 early before recovering to take a 44-39 lead going into halftime. However, Idaho State

USF and Nevada fought until the very end, with the game featuring seven lead changes and many dramatic moments. The Dons excelled on offense in the first half; USF shot 6-for-14 on three-point shots and had a 36-26 lead with 4:16 remaining. The Dons eventually settled with a 43-41 lead at halftime.

San Francisco built a 55-44 lead with 16:04 left in the game, but Nevada came storming back. The Dons could not find a way to stop Wolfpack senior Deonte Burton, who repeatedly broke down the USF defense in the second half. Burton scored 31 points in the game, and 23 of them came in the second half. In less than five minutes of play, the Wolfpack had erased the double digit deficit to take a 63-62 lead with 11:30 remaining in the game.

The game went back and forth until a three-pointer by Burton put Nevada up 75-72 and gave them the lead for good. Still, USF had their opportunities to break through numerous times. With 57.1 seconds remaining in the game, Doolin sped through every Nevada player to make a clutch layup to shorten Nevada’s lead to 90-87. After Nevada was called for a 10-second backcourt violation, Doolin was fouled and made a pair of free throws. Then, with 8.3 seconds remaining, Wolfpack freshman DJ Fenner missed two free throws to keep the score at 92-90 and give the Dons one last chance.

After USF called a timeout, Doolin raced toward the other side of the court only to have the ball stripped by senior Jerry Evans Jr. of Nevada. The Wolfpack kept control of the ball for the remaining seconds and won the game.

Even with the loss, it was hard to overlook Doolin’s presence on the court. He finished the night shooting 12-for-17 overall, and went 3-for-4 on three-point shots and 6-for-8 on free throws.

“(Nevada is) a really a good team, and they play really physical,” Doolin said. “It was a really hard-fought game, and unfortunately we just didn’t come out on top.”

This was the second straight game for the Dons in which they played a very intense, down-to-the wire contest against a physical team. However, USF could not post another close victory as they did against Cleveland State on Nov. 14, as Nevada used their physicality to their advantage, winning the rebounding battle 39-34.

“I missed a few block outs there, and the whole team just needed to rebound a little better. I thought that was the key, they just out-rebounded us tonight,” Doolin said.

While Doolin racked up the points, the rest of the Dons could not follow up his excellent performance. Junior guard Matt Glover and sophomore forward Mark Tollefsen were the only others to reach double digits, with each scoring 10 points. Also, sophomore guard Tim Derksen and senior forward Cole Dickerson missed a couple of three-point shots late in the game that could have shifted the momentum in the Dons’ favor.

The Dons know that they will have to play better late in games in order to thrive in conference play. For now, USF will go on the road for two games to face Montana at 7:00 p.m. on Nov. 22 and Oregon at 5:00 p.m. on Nov. 24.

Photo by Emily Bogden

Rachel Howard drives the ball against a Long Beach State defender. In the Dons’ double overtime loss to the 49ers, Howard was the team’s top scorer with 16 points. (Photo courtesy of Dons Athletics)

Winston Hits Clutch Shot, But Dons Lose Double-OT Nail-Biter to 49ers

The Dons fell to the Long Beach State 49ers on Sunday, Nov. 18 at War Memorial Gym. The 85-82 loss was a heartbreaking one for the Dons, who fought through two overtime periods but could not hold on late.

San Francisco dueled with Long Beach State throughout the game, with the two teams trading the lead back and forth until the beginning of the second half. The Dons were finally able to open up a 10-point lead thanks to an 11-0 run led by junior Jamie Katuna. The 5-foot-7-inch guard reeled off nine straight points within the first three minutes of the second half.

San Francisco had 28 turnovers that led to 27 points for Long Beach State. Head coach Jennifer Azzi said of the turnovers, “It’s very hard to win if you turn the ball over 28 times, and they were, in my mind, unforced turnovers. That’s something that we absolutely have to fix and, we had talked about it at halftime of the game” (usfdons.com).

The double digit lead soon vanished when San Francisco began committing many careless turnovers. The 49er’s responded to the scoring run of the Dons with a 13-3 run of their own to tie the game at 46, and by continuing their newfound energy, they were able to take a 60-55 lead with less than two minutes remaining in regulation.

Long Beach State capitalized on USF’s miscues all game long, scoring a total of 27 points off of the Dons’ 28 turnovers.

“It’s very hard to win if you turn the ball over 28 times, and they were, in my mind, unforced turnovers, Head Coach Jennifer Azzi told USFDons.com. “That’s something that we absolutely have to fix, and we had talked about it at halftime of the game.”

In the final minute of the game that San Francisco sophomore forward Taylor Proctor swished a three point shot, cutting the 49er’s lead to only two points. The Dons were then able to come up with a huge defensive stop, and during their next possession the ball found the hands of  junior guard Taj Winston, who drained a three with 7.1 seconds remaining to tie the score. Long Beach had one more chance to respond, but they could not convert and the game headed into overtime.

In the first overtime, the 49ers quickly jumped out to a five-point lead. However, USF kept the score close throughout the five-minute period, Proctor sunk two free throws with 10.3 seconds to go, tying the game once again.

In the second overtime, Winston and Howard were able to score earlier in the period, but it was the 49er’s that came out on top in the end. The Dons took an 82-80 lead with 2:29 left, but Long Beach State scored the game’s last five points to win the contest 85-82. Howard scored a team-high 16 points, and Winston trailed closely behind with 15 points. In total, five Dons scored in double figures, yet the turnovers the team committed got them into a deficit that they could not quite come back from.

“I’m not happy about turnovers and mistakes, but two overtimes, our team not giving up – there’s a lot of the effort stuff that I’m proud of,” Azzi told USFDons.com.

The score of USF’s game at San Jose State on Wednesday, Nov. 20th available at press press time. The Dons now have a nine-day break until they participate in the Cal Poly Holiday Classic in San Luis Obispo, Calif., where they will take on UC Davis on Nov. 29 at 5:00 p.m., and then Cal Poly on Nov. 30 at 7:00 p.m.

Photo courtesy of Dons Athletics

Volleyball: Dons Dealt Losses By WCC Powerhouses San Diego and Brigham Young

USF hosted two ranked teams this past week at War Memorial Gym. The Dons suffered a narrow 3-2 defeat against No. 8 San Diego on Saturday afternoon, and were swept 3-0 by No. 21 Brigham Young two days earlier. Following this week’s matches, USF dropped to 11-13 overall and 7-7 in the West Coast Conference (WCC), and are currently tied for fifth place.

The Dons did all they could to upset San Diego (21-3, 13-2 WCC), but fell just short of a win. Led by freshman outside hitter Katarina Pilepic’s 21 kills, USF managed to push the match to a full five sets but was not able to notch the victory in the end.

“Pilepic is a force for us when she is on and we have to use her the most we can,” Head Coach Gilad Doron told USFDons.com. “She stayed positive today and was really on. We needed one more player to step up but San Diego is an incredible team. We are pretty close and if we keep our minds together we’ll be able to beat some teams down the stretch.”

After dropping the first set 25-18, the Dons rallied to win the next two sets and took a 2-1 lead.  In the pivotal fourth set, both teams were evenly matched and the score was held fairly close. However, after USF had built a 21-19 lead, the Toreros came back with five straight points and ultimately took the set 25-23.

In the final and deciding set, the Dons took an early 8-4 lead, putting themselves in position for a huge win. However, it was not meant to be, and San Diego pulled away to win the set 15-10 and clinch the victory. Along with Pilepic’s standout performance, junior middle blocker Valentina Zaloznik and senior outside hitter Malina Terrell added 17 and 12 kills respectively for the Dons.

USF faced BYU on Thursday with hopes of extending its four-game home winning streak. The Dons started out strong in the first set, keeping up with the WCC-leading Cougars early in the game until BYU (20-5, 13-2) went on multiple scoring runs. USF could not respond with points of their own and dropped the first set 25-20.

The second set followed a similar pattern, and going into the third set down 2-0, the Dons were in danger of losing to the Cougars in straight sets. BYU came back from the locker room after halftime extremely strong, and with the help of seven straight points, left USF with no chance of a comeback. The Cougars took the third set 25-8 and sat the Dons down in a 3-0 victory. In the defeat, San Francisco scored a team-high 11 kills from Pilepic along with 14 assists and 12 digs from senior setter Mackenzie Murtagh. USF looks to bounce back from a three-game losing streak when they meet up with the University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif. on Thursday, Nov. 14.