Tag Archives: WCC

Men’s Cross Country: Eric Causey Takes Second, Earns All-WCC Honors

USF ran to a fifth-place team finish on Saturday, Nov. 5 at the West Coast Conference Championships in Malibu, Calif. The Dons were led by stellar sophomore Eric Causey, who took second place overall behind BYU’s Jason Witt.

Witt set the pace for most of the race with Causey following, until Causey moved into first on the last lap. He couldn’t hold on, though, and was passed by Witt on the final straight as they crossed the finish line. Causey lost by a nose, finishing less than a second behind the BYU senior.

Causey turned in his best time of the season in this race, running the 8,000-meter course in 23:14. He has finished in the top five in each of his four outings this season, racking up two wins, a second-place finish, and a fourth-place finish. These results earned him a spot on the 2013 All-WCC Cross Country team.

Junior Jarrett Moore was the next Don to cross the finish line, coming in 25th place with a time of 24:52. Senior Gustavo Mena came in 14 seconds after Moore, turning in a time of 25:06 and finishing 28th overall. Following the two upperclassmen were sophomore Nick Hicks and freshman Tom Bradley who finished in the top 50.

Redshirt junior Adam Smith lost his shoe near the start of the race, yet still managed to complete the course with a time of 26:25. The last Don to cross the line was freshman Patrick Kunkel, with a time of 26:31.

After the runners had completed the course and the dust had settled, USF had finished in fifth place overall out of the nine teams that ran at the meet, trailing BYU, Portland, Loyola Marymount, and Gonzaga.

The Dons now have two weeks to prepare for the NCAA West Regionals, which will take place at Haggin Oaks Golf Course in Sacramento, Calif. on Nov. 15.

Singles First Set-Up Serves Dons Well in Win Over LMU

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After dropping Friday’s match 6-1 to WCC foes No. 6 Pepperdine, the Dons men’s tennis team brought some vengeance to the courts on Saturday, crushing Loyal Marymount in a 5-2 victory.

San Francisco won four out of six singles matches. In an unorthodox twist, singles matches took place before the doubles matches — NCAA standard tennis format is to play doubles first.

The two teams were tied 2-2 after the first four singles matches. Freshman Nils Skajaa’s 6-0, 6-1 defeat of LMU’s freshman Cristobal Rivera was the first match to be completed. LMU took the second completed match, as the Lions’ junior Sebastian Baustamante defeated junior Germain Bahri, 6-3, 6-3.

The Dons No.1 singles man, senior Thai Tu, took his match 6-2, 6-3, followed by another LMU victory in the No. 6 matchup between USF senior Richard Bucalem and the Lions’ sophomore Felix Van Kann. USF’s No. 3 senior William Schumacher and No. 2 sophomore Bernardo Saraiva came through for the Dons with 6-7, 7-6 and 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 victories respectively to win the singles portion for USF.

Two more victories on the doubles side were just icing on the cake for San Francisco, who took home their first WCC win of the season.

“It was good to see the guys close a match out today with opportunities on the line,” said USF coach Peter Bartlett to usfdons.com. “The WCC conference is definitely a dog fight right now and we’ll take any win we can get.”

The Dons will face San Diego on Friday, April 5 at 1:30 p.m. in San Diego.They will not return home until they face Portland on April 19, followed by Gonzaga on April 20.

An Extra Innings Victory and Two Key Home Runs For Dons in Series Win over St. Mary’s

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This past Easter weekend, the USF Dons played host to rivals in the WCC, the Saint Mary’s Gaels, at Benedetti Diamond. The series ran from Thursday to Saturday, and resulted in the Diamond Dons taking two out of three from the visiting Gaels. With the series win, USF improved to a season record of 13-14 and 5-4 in the WCC.

The three game set did not start out well for the Dons, with them dropping the first game to the Gaels 6-0. Saint Mary’s starter Ben Griset was dominant, allowing just four hits and striking out 10 en route to a complete game shutout. Sophomore outfielder Bradley Zimmer went 2-for-3 of the day while sophomore third baseman Bob Cruikshank and redshirt senior outfielder Bob Mott contributed one hit each. Other than the lack of offensive spark, the Dons’ poor defense played the biggest role in the upsetting loss. USF committed a season-high five errors, leading to three unearned runs by the Gaels, and ultimately the loss.

On Friday afternoon, the Dons turned it around and showed extreme resilience on the field, earning the win in extra innings. Just a day after their disappointing loss, USF displayed stellar defense behind junior starting pitcher Alex Balog and senior reliever Haden Hinkle, robbing the Gaels of a handful of hits and keeping the game close. The Dons jumped ahead early, pushing two runs across in the first inning and padding their lead with a double from Cruikshank that drove in a run in the third. Though Saint Mary’s came back to score two runs in the fourth and one in the fifth, USF managed to limit the damage to send the game into extra innings. With the score tied at three in the top of the ninth, senior center fielder Justin Maffei made a spectacular diving catch that robbed the Gaels’ leadoff hitter of extra bases.

Zimmer led off the bottom of the tenth with a walk. Pinch-hitter freshman Harrison Bruce immediately followed with a sacrifice bunt to advance Zimmer to second. With two outs and a runner on second, Mott drew a walk, leading to a two out, two on situation for sophomore first baseman Brendan Hendriks. Hendriks drove the first pitch he saw up the middle to score Zimmer and give the Dons the walk-off victory, besting the Gaels 4-3 in 10 innings.

After the game, Hendriks credited the two Dons pitchers, Balog and Hinkle, for keeping them in the game and giving the team the chance to win. He also acknowledged the team’s offensive strength at the end of the game.

“I was just glad to have the opportunity. They put together good at-bats ahead of me, Bob Mott had a great walk there, gave me the chance, and I got lucky. The ball got through, and I’ll take it,” Hendriks said of his game winning hit.

Riding on the momentum of game two, USF took the victory in the last game of the series 2-1. Through four innings, the Dons’ bats stayed relatively quiet. In the bottom of the fifth with one out, senior left fielder Mitchell Rowan and Hendriks ignited the offense with back-to-back singles before junior shortstop Josh Miller connected with a long home run into left field, tying the game at four apiece. In the sixth inning, Zimmer proceeded to seal the win with a line-drive home run to right field, and the Dons eventually defeated the Gaels 5-4.

The Diamond Dons will head for a nine game road trip and return to play a three game series at Benedetti Diamond against Loyola Marymount on April 19.

Big Changes Occurring in Future of the West Coast Conference

Boasting schools such as Saint Mary’s and Gonzaga, the West Coast Conference has always been known for its small schools with top-notch sports programs. In a well-known Division 1 conference, alterations and adjustments are often made that keep anticipation at the highest level, and in the upcoming 2013-14 season, the introduction of new teams and new sports should have USF students and other fans excited for the future.

One of the most notable changes that will begin next season is the installation of a new WCC Basketball Tournament format. In this previous system, a double-bye was given to the top two teams in the conference in the tournament semifinals. This year, with the addition of University of the Pacific, the WCC becomes a 10-team basketball league, meaning that the double-bye will no longer be necessary. Although this may be seen as a disadvantage for the conference’s top teams, it will certainly increase competition and ensure that the WCC champion will have to earn their trophy and fight for their place in the NCAA Tournament.

With the 10-team basketball league in place and the tournament format established, there have still been rumors that a shakeup may occur and that current WCC teams could end up leaving the conference. Due to their consistent basketball dominance and the national attention that they receive, Gonzaga seems to be the school most likely to part with the WCC. The Bulldogs currently have one of the top basketball teams in the country, and in December ESPN’s Andy Katz reported that the Zags “would love to” leave the WCC and join a more nationally recognized conference. As the rumors continue to swirl, the Big East has been brought up as the front-runner to potentially welcome Gonzaga next season. For the 2014-15 season, seven Big East schools (Georgetown, St. John’s, Villanova, DePaul, Marquette, Seton Hall and Providence) will be leaving the conference due to their lack of a major football program. These seven teams are hoping to break from the Big East by 2014 and establish a more basketball-based conference, and their departure opens the door for many solid small-market schools looking to gain national recognition and appreciation. Along with schools such as Creighton, Butler St. Louis, Dayton, St. Joseph’s, and Richmond, both Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s have been mentioned as candidates to join the Big East. However, Gonzaga coach Mark Few has remained relatively neutral on his stance towards the issue.

“We’re happy with where we’re at but we’re going to continue to monitor everything that’s going on,” Few told SWX Right Now, a television station based in eastern Washington. “We built ourselves into a national program and we’re going to do what’s best for Gonzaga through all this. Because of our success we put ourselves in a position to where we’re attractive to other entities out there. But again, we’re going to do what’s best for Gonzaga.”

In the midst of all the possible changes for basketball teams in the WCC, a new sport is being introduced into the conference. Voted in by WCC presidents, softball will be added as a sport for the 2013-14 season, as the conference has recruited enough teams to form a complete league. Along with current WCC teams at Loyola Marymount, Saint Mary’s, Santa Clara and San Diego, Pacific, Brigham Young, Cal State Bakersfield and Utah Valley State will be joining the WCC for softball.

Around the conference, coaches and teams are all excited to play a role in the establishment of softball as an official sport. Also, with the talent that some of the teams have, the 2013-14 softball season promises to be an eventful one.

“I’m glad the WCC has made a commitment to the sport, because they have programs that have a ton of potential,” Pacific coach Brian Kolze told Jagdip Dhillon of Recordnet.com. “It looks like it will be a very good conference because this year’s RPI (Ratings Percentage Index) numbers paralleled the Big West.”

With all of these new teams and sports becoming a part of the WCC, USF athletes and students have a lot to look forward to in upcoming years. Although games against Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s are always entertaining, Dons sports teams would certainly enjoy not having to face the two powerhouses multiple times each season. And with Pacific entering the WCC, fans will surely see many fierce, competitive battles between the two Bay-Area schools in the near future. To top it off, maybe the next step for the Dons is developing a softball team to join the new league. Either way, the changes taking place in the WCC ensure that the upcoming seasons will be exciting one for USF athletics, as well as for other programs throughout the conference.

Dons Overcome Second Half Deficit to Defeat Pepperdine

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The San Francisco Dons Basketball team overcame a large second half deficit to defeat the Pepperdine Waves in a highly contested match last Saturday, Feb 23. The Dons came out slow as they shot 4-14 in the first ten minutes of the game. Meanwhile, the Waves came out riding on the hot play of freshman forward Stacy Davis, who had seven points and three assists in the first ten minutes and helped put the Waves up 19-10. Momentum started to swing in favor of the Dons after a technical foul was called right after USF junior forward Cole Dickerson drained a three pointer. The Dons ended the first half on a 17-5 run and took a 27-25 lead into halftime.

San Francisco fans would have liked to see the Dons momentum carry over into the second half, but they came out just as slow and ended up trailing the Waves once again. After a three pointer by Waves’ junior guard Nikolas Skoulen, Dons head coach Rex Walters called for a time out with USF trailing by nine with ten minutes left in the half. The Dons returned to the court after that timeout with a fire lit under them  as they went on a 16-3 run behind the excellent play of redshirt freshman forward Mark Tollefsen. The 6’9” California native carried the team for the rest of the game, hitting two big three pointers along with four crucial free throws.

Pepperdine’s Skoulen hit two free throws after a technical foul was called on Dickerson, bringing the Waves within two at 60-58. However, that is as close as the Waves would get as they missed their next four shots. The Dons would held on for a 68-54 victory in their home finale of conference play.

Tollefsen finished with 18 points, five rebounds, one steal and one block to lead the Dons. He contributed a pair of huge three pointers to help the Dons claim a lead.

Tollefsen was all smiles after the game.

“It felt great. I had great rotation on my shot. [my teammates] were hitting me and I just felt it. Coach always says find the open man and if you’re open [then] you’re the best option.” he said when asked about his two big shots.

Junior point guard Cody Doolin chipped in 13 points, four assists and three rebounds and Dickerson had 11 points and 6 rebounds for the Dons (13-15, 6-9 West Coast). The Pepperdine Waves were led by Davis, who finished with 12 points, 13 rebounds and six assists. Skoulen added 19 points for the Waves (12-15, 4-10 West Coast).

The Dons take on San Diego on Thursday in what will be their last game of conference play before the West Coast Conference Tournament. USF has won six out of their last ten and are currently on a two game winning streak.

“Our momentum is great. We gotta get on more next Thursday at San Diego. That’ll be a tough one but right now our momentum is great,” Tollefsen said.

Women’s Tennis Earns Seventh Seed into WCC Tournament After Senior Day Victory

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This past weekend, April 21 and 22, the University of San Francisco women’s tennis team took down both of their northwestern rivals, Gonzaga University and the University of Portland, at home in Golden Gate Park. The Lady Dons beat both the Bulldogs and the Pilots by scores of 6-1 in a nice tribute to their three graduating seniors, Andrea Gaitan, Alana McMahon and Julia Wartenburger, who all played in their last home matches. With the result, the Dons will go on to the post season WCC Conference Championships.

On Saturday against the Pilots, the Dons absolutely dominated, winning two out of three doubles matches and five out of six singles matches. After a loss in the first match of doubles play, the Dons came back with a vengeance. USF junior Yurie Hashiguchi and freshman Milica Hadzi Tanovic teamed up against Portland’s Emily Mahairas and Alice Tucker and won 8-5. In the last doubles match junior Melinda Akerbrant and senior Alana McMahon of USF defeated Gabrialle Gorence and Sabine Fuchs of Portland 8-4 to clinch the point for the Dons.
In the first match of singles play, senior Don Julia Wartenburger set the pace winning 6-3 and 6-4 against freshman Pilot Anastasia Polyakova. Following suit, Dons freshman Marina Nikolic routed Pilots junior Sabine Fuchs. In their first set Nikolic barely topped Fuchs 7-6 but rallied and finished the match with a 6-2 victory in the second set. The Dons then lost in the third set but came back to win the final two. In the last set, senior Alana McMahon overwhelmed Portland’s Gabrielle Gorence with 6-1 and 6-0 victories.

On Sunday the Dons faced the Bulldogs in their regular season finale. The Bulldogs came out strong in doubles play, winning all three matches, earning themselves the point. However, the Dons turned up the intensity in singles play and shut out the Bulldogs with six straight victories. The highlight of the day was when USF senior Julia Wartenburger came back from losing her first set 6-7 against Prue Teitzel to win the next two sets 6-3 and 10-8.

With these two victories the Dons ended the season on a high note, finishing 6-12 overall and 2-6 in West Coast Conference play, which earned them the seventh seed in the WCC Conference Championships. The Dons will battle against sixth seed Brigham Young University in the first round on Wednesday, April 25 at the Barnes Tennis Center in San Diego. Last time the Dons and the Cougars of BYU met in competition the Cougars squeaked out a 4-3 victory at home in Provo, Utah. The winner of this match will go on to face third seed University of San Diego Toreros on the following day.