Colonials Athletics Weekend Preview
Baseball, Women's Water Polo and Women's Tennis Host Events; Softball, Sailing, Men's Tennis Hit the Road
March 22, 2013
The George Washington baseball team opens Atlantic 10 Conference play with a three-game series against Massachusetts at Barcroft Park.
GW (4-15) will serve as the visiting team after the series was relocated from Amherst, Mass., due to heavy snow in the New England region. The Colonials have lost two straight following Tuesday's 10-4 loss to district rival Georgetown. Freshman Matthieu Robert went 3-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs, but the Hoyas took advantage of five Colonials' errors to build a lead they never relinquished. Robert is batting .385 with two doubles and a home run over the past five games
UMass (1-9) is 9-2 in their last 11 games against GW and swept last year's season series in Amherst. The Minutemen have just one win on the year and are batting .239 as a team with a 6.59 team earned run average.
WOMEN'S WATER POLO - @GW_WaterPolo
The George Washington women's water polo team hosts Villanova on Saturday afternoon at the Charles E. Smith Center Pool. Game time is set for 4 p.m. The contest marks the second of three home matches for the Colonials this season.
GW (11-11) went 3-4 last week on its annual Spring Break West Coast trip. Junior Rachael Bentley was named Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Southern Division Player of the week after tallying 29 points on 15 goals and 14 assists while adding 10 steals and nine ejections drawn in the seven games in California. She set a school record with 11 points against Iona, scoring a career-high seven goals and adding four assists. In addition, freshman Hannah Cox was tabbed Southern Division Rookie of the Week for her efforts in California, when she scored 16 points on 12 goals and four helpers.
Bentley leads the Colonials with 46 assists and 79 points on the season, and her 46 assists are just four shy of the school record of 50, which she set last season. She has also moved into third place all-time at GW with 240 career points, just 13 behind all-time leader Vanessa Fravel's 253, set from 2001-04.
Cox paces GW with 51 goals and 28 ejections drawn on the year, and the 51 goals are tied for the fifth-most in a single season in school history. Kira Cannon set the record at 71 in 2003.
Villanova (3-19) has won three of its last five games after dropping 17 in a row to start the season. The Wildcats, however, lost their most recent contest, 9-8, at Chapman to conclude its eight-game California trip.
GW is 29-6 all-time against Villanova with three wins against the Wildcats already this season. Junior Megan Brolley tallied nine points on six goals and three assists and Cox scored five goals in the Colonials' most recent win against Villanova, a 23-18 decision on Feb. 23 at the CWPA/MAAC Crossover, which the Wildcats hosted. Earlier in the year, Bentley tallied nine points on three goals and six helpers against Villanova when GW picked up its first win of the season on Feb. 10 at the Princeton Invitational.
WOMEN'S TENNIS - @GW_Tennis
The George Washington women's tennis team will compete in two matches in as many days this weekend - first at Richmond on Saturday, followed by a home match against Morgan State at the GW Tennis Center on Sunday.
First serve against the Spiders is at 12 p.m. Sunday's match against the Bears, which serves as the Colonials' home opener at the outdoor GW Tennis Center on the Mount Vernon Campus, is scheduled for 11 a.m.
Sunday's match against Morgan State is the Colonials' Campus Kids Day match. Admission is free and fans will receive pizza, as well as the opportunity to take a photo with George. Following the match, the GW women's tennis student-athletes and coaching staff will host a free clinic for those interested in learning the basic fundamentals of tennis. Those interested in attending the free clinic should RSVP to Kevin Young at firstname.lastname@example.org.
GW looks to rebound from a spring break trip to California in which the Colonials fell to Cal State Fullerton (5-2) on Tuesday, March 12, and No. 63 UC Santa Barbara (5-2) on Friday, March 15, and had their six-match winning streak snapped. Freshman Stephanie Wei was the lone Buff and Blue player to post a 2-0 singles record over the week as she earned a pair of victories at No. 3. Wei now owns a 9-2 singles record this spring and has won eight of her last nine matches. Senior Mimi Hamling had a nine-match singles winning streak snapped against the Gauchos on Friday.
Reigning Atlantic 10 Champion Richmond (3-10) is in the midst of a seven-match skid after falling to Boston University (5-2) on Monday, March 11 and South Alabama (5-2) on Friday, March 15. The Spiders are 2-0 against league opponents this year having defeated Temple (4-3) and Saint Joseph's (5-2) in early February.
Morgan State (6-11) went 3-0 last week with victories over Hampton (4-1) on Sunday, Coppin State (6-1) on Tuesday and Harford Community College (5-2) on Wednesday. Morgan State first travels to local foe Howard on Friday then to Philadelphia, Pa., to take on La Salle before coming to the GW Tennis Center. Ekaterina Iakovleva paces the Bears with a 5-2 No. 1 singles record this spring.
MEN'S TENNIS - @GWMensTennis
The No. 59 George Washington men's tennis team heads to Richmond, Va., this weekend to face a pair of Atlantic 10 opponents. On Saturday, GW will play the second half of a doubleheader against Richmond at 2 p.m., following the Richmond-GW women's match. On Sunday, GW will take on No. 25 VCU at 1 p.m. for the first time as A-10 foes.
The Colonials (8-5) split action during their spring break swing to California last week, falling to UC Santa Barbara, 6-1, on Thursday before rebounding to defeat UC Irvine, 4-3, on Saturday. Junior Ulrik Thomsen went undefeated over the week in No. 5 singles, as did the No. 3 doubles team of sophomore Francisco Dias and senior Leonardo Lapentti. Thomsen is currently riding a three-match winning streak and has won six of his last eight matches, one of which went unfinished. The tandem of Dias and Lapentti own an unblemished 8-0 record this spring season.
GW will face its eighth nationally ranked opponent in VCU on Sunday in a battle of top-60 teams. The Colonials are 4-3 against nationally ranked competition this spring.
Richmond (8-0) produced a 4-1 record last week, including a 3-1 mark against A-10 competition. The Spiders first defeated Dayton (6-1) on Sunday before falling to conference runner-up Xavier (6-1) on Monday. Richmond rebounded on Wednesday with a 6-1 win over Saint Louis before defeating Coastal Carolina (4-3) on Friday in its home opener.
No. 25 VCU (14-4) is on a three-match winning streak and is coming off a 7-0 blanking of Penn on Saturday. The Rams host A-10 foe Charlotte on Friday before welcoming the Colonials on Sunday. VCU entered the ITA top 25 for the first time in four years on Monday and boasts two top 75 singles players in No. 21 Max Wennakoski and No. 72 Alexis Heugas.
Sunday's match will serve as a rematch of sorts, as multiple Colonials and Rams players matched up throughout the 2012 fall tournament season. At the UVA Ranked +1 Invitational in September, Dias earned a 6-3, 6-2 win over VCU's Jamie Vazquez while junior Nikita Fomin upset then-No. 52 Heugas, 6-1, 7-6 (5-0). Heugas avenged the loss with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Fomin at the USTA/ITA Atlantic Regional Championship in October.
SOFTBALL - @GW_Softball
The George Washington softball team opens Atlantic 10 Conference play on Sunday with a doubleheader at Charlotte. First pitch is slated for 12 p.m.
GW (11-13) is coming off a 7-3 loss to Princeton on Thursday afternoon at the GW Softball Field on the Mount Vernon Campus. Sophomore shortstop Victoria Valos hit a three-run home run in the first inning to provide all of the Colonials' offense on the day.
Freshman first baseman Carlee Gray, who was named Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week on Tuesday, is batting a team-best .377 on the season. She has reached base in 15 straight games dating to Feb. 27 against Drexel. Valos is hitting .333 and leads the Colonials with seven doubles, six homers, 28 RBIs and 19 runs scored. Her 28 RBIs this season are the fifth-most in a single season in program history, just five shy of the school record of 33.
Charlotte (12-10) boasts the 17th-ranked offense in the nation, batting .329 as a team with seven starters hitting better than .300. Natalie Capone leads the 49ers with a .397 average, while Briana Gwaltney is batting .394 with a team-best 22 RBIs. Charlotte hosts Fordham in a doubleheader on Friday before welcoming the Colonials.
GW is just 3-13 all-time against Charlotte. The 49ers swept a doubleheader from the Colonials last season in D.C., but GW got its revenge in the Atlantic 10 Championship, defeating Charlotte, 9-2, in the first round. Amanda Zakeri went 3-for-3 with a pair of stolen bases in that game, while Autumn Taylor and Samantha Dos Santos each drove in two.
SAILING - @GW_Sailing
For the second straight weekend, GW sailing will compete in two regattas - the Owen Trophy hosted by Navy in Annapolis, Md., and the MAISA/SAISA Interconference Regatta hosted by Hampton in Hampton, Va.
Seniors Ian Conners and Rebecca Engel will sail in A Division, and freshman Jay Spector and sophomore Matthew Ricci will team in B Division at the Owen Trophy, which features 20 teams from throughout the MAISA (Middle Atlantic) and NEISA (New England) Conferences.
"Next month's MAISA Coed Conference Championships will also be held in Annapolis, so this will be a good chance for our team to get comfortable with the sailing conditions and the boats there prior to the big show," said head coach John Pearce.
Although the MAISA/SAISA event at Hampton is a coed regatta, the Colonials will send all-female teams of freshman Maria Sinagra, junior Kaitlin Denney and senior alternate Skye Kussmann in A Division, and sophomore Alex Hitchcock and freshman Hannah McNomee at skipper with sophomore Meagan Murphy at crew in B Division. The interconference races will also serve a dual purpose for GW as Hampton will host next month's MAISA Women's Conference Championships.
"At both regattas, the theme of the weekend is preparing for the conference championships and getting our top sailors the chance to sail against teams from outside the conference," said Coach Pearce.