Torero Athletics: Baseball Starts Feb. 16; Spring Sports Roundup

A preseason poll of West Coast Conference baseball coaches has selected the University of San Diego as the favorite to win the WCC regular-season championship with five of nine possible first-place votes and 77 overall points in the poll.

With two players, junior catcher Riley Adams and sophomore left-handed pitcher Nick Sprengel, named to the All-WCC Preseason Baseball Team, USD Coach Rich Hill and his players appreciate the recognition, but it means little compared to the initial challenge in front of them when the 2017 season begins on Thursday, Feb. 16.

The Toreros will open their season in Fowler Park against Vanderbilt, welcoming the No. 6 nationally ranked Commodores for a three-game series. Thursday's 6 p.m. opener was moved up one day due to potential rain this weekend. The other two scheduled games and start times are pending the weather. Check to keep up with any further schedule changes.

Learn more about the 2017 Toreros — the game schedule, which includes a game at Dodger Stadium, the roster and more.

Softball: Toreros Go 2-3 in ASU Tourney; Casiano is WCC POTW 

After the first two days of the Kajikawa Classic, hosted by Arizona State, the USD softball team was still in search of its first win. An 8-6 loss to Cal Poly and a 6-3 setback to ASU on Feb. 10, then a 12-6 loss to Fresno State on Feb. 10 made USD determined to get on the winning side of the ledger with two games on Feb. 12.

The result was a 2-0 USD shutout over Stanford early and an 8-1 win over Seattle University to close out the weekend. Megan Sabbatini pitched and won both games, including the four-hit shutout of the Cardinal.

One USD standout in the tournament was freshman catcher Madison Casiano. She batted a collective .545 in the tournament, catching all five games and going 6 for 11 at the plate with a double, triple and three runs scored. She went 2-for-3 in the win against Stanford. She also had some solid defensive play during the weekend. As a result, Casiano was named the WCC's Softball Player of the Week.

USD (2-3) now prepares for the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic Feb. 17-19 in Cathedral City, Calif., where they'll face Utah Valley, Kent State, Arkansas, Cal Poly and Cal. All games will be streamed live on

Basketball: Men fall twice, Women split in WCC action

Cameron Neubauer put together a solid effort for the USD men's basketball team in its two West Coast Conference games — both losses — at Pacific on Feb. 9 and at home Feb. 11 against Pepperdine. Neubauer, a junior, scored 18 points and grabbed nine rebounds in a 61-58 loss to Pacific. He then had 13 points and 12 rebounds in a 65-60 loss to Pepperdine. Brett Bailey led USD (11-15 overall, 4-10 WCC) with 15 points against the Waves.

The men are on the road this week with an 8 p.m. game Thursday at BYU and another 8 p.m. game Saturday at Santa Clara.

Meanwhile, the women's basketball team edged Pacific 73-71 at the Jenny Craig Pavilion on Feb. 9, but then lost 57-40 Feb. 11 at Pepperdine. Aubrey Ward-El (see her Torero Timeout video above) led the Toreros with 17 points, Cori Woodward had 16 and Sydney Williams added 12 in the win over Pacific. Williams was the only USD player to score in double figures (10) in the loss at Pepperdine. Ward-El added eight points.

The women's team (11-13, 5-9) will play its final regular-season home games this week, a 6 p.m. game Thursday against BYU and then a 2 p.m. against Santa Clara on Saturday.

Tennis: Tough Setbacks for Men, Women’s Teams

The men's tennis team lost what turned out to be its lone match of the week, a 4-3 decision against UC Davis on Feb. 11. Rain delayed the start of the match for three hours and it later forced the cancellation of a scheduled USD home match against UC San Diego later that day.

USD lost the doubles point against Davis which proved to be crucial as Filip Vittek, Gui Osorio and Joel Gamerov won their singles matches for USD, but that's all the team could muster.

The Toreros (3-2) return to action this weekend, playing a doubleheader on Sunday with a 10 a.m. match against Fresno State and then at 2 p.m. against Hawaii. Both matches will be at USD's Skip and Cindy Hogan Tennis Center.

Meanwhile, the USD women's tennis team faced a pair of Pac-12 Conference teams last weekend, dropping both matches by a 5-2 score against Arizona on Feb. 10 and against UCLA on Feb. 12. Both matches were held at USD's Skip and Cindy Hogan Tennis Center.

USD won the doubles point, but could only win one singles match in the loss to Arizona. Against UCLA, ranked 20th in the nation, the Bruins won the doubles point and USD got singles wins from Colomba DiFilippo and Kati Kukaras.

The Toreros return to action Feb. 26, hosting another Pac-12 team, Arizona State, at the Hogan Tennis Center at noon.

Swim/Dive: Toreros Set to Compete in MPSF Championships

The USD women's swimming and diving team will be competing in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships, Feb. 15-18, at East Los Angeles College. USD competes in the MPSF against teams representing BYU, Cal Poly, UC Davis, UC Santa Barbara, Hawaii and Pacific.

One of the Torero swimmers who will be competing in the MPSF Championships for USD is senior Bri Jurries, who was recently featured in one of USD Athletics' Torero Timeout videos (see above).

Golf: Toreros Hosts PRO Compression Invitational

The USD men's golf team was in 10th place after the completion of the first round of its own PRO Compression Invitational at The Farms Golf Club in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., on Monday.

The second round, however, was not completed due to darkness and players will first complete their second round this morning before playing the third and final round this afternoon.

USD's top player on day one was senior Nick Barnes, who shot an even-par 72 to tie for 16th. The leader after one round is UC Santa Barbara in the team standings (9-under-par 279) and Wichita State's Yannick Emmert fired a 9-under-par 63 for top individual round.

For all USD Athletics news, scores and information, visit the website and follow on social media: FacebookTwitter and Instagram.