Torero Athletics: USD Teams Set to Compete in San Diego's Crew Classic; Roundup

Men and women’s rowing teams from multiple levels, young and older, throughout the nation will be competing and fans will be cheering them on at San Diego's Mission Bay at this weekend's 44th San Diego Crew Classic on April 1 and 2.

Teams, including multiple entries for the University of San Diego, compete on Saturday and Sunday. First races each day begin at 7:20 a.m. Last race on Saturday is 4:40 p.m. The last race on Sunday goes off at 2:48 p.m.

Both USD programs come into the Crew Classic feeling good about their teams. The women's team annually vies for the West Coast Conference title. The Toreros were picked second in the preseason coaches poll.

Last weekend, the women traveled to Austin, Texas and fared well in the University of Texas' Longhorn Invitational. In a top varsity eight heat race, USD topped 14th-ranked Duke. In the finals, USD finished second to V8 winner Oklahoma, but did beat out Notre Dame and Oregon State. Other final performances saw USD take third in the second varsity eight behind Notre Dame and Oklahoma, and fourth in the varsity four.

The men's team has been competing in several scrimmages with west coast teams, but perhaps the best indicator for USD is a school record time in the varsity eight race at the March 12 Newport Regatta.

Both USD teams' race schedule and times in the Crew Classic will be revealed later this week. Visit for all schedules, results, ticket information, parking and much more. USD rowing fans can visit for updates on the Torero teams.

Furthermore, the annual Crew Classic Kickoff Reception, hosted by and to support the USD men’s rowing program, will take place on Friday, March 31, 6-9 p.m. in Mother Rosalie Hill Hall’s West Plaza area. Sign up to attend this event. 

Men's Tennis: USD's WCC Consecutive Match Win Streak Snapped at 35 

The USD men's tennis program has dominated its West Coast Conference opponents in both regular-season and conference tournament play since the 2014 season. Three consecutive undefeated WCC regular-season titles and three conference tournament championships in 2014, 2015 and 2016. Add in a win already against Saint Mary's this season and the men’s tennis team was undefeated in 35 consecutive WCC matches. 

But playing at and against BYU on March 25 put that streak on ice. The Toreros lost 4-0, unable to muster much of anything against the Cougars. BYU won the doubles point with wins at No. 1 and No. 2 and then captured singles victories at Nos. 2-3-4 to complete a shutout of USD (9-7 overall, 1-1 WCC). 

The last time USD lost to a WCC team was also against BYU in a WCC Tournament semifinal on April 26, 2013, at San Diego's Barnes Tennis Center. The last time USD lost a conference regular-season match was April 13, 2013 against Pepperdine. 

The loss capped a busy week. The Toreros lost to No. 31 Wisconsin 5-2 on March 21, but then shutout Princeton 4-0 on March 23. Both matches were played at USD's Skip and Cindy Hogan Tennis Center. 

USD looks to rebound this week in WCC play with back-to-back road matches at Gonzaga on March 31 at 2 p.m. and then a 3 p.m. match at Portland on April 1. 

Women's Tennis: Princeton tops USD; Toreros Prep for WCC 

No. 4 singles player Colomba DiFilippo won her match, a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Princeton's Nicole Kalhorn, but that proved to be the lone highlight for the USD women’s tennis team in a 4-1 Princeton victory at USD's Skip and Cindy Hogan Tennis Center on March 23. DiFilippo's victory improved her singles record this season to 10-3. 

The USD women now turn their full attention to West Coast Conference play as they'll host Gonzaga at 1:30 p.m. on March 30, followed by an 11 a.m. match April 2 against Portland. USD is 1-0 in WCC play and 5-9 overall. 

Baseball: No. 23 Toreros Win Second Straight WCC Series 

The USD baseball team shook off a 9-2 loss to No. 5/6 Cal State Fullerton on March 21 by returning to the win column with a doubleheader sweep at Santa Clara on March 24 in West Coast Conference play. The wins, 9-2 in Game 1 and 11-1 in the nightcap, showcased the offense, led by right fielder Hunter Mercado-Hood. In the opener, he drove in five runs and homered twice. He was then 2-for-3 with two RBI and two runs scored in the second game. 

Starting pitching was equally dominate on Saturday. Nick Sprengel allowed one run on five hits with eight strikeouts in six innings in the early game while Chris Murphy struck out 10 in seven shutout innings in the second game. 

Santa Clara, however, salvaged a win on March 26 in a wild 15-12 decision. Hood had another home run, but Santa Clara scored a total of 10 runs in the final two innings to prevent the sweep. 

USD baseball (15-6 overall, 5-1 WCC) returns to action today at 6 p.m. when it hosts UC Riverside at Fowler Park. The Toreros will then host San Francisco March 31 and April 1 at 6 p.m. and then at 1 p.m. on April 2.  

Softball: Tough Weekend in Santa Barbara 

The USD softball team earned a 4-3 victory over DePaul in nine innings on March 21, but the Toreros followed it up with a 1-3 mark playing in the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos Classic II, which was actually two games each against Seattle University and host UCSB on March 24-25. 

Despite solo home runs by Lauren Kane and Olivia Sandusky, Seattle edged USD 3-2 in the first game. UCSB then topped USD 6-1 in the second game on Friday night. On Saturday, USD notched its lone win, a 7-5 defeat of Seattle, highlighted by three-run homer by Sandusky, in the early game. Then, despite a 4-for-4 game at the plate for Taylor Spence, UCSB edged USD 4-3 in the final game of the tourney. 

The Toreros are now 13-15 on the season with a final non-WCC tune-up game taking place on March 29 at 2 p.m. against UC Riverside at the USD Softball Complex. USD opens WCC play April 8-9 at home against Pacific. 

Track: Solid 1,500-Meter Times for USD Women Runners 

Torero seniors Andrea Hughes and Sarah Kapple turned in memorable performances for the USD women’s track team at the San Diego State Aztec Invitational on March 24. 

Hughes and Kapple ran the second- and third-fastest times in school history for the 1,500-meter heat race, respectively. Hughes ran it in 4 minutes, 36.11 seconds with Kapple right behind her at 4:36.86. Both times were personal bests, as was Cassidy Kuhn's time of 4:45.22.   

In the 3,000-meter event, Beth Wade was the top Torero, finishing in 10:56.17. 

USD next competes in the California Collegiate Invitational on April 1 at UC San Diego. 

Golf: USD Vies in Oregon's Duck Invitational 

The USD men's golf team is playing in the two-day Duck Invitational, hosted by the University of Oregon March 27-28 at the Eugene, Ore., Country Club. 

The Toreros enter today's final round in 11th place as a team among 15 schools competing. USD shot a two-day total of 596 to finish the day ahead of UC Davis, San Jose State, Missouri-Kansas City and Gonzaga. Oregon leads its own tournament with a score of 560. 

Dalton Hankamer is the top USD golfer so far, tied for 17th place at 144 after rounds of 75 and 69 on Monday. 

Following this tournament, USD prepares for the West Coast Conference Championship April 20-22 in Salt Lake City, Utah. 

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