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Athletics Roundup: Tennis Teams' Win Streaks at 9, 8; Baseball, Softball, Golf, Rowing

Athletics Roundup: Tennis Teams' Win Streaks at 9, 8; Baseball, Softball, Golf, Rowing

The USD women's tennis team is simply on a roll. Ever since a home victory against Hawaii on February 19, the Toreros have won nine straight team matches. Wins over San Diego State, Long Beach State, Middle Tennessee, UNLV, Michigan State and Yale were a mix of nail-biting wins and a few by a comfortable margin.

But the winning momentum carried over this past weekend as the team, ranked 39th in the nation, opened West Coast Conference play at home against Portland on March 22 and then Sunday against Gonzaga.

The team swept Portland, 4-0, getting the doubles point courtesy of wins by the teams of Gemma Garcia-Kati Kukaras and Solymar Colling-Maria-Paula Torres and then getting singles victories from Kukaras, Maria Tyrina and Torres.

On Sunday, USD defeated Gonzaga, 4-3. Again, the Toreros claimed the doubles point and again it was courtesy of wins by Garcia-Kukaras and Colling-Torres. But in singles play, Gonzaga won the first two matches for a 2-1 lead.

Garcia, however, rallied from a 7-6 loss in the first set to defeat Domonique Garley at No. 3 singles with set victories of 6-1 and 6-3 to tie the team scores at 2-2. Colling earned a 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 decision at the No. 1 position against Gonzaga's Sophie Whittle, ranked eighth in the nation, to pull USD to within one win of the team win. Torres, however, dropped her match after winning the first set and the teams were deadlocked with only one more match on the court.

Kukaras, playing at No. 4, defeated Haruna Tsuruta in a back-and-forth match, 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 to keep USD's win streak alive at nine, start WCC with a 2-0 mark and give Toreros' veteran head coach Sherri Stephens, now in her 35th season at USD, her 400th career victory. USD's streak improved its overall record to 11-2.   

Next Match: USD hosts BYU, Saturday, noon, Skip and Cindy Hogan Tennis Center.

Men's Tennis

On the heels of USD's women's tennis team notching its ninth straight win on Sunday, the USD men's tennis team is also rolling along. On Sunday, the No. 36-ranked men's team completed a successful three-day performance in its Spring Invitational Tournament with a 4-3 victory over No. 49 Tulane to claim its eighth consecutive win.

The triumph over Tulane followed wins against Memphis, a 4-0 sweep on March 22, and No. 50 Princeton, 4-1 on Saturday.

Against Memphis, the teams of August Holmgren-Joel Gamerov and Gui Osorio-Nico Borter won their matches to give USD the doubles point. Singles victories by Guus Koevermans, David Norfeldt and Holmgren closed out the opposition.

Turning their attention to Princeton, USD trailed early as Princeton took the doubles point. Holmgren-Gamerov won their match, but Princeton won the other two matches. The Toreros, however, came back strong in singles play. Osorio, Borter, Koevermans and Holmgren each won their match for a convincing team victory.

The Toreros then closed out the Spring Invitational, winning the team title, by outlasting Tulane. USD tried to set a tone quickly, getting the doubles point on wins by Holmgren-Gamerov and Osorio-Borter, but singles play was a challenge. USD did win two of the first three completed matches — Koevermans and Osorio won — for a 3-1 lead, but Tulane won at the No. 4, 1 and 5 positions to make the final match of the day, No. 3 Borter's against Tulane's Luis Erlenbusch decide the outcome. Borter lost the opening set 7-5, but rallied back with wins of 6-2 and 6-4 to give USD the team win, the tournament title and continue its winning streak.

USD's streak of eight wins have come since Feb. 27 against Oklahoma State, Saint Mary's, Washington, Gonzaga, San Diego State and the three wins this past weekend. USD's record is now 14-3 overall, 4-0 in WCC play.

Next Match: USD at BYU, Saturday, noon, Provo, Utah. 

Baseball

The USD baseball team got back to its productive ways, knocking off Cal State Fullerton, 6-2, on March 19 and then taking two of three West Coast Conference home games against University of San Francisco.

The win over Fullerton came thanks to a big second inning. The Toreros scored five runs on three hits and a Titans' error while batting around its lineup. Caleb Ricketts and Paul Kunst each had run-scoring singles before Cody Jefferis' RBI groundout and a fielding error enabled two more USD baserunners to score. The Titans scored twice in the eighth and loaded the bases with one out, but USD got out of the jam and then added another run in the bottom of the eighth to close out the win.

Against USF, the Toreros opened with a 10-3 win on Friday, lost 10-4 on Saturday and closed out the series with a 6-4 triumph on Sunday. Here are the highlights: On Friday, USD had a seven-run third inning with the key hit a three-run double by Ripken Reyes and Shane McGuire was 4-for-4 with an RBI and three runs scored and starting pitcher Chris Murphy went six innings, allowing four hits, all three runs, walking two but striking out nine en route to the win; Saturday, Adam Kerner homered, McGuire got two more hits but San Francisco kept its lead throughout the game before a blowing it open with a four-run ninth inning; On Sunday, USD rallied from a 4-0 deficit with a six-run eighth inning on five hits and two USF errors to claim the WCC series. Ricketts singled home a run and Kerner, with the bases loaded, reached on a fielder's choice to score a run. Reyes had an RBI single and Tora Otsuka reached on a fielder's choice and a throwing error scored Kerner. Kunst, who batted twice in the eighth inning, reached on a bunt attempt and a throwing error enabled two Toreros to score.

The Toreros (17-7, 3-3 WCC) are on the road all week for four games following an eight-game homestand.

Next Games: USD at UC Irvine, Tuesday, 6:30 p.m.; USD at Gonzaga: Friday, 6 p.m., Saturday, 6 p.m., Sunday, noon, Spokane, Wash.

Softball

The best weekend performance so far this season arrived for the USD softball team. The Toreros (14-15) swept a three-game home series against UC Santa Barbara, taking the March 23 doubleheader, 1-0 and 2-1, with complete-game pitching performances by Delaney Heller and Madison Earnshaw, and closing it out with an 8-1 win on March 24.

USD scored its only run of the first game in the bottom of the seventh inning as Lindsay Clare, with the bases loaded, reached base on a fielding error, allowing pinch-runner Shannon McKeon to score from third. Rion Simms had two of USD's four hits. Heller allowed only three hits, walked none and struck out four.

In the second game Saturday, USD scored earlier with an RBI double by Shelbi Evans in the first inning, then Sophia Bjerk coaxed a bases-loaded walk in the third inning to give USD all the runs it needed. UCSB scored its lone run in the sixth inning, but Earnshaw handled the Gauchos, allowing only three hits, walking one and striking out five.

On Sunday, USD's offense broke through with a six-run second inning and Halle Kyler and Hannah Boos combined to shut down UCSB. Kyler went four innings, allowing three hits and an unearned run in the fourth inning while striking out four. Boos came in to pitch the last three innings to earn the save. Boos allowed three hits and struck out one. Offensively, USD had nine hits, but the big hit in the big second inning was a bases-loaded triple by Sara Silveyra.

Next Games: USD at Fresno State Tournament, Thursday: USD vs. Cal State Bakersfield, 3:30 p.m.; USD vs. Fresno State, 6 p.m.; Friday: USD vs. CS Bakersfield, 5 p.m.; USD vs. Fresno State, 7:30 p.m.

Golf

The USD men's golf team travelled to Arizona to play in the 16-team NIT event at the par-72 Tucson National Golf Club March 18-19 and the Toreros finished last in the team standings.

Arizona State won the tournament with a three-round total of 814, 50-under-par, with scores of 280-263-271, beating out second place USC by 21 strokes. USD, with team rounds of 299, 305 and 294, shot an 898 to finish 34-over-par.

George Gardner was the top Torero golfer, tying for 46th place with a three-round total of 217 (75-71-71) to finish 1-over. Yash Majmudar tied for 55th place with a 220 (72-76-72).

Next Tournament: USD at Stanford University's The Goodwin Tournament, Thursday-Friday-Saturday, Stanford Golf Course, Palo Alto, Calif.

Women's Track

Eleven USD women's distance runners achieved personal-best times to highlight the team's performance at the Aztec Invitational at San Diego State.

Five Toreros notched personal-best times in the 1,500-meter Open race, led by Cammy Manes in 4 minutes, 38.20 seconds to win the race. Sera Parvin was third in 4:43.73 and Beth Wade was 11th in 4:56.

The Toreros had three top-four finishers in the 3,000-meter Invitational race, led by Hannah Rasmussen finishing second in 9:58.62. Cassidy Kuhn was third in 10:00.95 and Madison Lambros was fourth in 10:06.55. Hailey Purtzer was fourth in the 3,000-meter Open race with a PR of 10:53.90.

Zani Moore led USD in the 1,500 Invitational race with an eighth-place finish in 4:41.25.

Next Meet: USD at UC San Diego Invitational, Saturday, La Jolla, Calif.

Rowing (Men and Women)

The USD men's rowing team will compete in the UC San Diego Invitational March 30-31 as the final tune-up event before the annual San Diego Crew Classic takes place at Mission Bay April 6-7. In USD women's rowing, the team continues to train in preparation for the San Diego Crew Classic, too.

USD Athletics Updates

Keep up with all USD Athletics news, scores and information at its website. Follow the Toreros on social media: FacebookTwitter and Instagram. See videos on its YouTube channel.

Gemma Garcia is one of several top USD women's tennis players to contribute to the team's nine-match winning streak. Gemma Garcia is one of several top USD women's tennis players to contribute to the team's nine-match winning streak.

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