Athletics Roundup: Women's Basketball Tops BYU; Men's Basketball; Softball; Men's Tennis; Women's Swimming

Athletics Roundup: Women's Basketball Tops BYU; Men's Basketball; Softball; Men's Tennis; Women's Swimming

The University of San Diego women’s basketball program put a lot of effort into this past Saturday’s game in the Jenny Craig Pavilion.


Head Coach Cindy Fisher was celebrated by the program for this, her 15th season at USD, with a post-game alumni gathering. The one thing that stood between her and this fun time was an important West Coast Conference game against BYU. A win would move the Toreros into a second-place tie with the visiting Cougars in the WCC standings.

The Toreros got a strong team defensive performance — BYU made only 1 3-pointer on 10 attempts and USD outrebounded BYU 38-28 — and offensively, 13 points from Leticia Soares (10 rebounds), 12 points from Jordyn Edwards and 10 from Madison Pollock, in a 51-45 victory.

"What a great game and moment," Fisher said. "To hold a team like that one for ten from the three-point line that's just all heart and effort. They did an outstanding job."

San Diego improved to 14-9 overall, 8-4 in WCC play and is now tied with BYU (13-9, 8-4) for second place in the conference behind nationally ranked Gonzaga.

"We did a great job creating ball pressure and that was our focus all week," said Fisher. "We have a lot going for us right now. When they all can come in and execute, it creates a great presence and confidence. You need that confidence to be successful in this league."

The post-game celebration was icing on the cake for Coach Fisher and her program on this day.

Women’s Basketball Schedule: USD hosts Pacific, Thursday, 6 p.m., Jenny Craig Pavilion (National Girls and Women in Sports Day); USD hosts Saint Mary’s, Saturday, 2 p.m., JCP (Pink Game and Family Day).

Men’s Basketball

Has the men’s basketball team turned a corner on its season?

It certainly took a step forward by playing close with Saint Mary’s and having the lead on a few occasions, even as much as five points with eight minutes left before the Gaels pulled out a 66-60 victory in the Jenny Craig Pavilion on Feb. 6. Two days later, USD pulled out an 88-81 double-overtime victory over Portland, also in the JCP.

It may be a split record in the WCC standings, but it is also a sign that this team is still learning and having moderate spots of success under head coach Sam Scholl.

Against Portland, Joey Calcaterra scored all 19 of his points in the second half and overtime, including three on a game-tying shot in the final seconds of regulation, to help lift San Diego. Braun Hartfield scored a game-high 23 points in 48 minutes while Yauhen Massalski had his second double-double of the season with a career-high 19 points and 12 rebounds as USD (9-17, 2-9 WCC) swept the season series against the Pilots and snapped its four-game losing streak. The Toreros trailed by as much as seven in the second half before working their way out of the hole, culminating with the shot by Calcaterra.

Against Saint Mary’s, San Diego led by five with eight minutes remaining in the game, but Saint Mary's made eight of its last 10 shots and nine of 12 free throws to outlast the Toreros. USD held the Gaels, who notched their 20th win of the season, to 30 percent shooting in the first 32 minutes to help establish a 46-41 lead in the second half. However, in addition to hot shooting down the stretch by Saint Mary's, the Toreros were 5-of-10 from the free throw line and 4-of-8 from the field in the final eight minutes. The game was tight for nearly all of the second half as the lead changed six times.

Men’s Basketball Schedule: USD at Pepperdine, Thursday, 8 p.m., Malibu, Calif.; USD hosts BYU, Saturday, 7 p.m., Jenny Craig Pavilion.


The results for the USD head coaching debut weekend for Jessica Pistole featured a mix of everything. A sparkling debut (6-0 win over Cal State Bakersfield), a hard-fought, narrow defeat (2-1 loss to Pittsburgh), a come-from-behind triumph (4-3 win over Cal Poly) and then a five-inning loss to the nation’s No. 4-ranked team and tournament host (a 9-1 loss to UCLA). A fifth scheduled game on Sunday against Cal Poly in the Stacey Winsberg Memorial Tournament at Los Angeles’ Easton Stadium was cancelled due to rain.

Against Bakersfield in USD’s season-opening game Feb. 7, senior pitcher Delaney Heller fanned eight Roadrunner hitters over seven shutout innings and allowing five hits and no walks. Offensively, Sophia Bjerk doubled, homered and walked. Rion Simms, Lauren Hendrickson and Halle Kyler each had a double among the Toreros’ six hits.

In the first game on Saturday, Heller started and struck out eight Pittsburgh hitters over six innings, but offensively, the Toreros had six hits and stranded six runners in the loss. Madison Casiano walked and drove in USD’s lone run on a sixth-inning single. Pittsburgh scored a run in the second and fifth inning.

Cal Poly scored its three runs in the third inning for a 3-1 lead, but USD rallied to win with a run in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings to pull out the victory. Heller got the win with 1 1/3 innings of shutout relief and four strikeouts. Madison Earnshaw started the game and gave up seven hits, three runs. The Torero offense got one RBI each from Simms, Hendrickson and Casiano and Kelli Kufta’s RBI bunt in the sixth holding up as the game-winner.

The tournament host Bruins won a run-rule game with nine runs on 15 hits. USD had four hits, including a second-inning double by Casiano to score Sara Silveyra, who had singled. UCLA scored two runs in the first two innings, three in the third and one each in the fourth and fifth. Kyler started the game, but only went two innings, giving up seven hits, five runs (4 earned) and walked four.

Softball Schedule: USD plays in the inaugural Golden State Classic, Friday and Saturday, at Rosetta Canyon Community Park in Lake Elsinore, Calif. Feb. 14: USD vs. Portland State, 9 a.m.; USD vs. Seton Hall, 2 p.m.; Feb. 15: USD vs. Utah State, 9 a.m.; USD vs. Long Island Univ., 11:30 a.m.

Men’s Tennis

It was a tough weekend trip to the state of Oklahoma for the USD men’s tennis team. The Toreros lost two matches, 4-1 against No. 21-ranked Oklahoma State in Stillwater, Okla., on Feb. 7 and then 4-3 to No. 25-ranked Oklahoma in Norman, Okla., on Feb. 9.

Against Oklahoma State, the Cowboys won the doubles point with wins at the No. 3 and 1 positions in that order. Nico Borter won at No. 6 singles to give USD its lone point and tie the match at 1-1, but Oklahoma State won at its top three singles positions to earn the victory.

Then, two days later against Oklahoma, USD battled hard, winning the doubles point and the first singles match, but the Sooners rebounded to gain the victory. The match was delayed an hour due to the weather.

Doubles victories came courtesy of the teams of Gui Osorio-Nico Borter and David Norfeldt-Sacchitt Sharrma. Joel Gamerov won his singles match for the 2-0 early lead, but Oklahoma got three singles wins and Sharrma was forced to retire from his match after winning the second set of his match. August Holmgren got the other singles point for USD.

San Diego, with a 3-3 team record, is now off until it returns for home matches Feb. 22-23, including its West Coast Conference opener against Loyola Marymount on the latter date. 

Men’s Tennis Schedule: USD hosts Oregon, Feb. 22, 10 a.m., Hogan Tennis Center; USD hosts LMU (WCC Opener), Feb. 23, 12:30 p.m., HTC.

Women’s Swim and Dive

Despite 18 top-three finishes, San Diego fell 165-107 to UC San Diego in a dual meet at the USD Sports Center on Feb. 8.

Prior to the meet, USD honored its two graduating seniors, Sam Terranova and Nicole Saladino, with a ceremony led by underclassmen. Terranova helped the Toreros by finishing second in the 1,000-yard freestyle (10 minutes, 46.65 seconds) and the 500-yard freestyle (5:14.42), the latter of which is a personal season best time.

Other top finishes and season best times by USD swimmers included sophomore Sabrina Firnett in the 200-yard breaststroke (2:27.00) and freshman Callie Johnson in the 200-yard IM (2:11.96). 

Women’s Swim and Dive Schedule: USD swimmers at the Senior Swimming Classic, Feb. 15-17, Coronado, Calif.; USD at MPSF Championships, Feb. 19-22, East Los Angeles Community College. 

Torero Sport Shorts

The women’s tennis team, off since Feb. 1, returns to action this Sunday with an 11 a.m. home match against Hawaii at the Hogan Tennis Center on campus. USD brings a 2-3 record into this nonconference match. … The baseball team’s season begins this weekend in Tempe, Ariz., with the Angels’ College Classic. The Toreros play Pepperdine at 2:30 p.m. Friday, Oregon on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. and Minnesota at 3:30 p.m. Sunday. All games will be played at the Los Angeles Angels’ spring training home, Tempe Diablo Stadium.

USD Athletics

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

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