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Athletics Roundup: Gonzaga Tops USD Men's Basketball; Tennis, Swimming, Softball

Isaiah PineiroAugust Holmgren, the No. 1 singles player for USD men's tennis, helped the Toreros defeat Portland in the WCC opener for both teams on Sunday.

The first opportunity for the University of San Diego men's basketball team to see how it stacked up against one of the nation's elite and the West Coast Conference's juggernaut, Gonzaga, took place last Saturday night.

For much of the game, USD had quality moments of momentum with big shots and rallies early to keep the Zags honest, but despite a 30-point, 11-rebound effort from Isaiah Pineiro, No. 4 Gonzaga triumphed, 85-69, in Spokane, Wash.

The loss dropped USD's record to 15-8 overall, 4-4 in WCC play. Gonzaga, who will play at San Diego on Feb. 16 (tickets are sold out, but some standing room only tickets remain), improved to 21-2 and 8-0 in the WCC.

Gonzaga led 40-32 at halftime with a late run to pad it, but USD made six 3-pointers in the first half and even led 27-26 thanks to a 17-9 run midway through the half. A 3-pointer by Pineiro gave USD that lead.

Gonzaga, however, added to its lead early in the second half and eventually pulled away. Another Pineiro 3-pointer with 7:56 left in the game cut Gonzaga's lead to 61-53, but a 17-4 run by the Zags iced it.

In addition to Pineiro's big night, Isaiah Wright finished with 16 points and both he and Pineiro showed their competitiveness and determination by playing for the entire 40 minutes of the game. Tyler Williams scored nine points for USD, which played its fifth consecutive WCC game without Olin Carter III (abdomen injury).

Defensively, USD couldn't contain Rui Hachimura, who finished with 32 points to lead Gonzaga. He was one of four Zags to score in double figures.

 

Next Games: USD at Loyola Marymount, Thursday, 7 p.m., Los Angeles, Calif; USD at Pepperdine, Saturday, 1 p.m., Malibu, Calif.

 

Women's Basketball

A tough season with multiple injuries to players that have robbed the USD women's basketball team of its depth, but the seven players who are suiting up for the Toreros are still giving it their all. Two West Coast Conference road games at Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount, Jan. 31 and Feb. 2 respectively, turned into two losses.

 

An 88-65 loss to Pepperdine occurred despite USD having four players score in double figures. Leticia Soares led the way with 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting, followed by Sydney Hunter's 14 points (she made all six of her free throws), 12 points by senior Sydney Shepard and Madison Pollock had 10 points and six rebounds. Patricia Brossmann also had six rebounds. Pepperdine got off to a blazing start and led 48-30 at halftime.

 

Two days later, USD fell to LMU, 83-57. LMU led 25-12 after one quarter and 41-22 at halftime. USD's offense was paced by Pollock's 18 points, a double-double by Brossmann with 13 points and 10 rebounds and Kiera Oakry chipped in with 12 points.

 

USD's record is now 8-14 overall and 1-10 in WCC play. Prior to Thursday's game, USD will host a 4:30 p.m. appearance by WNBA Los Angeles Sparks President and COO Danita Johnson for National Girls and Women in Sports Day.

 

Next Games: 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 (Family Day and International Day).

 

Men's Tennis

Perhaps the best way to get past a loss is to play again as quickly as possible. That's what the USD men's tennis team did this past weekend. After a narrow 4-3 road loss to Oregon on Feb. 1, the Toreros' West Coast Conference-opening match against Portland happened Feb. 3 and USD came ready to play in a 6-1 triumph.

 

The loss Friday was especially tough since USD won the doubles point and then won two of the first three singles matches for a 3-1 lead. Nico Borter and Gui Osorio teamed for their doubles win and Guus Koevermans and David Norfeldt won for the doubles point sweep. In singles action, Borter and then Koevermans won, but No. 1 August Holmgren lost. Oregon then swept the next three singles matches, losses for Joel Gamerov, Norfeldt and Osorio, to pull out the nonconference victory.

All the tough loss ensured was a dialed in USD team would be ready for its WCC foe. The Toreros won the doubles point — USD has won the doubles point in all five of its spring matches to date — and then Osorio, Borter and Holmgren won their singles matches to clinch the win. Gamerov and Garrett Kurtz also won in singles for USD (3-2, 1-0 WCC).

Next Match: USD at UC Santa Barbara, Sunday, noon.

Women's Tennis

Rainy weather in Southern California last week wiped out one nonconference road match for the USD women's tennis team at Long Beach State, but in anticipation of the rain, USD and host USC moved their match up one day to Jan. 30 to get the contest played. The result was a 4-2 Trojans victory over the Toreros in the season-opening team match for both teams.

USC won the doubles point and then claimed three singles victories to get the win, but not before USD's two points came from Solymar Colling, playing at No. 1 singles, and Daniela Morales winning her match at No. 3 singles. Morales needed a third set to get her hard-earned point.

The USD-Long Beach State match was cancelled. No make-up date has been announced and it is unknown if the teams will reschedule.

Next Match: USD hosts Arizona, Saturday, 11 a.m., Hogan Tennis Center.

Women's Swimming

Five USD swimmers combined for seven top-three finishes in the women's team's road dual meet loss, 153-112, against UC San Diego on Feb. 2.

Kailyn Evans won the 100-yard breaststroke in 1 minute, 4.75 seconds and finished third in the 200 individual medley (2:11.79). Danielle Taylor was second in the 50 freestyle (24.59) and was third in the 200 free (1:55.19). Other top-three finishes came from Olivia Adey, second in the 200 backstroke (2:15.42), Allie Andrade, third in the 200 breaststroke (2:34.38) and Mackenna Briggs, third in the 500 free (5:14.20). Two USD relay teams each finished third, too. In the 200 medley relay, Taylor, Evans, Maeve Murdoch and Briggs went 1:47.34 while Taylor, Alexa Philips, Murdoch and Briggs went 3:40.41 in the 400 free relay.

Next Meet: USD at San Diego Imperial Senior Classic, Feb. 15-18.

Softball

The USD softball team's 2019 season opens at home this weekend, Feb. 8-9-10, hosting a tournament at the USD Softball Complex. USD will play two games each day. The tournament field consists of USD, UC Riverside, Marshall, Cal Poly (San Luis Obispo) and Portland State. Day One, Friday, for USD is against Marshall, 4:30 p.m., and versus Portland State at 6:30 p.m. The Saturday schedule has the Toreros opposing Portland State at 2 p.m. and UC Riverside at 4:30 p.m. The Sunday schedule sees USD match up against Cal Poly at 2 p.m. and UC Riverside at 4:30 p.m. Non-USD games begin at 11 a.m. Friday and 9 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Last week, the West Coast Conference coaches picked USD third in a preseason conference title poll, finishing behind title favorite BYU and Loyola Marymount. Also, two USD players, junior infielder Lindsay Clare and senior outfielder Taylor Spence, were named to the All-WCC Preseason Team. Spence is a returning 2018 All-WCC first team performer while Clare was an honorable mention.

Next Games: USD hosts USD Tournament, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, times vary, USD Softball Complex. 

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