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Athletics Roundup: Women's Tennis Tops USC; Men's Tennis, Baseball, M&W Basketball, Softball, Golf, Swim

The University of San Diego women's tennis team defeated No. 22-ranked USC for the first time in program history in a 4-1 decision on Feb. 22 at USD's Hogan Tennis Center.

Having lost 11 straight to USC, the Toreros (5-3) were in control throughout doubles and had triumphs in straight sets in all three singles victories on Saturday afternoon.

“A win over USC is amazing for our program," said veteran USD head coach Sherri Stephens. “All of our hard work and commitment to each other is paying off. We are not done yet.”

AthleticsRoundup-Feb24

The Toreros won their fourth match in a row by making an impact early on, holding USC to just one game across all three doubles matches. Solymar Colling and Helena Francati led off at No. 1 doubles with a 6-0 win in under 30 minutes. Gemma Garcia and Maria Tyrina quickly followed suit with a 6-0 result to clinch the doubles point.

In singles, Tyrina quickly defeated USC's Constance Branstine 6-2, 7-6, Garcia answered a USC victory with a singles win of her own over Sydney Van Alphen 6-3, 6-3. Elizabeth Goldsmith fought off Danielle Willson 6-2, 7-6 (2) to secure the last team point USD needed to clinch its fifth win of the year. 

The ranked team victory was USD's first of year after dropping matches to Oklahoma State and Wake Forest in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend in January.

Earlier in the week, USD topped Long Beach State 4-1 at the Hogan Tennis Center. USD won the doubles point with wins by the teams of Colling and Francati and Kati Kukaras and Goldsmith. Colling, Tyrina and Kukaras earned the singles victories for the team win.

Women's Tennis Schedule: USD hosts Washington State, Friday, 1:30 p.m., Hogan Tennis Center; USD hosts UC Santa Barbara, Sunday, 11 a.m., Hogan Tennis Center. 

Men's Tennis

The West Coast Conference opener for men’s tennis came early on the match calendar, but it didn’t faze them as USD put together a 4-0 sweep of Loyola Marymount on Feb. 23 at the Hogan Tennis Center.

The Toreros grabbed the doubles point on quick wins by the teams of Joel Gamerov and August Holmgren and Marvin Schaber and David Norfeldt. In singles action, Gamerov, Norfeldt and Schaber won to secure the team win and improve to 5-3 overall, 1-0 in WCC play.

On Saturday, despite a rain delay, San Diego swept Oregon, 4-0, at home. The biggest development was Holmgren defeating the nation’s 19th-ranked singles player in the country.

USD came out of a tight doubles competition with the point and secured the victory with singles wins in straight sets at the top three positions. Holmgren's 6-2, 6-2 over No. 19 Joshua Charlton moved the Toreros into position to clinch by making the score 3-0. Gamerov and Gui Osorio had the other two singles wins to complete the sweep of Oregon, which had its six-match win streak snapped.

Men's Tennis Schedule: USD at UC Santa Barbara, March 2, 1:30 p.m., Santa Barbara, Calif. 

Women's Basketball

The women’s basketball team’s surge into second place in the West Coast Conference standings had been helped by stringing together a five-game win streak that started on Feb. 1. That fifth one came on Feb. 20 at San Francisco as Erica Martinsen made a three-pointer with six seconds left for a 61-58 Torero triumph.

On Feb. 22, however, the streak was snapped at Santa Clara as the Broncos’ third-period surge helped them run away with a 78-66 victory over USD.

The Toreros (17-10, 11-5 WCC) shot 45 percent from deep, but Santa Clara (10-17, 4-12 WCC) outscored USD 17-7 in the third quarter for a 53-46 lead heading into the fourth period. Santa Clara scored 25 in the fourth quarter.

San Diego had three players score in double figures, led by Hunter’s 16 points and two steals. Soares had 13 points and six rebounds off the bench and Edwards added 11.

Against San Francisco, Martinsen’s 3-pointer from the right wing put the final touch on the victory. The Toreros had three players score in double figures, led by Soares, who recorded a season-high 21 points, seven rebounds and two steals.  Edwards added 20 points, eight rebounds and five steals, and Hunter tacked on 12 points and two steals.

Women's Basketball Schedule: USD hosts Loyola Marymount, Thursday, 6 p.m., Jenny Craig Pavilion - International Day; USD hosts Pepperdine, Saturday, 2 p.m., Jenny Craig Pavilion - Senior Day and Family Day. 

Baseball

A perfect week — four games, four wins. Each game is its own challenge and each game, players are asked to step up and deliver in their role. Last week, the USD baseball team opened its Fowler Park home schedule with four games in six days. The result was a 4-0 record, a 9-1 win over UC Irvine on Feb. 18 and a three-game weekend sweep of the teams it faced in the Tony Gwynn Legacy Tournament — Nebraska, Seattle, Iowa — that it co-hosted with San Diego State.

Heck, even USD’s mascot, Diego Torero, won a competitive between-innings race against the San Diego Padres’ Swingin’ Friar mascot on Friday night to kick off a year-long partnership between USD and the local major-league team.

Against UC Irvine, Grady Miller pitched six scoreless innings of two-hit ball and struck out six. Shane McGuire and Thomas Luevano each hit a home run and combined to drive in six of the team’s nine runs. Adam Lopez also drove in two runs with a double.

A few days later against Nebraska, the Toreros started slow, getting behind 7-0 after three innings, but chipped away at the deficit with three runs in the fourth inning, five in the seventh inning and three more in the bottom of the eighth to take a 12-10 lead. Nebraska did score in the top of the ninth, but Connor Thurman was able to escape and the Toreros won 12-11. Offensively, Adam Kerner homered to drive in three. Cody Jefferis doubled and tripled to drive in two and he scored three runs. McGuire had three hits.

Seattle and San Diego met next. The Toreros had a 4-0 lead after three innings and Carter Rustad started and pitched five innings, walking four and striking out eight, but allowing only one hit and one run. Jake Miller went four innings of relief and struck out five to pick up the save in the 6-2 USD win.

Sunday’s finale was a 10-5 Torero win over Iowa. The Hawkeyes went up 2-0 early, but a Luevano two-run homer, three wild pitches and a bases-loaded walk resulted in four more USD runs. Dillon Lifrieri also hit a three-run homer. Thurman (3-0) picked up the win after 2.2 innings of relief, allowing four hits and a run but striking out four. Miller had six strikeouts in four innings.

USD is 6-1 to begin the season.

Baseball Schedule: USD at Long Beach State, Tuesday, 6 p.m.; USD hosts Keio University, Thursday, 1 p.m., Fowler Park; USD hosts Monmouth Friday-Sunday, 6 p.m., 4 p.m., 1 p.m., Fowler Park.

Men's Basketball

After a first half that was back-and-forth with 10 lead changes and eight ties, San Diego was outscored 54-29 in the second half of a 92-63 loss at Saint Mary's on Feb. 22 at the University Credit Union Pavilion.

USD (9-20, 2-12 WCC) outshot the Gaels (23-6, 10-4 WCC) in the first half — 48.4% to 47.1% — but Saint Mary's defeated the Toreros for the 14th straight game thanks to an offense that shot 63.9% (23-of-36) and committed just one turnover in the final 20 minutes.

The Toreros, meanwhile, were 11-of-28 from the field (39.3%) in the second half and 0-of-5 from three. Braun Hartfield led USD in scoring with 15 points on 6-of-15 shooting (0-of-5 from three). He also had three rebounds and three assists. Yauhen Massalski had nine of his 13 points in the second half and pulled in eight rebounds and had two blocks. Joey Calcaterra finished with 11 points.

Men's Basketball Schedule: USD at Gonzaga, Thursday, 6 p.m., Spokane, Wash.; USD hosts Pacific, Saturday, 7 p.m., Jenny Craig Pavilion. 

Softball

The USD softball team opened the week with a doubleheader sweep of Idaho State at the USD Softball Complex, winning 4-0 and 8-3 on Monday, Delaney Heller tossed a two-hit shutout in Game 1 and Sara Silveyra had three hits, scored two runs and Sophia Bjerk had a bases-clearing double to give the Toreros the sweep.

San Diego then traveled to Cathedral City, Calif., and it was a tale of two days. On Feb. 21, the Mary Nutter Classic was a rough day for the Toreros in losses against some of the sport’s best.

The Toreros lost 14-2 to 16th-ranked Arizona State in the opener, although the Sun Devils did most of their offensive damage in an eight-run seventh inning. USD’s runs came on a second-inning RBI double by Madison Casiano and a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh by Rion Simms.

The second game was an exhibition contest against the 2020 U.S. Olympic Softball team. Team USA won 14-0. USD had some offensive opportunities, including Simms’ single to load the bases in the fifth inning, but couldn’t convert.

On Saturday, the Toreros came away with two victories, a 6-5 triumph over New Mexico and then a 9-1 win that evening against Bethune-Cookman.

Heller got the win over New Mexico. The right-handed pitcher went seven innings, giving up five runs, three earned, on six hits, while allowing four walks and striking out five. Hayley Hensley led the way offensively, going 1-for-3 with a home run and two RBI. Simms went 2-for-2 with a double. Silveyra went 2-for-3 with an RBI.

In the lopsided win over Bethune-Cookman, Casiano and Hensley each had three RBI. Casiano went 2-for-3 with a walk and three RBI. Hensley put together a 3-for-4 performance with a double and her three RBI. Kelli Kufta was 2-for-4 with a double and RBI. Courtney Rose (1-0) earned her first collegiate start and picked up the win.

Softball Schedule: USD hosts Utah (doubleheader), Monday, noon and 2 p.m., USD Softball Complex; USD hosts San Diego Classic, Thursday-Sunday: USD vs. Long Beach State, Thursday, 7 p.m.; USD vs. St. John's, Friday, 4:30 p.m.; USD vs. Brown, Friday, 7 p.m.; USD vs. North Dakota, Saturday, 7 p.m.; USD vs. Mount St. Mary's, Sunday, 11:30 a.m.; USD vs. UCLA, Sunday, 2 p.m.

Golf

The USD men’s golf program opened its spring season this past weekend at the University of Wyoming-hosted Wyoming Desert Intercollegiate Tournament in Palm Desert, Calif.

Wyoming’s Tyler Severin earned the medalist honors as the top individual with a three-round total of 207 (6-under-par). Auburn, ranked 19th in the nation, won the team title with a 22-under-par score of 842, 18 strokes better than runner-up North Carolina-Charlotte.

The Toreros, meanwhile, finished 19th in the team standings, finishing with a 903 total (39-over-par) and ahead of Southern Utah and UC Riverside. The top USD individual was Harrison Kingsley who tied for 53rd overall with a three-round total of 222 (74-78-70, 6-over-par). Alrik Pan was next, tied for 65th overall at 224 (75-74-75, 8-over), and Jiaxuan Hutied for 86th at 13-over (73-81-75=229). William Bachelor and Donald Kay were among those who tied at 92nd overall, 230. Bachelor’s round scores were 78-76-76 and Kay went 77-75-78.

Golf Schedule: USD competes in the Lamkin Invitational, March 9-10, all day, San Diego Country Club, Chula Vista, Calif.

Women's Swim and Dive

The Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) women’s swimming and diving championship meet took place Feb. 19-22 at East Los Angeles College in Los Angeles (swimming) and Feb. 20-22 at the Marguerite Aquatic Center in Mission Viejo (diving).

Hawaii won the MPSF team title with 726 points, followed by UC Santa Barbara (698), BYU (570), UC Davis (512), UC San Diego (434.5), Cal Poly (293), Pacific (234.5) and eighth-place San Diego (146). Hawaii has won the MPSF championship four years in a row and five times overall.

San Diego, despite the last-place team finish had several athletes achieve career-best times. Lauren Quincy, Sabrina Firnett, Rachel Hubka, Elena Elie, Callie Johnson, Hannah Hudson, Abigail Russell, Haley Ohlson, Solaire Nazarenis-Olson, Mia Shaeffer, Alyssa Hornbuckle, and Rachel Tucker all recorded career-best times at the championships. 

Johnson swam a season best time in the 400-yard IM with a 4 minute, 33.35 second time, beating her previous best by 10 seconds. She finished 16th overall in the event. She also recorded a career-best in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:05.40). 

Hannah Hudson swam to a season-best time of 56.42 in the 100-yard backstroke for 11th place and shaving a little over two seconds off from her previous best. She also swam a season best in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 53.16.

Men's Rowing

The USD men's rowing program kicks off its spring season this coming weekend in Las Vegas by competing against three teams, Oregon State, Cal Berkeley and Dartmouth at Lake Las Vegas. The Toreros are competing in their first spring season under new head coach Ben Hise.

Men's Rowing Schedule: USD vs. Oregon State, California, Dartmouth at Lake Las Vegas Event, Saturday-Sunday, all day, Las Vegas, NV. 

USD Athletics

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

Contact:

USD News Center
news@sandiego.edu
619-260-4600 x 6652