Courtside

Your Guide to GW sports

Cross one off the men’s basketball team’s depth chart at forward for this season – forward Ryan McCoy will not play in 2015-16, an athletics department spokesman confirmed Thursday.

McCoy graduated in May at the end of his junior year but has elected not to use his final year of eligibility to play as a graduate student walk-on. McCoy majored in business administration while at GW.

McCoy averaged .4 points and .3 rebounds in 3.5 minutes per game as a Colonials reserve last season.

GW’s frontcourt should get a boost from Wake Forest transfer Tyler Cavanaugh, who sat out last season but is eligible this year. Cavanaugh and Kevin Larsen should play the majority of minutes up front, aided at times by the versatile Yuta Watanabe who plays a number of positions for the Colonials.

McCoy’s absence may mean a few more minutes for forward Matt Cimino in his sophomore season. Cimino played 2.0 minutes per game as a freshman but, especially if he is able to bulk up in the weight room, could develop into a more significant presence for the team after a very strong high school career.

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Cross country and track head coach Terry Weir. Hatchet File Photo

Cross country and track head coach Terry Weir. Hatchet File Photo

A recruiting class of 22 runners will join the cross country and track program this fall, head coach Terry Weir announced Wednesday.

The group of five men and 17 women is the largest individual class the program has ever recruited, aided by the reinstatement of track last year. The athletes will compete in cross country, indoor and outdoor track.

“With this class size we’ve added some much-needed depth to both the men’s and women’s rosters,” Weir said in a release. “I believe a number of these incoming freshmen will make an immediate impact within the Atlantic 10 this year. We are very excited about the Class of 2019.”

Standouts in the men’s class include Andrew Weber, who qualified for the IHSA State Finals as an individual in the 3200m as a senior at St. Ignatius Prep in Chicago, and Sawyer Bilton, who won conference, county, district and regional championships in the 800m as a student at Boca Raton Community High School in Boca Raton, Fla. Bilton placed fourth overall in the Florida State Championship in the 800m, in which he runs a personal best of 1.55.

Milton Academy (Mass.) cross country and track captain Connor James, Reading, Mass. native Aiden Kolenik and Max Del Rio out of Compton, Calif. round out the incoming runners on the men’s side.

The women’s group is headlined by Philadelphia’s Taryn Millbourne, last year’s Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic Association State Outdoor Individual Champion in the 200m. She also won three consecutive Friends School league titles as an individual in the 100m, and two in the 200m.

For longer distances, Athens High School (OH) product Madison Yerke comes to GW after a high school career in both cross country and track on one of her state’s best teams. Athens placed fifth in cross country at the Ohio State Championship meet in 2015 and won four straight conference championships from 2011-14. Yerke was the individual district champion and regional runner up in cross country, where her personal best 5K is 18:39, in 2014 and is a two-time conference champion in the 1600m, which she has run in 5:02.88.

Annapolis, Md. native Rachel Hughen, who runs cross country, sprinter Kennedy Whittington-Cooper (Westchester, N.Y.), distance runners Mikaela Muhall (Mission Viejo, Calif.) and Kelli Stetson (San Diego) and sprinter Gianna Smith (Media, Penn.) should all make an impact on the team in their first years.

The women also get additional depth from Lauren Anderson (Woburn, Mass.), Cassidy Elkins (San Francisco), Halley Brown (Arlington, Tenn.), Lauren Battle (Cleveland), Regan McAllister (Niceville, Fla.), Lesley Fatica (Aurora, Colo.), Brigid Prial (Warwick, N.Y.), Abby Llanos (Danbury, Conn.), Caroline Haskins (Cambridge, Mass.) and Camille Sery-Ble (Florham Park, N.J.).

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The Colonials added Clemson transfer Fernando Sala to their 2015-16 roster Wednesday, head coach Greg Munoz announced in a release.

Sala hails from Alicante, Spain and won Spain’s national doubles championship twice and the country’s singles crown once. During his run to the latter he broke into the top 400 of the International Tennis Federation rankings.

“Fernando is a very talented player,” head coach Greg Munoz said in a release. “I know he will be hungry to break into the top six, and I look forward to seeing what he can bring to our team.”

Sala was 15-8 overall as a singles player for the Tigers and 4-2 last season. Clemson finished the 2014-15 season ranked No. 66 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings but No. 11 out of 13 teams in the tough Atlantic Coast Conference.

Sala will be the seventh international player on the team, but the first Spanish player under Munoz. Six of eight returners from last season are from outside the U.S.

Sala was named to the 2013-14 ACC academic honor roll and is planning to major in international business during his time at GW.

The Colonials won the Atlantic 10 Conference Championship last season. They lost No. 1 overall player Francisco Dias to graduation but otherwise retained all top performers.

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Two of last year’s Final Four teams, including national champion Virginia, await men’s soccer as part of an 18-match 2015 regular season schedule announced Tuesday by head coach Craig Jones.

“As we celebrate our 50th anniversary of varsity soccer this fall, our schedule is one of the toughest and most challenging since I have been involved with the program,” Jones said in a release.

Catholic (8/21) and James Madison (8/23) will test GW in exhibition contests before the Colonials begin the season at the Kuykenstrong D.C. College Cup, where they will take on American (8/28) and Howard (8/30) in the tournament’s 15th season.

GW will head to California next to square off with Cal State Fullerton (9/4) and San Diego State (9/6) and then pay a visit to Saint Francis (9/16) before a three-game homestand featuring matches against Loyola Maryland (9/19), national semi-finalist UMBC (9/22) and Robert Morris (9/25).

After visiting the reigning champion Cavaliers (9/29), the Colonials kick off their Atlantic 10 schedule on the road at Davidson (10/3) and Saint Joseph’s (10/7).  The team returns to DC to play George Mason (10/10), Longwood (10/13), reigning A-10 champion Rhode Island (10/17) and Saint Bonaventure (10/21).

Games at VCU (10/24), home against Massachusetts (10/31) and at Saint Louis (11/7) will round out the Colonials 2015 campaign as they look to reach the A-10 tournament for the first time since 2011. GW posted a 6-9-2 overall record (2-4-2 A-10) last fall.

“I seem to say this every year, but the A-10 is getting tougher and more competitive every season and every game is a battle,” Jones, in his fourth year as head of the program, said.

The 2015 A-10 Championship will be hosted by George Mason on Nov. 12-15.

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The Washington Kastles tennis team hosted their home opener at the Smith Center on Tuesday evening. Hoping to get their 35th straight win, the team played the Austin Aces, but fell 22-17. We went to the match to see Venus Williams and her fellow Kastles at their first appearance in D.C. this season:

Venus Williams waits for  the Austin Aces' Women's Doubles pair to serve the ball during the match's second set. Desiree Halpern | Photo Editor

Venus Williams waits for the Austin Aces’ Women’s Doubles pair to serve the ball during the Tuesday evening’s second set in the Smith Center. Desiree Halpern | Photo Editor

 

Washington Kastles' Denis Kudla of Arlington, Va, backhands a ball during the men's doubles match, which he played alongside teammate Leander Paes. The set ended in a loss for the Kastles with a score of 5-3. Desiree Halpern | Photo Editor

Washington Kastles’ Denis Kudla of Arlington, Va, backhands a ball during the men’s doubles match, which he played alongside teammate Leander Paes. The set ended in a loss for the Kastles with a score of 5-3. Desiree Halpern | Photo Editor

 

Washington Kastles coach Murphy Jensen introduces his team at the beginning of the team match against the Austin Aces. CNN news anchor Wolf Blitzer was also in attendance at the match. Desiree Halpern | Photo Editor

Washington Kastles coach Murphy Jensen introduces his team at the beginning of the team match against the Austin Aces. CNN news anchor Wolf Blitzer was also in attendance at the match. Desiree Halpern | Photo Editor

 

Venus Williams represented the Washington Kastles in the women's singles set. Williams defeated opponent Nicole Gibbs of the Austin Aces with a score of 5-3 after trailing behind in the beginning of the set. Desiree Halpern | Photo Editor

Venus Williams represented the Washington Kastles in the women’s singles set. Williams defeated opponent Nicole Gibbs of the Austin Aces with a score of 5-3 after trailing behind in the beginning of the set. Desiree Halpern | Photo Editor

 

In an effort to save the men's doubles set, Leander Paes leaps for the ball. Desiree Halpern | Photo Editor

In an effort to save the men’s doubles set, Leander Paes leaps for the ball. Desiree Halpern | Photo Editor

 

 

 

 

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Then-freshman Aaliya Davidson spikes over two Georgetown blockers last season. GW plays Georgetown again on Sept. 15. File Photo by Kiana Robertson | Hatchet Photographer

Then-freshman Aaliya Davidson spikes over two Georgetown blockers last season. GW plays Georgetown again on Sept. 15. File Photo by Kiana Robertson | Hatchet Photographer

GW’s volleyball team will play 30 regular season games over the course of the 2015 season, the athletic department announced Monday.

The Colonials begin their latest quest for a championship on Aug. 28 and conclude the regular season on Nov. 14. The team will then host the Atlantic 10 Championship, seeking to best last season’s runner-up performance. GW fell to Dayton in last season’s championship game.

The regular season schedule features four chances for the Colonials to get a win over one of last year’s NCAA tournament teams. The University of Oregon, an Elite 8 team last year, will visit the Smith Center on Sept. 2. GW plays Dayton twice, at home on Oct. 10 and in Dayton on Nov. 6. American visits the Smith Center on Oct. 21.

GW also plays a 14-game A-10 schedule spanning from the Sept. 25 conference opener against George Mason until the final game of the regular season against La Salle.

The Colonials finished 22-8 last season, 11-3 in A-10 play.

View the full 2015 schedule here.

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Athletic director Patrick Nero enjoys the watch party for the Women's NCAA Tournament selection show in March. Nero has said that building an active donor base for sports at GW will be critical for continued growth in athletics. Hatchet File Photo.

Athletic director Patrick Nero enjoys the watch party for the Women’s NCAA Tournament selection show in March. Nero has said that building an active donor base for sports at GW will be critical for continued growth in athletics. Hatchet File Photo.

The athletic department saw an 11.4 percent increase in donations over the past fiscal year, the department announced Wednesday.

The Buff and Blue Fund, which supports athletics in general at GW, received support from over 1,500 donors for the first time since its creation in 2012. Total donations increased by 171 percent over the past year.

“We take pride in being a part of our student-athletes’ journeys to achieve at the highest levels in their chosen sport and in their studies, and we recognize that Buff and Blue Fund donors are the driving force behind our success in helping them to fulfill their dreams,” athletic director Patrick Nero said in a release.

A handful of major donors helped bolster the funds success. Trustee Ave Tucker dedicated $1 million of a $2 million gift to the athletic department, and the Board of Trustees in turn voted to name the baseball field after him. Alumnus Gil Cisneros helped spur the Buff and Blue Fund Challenge which took place from early January through early April, donating $10,000 for every 100 gifts made during that period.

Philanthropy has been tabbed as a critical source of revenue for the athletic department to continue to grow, as it has, despite plateauing levels of support from the University.

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The Colonials non-conference schedule will feature home games against Virginia, Seton Hall and Penn State. Hatchet file photo by Dan Rich | Contributing Photo Editor

The Colonials non-conference schedule will feature home games against Virginia, Seton Hall and Penn State. Hatchet file photo by Dan Rich | Contributing Photo Editor

Men’s basketball announced its twelve-game, 2015-16 non-conference schedule Wednesday.

The Colonials are slated to face teams from the ACC, Big 10, SEC, Big East and American conferences, and will host seven of their out-of-league matchups.

“As strong as the A-10 is, we have to be prepared for league play and put ourselves in the best possible position for the postseason by playing a tough out-of-conference schedule,” head coach Mike Lonergan said in a release. “Our students and fans should be really excited about what they’ll see from their team this season with a terrific out-of-conference slate at the Smith Center.”

In addition to Virginia (11/6), Seton Hall (12/2), Penn State (12/8)  and Rutgers (12/12), four teams with which GW had home-and-home agreements, Lafayette (11/13) and Saint Peter’s (12/19) will also pay visits to the Smith Center in 2015.

GW will travel to South Florida (11/19) to begin the first leg of a new home-and-home agreement with the Bulls, and conclude its out-of-league schedule in Chicago with a battle against DePaul (12//22).

The Colonials will also participate in the 2015 Barclays Center Classic in Brooklyn, N.Y. There they will take on Army (11/22) and Gardner-Webb (11/24) before competing in a four-team, two-day finals featuring Cincinnati, Nebraska and Tennessee. Matchups for the tournament are yet to be announced.

Despite a lackluster 22-13 overall record, GW finished 12-5 in non-conference play last season, went a perfect 5-0 at the Smith Center and defeated No. 11 Wichita State in the Diamond Head Classic final.

The team will be back in action as early as Nov. 3, when its hosts Gannon (DII) in the only exhibition game of the season.

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Five members of the women’s water polo team were chosen for the Collegiate Water Polo Association’s Women’s Varsity Scholar-Athlete Team and three of them also made the Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches All-Academic Team, both organizations announced Monday.

Junior Hannah Cox and freshmen Scarlett Hallahan and Erin McGeoy made both rosters. Senior Jesse Sinkula and junior Caroline Sandri rounded out the CWPA All-Academic selections.

All five boasted GPAs between a 3.41 and 3.70. The Colonials’ team GPA was 3.02.

The CWPA team is comprised of varsity student-athletes with cumulative GPAs of 3.2 or higher. The ACWPCA team also requires those recognized to have played in more than half of their team’s games over the past season.

The ACWPCA honored 315 water polo players nationwide, while the CWPA honored 103 from its member schools.

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The Colonials have added a third member to their incoming freshman class in infielder Ashley Schnarrs, the athletic department announced Wednesday.

Like many other GW recruits, they didn’t have to go far to find her. Schnarrs was a standout at Herndon High School (Va.) where she hit .475 during her senior season. Schnarrs was an All-Conference First Team selection twice and helped lead the team to a regular season conference championship during her sophomore year.

“Ashley is very athletic and will provide depth at all of the infield positions,” head coach Stacey Schramm said in a release. “I have had the pleasure of working with her at our camps and clinics, and the main characteristic that shines above all others is that she is very coachable. There is no doubt that she’ll work her way into an impactful role on the team because she is willing to get out of her comfort zone and try new things.”

Schnarrs will have some time to develop behind a relatively stacked bunch of infield talent including juniors Mary Wiley, Megan Linn and Paige Kovalsky and seniors Carlee Gray and Morgan Matetic. Schnarrs joins infielder Riley Tejcek and righty pitcher Jayme Cone in the incoming class.

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