Courtside

Your Guide to GW sports

Contributor

Elizabeth Traynor

is in her second year as the sports editor for The Hatchet. She began writing sports as a freshman, gradually worked her way up to her current position and credits The Hatchet for hooking her up with her dream job and some serious bling. A senior from Boston, Elizabeth loves baking, those who can execute a stellar Dougie and is happiest in a cold ice rink.
etraynor@gwhatchet.com
tennis, mimi, hamling

Senior Mimi Hamling reaches for a hit at a game against Saint John’s University last season. Hatchet File Photo

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Nora Princiotti.

The women’s tennis team won when it counted in the first round of the 2013 Atlantic 10 Championship, beating Saint Joseph’s 4-3 Thursday.

The sixth-seeded Colonials (11-7) eked out a narrow victory against the 11th-seeded Hawks (13-11) in a four-hour battle that came down to the No. 3 singles match.

With the match tied at 3 apiece, senior Mimi Hamling sealed the win for her team by beating Saint Joseph’s Devi Jadeja 6-4, 7-5. This is the second year in a row in which GW has eliminated Saint Joseph’s in the first round.

GW’s next task, a quarterfinal match against third-seeded Massachusetts, started Friday at 1 p.m.  The Minutewomen advanced with a decisive 5-0 sweep over 14th-seeded Dayton. GW last faced Massachusetts in 2008, when the Minutewomen came away with a 6-1 victory.

“The inches will matter today, so our ability to be disciplined in our percentages and shot selection combined with an aggressive mentality in the doubles will be key,” head coach Dawn Buth said.

Against the Hawks, the Colonials secured the doubles point and a 1-0 lead in the Nos. 2 and 3 matches.  GW’s second doubles tandem of senior Dorota Lysenia and freshman Lana Robins cruised to an 8-2 win over Kristina Eisenbrand and Lauren Roy, while the No. 3 freshman duo of Egle Jakuciunaite and Stephanie Wei fought their way to an 8-6 triumph over Jadeja and Kelly Mulquin.

Buth said the girls fed off of each other’s momentum in the win.

“Stephanie’s decisive match at No. 3 gave us immediate momentum. Christie’s win at No. 6 helped Mimi pull out the clinching match,” she said.

Wei rolled to a two-set win over Eisenbrand, 6-0, 6-2, at No. 3 singles, to stretch the Colonials’ lead to 2-0. Freshman Christina Carpenter made it 3-0 with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Roy in the No. 6 match, and Hamling sealed the victory in her extra-set win over Jadeja.

A win over Massachusetts would send the Colonials to the semifinals of the A-10 championship for the first time since 2010.

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Clarification appended

The men’s basketball team picked up two new members for the 2013-14 season Thursday, with guard Migual Cartagena signing a National Letter of Intent and forward Skyler White committing to join GW.

The two players fill up slots left empty by recent departures from the program, including senior guard Lasan Kromah, sophomore forward Jonathan Davis and, potentially, senior forward David Pellom. They join guard Nick Griffin as new additions to GW’s roster. Nigel Johnson recently decommitted from the program, a move that allows the recruit to explore other programs while leaving the door open for a return to GW.

White previously verbally committed to the Colonials as a walk-on forward. Despite the recent moves, White remains a walk-on for GW, meaning that he does not take up a scholarship slot. The Colonials are left with two open scholarships, possibly three should Johnson decide to join another program.

“Miguel and Skyler boast two key attributes needed to help make our program successful – they can both really shoot it and come from a culture of winning,” head coach Mike Lonergan said in a release. “They’re both very solid perimeter shooters, and both played for national championship caliber teams this past season, in addition to their time playing in international competitions. Miguel and Skyler will join Nick in providing an added dimension to our group of five returning starters.”

Cartagena, a  6-foot-1 guard from Aibonito, Puerto Rico, currently competes for Montverde Academy in Orlando, Fla., the same school that freshman forward Patricio Garino attended. It’s also the high school where GW assistant coach Kevin Sutton served as the athletic director and boys’ basketball coach from 2004-2011.

Cartagena helped the Eagles to a 48-6 record over the past two seasons, including trips to the 2012 and 2013 ESPN National High School Invitational championship games. As a senior, Cartagena played a role in helping Montverde achieve a No. 1 final national ranking in all three major polls- ESPN, USA Today and Prep Nation - with a 25-2 season record.

“Miguel is a very good shooter who will give us another ball handler next season,”  Lonergan said. “His experience playing FIBA and for the top high school program in the nation will help him make the adjustment to the high level of play in the Atlantic 10.”

 White, best known as a three-point specialist, currently plays for Northfield Mount Hermon High School in Gill, Mass. This season, he aided  the Hoggers in compiling a 29-5 overall record and the 2013 National Prep Championship title. White was also nominated for McDonald’s All-America honors.
“Skyler gives us another good three-point shooter and provides depth at the forward position,” Lonergan said.

This post was updated April 18, 2013 to reflect the following:
The headline was altered to clarify that Skyler White has committed to join the Colonials but, as a walk-on recruit, has not signed a letter of intent.
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Courtesy of GW Athletics Communications

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Sam Johnson.

This week, Francisco Dias and Danil Zelenkov captured the A-10’s Performer of the Week and Rookie Performer of the Week awards, respectively.

Dias and Zelenkov were both undefeated in singles and doubles matches last weekend, which propelled GW forward to a perfect 3-0 weekend.

This marks the first Performer of the Week nod for Dias this season, who garnered the title four individual times in 2012.

Zelenkov is on an eight-match single winning streak, with Dias not far behind, winning seven out of his last nine matches. He’s also win the rookie award for four straight weeks.

The Colonials fell in their final regular season match to VCU Tuesday.

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Correction appended

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Nora Princiotti.

The seeds have been set for the 2013 A-10 women’s tennis championship, and the Colonials are ranked sixth overall.

They will play the 11 seed, Saint Joseph’s University in the first round Thursday at 6 p.m. GW faced SJU on Feb. 16th and came away with a 6-1 victory over the Rams.

A-10 newcomer VCU earned the No. 1 seed, followed by Xavier, Massachusetts, reigning champion Richmond, Charlotte, George Washington, Fordham, Saint Louis, Temple, Duquesne, Saint Joseph’s, Rhode Island,  Butler, Dayton, St. Bonaventure, and La Salle.

Quarterfinal matches take place Friday and semifinals follow on Saturday. The finals are scheduled for Sunday at 10 a.m.

The A-10 championship operates as a four-day, single-elimination format. The winner receives the conference’s automatic bid to play in the NCAA tournament.

The Colonials closed out their regular season 10-7, with a 4-1 record in-conference.

This post was updated April 17, 2013 to reflect the following:
The Hatchet originally reported the match against Saint Joseph’s time as 9 a.m. The Colonials will play Thursday at 6 p.m. 
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Freshman Victoria Valos steps up to bat during a home game against Charlotte. Hatchet File Photo.

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Sean Hurd.

The softball team continued its winning ways Monday when two Colonials players swept the Atlantic-10 weekly awards.

Sophomore slugger and Colonial standout Victoria Valos was awarded the A-10 player of the week, while freshman ace Meghan Rico earned A-10 pitcher of week as well as A-10 rookie of the week nods.

Valos, who had a record-breaking weekend offensively for the Colonials, was also named A-10 player of the week by College Sports Madness. This past weekend, the Colonials shortstop went five-for-10 with two home runs, seven runs batted in, and six runs scored. Valos also carried a 1.100 slugging percentage with a .688 on-base percentage.

Valos’ game of the week came this past Saturday afternoon when the Colonials played their first game against the visiting Bonnies of St. Bonaventure. he went three-for-four with two home runs, three runs batted in, and three runs scored. Valos jumpstarted the Colonials offense on multiple occasions, giving the Colonials the lead after a leadoff home run in the fifth inning, and winning the game for the Colonials after a two-run walk off homerun by Valos in the bottom of the seventh cemented a 7-5 GW victory.

With the seven runs batted in over the weekend, Valos made GW history, breaking the single-season RBI record of 33, a record Valos tied at the end of last season. Valos now holds the record, which stands at 38 runs batted in with 13 regular season games left to play.

Valos currently ranks second in the A-10 in home runs with 10, third in slugging with a percentage of.738, fourth in runs with 30, and fifth in runs batted in with 38. She is batting a team-best .359 and leads GW with 10 home runs, 38 RBIs and 30 runs scored

The award is Valos’ first career Player of the Week nod. She was named A-10 Rookie of the Week April 9, 2012. Valos is the first Colonial to be named Player of the Week since senior centerfielder Autumn Taylor earned the award April 30, 2012.

While Valos led the Colonials on the offensive end, freshman pitcher Meghan Rico led the Colonials defensively earning her her first ever A-10 pitcher and A-10 rookie of the week awards. Rico is the first-ever Colonial to be named both Pitcher and Rookie of the Week in the same week.

Rico is the second Colonial to earn Rookie of the Week this season, joining freshman first baseman Carlee Gray who earned the honor March 19. Rico is also the first Colonials pitcher to be named pitcher of the week since Heidi Penna did it last season, earning the award April 23, 2012.

Simply put, Rico was virtually unstoppable in the circle for the Colonials last week. In three appearances, including two starts, she went 3-0 with a 0.54 ERA, striking out 18 and allowing just one run on five hits in 13.0 innings, holding opponents to a .116 batting average.

As a starter, Rico netted victories against Mount St. Mary’s and St. Bonaventure, while tacking on a relief win in the first game of the St. Bonaventure double header.

Rico’s first victory verses Mount St. Mary’s was dominant. She gave up only one run on three hits and struck out eight.

The native of Wrentham, Mass., continued her success in the first game of the St. Bonaventure doubleheader, where she earned a victory for her solid seventh inning of relief.

The freshman phenom then closed out a near perfect weekend by tossing a two-hit shutout and striking out nine St. Bonaventure hitters in the backend of the day’s double-header. The shutout recorded by Rico was her fourth clean sheet of the season.

Rico is 11-7 on the season with a 2.88 ERA and 104 strikeouts. She ranks second in the A-10 in opponent batting average (.178), third in wins and fifth in strikeouts.

Valos, Rico and the Colonials return to action on Friday where they will put their record seven game win streak on the line when GW visits Atlantic 10 rival Rhode Island.

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Sunday, April 14, 2013 9:47 p.m.

CBSSports: A-10 close to adding Davidson

The reshaping of the Atlantic 10 continues, with CBSSports.com reporting that Davidson will join the league for the 2014-15 season.

Siena is also potentially under consideration for A-10 membership.

The move is pending approval from Davidson’s board of trustees, the report says. Should the reports prove true, Davidson will join George Mason as one of two new additions to the A-10 in the wake of Xavier and Butler’s departures from the conference.

The Atlantic 10 is also “likely to see two more schools eventually bolt – potentially Dayton and Saint Louis,” CBSSports.com reported.

Athletic director Patrick Nero previously told The Hatchet that the A-10 was ready to react should any of its members defect to another conference. Davidson is the “elite” school in its current conference, the Southern Conference, according to the CBSSports.com report, and has been to five of the last eight NCAA tournaments.

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Courtesy of GW Athletics Communications

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Sam Johnson.

Freshman Danil Zelenkov earned A-10 rookie of the week honors again this week, his third straight award and fifth this season. It’s the most weekly awards given to an A-10 freshman since 1999.

The announcement on Tuesday came after his outstanding weekend performance, where he helped the Colonials to a 2-0 weekend.  Zelenkov was undefeated in both No. 3 and No. 2 singles as No. 67 GW continued its winning streak with a 5-2 victory over St. John’s. He was also undefeated at Georgetown Sunday afternoon.

The freshman has maintained a 12-4 record on the season and, along with his team, is on a five-match singles winning streak.

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men's basketball assistant coach Kevin Sutton

Men’s basketball assistant coach Kevin Sutton. Hatchet File Photo

Updated 2:01 p.m.

Men’s basketball assistant coach Kevin Sutton wants to go to Dunk City.

He’s submitted his name for the head coach opening at Florida Gulf Coast University, Seth Soffian of The News-Press reports. The slot is open after Andy Enfield accepted the USC coaching position, following FGCU’s Cinderella run in the NCAA tournament this year.

Athletics communications declined to make Sutton available for comment, and said there would be no statement from anyone with the program on the news.

Sutton is one of many coaches to express interest in the position, according to the News-Press. Should GW’s assistant coach get hired, he would also be the latest in a series of departures for the men’s basketball team that include the transfers of senior guard Lasan Kromah and sophomore forward Jonathan Davis, the potential transfer of senior forward David Pellom and the de-commitment of heralded recruit Nigel Johnson.

Head coach Mike Lonergan has not commented on the program’s departures beyond statements in press releases. The athletics communication department has declined to make both Lonergan and players available for comment.

Should the assistant coach depart the program, it would likely be a blow to Lonergan’s recruiting system, now of crucial importance with the multiple roster hits the team’s taken in recent weeks.

Sutton is in his second season with the Colonials, after Lonergan brought him on in May 2011. Prior to his stint in Foggy Bottom, Sutton boasted Florida ties, serving as the athletic director and head coach of the boys’ basketball team at Montverde Academy for eight years. Under his leadership, the Eagles earned a 2007 National Title and were 2010 National High School Invitational Runners-Up. Montverde was No. 13 in the final USA Today rankings in 2011, finishing the season with a 22-4 record.

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Monday, April 8, 2013 4:32 p.m.

Women’s tennis team drops two matches

tennis, mimi, hamling

Senior Mimi Hamling reaches for a hit at a game against Saint John’s University last season. Hatchet File Photo

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Kimberly Shi.

It was a rough weekend for GW’s women’s tennis team. After a convincing win last week against Temple, this weekend saw a back-to-back 5-2 defeats against East Carolina and James Madison, respectively.

When East Carolina visited Friday, the Colonials were unable to defeat the Pirates with their only victories coming from senior Mimi Hamling and freshman Christina Carpenter in the No. 4 and No. 6 singles slots,, and No. 3 freshmen Egle Jakuciunaite and Stephanie Wei in doubles.

The Colonials were edged out in the Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 5 singles and Nos. 1 and 2 doubles. It was a rough match full of dropped sets, but the Colonials looked to James Madison on Saturday to rectify their mistakes.

But this was not to be the case.

The Colonials fell to James Madison on the road at the Dukes’ Hillside Courts. The only victories for GW came in the singles category from Hamling and senior Dorota Lysienia, at No. 3 and 4.

James Madison controlled the doubles matches with the Colonials being edged out across competition.

While it wasn’t the ending the Colonials wanted, they faced minor setbacks before the match this weekend.

“We were not completely healthy, so we had to make a few adjustments to this weekend’s line up to compensate,” head coach Dawn Buth said. “The team practiced and understood the value of being flexible and adaptable, and they did a great job responding. Now we need to move urgently from creating opportunities to capitalizing on opportunities.”

The Colonials have some ground to cover after this weekend, but they host their Atlantic 10 foe Fordham on Saturday. It will be their senior day match and regular season finale.

“I was very proud of the way the team fought on both days this weekend, we simply never gave up. I told the team we need to fight smarter,” Buth said. “We’ve proven we can compete with the top teams, now we have to be courageous in learning from our setbacks, committed to our goals, and disciplined in our execution.”

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Freshman Matthieu Robért slides into third base during Sunday’s game against Richmond. Cameron Lancaster | Contributing Photo Editor

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Joshua Solomon.

Freshman Matthieu Robért broke into a slow trot in  after being throw out by half a step at first, watching Richmond celebrate its come-from-behind 8-7 victory on GW’s home field.

Robért had stepped to the plate with the bases loaded, two outs, in the bottom of the ninth and with his team down one run. But his final out marked the last of the Spiders’ three-game weekend sweep of the Colonials.

GW (11-20, 5-3) had a lead in the final game of the series Sunday, but could not capitalize on opportunities at the plate and minimize mental mistakes en route to its loss. That final defeat followed an ugly 10-2 loss on Friday, one which prompted head coach Gregg Ritchie to talk to his team.

“We had a big discussion about it, about what do you stand for and [if] that game is going to define us,” Ritchie said. “And I will say this, they came out and played really hard baseball the next two days and [that] was much more like what we want to see.”

With GW down 3-0 in the fourth inning Sunday, junior Brookes Townsend continued his hot hitting. Towsend, who leads the team in batting average, recorded his fifth straight multi-hit game. His single started a series of hits for the Colonials that added five runs, culminating in senior Justin Albright’s line drive with two outs to center field to drive in the fifth run of the inning courtesy of a big headfirst slide under the tag.

But junior Aaron Weisberg could not work his way out of the sixth, ending his performance that day with five and a third innings, nine hits, five runs and four earned. He exited after allowing a Spiders RBI double that saw Richmond pull within two. Senior Kenny O’Brien came in relief, stopping the damage at two runs but also throwing away a potential double play ball in the eighth. Closer senior Craig LeJeune ran into his own trouble in the ninth, walking multiple batters to aid the Spiders in retaking the lead.

Down one in the bottom of the ninth, Townsend sliced a ball down the right field line to create a first and third one-out scenario, raising GW’s comeback hopes.

“Coach gave us the approach, got to a get good pitch out over the plate. Take away the inner half, let those go. Find something out over the plate and drive it,” Townsend said. “[I] passed the torch onto the next guy.”

A swinging bunt was hit in front of the catcher, and the runner from third broke home- but to only get caught and tagged for the second out. GW worked a bases-loaded situation but Robért grounded out to shortstop to end the game.

GW’s first game against Richmond Friday ended 10-2, in a game that Ritchie called “absolutely putrid.” The Colonials headed into the bottom of the seventh down 4-1 and squeezed out one run on a fielder’s choice by senior Matthew Murakami. But they stranded three as a bases-loaded opportunity was squandered.

Saturday, freshman Max Kaplow continued on his strong rookie season with six innings of shutout ball with three hits and five strikeouts. Unfortunately Richmond’s starter bested his six shutout innings with six and two thirds of one-run ball. The Spiders quickly jumped on the board when Kaplow exited with two runs in the top of the seventh. Freshman Eric Kalman singled in Townsend in the bottom half for the Colonials’ only run in the 3-1 loss.

Still, Ritchie was happy with his team’s performance in the second game, looking at their play as a response to the frustrating game one.

“We came back, and they did pull their bootstraps up a little and put their big boy pants on a little bit and they played better baseball,” Ritchie said.

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