Your Guide to GW sports



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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Ugur Atalay, men's tennis

Senior Ugur Atalay prepares for his opponent to serve the ball during a match against Georgetown last year. Hatchet File Photo

The A-10 men’s tennis championship came down to the No. 2 singles match Sunday, pitting Colonials senior Ugur Atalay against Xavier sophomore Mesa Mei for the point that would earn their team the league title.

After Mei took the first set, he was sidelined by an injury that prevented him from playing to his full strength. Unwilling to quit on his team, the Musketeers sophomore played through the pain, but it hampered his performance and he dropped the next two sets to to Atalay.

After the match concluded, and GW had claimed its second straight Atlantic 10 championship, Xavier head coach Eric Toth complimented Atalay and the Colonials for their sportsmanship during the No. 2 singles match and celebration after claiming the A-10 title.

“The atmosphere was set for a special finish to this year’s tournament, but Mesa just physically could not be at his best. That happens sometimes in college tennis and Mesa did the best he could to finish. I give Ugar Atalay credit for the way he executed to finish the match, but more importantly how he conducted himself in a tricky situation. He has been a class act in his four years at GW and today was no exception,” Toth said in a news release. “I also congratulate [Colonials head coach Greg] Munoz and the rest of his squad on another championship, but mostly for the class he and his guys showed in winning the match, ideally not the way they would want to clinch a championship. They were classy. Kudos to them.”

Atalay, also a member of GW’s No. 1 doubles pair with freshman Francisco Dias, and the rest of the Colonials will next head to the NCAA tournament, where they will look to avenge last year’s loss in the first round to Duke.

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Monday, Oct. 24, 2011 11:20 a.m.

Weekend wrap-up

Freshman Francisco Dias advanced to Monday's singles quarterfinals after posting a victory on Sunday's play. | File Photo

We didn’t have enough space on our page today for all of the GW sports action, so here’s a quick look at what the Colonials did over the weekend:


The Colonials competed in their first dual meet of the season this weekend, when both the men’s and women’s squads fell to Bucknell.

The women’s team was defeated 169-124, despite earning eight first-place finishes. Freshman Janica Lee paced GW, finishing first in three events: the 200-yard medley relay, 100-yard breaststroke and the 200-yard breaststroke. Lee was joined by freshmen Morgan Zebley and Bianca Valencia and sophomore Sydney Saunders in the first-place relay team. Sophomore Caroline Myers finished first in the 1,000-yard freestyle and the 500-yard freestyle and sophomore Lindsay Moore finished first in the 100-yard backstroke. Zebley finished first in the 100-yard butterfly, and Saunders, Zebley, sophomore Sloan Saunders and sophomore Melissa Fernandez earned a first-place finish in the 400-yard freestyle relay.

The men’s program also fell to Bucknell, 168-89. The Colonials earned two first-place finishes, including juniors Luke Quimby, Alex Etz and Niklas Glenesk and sophomore Niccolo Wilson’s victory in the 400-yard freestyle relay. Junior Phillip Graeter earned a first-place finish in the 200-yard backstroke.

The Colonials next head to UMBC Oct. 29 with action slated for 1 p.m.


Both the men’s and women’s squad competed in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Atlantic Regional Tournament, with the men’s team taking the court at Virginia’s Smith Tennis and the women competing at Old Dominion’s Folkes-Stevens Tennis Center.

Sunday, freshman Francisco Dias paced the team with back-to-back singles and doubles victories. He picked up his first win of the day when he defeated his Maryland opponent in straight sets, and advanced to singles quarterfinals, where he will face No. 1 seed Jarmere Jenkins of Virginia, who is ranked No. 18 by the ITA. Dias also joined with senior Ugur Atalay to earn doubles victories over Georgetown and Maryland.

“Ugur and Francisco worked hard and defeated solid Georgetown and Maryland teams,” head coach Greg Munoz said. “They handled pressure perfectly and deserve to be in the semifinal.”

In the women’s competition, sophomore Leah Pascarella advanced in the singles consolation round Sunday, earning her third straight win with a 6-7 (3), 6-4, 1-0 (5) tie-breaking victory over William & Mary. Pascarella was the only Colonial to post a victory on Sunday’s play, with senior Jacqueline Corba and sophomore Julia Blakeley dropping singles matches and the duo of junior Mimi Hamling and senior Zoe Krohn falling in doubles play.

Action at both tournament locations continues Monday.


Freshman Jack Persons, who is competing in just his third collegiate tournament, led the Colonials with a 4-under par score of 68 at the ODU/Outerbanks Collegiate at Kilmarlic Golf Club in Powells Point, N.C., finishing in fourth place Sunday.

“I am so proud of how Jack finished today,” said head coach Terry Shaffer. “He came through in the clutch and really helped his team out.”

The Colonials are tied with Winthrop in fifth place as a team, earning a combined score of  3-over 291. Persons shot 4-under 68 on the day, with senior teammate Martin Liu just three strokes behind with a 1-over 73, tied for 27th place individually. Two more Colonials, seniors Andres Pumariega and Brandon Rukin are tied for 42nd with a 3-over 75, and fellow senior Taylor Fuqua shot a 5-over 77 to tie for 62nd place, rounding out GW’s finish.

Play continues Monday at 10 a.m.

“This was a good first round for us,” Shaffer said. “If we keep shooting this way, we will really show everyone what we can do.”

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Dave Haggerty

Courtesy of GW Sports Information

Former men’s tennis powerhouse and 1979 graduate Dave Haggerty will be inducted into the United States Tennis Association Middle States Hall of Fame Oct. 22 as one of four inductees this year.

Haggerty, a member of the GW athletic hall of fame, was a four-year letterwinner for the Colonials from 1975 to 1979. He started at the No. 3 singles and No. 2 doubles spots as a freshman, working his way up to No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles for the next three seasons. Over his three years as the top seed, Haggerty was chosen as the team’s most valuable player.

During his career as a Colonial, Haggerty earned an overall singles record of 84-26 and a career doubles record of 98-12. His most successful year with GW was his senior season, when he went 23-5 in singles and 26-2 in doubles play, winning the All-Metro championship for the fourth year in a row.

Haggerty has worked in the professional tennis industry for more than 25 years. He joined Head Racquet Sports in 1998, and has been the company’s CEO of Head USA of Norwalk, Conn., with responsibility for racquet sports, winter sports and diving divisions for the United States, since 2002. Hafferty also serves as president of Penn Racquet Sports.

He was elected to a two-year term as vice president on the USTA Board of Directors in January 2009 , and is also active in the International Tennis Federation Women’s Circuit Committee.

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Freshman Francisco Dias, a Lisbon, Portugal native, is currently ranked as the as the 10th rated newcomer in the nation by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. | Courtesy of GW Sports Information

Freshman Francisco Dias won his first qualifying match at the ITA/D’Novo All-American Men’s Tennis Championship on Monday.

The win will advance the No. 954 player in the world to the next round of play tomorrow. Dias posted a 6-3, 6-2 victory over his Purdue opponent, Diego Acosta.

The Colonials entered the first qualifying rounds Monday after spending the weekend competing in pre-qualifying action at the tournament. Dias will face Georgia’s Hernus Pieters, the 107th-ranked singles player in the ITA on Tuesday at 11 a.m, and will also team up with senior Ugur Atalay to compete in doubles play at 4 p.m.

“Francisco’s serve is such a weapon,” head coach Greg Munoz said. “He overcame a bit of nerves in the beginning and overpowered Acosta to the end.”

Sophomore Ulrik Thomsen also competed in singles play today, but dropped his match 6-0, 6-2 to Texas Tech’s Vitor Manzini. Thomsen will have a chance to earn a bid to the Indoor National Championships with a win in the consolation round Tuesday, and will team up with junior Alexander Van Gils for two doubles matches. They must win both to advance to Wednesday’s play.

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Guard Tony Taylor battles his way to the basket in last season's first round of the A-10 tournament against Saint Joseph's in March. The team hopes to make it to Atlantic City for the tournament next year. File Photo

The men’s basketball team will head back to the boardwalk next spring if the newly instated head coach and players make the cut for the Atlantic 10 tournament.

For the sixth year in a row the men’s basketball championship will be played in Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J., advancing the top 12 seeded teams at the end of the regular season. The top four seeds will earn a bye in the first round, which will be played at campus sites March 6, 2012. The advancing teams will compete in the subsequent rounds March 9 to 11 in Atlantic City.

Men’s basketball head coach Mike Lonergan and his team will have their eyes set on making the trip to Atlantic City, looking to build on the Colonials’ best season in four years. GW posted a 17-14 overall record, finishing fifth in the A-10 after falling in the first round of the league tournament to Saint Joseph’s.

It was the team’s first trip to the tournament in four seasons, and many were surprised when Karl Hobbs was dismissed as GW’s head coach in April after what seemed to be the beginning stages of a program comeback. Lonergan will take the helm of GW’s flagship athletic program after a shaky offseason that saw controversial recruit departures and a complete overhaul of the coaching staff. The team’s upcoming season will be under intense scrutiny as the community looks to evaluate the success of the program’s unexpected shake-up.

The women’s basketball championship will be hosted by Saint Joseph’s University from March 2 to 5, 2012. The top 12 teams at the conclusion of the regular season will advance to the tournament.

Some of the league’s sports saw changes to their championship formats. The women’s tennis championship was extended one day, making it a four-day championship event for the 14 participating institutions.

The back-draw for both the men’s and women’s tennis championships was removed from the championship schedule, resulting in a single-elimination format which will go into effect in 2012.  Beginning in 2013, the dates for the men’s and women’s tennis championship were revised.  The championships will be played at a later date alternating between the third and fourth weekends in April.

The full list of championship schedules can be seen on the Atlantic 10 website.

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Monday, March 7, 2011 5:46 p.m.

Three Colonials earn A-10 weekly honors

Lots of news in the world of GW sports today, so here’s a rundown of the Colonials sports news from today:

Men’s Tennis – Freshmen win Atlantic 10 honors

Freshmen Viktor Svensson and and Ulrik Thomsen were named Atlantic 10 Rookie Player of the Week and Men’s Tennis Performer of the Week, respectively, the League announced Monday.

The honors come on the heels of an outstanding weekend of play for both GW rookies. Thomsen went 4-0 in his doubles and singles matches over the weekend, and was the only Colonial to pick up a singles victory over opponent VCU Sunday. Svensson extended his singles-win streak to seven with his victory over Richmond in straight sets. Additionally, the two teamed up to defeat both Richmond and VCU in doubles matches.

Next up, the Colonials travel to Boca Raton, FL, to take on Florida Atlantic Sunday, March 13, at 1 p.m.


Men’s Squash – Sobhy wins Malloy Cup

GW sophomore Omar Sobhy led all Colonials squash players at the College Squash Association Individual Nationals, winning the Malloy Cup (B Division) Championship. It was the GW Squash program’s first individual championship.

Sobhy entered the tournament as the 88th ranked player in the CSA, and was seeded 15th heading into the B-division draw of players. He earned five straight victories on his way to the championship, defeating Matt Domenick of the University of Rochester in straight sets during the finals. Sobhy’s performance, the first time a GW player has advanced past the second round of Nationals, earned him a final ranking of No. 33 in the United States.


Hogan joins Team USA Minnesota

Megan Hogan, a former standout member of the GW cross country team and two-time NCAA All-American, joined Team USA Minnesota and will make her professional road-racing debut on March 12 at the USA 15K Championships in Jacksonville, FL.

During her tenure at GW, Hogan earned eighth place at the 2010 NCAA Championships, qualifying for three straight NCAA Championships overall. In 2010, she also repeated as Atlantic 10 individual champion, A-10 women’s cross-country Performer of the Year and Student-Athlete of the Year.


Softball- Lenhart named A-10 Rookie of the Week

GW freshman Chelsea Lenhart was named Atlantic 10 Rookie Performer of the Week Monday.

The announcement comes after Lenhart went 6-for-15 in four games this week, earning a double and her first collegiate triple. She also stole two bases and scored a run on Army Saturday afternoon. A lead off batter for the Colonials, Lenhart’s batting average is .400.

Lenhart and the Colonials next travel to Hampton, VA, to take on Hampton University Tuesday for a doubleheader starting at 12 p.m. Then, GW heads to the Winthrop/ Adidas Invitational March 11-13.

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