A lot has happened in the UMW sports landscape since the last Bullet issue, so let’s catch everyone up on the major events that occurred in the past three weeks.
The men’s basketball season came to a close after the Eagles lost in the semifinals of the Capital Athletic Conference Tournament on Feb. 24 to eventual champion St. Mary’s University.
The men’s basketball team had lost 7 of 9 games down the stretch before closing out the regular season with a pair of wins over Stevenson University and Wesley College. UMW edged Hood College 88-82 in the first-round of the tournament before being smoked to the Seahawks 79-57.
The women’s basketball team’s season came to an abrupt end when Wesley College upset the Lady Eagles 54-53 in the semifinals of their CAC Tournament. The Lady Eagles beat Wesley at home by double figures less than a week before the shocking tournament loss occurred on Feb. 24.
UMW went 15-1 in CAC play in the regular season, with their only loss coming all the way back on Dec. 11. Despite a 20-6 record and having won 14 straight games prior to the conference tournament loss, the Lady Eagles did not receive an at-large bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament.
In brighter news for UMW basketball, both the men’s and women’s team had athletes named to All-CAC teams. For the men, freshman guard E.J. Willis was a second-team selection after averaging 11.4 points and 4.8 rebounds per game during the season. On the women’s side, junior guards Katie Wimmer and Jenna McRae were both first team All-CAC selections. Wimmer averaged 12.9 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game while McRae averaged 12.8 points and 6.4 rebounds.
The UMW baseball team became nationally ranked among Division III schools and has held that ranking to this day. The men are the No. 22 team in the country according to D3baseball.com. The baseball team is 2-0 since being named a top 25 program, as they tallied an 8-1 win over Gettysburg College back on March 4 and then defeated Randolph-Macon College 6-1 on March 8.
The baseball team wasn’t the only one making a noteworthy splash in recent weeks, as the nationally ranked women’s lacrosse team had a couple of milestones reached over Spring Break. Women’s lacrosse head coach Dana Hall won her 500th career game when her No. 18 Eagles defeated SUNY Oneota on March 1. The following game against Rochester Institute of Technology, junior attacker Allie Kimmelman recorded her 125th career assist, making her the new UMW record holder for assists.
In swimming news, it was announced on March 3 that a pair of Mary Washington men’s swimmers will be taking the trip to Knoxville, Tennessee for the 2011 NCAA Division III National Championships.
Senior Stephan Clendenin and junior Billy Norfolk will represent the Eagles in Knoxville from March 23-26. Clendenin, who was named the CAC Swimmer of the Year for third time in his career, will swim the 200 and 400 yard individual relay and the 200 yard backstroke at Nationals. Norfolk is set to compete in the 500 freestyle and the 100 and 200 yard butterfly.
Clendenin and Norfolk were just two of the 14 UMW male swimmers who were selected to the All-CAC team. Junior Austin Clark, sophomore Andrew Cole, senior Brad Dunn, sophomore Nick Eckhoff, junior Colin Hess, senior James McCormick, freshman Ryan McGhee, sophomore San McGuire, sophomore Jack McHugh, freshman Carey Natoli, junior Brian O’Donnell and sophomore Peter Slattery were the other Eagles swimmers who were honored.