Bwog Sports Sunday: March Madness
Written by Bwog Staff
Bwog Sports coverage returns after Spring Break with a lot of Columbia Athletics action to report. While most sports fans were perfecting their March Madness brackets, the Lions were scattered across the country for various training trips and competitions. The Baseball team headed out to California for 10 games, while the Softball ladies spent some time in the Sunshine State for 10 games of their own. Men’s and Women’s Tennis continued to dominate, with neither team dropping a single match over the break. To boot, all three rowing programs found success at the Collins Cup Regatta in Florida. The most impressive performance, however, was by the Fencing team at the NCAA National Championships. On day two, lady Lions Lydia Kopecky and Sammy Roberts earned second team and third team All-America honors, respectively. And after four days of competition, three Lions on the Men’s side earned All-America honors and Alen Hadzic took runner-up in the Men’s Epee, making him the #2 ranked epee fencer in the nation.
Read on for all the results from the Lions, plus a March Madness update for all you bracketologists and alliteration fiends.
Columbia Lions Weekly Round-up:
Hadzic finishes 2nd in Men’s Epee in NCAA National Championship
Hadzic, Spear, and Josephs all earn All-America honors
Highlights: The Men’s Fencing team has been in Columbus, OH this weekend competing in the NCAA National Championships. Over the first three days of competition, three Columbia fencers tallied 28 victories for the Lions, more than many teams of six fencers. Their efforts were good enough for eighth place overall. In the individual standings in Men’s Sabre, Freshman Will Spear was in 3rd place after Day Three and fellow freshman Michael Josephs fell just outside the top 10 in 11th place. In the Men’s Epee, sophomore Alen Hadzic fought his way to 2nd place with 11 wins, just two wins behind the leader from host, Ohio State. Today, on the fourth and final day of competition, Hadzic won six of nine bouts to hang on to his 2nd place position from Day Three, and earning him a place in the Epee Final Four. In the semifinals, Hadzic fell to a 12-7 deficit against Ohio State’s Kristian Boyadzhiev, but came back to take the lead with seven consecutive touches, 14-12. Hadzic went on to win 15-13 before falling to Princeton’s John Yergler in the finals, 15-8. As Men’s Epee National Runner-up, Hadzic earned All-America honors. Teammates Spear and Josephs also earned All-America honors in the Men’s sabre; Spear finished fifth overall and Josephs maintained 11th place in the final standings.
In the Women’s competition, two more Lions were named All-Americans. Junior Lydia Kopecky earned second team All-American honors in the epee, while her teammate senior Sammy Roberts finished her impressive career with third team All-America honors.
Men’s Tennis (13-2):
Seminole Sate College 7-0 (W)
TCU 6-1 (W)
Southern Methodist 5-2 (W)
University of Texas – Arlington 4-3 (W)
Sacramento State 7-0 (W)
St. John’s 5-2 (W)
Highlights: The Men’s Tennis team continued their early season success over Spring Break, winning all five matches on their team trip to Texas. The Lions swept Seminole State College and Sacramento State over the week, and rallied from an early deficit to beat Texas-Arlington on Friday, March 16th. Columbia returned home to face local rival, St. John’s, in their second meeting of the season. St. John’s got the better of the Lions last time around, but the Men’s team was enjoying an eight game winning streak heading into Saturday’s match. Columbia won the doubles early on with two close wins in the No. 2 and No.3 doubles spots. Freshman Winston Lin notched his first win for the Lions over #40 nationally ranked Vasco Mladenov in the No. 2 singles spot. SJU rallied, though, taking the No. 1 and No. 3 singles matches, both in three sets. Freshman Ashok Narayana clinched the win for Columbia, after winning a thrilling three set battle in the No. 4 singles, 6-4, 1-6, 7-5.
Up Next: The Lions open Ivy League play next weekend at Cornell.
Women’s Tennis (9-3):
Southern Mississippi 6-0 (W)
FIU 5-2 (W)
William & Mary 4-3 (W)
Old Dominion 4-0 (W)
Highlights: The Women’s Tennis team continued their dominance this season with two wins in Florida over Spring Break, and headed to Virginia this weekend for matches against William & Mary and Old Dominion. Against William & Mary on Friday, the Lions rallied from dropping the doubles point to beat the home team, 4-3. Columbia won four of the six singles matches to clinch the win, including a two three-set battles in the No. 3 and No. 5 singles spots. In the No. 5 singles, junior Katarina Kovacevic clawed her way back after losing the first set 2-6 to go on and win the match, 2-6, 7-5, 6-3. On Saturday at Old Dominion, the two teams played singles first and stopped play after the Lions clenched the win by taking the first four matches. Junior Chelsea Davis had a dominant performance in the No. 6 singles spot, beating her ODU opponent, 6-1, 6-0, in the quickest match of the day.
Up Next: The Women’s team will also have their first Ivy League contest next weekend against Cornell at the Dick Savitt Tennis Center at noon.
Jack Gifford Memorial Tournament
San Jose State 2-4 (L)
Lehigh 14-2 (W)
Santa Clara 0-3 (L)
Utah 1-7 (L)
San Jose State 1-6 (L)
Pepperdine 1-2 (L)
San Diego 5-14 (L)
San Diego (Game 1) 6-2 (W)
San Diego (Game 2) 5-11 (L)
San Diego 10-11 (L)
Stony Brook (Game 1) 5-6 (L)
Stony Brook (Game 2) 10-11 (L)
Holy Cross (Game 1) 6-0 (W)
Holy Cross (Game 2) 3-1 (W)
Highlights: The Lions traveled southern California over Spring break to compete in the Jack Gifford Memorial Tournament. Over the week, the Lions played 10 games, including a doubleheader against San Diego, and came out of the week with two wins. After pitching a three-hit game in the first contest against San Diego on Friday, March 16th, junior right-hander Stefan Olsen was named Ivy League Pitcher of the Week. Olsen tallied three strikeouts and allowed only three hits in seven innings against San Diego, who entered the game batting .332 as a team. The Lions went on to beat San Diego, 6-2, before falling to them later that day, 5-11. Since returning home from the California trip, the Lions have had two doubleheaders, first against Stony Brook on Friday at home and then at Holy Cross on Saturday. In the first game on Friday, the Lions fell behind 6-1, but began to mount a comeback in the bottom of the sixth with an RBI from junior Alex Black. The Lions further cut the deficit in the seventh, but were unable to make up the difference, falling 6-5 in game one. In game two, the Lions jumped ahead to a six run lead and were up 10-4 in the sixth inning. This time it was Stony Brook that mounted the comeback, scoring three times in the seventh and three times in the eighth to tie the game before putting it away, 11-10. On Saturday against Holy Cross, pitching made all the difference. Senior Pat Lowery started game one for the Lions and pitched a complete game shutout, allowing just four singles in the 6-0 victory. The Lions got off to a great start and didn’t let up, as junior Nick Ferraresi hit a two-run homer after junior Dario Pizzano singled in the first inning. Farraresi hit another two-run homer in game two as the Lions went on to win 3-1 to complete the sweep.
Up Next: The Lions return home to take on Army at Robertson Field at Satow Stadium at 3:30 pm on Wednesday and open the Ivy League season with a doubleheader against Yale on Saturday (1 pm and 3:30 pm) followed by a doubleheader against Brown on Sunday (12 pm and 2:30 pm).
Rebel Spring Games
Fairfield 1-4 (L)
Wagner 9-0 (W)
Utah Valley 5-8 (L)
Bucknell 0-6 (L)
Youngstown State 2-7 (L)
Nebraska – Omaha 1-2 (L)
Houston Baptist 0-5 (L)
Wisconsin – Green Bay 1-4 (L)
Fairleigh Dickinson 3-11 (L)
Lafayette 4-2 (W)
Saint Peter’s (Game 1) 5-2 (W)
Saint Peter’s (Game 2) 7-1 (W)
Highlights: The Softball team spent Spring Break in Florida, where they played 10 games over the week in the 2012 Rebel Spring Games. The Lions came out the week with two wins over Wagner and Lafayette, and returned home to take on Saint Peter’s in a doubleheader this weekend. In game one, freshman Liz Caggiano hit a leadoff homer in the second inning to give the Lions an early lead. In the top of the fourth, Columbia extended their lead to four when junior Christie Taylor was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and a full count. Though Saint Peter’s drove home two runs in the later innings, the Lions were able to hang on for their first win of the day, 5-2. Freshman Kalli Schulta allowed just three hits in five innings from the circle and tallied seven strikeouts in the win. In game two, Columbia once again got on the board early with two runs in the first inning. Sophomore Emily Snodgrass led the Lions with three RBI and three doubles in the game as four Lions, including Snodgrass, hit .600 or better on the day. The Lions went on to complete the sweep with a commanding 7-1 game two victory.
Up Next: The Lions have a doubleheader against Rider on Wednesday at home, followed by two doubleheaders this weekend to kick off Ivy League play. They face Yale on Friday at 3 pm and then 5 pm and Brown on Saturday at 2 pm and 4 pm.
All three rowing programs dominate at Governor’s Cup
Heavyweights win second straight Collins Cup over Rutgers
Highlights: After a weeklong training trip in Florida, all three Rowing teams had dominant performances at the Governor’s Cup Regatta. The Women won all four of their races as the varsity eight beat host Florida Tech by 35 seconds and the second varsity eight defeated Barry University by 17 seconds. In the heavyweight competition, the varsity eights beat Florida Tech handily and then went on to defeat Jacksonville by 18 seconds as conditions on the canal worsened. The varsity fours crushed Florida Tech, winning by almost 40 seconds. Since neither Florida squad had a lightweight program, the Columbia lightweights had to race against heavyweights in the regatta. Nevertheless, the varsity eight edged Jacksonville’s heavyweight eight by just over four seconds. At the Collins Cup on Saturday, the Lion heavyweights won all three races against Rutgers. The varsity eight battled the elements during their race, but went on to win by 23 seconds and the varsity four dominated, winning by 30 seconds. The freshman eight race was close for the first 200 meters, but Columbia made a move to open up the lead to win by 16.
Lacrosse (1-6, 0-4 Ivy League):
Vermont 11-14 (L)
Princeton 6-18 (L)
Dartmouth 4-15 (L)
Highlights: After beating Mount Saint Mary’s on February 29th, the Lacrosse team has lost five straight games, including four Ivy League contests. Against #14 ranked Princeton on Wednesday, the Tigers scored four unanswered goals to open play before the Lions got on the board at the 19:02 mark with a goal from junior Kacie Johnson. Johnson went on to score a hat trick in the game, but her goals were not enough to match a formidable Princeton squad. The Tigers tallied five more goals before halftime as the Lions entered the break trailing by six, 9-3. Though the Lions opened the second half with a goal from senior Taylor Gattinella, the Princeton offense proved to be too much as they went on to score nine more goals in the second half to win it, 18-6. Columbia faced an even tougher opponent in #10 Dartmouth on Saturday. Johnson opened scoring for the Lions in the opening minutes of the game to put Columbia up, 1-0, but the Big Green responded with 10 consecutive goals. Dartmouth continued the run after the break, scoring five more before the Lions gained some traction and tallied 3 goals of their own. The first half deficit, however, was too large as the Lions fell to the Big Green, 15-4.
Up Next: The Lions take a break from Ivy League play on Saturday when they face Iona at 7 pm at Robert K. Kraft Field.
March Madness Update:
03/24 Louisville 72 – 68 Florida
03/24 Syracuse 70 – 77 Ohio State
03/25 Kentucky 82 – 70 Baylor
03/25 North Carolina 67 – 80 Kansas
03/31 Kentucky vs Louisville -6:09 PM (ET)
03/31 Kansas vs Ohio State -8:49 PM (ET)
Photo via Columbia Athletics