Strong opponents cast a shadow over USF athletics this week, with USF men’s and women’s basketball’s quests to gain a March Madness berth looming large. Though it was a tough week, women’s tennis shone with a dazzling display. Here is your recap of this week in Dons’ sports.
Women’s golf teed off March 1-2 in the Gunrock Invitational, hosted by the University of California, Davis Aggies at the Del Paso Country Club in Sacramento, putting their way to sixth place out of 11. The Dons shot a total 873 points for the game with junior Annika Borelli contributing 213 points for an 11th place finish in the field, shooting two rounds under par.
It was a busy week for men’s baseball, which started their first of five games in six days with a 7-6 comeback victory at home against the Fresno State University Bulldogs March 2. After five scoreless innings, the Dons’ bats came to life in the sixth and seventh innings. Redshirt sophomore Darius Foster gave USF the lead with a three-run double. This was the best result for USF during the week, as they had a rough go of it in their four game series against the Stanford University Cardinals who nabbed a 6-7 extra-innings win and a tight 2-3 victory in games one and two in Palo Alto. Home turf provided no extra luck for the Dons as the Cardinals again edged a tied game for a 6-10 victory. Even an 11-run inning was not enough in game four as the Dons were unable to avoid the sweep as the Cardinal won by a score of 15-13. USF baseball looks to bounce back versus the University of California, Santa Barbara Gauchos March 12.
Home-court advantage was not enough to save women’s volleyball from hitting the floor hard as the Dons dropped a two-game series against the Brigham Young University Cougars. Game one saw the Dons fall in straight sets, (23-25, 20-25, 21-25), and the Cougars’ bite was again too strong in game two as USF lost in four sets (15-25, 25-20, 24-26,18-25). Junior McKenna Marshall led the team in kills with 22, and freshman Aylen Ayub earned a double-double with 37 assists and 10 digs. The Dons return to action March 13 against the Saint Mary’s College of California Gaels.
Women’s soccer could not quite overcome the nationally-ranked No. 22 Pepperdine University Waves in a close match that ended in a 1-0 defeat for the Dons. Goalkeeper Molly Eby had a strong performance with four saves, but she was unable to snag the clean sheet as a shot in the 69th minute snuck past her. USF now looks to their March 13 home opener versus the University of Portland Pilots.
Fresno State blanked men’s tennis March 6, with the Bulldogs winning by a score of 4. USF dropped the doubles point when the duo of Phuc Huynh and Mitch Johnson were beaten by a score of 2-6. The Dons were ultimately swept when junior David Woodland fell in straight sets (4-6, 2-6). USF will head to Sacramento March 12 for the Golden State Invitational hosted by the Sacramento State University Hornets.
Women’s tennis had the strongest showing of the week with a resounding 6-1 victory over the Sacramento State University Hornets. The doubles team of Arianna Capogrosso and Rita Colyer clinched the doubles point with a 6-3 victory. The Dons proceeded to win five singles matches, with Capogrosso securing the win in straight sets (6-2, 6-3). The Dons return home March 13 to take on the UC Davis Aggies.