The month of March roared in like a lion but went out quietly like a lamb as the Dons endured pandemic pauses and heartbreaking defeats. Additionally, the end of the month concluded the women’s volleyball regular season. Here is your recap of this week in Dons’ sports.
Women’s soccer has been on hold since the March 18 announcement of a positive COVID-19 test on the team and related contact tracing, the team’s second such pause of the season after a similar stoppage occurred in February. Women’s soccer’s March 26 contest against the Saint Mary’s College of California Gaels has been postponed as USF works with Saint Mary’s and the West Coast Conference to reschedule.
The No. 23 ranked Saint Mary’s Gaels were too much for men’s soccer to handle March 28, as the Dons were defeated 1-3. Freshman Nonso Adimabau was the lone scorer for USF, as he increased his tally to three goals on the season. The team looks to bounce back against the Loyola Marymount University (LMU) Lions April 3.
Squaring off in a three-game series, men’s baseball bested the Brigham Young University Cougars twice in Provo, UT. March 25 was a wild ride with the Dons narrowly losing 8-7 in extra innings. USF then stole their own extra inning’s win by a score of 10-6 behind two perfect innings pitched by freshmen Jesse Barron and three runs scored by Luke Keaschall sealing the decisive victory. 3-1 was the final score at Miller Park March 27, as a strong closing effort from the Dons’ pitchers cinched the series for USF. Pitchers, junior Grant Nechak and freshman Eric Reyzalman, allowed only 5 hits through eight innings. Men’s baseball will host Loyola Marymount University April 1 at the Dante Benedetti Diamond.
In men’s tennis, the Dons were unable to tame the LMU Lions March 26, losing 1-4 in a West Coast Conference face-off. The lone win for USF came from graduate student Paul Giraud, beating LMU’s Diego Nova 6-2, 6-4 in singles. March 27’s match against #27 Pepperdine University only served to pile on to a tough week for men’s tennis, as the Waves washed the Dons 5-0 at the California Tennis Club in San Francisco. The Dons, who currently have a record of 5-5, will continue their season April 2 against Saint Mary’s.
Women’s tennis also had a tough week, losing both matches to the California Polytechnic State Institute Mustangs March 22 and the Pepperdine University Waves March 27. USF were bucked by the undefeated Cal Poly Mustangs by a score of 5-2, despite junior Caragh Courtney’s performance in an incredible 6-2, 7-6 (10-3) match win. No. 5 Pepperdine proved to be no easier an opponent as the Dons lost by a score of 1-6. Junior Chico Mushika put the Dons on the board with a retirement victory against her opposition (2-5, retired). The Dons now set their sights on their April 1 match against the Gaels.
It was a tale of two days for women’s volleyball who competed against the Santa Clara University Broncos over a two-game series. The memory of USF’s March 25 0-3 defeat at the Leavey Center in Santa Clara, CA was all but erased by the Dons on March 26. USF’s War Memorial Gym played host to a treat of a match, as the Dons reversed the March 25 scoreline and shut out the Broncos, 3-0. The Dons’ dazzling defense secured victory in straight sets (25-18, 25-12, 25-22) in lone senior Anna Dalla Vecchia’s final game. The team closed out the regular season with an 8-10 overall win-loss record — their best conference record since 2013.