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A Memorable Weekend for LMU Athletics

Adrianne Slaughter's MVP honors at the WCC tournament was a piece of the Lions' success this past week.
Adrianne Slaughter's MVP honors at the WCC tournament was a piece of the Lions' success this past week.

March 8, 2004

Los Angeles, CA (March 8) - It was one of those weeks. The hard work and preparation for student-athletes, coaches and staff that started many years ago put into motion one of the more memorable weekends in Loyola Marymount University athletics. And there is more to come.

Here is the top-10 reasons why the first week of March in 2004 was one of the more memorable ones in LMU history.

10. For the first time in the history of LMU Crew, the women's crew team won both the Varsity 8 and Second Varsity 8 races in the Parker Cup Regatta. It has become a tradition for the LMU crew team to start the season in the highly competitive Parker Cup, which usually features three institutions from Southern California. This year the Lions came a head of teams from San Diego State and UC Irvine to win both races.

9. Women's tennis freshman Serena Fermin had a memorable weekend. The first-year collegiate from Yorba Linda, Calif., swept her two matches against opponents from ranked teams. On Saturday she earned a 7-5, 6-1 win over Marti Morris from 14th-ranked Fresno State and then on Sunday she followed that with a win over Jenna Long of fourth-ranked North Carolina, 6-3, 3-6 and 6-2.

8. Men's tennis sophomore Michael Wojnarowicz is on a roll for the Lions. He helped the Lions to three wins last week and with impressive wins over players from Cal Lutheran and Westmont, the sophomore has won 19 straight games (the most in at least five years at LMU and possibly a program record).

7. Thanks to an odd schedule conflict, the LMU baseball team had to start conference two weeks earlier than the rest of the WCC. And they had to do it against the two-time defending champions, San Diego. All the Lions did was send home San Diego with three losses. The Lions swept the three-game series at Page Stadium to improve to 10-4 on the season and unbeaten at home, 7-0.

6. Senior Devon Wright exploded for the LMU women's water polo team last weekend, scoring a record nine goals in just two games as the ninth-ranked Lions knocked of a pair of Western Water Polo Association opponents in San Diego on Saturday. Wright became just the sixth player in LMU history to score five or more goals in a game with five tallies in the win over Claremont. She then added four more goals in the 8-3 win over 14th-ranked UC San Diego to bring her total on the season to 24.

5. Taking the three-game sweep over San Diego, LMU baseball's Jonathan Higashi capped the sweep in grand style. In game three of the series, the Toreros managed to tie the game at 8-8 as it went to the bottom of the ninth inning. Higashi led off the inning and made sure it would not go any further than him. The 2003 Johnny Bench Nominee (nation's best catcher) would hit a solo walk-off homer over the Blue Monster to give his team the 9-8 win and the sweep.

4. The LMU men's basketball team completed a successful campaign with their best record since 1996 with an 82-77 win over Portland in the WCC Tournament. The win highlighted the week when senior Sherman Gay put some well deserved honors on an impressive senior season as he along with freshman Damian Martin were given West Coast Conference honors, released by the WCC on Monday, March 1. Gay, who became just the 16th player in 97 years of LMU basketball to play in more than 100 games, became the first player in LMU history to earn WCC Defensive Player of the Year honors. The Carson, Calif., native was also named first-team All-West Coast Conference by the league's coaches. Martin, in his first season from Australia, became just the second freshman in LMU history to earn WCC freshman honors, as he was named to the WCC All-Freshman team.

3. Speaking of honors, the LMU women's basketball team reaped the rewards of winning their first West Coast Conference regular season title. Senior Kate Murray was named WCC Player of the Year, the first in LMU history. In addition, senior Adrianne Slaughter took home a pair of honors as she was named first-team All-Conference and WCC Tournament MVP. Head Coach Julie Wilhoit earned her third Coach of the Year honors in the last five years.

2. It was a performance that, at first glance, seemed to be impressive. However, once the final horn would go off in men's basketball's 82-77 win over Portland, the performance of senior Sherman Gay to lead his team to victory put him an elite group. Drawing comparisons to former All-American Hank Gathers, Gay finished the win with 30 points and 15 rebounds as put his team on his back for the win. Here is what he did that night: He had the Lions first 30-point game since Ben Ammerman had 30 at Pepperdine on Jan. 21, 1998; became just the 19th player in LMU history to have a 15-15 game (15 or more points and 15 or more rebounds in the same game); his effort was the best point- rebound combination since Hank Gathers had 30 points and 16 rebounds in the WCC Championship on March 6, 1989; it was the first 15-15 game by a Lion since Kenny Hotopp had 16 points and 15 rebounds on Dec. 7, 1996; and his 30 points is tied for fifth all-time in a WCC Tournament game and his 15 rebounds is third all-time in WCC Tournament games.

And the number one reason while this was one memorable week for LMU athletics:

1. Senior Michele Brown, freshman Raquel Castellanos, sophomore Jevay Grooms, junior Jennifer Henry, freshman Becky Hogue, senior Jasmin Matthews, senior Kate Murray, freshman Amanda Patton, freshman McKena Richardson, senior Raelen Self, senior Adrianne Slaughter, sophomore Jenni Smith, junior Mary Turner, junior Jacquelyn Woods, sophomore Bianca Ziemann, sophomore Rachael Ziemann, Head Coach Julie Wilhoit, Assistant Coach Lynn Flanagan, Assistant Coach Tami Adkins, and Assistant Coach Julie Brase. A group of student-athletes and dedicated coaches who brought home LMU's first WCC Tournament Championship, winning their school-record 15th straight and earning their first bid to the NCAA Tournament.

For the latest on LMU Athletics, here is the weekly update in PDF Format: Weekly Update.

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