This Week In LMU Athletics

May 1, 2018

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Three Loyola Marymount University programs made it to their respective conference finals this past weekend. Out in Claremont, both the men’s and women’s tennis teams pulled off upsets to advance to Saturday’s championship games.

Playing in its first-ever West Coast Conference Tournament Final, LMU men’s tennis (19-6) dropped the decision, 4-0, to #41 San Diego (16-8) from the Biszantaz Family Tennis Center. LMU’s 19 wins are the most since setting a program-record with 20 in 2002. 

Playing in the WCC Championship Final on Saturday afternoon, LMU women’s tennis (17-6) won the doubles point, but could not get past #11 Pepperdine (22-2) as the Waves captured a 4-1 win and their sixth consecutive WCC crown. At the conclusion of play, LMU earned a trio of WCC All-Tournament selections, as Veronica Miroshnicheko and Eva Marie Voracek took home the honor for #1 doubles, while Siobhan Anderson and Anna Romeka claimed the honor for #2 doubles. Freshman Yesica De Lucas was selected for her play on court four in singles.

On Sunday, in the Burns Aquatics Center Pool, a matchup of the Golden Coast Conference’s top two programs played for the automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. #7 Pacific topped #15 Loyola Marymount, 10-6, to take the GCC Women’s Water Polo Tournament crown. At the conclusion of the tournament, both Hana Vilanova and Claire Wright were named to the GCC Tournament’s All-Tournament Team. VIlanova led the Lions with nine points over the tournament with five goals and four assists. She also shared the team-high with four steals. Wright played every minute in goal for the Lions over the weekend. She recorded 12 goals in each of her first two games of the tournament and added seven more on Sunday.  

On the diamond, LMU Softball recorded a milestone sweep over San Diego. This marked the team's 10th straight victory, which is the program's longest winning streak since the 2007 season when LMU had two long streaks of 12 and 13 wins. This win also marked a major career milestone for LMU head coach Sami Strinz-Ward, who has now reached 200 wins in her head coaching career. The Lions have swept their last three opponents, also taking 3-0 series wins vs. Santa Clara and Saint Mary's. LMU continues to hold down the top record in the WCC, now standing at 11-1 in conference play.Freshman third baseman Andrea Gonzalez and freshman pitcher Linnay Wilson were named the West Coast Conference Softball Player and Pitcher of the Week, respectively, the conference office announced Monday.

LMU women’s and men’s rowing showed well at the 2018 Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships over the weekend from Lake Natoma, with Diana Ivanova and Rebecca Butcharthighlighting the racing by winning the Women’s 2x Final. The LMU women will now prepare for the WCC Rowing Championships from Lake Natoma on May 12. The WIRA Championships were the final men’s races of the season.

Ivanova and Butchart posted a time of 7:59.867 to lead the pack in the 2x. Duos from Cal, Lewis & Clark, UC Davis, Long Beach State and UCSB followed. The Lion pair had previously won the first heat of the prelims with a time of 8:56.562 on Saturday.

On the track, Eight Lions competed at the Steve Scott Invitational at Anteater Stadium on the campus of UC Irvine in the 5,000 meters on Friday evening and 1500 meters on Saturday. Of the eight performances, five Lions had career bests. Junior Koby Pederson ran a personal best time of 3:49.58 and was the event winner out of nearly 100 competitors in the 1500 meters. Senior Harry Loasby ran a career best of 15:01.27 placing 13th in the 5000 meters. Loasby, a native of Hong Kong, ran a time that makes him the Hong Kong National leader in the 5000 meters. He is also the National leader in the 1500 meters.

On the women’s side a highlight of the meet was senior Jillian Dawley who ran the last race of her career in a Lion Jersey. Dawley, who will graduate with a cumulative 4.0 GPA in Biochemistry, woke up one morning in the Spring of 2015 and could not move her legs. After undergoing emergency surgery on her spinal cord Jillian spent months in physical therapy re-learning how to walk. This spring she was finally able to return to the track for the first time since her freshman track season and closed out her LMU career running a season best of 20:19 in the 5000m. For more on Jillian’s amazing comeback story check out this video. Freshman Danielle Rowlinson also ran a career best for 5000 meters. Rowlinson finished in a time of 19:06.59 and was 19th in the race.

While the focus around the athletic department this week shifts to finals week and graduation weekend, the men’s golf team will be tuned in Wednesday afternoon for the NCAA selection show. Junior Riley Elmes ranks inside the top-100 nationally as an individual and hopes to hear his named called as at at-large selection into the NCAA Tournament field. 81 teams and 45 individuals selected to compete in the six NCAA Men’s Regional Championships, May 14-16 (13 teams and 10 individuals at three regionals and 14 teams and five individuals at three regionals) will be announced on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. 30 teams and six individuals will advance from regional sites to the national championships. Live streaming coverage of the selection shows will be available through the Golf Channel Mobile App or GolfChannel.com.

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