A busy spring for the University’s athletic teams included several highlights. Softball has returned to a position of prominence by attaining a regional ranking. The men’s and women’s tennis teams have worked their way through a schedule pockmarked with some of the strongest teams in the nation. And golf is competing for a potential NCAA bid.
As April came to a close, here’s a rundown of some of the spring’s highlights:
Baseball: The Yellowjackets went into the last two weekends of the regular season trying to battle their way into a Liberty League playoff spot. In late April, Rochester beat 18th-ranked Ithaca on the road, then earned two victories over Vassar in the final at-bat. Jon Menke ’13 threw a three-hit shutout over Clarkson to reap three individual awards. Adam Sullivan ’13 was the team’s closer with three saves and just one earned run allowed in 11 innings of work. Ethan Sander ’14 was the top hitter, averaging .333. Nick Carlson ’14 led the team in home runs (3) and RBIs (16).
Golf: Nick Palladino ’14 won the UAA individual championship with an association record low score of 137 for 36 holes. He is the first man to win back-to-back UAA golf titles in the 25-year history of the UAA. Rochester was third at the NYU/Manhattanville Invitational and third at the McDaniel Spring Invitational. The Yellowjackets faced RPI in the first round of the Liberty League championships (match-play format) to determine which team would get the league’s automatic bid to NCAAs.
Lacrosse: Rochester had a nice three-player attack in Niki Holmes ’12 (19 goals, 8 assts., 27 pts.), Liza Maizel ’13 (20-5-25), and Lindsey Randall ’14 (16-4-20). The Yellowjackets defeated Becker College in Myrtle Beach, S.C., then returned north and posted a win over Bard College in Liberty League play.
Rowing: The Yellowjackets broke into the national rankings at No. 13 after a series of strong performances in March and early April. In successive weekends, they defeated both Ithaca and WPI, who were in the national poll. Two big races loom in May: the New York State championships, May 5–6, and the Dad Vail Regatta in Philadelphia, May 11–12.
Softball: Rochester earned the No. 2 seed for the Liberty League championships with an 8-2 record in league games. The Yellowjackets wrapped up April with a 25-12 record and were ranked third in the Northeast region by the NCAA Division III softball committee. Nina Korn ’14 (.375) and Meg Hennessy ’14 (.339) led a lineup with five .300 hitters. Korn had seven home runs by late April. Brittany Grage ’15 had six. A strong pitching nucleus revolved around Grage (9–4), Sarah Wayson ’15 (9–4), and Maddie Skellie ’13 (6–4).
Tennis: The Yellowjacket women’s team was 8–4 heading into the UAA championships in Florida in late April. Frances Tseng ’13 was ranked No. 6 regionally and No. 45 nationally as a singles player. Rochester’s record included wins over Whittier College, Ithaca, William Smith, and St. Lawrence. The men’s team was 6–14, ranked No. 18 regionally.
Track & Field: James Vavra ’12 and Lauren Norton ’12 competed at the Penn Relays in late April, trying to secure a berth in the NCAA championships. Vavra ran in the 10,000 meters, Norton in the 5,000 meters. At the Alumni Invitational, Rochester earned a total of 18 qualifiers for the ECAC championships–nine apiece for men and women. At the Cortland Classic, the women’s 4x400 relay ran the second fastest time in school history and the 19th fastest time in Division III in 2012. Rochester was getting set to host the New York State championships as May began.
O’Donnell is director of communications for the Department of Athletics and Recreation.