NCAA DII Championships Festival Central
Eight SSC teams and two individuals started at the NCAA Division II National Championships Festival, and when the dust settled in Louisville, the SSC's contingent claimed two national titles. Nova Southeastern swept the golf event, winning its first men's championship and its fourth straight women's crown.
First Round - Tuesday, May 15
Barry, Nova Southeastern, and Eckerd's Jeff Evanier at The Cardinal Club Course
* Second round is May 16. Third round is May 17. Quarterfinals and semifinals are May 18. Match-play final round is May 19.
Match Play Semifinal Recap: Nova Southeastern will look to capture its first national title on Saturday after defeating Central Oklahoma, based on the total-strokes tie-breaker in the semifinals at the NCAA Championship.
After head-to-head play, the Sharks and Central Oklahoma were at an even deadlock 2-2 with total strokes in the round counting as the tie-breaker. The Sharks as a team edged the Broncos by four strokes to earn the right to play Chico State head-to-head for the 2012 National Championship. The Sharks will be playing for their first title, while the Wildcats will be playing for their second. The Wildcats won their first and only title in 1966 and fell just short of their second with a runner-up finish in 2004.
Oscar Lengdèn had a stand-alone performance for the Sharks, capturing the largest margin head-to-head victory against Dillon Rust by six-strokes, shooting a six-under 66. Mitch Farrer was the first Shark to finish Friday, giving NSU an early lead by defeating Andrew Green by one stroke. Farrer carded a three-under 69 with 11 pars and five birdies, two of which came in the final five holes of the round.
Ricardo Celia finished his round tied with Baer Aneshansley, with each player tallying a two-under 70. Celia led by a pair of strokes on the back nine, but two late-round bogeys gave Aneshansley the opportunity to come back and even the match.
Benjamin Taylor and Ben Vertz each suffered close losses in their matches. Vertz (77) fell just one stroke shy of a tie with Derek Franco (76). Franco made a late charge, finishing his round with a birdie and par to give the Broncos a point.
Taylor posted an impressive four-under 68, but individual national champion Josh Creel was able to play to a six-under 66 to give Central Oklahoma the tying point.
Match Play Quarterfinals Recap:
Nova Southeastern's streak of impressive golf continued with a dominating 4-1 quarterfinal win over USC-Aiken. Ricardo Celia and teammate Ben Vertz had the largest stroke margin on their individual opponents, winning by six-strokes. Celia shot a two-under 70 with a team-high six birdies against the three seed, Matt Atkins who shot a four-over in the quarterfinals. Vertz ended the day even at 72, defeating his opponent Gaines Milliner, who shot a six-over 78. In a five-stroke victory, Oscar Lengdèn defeated his opponent J.P. Solis, who carded a one-over 73 to conclude his week at the Championships. Ben Taylor had a slow start against his opponent, Hayden Letien, trailing six-strokes after 11 holes played. He turned it around the final seven holes to defeat Letien by two strokes, shooting a one-under 71. Rounding out the final match-up, Mitch Farrer was defeated by Taylor Welborn by four strokes shooting a six-over 78 to Welburn’s two-over 74. Farrar held a two-stroke lead for the first seven holes until Welburn dropped a hole-in-one on the par-three eighth to bring the score back even. The back nine was a battle until the remaining three holes which, Farrer bogeyed out giving Welborn their only victory.
Top-ranked Barry saw its season come to an end with a 3-2 quarterfinal loss to Central Oklahoma. Barry won the first match after Scott Smyers took care of business, winning by a stroke over Andrew Green. Smyers shot 1-over 73, while Green shot 74. Simon Forsslund dropped his match to Derek Franco by five strokes. Forsslund shot 74, while Franco carded a 69. Marcus Segerstrom was on fire most of the day and beat Baer Aneshansley by two strokes. Segerstrom ripped off five birdies, including three in a four-hole stretch on the back nine. That gave the Bucs a 2-1 match lead. Marcelo Huarte fell by a stroke to Dillon Rust after the Bucs sophomore shot par, and the Bronchos golfer was 1-under. That tied the match at 2-2. Daniel Stapff encountered trouble in the late going, falling by five strokes to Josh Creel. Stapff shot 77, and Creel, who won Thursday's stroke play individual championship in a one-hole playoff, played steady golf to shoot par.
Round Three Recap: It's on to match play for both Nova Southeastern and Barry, as both teams made Thursday's cut at the NCAA DII Men's Golf Championship. Chico State finished first after 54 holes with a score of 851. NSU kept its momentum alive, finishing second before the cut with a three-round score of 855 (291-284-280). Barry placed sixth with a tally of 866 (290-287-289). In the match play quarterfinals, Nova Southeastern will square off with USC-Aiken, while Barry will take on Central Oklahoma. The individual champion was crowned after Thursday's third round, and top honors went to Central Oklahoma's Josh Creel who led wire-to-wire and finished with a 10-under 206. NSU's Ben Taylor finished third with an eight-under 208 (70-69-69) after tallying his second straight three-under round. Barry's Daniel Stapff had his toughest round of the tournament, but still made par and finished fourth with a tally of seven-under 209 (69-68-72). Jeff Evanier's championship came to an end with the sophomore tied for 19th. He carded a 216 (75-71-70) in his first NCAA Championship and ended on a high note with a score of two-under-par. NSU's Ricardo Celia notched a hole-in-one on the 12th hole in Thursday's round.
Round Two Recap: Chico State assumed the lead after two rounds of play at the DII Men's Golf Championship, posting a two-day score of 566 to bypass Central Oklahoma, which sits in second with a 569. CSU-Stanislaus is third with a tally of 573. Nova Southeastern climbed into fourth with a 575 (291-284). Barry is tied for fifth with a 577 (290-287). Central Oklahoma's Josh Creel continues to top the individual standings with a nine-under 135. Daniel Stapff is still in the hunt after posting a four-under 68 to take his two-round total to a seven-under 137 (69-68). Nova Southeastern's Ben Taylor is not far behind with total tally of 139 (70-69), which puts him in sixth. Eckerd's Jeff Evanier is tied for 31st with a 146 (75-71). After Thursday's 18 holes, the 20-team field will be narrowed to the top eight teams, which will be seeded for match play beginning Friday.
Round One Recap: Central Oklahoma carded an opening-round 279 to take a six-stroke lead at the DII Men's Golf Championship. UNC-Pembroke sits in second place with a 285. Western Washington rounds out the top three with a day-one score of 287. Barry is tied for sixth, 11 strokes out of the lead with a tally of 290. Nova Southeastern is just one stroke behind the Buccaneers, tied for eighth with a 291. Individually, Barry's Daniel Stapff fired a three-under 69 to tie for third. NSU's Ben Taylor posted a two-under 70 to tie for fifth. Eckerd's Jeff Evanier turned in a 75 to tie for 60th. Central Oklahoma's Josh Creel currently leads the field after notching an impressive seven-under 65 to kick off the championship.
First Round - Wednesday, May 16
Florida Southern, Nova Southeastern, Barry, and Saint Leo's Goeun Lee at Persimmon Ridge Country Club
* Second round is May 17. Third round is May 18. Final round is May 19.
Final Round Recap: Nova Southeastern took its nine-stroke cushion and built it to 20, winning its fourth straight NCAA DII Women's Golf Championship. The Sharks' Abbey Gittings also took home the individual title, holding off UNC-Pembroke's Meghan Moore by two strokes. Florida Southern (314-315-309-316) was runner-up with a final score of 1,254. M.J. Audette led the Moccasins in seventh place. She finished with a score of 307 (74-80-74-79). Barry placed fourth with a tally of 1,284 (329-324-308-323). Taylor Babcock was the Bucs' top golfer. She tied for 25th with a mark of 322 (80-84-78-80). Saint Leo's Goeun Lee concluded the event tied for 29th with a 324 (80-84-81-79).
Round Three Recap: With just 18 holes remaining at the DII Women's Golf Championship, it would seem to be a two-horse SSC race for the title. Nova Southeastern continues to hold the lead, but Florida Southern trimmed six strokes off its deficit to move to nine back of the Sharks. Nineteen strokes separate the SSC duo from the rest of the field. NSU has posted a three-round score of 929 (308-306-315), while FSC has a total tally of 938 (314-315-309). Barry climbed back up to fourth with a 961 (329-324-308) and sits just four strokes behind third-place Grand Canyon. In the individual standings, NSU's Daniela Ortiz continues to hold one-stroke lead over her teammate, Abbey Gittings. Ortiz's score through three rounds is 224 (73-72-79). Gittings has posted a 225 (72-75-78). Southern's M.J. Audette (74-80-74) moved into a tie for third with the Sharks' Liliana Cammisa (76-76-76). Both players have a 36-hole tally of 228.
Round Two Recap: Things remained the same atop the leaderboard after Thursday's second round at the DII Women's Golf Championship. Nova Southeastern held its lead and extended its cushion to 15 strokes with a two-round score of 614 (308-306). Florida Southern continues to hold the second spot with a 629 (314-315). Barry slipped into a tie for sixth with a tally of 653 (329-324). Individually, NSU's Abbey Gittings and Daniela Ortiz swapped places in the standings. Ortiz took over first with a two-round score of 145 (73-72). Gittings is second, two strokes back with a 147 (72-75). FSC's M.J. Audette is tied for fifth with a 154 (74-80). Francesca Perini (84-79=163) leads Barry in a tie for 25th. Saint Leo's Goeun Lee (80-84=164) is tied for 28th.
Round One Recap: The SSC's contingent is off to a good start in the DII Women's Golf Championship, with Nova Southeastern taking the early lead with a first-round score of 308. Florida Southern is second with a 314. Barry sits in fourth place with a 329. Individually, NSU's Abbey Gittings sits atop the leaderboard after posting the only even-par score of the day, a 72. Her teammate Daniela Ortiz is second with a one-over 73. FSC's M.J. Audette holds the third position after posting a 74. Saint Leo's Goeun Lee is tied for 16th with an 80. Barry's Taylor Babcock and Nancy Vergara are stuck in the same quagmire with Lee, having both also carded an 80.
Round of 16 - Wednesday, May 16
Lynn 5, Queens (N.Y.) 0
Barry 5, District of Columbia 0
Round of 16 Recap:
Lynn rolled past Queens College of N.Y. by a 5-0 tally. Lynn's top doubles tandem of Sabine Krause and Ioana Ivan, as well as its #3 duo of Kim Przeszlowski and Andrea Berkova breezed to 8-0 wins. The #2 team of Ana Kriz and Roxane Alexandru completed the doubles sweep with an 8-3 victory. Alexandru also garnered a singles point with a 6-0, 6-0 ambush of Taylor Barber in the #6 flight. Ivan collected her second point of the match, which clinched the Knight win, with a quick 6-0, 6-0 win in the top singles flight over Erika Goldsmith.
Barry also made light work of its opponent, downing District of Columbia 5-0. Caroline Wendling and Linda Fritschken kicked things off with an 8-0 sweep at #3 doubles. Olivia Matuszak and Julie Stas then tallied an 8-2 #2 doubles win. Mona Mansour and Cristina Valladares claimed the top flight in 8-3 fashion. Matuszak would pick up the Bucs' first singles point in the #3 slot, rolling past Maria Vitkina 6-0, 6-0. The match-clinching point came from Akemi Maehama in the #6 position. Maehama sailed past Tadai Abilla 6-1, 6-0.
Quarterfinals - Thursday, May 17
Abilene Christian 5, Lynn 1
Barry 5, California (Pa.) 2
Abiline Christian came out firing on all cylinders and ran past Lynn 5-1 in Thursday's NCAA DII Women's Tennis Championship quarterfinals. The Knights' lone point came at #3 doubles, where Andrea Berkova and Kim Przeszlowski claimed an 8-3 win.
Barry staved off California (Pa.) 5-2 to advance to the semifinals. The Bucs took two-of-three doubles matches. In the #2 slot, Julie Stas and Olivia Matuszak won 8-2. At #3, Linda Fritschken and Caroline Wendling registered an 8-5 victory. Stas and Fritschken also earned a singles point for the Bucs. Stas defeated Anastassiya Zherdeva 7-6 (7-1), 6-3. Fritschken picked up a 6-2, 7-5 decision over Annabel Pieschl in a second-flight match that sealed the Barry win. Mona Mansour notched a 6-3, 6-2 #5 win over Franziska Steinhardt for the Bucs' first singles point.
Semifinals - Friday, May 18
Armstrong Atlantic 5, Barry 2
Semifinal Recap: Barry saw its impressive 26-match win streak end with a 5-2 semifinal loss to Armstrong Atlantic on Friday. After dropping all three doubles matches to the Pirates, Oliva Matuszak picked up one of the Bucs' points with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Kathleen Henry. Julie Stas would claim the only other Buccaneer tally, taking down Olga Kalodzitsa 6-3, 6-4.
Round of 16 - Wednesday, May 16
Lynn 5, Western New Mexico 0
Round of 16 Recap: Lynn swept Western New Mexico 5-0 to move on to the NCAA DII Men's Tennis Quarterfinals. Benji Kendall and Alessio Iannozzi got the Knights off to a good start with an 8-2 win in the third singles slot. Willi Wolfer and Vlad Cirla then took the #1 tilt by an 8-3 margin. Amaury Van Haelen and Max Kouyate completed the doubles sweep with an 8-4 win in the #2 spot. Cirla tallied his second point of the match with a 6-3, 6-0 win over Juan Pablo Fuentes at #2 singles. Van Haelen sealed the victory with another point, his second one coming via a 6-2, 6-1 win over Jean Benoit Belin in the fifth position. With rain delaying some of Wednesday's matches to 7 a.m. on Thursday, the Fighting Knights will wait to determine whether they will play Abilene Christian or Northern Kentucky in the next round.
Quarterfinals - Thursday, May 17
Lynn 5, Abilene Christian 3
Quarterfinal Recap: Lynn avenged its earlier women's tennis loss to Abilene Christian, outlasting the Wildcats 5-3 in Thursday's NCAA DII Men's Tennis Championship quarterfinals. The Knights found themselves down 2-1 after doubles, with their point coming in the #3 spot, where the tandem of Luca Pavanelli and Alessio Iannozzi posted an 8-3 win. Iannozzi picked up his second point and tied the match score at 2-2 with a 6-2, 6-2 singles victory. With his team falling behind 3-2, Pavanelli also tallied a second point and tied the score at 3-3. He took down Nick Plum 6-4, 6-1 in the third flight. Amaury Van Haelen gave Lynn its first lead at 4-3 compliments of a 6-0, 7-6 (7-2) decision. Benji Kendall put the wraps on the Lynn victory with a 7-6 (7-4), 6-0 win over Alfredo Desiati in the #4 slot.
Semifinals - Friday, May 18
Armstrong Atlantic 5, Lynn 0
Semifinal Recap: Lynn saw its season come to an end in the semifinals of the DII Men's Tennis Championship, falling to Armstrong Atlantic 5-0. The Pirates are a perfect 29-0 on the season and ranked No. 1 in the nation. Lynn finishes its season 22-4.