Thursday, May 26, 2022

Sweet Home Chicago


written by STEVE ULRICH
your must-read briefing on what's driving the day in NCAA Division III


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1.  Sweet Home Chicago

(Photo by Manuela Davies/USTA)

"When Christian Alshon stepped to the service line up 5-3, 40-love in the third set on Wednesday afternoon, history was resting on his racket. On his very next serve, the University of Chicago junior pummeled an ace straight down the T.

That clinching point set off a raucous celebration on the courts as the UChicago men's tennis team defeated Case Western Reserve University 5-2 in the NCAA Division III Championship title match. The Maroon men became the first team to win an NCAA Division III national championship in school history.

The No. 1-ranked Maroons capped their historic season on a 15-match winning streak, finishing with a 22-1 overall record. The 22 victories broke the previous program record of 20 wins set in 2019."

>> Complete Results



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2.  Athenas At The Summit

CMS celebrates the national title (photo courtesy of USTA)

The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's tennis team led 2-1 after doubles, won the first set on all six singles courts, and went on to capture a 5-1 win over No. 1 Chicago to earn the 2022 NCAA Division III National Championship on Wednesday afternoon at the USTA National Campus in Orlando.

With the win, CMS finishes its season with a 27-3 record and a national title, coming a long way since its fourth-place finish at the ITA Indoor Tournament, where it suffered two of its losses. At nationals, the Athenas rolled to wins over two teams that had not lost to a Division III team all year, beating 23-0 Wesleyan in the semifinals 5-0, and then taking down 22-1 Chicago in the finals, which suffered only a loss to Division I Eastern Michigan prior to the national finals.

Ella Brissett picked up the clincher at No. 4 singles, with a 6-4, 6-3 win, although she and Audrey Yoon both had match points on adjacent courts at the same time trying to close out the championship.

>> Complete Results


3.  Final Four Preview

Jennifer LaRocca, TCNJ (photo by Jimmy Alagna)

The NCAA Division III women's lacrosse semifinals and final are slated for this weekend in Salem, Va. on the campus of Roanoke College. Here is a look at the matchups.

No. 2 Middlebury vs. No. 4 Gettysburg, 12 p.m.

Middlebury Panthers (20-1)
Postseason Record: 68-18
NCAA Titles (7); 1997-99-2001-02-04-06-19
Trips to the Final Four (21): 1994-95-96-97-98-99-2000-01-02-03-04-05-06-07-12-13-15-18-19-22
Scoring Offense / Defense: 15.90 / 5.95
Top Goal Scorer: Jane Earley 72
Top Assister: Lily Riseberg 45
Top Defender: Erica Barr
Top Goalkeeper: Annie Enrietto 6.18 GAA, 54.4 save%

Gettysburg Bullets (19-3)
Postseason Record: 40-16
NCAA Titles (3): 2011-17-18
Trips to the Final Four (8): 2006-07-09-10-11-17-18-22 
Scoring Offense / Defense: 15.1 / 12.4
Top Goal Scorer: Jordan Basso 65
Top Assister: Jenna King 42
Top Defender: Nora Janzer
Top Goalkeeper: Gill Cortese 7.78 GAA, 46.0 save%

No. 3 Tufts vs. No. 7 TCNJ, 3 p.m.

Tufts Jumbos (18-3)

Postseason Record: 15-6
Best NCAA Finish: 2nd (2021)
Trips to the Final Four (3): 2019-21-22
Scoring Offense / Defense: 14.90 / 7.25
Top Goal Scorer: Margie Carden 61
Top Assister: Mae Briody 21
Top Defender: Madison Lehan
Top Goalkeeper: Molly Laliberty 7.92 GAA, 54.4 save%

TCNJ Lions (18-2)
Postseason Record: 87-23
NCAA Titles (12): 1985-87-88-91-93-94-95-96-98-2000-05-06
Trips to the Final Four (26): 1985-86-87-88-89-90-91-92-93-94-95-96-97-98-99-2000-01-02-04-05-06-08-11-17-18-22
Scoring Offense / Defense: 17.35 / 7.00
Top Goal Scorer: Ally Tobler 84
Top Assister: Jennifer LaRocca 75
Top Defender: Wayden Ay
Top Goalkeeper: Julia Charest 7.35 GAA, 46.8 save%
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4.  Championship Preview


It will be an All-Liberty League final in the NCAA Division III men's lacrosse tournament as RIT takes on Union on Sunday in East Hartford, Conn.

No. 2 RIT vs. No. 8 Union, 1 p.m.

RIT (21-1)
Postseason Record: 37-21
NCAA Titles (1): 2021
Trips to the Final Four (12): 1984-85-87-99-2011-13-14-15-17-18-21-22
Scoring Offense / Defense: 18.1 / 8.8
Top Goal Scorer: Luke Pilcher 65
Top Assister: Marley Angus 28
Top Defender: Taylor Jensen
Top Goalkeeper: Drew Hutchison 8.19 GAA, 58.9 save%

Union (18-2)
Postseason Record: 11-5
Best NCAA Finish: Quarterfinals (2012-14)
Trips to the Final Four (1): 2022
Scoring Offense / Defense: 14.75 / 9.15
Top Goal Scorer: Peter Burnes 59
Top Assister: Hayden Frey 28
Top Defender: Matt Belluche
Top Goalkeeper: Dan Donahue 9.36 GAA, 57.4 save%


5.  All-Americans

Anna Jackson, Berry

The National Fastpitch Coaches Association revealed the 54 players voted to the 2022 NFCA Division III All-America teams. This year’s three squads are comprised of student-athletes from 36 different programs representing 10 regions.

Eastern Connecticut State University leads all schools with four players selected, including three on the first team. Four others —Belhaven, Christopher Newport, East Texas Baptist and Salisbury — had three players chosen.

First Team
P-Ashlyn Strother, Texas Lutheran
P-Kayla Simacek, Bethel
P-Gina Followell, Concordia, Wis.
C-Anna Jackson, Berry
1B-Brooke Matyasovsky, Eastern Connecticut
2B-Courtney White, East Texas Baptist
3B-Julia SanGiovanni, Eastern Connecticut
SS-Collette Allen, Redlands
OF-Abby Mace, Salisbury
OF-Katie Phillips, Linfield
OF-Grace Heath, Mount Union
UT/P - Lindsey Windsor, Salisbury
DP/UT - Ella Link, Wartburg
C - Giselle Bahena, Hiram
2B - Eliza Filus, Kean
1B - Kaitlyn Hasty, Christopher Newport
P - Alexis Michon, Eastern Connectixut
OF - Gabby Spencer, Saint Benedict

>> Complete Teams


6.  Lightning Round 

  Track and Field

  • The Division III individual singles and doubles championships begin today in Orlando, Fla. Here are the brackets - men | women

  Happy Birthday

  • Cake and candles to Sabrina Slagle, tennis player at Westminster (Pa.); Grace Gunneson, head women's lacrosse coach at MSOE; Tom Noonan, assistant men's basketball coach at Millikin; and Ayanna Tweedy, athletic director at Rose-Hulman.

7.  Comings and Goings
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