Shifting to college tennis and the U.S.

March 15, 2015 9:00 AM

STORY BY ASHLEY BEALL

Freshman Calum MacGeoch stood tall on the tennis court in Minneapolis on Saturday as he, for the second time this season, won a match for the Bulldogs.

After falling behind five games to one in the third set, MacGeoch battled back and sealed his team’s 4-3 victory on Friday.

MacGeoch is one of the four new freshmen on the Men’s Tennis team, a team that is now ranked 25th in the nation, and has become a key player. (more…)

Softball 2-3 in Fort Collins

March 14, 2015 1:15 PM

STORY BY ADAM ROGAN

Drake Softball played five games in Fort Collins this past weekend, coming away with two wins.

“We lost a few close ones,” senior Sarah Ryan said. “Offensively we had a good weekend, we had a lot of hits, but we didn’t get some wins.”

Competition began on Friday afternoon, Drake facing off with the University of Nebraska Omaha. (more…)

Bulldogs secure No. 2 seed for conference tournament

March 13, 2015 1:15 PM

STORY BY MICHAEL WENDLANDT

LIZZY WENDELL sprints down court in the last game at the Knapp Center of her sophomore season. She is currently the ninth highest scorer in the NCAA and the leading scorer in the MVC with 22.1 points per game and 641 total points on the season. She scored 20 of those points on Saturday against Loyola, shooting 6-19 from the field and 4-9 from behind the arc. JOEL VENZKE | PHOTO EDITOR

LIZZY WENDELL sprints down court in the last game at the Knapp Center of her sophomore season. She is currently the ninth highest scorer in the NCAA and the leading scorer in the MVC with 22.1 points per game and 641 total points on the season. She scored 20 of those points on Saturday against Loyola, shooting 6-19 from the field and 4-9 from behind the arc. JOEL VENZKE | PHOTO EDITOR

Needing one win to secure the second seed in the Missouri Valley Tournament, the Drake women took care of business by sweeping a duo of games to finish the regular season at home.

The Bulldogs finish with the best conference record since the 2001-2002 season at 15-3 and are now the second Missouri Valley team to reach 20 wins this season.

The clinch occurred Thursday night as the Bulldogs dispatched the Bradley Braves in front of the Knapp Center faithful 86-70. Drake never trailed in the game, riding big performances from Becca Jonas and Caitlin Ingle as the team shot over 53 percent from the field.

“That’s everything we want to see,” coach Jennie Baranczyk said. “There were times in the game where our offense was a clinic.” (more…)

Bulldogs hopeful with MVC Tournament on the horizon

11:30 AM

STORY BY CARLY GRENFELL

Carly Grenfell can be reached at carly.grenfell@drake.edu or @Car1y_g

Carly Grenfell can be reached at carly.grenfell@drake.edu or @Car1y_g

Guess what? Your lady Bulldogs made it to 20 wins this weekend and ended conference play without losing at home to a conference opponent. We have officially locked in the no. 2 seed for the Missouri Valley Conference tournament and will play our first game on Friday.

We have positioned ourselves perfectly to do something really special. We have talked about being number one since the beginning.

It starts with a great week of practice and mentally preparing for three straight games. There is no doubt in my mind a sharp, efficient week of practice is going to carry over into game time. I absolutely love this time of the year.

This will be my fifth and final conference tournament, which I can hardly believe. I have been to the title games on two separate occasions and we came up short both times. (more…)

Women’s basketball aims to finish their season on top of the MVC

10:45 AM

STORY BY MICHAEL WENDLANDT

It’s March now: The weather is improving, the sun is shining and March Madness is in full-swing. For Drake Women’s Basketball, this is what it all comes down to. This is what they have been working towards.

The long hours in the gym, the thousands of shots taken, and all of the traveling and studying they’ve done. Women’s Basketball team will begin their postseason in St. Charles, Missouri this weekend, hoping to clinch the spot in the NCAA Tournament guaranteed to the winner of the MVC tournament.

As the second seed, Drake has had one of its best seasons ever. With players like Lizzy Wendell as the conference’s leading scorer and Caitlin Ingle, the conference assist leader, expectations are high for the Bulldogs. They made a run to the title game last year where they fell to Wichita State, and it seems likely that the two teams will meet there again this season. For coach Jennie Baranczyk, it’s all just beginning.

“We’re happy about our seed,” Baranczyk said. “We are getting better and are hoping to peak at the right time. This is a special season.”

After their best conference record since 2001-2002, the Bulldogs have big shoes to fill. That team made the Sweet Sixteen and this year’s team hopes to follow in those footsteps.

“We’re ready to play. We’re going to take these wins, but are going to get better and bring it to the tournament,” Wendell said after their victory over Loyola this past Saturday.

In the Valley, there are three clear-cut favorites. Wichita State is the top seed, with a stingy defense and a versatile offense led by MVC Player of the Year Alex Harden. Drake is second, and Missouri State is not far behind in third place after winning their final eight games.

All three teams have a good chance at taking home the title, and only time will tell what will come to pass. But, like every single-elimination tournament, anything can happen.

Missouri State will take on Indiana State Friday night, while Wichita State will face Loyola. Drake will match up with seventh-seeded Evansville, who defeated Illinois State 55-51 on Thursday night.

“It’s time to go for it,” freshman center Becca Jonas said. “We feel we can be the champions.”

If Drake wins on Friday, they will play Saturday afternoon in the semi-finals, leaving them just two wins away from the big dance. Friday’s game will tip-off at 6:05 p.m. at the Family Arena in St. Charles and will be broadcast on ESPN3.

This has been a historic season for the Bulldogs, and the team hopes to truly make it something special and rival the success of their predecessors in 2002.

Men’s Tennis splits two matches against ranked schools

March 12, 2015 1:15 PM

STORY BY ADAM ROGAN

The Men’s Tennis team managed to split a pair of matches in Minneapolis this past weekend. They defeated the University of Washington Huskies 4-3 on Saturday, but then fell to the University of Minnesota Twin Cities Golden Gophers by the same score the next day.

Drake got off to a rough start against Washington, surrendering the doubles point despite a victory from seniors Alen Salibasic and Ben Mullis.

“(Washington is) a very difficult team to match up with. They’re very deep, one through four, any of those guys could play one for them and then there’s not much drop off at five or six there,” head coach Davidson Kozlowski said.

Washington was ranked 54 in the nation before entering the match, but both Kozlowski and Mullis feel that they should be higher up considering how competitive the Huskies are on the court. (more…)