STAFF : Syracuse takes two games from Notre Dame; Injuries start to take toll on tennis team
Syracuse’s eight-game winning streak was finally snapped in a weekend filled with dramatic endings.
After losing its first game in two weeks Saturday, the Orange recovered to win the final two games to take the weekend series against Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind. Two of the three games were decided by one run and came down to the final inning of play.
In the front end of SU’s doubleheader Saturday, the Orange fell 4-3. Syracuse built a 3-2 lead going into the sixth inning, but the Fighting Irish battled back for the win. Notre Dame’s Katey Haus hit a solo home run off SU starter Jenna Caira in the bottom of the sixth. Then in the bottom of the seventh with a runner on third, Caira threw a wild pitch and Notre Dame scored the winning run.
SU bounced back in game two of the doubleheader with a dominant offensive performance in an 8-2 win. Veronica Grant led the way with three RBIs on the day. Freshman Julie Wambold continued her hot hitting, driving in two runs and scoring twice. Pitcher Stacy Kuwik tossed a complete game.
In the rubber game Sunday, Syracuse came through with the late-game magic to earn a 3-2 victory. Down by a run going into the seventh inning, Grant laced her first home run of the season to tie the game up, and then Wambold hit a homer in the eighth inning to put SU on top for good. Caira went all eight innings and allowed just two runs.
With the win, the Orange reached the 30-win mark for the fourth straight season under head coach Leigh Ross.
Syracuse likely needed a weekend sweep on the road at Georgetown and Seton Hall to stay on the right side of the NCAA tournament bubble. The No. 57 Orange has been moving down the rankings despite a string of convincing wins, and the last week of the regular season was no time for a letdown.
But injury problems have been building for the Orange lately, and Syracuse lost Friday for the first time since Feb. 24.
Georgetown snapped the Orange’s five-match winning streak with a 5-2 victory, winning the doubles point and four of six singles matches. Syracuse rebounded Sunday to defeat Seton Hall 5-2 in an almost must-win situation, but the Orange will need a strong Big East tournament performance this weekend in Tampa, Fla., to win and earn an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
Senior co-captain Alessondra Parra and sophomore regular Aleah Marrow were out of this weekend’s lineup with injury issues, and their absence brought freshmen Breanna Bachini and Jimena Wu back into the fold Friday at No. 5 and 6 singles. Bachini lost her match in three sets, while Wu won in straight sets.
Syracuse was forced to forfeit the No. 6 match Sunday due to injury issues. Bachini was hurt in her match against Georgetown and couldn’t play against Seton Hall. This currently leaves the Orange with five healthy players. Marrow and Bachini will not be available for the Big East tournament, head coach Luke Jensen said. He said Parra’s status should be known Monday.
The Orange leaves Tuesday morning for Tampa, and the Big East tournament starts Thursday.
Track and field
Graduate student Jarret Eaton won the 110-meter hurdles Saturday at the UNC Kent Taylor/Joe Hilton Invitational in Chapel Hill, N.C.
His finishing time of 13.77 seconds was 0.34 seconds better than the runner-up and ranks 11th best nationally. It was his first victory of the outdoor season after he finished second at the Auburn Classic last week.
Matt Callanan, Amadou Gueye and Darren McClusky also competed in the 110-meter hurdles, placing seventh, eighth and 11th, respectively.
Frank Taylor took second place in the long jump with a 7.22-meter leap, and Will Watson finished 11th with his jump of 6.47 meters.
For the women, Klarrisa Ricks leaped 5.87 meters to win fifth place in the long jump. Ashley Keyes jumped 5.39 meters, good for 10th place, and Ieva Staponkute’s 5.35-meter leap placed her at 11th.
Staponkute also competed in the triple jump and finished second.
The Orange will compete in the Larry Ellis Invitational in Princeton, N.J., and the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif., next weekend.
The Syracuse women’s crew team competed against No. 12 Radcliffe (Harvard) and No. 20 Dartmouth on Saturday in Boston at the Charles River Challenge. Radcliffe swept the event’s five races to win the O’Leary Cup.
Radcliffe’s varsity eight crew finished with a time of 6:56.8, ahead of Dartmouth’s 6:58.2 and SU’s third-place finish of 7:01.1.
Syracuse’s best finish came in the varsity four race. The crew of coxswain Kristina Herb, Ashley Marsh, Laura Adams, Morgan DiValerio and Amy Ludovici finished second with a time of 8:11.3. Radcliffe cruised to victory with a time of 7:57.9. Dartmouth finished in 8:15.2.
Syracuse’s second varsity eight crew finished third with a time of 7:37.2. Radcliffe, with a time of 7:12.3, easily finished ahead of the Dartmouth Big Green’s time of 7:28.2.
The Orange also competed in the varsity four B race. SU finished third behind Dartmouth and Radcliffe in the race.
The Orange has a weekend off to prepare for the Big East Double Dual on April 28 in Indianapolis, Ind.
-Compiled by The Daily Orange Sports staff
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