Author: Ryan Whalen|Tim O’Donnell
Men’s Tennis (1-5 overall, 0-2 SCIAC)
The Occidental men’s tennis team (1-5 overall, 0-2 SCIAC) has participated in a marathon of four matches over the last week and a half, playing three in a row in just the first weekend of spring break. Occidental’s stretch of matches with minimal time for player recovery yielded only a single victory. The squad eased into its frenzied schedule with a dominant display against Austin College on March 7, capturing the competition with a match count of 8-1. The Tigers swept all singles matches and dropped only one doubles match in the victory. The unit then turned its attention to No. 21 Whittier the following day. In sharp contrast to the success against Austin, Occidental was unable to claim a single match, dropping the competition 9-0. In their third match in three days, the black and orange recaptured some of its momentum against Polytechnic Institute of New York. Seniors Josh Dancu and David Cotton and Avery Howard (sophomore) registered singles victories, while first-years Avery Chernin and Trevor Brown took the only doubles match for the Tigers. Despite a close contest, the squad could not claim the match, losing 5-4. Occidental was in progress against Salisbury at the time of publication. The Tigers host Tufts today at 3:30 p.m., opening a stretch of six matches in six days.
Women’s Water Polo (2-14 overall, 0-0 SCIAC)
The Occidental women’s water polo team participated in the Claremont Convergence Tournament (March 7-8) and the Arizona State University Invite (March 14-15) over spring break. Though the team was unable to find much success at the ASU Invite, Occidental did manage to capture a 14-13 overtime victory against Division-I opponent Virginia Military Institute (VMI) in Claremont. Senior attacker Lindsay Albino led the charge offensively for the black and orange, netting 12 total goals over the course of eight games, while fellow senior Morgan McClafferty was close behind with 10 scores.
Women’s Lax (6-1 overall, 5-0 SCIAC)
The Occidental women’s lacrosse team split its only two games over the duration of spring break. The squad dominated the St. Joseph’s Monks 18-4 last Tuesday, as senior Tori Larson returned from injury and led the black and orange with three goals. Seven other Tigers tallied two apiece. However, the Occidental squad saw its six-game winning streak come to and end last Wednesday at the hands of No. 5 Franklin & Marshall in a 19-5 blowout. Larson and Alida Beck (junior) led the Tigers with two goals apiece. Occidental will look to bounce back Tuesday, hosting North Central College at 7 p.m. at Jack Kemp Stadium.
Softball (4-20 overall, 1-3 SCIAC)
The Occidental softball team rattled off its first back-to-back victories of the season two weeks ago, sweeping a doubleheader against St. Katherine College. But the black and orange’s offense has struggled since, as the squad has dropped four consecutive contests. The Tigers continue to scatter hits, registering a combined 33 knocks over the four-game losing streak. However, Occidental has only managed five total runs in the period. The Tigers travel to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CMS) Saturday for a doubleheader at noon and 2 p.m.
Alumni Golf Tournament (March 10)
The Occidental men’s and women’s golf programs hosted an Alumni Tournament and a Hall of Fame dinner on March 10 at the La Canada Country Club. Nine groups with a total of 40 participants signed up for the scramble-style event. Two of the teams ended the round tied at 12-under par and went into a two-hole sudden-death playoff. The winning group, which included Hall of Fame inductee John Olmstead ‘86, eventually finished at 10-under par to take the crown. After the day on the green finished, the participants headed inside for the Hall of Fame dinner. Current head coach Andrew Larkin ‘12 inducted seven members into the inaugural Hall of Fame class. Two of the seven, Olmstead and John Gaines ‘54 attended the ceremony to receive their awards in person. The event helped raise funds for the program and allowed the alumni to interact with current golfers to get a sense of where the program presently stands and where it will head in the future. The current teams could, on the other hand, get a grasp of Occidental golf history. “Overall, the event was very successful,” Larkin said via email. “The past and present of Oxy golf came together for a fun event that showed the alumni this program is in good hands.”
Keilani Ericksen (Women’s Tennis)
Sophomore Keilani Ericksen has again established herself as the ace of the Occidental women’s tennis team (1-2 overall, 0-0 SCIAC). The Waimanalo, Hawaii, native has accounted for at least one match victory in each of the Tigers’ first three competitions. She notched No. 1 singles match victories against Hope International and Principia University while claiming a No. 1 doubles win with teammate Amber Gadsden (junior) against Biola. Ericksen became a powerhouse for the Tigers last season, posting a team-best 7-9 (two unfinished) overall record while switching between No. 1 and No. 2 singles as just a first-year. Her ability to compete and succeed as a newcomer played a significant role in each of Occidental’s five 2013 victories. Already capturing two wins to start off the 2014 campaign, Ericksen is well on her way to equalizing or surpassing her win total from a year ago. Despite her status as an underclassman, the black and orange will have to lean on Ericksen even more than last year due to the loss of Sara Charney (junior) and Catherine Anderson (sophomore) at the end of last season. By improving her win-to-loss ratio, Ericksen could also garner a greater amount of recognition, possibly resulting in an All-SCIAC selection. Ericksen and the rest of the Occidental women’s tennis team will look to open conference play with a win, hosting Whittier Friday at 2 p.m.
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