Hot Links: Women’s tennis begins NCAA title drive May 9

NCAA Championships

Hot Links: Women’s tennis begins NCAA title drive May 9

SMU tennis player Marta LesniakForty-six SMU student-athletes have earned the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Medal during the 2008-09 academic year. They are among 394 medal winners leaguewide, each of whom has achieved a cumulative G.P.A. of 3.75 or better. The 46 Academic Medal winners represent an increase of almost 25 percent for SMU, which had 37 medal-winners a year ago. See the complete list of winners here.

The No. 23 and Conference USA champion women’s tennis team will face No. 38 Texas A&M in the first round of the 2009 NCAA Championships at 11 a.m. May 9 at the Baylor Tennis Center in Waco. First-year player Marta Lesniak (No. 59, right) will compete for the individual title as well as the doubles championship with partner Aleksandra Malyarchikova, also a first-year player. Currently C-USA’s top-ranked doubles team at No. 32, Lesniak and Malyarchikova went undefeated in 13 matches this spring. Read more.

SMU thrower Simone du ToitFirst-year thrower Simone du Toit (left) was named the Conference USA Outdoor Track and Field Athlete of the Week for the week of May 4, 2009. She posted the second-longest throw in the nation this season with a winning discus toss of 57.35m (188-02.0) at the Mean Green Twilight April 30, setting a school and stadium record and surpassing the NCAA Regional standard. Read more.

Meanwhile, the entire track and field team jumped 10 spots to a No. 23 ranking in this week’s U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) outdoor track and field poll. Three standouts combine to rank in the nation’s top 15 in five different events: Freshman Simone du Toit, ranked 2nd in the discus and 10th in the shot put; sophomore Silje Fjørtoft, ranked 3rd in the steeplechase and 12th in the 5,000m; and first-year competitor Viktoria Leks, ranked 15th in the high jump. Read more.

The men’s basketball team will be one of eight to play in the inaugural Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu, Hawaii, Dec. 22-25, 2009, as announced by ESPN Regional Television, Inc. The field includes Hawaii, College of Charleston, Saint Mary’s (California), UNLV, USC, Western Michigan and one team to be determined. The games will be played Dec. 22, 23 and 25 at the Stan Sheriff Center. This will be the Mustangs’ fourth trip to Honolulu for a tournament, but the first since the 1987-88 season. Read more.

May 7, 2009|Sports|

Hot Links: Special-teams coach Frank Gansz dies at age 70

Frank GanszSMU Assistant Coach Frank Gansz passed away on April 27, 2009. He was 70. Considered perhaps the top special-teams coach in NFL history, he was starting his second season on the Hilltop.

“I am deeply saddened by the loss of my good friend,” said SMU Head Coach June Jones. “Frank has been a second father to me for the past 30 years and he has touched the lives of many, both at SMU and throughout the National Football League. I was lucky to have known Frank, and not only was he a wonderful person, but he was a father to everyone he has ever coached. He will live on with us.”

Gansz was a veteran of 38 seasons of coaching, 24 in the NFL and 14 in the collegiate ranks. “He was the guru of special teams,” former Kansas City Chiefs Vice President Lynn Stiles told the Kansas City Star. Gansz coached for the Chiefs throughout the 1980s and was special-teams coach for the St. Louis Rams during their Super Bowl-winning season in 1999. Read more.

Lauren Longbotham MeisnerThe No. 23 women’s tennis team will face No. 38 Texas A&M in the first round of the 2009 NCAA Championships at 11 a.m. May 9 at the Baylor Tennis Center in Waco. The Mustangs received an automatic bid for winning the Conference USA title. Head Coach Lauren Longbotham-Meisner (left) was named Conference USA Coach of the Year after leading SMU to its best season in program history First-year player Marta Lesniak was named Freshman of the Year and C-USA Singles Player of the Championship, as well as Outstanding Doubles Team of the Championship with freshman partner Aleksandra Malyarchikova. Read more.

Men’s golf team members Kelly Kraft and James Kwon have been selected as All-Conference USA performers for the 2008-09 season. Kraft was named to the first team for the second consecutive year, while Kwon was selected for the second team and the All-Freshman squad. The awards were voted on by the league’s 11 head coaches. Read more.

SMU punter Thomas MorsteadSenior punter Thomas Morstead (right) was selected by the New Orleans Saints in the 5th round of the 2009 NFL Draft April 26. Morstead becomes SMU’s first NFL draft pick since 2007, when Justin Rogers, now with the Dallas Cowboys, was chosen by the New England Patriots. As the 164th overall selection, Morstead is SMU’s highest draft pick since the Saints took SMU linebacker Chris Bordano 161st overall in 1998. Read more.

April 30, 2009|Sports|

Hot Links: 176 Mustangs make Commissioner’s Honor Roll

2008 NCAA Men's Golf ChampionshipsOne hundred seventy-six SMU student athletes from 16 sports have been named to the Conference USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll. To qualify, a student must carry a cumulative G.P.A. of 3.00 or higher. The honored students represent more than 41 percent of SMU’s total number of athletes. Read more.

The men’s golf team has been selected to compete in the 2008 NCAA Men’s Golf Championships, the Division I Men’s Golf Committee announced May 5. The Mustangs were assigned to the East Regional, which will be held May 15-17 and played at Council Fire Golf Club in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The team has been seeded No. 18. Read more.

May 8, 2008|Sports|

Hot Links: Galloway, Killen receive 2008 “M” Awards

SMU varsity fourJunior marketing major Andrew Galloway, football, and senior business management and sociology major Jon Killen, men’s basketball, have been honored with 2008 “M” Awards, SMU’s highest honor for service to the University. Read more, and find lists of other winners from the 2008 Awards Extravaganza and Honors Day Convocation.

For the second season in a row, the women’s golf team has been honored by the NCAA with a public recognition award for its latest multi-year Academic Progress Rate score. To be honored, a team must post a multi-year APR score in the top 10 percent of all squads in its sport. Read more.

The rowing team won two gold, one silver and one bronze medal at the Midwest Intercollegiate Rowing Championship April 26, 2008 in Omaha. The Mustangs placed second as a team after getting edged 94-93 by conference rival Tulsa. Read more.

The men’s tennis team received its highest national ranking of the season, No. 40, on April 28, 2008. The team will make its 11th trip of the past 12 seasons to the NCAA Tennis Championships May 10, facing regional rival Texas A&M (No. 25) at Baylor University in Waco.

May 1, 2008|Sports|

Hot Links: Red/Blue Game 2008 set for April 5

Jillian Samuels, SMUSophomore guard Jillian Samuels (left) sank 4 three-pointers to establish a new SMU record for shots from long range in an NCAA Tournament game during the Mustangs’ 75-62 loss to Notre Dame in the first round of the 2008 tournament, March 23 at Purdue University’s Mackey Arena. Samuels also raised her single-season three-pointer total to 72, another SMU record. The women’s basketball team ends the 2007-08 season with a school-record 24 wins. Read more.

The football team‘s 2008 Red & Blue Game will take place at 1 p.m. April 5 in Ford Stadium. At 7 p.m., the men’s soccer team faces Tyler Junior College in a night-cap scrimmage at Westcott Field. Admission to both games is free. Read more.

March 27, 2008|Sports|
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