Sports: SMU’s wild season ends with semifinal loss to Santa Clara

Simone du Toit

Sports: SMU’s wild season ends with semifinal loss to Santa Clara

Simone Du ToitEnd of the road: The men’s basketball team ended their wild season with an unfortunate, injury-affected loss to Santa Clara at the semifinals of the CIT on Friday, March 25. The Mustangs (20-15), who found a second life after a first-round defeat in the Conference USA Tournament by participating in the relatively unknown CollegeInsider.com Tournament, enjoyed a string of wins against Oral Roberts, Jacksonville and Northern Iowa before losing to the Broncos (23-14) with a final score of 72-55. Senior star Papa Dia suffered an injury resulting from a foul on him with 8:18 left to go in the first half, and did not return for the rest of the game. Robert Nyakundi and Collin Mangrum scored 14 and 13 points respectively, with Nyakundi posting his 3rd double-double of the season. The Mustangs finished their unpredictable season with 20 wins- the first 20-win season since 1999-2000.

Du Toit nabs another award: Junior shot put/discus athlete Simone Du Toit (pictured) nabbed SMU’s second consecutive C-USA Female Track & Field Athlete Of The Week award on Tuesday, March 29. Du Toit, a native of Johannesburg, South Africa, picked up a pair of North Texas Spring Classic titles last weekend (March 25-27), recording a discus throw of 55.12 meters and a shot put toss of 16.61 meters. This is Du Toit’s fourth weekly honor of her career, and the first this season. She follows last week’s winner, junior Ayla Gill of Auckland, New Zealand, who recorded a winning toss of 61.70 meters in the hammer throw at the TCU Invitational.

Marta LesniakWeekly Marta Lesniak Dominance Segment: As is becoming usual in the SMU Sports community, junior tennis player Marta Lesniak (pictured) received yet another award this week with a performance strong enough to earn her the C-USA Tennis Athlete of the Week award. Lesniak (No.9 national rank) went 4-0 against nationally-ranked squads from No. 9 Baylor and No. 66 UC Santa Barbara, winning a pair in both singles and doubles competition. Her singles victories were against No.11 Sona Novakova of Baylor (6-4, 4-6, (14-12)) and Natalia Lozano of UCSB (6-2, 6-2). Lesniak also teamed up with junior Aleksandra Malyarchikova for the doubles victories, defeating Baylor with a 9-7 mark and posting an 8-3 mark against UCSB. This is Lesniak’s third award this season and the eighth of her career.

Football still lives: The Mustang football team will kick off a grueling spring training camp on Monday, April 4 to prepare for the upcoming Fall 2011 campaign. Head Coach June Jones is expected to hold 15 practice sessions over 27 days, nearly all of which will be at 7 a.m. Practices will generally be closed to the public, but the final practice of the season is open for anyone to attend and is scheduled for Saturday, April 30.

March 31, 2011|Sports|

Sports: Premium seating sold out for 2010 football season

SMU tennis player Marta LesniakPremium seating is sold out for the 2010 Mustang football season, according to a statement from SMU Athletics. With about 4 months remaining before the home opener, SMU has sold all 29 suites and 731 club seats in Gerald J. Ford Stadium. Overall sales are also significantly ahead of last season’s pace. Read more.

Sophomore tennis player Marta Lesniak (right), currently ranked No. 28, begins play in the 2010 NCAA Singles Championship against No. 15 Venise Chan of Washington at 4:30 p.m. CT May 26 in Athens, Georgia. She earned her automatic spot in the 64-person field as Conference USA’s highest-ranked player and is making her second consecutive appearance in the national championship.

Read more, and see a CW 33 News item on Lesniak, featuring Head Coach Lauren Longbotham-Meisner, that aired May 24, 2010. video

SMU thrower Simone Du ToitThe track and field team finished 5th with a score of 76.33 points at the 2010 Conference USA Championships May 13-15 in Orlando, Florida. Sophomore thrower Simone Du Toit (left) – the co-Conference USA Track and Field Athlete of the Week of May 4, 2010 – scored victories in the shot put and discus with throws of 16.33m and 54.06m, respectively. Senior Lauren Kuhner placed third in the discus with a personal best of 47.64m.

The team dominated the women’s 3000m steeplechase as the Mustangs swept medalist honors. Junior Silje Fjortoft took gold with a time of 10:14.67, followed by junior Kristine Eikrem-Engeset and freshman Klara Bodinson with times of 10:28.71 and 10:34.52. Fjortoft also had a 4th-place finish in the 5000m run with a time of 16:33.21. First-year runner Mary Alenbratt finished third in the 1500m with a personal-best time of 4:25.00, and sophomore Amber Evans earned 6th in the 200m dash, finishing in 24.34 seconds.

The 2010 NCAA Regionals take place May 28-29 in Austin, with the national championships scheduled for June 9-12 in Eugene, Oregon. Read more.

May 25, 2010|Sports|

Sports: No. 29 women’s tennis celebrates Senior Day April 10

SMU tennis player Pavi FrancisThe No. 29 SMU women’s tennis team hosts Conference USA rival Rice in the 2010 regular-season finale at noon April 10 in SMU’s Turpin Tennis Center. It is also Senior Day – the final home match for seniors Nicole Briceno, Pavi Francis (right), Casey Kennedy and Sophie Quist. All 4 were members of the 2009 Conference USA championship team, and each will be honored before the event. The Mustangs have a record of 79-21 in dual matches over the past 4 seasons. Read more.

Sophomore Simone Du Toit won the discus event with a throw of 53.61m at the 2010 Texas Relays at the University of Texas April 2. The mark moved her into third in the NCAA season standings and surpassed her previous season-best of 51.13m, accomplished in March at the 2010 Bobby Lane Invitational. In addition, she finished 5th in the shot put with a throw of 16.00m on April 3. Fellow sophomore Victoria Leks finished 5th in the high jump with a mark of 1.71m, an outdoor season-best that also topped her winning performance at the 2010 Bobby Lane Invitational. Read more.

Additionally, the SMU distance medley relay team came in 5th with a time of 11:33.57. The squad included first-year runners Sara Sjokvist and Mary Alenbratt, sophomore Amber Evans and junior Kristine Eikrem-Engeset. Read more.

SMU golfer Brian FragakisFirst-year golfer Brian Fragakis (left) shot a 1-under par 215 to take medalist honors at the UTD Spring Classic at Sherrill Park Golf Club on March 30, carding rounds of 72, 68 and 75. Playing as an individual, Fragakis topped 75 other golfers from over a dozen different men’s golf teams from throughout the state. Read more.

Junior diver Audra Egenolf is among 12 recipients of the 2010 Conference USA Spirit of Service Award, announced by Commissioner Britton Banowsky March 31. Presented three times throughout the season, the award recognizes the community service efforts of the league’s student-athletes, based upon significant community service, good academic standing and participation in their sport. A member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and the Lambda Delta Honor Society, Egenolf’s academic achievements helped her team win the CSCAA Scholar-Athlete Award for its Fall 2009 performance in the classroom. She also posted a national 7th-place finish in the 3-meter board event. Read more.

CBS College Sports has selected 4 more 2010 SMU football games for national broadcast. Home games against Washington State (Sept. 18) and Houston (Oct. 23, Homecoming) will air on the network, as will road games at Navy (Oct. 16) and East Carolina (moved up to Nov. 26 from its original date of Nov. 27). To accommodate the national television broadcasts, the games against Washington State, Navy and Houston will begin at 2:30 p.m. CT. The regular season finale at East Carolina will begin at 1 p.m. CT.

SMU linebackers coach Joe HaeringThe new broadcasts give SMU 6 nationally televised games in 2010. ESPN previously selected the Mustangs’ Sept. 5 season opener at Texas Tech and the Sept. 24 Battle For The Iron Skillet against rival TCU. Read more.

Meanwhile, linebackers coach Joe Haering (right) will be one of ten 2010 inductees into the Western Chapter Of The Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame, the organization has announced. The former NFL assistant coach is in his second season as SMU’s linebackers coach, having joined the staff in the summer of 2009. Haering arrived on the Hilltop after serving 12 seasons as a college scout with the Buffalo Bills. Read more.

April 9, 2010|Sports|

Hot Links: Mustangs take 3rd at C-USA Outdoor Championships

SMU thrower Simone du ToitThe track and field team finished 3rd at the 2009 Conference USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at the Hurricane Soccer and Track Stadium May 16. SMU finished the meet with 96 points, while Rice won with 131. Following the meet, first-year thrower Simone du Toit (right) was named Freshman of the Year. Read more.

First-year standout Marta Lesniak battled No. 4 seed and 2008 All-American Ani Mijacika of Clemson in the opening round of the 2009 NCAA Women’s Tennis Singles Championship, but fell in three sets (7-6, 4-6, 5-7) May 20 at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center in College Station, Texas. Lesniak and her doubles partner, freshman Aleksandra Malyarschikova, begin play for the doubles title May 21. Read more.

SMU golfer Kate AckersonGolfer Kate Ackerson (’09, left) has been named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Team, as announced by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). This marks the third straight season she has been so honored.

A four-time All-C-USA golfer, Ackerson was also a unanimous selection to the 2009 C-USA Women’s Golf All-Academic Team. Read more.

May 21, 2009|Sports|

Hot Links: C-USA Outdoor Championships begin May 14

SMU senior forward Mouhammad FayeThe track and field team will compete in the 2009 Conference USA Outdoor Track and Field Championship May 14-16 at the Hurricane Soccer and Track Stadium in Tulsa, Oklahoma. SMU enters the Championships with a national ranking of No. 23 from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA)

Sophomore Silje Fjørtoft, the 2008 C-USA cross country champion, will defend her 3,000m steeplechase and 5,000m titles this weekend. Last season, she became the first C-USA distance runner to claim both titles in the same outdoor season. Senior Christina Mueller currently holds the league’s 3rd-best distance of 51.13m (167-09) in the discus. She won the 2008 title with a throw of 54.26m (178-00). Currently, first-year teammate Simone du Toit tops the C-USA with a throw of 57.35m (188.02) that ranks 2nd in the nation. Read more.

In men’s basketball, senior forward Mouhammad Faye (left) has been named to the 2009 Senegal national team. The team will compete in the Zone 2 qualifying event of the 2009 African Championships May 15-20 in Mali. If the Senegalese advance from the Zone 2 qualifier, they will compete in the 25th African Championships Aug. 5-15 in Libya. Read more.

May 14, 2009|Sports|
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