The beautiful weather in Ithaca, N.Y., this past weekend brought forth an equally beautiful performance by Buffalo's rowing team. Facing off against their best competition to date, the Bulls finished in second-place in four out of five races on Friday against No. 7 nationally ranked Michigan State and Gonzaga. Buffalo also managed to top Syracuse on Saturday afternoon while also rowing stroke for stroke with the nation's top crew, Yale. Led by sophomore coxswain Alison Sheehan, Buffalo's Second Varsity Eight Boat finished in 6:48.3, only nine seconds behind first-place Michigan State and twenty seconds in front of third-place Gonzaga. Alongside Sheehan were seniors Sam Masucci and Kelsey Tretter, juniors Lindsay DiCosimo and Ashley Hanhurst, sophomores Alexandra Condon, Dakota Smith, and Jacklyn Postulka, as well as freshman Danielle Carlino. "What we have is a very young, talented team," said head coach Rudy Wheeler. "Racing against the competition that we did, and performing how we did against them, definitely makes it seem that we deserve a national ranking." The Bulls also managed to finish second in the Varsity Four race. Buffalo's boat of senior coxswain Britt Marshall, junior Megan Bayley, sophomore Rachel Cuthbert and freshmen Sydney Gilchrist and Sarah Gallagher finished in 7:29.5. The Bulls finished only five seconds behind the first-place Spartans while Gonzaga trailed the pack with a time of 7:46.3. The afternoon races continued the trend of the day as the Third Varsity Eight race saw the Spartans (6:52.4) cross the finish line ahead of second-place Buffalo (7:00.3) and perennial last place boat, Gonzaga (7:01.9). Buffalo grabbed its fourth second-place finish of the day in the Second Varsity Four. Michigan State picked up its fourth first-place finish with a time of 7:34.1, while the Bulls finished 21 seconds later, with a time of 7:55.5. Buffalo's streak of second place finishes snapped in the Varsity Eight Boat race as the Bulls finished in third-place with a time 6:33.1. The Spartans won their fifth race of their flawless day with a time of 6:15.9, while Gonzaga finished in second place with a time of 6:24.2. "Although our Varsity Eight Boat hasn't won a race this year, I think you can accredit that to their schedule of opponents," Wheeler said. "They're racing against some of the top crews in the country and to post the times that they're posting – while actually finishing ahead of them – is impressive in itself." On Saturday, the Bulls were back in the water with steady strides again as the team managed to win four out of five races against cross-state rival Syracuse. However, while Buffalo was able to hold its own, they could not top the countries' No. 1 ranked crew, Yale. The Bulls' Second Varsity Eight Boat shined for the second straight day as they finished the race with a time of 6:48.9, 10 seconds ahead of second-place Syracuse. The Varsity Four Boat raced well again after finishing ahead of the Orange by nearly 16 seconds with a time of 7:32.4. The Bulls' Varsity Eight Boat nearly pulled off a victory in a highly contested race, but lost by three seconds to Syracuse's time of 6:40.6. The program got its first chance in school history to row against a No. 1 ranked opponent during the afternoon races and showed that they could hang tight with a national powerhouse. The Bulls went stroke for stroke with Yale until the Bulldogs eventually pulled away to win the Varsity Eight Boat race. Buffalo finished just under 10 seconds behind Yale, while the Bulls' Second Varsity Eight Boat lost by nearly 12 seconds. "What we have is a very young team that is very talented," Wheeler said. "I'm very encouraged by the results of our team. I'm also pleased that our Varsity Eight raced against the best crews in the U.S. and raced well. All of our crews handled themselves well." After receiving three votes in the latest Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association/USRowing poll, Buffalo hopes that their wins over Gonzaga and Syracuse will get them some more national attention. "That's what this is all about," Wheeler said. "It's all about becoming nationally ranked and going to the NCAA Championships. I took this program over eight years ago and we were ranked 87th out of 90 teams. We've made great progress and we will continue to make great progress going ahead." Buffalo will try to continue their hard work in the water next weekend when they travel to Camden, N.J., for the Knetch Cup. Races will run all day on April 10 and 11. E-mail: email@example.com
The Miller Tennis Center has been a tough place for opponents to play this season and the men's tennis team was hoping to continue that trend as it kicked off conference play over the weekend. Trying to defend a perfect home record so far this year, the Bulls (7-4, 1-0 Mid-American Conference) hooked up with conference foe Toledo (8-11, 0-1 MAC) on Saturday. Buffalo used the home-court advantage to rally and pull off a 4-3 comeback win over the Rockets. Needing to capture victories in two of the final three matches to win the match, the Bulls depended on their fourth and sixth slot players to edge the Rockets. Sophomore Alex Kalinin fell into a deep hole early, dropping the first set of his match against Toledo's Gursher Harika, 6-2. All hope seemed lost as Kalinin trailed 2-0 early in the second set, but the sophomore came to life and rallied to win the next six games, taking the second set, 6-2, to tie the match at one set apiece. Kalinin's surge continued in the next set as he gained an early advantage en route to a 6-2, third set victory to notch a point for the Bulls. "Alex Kalinin really battled out there," head coach Lee Nickell said. The pressure then shifted to freshman George Tibel, who needed to win if the Bulls were to beat Toledo. Tibil dropped the first set, 4-6, to Rockets sophomore Leo Sarria. The freshman then cruised in the second set, winning 6-2. In the third and final set, Tibil fell behind a break at 4-2. The Bulls' hopes of preserving their perfect home record looked slim. But Tibil was able to break Sarria, and in the process took a 5-4 lead. Both players held serve to force the tiebreaker and Tibil defeated Sarria, 7-4, to claim a 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (4) victory. "It was a great win for George Tibel after being down a break in the third set," Nickell said. The Rockets jumped out to an early 1-0 lead after winning two-out-of-three doubles matches. In the first singles match, the Bulls captured a win when sophomore Wojciech Starakiewicz came back from being down a break in the second set to defeat the Rockets' Sven Burus 6-1, 6-4. Toledo then broke the tie score in the second singles match. Junior Aleksandar Elezovic handled Bulls junior Marcelo Mazzetto 6-3, 6-2. In third singles, Rockets junior Nutthavit Likitkumchom needed three sets to defeat senior Kirill Kolomyts, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. Freshmen Vusa Hove won in straight sets in the fifth slot match. Hove defeated Toledo freshman Bryant Dudzik, 6-2, 6-3. The Bulls needed strong performances from many of their players to beat Toledo, and Nickell was pleased with the team's overall effort in the win. "It was a very strong fighting performance for our guys," Nickell said. "We showed great resiliency to come back. Our energy seemed to rise as the game went on and that's what put us over a good Toledo team." E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
On the heels of St. Patrick's Day, the softball team needed to borrow some luck from the Irish to capture a win down in Myrtle Beach, S.C. at the Coastal Carolina Classic. In the first of five games at the Classic, the Bulls (8-16) needed a little help from their opponent to squeak past Oakland (8-18), 6-5, in extra innings. Buffalo's luck ran out in the next game as the Bulls fell behind early to Coastal Carolina (12-13) and dropped the contest 9-1. Buffalo and Oakland battled back and forth for six innings until Oakland put together a rally in the top of the sixth inning. Two Golden Grizzlies reached base and both advanced on a fielder's choice. Junior outfielder Alyssa Deacon stepped up and knocked an RBI double to left centerfield to break the tie and put Oakland ahead 5-4 with just two innings to play. In the bottom of the seventh inning, the Bulls comeback began as freshman outfielder Taylor Franich turned on the jets to get Buffalo over the hump. Franich didn't let a strikeout lower her awareness; she noticed a passed ball and took first base. While on first, the freshman utilized her speed, stealing second and then taking third base on a wild pitch. A few pitches later, with two outs on the board, Franich scurried home on a passed ball to tie the game at five runs apiece. In the first extra frame, the Bulls capitalized on sloppy pitching by Oakland to secure their eighth win of the season. Senior Jaime Sheffler led off the inning with a single and advanced to second base on a throwing error. Sheffler made her way home after pitches hit a series of Buffalo batters, ultimately giving Buffalo the 6-5 win. Senior Sharon Barr threw a complete game in the win, striking out six while only giving up four earned runs. It wasn't Barr's best outing this season, but her eight strong innings got the job done for the Bulls. The Classic continued, but game two ended without another Bulls victory. Buffalo sent junior pitcher Kate Kraus to the mound in game two against host school Coastal Carolina to make the first Division 1-A start of her career. Kraus struggled in the debut outing and yielded six earned runs in just four innings of work. The Chanticleers feasted off Buffalo pitching, accumulating 13 hits on their way to the 9-1 win. Coastal Carolina exemplified a balanced effort as each Chanticleer in the starting lineup accumulated at least one hit. Franich went 1-for-3 in the game and recorded the Bulls' lone RBI. The rest of the Buffalo offense was stagnant all game, collecting only five hits in the loss. Buffalo continued play at the Classic against Sacred Heart (8-8) and Houston Baptist (7-14). For coverage of these games, check Wednesday's edition of The Spectrum. E-mail: email@example.com
It's every college athlete's dream to become a conference champion. But for some of the athletes on the women's swimming and diving team, the title of conference champion wasn't the only dream that came true at the 2010 MAC Championship meet in Oxford, Ohio.
Everyone's college career comes to an end at some point, and one of the toughest things to do is let go and say goodbye. For two Buffalo wrestlers, the end of the collegiate journey arrived this past weekend as seniors Dan Bishop and Andrew Stella wrestled in their last regular-season meet as Bulls. Behind the emotions of their graduating teammates, the Bulls (9-7-1, 2-3 Mid-American Conference) collected their second conference win of the season, defeating Northern Illinois (9-10, 1-4 MAC), 25-8. By getting the win, Buffalo earned its first dual-meet victory over the Huskies since the '00-'01 season. Bishop saved arguably one of his best performances for last. After two periods, Bishop faced a 1-0 deficit against the Huskies' Izzy Montemayor. Just when it looked like Bishop was down and defeated, he recorded a reversal in the third period and held on to collect riding time for a 3-1 win. Another comeback on the afternoon was needed for Stella to close out his collegiate career on a good note. Facing the No. 2 wrestler of the monthly MAC individual rankings, Stella found himself in a quick 4-0 deficit to Northern Illinois' Bryan Deutsch. In the first period, Deutsch dominated Stella with an early takedown and a two-point nearfall. But just like Bishop, Stella left all of his emotion on the mat and came back to pull off a reversal in the second period to put Deutsch on his back at 2:43. Stella's last win marked his 70th career victory for the Bulls. The Bulls also managed to collect wins from their group of nationally ranked wrestlers. In the 165-pound weight class, No. 19 nationally ranked sophomore John-Martin Cannon improved his MAC record to 4-1 with an 11-5 decision over the Huskies' Joe Clothier. Cannon managed to take down Clothier four times to record nine of his 11 points off of takedowns. At 133, No. 17 Kevin Smith won his fifth MAC dual bout of the season. Smith beat Northern Illinois' Tristen DeShazer rather easily, as he possessed a 3-1 lead after two periods and concluded with a 10-3 win. After starting 0-3 in MAC competition, redshirt-freshmen Josh Peters ended his season the right way. Looking for his second consecutive MAC win, Peters faced off with Northern Illinois' Zach Benzio. In the second round, Peters took command of the match with a reversal and two-point near fall. Peters went on to win the 184-pound bout, 10-4, improving his conference record to 2-3. History was made in the 197-pound weight class when junior Jimmy Hamel earned a 14-4 major decision over the Huskies' Scott Penny. The win marked Hamel's 85th career victory and 40th career dual meet victory. Hamel's win moved him into a three-way tie for ninth place in overall career victories at Buffalo. Hamel is now tied with Josh States, who wrestled for the Bulls from 1997-2001, on the Buffalo all-time dual-meet victory list. The Bulls now turn their attention to the MAC Championships. They will be held on March 6 and March 7 at Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Mich. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
In sports, it's more difficult to defend a title than to win it. Buffalo learned that lesson this past weekend when the wrestling team traveled to Newman Arena on the campus of Cornell to wrestle in the 41st Annual New York State Intercollegiate Wrestling Championships.
Sophomore 165-pounder John-Martin Cannon had a rough start to his career as a Buffalo wrestler. But with the help of a caring role model and a promising offseason, this Cannon is locked, loaded and ready to fire on his Mid-American Conference foes.