The Collegian
Saturday, June 15, 2024

Spider Sports Recap: Week of Feb. 22-28

Men’s basketball

Feb. 23: Win 79-65 vs. University of Massachusetts Amherst

The men’s basketball team beat UMass Amherst 79-65 to improve its record to 13-5 this season and 6-3 in the Atlantic 10 Conference. Graduate student guard Blake Francis led the way for the Spiders with a game-high of 20 points. The Spiders finished with 37 rebounds and 17 assists. Senior forward Nathan Cayo also had a big game with 18 points. Graduate student forward Grant Golden scored 16 points, as well as five assists. Senior guard Jacob Gilyard had a total of nine rebounds, a career-best, as well as six assists and four steals. 

Feb. 26: Loss 67-72 vs. Saint Louis University

The men’s basketball team fell to Saint Louis 67-72. Graduate student guard Blake Francis led the Spiders by matching a career best with six three-pointers and 24 points. Despite playing with a broken middle finger, Graduate student forward Grant Golden was able to score 10 points. Senior forward Nathan Cayo also scored 10 points, and senior guard Jacob Gilyard scored eight points with four assists and three steals. Gilyard now has 343 steals in his career and moves into 11th place on the all-time list in NCAA Division I. 

Women’s tennis

Feb. 24: Loss 3-4 vs. Liberty University

The women’s tennis team fell to Liberty 3-4 after a tough fight. After losing all three double matches, senior Emily Dunbar tied the match 1-1 with a win at No. 1 singles. Liberty then took a 3-1 lead, winning the next two matches. First-year Sara Salemyr had her first collegiate win at No. 5 singles with a 7-5, 6-1 victory. Graduate student Dessi Zlateva forced a third set in the final match and won the final two games 7-5, winning the third set. 

Men’s baseball

Feb. 26: Win 6-2 vs. Mount St. Mary’s University and Win 2-1 vs. Mount St. Mary’s 

The baseball team started off the season with a doubleheader sweep of 6-2 and 2-1 against Mount St. Mary’s. The team thus begins the season 2-0 for the second time in three years. Redshirt sophomore pitcher Jacob Marcus threw five innings and allowed only two earned runs on four hits to go with five strikeouts. The Spider pitchers allowed only three total runs in the two seven-inning games. Graduate student infielders Rich Ciufo and Chris Rinaldi and redshirt junior outfielder Jordan Schulefand scored four times and went a combined 5-for-9. Redshirt junior infielder Dominic Toso added a pair of hits and two runs batted in. Graduate student outfielder Austin Masel also drove in a pair in the win. 

In game two, Mount St. Mary’s got on the board first after a one-out double. Redshirt first-year pitcher/utility Alden Mathes shut out Mount St. Mary’s over the next six innings. UR was able to tie up the game in the second inning. In the fourth inning and with two outs, graduate student outfielder Dan Leckie came in to score after Toso hammered a double, earning the victory. 

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Feb. 27: Win 9-8 vs. Mount St. Mary’s

The team improved its record to 3-0 after beating Mount St. Mary’s 9-8. The Spiders were able to clinch the win after rallying to score three runs in the bottom of the ninth. Graduate student infielders Rich Ciufo and Chris Rinaldi each tallied a pair of hits, with three and two runs batted in. UR gained a lead after scoring five in the first inning. Graduate student pitchers Matthew Plisko and Nolan Collins, redshirt junior pitcher Antonio Balducci, redshirt sophomore pitcher Collin Lowe and Schulefand combined to earn the win. Redshirt junior catcher Drew Blakely led the offense with a 3-for-5 performance and drove in the tying runs in the ninth inning. Ciufo drove a 1-1 pitch to left field, which allowed freshman infielder Chase Conklin to score, earning the win.

Feb. 28: Win 7-5 vs. Mount St. Mary’s

The team improved its record to 4-0 after beating Mount St. Mary’s 7-5. Redshirt senior infielder Justin Cook pushed the Spiders into the lead with a grand slam. The Spiders’ sweep over Mount St. Mary’s in the four-game series was the team’s first sweep of an opponent since March 2019. Cook also drove in five runs batted in in total, tying a career-high. Graduate student outfielder Dan Leckie hit a solo home run and finished 1-for-3. Redshirt junior catcher Drew Blakely had a hit and scored twice; redshirt first-year pitcher/utility Alden Mathes also drove in a run. Junior pitcher Brendan Argomaniz and redshirt first-year pitcher Jeremy Neff both pitched a solid game. Argomaniz scattered five hits and four earned runs to go with two strikeouts in his debut. Neff finished the game allowing only three hits and striking out six batters. UR took the lead for good at the bottom of the sixth. 

Women’s basketball

Feb. 26: Loss 56-70 vs. University of Rhode Island

The women’s basketball team fell to Rhode Island 56-70. Junior guard Kate Klimkiewicz led the Spiders with 16 points and six rebounds. The Spiders outscored Rhode Island 17-16 in the second quarter to lead going into halftime and held on until the fourth quarter, when they were outscored 23-9 and were unable to recover. First-year forward Addie Budnik finished the game with eight points, six rebounds, four assists and three blocks. First-year guard Siobhan Ryan scored nine points, and junior guard Claire Holt scored eight points. 

Feb. 28: Loss 65-70 vs. UMass

The women’s basketball team finished the A-10 regular season with a loss to UMass, 65-70. Junior guard Kate Klimkiewicz led the Spiders with her A-10 high of 23 points. She hit a career-high six three-pointers and had nine rebounds. The Spiders shot 39.3% from the field and hit 10 three-pointers. First-year forward Addie Budnik scored 13 points and had three rebounds and two blocks. Senior guard Alex Parson scored nine points, tying her season-high; she also had four rebounds. UR led 30-25 at halftime, but UMass outscored the Spiders 23-12 in the third quarter. The Spiders outrebounded UMass 46-42.

Men’s tennis

Feb. 26: Win 7-0 vs. Methodist University

The men’s tennis team clinched a 7-0 win against Methodist after winning all three doubles matches and all six singles matches. Junior Alex Wernink and junior John Walsh started off the match by earning a 6-2 win at No. 2 doubles. First-years Alaister Burke and Daniel Kliebhan clinched a 6-1 win at No. 3 doubles. In the No. 1 doubles match, junior Josh Keitelman and graduate student Matt Fernandez won 6-3. 

In singles, Kliebhan picked up his first collegiate win at No. 2 singles. At No. 4 singles, Keitelman gave UR a 3-0 lead after winning in straight sets. First-year Sebastian Miano clinched the win for the Spiders at No. 5 singles. Wernink won at No. 3 singles to give the Spiders a 5-0 lead. At No. 1 singles, Fernandez made it 6-0 after winning in straight-sets. In the final match, Burke forced a third set and won two of the next three games to win at No. 6 singles. 

UR will face Liberty next on March 4 at 3 p.m. 

Women’s Swimming and Diving

Feb. 27: Duke Dog Diving Meet

Three Spider divers started off the season at the Duke Dog Diving Invitational. In the 1-meter event, senior diver Alex Beran tallied a score of 240.45 to advance to the finals and placed seventh overall with a finals score of 226.60. In the 3-meter preliminary round, first-year diver Zazi Halla was the Spiders’ top scorer. Halla earned a score of 260.85, qualifying for the finals and finishing eighth overall. Junior diver Emma Yeakley finished 11th, scoring 229.90, and Beran finished 16th, scoring 195.90. 

Men’s lacrosse

Feb. 27: Win 11-10 vs. Towson University

The men’s lacrosse team rallied to overcome a four-goal deficit to pick up its first win of the season. First-year attacker Luke Grayum led the spiders with his first career hat trick. Senior midfielder Mitch Savoca and graduate student attacker Kevin Todd each scored a pair of goals. The Spiders trailed by four goals in the third quarter, but were able to turn it around in the fourth, outscoring the Tigers 5-1. Sophomore attackers Dalton Young and Richie Connell were both able to score big goals to place the Spiders back into the lead. Senior attacker Ryan Lanchbury scored his 97th career goal, moving into third place all-time in program history. Graduate student goalie Jack Rusbuldt finished with 13 saves in the victory. Junior midfielder Andrew Hamilton led the Spiders with nine ground balls and was 11-of-19 on face-offs.

Women’s lacrosse

Feb. 27: Win 14-11 vs. The College of William & Mary

The women’s lacrosse team beat William & Mary 14-11, improving its record to 3-1. Sophomore midfielder Lindsey Frank led the Spiders with a career-high five goals on five shots. Graduate student midfielder Madison Ostrick scored a hat trick for the team. UR held a first-half advantage in shots, shots on goal, draw controls and ground balls. Graduate student goalie Megan Gianforte had a season-high nine saves and picked up two ground balls in the win. Redshirt senior attacker Sam Geiersback and junior midfielder Marina Miller both scored a pair of goals, and sophomore midfielder Kat Kelley scored her first goal as a Spider. 

Women’s track and field

Feb. 27: George Mason University Winter Fiesta 

The women’s track and field team competed at the George Mason Winter Fiesta indoor meet. Senior Brooke Fazio finished first in the 800m, turning in a flat track time of 2:05.70. Her time converted to a 2:04.27, which secured her return to the NCAA Indoor Championship as the eighth-best time in the country and number one in the A-10. Junior Rachel Helbling won the 500m in a flat track time of 1:14.54, which converts to 1:13.60. Her converted time is the fastest in the A-10 and NCAA. Sophomore Kayla O’Connell finished second in the 800m with a flat track time of 2:11.35 and a 2:09.86 converted time. She is ranked second in the A-10. Junior Kayla Woods placed second in the long jump with a distance of 5.81 meters; junior Tamar Accius qualified for the finals in the 60-meter dash and took second-place overall with a time of 7.74. Accius also placed second in the 200m, with a time of 25.48. 

Men’s track/cross country

Feb. 28: George Mason Winter Fiesta 

Sophomore Jake Schindel and first-year William Tune both ran personal bests in the 800m. Schindel finished third with a flat track time of 1:55.41, which converts to a 1:53.79 mark and leads the A-10. Tune finished sixth with a time of 1:59.37, which converts to a 1:57.69. His converted time ranks fourth in the A-10. 

Contact sports writer Kayla O'Connell at

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