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WVU Olympic Sports Update


Women's Tennis: WVU Falls to Pirates

MORGANTOWN, W. Va. (April 14, 2012) – The West Virginia University women's tennis team lost the first of its two matches in New Jersey this weekend, as it was defeated by Seton Hall, 4-3, at the Seton Hall Tennis Courts on Saturday afternoon.

"This was a match that we could have and should have won," said coach Tina Samara. "It was a close match that showed who had done the preparation that was necessary throughout the season. When matches come down to the line like that, it can expose who has put in the extra time outside of practice."

The Mountaineers began the match by attempting to take the doubles point from the Pirates.

In the No. 2 doubles match, senior Veronica Cardenas and junior Emily Mathis teamed to take down the duo of Elizabeth Verow and Madison Shoemaker in a dominating 8-0 performance.

Seton Hall was able to overcome that, however, as it earned the doubles point with a win in the No. 1 doubles match.

"We should have won the No. 1 doubles match," Samara said. "Our doubles teams did not communicate well throughout the match. If you want to succeed in doubles, your communication must be solid."

Trailing 2-0, the Mountaineers looked to mount a comeback in singles play.

Cardenas, along with Mathis and freshman Ikttesh Chahal, were able to pull out wins in singles play. The singles win was Cardenas' team-leading tenth of the season.

Chahal's win was her third consecutive singles win and also her eighth of the season, which is good for second on the team.

"I can be critical of Ikttesh sometimes," Samara said. "But she has done the things that are necessary to get better throughout the season. We see the potential she has, and we want her to keep progressing."

Now, with the contest tied at third apiece, the Pirates were able to pull out a victory, as senior Catie Wickline was defeated in the No. 5 singles match.

"Catie hasn't really ever been in the spot to clinch a match before," Samara said. "It was tough for her to be in that spot, but it is what it is."

WVU will close out its regular season Sunday afternoon, as it will travel to Rutgers for a match that begins at 12 p.m.

A full recap of tomorrow's action will be available on MSNsportsNET.com after the completion of competition.



No. 1: Chloe Sher (SHU) def. Mary Chupa (WVU), 6-0, 6-4

No. 2: Emily Mathis (WVU) def. Rocio Portela (SHU), 6-3, 6-2
No. 3: Veronica Cardenas (WVU) def. Elizabeth Verow (SHU), 6-0, 6-2

No. 4: Ikttesh Chahal (WVU) def. Karina Cordero (SHU), 6-3, 6-2

No. 5: Madison Shoemaker (SHU) def. Catie Wickline (WVU), 6-2, 6-1

No. 6: SHU def. WVU, default


No. 1: Sher/Portela (SHU) def. Chupa/Chahal (WVU), 8-4

No. 2: Cardenas/Mathis (WVU) def. Verow/Shoemaker (SHU), 8-0

No. 3: SHU def. WVU, default

Rowing: WVU Crews Advance to Finals

MORGANTOWN, W. Va. (April 14, 2012) – The West Virginia University rowing team concluded its first day of racing at the Knecht Cup, Saturday, with all four crews advancing to the finals of their events.

"All of our crews advanced out of the morning heats to the afternoon semis gaining valuable racing experience in the process," says head coach Jimmy King.  "With their progression to the semis, they all also earned a spot in Sunday's finals."

The novice four secured a place in the Grand Final for the second consecutive year. The crew of Bethany Anne Sapen, Melinda Sharon, Enya Messersmith, Kaitlyn Eason and coxswain Alexandra Basil advanced after crossing the finish line of their semifinal in first place with a time of 8:30.38.

They will race against Villanova ‘A', Duquesne ‘A', Old Dominion, Fairfield and Delaware on Sunday.

Last year, the novice four crew paced the team with a gold-medal finish, taking first place out of 41 overall crews and earning BIG EAST Boat of the Week honors for that performance.

In addition, the varsity eight crew earned a spot in the Petite Final of its event after placing fourth in its semifinal. The crew of Hilary Meale, Jenelle Spencer, Rachelle Purych, Danielle Widecrantz, Kelly Kramer, Shannon Gribbons, Karen Verwey, Courtney Schrand and coxswain Mallory Fisher finished the semifinal race in 6:44.70.

The varsity eight will take on Old Dominion, Drexel, Temple, Miami and George Mason on Sunday.

The varsity four crew comprised of Sarah Hansard, Tamyra Roberts, Rebecca Knecht, Brianna Dendler and coxswain Sarah Cartwright will face Army, Buffalo and Temple along with BIG EAST opponents Rutgers and Connecticut in the Third Final of their event, after finishing their semifinal race in 8:26.19.

Similarly, the second varsity eight crew of Jessica Hurlbert, Mollie Rosen, Elizabeth Duarte, Rachel Cokeley, Jessica Kelly, Amanda Hirsch, Danika Rencken, Lisa Deklau and coxswain Ellen Shular will race against North Carolina, Connecticut, Old Dominion, New Hampshire and Miami in the Third Final of their event, after finishing their semifinal with a time of 7:22.59.

"Just as the competition level increased from heats to semis, the speed of the crews we face tomorrow will increase yet again," King says. "To have success in Sunday's finals, our crews will need to put together complete races from start to finish."

For results from Sunday's finals, visit http://www.regattaworks.com. A full recap will be provided by MSNsportsNET.com.


Strong After First Day in Ohio

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (April 13, 2012) – Multiple WVU athletes earned career-best times and league-qualifying marks Friday for a strong opening to the 2012 Jesse Owens Classic in Columbus, Ohio.

Redshirt sophomore Sarah Martinelli led the team with a solid performance in the 1,500-meter run by placing fourth in a career-best 4:31.76, a league re-qualifying mark as she had already earned rights for the event from the Raleigh Relays. The time was also second-best for the team this season in the 1,500-meter run.

Josie Crouch and Hallie Portner also earned BIG EAST-qualifying marks in the 1,500-meter as Crouch placed 15th in 4:37.61 and Portner placed 16th in 4:37.72. Jordan Hamric arrived just past the qualifying time of 4:38.44, while Letitia Propst (23rd, 4:40.90) and Sarah McCauley (unattached) also had strong performances in the event.

In the discus throw, Heather Adams placed ninth with a distance of 45.11 meters, a league re-qualifying mark for the junior as she easily surpassed the 40-meter requirement. Competing in her first meet since the WVU Holiday Classic to start the indoor season, freshman Karissa Knabenshue earned a BIG EAST distance of 41.61 meters to place 24th in the event.

Redshirt junior Aubrey Moskal competed in the 3,000-meter steeplechase but did not finish the event.

Saturday's Jesse Owens Classic events begin with the pole vault at 10:30 a.m. and end with the 4x400 relay at 3:30 p.m.

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