Thursday, April 24, 2008

Championships and More

It's championship weekend No. 1 in the Centennial Conference, while the remaining sports wrap up their regular seasons with playoff berths and positioning on the line.

Washington at Muhlenberg (Baseball)
It may not be the fashionable doubleheader entering the weekend, but it makes all the difference when the Shoremen (3-13 CC, 7-19) travel to meet the Mules (9-7, 18-16). Muhlenberg has the tie-breaker advantage on both Gettysburg (8-8) and Ursinus (8-8) and needs just one win to secure the final playoff berth. A Sho'men sweep opens the door for the Bullets and Bears. Washington swept the Mules in Allentown in 1998 but is 2-6 at 'Berg since then.

Muhlenberg at Ursinus (Men's Lacrosse)
One team will qualify for the Centennial tournament for the first time ever. Will it be the Mules (4-3, 9-4) or the Bears (4-3, 7-8)? Expect a close game as the games in five-game series have been decided by a total of eight goals. We'll be watching the battle between the brothers Farris - Kyle, a senior who plays for Muhlenberg (32-5-37), and Eric, a sophomore who plays for Ursinus (27-4-31).

Muhlenberg at Ursinus (Softball)
The Bears (12-2, 27-8) are one win away from securing the top seed in next weekend's Centennial tournament. Standing in their way are the Mules (2-10, 6-26), who would like nothing more than to ruin the Bruins' season. A 'Berg sweep opens the door for Haverford (11-3, 21-11) to take the No. 1 seed with a sweep of archrival Swarthmore (9-5, 20-14).

Men's Golf Championship (The Bridges GC, hosted by Gettysburg)
Defending champion Franklin & Marshall is the favorite entering the 54-hole tournament that will decide the Centennial title and the AQ to the NCAA Division III tournament. The Diplomats have a 308.5 average, while McDaniel is second at 313.4. F&M sophomore Joe Fucigna has the lowest stroke average in the CC at 77.18, but Terror freshman Paul Kovalcheck is close behind at 77.24. Don't count out Muhlenberg, who posted a 315.1 stroke average on the year.

Women's Golf Championship (Olde Homestead GC, hosted by Muhlenberg)
It looks like a two-team race between Gettysburg and McDaniel as the 36-hole championship tees off Saturday in New Tripoli, Pa. The Bullets have the lowest stoke average at 384.4 and the top individual in Merrill Fortier (84.7). The Green Terror is second in team average at 392.0, while Valerie Saucier is third among individuals at 89.3. Keep an eye on the Dickinson duo of Kaitlin Van Wagner (86.0) and Ann Gibala (91.0), while Gettysburg rookie Leah Tuscano (91.8) and F&M soph Grace Gallagher (91.9) could also factor for the individual title.

Men's Tennis Championship (hosted by Johns Hopkins)
The defending champion Blue Jays (9-0, 13-5) welcome Swarthmore, Haverford and Washington College to the Charm City for the 2008 CC tournament. Hopkins has the top player in the CC in David Maldow and only dropped two games combined to the three other teams in the field. The Garnet (7-2, 7-9) makes its first-ever trip to the Centennial semis, while the Fords (7-2, 9-7) look to return to the final where they were defeated by JHU last spring. The Sho'men (7-2, 14-2) have won 12 Centennial championships.

Women's Tennis Championship (hosted by Johns Hopkins)
Johns Hopkins (10-0, 13-3) is the defending champion and entertains Swarthmore (9-1, 11-4), Muhlenberg (8-2, 10-4) and Washington College (7-3, 12-5) this weekend. The Blue Jays have a dynamic duo in Anita Bhamidipati and Brittany Matava at the top of the ladder. The Garnet will look to Rachel Wallwork and Jennie Park, while the Mules turn to Jenn Powell and Caitie Druker and the Sho'women count on Allison Daciek.

Women's Lacrosse Championship (hosted by Franklin & Marshall)
Three of the top 12 Division III teams in the country will be on display this weekend in Lancaster as defending Centennial and Division III champion Franklin & Marshall welcomes #4 Gettysburg, #12 Dickinson and unranked McDaniel for the final four. The Diplomats (9-0, 14-1) have won 30 of their last 31 games, including four straight against the Bullets. Gettysburg looks to Centennial Player of the Year Katie Ceglarski to turn things around, while Dickinson looks reach its first-ever Centennial final. McDaniel reached its second straight semifinal with a 22-16 win against Muhlenberg in the first round on Wednesday.

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