Varsity Sports Report

Following an impressive effort at the 2009 Great American Rifle Conference (GARC) Championships, sophomore Tommy Santelli has been named the WVU Student-Athlete of the Week.

Santelli turned in a strong performance for the Mountaineers this weekend, as the team pushed for the title but finished second with a 4645 aggregate score. Kentucky won the championship with a 4650 score.

The Prosperity, Pa., native finished with the championships' top score of 1169, scoring 591 in air rifle and 578 in smallbore. Santelli finished second overall in air rifle with a score of 693.8, and fifth in smallbore with a score of 674.5.

Additionally, prior to the championships, Santelli earned three conference honors. He was named to the GARC All-Conference Smallbore and Combined Score Second Teams, and the GARC All-Conference Air Rifle Honorable Mention Team. This is the second year Santelli was honored, as he was named to the GARC All-Conference Smallbore Second Team last season

Special Notes of the Week

  • The WVU wrestling team will compete at the EWL Tournament in Lock Haven, Pa., on March 7.

  • The women's basketball team plays its last regular season game against Notre Dame on Monday before competing in the Big East Conference tournament which begins Friday. All 16 teams will participate for the first time in league history.

  • The 2009 baseball home opener is set for March 6, against New Jersey Tech. First pitch will be at 3 p.m. at Hawley Field.

    This Week in Women's Basketball

    The Mountaineers play their last regular-season game against Notre Dame on Monday, March 2, in South Bend, Ind. … the women then travel to Hartford, Conn. to compete in the Big East Conference tournament.

    Last Week in Women's Basketball

    WVU (16-12, 5-10 Big East) went 1-1 at home this past week, falling to Pitt, 72-60, on Feb. 24, before defeating Syracuse, 69-68, on Feb. 28 … WVU received a team-high 17 points from sophomore Liz Repella, who registered 13 in the second half, and senior Takisha Granberry scored 16 points on 3-of-7 shooting from beyond the arc in the loss against the No. 15 Panthers … Pitt's attack led by Shavonte Zellous and Shayla Scott … Zellous scored a game-high 25 points, including 16 in the second half, for her 50th career 20-point game, 18th this season … she also added six rebounds and two assists, while playing with four fouls in the second half for Pitt, which improves to 21-5 overall, 11-3 in league action.

    Against Syracuse, Ashley Powell scored 16 points and dished out 10 assists for her first career double-double in her last regular-season game at the WVU Coliseum to lead West Virginia to a 69-68 win … Granbeery scored 17 points on 4-of-9 shooting from beyond the arc, including some key shots in pivotal situations to help the Mountaineers to the victory … Natalie Burton finished the game with her first career double-double and the second game where she scored in double digits … the Australian native scored 10 points, while bringing down 10 rebounds … Sarah Miles also had a double-digit day with 10 points, nine rebounds and four assists.

    Notes and Quotes

    A crowd of 3,257 fans attended the WVU-Syracuse game ... it was the seventh largest crowd to see a WVU women's basketball game ever at the Coliseum ... the game also honored WVU seniors Ashley Powell and Takisha Granberry.

    "What a difference a crowd makes," Carey added. "I'll tell you what – we couldn't have come back from 12 without the crowd. That crowd was fantastic."

    This Week in Baseball

    The West Virginia University baseball team is scheduled to play at Big South foe Radford on Wednesday, March 4, at 3 p.m. … WVU begins its 10-game home stretch this weekend with a four-game series against New Jersey Institute of Technology on Friday, March 6, at 3 p.m. at Hawley Field.

    Last Week in Baseball

    The Mountaineers went 1-1 in a rain-filled weekend at the Baseball at the Beach Tournament in Myrtle Beach, S.C. … WVU began its Friday doubleheader with an 11-6 victory over Southeastern Conference opponent Tennessee … Jedd Gyorko and Grant Buckner each tallied three hits apiece, while Justin Parks, Vince Belnome, Tobias Streich and Joe Agreste each had two RBIs on the day … relief pitcher Chris Enourato earned the victory after giving up one earned run in 4.1 innings pitched … WVU fell in its second game against No. 18 Coastal Carolina, 15-5 … Austin Markel went 2-for-5, including a double … Belnome and Buckner each had two hits to lead the Mountaineer offense.

    Notes & Quotes

    Through six games, WVU continues to produce at the plate with a .351 batting average … WVU has amassed double-digit hit totals in all six games … No. 7 hitter and starting right fielder Grant Buckner leads WVU with a .458 batting average … Buckner has totaled 11 hits in 24 at-bats, including four doubles and seven RBIs … Chris Enourato has now earned a win and a save in two appearances this season … a key point in WVU's 11-6 win over the Volunteers was Tobias Streich's go-ahead solo home run with two outs in the seventh inning … the Mountaineers had two games canceled over the weekend, including a matchup with Brown on Saturday afternoon and rematch with Coastal Carolina on Sunday morning.

    This Week in Gymnastics

    The No. 20 Mountaineers host No. 19 Penn State on Sunday, March 8, at 1 p.m. … the meet, the final home contest of the season, will honor the team's three seniors – Heather Izer, Mehgan Morris and Erica Watson.

    Last Week in Gymnastics

    WVU (8-6 overall, 4-1 EAGL) defeated Kentucky, 195.425-194.650, Sunday, March 1, at the WVU Coliseum … the point total is the squad's fourth-straight 195.000-plus … senior Mehgan Morris continues to excel within the friendly confines of the Coliseum, as she finished first in the all-around with a career-best 39.475 points … the Belle, W.Va., native tied for first on the bars (9.875) and beam (9.850), won the floor (9.950) outright, finished third (9.800) on the vault, matched two career highs and set an additional, and achieved one season-best … sophomore Amy Bieski also was strong, as the Nanticoke, Pa., native finished second overall with 39.225 points, matching a seasonbest previously set on Jan. 31 in the Mountaineers' home quad-meet … Bieski tied for first on the vault (9.825) and was second on the floor (9.875) … the Mountaineers trumped the Wildcats on three of the four events … WVU won the vault (48.950-48.800), the bars (49.050-48.700) and the floor (49.150-48.675) … UK took the beam (48.475- 48.275) … freshman Tina Maloney tied Bieski for first on the vault, matching a career-best … junior Kiersten Spoerke tied Morris on the beam.

    Notes and Quotes

    WVU's point total matches the 34th-best in program history … the Mountaineers' bars score is a season-high … the team was unflappable on the apparatus, as it set three season – and career-bests … Morris anchored the team's lineup and not only came through with a first-place performance, but also scored a season-high with 9.875 points … sophomore Naja Johnson preceded Morris with her own top performance, finishing second overall with a career best 9.850 points … freshman Nicole Roach finished third with 9.800 points … sophomore Jessica Young opened the rotation strong, scoring a season-high and matching a career-high with 9.750 points, while junior Ashley Wilson matched Young's score with her own season- and career-highs … Morris' third place vault finish matched a career-high set last week at Oklahoma … additionally, Morris' floor score matched season- and career-highs, her beam score set a career-high and her bars score was her highest this year … through 47 career meets, Morris totals 1,427.825 points and ranks No. 16 on the WVU career point list … though the Mountaineers' score improved their RQS to 194.930, they remain ranked No. 20.

    This Week in Rifle

    The No. 3 Mountaineers take a week to prepare for the NCAA Championships … the tournament will be held March 13-14, at TCU.

    Last Week in Rifle

    WVU finished second at the Great American Rifle Conference Championships on March 1 with a 4645 aggregate score … the Mountaineers won the air rifle competition (2350) and finished second in smallbore (2295) … sophomore Tommy Santelli finished the weekend with the championships best combined score, earning 591 air and 578 smallbore for an 1169 aggregate score … Santelli led three Mountaineers in the air rifle finals, as the Prosperity, Pa., native finished second overall with a 693.8 score … junior Bryant Wallizer took third with a score of 692.3, while freshman Michael Kulbacki earned an eighth-place finish with a score of 686.6 … prior to the air rifle finals, Santelli paced WVU's air rifle scoring team, shooting 591 (99, 99, 98, 99, 97, 99) … Wallizer shot 589, including one 100 string (98, 98, 98, 97, 98, 100), while Kulbacki earned a 586 (98, 94, 97, 99, 99, 99) … the Mountaineers' final counter, sophomore Andy Lamson, shot 584 … classmate Kyle Smith matched Lamson's score … three Mountaineers placed in the individual smallbore finals … sophomore Brandi Eskew finished fourth overall with a score of 676, while Santelli and Smith finished fifth (674.5) and seventh (671.7), respectively … Santelli paced the Mountaineers' smallbore scoring team, scoring 578 … Santelli was particularly strong in prone, scoring 196 (99, 97) … Smith finished one point behind Santelli, scoring 577, and shooting 197 (99, 98) prone, 193 kneeling (98, 95) and 187 standing (93, 94) … the Mountaineers' additional two smallbore counters were Lamson (575) and Wallizer (565) … Eskew qualified for the smallbore finals with a strong 576 score … the Petersburg, W.Va., native shot 196 prone (97, 99), 192 kneeling (97, 95) and 188 standing (95, 93).

    News and Notes

    Kentucky, the only team to defeat WVU in the regular season, won the championships with a 4650 aggregate score … after finishing ahead of WVU yesterday through the smallbore competition (2310-2295), the Wildcats maintained their edge despite finishing second in the air rifle with a 2340 score … Nebraska finished third (4620), while host Ole Miss finished fourth (4576) and 2008 champion Army finished fifth (4553) … the finish is the Mountaineers' best since they finished second in 2003 … WVU won the air rifle for the second-consecutive year, as the team finished first last season with a score of 2336 …on the eve of the championships, Wallizer was honored on the GARC All-Conference Air Rifle First Team, while Smith was named to the GARC All-Conference Smallbore First Team … additionally, Lamson was named to the GARC All-Conference Combined Score First Team … the trio are the first WVU first-team honorees since Nicole Allaire was named to both the GARC All-Conference Smallbore and Combined Score First Teams in 2003 … Lamson and Smith also shared an award, as each was named a GARC Scholar-Athlete … it was the second-consecutive award for Lamson … Lamson was also named to the GARC All-Conference Smallbore and Air Rifle Second Teams, while Wallizer was honored on the GARC All-Conference Combined Score Honorable Mention Team … Santelli earned three honors at the banquet … he was named to the GARC All-Conference Smallbore and Combined Score Second Teams, and the GARC All-Conference Air Rifle Honorable Mention Team … this is the second year Santelli was honored, as he was named to the GARC All- Conference Smallbore Second Team last season … Eskew, as well as Kulbacki and Justin Pentz, were also multiplehonorees … Eskew was named to the GARC All-Conference Smallbore and Combined Score Second Teams, her third and fourth career honors, as she was named to the GARC All-Conference Smallbore and Combined Score Second Teams last year … Kulbacki was honored on the GARC All-Conference Air Rifle Second Team, and Pentz was placed on the GARC All-Conference Smallbore Honorable Mention Team … additionally, both were honored on the GARC All-Conference Combined Score Honorable Mention Team.

    This Week in Track and Field

    The Mountaineers travel to South Bend, Ind. to compete at the Notre Dame Last Chance meet on March 6-7.

    Last Week in Track and Field

    WVU did not particpate in the NYU Fastrack meet originally scheduled for Friday, Feb. 27, and were idle.

    Notes & Quotes

    The 2009 NCAA Indoor National Championship will take place on March 13-14, in College Stations, Texas ... last year, the distance medley relay team finished fourth, while Marie-Louise Asselin took seventh with a time of 9:14.44 in the 3,000-meter run.

    This Week in Tennis

    The West Virginia University tennis will travel to College Park, Md., for a 3 p.m. match against Maryland on Friday, March 6, and a 10 a.m. match against Brown on Saturday, March 7.

    Last Week in Tennis

    The Mountaineers (5-7, 1-2 Big East) went 0-2 this past weekend as they fell to Big 12 foes Nebraska 6-1, on Friday, Feb. 27 and Iowa State, 6-1, on Saturday, Feb. 28. Notes and Quotes Sophomore Ashley Pilsbury captured the only victory against the Huskers as she defeated Stephanie Evans in a hard-fought 6-2, 4-6, 1-0 (5) match ... the victory gave Pilsbury her fourth-straight win ... on Saturday against Iowa State, the Mountaineers captured the doubles point as junior Gabriela Blaskovicova and Pilsbury defeated Erin Karonis and Jana Albers 8-4, and junior Olga Elkin and freshman Veronica Cardenas defeated Bolan Tarkoe and Reka Kelemen, 8-4.

    This Week in Wrestling

    The West Virginia University wrestling team will compete at the EWL tournament in Lock Haven, Pa., on March 7 … the all-day affair is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. at Lock Haven's Thomas Fieldhouse.

    Last Week in Wrestling

    The Mountaineers were idle.

    Notes & Quotes

    The Mountaineers finished the regular-season with a 8-4-2 overall mark and a 4-0-2 record in league action … WVU finished the season with an eight-match unbeaten streak (6-0-2 record).

    This Week in Swimming & Diving

    The West Virginia University swimming and diving teams ended its season last weekend and will find out who will go to the NCAA Championships in the coming weeks.

    Last Week in Swimming & Diving

    The Mountaineers were idle.

    Notes & Quotes

    Junior Brandon Robinson will be the first Mountaineer diver in recent years to go to the NCAA Zone Diving Championships ... they will be held from March 13-15 in Buffalo, N.Y. this event is to see who qualifies for the NCAA Championships.

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