WVU Varsity Sports Report

West Virginia University baseball player Austin Markel has been named the West Virginia Athlete of the Week, following a standout performance this past week. The senior went 5-for-12 over the weekend to lead the Mountaineers to a critical series win over rival St. John's.

Markel's three home runs, including one grand slam, helped WVU outscore the Red Storm, 30- 15, while taking two of three games at Hawley Field.

The Elizabethville, Pa., native also drove in nine runs over the three-game set, and slugged 1.250 to help keep WVU tied for first place in the conference with USF. Markel also scored six runs and drew one walk during the weekend. In game one with WVU leading 4-0 in the third inning, Markel hit a grand slam to right field to elevate the Mountaineers to a 9-3 series-opening victory. Although WVU fell, 10-5, in game two, Markel hit a two-run home run to right field in the fourth inning.

In WVU's 16-2 rubber-game victory on Saturday, the centerfielder hit another two-run home run in the first inning to give the Mountaineers a 2-1 advantage, a lead they would not relinquish for the rest of the contest.

Markel leads WVU with eight home runs this season, which is tied for sixth in the Big East.

This Week in Gymnastics

Senior Mehgan Morris will compete at the 2009 NCAA National Championship as an all-around individual competitor, on April 16, at 2 p.m. at the Bob Devaney Sports Center, in Omaha, Neb.

Last Week in Gymnastics

No. 21 WVU (15-8 overall, 10-2 EAGL) has completed its season.

Notes and Quotes

Morris is the first individual WVU qualifier since All-American Janáe Cox in 2007, and the 17th overall … the Belle, W.Va., native will compete in rotation with No. 5 LSU … in order to qualify for All-America status this week, Morris must finish in the top four of an event during her session on Thursday … the top four individuals from each session in each event (plus ties) from the preliminary team and all-around competition will compete in the individual-event competition Saturday, April 18 at 7 p.m. ET. "I'm so excited to go and compete in Nebraska. It hasn't even hit me yet. It's such a huge experience that I've always dreamed about."- Mehgan Morris

This Week in Baseball

The West Virginia University baseball team enters a five-game week as it faces Maryland Eastern Shore on Monday, April 13, at 4 p.m. at Hawley Field … WVU follows with four away contests, including a Tuesday matchup at Duquesne starting at 4 p.m. … the Mountaineers then play at Big East rival Notre Dame on April 17-19 in South Bend, Ind.

Last Week in Baseball

The Mountaineers (25-7, 10-2) took two of three from conference powerhouse St. John's at Hawley Field over the weekend … WVU won game one, 9-3, behind Austin Markel's grand slam and starter Jarryd Summers' quality start … the Mountaineers fell in game two, 10-5, but rebounded to win the rubber game on Saturday, 16-2.

Notes & Quotes

WVU is tied with the 2006 squad for its best start through 32 games in school history … a win over UMES on Monday would give the Mountaineers their best record ever through 33 games … for the first time since joining the Big East in 1996, the Mountaineers have won their first four conference series … WVU has defeated UConn (3-0), Villanova (2-1), Georgetown (3-0) and most recently St. John's (2-1) … WVU is off to its best conference start through 12 games since beginning Big East play with an 11-1 mark in 1997 … Austin Markel led the Mountaineers with three home runs over the weekend, including one grand slam, while batting 5-for-12 with nine RBIs and six runs scored … the Big East Conference announced that Markel received the Conference Player of the Week for his efforts … Coach Greg Van Zant earned his 400th win the last time WVU and UMES faced in 2008 … the Mountaineers have now attained 27 double-digit hit totals in 32 games this season … second baseman Vince Belnome (50) and catcher Tobias Streich (44) continue to sit at first and second place in the conference in RBIs … Streich also leads the Big East with 11 sacrifice bunts … WVU will face Duquesne for the third and final time this season … the Mountaineers took the first two games by scores of 8-5 and 7-5 at Hawley Field in March.

This Week in Rowing

The West Virginia University rowing team is set to travel to Oak Ridge, Tenn., for the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championship Regatta on April 18-19.

Last Week in Rowing

The Mountaineers completed their trip to the 2009 Knecht Cup on the Cooper River in Camden, N.J., with two boats placing in the grand finals.

Notes and Quotes

The Varsity 4+ boat led over the weekend as it placed fourth in the grand finals with a time of 9:02.1, while the Novice 4+ Team ‘A' also saw an excellent finish, with a third-place showing in the grand finals ... the Varsity 4+ boat of Jenelle Spencer, Kimberly Benda, Alita Meyers and Brett Krumholz, with coxswain Stephanie Brown, finished behind Tulsa (8:44.5), Philadelphia (8:54.7) and Old Dominion (8:55.3) … the novice crossed the line with a time of 9:30.7, behind Loyola (9:05.0) and Tulsa (9:13.2) ... the Novice 4+ Team ‘A' qualified for the grand finals with first-place finishes in both Heat 1 (8:28.0) and the semi-finals (8:50.5) on Friday ... WVU's second-Varsity 4+ captured first-place, as they finished in 64:30.0, in front of Boston College (64:33.5) ... also racing this weekend was Junior Stephanie Roof, who competed for the Mountaineers in the single event, where she finished in fifth with a time of 11:14.1 ... in other races, the Varsity 8+ finished in fifth in third-finals with a time of 7:43.2, while the Novice 8+ placed fifth in the semi-finals (7:54.2) ... both the Novice 4+ Team ‘B' and the Varsity Pair raced well this weekend, but failed to qualify for finals.

This Week in Tennis

The West Virginia University tennis team is waiting to hear its seeding for the Big East Championship which is to be announced later this week ... the championship is to be held on April 16-20, in Tampa, Fla.

Last Week in Tennis

WVU was idle last week.

Notes & Quotes

Junior Monique Burton led the Mountaineers over the week with a 3-0 record in singles play, with wins over Georgetown's Lacey Herchek, 6-2, 6-1, Rutgers' Caitlin Baker, 6-2, 6-2, and UConn's Katie Moritz, 6-4, 7-5 ... the Mountaineers dominated the Hoyas taking all nine matches on the day … junior Stephanie LaFortune and freshman Kathryn Haught posted great wins as each won in a third-set tiebreaker … LaFortune started off with a huge 1-6, 7-5, 10-5 victory over Caroline Kuehn at the No. 1 spot, while Haught defeated Mazi Thiels 6-7, 7-6 (3) at the No. 2 spot ... sophomore Ashley Pilsbury also played well as she captured her third-straight win, with a 6-2, 6-2 defeat over Alex Sebia at the No. 5 spot, while junior Olga Elkin defeated Aileen Shea 6-1, 6-2 at the No. 3 spot, and freshman Veronica Cardenas, defeated Jacquie Harrison, 6-1, 6-1 at the No. 4 spot ... in doubles play, LaFortune and Burton posted their fifth-straight win, with an 8-4 victory over Sebia and Thiels at the No. 2 spot, while Cardenas and Elkin captured an 8-3 win over Kuehn and Brown at the No. 3 spot ... against Rutgers the Mountaineers saw several highlights, including Burton's win and two third-set tiebreakers as Haught fell to Katherine Arlak ,4-6, 6-2, 6-2, at the No. 2 spot, and Elkin fell to Jennifer Holzberg, 4-6, 6-2, 6-7 (2), at the No. 3 spot ... Elkin helped to clinch the match for the Mountaineers against UConn, with a 6-4, 7-5 victory over BreAnne Cheung at the No. 3 spot, while Haught defeated Allison Campitiello in a tough 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 match at the No. 2 spot ... Pilsbury then posted a 6-4, 7-5 victory over Katie Moritz ... the Mountaineers took the doubles point, as. LaFortune and Burton recorded an 8-3 win over Lorusso and Emily Herb, while Elkin and freshman Veronica Cardenas defeated Moritz and Gregory 8-1.

This Week in Track and Field

The team will host the WVU Invitational at the Mountaineer Track on Saturday, April 18.

Last Week in Track and Field

The Mountaineers competed in the Sea Ray Relays on April 10-11, in Knoxville, Tenn., while some of the team competed at the RMU Bennie Benson Invitational on April 11 ... in day one of the Sea Ray Relays, Chelsea Carrier took second place in the 100-meter hurdles … her time of 13.49, topped her NCAA Regional qualifying time of 13.63, set on April 4, and was the second-best time of her career … sophomore Brooke Boening and junior April Rotilio took fifth-place finishes in the 5,000-meter and 400-meter events, respectively … Boening posted a Big East qualifying time of 17:29.87, while Rotilio's time of 55.53 qualified her for both the Big East and ECAC Championships ... in day two, senior Alison Spiker won the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 10:44.15 … her time qualifier her for the NCAA Regionals and both the ECAC and Big East Championships ... at the RMU Invitational, the Mountaineers finished one through six in the 1,500-meter race … Sarah-Anne Brault finished first (4:44.51) followed by Jordan Hamric (4:48.10), Hallie Portner (4:48.85), and Aubrey Moskal (4:49.27) who all ran unattached … Jamie Cokeley finished in fifth-place (4:47.58), the only counter for WVU, followed by unattached Mountaineer, Lauren Moskel (5:05.79) … Meghan Mock finished second in the 400-meter (1:00.58), while Olivia Shimko placed third in javelin, reaching 33.98-meters … Mock also took second in the high jump event (1.55-meters) followed by Brittany Wolford who finished fifth after leaping 1.50-meters.

Notes & Quotes

Spiker now joins Alex Acker, Carrier, Natasha Redman Ahna Lewis, Clara Grandt and Karly Hamric as qualifiers for the NCAA Regional meet.

"As a group, the team ran very well and saw itself improve. Each week, we are running better than the last. We need to continue to increase out mental game in order to fulfill our potential, and I have faith that we will do just that." - Coach Sean Cleary

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