USF Maintains Lead In Softball Standings, But Contenders Loom
USF has extended its winning streak in softball to a school-record 18 games and sits at 11-0 in BIG EAST play. After a three-game series with Connecticut this weekend in Storrs, Conn., the Bulls will head to Louisville for a doubleheader next Wednesday. The Cardinals are 9-2 in BIG EAST play, but take a 35-2 overall record into this weekend’s three-game set against Longwood. Louisville is ranked No. 12 in this week’s USA Today/NFCA top-25 poll, while USF checks in at No. 18. Syracuse, which has won the last two BIG EAST Championship titles, is tied with DePaul for second place in the league standings at 5-1.
Red Storm Rising In Men’s Lacrosse
The St. John’s men’s lacrosse team has not had a winning season since the program was reinstated from a nine-year hiatus in 2005. But the Red Storm, under sixth-year head coach Jason Miller, have turned the corner this year, to the tune of a 6-4 record heading into Saturday’s BIG EAST game at Villanova. The six wins are the most since St. John’s went 8-6 in 1995, while the Red Storm sit at No. 20 in the Nike top-20 poll. St. John’s is 2-2 in BIG EAST play and has an inside track on qualifying for a spot in the first BIG EAST Men’s Lacrosse Championship.
Louisville Baseball Opens Eyes Against Top-Ranked Kentucky
The nonconference rivalry between Louisville and Kentucky is spirited in any sport – most notably on the heels of the schools’ meeting in the men’s basketball Final Four last week. Along those lines, the first of two baseball meetings between the Bluegrass State rivals came with both teams ranked in the national polls. Louisville was ranked as high as No. 19 in one poll, while Kentucky was ranked No. 1 in the Collegiate Baseball poll. Louisville came away with a 12-0 win against the Wildcats in Lexington Tuesday as the Cardinals limited the hosts to just four hits – all singles – to improve to 24-9 on the year. The Cardinals sit at 7-2 in BIG EAST play, trailing first-place USF and Connecticut by one game heading into this weekend’s series against Seton Hall.
Syracuse Keeps Rolling In Women’s Lacrosse
Syracuse’s women’s lacrosse team has extended its winning streak to eight games, as the No. 2-ranked Orange take a 9-2 overall record and a 3-0 BIG EAST mark into Saturday’s game against No. 14 Georgetown. Syracuse and Georgetown are two of the four BIG EAST teams that are ranked among the top 14 nationally as Notre Dame sits at No. 8 and Loyola is No. 11. Saturday’s Syracuse-Georgetown game will be televised live at 2:30 p.m. ET on the CBS Sports Network.
BIG EAST Track & Field Standouts Make Their Marks Last Week
A number of BIG EAST track & field athletes moved into the national top 10 performances in their respective events last week as the outdoor season hit full swing. Notre Dame’s Jeremy Rae turned in the nation’s fourth-fastest time (3:41.34) in the 1,500-meter run at the Stanford Invitational, while Rebecca Tracy from Notre Dame stands sixth nationally in the 1,500 after she finished in 4:19.39 at that meet. Syracuse’s Heather Stephens and Louisville’s Holly Knight both took advantage of the quality field at Stanford as well. Stephens stands second in the 3,000-meter steeplechase after she finished in 10:11.51 in Palo Alto, while Knight ranks eighth in the 10,000-meter run after a 33:08.99 finish. Louisville’s throwers competed at the Tennessee Challenge, where Chinwe Okoro (55.90 meters) and Khadija Abdullah (54.75 meters) turned in the third- and seventh-best marks nationally in the discus, while Jenna Wargo (52.04 meters) emerged with the nation’s fifth-best mark in the javelin. Connecticut’s Jake Waruch scored 7,597 at the UConn Decathlon meet to rank sixth nationally. Pittsburgh’s Cambrya Jones ran a 23.10-second 200-meter dash at the Pepsi Florida Relays to rank fifth on the women’s side.
BIG EAST Rowing Teams Compete For Knecht Cup
A number of BIG EAST rowing teams will converge on the Cooper River in Cherry Hill, N.J., this weekend, looking to claim the Knecht Cup. More than 60 schools are scheduled to compete in the annual regatta, which is hosted by Villanova. The Wildcats will join Connecticut, Rutgers and West Virginia among the 31 entrants for the varsity eight title.
BIG EAST Tennis Championships Begin Next Week
The BIG EAST Men’s and Women’s Tennis Championships begin next week in Tampa, Fla., with the first of a combined 29 matches starting April 19 and continuing through April 22 on the USF campus. Louisville has won the last two men’s championships, while Notre Dame’s seven titles lead all current BIG EAST members. Notre Dame has been the traditional team to beat on the women’s side as the Irish have won the last four titles and have a league-record 11 total championships.
BIG EAST Golf Championships Begin Later This Month
BIG EAST women’s and men’s golf teams are entering their final weeks of preparation for the conference championships, which take place later this month. The BIG EAST Women’s Golf Championship will be April 22-24, while the BIG EAST Men’s Golf Championship follows April 29-May 1. Both events will take place at the Reunion Resort & Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. A different school has won each of the last four men’s championships, while St. John’s enters with a BIG EAST-record nine all-time men’s titles. Louisville and Notre Dame have combined to win eight of the nine previous women’s championships, with each school entering this year’s event with four championships.