February 22, 2005

Sports Shorts 2-22-05

Seastedt, 200-yard medley lead swimmers

Several members of the men's swim team traveled to Wheaton over the weekend to participate in the Midwest Invitational. The majority of team did not go, as the official season concluded last weekend with the UAA championships. However, the invite presented one last opportunity to gain NCAA qualification, and a tune-up for select Chicago swimmers still training in the upcoming weeks.

Second-year Pat Seastedt placed second in the 100-yard breaststroke final with a time of 59.15. First-year Jason Azares finished third in the 200-yard butterfly final in 1:58.76.

The 200-yard Medley Relay team of Azares, Steastedt, first-year Hiro Hayashi, and fourth-year Northe Saunders won their event in 1:37.66. Finally, first-year Chris Whaley finished third in the 400-yard individual medley in a time of 4:47.84.

The Midwest Invitational represented the final meet for the Maroons before select members compete at Hope College in the NCAA championships March 17-19. The Chicago swimmers who have provisionally qualified for NCAAs will receive a final decision March 2.

—John Dwyer

Comeback top Coe for men's tennis

Facing one of the top teams in the region, men's tennis proved their season-opening hot streak was no fluke.

Fourth-year Jacob Reckess pulled out a nail-biting comeback win against Coe second-year Jake Michael to score the clinching point in a 4-3 victory over the Kohawks Saturday. The Maroons also took down Grinnell 6-1 and Wisconsin-LaCrosse 6-1 on the weekend to improve their record to 10-2. The team has won eight of nine spring matches.

Reckess controlled the first set 6-1, but trailed 1-4 in the second with the team victory on the line. The fourth-year then won four straight games to take the lead back. While his serve was broken at both 5-4 and 6-5, he was able to force the tiebreaker. Michael built another big lead 1-4, and forced Reckess to the wall at 5-6. Chicago's co-captain responded with three straight points to take the set and the meet.

Helping set up Reckess, 14th-ranked third-year Ward Bortz beat 23rd-ranked second-year Ryan Yao and first-year Sasha Deriy beat third-year Ryan Krabbe in first and second singles, respectively. The pair won all three of their doubles matches, and each went 3-0 in singles competition on the weekend.

The match against Coe was particularly important for the Maroons, who were ranked 10th in central region, two spots behind Coe. The top eight teams at the end of the season make regionals.

First-year Joseph Tchan was also a major contributor during the team's Cedar Rapids weekend, winning all three of his singles matches and combining with partner fourth-year Andrew McKay to win two of three doubles showdowns.

The team travels to Kalamazoo to face the 16th-ranked Hornets and Aquinas College Saturday.

—Joe Katz

IM Insider: AKs fire warning shot

Tyjuan Edwards, a.k.a. Top50, took time out to answer a few of the IM Insider's questions about the upcoming basketball playoffs. With his team averaging more than 100 points per game during the regular season, Top50's confidence looks anything but misplaced...

Insider: What should your opponents be scared of?

50: Our defense: Anybody can score, but we take pride in stopping the other teams from scoring—the true test. Nobody's scored more than 30 on us yet.

Insider: Is there any team out there who you think could push you?

50: We want to play anyone who shows up or wants to play. For them, it'll be like a nightmare—40 minutes, then you wake up.

Insider: Anything to say to the Revolution (the defending champions)?

50: One-two, AKs coming for you, three-four, better lock the door. We're the best team on campus, and we don't know how else to play. That's why some people call us the All-Star team.

Having clearly talked the talk, see if Top50 and the rest of the AKs can walk the walk Thursday evening in Henry Crown.

—Omar Al-Ubaydli

Softball ranked 15th in nation

With all three hurlers returning from one of the nation's best pitching staffs, the National Fastpitch Coaches Association ranked Chicago 15th in the 2005 preseason poll.

The Maroons finished last year 29-11, earning the most victories of any squad in program history. The pitchers finished second in the nation with a 0.64 ERA, as the team gutted out a number of close games. Ultimately, Chicago fell in the regional finals extra innings for the second straight year, losing to third-ranked Alma 1-0.

Softball opens the season on a 10-game trip in Fort Meyers, FL, during spring break. The team plays its home opener March 30 against Wisconsin-Oshkosh.

—Sean Ahmed