By John Manley
Susan Moran’s outstanding freshman season for the St. Joseph’s (Pa.) women’sbasketball team was recognized with her selection as the Atlantic 10 Conference’s’ Rookie of the Year. Moran, of Tullamore, Co. Offaly, led the Hawks in both scoring (14.5 points per game) and rebounding (6.3 boards per game). She was also named second team All-Conference, the only freshman so selected. St. Joe’s, the Atlantic 10 champions, won their first round NCAA game over Tulane, before losing to Duke in the next round by only six points. Duke made it to the finals, where they lost to Purdue.
Toledo’s Ricky Elliott took himself out of contention in the Dr. Pepper Intercollegiate at the Tanglewood Resort in Pottsboro, Texas, with a second round 78. The junior from Portrush, Co. Antrim, began the round one shot off the lead after coming in with a 70 the first time around. Elliott bettered that score over the third and final tour of the course, when he shot 69. He finished tied for ninth place, 1-over-par at 217, which was 11 strokes off the winning 206 hung up by Northwestern’s Luke Donald.
Also among the 93 finishers were Toledo’s duo of Tim Rice, tied for 25th at 223 (75-77-71), and Alan Murray, tied for 41st at 227 (77-73-77). Rice is a junior from Rosbrien, Co. Limerick, and Murray, a freshman, hails from Dublin. Toledo placed fifth among the 19 teams on the course. Minnesota took the top prize.
Also, East Tennessee State’s Eamonn Brady placed eighth in the Schenkel E-Z-Go Invitational at the Forest Heights Country Club in Statesboro, Ga. The Dublin senior sandwiched scores of 74 around a 68 to finish even for the tournament at 216. Clemson’s Michael Hoey, a Belfast freshman, was three strokes in back of Brady in a tie for 13th place. Hoey shot 219 (75-71-73).
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Georgia’s Michael Morrison and Florida’s Steve Scott shared the winning individual score of 211. Clemson and Georgia shared team honors, while ETSU finished eighth in the 15-team field.
Some members of the Big East are bigger than others as Seton Hall was reminded last week. The Hall’s women’s team suffered a 5-0 loss to Syracuse. Judy McAuley, a junior from Loughlinstown, Co. Dublin, lost to Zuzanna Borucka at fifth singles, 6-2, 6-2. McAuley and Pille Arike defeated Michelle Neveklovska and Miki Kanemitsu, 8-4, at second doubles. The first doubles match found Laura McCracken and Kyli Lasalle losing to Anna Khavlina and Shareen Lai, 8-5.
The Lady Pirates then rebounded by humbling Rutgers, 9-0. Here, McCracken, a junior from Greystones, Co. Wicklow, defeated Donna Krouzman at first singles, 6-1, 6-1, while McAuley at fifth singles took care of Amanda Travlos by the same score. Tiebreakers were required in the doubles matches, however. At first doubles, McCracken and Lasalle defeated Beth O’Donnell and Lara Manoukian, 9-8(6). The second doubles slot found McAuley and Arike winning over Krouzman and Travlos, 9-8 (5).
The seesaw then went down for the Hall in a 9-0 loss to Princeton. Blair
Farr defeated McCracken, 6-0, 6-1, while Kristi Watson had McAuley’s number, 6-0, 6-0.
Harvard, ranked 16th in the country, met up with No. 17 Pepperdine, and the Crimson rode the Waves to a 4-3 victory. John Doran manned the second singles spot for Harvard and pulled out a 5-7, 7-6(5), 6-1 win over Sebastian Graff. Joe Green had an equally strenuous match at fourth singles, but the nod went to Pepperdine’s Chase Exon, 3-6, 7-6, 7-6 (4). Green got a measure of satisfaction with a second doubles victory with Scott Clark over Graff and Anthony Ross, 8-6. Doran and Green are both juniors from Dublin.
Brown’s Nick Malone defeated Loyola Marymount’s Jorge Aguilar-Mateos, 6-4, 6-3, in a fourth singles match. Aguilar-Mateos reversed that decision with Vladislav Molenda when they scored an 8-6 win at first doubles over Malone and Sharad Kohli. Brown won the match, 5-2.
George McGill was a bright spot in Indiana’s 4-3 loss to Minnesota. The Castleroy, Co. Limerick, junior defeated Adam Selkirk, 6-2, 6-1.
California’s women’s team, ranked fourth in the nation, came away with a 6-3 win over No. 10 Southern California, although Claire Curran lost only her second singles match against 10 wins. Veronika Safarova hung a 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 defeat on Curran, a junior from Dublin.
Curran bounced back in a 5-1 victory over fifth-ranked UCLA. Playing fourth singles, she knocked off Brandi Freudenberg in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3.
Sonia Rodgers added a crucial point for Tennessee-Martin in its 5-4 victory over Murray State. The freshman from Dublin defeated Gina Katona, 6-1, 6-3.
Mississippi State’s Eimear Sloan sustained a slight elbow fracture during a practice recently and will be lost to the team for a short period. Coach Tracy Lane expects Sloan to be available for competition before the end of the season. Sloan is a junior from Dublin.
Roy Patton scheduled a little off-season competition for his University of Vermont Catamounts. They finished 0-2-1 in their brief fling, but the lack of wins was more than offset by the locales in which the matches were contested: Patton’s former stomping grounds of County Antrim.
Vermont began with a 2-0 loss to Donegal Celtic, followed by a similar result against Ballymena United. The Catamounts avoided a shutout in the final contest, a 1-1 tie with Queens University. Vermont features two Irish players on its roster in Belfast’s Jason Allen and Derry’s John O’Connor.
“The week was a great experience, on and off the field, for all of our guys,” Patton said. “We gave a good account of ourselves for the off season and garnered a great deal of experience against some real good teams. Our effort in the Ballymena match was outstanding, and against Queens we made sure everyone got a taste of international competition.”