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The Buchtelite

Sports Update

By Terry Rabbitts, Sports-editor@buchtelite.com

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Rifle

The University of Akron rifle team traveled to Morehead, Kentucky on Sunday for the final match of the regular season against No. 17 Morehead State. The No. 16 Zips made the trip slightly short-handed and came up short against the Eagles by a final score of 4,589 to 4,602.

The Zips struggled against Morehead in smallbore competition with the Eagles capturing the top three spots. Connor O’Mara finished in the fourth position for Akron after finishing tied with teammate Caleb Lloyd, but taking the tiebreaker. Both shooters finished with a score of 570.

Akron closed the overall gap in the air rifle battle as Zachary Strohl seized top gun honors after posting an outstanding score of 587. O’Mara followed closely behind with a 583, while Rebecca Green posted a 579. Green’s mark equaled her personal best.

Next up for the Zips, a trip to Columbus and the campus of The Ohio State University for the NCAA Qualifier match on Saturday, Feb. 20. After the qualifier, the top eight teams will be invited to the National Championship to be held March 9-12 at the Stile Athletics Field House and hosted by Akron.

Tennis

The University of Akron tennis team will be hosting two matches on Saturday, Feb. 20 at the LaTuchie Tennis Center. At 10 a.m., the team will take on Valparaiso and then have a quick turnaround and host Morgan State at 2 p.m.

The Zips (6-1) are coming off a pair of victories last weekend over Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Illinois- Chicago by identical 4-3 scores.

Ariadna Blinova is the hottest Zip right now as she is riding a five match winning streak. The doubles team of Martina Zerbola and Luisa Echeverry completed a sweep of their matches last weekend. Besides Blinova, Carli Knezevich also finished the weekend by sweeping her opponents in singles competition.

Softball

The University of Akron softball team looks to rebound from last weekend’s offensive shortage and crack into the winning column as they travel to Greenville, South Carolina to take part in the Furman/Upstate Tournament.

With two games scheduled on both Friday (Savannah State and Furman) and Saturday (Savannah State and South Carolina Upstate) and a finale on Sunday against Furman, the Zips are hoping for better results that the 0-5 trip to Florida.

Last weekend saw the Zips only score seven runs in five games. The bright spot is that in the last two games Akron was able to put together 8 and 10 hits to give glimmer of hope that the bats are waking up.

The offense was not totally to blame for the winless weekend as the young Zips committed 12 errors in the field. Those errors were the culprit in the Zips allowing 11 unearned runs over the course of the weekend.

“We had a very disappointing start, we did not play well and we did not look like the team that I saw practice last week,” said head coach Julie Jones. “We are going to go home, we are going to work on things that we weren’t very good at, and expect to come out looking very different next Friday.”

Men’s and Women’s Track and Field

This Friday, the University of Akron men’s and women’s will host the Zips Invitational at the Stile Athletics Field House.

Zips’ athletes represented the school well in a few places over the last weekend. Clayton Murphy broke his own school record in the 800-meter race with a time of 1:46.11 at the Iowa State Classic last Friday, Feb. 13. In posting the second best time in the nation this year, he shaved nearly a second off his previous mark.

Equally as impressive was the fact that Murphy also beat former Iowa State standout Edward Kemboi by .66 of a second. Kemboi was the 2015 NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Champion in this event.

Last Saturday, Akron’s Daniella Johnson won the women’s long jump with a leap of 19 feet, 7.50 inches, while Claudia Garcia Jou brought home the top spot in the women’s high jump by clearing 5 feet, 10.75 inches while competing at the Samford Open.

At the Spire NCAA Division I Invitational on Saturday, Feb. 13, at the Spire Institute, both the Zips’ 4 x 400 meter relay teams were able to post record times.

On the men’s side, Miles Baldwin, Brent Gray, Alante Oliver and Taron Slone  raced their way to a third place finish with a time of 3:11.17 to better the old record of 3:11.30 set on March 1, 2014.

For the women, Daziah Green, Jackie Siefring, Samia Bell and Michalla Gordon may have only finished sixth in the race, but the 3:44.67 time was good enough to top the old mark of 3:45.85 set on March 1, 2014.

Ana Martin-Sacristan brought home first place in the women’s long jump with a leap of 19 feet even.

Men’s Golf

The University of Akron men’s golf team starts off the spring portion of its schedule on Monday, Feb. 22 at the Wexford Plantation Intercollegiate being held at the Wexford Golf Course at Hilton Head, South Carolina.

The Zips will play two rounds on Monday, followed by a round on Tuesday to round out the competition.

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