Women’s swimming and diving
The University of Akron women’s swimming and diving team started fast and finished the same way in gaining the Mid-American Conference Championships for the third straight year. Akron grabbed the lead on the first day of the four-day event and never relinquished it at Cooper Pool on the campus of the Bowling Green.
The Zips scored 773.50 points on the weekend, well ahead of second place Eastern Michigan who finished with 592. Akron beat the record for most points at the MAC Championship, previous held by Miami (Ohio) with 733 back in 1983.
“It was an exciting meet from start to finish. There are a lot of great teams and coaches in this conference and everyone showed up ready to compete. It is an honor competing in the MAC and with this group of young women. They worked so hard this year and have fought hard all the way to the finish,” said third-year head coach Brian Peresie. “We are excited to see how the selections process plays out for the NCAA Championships in a few days. For now we will celebrate this victory and enjoy all of the great accomplishments we had this past week.”
The accolades for the Zips poured in as they set 11 new times that now ranks as best in the history of the program.
Paloma Marrero Munoz, Madison Myers, Ashley Niznik, Hannah Raspopovich, Erin Seiler, and Luka Szynal earned All-MAC first team honors. Alice Hottensmith and Sadie Fazekas were named to the All-MAC second team.
Myers was named as the prestigious Most Outstanding Swimmer award as well as the Freshman Swimmer of the Year. Karly Crail was honored as the Freshman Diver of the year.
For the third year in a row, Akron head coach Brian Peresie was named the 2016 MAC Coach of the Year and diving coach Chris Medvedeff was named the MAC Diving Coach of the Year. For Medvedeff, it was the fourth time winning the award.
The University of Akron rifle team concluded its season with a seventh-place showing at the Great America Rifle Conference Championships at the Lamar National Guard Readiness Center on the campus of the University of Mississippi this past Sunday.
West Virginia, the top-ranked team and defending national champion, won the team title by taking both the smallbore and air rifle competitions and compiled 4,702 points.
The 16th ranked Zips finished fourth in the smallbore and finished with 4,624 total points. Tim Hopkins led the Zips with a score of 576 in the smallbore. Zachary Strohl finished the air rifle competition with a score of 586 for Akron and in 22nd place overall.
“It was a good weekend for the Akron Zips rifle team in Great America Rifle Conference Championships,” head coach Newt Engle said. “Going into the championships, the Zips were ranked 9 out of 9 in both smallbore and air rifle. With nowhere to go but up, the Zips took advantage of the situation. At the end of the smallbore competition and taking advantage of the situation, the Zips had moved into fourth place finishing ahead of many nationally ranked teams. On the second day, the Zips shot their average in air rifle which landed them in a tie for eighth-place. Overall, with the combined two gun scores, the Zips finished in 7th place out of the nine in the most difficult conferences for rifle in the United States.”
The University of Akron women’s golf team finished 14th overall at the 14th annual Rio Verde Collegiate Invitational by finishing the 54-hole total of 915. Akron had rounds of 300, 302, and 313 for the tournament. Mid-American Conference opponent Toledo captured the team title by shooting 885 as a team.
Danielle Nicholson led the Zips and finished tied for eighth overall by carding a six-over par score of 222. Nicholson had rounds of 74, 73, and 75 which including 36 pars and seven birdies.
Pader Her finished tied for 44th overall with a 230, Frida Fougberg and Alejandra Velasco-Villanueva completed the tournament tied 62nd place with 236, and Makayla Dull completed the team scoring by shooting a 240 and finished in 79th place.
The University of Akron women’s softball team won 4 of 5 games over the weekend at the Alabama State Tournament. After dropping the opening to Eastern Kentucky, 6-3, on Friday morning, the Zips rebounded by taking the next four games.
Friday afternoon the Zips entered the final inning enjoying a 4-1 lead over Omaha-Nebraska but gave up three runs in the top of the frame to tie the game at 4.
Savannah Fruin led off the bottom of the seventh with a shot off the fence in right field and raced her way for a triple. The Mavericks decided to walk the next two batters to load the bases and set up the double play to help them out of the inning.
Next up for the Zips was Carley Childress, who challenged the pitcher to find the strike zone, and eventually earned the base on balls that forced in the winning run for Akron.
Saturday morning, Erin Seiler pitched a complete game giving up just one run on four hits while striking out 12 to lead the Zips to a 5-1 win over Gardner-Webb.
Akron pounded out 10 hits in the victory led by Fruin, Alyssa Nicholas, and Taylor Kirian each had two hits. Fruin had a round-tripper as one of her hits.
The Zips broke open a 1-1 deadlock with four runs in the top of the seventh inning to carry them to the win.
The hitting barrage continued into the afternoon contest against host Alabama State as the Zips again connected for 10 hits in a 6-5 victory in eight innings.
Akron erased a 5-3 deficit by scoring two runs in the seventh to knot the score and one in the eighth to win it.
It was a two-out double by Nicholas that plated Caitlin Gambone and Fruin that tied the game in the seventh. In the eighth, it was Gabrielle Fredricks who singled in Kelly Hysong for the win.
On Sunday, the Zips dominated Howard as Seiler pitched a complete game giving up just one hit and struck out nine as Akron was victorious 9-0 in five innings.
Akron’s offense battered three Bison pitchers for seven hits and six walks for the game. The Zips also pilfered seven bases led by Nicholas four steals.
Akron (6-9) was finally able to enjoy their first winning weekend on the season and will look to keep it going this upcoming weekend as they head to Kissimmee, Florida for the Rebel Spring Games.