UMass Athletics:

April 2011 Archives

Happy Birthday: April 30 - Ida Okkonen

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On April 30, we wish Happy Birthday to senior trackster Ida Okkonen.

 Ida Okkonen

Ali Houlis of the University of Massachusetts women's lacrosse team wears a red headband that holds a lifetime's worth of tragedy, awareness, and hope.

It never fades in the wash, it never comes untied. It's the only one she ever bought in a store, the others she had always made, patched them together, but they always faded in the wash, and became untied in the rain.

It's a good luck piece now, one that has worked fabulously all the way through the Minutewomen's 7-0 undefeated mark in Atlantic-10 play and 14-2 overall record this season. But only half of the red headband is being worn.

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Jackie Lyons scored seven points on four goals and three assists as the No. 14 UMass women's lacrosse team cruised past Duquesne in the Atlantic 10 Semifinal on Friday afternoon. The win gives the Minutewomen a spot in their fourth consecutive Atlantic 10 Championship game on Sunday where UMass will be going for its third straight league tournament championship. UMass will face No. 2 seed Richmond at 1 PM at Geasey Field. The game will be televised live on the CBS Sports Network with Jason Knapp and Sheehan Burke on the call.


Postgame Interview:

Gazette Preview Of UMass Football Spring Game

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The Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story on Saturday's Spring Football Events, read about it here: UMass football plays spring game Saturday at McGuirk

Saturday's annual University of Massachusetts spring football game will have some added events after last week's announcement that the school was upgrading its program to the Bowl Subdivision.

In addition to the 4 p.m. game at McGuirk Stadium, there's a 1 p.m. tour of the program's new offices in the Slobody Building at 101 University Drive. Members of the 100 Yard Club, a UMass booster club, can meet coaches and players at 3 p.m. prior to the spring game and eat with them at a barbecue afterward.

There will be an autograph session for anyone after the spring game.

UMass coach Kevin Morris said he was pleased with his team's progression this spring.

"It's been good. We've got a good group of guys," Morris said. "Guys have really taken it seriously and set a high standard."

Videos, Recaps Of UMass' 11-5 Lax Win Over Delaware

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Check out these game recaps from UMass' 11-5 win over Delaware on Friday night at Garber Field. The Minutemen will play at Penn State on Wednesday night at 7 p.m., in the CAA Semifinals.

• Inside Lacrosse: Blog, Recap: UMass 11, Del 5

UMass' Lyons Composes Lacrosse Bucket List

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t the outset of the 2011 season, senior attacker Jackie Lyons sat in her bedroom and looked at the UMass schedule. Lyons had accomplished a lot in her first three season, including 2010 A-10 Attacker of the Year honors, but staring at the schedule and ruminating about her senior season, she decided she wanted to do more.

So she wrote down a lacrosse "bucket list," a list of things she wanted to do before she graduated. The list is seven items long; thus far in the season, Lyons has achieved four out of four of those goals and has lad the Minutewomen to a 14-2 overall record. Today UMass is headed toward No. 5, an A-10 championship in Friday's game versus Duquesne at Temple University. Here's a look at Lyons' list.

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The Daily Collegian and the Watertown Daily Times both had stories on Katie Ferris being named the Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year yesterday.

Watertown Daily Times: Ferris earns rookie honors
On April 29, Happy Birthday to a pair of freshmen: lacrosse face-off man Joe Calvello and soccer forward Connor DeVivo

Joe Calvello  Connor DeVivo
The 2011 Atlantic 10 Championship Tournament gets underway this afternoon at 1 PM as the No. 2 seed Richmond takes on host and No. 3 seed Temple in Philadelphia. The top-seeded and 14th-ranked Minutewomen will take on No. 4 seed Duquesne at 3:30 PM. The winners will meet on Sunday in the Championship game which will be televised live on the CBS Sports Network at 1 PM.

The Daily Collegian previews today's match-up and also looks at some of UMass' top award-winners as announced by the Atlantic 10 yesterday.

Previews Of UMass-Delaware Lax

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Friday's clash with Delaware will be more than just another game on the schedule for the No. 20 Massachusetts men's lacrosse team. It's more than the final regular season game or the conclusion of the Colonial Athletic Association regular season schedule.

• Daily Collegian: Seniors honored Friday at Garber Field

James Ihedigbo On SNY.tv

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Check out this interview of UMass alum and New York Jets safety James Ihedigbo. He was on the show "WheelHouse" to discuss the state of the Jets during the NFL lockout.

Watch the interview: James Ihedigbo On SNY.tv.

Gazette Editorial Supports UMass' Football Move

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The Daily Hampshire Gazette has an editorial supporting the move of UMass football to the FBS ranks and games at Gillette Stadium. Here are some key points:

It appears they jumped, wisely, at an opportunity that had never taken quite this form, or been this attractive. At the same time, the ground from which they leap - the lower level of Championship Subdivision (FCS) play - was falling away around their feet. Two former competitors in Championship Subdivision are gone and a third is lowering its program out of the Colonial Athletic Association.

If you love your Minutemen, may we suggest a carpool?

Plourde Gets 1,000th K, Softball Tops BU, 3-2

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It was a historic day at the UMass Softball Complex on Wednesday as junior pitcher Sara Plourde, with a 14-strikeout three-hitter, led UMass to a 3-2 win over Boston University and recorded the 1,000th strikeout of her career. She is just the third pitcher in UMass history to reach the mark, joining Danielle Henderson and Brandice Balschmiter, and the first to do it prior to her senior season.

  • Daily Collegian: Plourde becomes 3rd Minutewoman to reach 1,000 strikeouts
  • Daily Collegian: Minutewomen win behind Plourde & Matthew
  • Hampshire Gazette: Sara Plourde reaches 1,000 career strikeouts
  • UMass Gets Lyons' Share Of A-10 Lacrosse Honors

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    The University of Massachusetts highlights this year's awards, as voted on by the league's head coaches, claiming four of the five individual accolades including Jackie Lyons as Offensive Player of the Year, Katie Florence as the league's Defensive Player of the Year and Katie Ferris as the A-10 Rookie of the Year, while Angela McMahon garnered Coach of the Year honors. Richmond's Mary Flowers earned Midfielder of the Year accolades.

    ESPN.com Blog On Basketball Fan Interest

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    Check out this blog entry from ESPN.com's Diamond Leung, where he focuses on UMass basketball and its future in gaining fan interest: 

    UMass tries generating student support - College Basketball Nation.


    Schnoerr Named Shep Shepard Award Winner

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    UMass Rowing senior co-captain Samantha Schnoerr was recently named one of the 2011 Shep Shepard Award winners for excellence within Legal Studies as well as service to the community. Schnoerr was also named a 2011 Atlantic All-Conference First Team member earlier this season.

    To read more about the Shep Shepard Award, click here

    Boston Herald On UMass' Draft Prospects

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    The Boston Herald has a story on local college product that are hopeful of hearing their names called as the NFL Draft starts on Thursday night. Read about it in : Local prospects hoping to catch on.

    Offensive lineman Greg Niland of East Bridgewater, who began his career at Northeastern University before it dropped its football program, and went on to play his final season of eligibility at the University of Massachusetts, has piqued the interest of several NFL teams and could be a late-round pick.

    Other UMass players to watch are wide receiver Anthony Nelson, who caught 61 passes last season, running back John Griffin of Westminster, another NU transfer, and quarterback Kyle Havens.

    "Nelson did real well at the BC pro day and turned some heads," UMass coach Kevin Morris said. "Griffin, as well, with his physical skills. Nelson has some people wanting to take a second and third look at how good he is with the ball and how fast he is. Havens, too, has a couple of teams interested. We just need to get this (NFL) lockout to get unlocked, to get these guys into camps to show what they can do."


    In the Daily Hampshire Gazette, Matt Vautour has a column on the move of UMass to FBS and playing its games at Gillette Stadium. He explains the reasoning behind it. Read it here



     I'm not good at snap judgments. But after several days, here's what I've come up with.

    I don't know if the University of Massachusetts playing Bowl Subdivision football in Foxborough is going to work. But I think it's worth a shot because it's the best option UMass has.


    Realistically, if UMass wants to move up, it had to happen in Foxborough. Gillette offers a shiny new stadium that recruits are going to want to play in.

    If UMass hadn't moved up, moving backward might eventually have been the only choice as the status quo isn't going to be an option for much longer. Championship level FCS football in the Northeast is dying. The CAA is clearly becoming a southern-based conference. Old Dominion and Georgia State were added ahead of Fordham, shifting the league's latitude even lower and the price of travel even higher.


    Happy Birthday - April 28: Rower Carly Payne

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    On April 28, we wish Happy Birthday to Carly Payne

    Carly Payne

    Women's Basketball Offseason Update

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    Women's basketball head coach Sharon Dawley spoke at the UMass Sports Luncheon today. Check out the video on YouTube:


    Daily Collegian Recap Of Beanpot Victory At Fenway

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    With the opportunity to play in the illustrious Fenway Park, the Massachusetts baseball team elevated its game to finish off Northeastern in the heart of Boston Tuesday, as the Minutemen (13-21, 5-7 A-10) defeated Northeastern (12-25) 4-2 in the Beanpot consolation game.

    UMass coach Mike Stone said after that game that while playing at Fenway "is a treat" for everyone involved, it's even more of a treat if the team plays well and gets victories.

    UMass did just that, getting on the board early by plating Anthony Serino after Peter Copa reached base on a throwing error by the shortstop. The Minutemen further capitalized on the Terrier miscue with a two-out triple to right field by Kyle Multner. The triple plated Copa and Tom Conley, who reached on a single.

    Read more of Eric Mansfield's Minutemen defeat Northeastern at Fenway Park
    Ben Lambert of the Daily Collegian has a recap of the UMass rowing team's race against Holy Cross last weekend. The Minutewomen won two of three races against the Crusaders, and will return to the water in two weeks for the Dad Vail Regatta in Philadelphia.

    NBC22 Follow-Up On UMass Move To Gillette

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    After years of debate and speculation. UMass is moving its football team up to the FBS, formerly called Divisioin I -A  With that move comes another, UMass will play its future home games in Foxborough. "I'm glad to see them make it finally where they should be", says Amherst's Al Ohlson.  Watch the full story from NBC22.

    "Home" field advantage?: wwlp.com

    Masslive Feature On Mullins Militia

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    Masslive.com has a nice feature story on the Mullins Militia, the basketball support group. Read it here: Mullins Militia leads UMass basketball student section


    NBC 30 in Hartford, Connecticut has a  look at the potential rivalry between UMass and UConn being re-ignited with the Minutemen's move to the FBS level. Read about it here: 

    At the beginning of the month, as the men's basketball team was preparing for Final Four foe Kentucky, we wrote about the long history between the two coaches. Jim Calhoun and John Calipari go way back, to the early '90s when Calipari was then the UMass coach.

    The Minutemen were gaining in national prominence, thanks largely to Calipari. According to the Boston Globe's Mark Blaudschun, Calipari once remarked that "We will play anyone, anywhere, anytime,'" presumably in an effort to get the Huskies on the schedule.

    Calhoun's response at the time: "Calipari said he plays a national schedule, so obviously he doesn't need us. We play Kansas and Duke, and we think those are pretty good teams. We're happy with who we are playing now."

    The Huskies got the last laugh, defeating the Wildcats in the Final Four two days before winning their third national championship.

    Now it appears there will be another means for renewing this rivalry. Last week, UMass announced that the football program is moving to the FBS and joining the MAC conference beginning in 2012. One problem, though: some fans are worried that UMass' new status could hurt UConn's recruiting efforts.

    The response from ESPN.com's Brian Bennett during a recent Q & A:

    "I wouldn't worry too much about the recruiting aspect. UMass might pose more competition for players in the Northeast, but if you can't outrecruit the MAC as a school in an [automatic qualifier] league, you've got much bigger problems. This might have been more of a concern for the Huskies if Randy Edsall were still the coach, since his recruiting philosophy centered around under-the-radar players. But Paul Pasqualoni was hired in large part for his ability to connect with high school coaches and recruit high-caliber players. If that's true, he shouldn't lose out to UMass on many prospects.

    Great points, all of them, and the Hartford Courant's Desmond Connor agrees, writing that "Until the program upgrades those facilities and becomes part of a BCS conference it poses no real threat to UConn anywhere."

    Bennett adds an interesting footnote: "UMass-UConn is a natural rivalry, though I don't think the Huskies should accept a home-and-home series. A 2-for-1 is a better deal for them."

    This also makes sense; UMass would get more out of hosting UConn than the other way around. For now, anyway.


    Tuesday's Stories On UMass' Move To FBS, MAC

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    The national story of UMass' elevation to the FBS and MAC continue to generate media attention. Here's a look at several stories on Tuesday.

    • Berkshire Eagle: Smart move for UMass, region
    • Attleboro Sun-Chronicle: Good news for UMass and Foxboro

    UMass Men's Lax At 19th, 20th In Polls

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    In the newest men's college lacrosse polls, the UMass Minutemen are ranked 19th by USILA Division I Coaches Poll and 20th in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll

    UMass opponents have the following rankings: Hofstra (8th/7th), Army (17th/16th) and Penn State (20th/18th). Harvard, Delaware and Drexel are also receiving votes. 

    Softball Weekend Round-Up

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    The UMass softball team concluded a busy six-game week with a doubleheader split at home against Syracuse on Friday and then a twinbill sweep over George Washington on Easter Sunday which included a dramatic come-from-behind eight-inning victory in game two. The Minutewomen continue their 12-game homestand on Wednesday when they host Boston University at 5 p.m. at the UMass Softball Complex. Below are recaps from this weekend's games.

  • Daily Collegian: Minutewomen Split Two Game Set Against Orange, Sweep Colonials
  • Hampshire Gazette: UMass Softball Sweeps George Washington
  • Hampshire Gazette: UMass Softball Splits With Syracuse
  • SUAthletics.com: SU Splits Twinbill Against UMass
  • GWSports.com: Colonials Drop Pair At UMass
  • UMass: Krafting a better football team 

    April 25, 2011

    Patriots' owner Robert Kraft deserves credit for bringing more big-time college football to New England when he struck a deal that allows the University of Massachusetts at Amherst to play all their home games rent-free at Gillette Stadium starting in 2012. Having the high-class Foxborough facility as a home field enables UMass to join the Division I Mid-American Conference and lure bowl-bound football powers onto its schedule.


    The move is already building excitement among UMass graduates, for whom Saturdays in Foxborough could be a great bonding experience, and it could pay off for the university in some other respects, too. If Massachusetts residents come to see the UMass team as an expression of Bay State pride, it will help build greater political and community support for the state's leading public university.


    Welcome as the UMass ascent to collegiate football's Mt. Olympus may be, policymakers should be aware that the costs in athletic scholarships and expanded coaching staffs will be considerable. UMass anticipates that its football expenditure will jump from $4.4 million in 2010 to $6.9 million for the 2013 season. Purely as an economic venture, or as a means of enhancing a university's national standing, a top-tier football program is no panacea -- and certainly no substitute for enhanced academic resources.


    But pride doesn't come with a pricetag, and watching UMass match up against national powerhouses will provide an extra point of identity to fans of the sometimes neglected university -- that is, as long as the Minutemen make a good showing on the field.


    © Copyright 2011 Globe Newspaper Company.

    We break down UMass' move to the FBS from all angles -- from the nuts and bolts, to players' reactions.

    Hear from UMass-Amherst's chancellor, Gillette Stadium owner Robert Kraft, and MAC Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher on the Minutemen's move.

    Plus, head coach Kevin Morris and some of his players react to it.

    How does it affect students? Hear from a few of them.

    The Attleboro Sun-Chronicle has an opinion piece on UMass' football move to FBS and the MAC as the Minutemen will be playing its home games at Gillette Stadium. Read the piece that wraps up with the following:

    For the area, well-attended football games next fall could mean significant revenue, and, yes, more traffic on area roads. But after years of handling pro football crowds, we're confident that local authorities are more than prepared to deal with college game day fans.

    If there was ever a win-win, we think that this is it.

    On April 25, we wish Happy Birthday to the following: field hockey sophomore Kara Charochak, track sophomore Nick Otis, lacrosse assistant coach and former All-American goalie Doc Schneider and swimming junior Kayla Tegeler.

    Kara Charochak  Nick Otis  Doc Schneider  Kayla Tegeler

    Jonathan Quick looks at his job like a weatherbeaten, unsentimental cowboy would.

    In some ways he prefers to paraphrase the motto of the Texas Rangers (the militia, not the baseball team).

    One riot, one goaltender.

    In his scorebook, he gave up six goals to San Jose in Game 3 of this first-round Stanley Cup playoff series and he gave up six more in Game 4. There are no footnotes.

    Don't tell him he might as well have been the security guard at the Alamo.

    Don't tell him he would have fared better had the Sharks not used his goalie mask to scratch their itchy beards.

    CONTINUE READING HERE:

    More Recaps From Women's Lax Win At Saint Joseph's

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    The Daily Hampshire Gazette and Daily Collegian have their recaps on the UMass women's lacrosse 18-4 win at Saint Joseph's on Saturday. On Monday, the official Atlantic 10 Tournament brackets will be released along with ticket information. 

    Republican Follow-Up On UMass Facility Upgrades

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    In the Springfield Republican, Ron Chimelis has a story on the upgrades to McGuirk Stadium and how UMass will return to play several games at McGuirk Stadium starting in 2014. "We are in a transitional period. By 2014, the plan is to have an upgraded campus facility that could host some games,'' Athletic Director John McCutcheon said.



    Recaps Of Lacrosse's 14-5 Loss To Hofstra

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    Berkshire Eagle On UMass' Upgrade To FBS, MAC

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    The Berkshire Eagle has a follow-up story on UMass football elevation to the FBS and the MAC. Howard Herman takes a look at the team and its future. "There's always pressure to win," Morris said. "We were 6-5 last year with a couple of losses that were heartbreakers -- they were 'woulda, shoulda, coulda.' We have to come back off that and whether we're playing in the CAA or the SEC or now with the MAC, coming into 2012, you've got to win. There's no secret there."

    Someone was thoughtful enough to bring Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick a chair while he discussed his brilliant, 51-save performance in the Kings' 3-1 playoff victory over the Sharks on Saturday night at HP Pavilion. He deserved a throne.

    All he did was save a season that appeared headed toward another unsatisfactory ending after they were swept at home and fell into a 3-1 series deficit.

    Quick insisted his teammates played a large role in helping him set a club playoff record for saves Saturday because they limited the Sharks to mostly perimeter shots. That was true to an extent. And they gave him some security in the form of first-period goals by Wayne Simmonds, Kyle Clifford and -- yes -- Dustin Penner on their first four shots at Antti Niemi.

    But the Kings would not have prolonged their playoff series to a sixth game, set for 7 p.m. Monday at Staples Center, if not for Quick's calm in the face of 19 shots in the first period and 18 in the third. The 15-shot middle period was a vacation by comparison.

    CONTINUE READING HERE

    Globe Feature On Gurley's NBA Bid

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    Anthony Gurley fell in love with basketball as a 7-year-old, playing ball in the Pee Wee league at the Roxbury YMCA. "I've never looked back since then,'' said Gurley, a fifth-year senior at the University of Massachusetts Amherst who was recently honored with the George "Trigger'' Burke Award as the team's MVP. "There's always room for improvement, and I'm working hard every day to reach my dream . . . the NBA,'' he said. Read the full story in the Boston Globe: Newton North grad Gurley bids for NBA.



    Attleboro Sun Chronicle On UMass' Move To Gillette

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    The Attleboro Sun-Chronicle has a story on the impact of UMass moving its home games to Gillette Stadium as part of the upgrade to FBS and joining the MAC. 

    Happy Birthday: April 24 - Amick, Donadt

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    Happy Birthday on April 24 to soccer senior Stuart Amick and track junior Evan Donadt.


    Stuart Amick  Evan Donadt








    The University of Massachusetts athletic department put plans for its new football facilities on display Friday in the program's temporary offices in the Slobody Building on University Drive. The plans are part of the upgrade by UMass to Bowl Subdivision football. The two-story building will house a locker room, a weight room, a sports medicine facility, an equipment room, coaches offices and meeting rooms. It will be built in the north end zone of McGuirk Stadium, where there is currently a small parking lot. Read the full story in the Daily Hampshire Gazette:  UMass unveils plan for new football facility, press box at McGuirk Stadium.



    A Look At This Week's Football Practice MVPs

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    Check out this week's football MVPs including Tyler Holmes, Chaz Thompson, Darren Thellen. The players talk about spring football and about the UMass football move to FBS and the MAC.

    Happy Birthday: April 23 - Rower Katie VonZweck

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    Happy Birthday to rower Katie VonZweck on April 23. 

    Katie VonZweck

    C. Michigan AD Talks UMass Football Joining The MAC

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    The Morning Sun in Central Michigan has a Q&A Session with Central Michigan Athletic Director Dave Heeke. Here are his answers in regards to UMass' addition to the MAC.

    DE: On Wednesday, UMass officially joined the Mid-American Conference for football. Talk about your initial thoughts on UMass joining the conference?

    DH: I think it is very positive for our league. Obviously we had an odd number of teams in football and we had to address that. We talked about that for several years in terms of how to attack that and how to address that. The addition of UMass was one of the better options that was on the table.

    This will only help us in scheduling. Not just in conference scheduling, but in overall scheduling. It will give us in the MAC more consistency in our scheduling so we can plan out more long term, so that is a positive as well.

    UMass brings great tradition and is a very strong program. Football is important at UMass and that is a big component. This move also helps stretch our league to the Northeast a little bit more with Buffalo, Temple, and UMass. From an exposure standpoint, there is value in that. We are excited about having them in the league. I am very positive on the overall addition.

    Conference expansion and adding teams is a complicated deal normally, and now with the added uncertainties of leagues and the unknowns that are out there, that even complicates it more. For us to get a team and help solidify Temple in the conference as well, for our league that gives us good balance.

    DE: How does this move impact other sports in the MAC and is UMass expected to meet certain expectations in terms of schedule outside of football?

    DH: Contractually we have agreed with them to play basketball on a yearly basis, where they will face two different MAC opponents each year. So, there will be an equal rotation of that and that mirrors the Temple agreement. The opportunity to have our basketball programs on the men's and women's side compete against UMass will be good. That will help the basketball programs.

    As we continue to build relationships, there may be opportunities for other scheduling alignments with other sports. Again, in many other sports they are locked in with different leagues. This is about football first and a small basketball scheduling component. But, any time you spend more time with folks you have the opportunity to expand relationships and work together in other areas.

    I think we can build some scheduling alliances through the relationships that UMass and Temple have with other schools. Those relationships can help other sports. We are looking at those relationships.

    DE: What is the next step with this addition process now that UMass and the MAC have agreed to the partnership?

    DH: The next step for us as athletic directors is to sit down and look at the divisional alignments and figure things out and put everything out on the table. We need to find a divisional system that works for everyone the best it can.

    The key is aligning those rival games in similar divisions. When you have rival games that are crossing over divisions, that complicates things for everyone. There is not an equal rotation and we have had that for many years.

    We really have not talked about the divisional stuff much. We wanted to make sure we were solid as a league first and that we got to the 14 number. Now we can look at what best serves the league from a divisional standpoint. And, you know what? We may have different divisions for different sports or different alignments for different sports. Maybe we won't even have divisions in certain sports again. Some of those things may happen.

    The division alignment needs to get in place relatively soon and we need to tweak the scheduling model because UMass joins the league in 2012. While they won't be eligible for postseason play that year, they will be a counting member on everyone's schedule and an active part in the league.

    Previews Of UMass Lacrosse In ESPNU Warrior Classic

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    Check out these previews of UMass playing in the ESPNU Warrior Classic, taking on long-time rival Hofstra on Saturday at 3 p.m.



    It's not an automatic, but in rare cases the NCAA will grant a sixth year of eligibility to a student-athlete, and that was the desired decision this week for University of Massachusetts women's basketball guard Megan Zullo.

    Zullo, who averaged 10.5 points and 4.5 assists last season while setting a team record with 1,136 minutes played, will return to the Minutewomen for the 2011-12 campaign.

    Normally a student's athletic eligibility is four seasons, but sometimes the student is offered the opportunity to redshirt for a year to spread that eligibility over five years. But the NCAA may also grant a sixth year of eligibility, only if a player has missed two seasons because of an injury or circumstances beyond a player's control.

    Read more of Dick Baker's piece on MassLive.com

    ESPNU Warrior Classic Indoor Club Tickets Available

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    ESPNU WARRIOR CLASSIC INDOOR CLUB TICKETS AVAILABLE

    Indoor club level tickets are now available for the ESPNU Warrior Classic lacrosse doubleheader at Rentschler Field on Saturday, April 23.
     
    Fans who have already purchased tickets can pay $26 per ticket to upgrade to the indoor club level seats when they arrive at Rentschler Field.
     
    For new ticket purchases, club level seats are $50 for adults and $40 for students (ID required at gate). Tickets can be purchased on site or by calling the Bushnell Box Office at 860-987-5959.
     
    The second annual ESPNU Warrior Classic features Massachusetts vs. Hofstra at 3 p.m. ET followed by Rutgers vs. Syracuse at 5:30 p.m. ET.
    Here are various stories from Friday that touch on UMass' elevation to FBS and the MAC

    • CBS 3 Springfield: UMass in FBS Adds Up
    • The New Hampshire: Rival UMass bolts to FBS

    Stories On UMass Hoops Playing In Bahamas

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    Here are a few stories on UMass basketball and the announcement that the team will take part in the Battle 4 Atlantic in the Bahamas this November.


    "It's an unbelievable opportunity to go against some of the top teams of the country and to be together as a family, as a basketball family, on Thanksgiving," said UMass coach Derek Kellogg. "It's a perfect opportunity. The setup they have down there rivals some of the best tournaments that are going, which is really the Maui tournament."

    Gazette With Players' Perspective On Move To FBS

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    The Daily Hampshire Gazette has this story on the players' perspective on the move to FBS and the MAC.

    After Wednesday's press conference, all talk about the University of Massachusetts football program naturally revolved around its future. But lost in the chatter and debate about Gillette Stadium, the Mid-American Conference, bowl games and exciting potential nonconference opponents were any thoughts about the present. 



    Happy Birthday: April 22 - Softball's Audrey Boutin

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    Happy 21st Birthday to senior softball player Audrey Boutin on April 22. Enjoy the day!

    Audrey Boutin
    The 2011 ESPNU Lacrosse Tour is a lacrosse fan fest hosted by Mike Powell, a two-time national champion at Syracuse and the only player to win the Tewaaraton Trophy twice.  The tour features a lacrosse cage located outside of each stadium with two full goals, where fans can pick up a stick and shoot goals, practice tricks and even play with Powell. Highlights of the ESPNU Lacrosse Tour include:

    Read all about it: 2011 ESPNU Lacrosse Tour Coming to ESPNU Warrior Classic

    Football Media Coverage On Move To FBS, MAC



    Here are various stories on UMass' elevation to the FBS and MAC.

    • Sporting News: UMass To The MAC
    • Boston Globe: Kraft rose to occasion
    • Boston Herald UMass moves up to FBS
    • Hartford Courant: UMass Makes Move To FBS Official
    • Attleboro Sun-Chronicle: Kraft: UMass to be boon
    • College Football Talk: MAC officially adds UMass as newest member
    • ABC40: McGuirk No More

    Here are video interviews from the event:
    On April 21, we wish Happy Birthday to women's runner Anne Blackney, men's basketball forward Raphiael Putney and men's swimmer  Andrew Thurston.

    Anne Blackney  Raphiael Putney  Andrew Thurston

    Cannella On ESPNU Podcast With Quint Kessenich

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    In preparation of the ESPNU Warrior Classic UMass head coach Greg Cannella took part in the weekly ESPNU Podcast with analyst Quint Kessenich. Listen to it here.

    Softball Shuts Out UConn On The Road, 2-0

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    The Minutewomen travelled to Storrs, Conn. on Wednesday and shut out the Huskies, 2-0. Stephanie Mayne hit a two-run home run in the third inning to account for all the scoring, while Sara Plourde pitched her eighth shutout of the season with a three-hitter. Playing in her home state, she struck out 13 batters, including the final three of the game with two runners on base. Below are recaps of the game.

  • Minutewomen's Streak Hits 9, Steve Levine, Daily Collegian
  • Minutewomen Softball Blanks UConn, Hampshire Gazette
  • Bristol Pair Have UMass On Upswing (with video), Paul Angilly, Bristol Press
  • UMass Edges Huskies By A 2-0 Count, The Hour

    The Minutewomen return home to host Fairfield today at 5 p.m., kicking off a 12-game homestand at the UMass Softball Complex.

  • Happy Birthday: April 20 Soccer's Chris Piekos

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    Happy Birthday to soccer's Chris Piekos on April 20.

    Chris Piekos

    Clegg Scheduled To Start For Potomac This Afternoon

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    Former Minuteman Mitchell Clegg is slated to start for the Potomac Nationals this afternoon in the second game of a doubleheader on the road against the Frederick Keys. Game one is slated to begin at noon.

    Clegg is currently 0-0 with a 4.50 ERA after pitching four innings in his 2011 debut last week, a 3-2 win over the Winston-Salem Dash.
    MEDIA ADVISORY: MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT ABOUT FUTURE OF UMASS FOOTBALL

    The University of Massachusetts will be holding a press conference regarding the future of the UMass football program on Wednesday, April 20. The event will be held at Gillette Stadium's Media Workroom in Foxboro, Mass. at 3:30 p.m.

    Watch the event live on CBS 3 Now (Comcast Channel 293, Charter Channel 230, UMass Campus Channel 79).

    Live Streaming Video: Watch The Press Conference.

    Collegian Wrap On Softball Victory

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    Pete Vasquez of the Daily Collegian has a recap of Friday's softball win at Dayton, 9-1. Sara Plourde struck out 17 in a three-hitter, and Meghan Carta and Stephanie Mayne hit back-to-back home runs, Carta's being her second grand slam of the season. The Minutewomen have won eight in a row.

    This week will be a busy one for the softball team. It travels to Storrs on Wednesday to face UConn before returning home for five-straight to close the week. On Thursday, The Minutewomen host Fairfield, on Friday it's a doubleheader against Syracuse, and on Sunday, George Washington comes to the UMass Softball Complex for an Atlantic 10 twinbill.

    Gaffney Named To D-League All-Defensive Team

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    UMass alum Tony Gaffney was named to the NBA D-League All-Defensive First Team. Gaffney averaged 7.1 rebounds, 2.3 blocks (10th in the D-League) and 1.43 steals per game for the Utah Flash in 35 games.

     

    2010-11 NBA D-LEAGUE ALL-DEFENSIVE FIRST TEAM
    Guard: Orien Greene Utah Flash
    Guard: Othyus Jeffers*, Iowa Energy
    Forward: Tony Gaffney, Utah Flash
    Forward: Larry Owens*, Tulsa 66ers
    Center: Chris Johnson*, Dakota Wizards
    Center: Sean Williams, Texas Legends

    Republican Feature On QB Kellen Pagel

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    In the Springfield Republican, Ron Chimelis has a feature on new quarterback Kellen Pagel, who has performed well in spring football. Pagel came to UMass after a season at Bowling Green.

    Feature On Marcus Camby From The Columbian

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    The Columbian Newspaper in Washington has a feature on UMass Hall of Famer Marcus Camby. Check out some of the interesting comments from the story including the following:

    "The clock is definitely ticking," said the 37-year-old Camby, now in his 15th season in the league. "And you got the lockout looming, there are a lot of factors. I try not to think about it, but these are the times where you really start to look over the course of your career and where you're at."

    "I think about that '99 team (Knicks team that played in the NBA Finals) every day," Camby said. "It just shows that, once you get into the playoffs, anything is possible."

    Lakers coach Phil Jackson recently acclaimed Camby's skill set, praising his "great mind for defense" and "knack for the game."

    Clegg Featured In Springfield Republican

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    Mitch Clegg, the former University of Massachusetts pitcher, made some changes to his offseason conditioning program this past winter that he hopes will pay off as he pursues his dream of playing in the major leagues.

    Instead of working out on his own, Clegg's new routine called for visiting Mike Boyle Strength & Conditioning four times a week for 15 weeks. Other athletes who have sought out Boyle in the past include Nomar Garciaparra, Cam Neely, Ray Bourque and Rich Hill, a Boston native who pitched for the Red Sox in 2010.

    "It is in Woburn, in my hometown, so I really had no excuse not to go," said Clegg, a minor league pitcher in the Washington Nationals' farm system. "I slimmed down and put on some muscle mass. I needed it. I feel as good as I have in a couple of years."

    Read more of David Driver's Former UMass pitcher Mitch Clegg making strides in Nationals' farm system

    UMass Men's Lax 15th In Polls

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    After back-to-back overtime wins on Kyle Smith goals, the UMass men's lacrosse team stands 15th in both the USILA Division I Coaches Poll and Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll

    UMass will play Hofstra, ranked eighth and seventh in the respective polls this Saturday in the ESPNU Warrior Classic. 

    Here's a look at UMass' foes in the polls (USILA/IL): Hofstra (8th/7th), Amry (17th/18th), Delaware (19th/20th). Harvard, Penn State and Ohio State are also receiving votes. 

    Recaps Of Women's Lax Win Over Richmond

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    The No. 15 UMass women's lacrosse team capped a dominating week of Atlantic 10 play on Sunday with a 14-4 win over Richmond to claim the league's regular-season title and the No. 1 seed in the A-10 Championship Tournament which will be held in two weeks. Richmond entered the game with UMass tied for first in the league standings and was previously unbeaten in conference play.

    Daily Hampshire Gazette: Minutewomen Clinch A-10 Regular-Season Title
    LaxMagazine.com: UMass Clinches A-10 Season Title With Authority

    Game Highlights:

    Postgame Interviews:

    Happy Birthday: April 18 - Katie Bettencourt

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    Happy Birthday on April 18 to softball's junior outfielder  Katie Bettencourt

    Katie Bettencourt

    Videos, Recaps Of Men's Lacrosse's 3OT Win

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    Reid Heads To NLL Playoffs With Boston Blazers

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    The matchups are now set for the Divisional Semifinals of the National Lacrosse League 2011 Playoffs, which open on the weekend on April 29th. In the Eastern Division, it's the top-seeded Buffalo Bandits vs. the Boston Blazers, while the Toronto Rock face the Rochester Knighthawks.

    Former UMass All-American Jack Reid helps lead the Blazers into the postseason after a 16-9 win over Buffalo in the regular-season finale. Reid scored a goal -- his second of the season and second of his pro indoor career. Reid heads into the postseason and 31 loose balls.


    CBS 3 Springfield Feature On Art Kell's Return

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    Sometimes the thrill of winning can quickly turn into the pain of injury. 

    "I knew that something was wrong, I was definitely in a lot of pain but we were in a big game, playing Hofstra, I believe they were #7 in the country," says Art Kell. "After the game, when I woke up the next morning, I couldn't even put a single bit of pressure on it, so obviously I knew when I woke up, I was in trouble."

    After pitching seven season in the major leagues, Chad Paronto is coming home.

    The 35-year-old city resident signed a contract with the Pittsfield Colonials in dual roles as pitching coach and starter.

    Despite having been invited to spring training by multiple professional clubs, Paronto decided to hang up his professional career to be closer to his family.

    "I know that I can pitch in the big leagues but that's the least of my concerns," Paronto said at a press conference Friday. "I chose to retire for my family."

    Last season, Paronto led the Pawtucket Red Sox in appearances with 54 and posted a 4.22 ERA out of the bullpen. But at the end of the year, he said he began thinking of retiring in order to spend more time with his children.

    Read more of Pittsfield Colonials Sign Former Major Leaguer

    Baseball's Eric Fredette celebrates his birthday on April 17. The Minutemen finish their suspended game and take on Temple this afternoon.

    The women's lacrosse team goes for the A-10 Regular-Season on Jackie Lyons  Birthday at McGuirk Stadium. 

    Eric Fredette  Jackie Lyons

    #14 UMass Men's Lax Previews For Drexel Game

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    Recaps From Women's Lax Win Over George Washington

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    Jackie Lyons scored her 200th career point at UMass as the No. 15 women's lacrosse team dominated George Washington 21-6 on Friday afternoon at McGuirk Stadium. The win sets up Sunday's match-up against Richmond that will determine the Atlantic 10's No. 1 seed in the upcoming tournament as well as the 2011 Regular-Season Champion.

     

    Daily Hampshire Gazette: No. 15 UMass Overwhelms Colonials
    LaxMagazine.com: Lyons Cracks 200-Point Barrier As UMass Rolls
    WWLP NBC22: No. 15 Minutewomen Rout George Washington

    Minutewomen rout George Washington: wwlp.com

    Happy Birthday: April 16 - Runners Bishop & Bourque

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    On the day of Minuteman Invitational, we wish Happy Birthday to a pair of track members on April 16: Nicole BishopRachelle Bourque

    Nicole Bishop  Rachelle Bourque

    Republican: Feature On Lacrosse's Kyle Smith

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    After a disappointing month of March, the University of Massachusetts men's lacrosse team needed to turn the page, so coach Greg Cannella held his own version of show and tell.

    "He ripped up the March page off the calendar and told us there were five games left in the season," recalled sophomore attack Kyle Smith of Longmeadow, who scored the game-winning goal in overtime in last Saturday's 9-8 win at Towson.

    And now it's a three-game season for the Minutemen, who are 7-3 and 2-1 in the Colonial Athletic Association entering Saturday's huge conference clash against Drexel (6-5, 2-2) at Garber Field at 1 p.m.

    Daily Hampshire Gazette: Koncki Feature

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    Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a great feature story on UMass junior jumper, Zachary Koncki. This past indoor season, Koncki brought home an A-10 and New England title in the long jump.

    ""I feel like I do better when there's something on the line," Koncki said.

     

    The Minutemen are back on the UMass track this Saturday at 11:30 am for the Minuteman Invitational.

    Daily Collegian Recaps Last Weekend's Knecht Cup

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    Ben Lambert of the Daily Collegian has a wrap from the UMass rowing team's performance at last weekend's Knecht Cup. The Varsity 4+ took the gold medal in the Grand Final while the Second Varsity Eight finished third in its Grand Final.

    "Some 30, 35 different colleges were entered [in the Varsity Four]," said Head Coach Jim Dietz. "The Second Varsity Eight rowed tremendously, I think that's pretty exciting racing."

    The Minutewomen are off to the Atlantic 10 Championships tomorrow, which are scheduled to begin at 8 AM on the Cooper River.

    UMass Team Physician Dr. Rouzier On Risk Injuries

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    New research suggests that some student athletes push themselves too hard. UMass sports medicine doctor Pierre Rouzier says media attention generated by regulations proposed in Massachusetts that aim to reduce concussions has already made a difference. A new study by the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine points to other risks like stress fractures--which Rouzier told WFCR's Susan Kaplan are typically related to the type and amount of activity.

    Listen to Rouzier here: ListenNow.


    On April 15, we celebrate for lacrosse freshman Connor Mooney and basketball senior Megan Zullo who will light candles for their birthdays.

    Connor Mooney  Megan Zullo

    AHL Playoff Update

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    Four former Minutemen are currently in the AHL Playoffs which also got underway this week. Casey Wellman's Houston Aeros won game one of their series with Peoria, 4-1, on Wednesday. David Leaderer's Milwaukee Admirals defeated Texas 5-2 in game one of that series. Alex Berry's Norfolk Admirals will start their series with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton tonight, while Greg Mauldin's Lake Erie Monsters will host Manitoba on Saturday.

    Sharks Top Kings In OT To Start NHL Playoff Series

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    Joe Pavelsi scored at the 14:44 mark of overtime as the San Jose Sharks edged the L.A. Kings last night 3-2 in the opening game of their NHL Playoff Series. The two teams will meet up again on Saturday. Jonathan Quick was the 3rd star of the game making 42 saves in the loss. Former UMass All-American Justin Braun was a healthy scratch for the Sharks, but could see the ice on Saturday.

    Collegian Previews Women's Lax Weekend

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    To say this is a big weekend for the women's lacrosse team is a bit of an understatement. Friday afternoon, the No. 15 Minutewomen host George Washington which is tied for 3rd in the league standings. On Sunday, UMass will host Richmond in a re-match of last season's A-10 Championship Title Game. UMass and Richmond are both also tied for first in the league standings at 4-0 so potentially, the meeting could determine the league's regular-season champion and the tournament's No. 1 seed. And it's Senior Day on Sunday for one of the top classes in program history.

    With all that said, here are some game previews from the Daily Collegian:

    Report From UMass Football Practice 6 With MVPs

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    Check out the UMass Football Practice 6 Report With MVPs. Interviews with Shane Viveiros, Julian Talley, Emil Igwenagu, Stephane Milhim, Theo Agnew and coach Kevin Morris. The next practice is slated for Saturday morning. The UMass Football Spring Game is April 30 at 4 p.m.

    Clegg Starts, P-Nats Win Second Game Of Doubleheader

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    Former Minuteman lefty hurler Mitchell Clegg made his first start of the 2011 season last night with the Potomac Nationals, and helped the team salvage a split of its doubleheader with a 3-2 game two victory.

    Clegg did not earn a decision, but threw four innings and allowed two runs on four hits with one walk and three strikeouts in the seven-inning contest.

    Happy Birthday: April 14 - Kelly, Soto, Sutherland

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    Pair of field hockey birthdays on April 14: senior Katie Kelly and freshman Mel Sutherland as well as lacrosse junior Eric Soto.


    Katie Kelly  Mel Sutherland  Eric Soto

    Forbes Plays Career-High 42 Minutes For Nuggets

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    In the regular-season finale with the Denver Nuggets, UMass' Gary Forbes started and played a career-high 42 minutes and scored 17 points -- his second most in a game this season. His Nuggets dropped a 107-103 decision to Utah, but have secured the No. 5 seed in the NBA playoffs. 

    Forbes finished his first NBA season averaging 5.2 points and 1.8 rebounds in 62 games with 11 starts.

    The Nuggets will play the Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA Playoffs First Round. Here's a closer look at the match-up from NBA.com.

    Camby Returns To Playoffs With Portland

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    UMass Hall of Famer Marcus Camby is back in the postseason with the Portland Trail Blazers, who will play the Dallas Mavericks. The best-of-seven series begins at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, with Game 1 Saturday, April 16 at 9:30 p.m. and Game 2 Tuesday, April 19 at 9:30 p.m.

    Camby had an injured-marred season, but did play in 59 games with 51 starts for the Blazers. He finished with 4.7 points per game and 10.3 rebounds in 26 minutes per night. It was the ninth straight season he grabbed double-figure rebounds. Camby would have finished sixth in the NBA in rebounding, but did not play the minimum number of games to qualify for the rankings.

    On his GazetteNet Blog, Matt Vautour points out how the possible disappearance of the NBA Summer League would be good for one UMass alum but bad for other recent products. Read about it in: No NBA summer league: bad for Gurley, Gaffney, good for Forbes?


    If NFL labor talk wasn't giving you your fill of legal fun, the NBA appears ready to follow suit as rumors of a basketball lockout continue to gather steam.

    If the NY Daily News is right, the NBA Las Vegas summer league won't be happening this year. The league is usually a chance for rookies to prepare for their first season, while players who were undrafted, or played int eh D-League or overseas can use the league as a chance to get an invitation to somebody's camp. This helped earn Gary Forbes a job last year. Without a summer league there'll be fewer chances for someone to crack a roster.

    If there is a work stoppage, even a short one, that postpones the start of the 2011-12 season. It's likely that NBA will have shorter training camps. Players with NBA experience will be safer invites to people camp. For someone like Gary Forbes, who'll be a free agent after the season, this is a good thing.

    For someone like Tony Gaffney, who played this season in the D-League, or Anthony Gurley, who isn't expected to be drafted, there is less chance of becoming the next Gary Forbes.

     

    Mitchell Clegg Slated To Make P-Nats Debut Tonight

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    UMass' own Mitchell Clegg is listed as the probable starting pitcher for the Potomac Nationals tonight as the P-Nats are slated to face the Winston-Salem Dash in a doubleheader tonight at 6:05 p.m.

    Live audio is available via MiLB.com.

    Clegg was 9-3 with the Hagerstown Suns last season and posted a 3.48 earned run average in 93.0 innings on the mound with 55 walks and 22 strikeouts.

    Collegian: Matthew Impress Maroon & White Staff

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    Steve Levine of the Daily Collegian has a great story on the emergence of Cyndil Matthew as a threat in the UMass softball team's offense. The story focuses on how the sophomore speedster has learned the art of slap-hitting and, as the No. 9 hitter, has got on base for the top of the lineup.

    "She's like our second leadoff [hitter]," Assistant Coach Kristi Stefanoni said. "She's someone we can depend on to get on base and use her speed and then have the heart of the order... [come up] to drive Cyndil in."

    Matthew has been getting on base with regularity as of late, batting .346 with a .433 on-base percentage and six runs scored in the last 10 games.

    In the middle of April are you thinking about basketball? Well if you are not, you should be today. The basketball program hosts its annual Court Club Banquet tonight at 6 p.m., in the Campus Center. To reserve your spot call 413-577-0267. Head coach Derek Kellogg will review the 2010-11 season and hand out team awards.

    Also, the UMass Sports Luncheon welcomes Kellogg as its featured speaker today at 12:15 p.m. Come out to the Campus Center Room 1009 to hear from the Minutemen's head man. To attend, call 413-545-4290.

    UMass Featured On Inside Lacrosse's Gameday Gear

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    Inside Lacrosse has a fantastic feature on UMass men's lacrosse in the Minutemen's new helmets, made by Warrior, and uniforms and shoes by Adidas.

    • Game Day Gear: UMass Minutemen Maroon

    Gazette: Teams Eager To Play UMass In Springfield

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    In the Daily Hampshire Gazette, Matt Vautour has a story about how MAAC opponents are looking to play UMass at the MassMutual Center with that conference's postseason tournament starting in Springfield in 2012. 

    • Basketball teams eager to play Minutemen in Springfield

    Happy Birthday: April 13 - Coach Cahoon, Fisk, Hill

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    Best wishes for Happy Birthdays on April 13 to hockey head coach Don "Toot" Cahoon, women's runner Elizabeth Fisk and men's basketball forward Matt Hill.

    Elizabeth Fisk  Matt Hill

    Gaffney's D-League Season Ends In Playoff Loss

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    UMass alum Tony Gaffney saw his NBA D-League season end last night as his Utah Flash dropped a 112-107 decision at the top-seeded Iowa Energy in Game 3 of the first-round of the playoffs. Gaffney had 13 points, four steals and two rebounds in 26 minutes. 

    Football Spring Practice Most Valuable Players

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    Check out this interview with UMass Football Coach Kevin Morris and this week's Spring Practice Most Valuable Players. Tuesday's MVP's were defensive backs Christian Birt and Antoine Tharpe, tight end Rob Blanchflower and wide receiver Tom Gilson

    Torra Pitches Aces To Third Straight Win

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    Former UMass hurler Matt Torra earned the win in his 2011 debut for the Reno Aces last night as the squad defeated the Colorado Springs Sky Sox, 9-1. Torra threw six innings and allowed just one run and scattered five hits, striking out two without walking a batter.

    Check out the recap and box score on on MiLB.com.

    Checking In On Forbes & Gaffney In Hoop Action

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    We have an update on two of UMass' basketball pros. 2008 alum Gary Forbes continues to get a great chance to play major minutes with the Denver Nuggets. On Monday night, he scored 15 points and grabbed four rebounds in a start as part of the Nuggets 134-111 win after Golden State. The win secured Denver a 50-win season and the No. 5 seed in the postseason. Denver will play Oklahoma City in the playoffs.

    title

    Tony Gaffney, who finished his UMass career in 2009, picked up a playoff win last night in the D-League as his Utah Flash upset the No. 1 seeded Iowa Energy, 119-118 in Iowa. The decisive Game 3 is tonight. Gaffney started and had eight points and three blocks for the Flash. 

    Matt Torra On The Hill For Reno Tonight

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    Former Minuteman Matt Torra will make his 2011 debut tonight as he will start on the mound for the Reno Aces on the road against the Colorado Springs Sky Sox at 8:05 Eastern.

    Audio is available on MiLB.com and the contest will also air on MiLB.TV.

    Recap Of Softball's Sweep On Sunday

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    The UMass Softball team continues to win, tallying seven consecutive games in the Atlantic-10 with a doubleheader sweep over St. Bonaventure on Sunday at the UMass Softball Complex. Sunday's twinbill was highlighted with Sara Plourde striking out 30 batters, and two two-run homers by Stephaine Mayne and Lindsey Webster, as the Minutewomen swept the Bonnies, 1-0 and 7-1

    Plourde Baffles Bonnies, Matt Vatour, Hampshire Gazette
    Plourde strikes out 30 in Minutewomen victory, Michael Wood, The Daily Collegian
    Minutewomen impressive at home, look towards practicing outdoors, Steve Levine, The Daily Collegian
    Softball Swept in Doubleheader At UMass, Chris Murphy, Gobonnies.com
    Masslive.com Photo Gallery, J. Anthony Roberts

    Happy Birthday: April 11 - Tiffany Meeks

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    Happy Birthday to softball freshman infielder Tiffany Meeks on April 11. 

    Tiffany Meeks

    Giants Gab Profile Of Victor Cruz

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    The blog website GiantsGab.com has a feature on UMass alum Victor Cruz. Check it out Victor Cruz Player Profile.

    There were two hundred and twenty-five players named called during the 2010 NFL draft. Not one of those names was Victor Cruz. He'd have to try and make it as an UDFA. Cruz received calls from many teams, but the UMass standout opted to sign with the Giants. He'd try and make the roster as a player not drafted something very difficult to do.

    UMass Lax Back Up To 14th, 15th In Polls

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     The UMass men's lacrosse team is up to 14th in the USILA Coaches Poll and 15th in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll after the dramatic 9-8 overtime win at Towson on Saturday.

    Here's a look at UMass' opponents in this week's poll (USILA/IL): Hofstra (8th/8th), Army (17th/18th), Delaware (19th/20th). Also receiving votes are: Drexel, Ohio State, Harvard, Penn State, Hartford and Brown.

    Feature On Greg Niland And His Shot At NFL

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    Read this great feature story on UMass senior offensive lineman Greg Niland in the Fall River Herald News.

    Greg Niland has learned his lessons well.

    How else to explain the businesslike approach the 6-foot-5, 305-lbs. business administration major is taking to the upcoming National Football League draft? "All it takes is for one team to like you and take a chance," Niland said. "That's all you need."

    One team: That would be one less than the offensive lineman from East Bridgewater suited up for over the course of his collegiate career.

    Recaps Of Lacrosse' Thrilling Win At Towson

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    Check out these stories of UMass' 9-8 comeback win at Towson on Saturday as the Minutemen moved to 7-3 overall, 2-1 in the CAA.

    Another Strong April Weekend For UMass Athletics

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    If April showers bring May flowers, does the same hold true for wins and playoffs? UMass had another successful weekend with a combined 9-3 record, several outstanding performances by the track & field teams in their home opening meet, and a Gold Medal performance for the crew team on the Cooper River in the Knecht Cup.

    That brings the April W/L total to 16-4 - especially since most of those are against league opponents.

    Those May playoffs are coming soon for softball, men's lacrosse and women's lacrosse as April hits the home stretch over the next two weeks. Make sure to get out to Amherst for what is sure to be an exciting next few weeks.

    Lyons, others pacing Minutewomen attack

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    Senior Jackie Lyons and the No. 11 Massachusetts women's lacrosse team are wading through their conference schedule behind the success of their offense.
      

    Lyons, the reigning Atlantic 10 Player of the Year, is used to being the catalyst for the UMass (11-2, 4-0) offense with her goal-scoring. With a core of adept upperclassmen and a set of emerging newcomers taking up the scoring load, Lyons has played more of a facilitating role this season, and it is working out in the Minutewomen's favor.

    "Even last year, we had maybe four or five [scorers], but now we have all seven people," said Lyons after a recent win against Duquesne. "We have people coming off the bench who can score, and it's great because it's hard for teams to stop us when everybody's a threat."

    CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING:

    Recaps Of Women's Lacrosse Win At St. Bonaventure

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    The No. 11 UMass women's lacrosse team improved to 6-0 on the road with Sunday's 16-10 win at St. Bonaventure on Sunday. The win also keeps the Minutewomen in a tie with Richmond for first place in the Atlantic 10 standings with a 4-0 league record.

    Rested Quick could be Kings' difference-maker

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    The question has been directed at Jonathan Quick so often lately he might as well wear his blocker during interviews to better deflect it.

    So let's get it out of the way right now:

    No, he did not get worn down last season. He felt fine despite logging 72 games, a high number for a West Coast goalie who does more travel than many of his peers.

    Yet even his coach, Terry Murray, acknowledged that he rode Quick too hard last season, and the evidence seemed clear when Quick finished the regular season on a 0-3-3 slide. 

    But Quick seems to be the only one who didn't get tired just looking at those statistics.

    Forbes Starts, Scores 10 For Nuggets In Blowout Win

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    Ty Lawson made his first 10 3-pointers Saturday night and scored a career-high 37 points in leading the short-handed Denver Nuggets to a 130-106 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. In the win, UMass alum Gary Forbes started scored 10 points, had five rebounds and handed out four assists in 34 minutes. It was his ninth start of the season and ninth game in double-figures.

    Denver Nuggets forward Kenyon Martin (4) and Gary Forbes (0) celebrate during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday, April 9, 2011, in Denver. Photo: Jack Dempsey / AP

    Gurley Finishes Portsmouth With 10 Points

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    In his final game at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, Anthony Gurley scored 10 points, making 4-of-9 from the field and grabbed three rebounds in 15 minutes in a 95-87 loss for his team Portsmouth Sports Club. 

    Gurley finished the three-day session with 21 points and 11 rebounds. 


    On April 10, we have two UMas birthdays, a pair of sophomores: Kaitlyn MacKenzie of the rowing team and Kim Young  of the field hockey team. 

    Kaitlyn MacKenzie  Kim Young

    #16 UMass Lacrosse Previews Of Towson Game

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    Former Minutemen Gear Up For AHL Playoffs

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    So far four teams featuring for members of the Mass Attack have clinched spots for the AHL Playoffs as the regular-season winds down to its final couple of games. One more spot in the 16 team field will be decided by Sunday which is the last day of the regular-season.

    Norfolk Admirals - Alex Berry
    Lake Erie Monsters - Greg Mauldin
    Milwaukee Admirals - David Leaderer
    Houston Aeros - Casey Wellman
    In its midseason report, InsideLacrosse.com takes a look at the top-10 freshmen in the country listing UMass' Katie Ferris as No. 1 overall. She added five more points (4g, 1a) yesterday giving her a team best 34 goals and 42 points.

    1. Katie Ferris- Massachusetts- Attack

    The Carthage, NY native has hit the ground running in Amherst. She's tied for first on the team in points (37) and boasts a team-high 30 goals. The finisher also leads the team in game-winning goals in 2011. She's picked up 11 ground balls and has caused 7 turnovers.

    Green & White Report: Ducasse On A Mission

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    The Green and White Report has a feature on UMass alum Vladimir Ducasse.  Read the full story: Ducasse's Mission

    Vladimir Ducasse is a man on a mission.

    With the release of veteran Damien Woody this offseason, the competition for starting jobs along the right side of the offensive line is wide open. A second lineman out of the UMASS, Ducasse has shed eight pounds this offseason working his way down to a spry and limber 317. Ducasse was quick to credit the training program developed by trainers at TEST Sports Clubs.

    "I'm doing everything: working on strength, speed and agility and trying to gain more flexibility," Ducasse told GWR. "We are doing exercises over and over again until it becomes muscle memory."

    Gurley Scores 4 Pts, Grabs 5 Reb. In Portsmouth

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    In his second game in the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, Anthony Gurley scored four points and grabbed five rebounds in 24 minutes in a 97-72 loss for the Portsmouth Sports Club. 

    Gurley will next play on Saturday at 6 p.m.

    The Springfield Republican had this brief on Gurley and his play in the P.I.T.


    Recaps From Women's Lacrosse Win Over Duquesne

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    The No. 11 UMass women's lacrosse team won draw controls early and often in a 13-6 win over Duquesne on Friday afternoon to improve to 10-2 overall and 3-0 in the Atlantic 10. Katie Ferris had four goals, while Jackie Lyons notched three moving into third all-time in career goals at UMass. The Minutewomen will face St. Bonaventure on Sunday (Noon) at Alfred University in Alfred, N.Y.

    Happy Birthday: April 9 - Aaron Fears

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    Happy Birthday to senior wide receiver Aaron Fears on April 9. 

    Aaron Fears

    Florence Featured On WomensLax.com

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    UMass women's lacrosse junior goalkeeper Katie Florence is featured on WomensLax.com this weekend. One of the things fans can find out about her is that in her spare time she practices with her band:

    In my spare time I am often practicing with my band, "The Smashing Peaches." It includes my fellow teammates Brianna "Peachy" Concialdi, Kiki Palmer, and Cori Murray.

    The Minutemen will open up their home schedule this weekend with a three-game series against Atlantic 10 foe Dayton, beginning with game one this afternoon on Earl Lorden Field at 3 p.m. Games two and three are set for 1 p.m. and 11 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

    Here is Michael Counos' preview of the series from today's Daily Collegian.

    ESPN New York Looks At Jets OL With Ducasse

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    Rich Cimini of ESPN New York.com has a look at the New York Jets offensive line heading into the 2011 season. He writes a lot about UMass alum Vladimir Ducasse, who is expected to start this season.

    The microscope will be focused intensely on Ducasse, who attempts to replace the popular Damien Woody as the starting right tackle. Ducasse has a lot stacked against him -- virtually no experience, new position, small-school background -- but the Jets' brass believes he can get it done.

    In an attempt to show a little school spirit on his first day at his new job, University of Massachusetts defensive coordinator Frank Forcucci dug out some of his old UMass gear from a previous stint on the Minuteman coaching staff.

    He didn't wear it long. Since he last coached in Amherst, UMass has changed head coaches, playing surfaces, athletic directors and equipment providers, so Forcucci's old Nike apparel was quickly replaced with new Adidas duds.

    Other than the clothing, Forcucci has felt at home back in Amherst. Read Matt Vautour's full feature story in the Daily Hampshire Gazette: New defensive coordinator Frank Forcucci familiar with UMass football

    Happy Birthday: April 8 - Hockey's Peter DeAngelo

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    Happy Birthday on April 8 to hockey freshman Peter DeAngelo.

    Peter DeAngelo
    UMass football alum Tracy Belton will be on the NFL Network on Friday night as part of the Arena Football League game of the Week. Belton's Georgia Force play the Dallas Vigilantes at 8 p.m., Belton has 12 solo tackles this season along with an interception and three pass break-ups for the 2-1 Force. Last season with the Milwaukee Iron, Belton had 83 tackles and six interceptions. 
    UMass' Anthony Gurley started his first game at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament on Thursday night in a 96-76 win for Portsmouth Sports Club. He scored seven points, handed out four assists and grabbed three rebounds in 20 minutes. The team was led by BU's John Holland, who had 23 points. 

    His team will next play on Friday at 9 p.m.

    The UMass Rowing Lightweight 8+ boat is ranked No. 9 in this week's USRowing Collegiate Poll, which was released Thursday afternoon. The Minutewomen lightweights will be in action at the Knecht Cup, which begins Saturday morning at 7 AM on the Cooper River in Camden, N.J.

    To view the complete USRowing Collegiate Poll, click here.

    Daily Collegian: Track Running Strong

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    Matt Strong of The Daily Collegian has a recap of last weekend's track and field meet, and previews this weekend's UMass Invitational.

    "The Minutemen will look to pick up where they left off last weekend, building on a first-place finish at the Yellow Jacket Invitational."

     

    Looking for a way to rattle Jonathan Quick? Looking for a situation on (or off) the ice that might be unfamiliar to Quick, one that he might not know how to handle?



    Well, good luck with that.

    At the young age of 25, in just his second full NHL season, Quick has seen almost everything. He climbed up from the ECHL. He surprised many by claiming the Kings' No. 1 goalie job. He set a franchise record for games and wins and helped the team to the playoffs for the first time in eight years. He became an Olympian and a first-time father.

    All of these accomplishments have been accompanied by challenges, and Quick -- arguably the Kings' most competitive and self-critical player -- has internalized all the experiences and, seemingly, become a much better goalie for all of it.

    CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING:

    Happy Birthday: April 7 - Corey Volpicelli

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    Best wishes for a Happy Birthday to baseball's Corey Volpicelli, who celebrates on April 7. Follow him on twitter @coreyvolp7. 

    Corey Volpicelli

    Marcel Shipp On UFL Locos' Protected List

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    The Las Vegas Locomotives of the United Football League have announced the team's 40-man protected player list for the 2011 season. That list includes UMass' all-time leading rusher Marcel Shipp. Check out the entire list here and the story here. He has played two seasons with the Locos winning the UFL title in 2009.

    Stories On Gurley's Invitation to Portsmouth

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    Anthony Gurley's chances to impress professional scouts got a significant boost Wednesday when the University of Massachusetts guard got an invitation to the Portsmouth (Va.) Invitational Tournament. Gurley, a third-team, all-Atlantic 10 selection who averaged 18.7 points as a senior and scored 1,520 points in his college career, was a late addition to the event, which began play Wednesday night. Portsmouth annually serves as a showcase for seniors who want to play professionally. Scouts from the NBA and overseas professional leagues attend the event.

    Gurley will play his first game on Thursday night at 7 p.m., as a member of the Portsmouth Sports Club. His teammates include Vernon Macklin of Florida, WIll Coleman of Memphis, Corey Fisher of Villanova as well as fellow A-10 player Bill Clark of Duquesne and local foe John Holland from Boston Univ.

    Read more in these stories:     

    Gaffney's Flash Lose Game 1 In D-League Playoffs

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    The NBA D-League playoffs began last night as the Utah Flash and UMass alum Tony Gaffney lost to the Iowa Energy, 103-96 in Orem, Utah. Gaffney had six points and four rebounds in a start for the Flash. Read more about the game

    • D-League Website: Energy Open Playoffs With Win

    UMass Winter Scholar-Athlete Luncheon - Cerie Mosgrove, Sean Busch. Speeches by Female honoree Cerie Mosgrove (women's basketball), Associate Head Coach Steve Lanpher, Professor Glenn Wong and Track & Field Coach Ken O'Brien. Busch was unable to attend.

    Rowing Banquet To Be Held May 1

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    The UMass rowing team will hold their 2011 season banquet on May 1 at the Clarion Hotel Ballroom in Northamption, Mass. The event, scheduled to begin at 3 PM, is held in conjunction with the men's rowing club team. To reserve your spot for just $35, please RSVP to the men's club team by April 18.

    For the invitation to the banquet, click here.
    Ben Lambert of the Daily Collegian has a recap of the UMass rowing team's win over Colgate last weekend on the Connecticut River. The Minutewomen swept all three races against the Raiders, and will head to Camden, N.J. for the Knecht Cup this weekend.

    "Despite the rough conditions, I thought both boats raced pretty well," said UMass coach Jim Dietz. "Normally, the Connecticut River is flat and very conducive to rowing. On Saturday, the wind was blowing big time and there were white caps, so it was very rough water."

    Lots Of Honors At Today's UMass Sports Luncheon

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    Senior Cerie Mosgrove of the women's basketball team and senior Sean Busch of the men's track & field squad have been named the 2011 UMass Winter Scholar-Athletes. The duo will be honored at the UMass Sports Luncheon today, Apr. 6, at Room 1009 of the Campus Center at 12:15 p.m. Also, the UMass Athletes of the Week will be recognized: Sara Plourde of the softball team, who was also named the National Player of the Week and Katie Ferris of the women's lacrosse squad, who tallied 12 points in two wins for No. 11 UMass.
    On April 6, we wish Happy Birthday to senior swimmer Jessica Starosielec. Enjoy your big day!

    Jessica Starosielec

    UMass sophomore lacrosse player Colin Fleming enjoys a good meal, check out his visit to the Hampshire Dining Commons on campus.

    Holmes, McCummings Named Practice 3 Football MVPs

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    Redshirt freshman fullback Thad McCummings and junior All-American linebacker Tyler Holmes were named the football team's MVPs after the third practice of the season. 


    Thad McCummings  Tyler Holmes
    You can follow the UMass men's lacrosse team on twitter @UMassMLacrosse, sign up now to get all the latest news on the Minutemen.


    @UMassMLacrosse on twitter.

    Daily Collegian Update On UMass Football

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    The Daily Collegian has an update notebook on UMass football. The team held its annual Pro Day at McGuirk Stadium on March 25, announcing its 2011 schedule. The schedule is highlighted by the second-annual Colonial Clash at Gillette Stadium against New Hampshire on Oct. 22 and a BCS battle against Boston College on Sept. 24. 

    Best birthday wishes to softball senior Meghan Carta and baseball sophomore Anthony Serino on April 5. 

    Meghan Carta  Anthony Serino

    Updating UMass Alums In NLL Lacrosse

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    Several former UMass lacrosse players are in action in the National Lacrosse League. There are three weeks of action left in the NLL season. Here's a look at former Minutemen.

    • With the Boston Blazers two 2006 All-American have seen action. Jack Reid has played in 13 games on defense and has a goal and 28 loose balls. Sean Morris has played in five games and has three goals and four assists for seven points. 

    • 2005 All-American Jeff Zywicki has played in three games with the Washington Stealth, missing most of the season with a lower body injury. He has four goals and four assists for eight points. Craig Conn, who only played one year at UMass, replaced Zywicki when he was hurt early in the season. He has 11 goals and 15 assists for 26 points. 

    Zywicki-richardolson_original_crop_340x234
    Washington Stealth forward Jeff Zywicki (left) tries to get past Calgary Roughnecks defenseman Dayne Michaud (Credit: Richard Olson).

    Clegg To Begin 2011 With Potomac Nationals

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    Former UMass lefty hurler Mitchell Clegg will begin his third professional season with the Potomac Nationals, the class-A advanced affiliate of the Washington Nationals.

    Clegg was 9-4 with a 3.20 ERA in 107 innings of work last season and started 16 games. He logged 63 strikeouts and 25 walks in 2010.

    Potomac will open its season on Friday, Apr. 8, at home against the Lynchburg Hillcats at 7:05 p.m.

    Daily Collegian Recap Of Baseball's Trip To The Bronx

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    The Massachusetts baseball team traveled to Fordham's Houlihan Park this weekend, splitting a pair of highly-contested games to hosts Fordham and Albany.

    Fordham (16-9) walked off with a victory in the first half of the doubleheader, defeating UMass (8-11), 6-5, while UMass came right back to defeat Albany (5-14), 4-2.

    Read more of: Minutemen split weekend series against Albany and Fordham.
    It was between games Saturday at the men's Final Four, the lights were no longer shining in her eyes, and the basketball court was at a safe distance. She was a relaxed spectator, not a pins-and-needles participant.

    Only 48 hours earlier, senior Cerie Mosgrove of the University of Massachusetts women's basketball team was the center of attention, the camera cords dragging along the floor in front of her shooting stations with the camera lens seemingly staring a nose-length from her outstretched shooting arms - kind of like Hal the computer in "2001: A Space Odyssey."

    Read more of Dick Baker's feature on MassLive.com.
    The UMass women's lacrosse team jumped two spots to a tie for 11th in the InsideLacrosse.com/deBeer Media poll. The Minutewomen are tied with Princeton after wins against Temple and at La Salle over the week.

    UMass will next host Duquesne on Friday (1 PM) before heading to St. Bonaventure on Sunday.

    April 4, 2011 - InsideLacrosse.com/deBeer Media Poll

    Men's Lacrosse At 16th, 18th In Polls

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    Following a 1-1 week, the UMass men's lacrosse team is now ranked 16th in the USILA Coaches Poll and 18th in the Inside Lacrosse Media Poll.

    The following UMass opponents are ranked (USILA/IL): Hofstra (8th/7th), Army (13th/14th), Delaware (17th/16th), Penn State (19th/RV) with Ohio State, Harvard, Hartford and Albany receiving votes. 

    Softball Recap Of Win Over St. Louis

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    The UMass softball team continues winning picking up their fifth consecutive win by sweeping St. Louis on Sunday, 4-0, 4-3. Sara Plourde no-hit the Billikens in game one and Teea Rogers supplied the winning hit in game two.


    Plourde Goes The Distance Again For Minutewomen,Pete Vasquez, Daily Collegian
    Minutewomen Sweep Visiting Billikens Sunday,Steve Levine, Daily Collegian
    Masslive.com Photo GalleryJ. Anthony Roberts


    Successful Weekend For UMass Athletics

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    In case you missed it, the Minutemen and Minutewomen had a pretty successful weekend. Out of 12 events, UMass suffered just one loss.

    The women's lacrosse team won two games as did softball. Men's lacrosse defeated Saint Joseph's, while the Tennis team defeated Sacred Heart. The men's track team won the Yellow Jacket Invitational, while the women's team finished 2nd. Rowing won its home regatta against Colgate, while baseball split falling at Fordham before defeating Albany.
    A choked-up Paul Dainton accepted his award as the most valuable player of the 2010-11 University of Massachusetts hockey team, and said his final goodbyes to his college teammates at the end of season banquet Saturday afternoon at the Campus Center. 

    "I like to thank my teammates for this award," the senior captain said. "Being a goalie, I couldn't do it without my other defensemen clearing rebounds." 

    Dainton, on an amateur tryout agreement with the Springfield Falcons, was fighting back tears at the podium as he individually began to thank his defensemen for their help. The award was voted on by the members of the team.

    Recaps From Women's Lacrosse A-10 Opening Weekend

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    The No. 13 UMass women's lacrosse team started league play 2-0 with a 12-9 win over Temple on Thursday at McGuirk Stadium before traveling down to Philadelphia for a 17-4 win over La Salle.


    Gaffney Leads Utah Into D-League Playoffs

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    The NBA D-League Playoffs begin on Wednesday night and UMass alum Tony Gaffney will lead the Utah Flash into the postseason against the Iowa Energy. Gaffney and the Flash finished the 2010-11 season with a 28-22 record. Iowa had the best record in the D-League at 37-13. 

    Gaffney averaged 10.5 points and 7.1 rebounds along with 2.3 blocks per game in 35 contests with the Flash. He shot 54.2 from the floor. 

    UMass' other player in the D-League Stephane Lasme saw his season end with the Maine Red Claws (18-32). Lasme played in the final 10 games with Maine and averaged 7.0 points and 6.0 rebounds after returning from a broken foot. 

    Videos & Recaps Of Lax's 16-9 Win At St. Joe's

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    Chad Hunte Named MVP Football Spring Practice 2

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    After UMass' second football spring practice linebacker Chad Hunte was named the day's MVP by coach Kevin Morris. 

    Chad Hunte

    Happy Birthday: April 3 - Fox, Panciocco

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    Happy Birthday to women's soccer player Meredith Fox and field hockey's Nikki Panciocco.

    Also, football alum and current Arizona Rattler Kyle Harrington also celebrates on April 3. 

    Meredith Fox  Nikki Panciocco

    ESPN's Andy Katz On Calipari-Calhoun Match-Up

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    Check out Andy Katz' column on ESPN.com as he writes about UMass Hall of Famer John Calipari and UConn coach Jim Calhoun as they prepare to coach against each other in the Final Four. Katz has many references to Calipari's time at UMass from 1988-96. There are also many quotes from Bruiser Flint, who succeeded Calipari as head coach at UMass.

    Torra On Reno Aces' Opening Day Roster

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    With the minor league season getting underway next week, clubs have begun to announce their opening day rosters. The Reno Aces, the AAA affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks, unveiled their 2011 Opening Day roster yesterday, which includes former Minuteman Matt Torra.

    Torra won 11 games for the Aces last season and set a D-backs Triple-A record with 178.0 innings pitched.

    The Reno Gazette-Journal also has a position-by-position preview of the season.

    Reno opens 2011 next Thursday, Apr. 7, on the road against the Salt Lake Bees.

    Coverage Of Mosgrove's Three-Point Championship Win

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    Massachusetts Minutewomen basketball star Cerie Mosgrove just gave fans of UMass basketball a reason to celebrate. I'll admit at the outset, pinning the emotions of UMass students and alumni frustrated with the state of the school's basketball program all on one player might be a bit much. Nevertheless, any cause for celebration is precious indeed considering the last few losing seasons.

    Stubbornly loyal alumni like me need any silver lining we can find when it comes to redeeming the Massachusetts Minutemen and Minutewomen. At the very least, Cerie Mosgrove's recent win at the National 3-point Championship amounts to the single best bit of news to come out of UMass basketball in recent memory.

    Read more of Does Cerie Mosgrove's 3-point Championship Victory Redeem UMass Basketball? on Yahoo Sports.

    John Connolly also has coverage in today's Boston Herald: Cerie Mosgrove is 3-point champ


    Football MVPs From Practice 1: Milhim & Potvin

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    Kevin Morris has announced the football team's first MVPs from the initial practice this spring. Offensive lineman Stephane Milhim and defensive lineman Brandon Potvin were honored after Thursday's first practice.

    Previews Of #14 UMass Lax At Saint Joseph's

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    Here are a pair of previews from the Daily Collegian looking at the 14th-ranked men's lacrosse team, which travelled to Philadelphia to play Saint Joseph's on Saturday at 1 p.m.

    • Tough schedule on the horizon for Minutemen

    Lasme Nets Double-Figures Again In D-League

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    UMass alum Stephane Lasme continues to play well in his return action in the NBA D-League with the Maine Red Claws. He scored in double-figures for the second game in a row last night vs. Fort Wayne in the Maine's home finale. He had 10 points and eight rebounds in 24 minutes to help lead Maine to a 105-100 win. He tied the game at 100 on the way to the five-point win.

    Lasme and the Red Claws finish the season at Erie on Saturday. Then Lasme will hope for an NBA call-up in the final month of the league's season. 

    Here are various stories with mentions of Lasme over the last two days.

    • Portland Press-Herald: Claws handled ups and downs
    • Fort Wayne Journal Gazette: Loss hurts Ants' playoff chance

    Denver Post Feature On 'Blessed' Gary Forbes

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    Gary Forbes wakes up and starts almost every morning with a tweet: "Thanking God for another day alive . . . #Blessed."

    Living is something Forbes no longer takes for granted. Each day after his GForbz3 tweet, Forbes takes two insulin shots. There is another shot before lunch and one or two more before he goes to bed.

    The Nuggets small forward has lived with Type 1 diabetes since he was diagnosed in 2005 when he was 19.

    "I'm pretty much used to it by now," Forbes said. "It doesn't bother me. It doesn't affect me. I'm still out here running up and down like everybody else."

    Read the feature in the Denver Post: Nuggets' Forbes "blessed" to get NBA shot

    UMass Spring Football Practice Underway

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    Check out Matt Vautour's story on the start UMass spring football practice: Quarterback competition starts at UMass spring football practice

    The Salem News has a nice feature on UMass alum Kyle Harrington as he is in his first season in the Arena Football League with the Arizona Rattlers. Harrington, a 6-foot-4, 290-pound defensive lineman, is still getting accustomed to life in the AFL, but he likes everything about it so far. The climate in the southwest is pleasant at this time of year, he's playing a sport he's loved since he was a kid, and getting expert coaching from the Rattlers assistant head coach, Kani Kauahi, who played in the NFL for 11 years. He's also broken through as a starter in the last two games for the Rattlers, who are currently 3-0. "I love playing out here," said Harrington. "I'm grateful for the opportunity. 

    Salem's Harrington settles in with Arena League's Arizona Rattlers

    Three UMass April Fool's Day Birthdays

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    On April Fools Day, three UMass student-athletes celebrate birthdays. Happy Birthday to basketball junior Trey Lang football junior Brian Ostaszewski and sophomore swimmer Emily Rookwood.

    Trey Lang  Brian Ostaszewski  Emily Rookwood

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