The University of Massachusetts rowing program earned one of the 22 available bids for the 2015 NCAA Championships and begins competition at the Sacramento State Aquatics Center in Gold River, Calif., Friday afternoon. Daily Hampshire Gazette sports reporter Matt Vautour spoke with head coach Jim Dietz about the spring season that led to UMass' Atlantic 10 Championship and Dad Vail Regatta women's title and how the winter forced adjustments to the team's practice schedule.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette was on-hand to see No. 4 seed UMass men's lacrosse upset No. 1 seed and tournament host Fairfield during the CAA Championship semifinals Thursday evening at Rafferty Stadium. Check out Vautour's recap of the contest for key moments and quotes from head coach Greg Cannella and redshirt-junior goalie Zach Oliveri on the victory:
The UMass men's lacrosse team stats its 2015 season with a 1 p.m. game at McGuirk Stadium against No. 20/20 Army on Saturday, Feb. 7. Daily Hampshire Gazette reporter Matt Vautour spoke with head coach Greg Cannella ahead of the contest to preview the season.
The Daily Hampshire Gazette's Matt Vautour has coverage of UMass football junior cornerback Randall Jette, a veteran in the secondary, and his approach to serving as a teacher and student of the game. Here is one particularly telling quote from Jette contained in the story:
"I've learned something from every coaching staff," said Jette, who is on his way to becoming one of the best players ever from Martha's Vineyard. "I've gotten better, but I've got a long way to go. You're never good enough. I'm lucky. I had older guys teaching me like Darren Thellen. I'm trying to be a good leader and pass it on like it was passed to me. I try to my best play in play out to set an example."
Read the story in its entirety through the link below.
Daily Hampshire Gazette contributing writer Eugene Kucinski stopped by Garber Field to catch UMass men's lacrosse best Providence, 16-11 on Tuesday afternoon. He focused his recap of the contest on the team's ability to bounce back from its weekend loss to No. 18 Albany.
"The University of Massachusetts men's lacrosse team used a 10-goal second half and much-improved defense to defeat Providence, 16-11, Tuesday at Garber Field.
After giving up 25 goals at home on Saturday to Albany, the 14th-ranked Minutemen (5-1) tightened up on defense and limited the Friars (3-3) to four first-half goals.
'Our guys are prideful. Their egos were bruised a little bit,' UMass coach Greg Cannella said. "We buckled down a bit today.'
While the 11 goals allowed was an improvement on Saturday, it matched the second-most given up by the Minutemen this year.
The offense, led by Grant Whiteway, helped compensate and earned UMass the victory..."
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette spoke with UMass men's lacrosse head coach Greg Cannella to preview the 2014 season, which begins Saturday at Army with an 11 a.m. game. Check out Vautour's preview and what Cannella had to say about the squad:
Massachusetts men's lacrosse coach Greg Cannella admitted he was curious
to see how his team plays when it opens the season against Army,
Saturday at 11 a.m. at Michie Stadium, in West Point, N.Y.
'We're looking all
right. We'll find out a little bit more (Saturday). When adversity hits,
you find out what they're all about,' Cannella said. 'They've been a
good group to coach so far. They've worked hard. We've prodded them to
work even harder and challenge themselves.'
The Minutemen will be playing a lot of new faces, while some of the returning players will be in significantly increased rolls..."
UMass men's lacrosse defended Garber Field with the Blue Hens of Delaware in town on Friday night, putting together a complete performance to double-up the visitors, 16-8 in front of 1,623 fans. Kyle Smith earned a career-high nine points (6 goals, 3 assists) while classmate and fellow starting attackmen Will Manny earned seven more (4 goals, 3 assists) to pace the offense. On the other end of the field, seniors Ryan Hollenbaugh and Jake Smith combined for six groundballs and five caused turnovers to lead an even-paced UMass defense that did not allow Delaware more than two goals in any individual quarter.
With the win, UMass remains in contention for the final seed in the CAA Tournament, needing Penn State to defeat Hofstra and Towson to claim victory over Saint Joseph's on Saturday in order to secure a postseason berth. Below are a few recaps of the contest from members of the media present for competition:
It's time for UMass women's basketball to start its 2012-13 season, as the Minutewomen host Kent State on Saturday at the Mullins Center to begin the campaign. Here are a couple stories regarding aspects of the current team and what they hold important and the start a new competitive slate...
Daniel Malone of the Daily Collegian recognized the family atmosphere head coach Sharon Dawley has created in Amherst.
Live statistics and web streaming will be available for today's contest with Kent State, which begins at 2 p.m. Tickets can also be purchased here for the season-opener and every upcoming home game of the year.
With their 2-1 overtime victory vs. Rider (15-6 overall) on Tuesday, the Minutewomen field hockey team earned the right to participate in the upcoming 2012 NCAA Tournament. UMass will make its 23rd appearance in the event when the Minutewomen face #5 Syracuse (17-2) at host-Penn State University on Saturday, Nov. 10 at 2 p.m.
With their 5-0 drubbing of #16 nationally ranked and #1 seed Richmond to earn the Atlantic 10 Tournament Championship on Saturday afternoon, the UMass field hockey team earned the right to host an NCAA Tournament play-in game against Rider University on Tuesday, Nov. 6 at 1 p.m. on Garber Field.
After three games in four days, the UMass field hockey team recorded an undefeated week that included a 2-1 come-from-behind win over No. 1 Syracuse and a pair of A-10 Conference victories. The three-game winning streak earned the team and a few of its individual players considerable praise this week...
A great early season start for both soccer programs and the field hockey team combined with the excitement and anticipation for the football, basketball, and hockey teams are signs that 2012-13 could be a special year for UMass athletics. Add to the mix the perennial success of men's swimming and softball along with the tennis team coming off a strong spring expectations are high in Amherst.
Matt Vautour has a piece examining what this means for UMass and fans of the Minutemen and Minutewomen.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette recaps last night's big 36-point victory by the men's basketball team at Boston College to win the Commonwealth Classic by the biggest margin ever.
"This was a big game for us," Freddie Riley said. "It's a rivalry game. They beat us the last couple of years. They have a younger team and we have an older team. We just played hard and we got a win."
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette previews tonight's big game in Chestnut Hill where the Minutemen and Eagles meet in the annual Commonwealth Classic. Vautour says UMass is out for revenge after falling to BC at the TD Garden last season.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette previews the 2-0 Minutemen's game on Thursday night against NJIT at the Mullins Center. Among the storylines that Vautour points out are the resurgence of Terrell Vinson and Andrew McCarthy playing against his brother.
The men's basketball team improved to 2-0 on Monday night with a 83-67 win over Northeastern at the Mullins Center. Sophomore point guard Chaz Williams led the way again for the Minutemen, recording the first double-double of his career with 20 points and 10 assists, both tying career-highs. Terrell Vinson (14) and Sampson Carter (12) both reached double-figures for the second game in a row. Check out coverage of the game below.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette writes in his preview of tonight's season opener for the men's basketball team against Elon at the Curry Hicks Cage that Derek Kellogg's squad will play an exciting up-tempo style on offense and use some pressure defense as well.
UMass coach Derek Kellogg is looking forward to getting started.
"I feel like we're in a spot where its good to play a game," he said. "I don't know how much more we can go against ourselves and how much better we can get until we play somebody else and see what works and what doesn't work.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a preview of the weekend home games for the UMass hockey team. The Minutemen will host Holy Cross tonight at 6 PM, before returning to a normal starting time on Saturday (7 PM) against Northeastern. The special start time against the Crusaders is part of a hockey-basketball doubleheader as hoops will open the season against Elon in the Cage at 9 PM.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story in Thursday's edition on UMass junior shooting guard Freddie Riley, who is expected to start for the Minutemen in their season opener on Friday night at 9 p.m. at the Curry Hicks Cage. The story talks about how the Ocala, Fla. native is confident going into his junior season and taking over the shooting guard spot from Anthony Gurley.
"If you don't have confidence in yourself, it's hard for other people to have confidence in you. If you think negative, then you're probably going to have negative results," Riley said. "If you work hard and keep a positive attitude, things are going to go your way eventually. You're not going to have a good shooting night every night, but if you get down on yourself, you're just making it hard on yourself. You want to keep a positive attitude through everything."
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette writes on Tuesday that UMass basketball head coach Derek Kellogg was not pleased with his squad's showing in a closed scrimmage against Seton Hall on Saturday.
"We didn't play as well I wanted or anticipated. We didn't take care of the ball the way we had been in practice. Our transition defense was porous from my perspective. I was glad it was a scrimmage game that doesn't count on our record," Kellogg said before Monday's practice.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story on Derek Kellogg indicating at UMass media day on Friday that the starting five for the Minutemen's season opener this Friday against Elon at the Curry Hicks Cage could be Chaz Williams, Freddie Riley, Javorn Farrell, Raphiael Putney, and Sean Carter. The Minutemen played their second and final closed scrimmage of the season on Saturday at Seton Hall.
Vautour also points out some jersey number changes for the Minutemen this season. Check out the online roster.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette takes an in-depth look today at the UMass men's basketball lineup and who could potentially take over more of a scoring role for the Minutemen in 2011-12. Vautour goes through each player, saying why he's a candidate to increase his scoring, and what could possibly prevent that. An interesting read for UMass fans.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a nice story today on redshirt freshman center Andrew McCarthy. Vautour talks about the anticipated matchup with McCarthy's brother's team, NJIT, and Coach Kellogg talks about how the 7-footer could help the Minutemen against some of the bigger post players on the schedule.
Vautour also hits on a few other interesting topics in the notebook, including a possible appearance by Marcus Camby in Amherst, the closed scrimmage against Drexel, advice for Chaz Williams from Edgar Padilla, and Tony Gaffney and Ricky Harris facing each other in Germany.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story on UMass basketball sophomore Jesse Morgan. The piece focuses on how the talented guard was only able to practice with the team and play in games in the second half of 2010-11, therefore only giving everyone a glimpse of what he is capable of. With a full preseason to prepare this year, big things are expected of the shooting guard, who as the story points out, has also been selected by Derek Kellogg to learn the point guard position as a backup to Chaz Williams.
"This is huge for him. Coming off a year where he hadn't practiced or played coming in halfway through, I think he was a little disappointed with his productivity and his playing time," Derek Kellogg said. "It's been fantastic. He's grown up. His body is in phenomenal shape. He has a chance to do some good things if he can continue at the pace he's been at."
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette had a nice feature over the weekend on UMass freshman forward Cady Lalanne, who after having to sit out last season because of NCAA rules and missing a month this fall due to an injury, is finally practicing with Derek Kellogg's Minutemen as they prepare for their Nov. 11 season opener.
"He's an unbelievable kid, the last one in the gym after practice," Kellogg said. "I think the sky is the limit once he's able to go full speed."
Matt Vautour writes in Wednesday's edition of the Daily Hampshire Gazette about UMass basketball forward Terrell Vinson, who is beginning his junior year fully healthy after dealing with nagging injuries for much of his sophomore campaign in 2010-11.
"There was some frustration and injuries. A lot of things weren't perfect for him last year," UMass coach Derek Kellogg said. "He's had the best preseason he's had since he's been here. His attitude has been great. He's been looking to do what the team needs him to do."
Vautour also hits on some other basketball topics including news on Jesse Morgan, former UMass coaches, and Sunday's coaches clinic hosted by Derek Kellogg.
Matt Vautour writesin the Daily Hampshire Gazette about the beginning of official men's basketball practice this week and how Derek Kellogg and the Minutemen will be implementing some new things offensively and defensively:
Following an offseason where University of Massachusetts men's basketball coach Derek Kellogg put heavy emphasis on conditioning, the Minutemen are going to put that stamina to good use.
Kellogg plans to change his offense into one that will run and press more.
"We have a roster of guys that can play that way. It's something I've always wanted to do," Kellogg said. "We have to use our length, our athleticism and our speed. We finally have a fast team of longer, more athletic guys that need to get out and run."
In his men's basketball notebook following Thursday's Atlantic 10 media day in Brooklyn, the Daily Hampshire Gazette's Matt Vautour covers a variety of topics including Jordan Laguerre being ruled a partial qualifier by the NCAA, the A-10 preseason poll, and freshman Cady Lalanne being named to the conference's Preseason All-Rookie Team.
The first State of Massachusetts Basketball Media Day was held at Boston University's Case Gym on Tuesday. UMass head coach Derek Kellogg and senior bigman Sean Carter were there representing the Minutemen as head coaches and select players from all six Division I men's basketball teams in the Commonwealth were there. Dozens of local regional, and national media members came out to cover the event with the start of official practices coming on Friday. Check out some of the coverage below.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a great feature in Wednesday's edition on the men's basketball team meeting with renowned sports psychologist Dr. Joe Carr. Head Coach Derek Kellogg, players, and staff all met with Dr. Carr, who works with many professional athletes and NBA teams, over three days. His exercises and techniques are designed to improve team chemistry and bring teams closer.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette leads of his college football notebook in today's edition with news that the Minutemen are expected to have Kellen Pagel back for the Central Connecticut game this Saturday night. The UMass starting quarterback was left with an injury in this past Saturday's game at Old Dominion, where he had led the Minutemen to 26-straight points before leaving the game.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a great feature in Friday's edition on UMass basektball point guard Chaz Williams, who will be eligible to play this season after sitting out last season following his transfer to UMass from Hofstra, where he played his freshman year. Vautour writes how the redshirt sophomore will be relied upon for leadership and to spur the offense during the 2011-12 season.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette writes in today's edition on Wednesday's announcement by the Atlantic 10 that its men's basketball conference tournament will be played at the brand new Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The five-year deal will begin with the 2013 championship.
"It gives us the opportunity to come into a brand-new facility that has all the amenities that sports fans expect," Commissioner Bernadette McGlade said. "Bringing it into the New York market and into Brooklyn, with the density of population and the density of our Atlantic 10 alumni base, is certainly going to put everything in place to really catapult this championship to the next level."
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette writes in today's edition on the announcement of the 2012 football non-conference schedule. In addition to a home game against Indiana at Gillette Stadium and road games at Connecticut and Vanderbilt, the Minutemen will head back to Ann Arbor, Michigan to take on the Wolverines on Sept. 15.
"It's a little bit of a different model than a lot of schools (making the upgrade from FCS to FBS) have gone through, but it was important to us to send the signal of where we want to go with this program," Athletic Director JohnMcCutcheon said. "Obviously it's going to be a challenge. We're still in a transition phase but we want to get there as quickly as we can. To have a schedule like this in place shows our fans, and more importantly our prospective recruits, where we want to be.
"This schedule certainly legitimizes the announcement that we are going to the next level," Head Coach Kevin Morris said in a statement. "With Gillette Stadium as our home field, the citizens of Massachusetts will have a premier football venue to watch their team compete at college football's highest level. There is no better time to be a student-athlete, alumnus or fan of UMass football."
Headlining the notebook is news on freshman Cady Lalanne undergoing a procedure to correct a stress fracture in his foot that could keep the big man out until official practices begin in four weeks.
The Minutemen will be holding free clinics at the Big E on Saturday. They will take place in front of the Massachusetts Building with the first running from 10:30-11:30 a.m. and the second from 2-3 p.m. The clinics are for kids 12 and under and are free with Big E admission.
A crew from the ABC show "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" was on campus on Tuesday and filmed part of a national ad campaign against bullying with both the men's basketball and women's lacrosse teams for an episode being filmed in Springfield.
There wasn't much sports writing to be done 10 years ago after the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2011, only reaction from people that played the games. Then-UMass coach Steve Lappas was in the air when the planes hit, fortunately nowhere near any of the crashes.
Pete Cariello, a fullback on the UMass football team had an agonizing wait to hear the fate of family in New York and Washington. I like to read the news coverage from the days after 9-11 as a way of remembering the raw emotions we all felt that day. Below are two UMass stories the Gazette ran at that time. To all the first-responders and military. Thanks for what you do
The UMass men's basketball 2011-12 schedule was announced on Tuesday. The Minutemen will play a 15-game home schedule. The season opener on Nov. 11 against Elon will be played at the historic Curry Hicks Cage, just the second men's game there in the last 18 years. The Minutemen will also play in the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas on Thanksgiving weekend, opening against Florida State. Also highlighting the UMass schedule are games against Boston College, Miami, and hosting A-10 regular season champ Xavier.
The tournament bracket for the Battle 4 Atlantis has been released. UMass will face Florida State in an opening round game on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 24, at 4:30 p.m. ET. The eight-team basketball tournament will be played at Imperial Arena at the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island, Bahamas on Nov. 24-27. The tournament field includes regional teams Harvard and National Champion Connecticut.
The Hampshire Daily Gazette and the Springfield Republican report this morning that an AP source with knowledge of the situation says that former UMass safety James Ihedigbo will not be resigning with the New York Jets. The Amherst product has been with Gang Green since 2007, but will be looking for a new team for 2011.
Ihedigbo led the Jets with 27 special teams tackles in 2010.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette reports that former UMass guard Greg Niland, who was signed by the Arizona Cardinals as an undrafted free agent, was released earlier this week but was scooped up quickly by the Detroit Lions.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette as a nice feature today on former UMass kicker Chris Koepplin and his efforts at Patriots training camp to make the roster. It also points out that Koepplin's path to the NFL was not he traditional route, as his final season at UMass was 2007 and, after playing two seasons in the Arena 2 league, did not kick professionally last season.
Koepplin says of when he got the news the Patriots wanted him, "I was in my car. It was a surprise, a happy surprise," said Koepplin, who immediately called his parents and tweeted "Today Was A Good Day... #understatement."
The Colonial Athletic Association held its annual Football Media Day on Wednesday at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. UMass Head Coach Kevin Morris, senior linebacker Tyler Holmes, and senior wide receiver Julian Talley all took part in the festivities. Two hours of Media Day was broadcasted live online at ESPN3.com.
Former UMass kicker Chris Koepplin (2006-07) was signed as a free agent by the New England Patriots on Wednesday. He is the third former Minuteman to be signed since the free agent signing period opened this week, joining undrafted free agents Greg Niland (Cardinals) and John Griffin (Bengals).
Koepplin, who transferred to UMass after two years at Nassau Community College, was a Honorable Mention All-American in both 2006 and 2007 with the Minutemen, while also earning All-Conference honors both years. He holds the UMass record for PAT percentage (98.0) on 99-of-101 and ranks second in field goal percentage (71.0) on 27-of-38.
Koepplin's most memorable field goal was the 43-yarder he hit at No. 2 Montana on Dec. 8, 2006 in the NCAA Semifinals which proved to be the game-winner and send the Minutemen on to the Championship game for the first time since 1998.
Koepplin played two seasons of arena football for the Manchester Wolves in 2008-09.
Both UMass and Indiana announced on Wednesday that the two football programs will meet on Sept. 8, 2012 in what will be the home opener for the Minutemen at Gillette Stadium that season. It will be UMass' first season of playing a full FBS and MAC schedule and be the first time it hosts a FBS team at Gillette. UMass will make a return trip to Bloomington in 2017.
Former UMass football players John Griffin and Greg Niland benefitted quickly from the NFL lockout ending as both signed contracts as undrafted free agents on Tuesday. Griffin, a running back, signed with the Cincinnati Bengals, the same team former Minuteman Jeromy Miles plays for, while Niland, a guard, signed with the Arizona Cardinals. Below is coverage of their signings.
Matt Vautour of the Hampshire Gazette reports that former UMass football players Greg Niland (pictured, right) has signed as an undrafted free agent with the Arizona Cardinals and John Griffin (left) has signed with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette reports that UMass basketball alum Tony Gaffney has signed a professional contract with Telecom Baskets in Bonn, Germany.
"After working out for several NBA teams prior to the lockout, former University of Massachusetts standout Tony Gaffney has signed a contract to play overseas next season, and former Minuteman teammate Gary Forbes could follow him."
"With the lockout not expected to end quickly, many NBA hopefuls are signing contracts to play elsewhere in order to ensure themselves a paycheck."
UMass women's swimming coach Bob Newcomb is once again riding in the Pan Mass Challenge, the annual bike ride across the state of Massachusetts. The event is the single largest fundraiser for the Jimmy Fund at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Newcomb is riding for the fourth time, and has so far raised nearly $19,000 for the Jimmy Fund in his previous PMC appearances. This year he needs to raise at least another $4,200.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has always done a great job of helping spread the word on Newcomb reaching his goals, and this year he covers it once again.
Below is Newcomb's letter to potential sponsors:
Why I ride
If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people- Thich Nhat Hanh
My 2011 Pan Mass Challenge ride is motivated by family. I dedicate this ride to my parents while my wife, Judi, and daughter, Olivia, volunteer during the event. The family is working together so that someday we might be able to help find a cure for cancer.
The PMC is the single largest contributor to the Jimmy Fund at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Last year, the PMC raised over $30,000,000. This year on the weekend of August 6th and 7th, I will be one of over 5000 riders who will be making our way across Massachusetts to raise money for cancer research.
I ride as a member of the Patriot Platelet Pedalers (try saying that three times fast). The PPP is committed to increasing team fundraising and blood platelet donations. Platelets have been a big concern in our family. Olivia, my second daughter, had ITP (a platelet disorder) and responded well to treatment. This just increases my family's connection to the PMC!
This is my fourth year riding and over the years we have raised nearly $19,000. In order for me to participate again, I need to raise at least another $4200. As always, ONE HUNDRED PERCENT of the money I raise goes directly to the Jimmy Fund. I hope you can help me with this project. Any size contribution will be greatly appreciated.
Your tax-deductible donation can be made in several ways. A check made out to "PMC/Jimmy Fund" can be sent directly to me in the enclosed envelope or I can come and pick it up. You can also make a credit card donation on the internet at www.PMC.org. Click on the egift button in the upper left corner and use my egift code- BN0032.
I ride with the names of my parents on my jersey. Fifteen years ago cancer took my father and presently, my mother's lymphoma is under control. If you would like to dedicate your donation to someone you know that has been affected by cancer I would be happy to put their name(s) on my shirt also. Just send me the name(s) along with your contribution and they can make the ride with me.
You can see a picture from my 2008 shirt on the back of this letter or on my PMC profile. Go to www.PMC.org and click on PMC Profiles in the left column and follow the links to my gallery.
Feel free to call or email me if you have any questions. So many have helped us accomplish this over the years. Thank you for any support you can provide.
It was a matchup of soon-to-be Minutewomen in the Massachusetts Division 1 State Softball Championship on Saturday as Anna Kelley (pictured, far left) and King Philip High School of Wrentham edged out Quianna Diaz-Patterson and Amherst Regional High School, 1-0 at Worcester State's Rockwood Field. The Warrriors, also the alma mater of current UMass player Maggie Quealy, finish the season with a perfect 26-0 record, while the Hurricanes finish 2011 with a 23-2 mark.
The terrific game received lots of media attention. Check out the coverage below, including a pair of features on Kelley.
UMass softball NLI signee Quianna Diaz-Patterson, a hometown product and senior shortstop at Amherst Regional High School led the Hurricanes to a 4-0 victory over West Springfield on Tuesday in the Western Mass. Division 1 semifinals at Elms College.
The speedy left-handed leadoff batter needed just one at-bat to turn the game in Amherst's favor, driving a ball down the right field line and circling the bases, diving into home ahead of the catcher's tag for an inside-the-park home run.
"Her hands are so quick," Hurricanes coach Kacey Schmitt said. "I've been watching a lot of the Women's College World Series. They talk about it a lot, 'this girl's quick hands,' and I watch it thinking that Quianna can do that. There aren't many high school coaches that can say that when they are watching Florida and Alabama, both offensively and defensively.
"She's got the raw talent that is so rare and she's got the smarts. She's played a lot of softball and she's worked very hard to get as good as she is and she's used the talent that she was given."
Amherst (21-1) will face Agawam (18-4) in the Western Mass. Division 1 Championship game at Diaz-Patterson's future home field - the UMass Softball Complex - on Saturday at 5 p.m.
Amherst High School senior Quianna Diaz-Patterson, who signed a National Letter of Intent to play for Elaine Sortino's Minutewomen beginning next season, continues to add to her local legend in Western Massachusetts. The shortstop overcame a toe injury last weekend to lead the Hurricanes to a 3-2 victory over Agawam, running her team's record to 14-1. She was 2-for-4 with a triple in the bottom of the seventh that drove in a run and then scored the game-winning run on a groundball.
Sitting in the stands at Garber Field as a kid, Reed Goodhue used to daydream about moments like the one he had Wednesday. Read Matt Vautour's great feature on the freshman goalie for the Minutemen and how the first save of his college career may have been the biggest of the season for the Minutemen.
If the University of Massachusetts men's lacrosse team were still in the ECAC, its season probably would be over.
The Minutemen had a solid 2011 season at 9-4, but their resume likely falls a little short of NCAA tournament at-large bid status without enough signature wins. The ECAC has no conference tournament and the Minutemen would have been stuck waiting for next year.
But now, as a member of the Colonial Athletic Association, hope is still very much alive as the No. 3-seed Minutemen (9-4) play No. 2 Penn State (7-6) tonight at 7 in the semifinal round of the CAA tournament at State College.
Responding to a freedom of information request from the Daily Hampshire Gazette, UMass released its new contracts cementing its recent agreements to join the Mid-American Conference and play home games at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough. Both were essential components to the program's upgrade to Bowl Subdivision football.
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."
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The UMass softball team opened up their home schedule in style on Wednesday, sweeping a doubleheader from Dartmouth, 1-0 and 6-2. Sara Plourde and Caroline Raymond combined to hold the Big Green hitless through the first 12 innings of play. Check out the coverage of the two wins below.
This weekend, University of Massachusetts coach Derek Kellogg hopes to be both a fan and a student.
Like almost every Division I head and assistant men's basketball coach, Kellogg is headed to Houston today for the Final Four. In addition to staging the sport's semifinals and championship game, the weekend features meetings, clinics and social gatherings run by the National Association of Basketball Coaches.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette, has calculated the scenarios for the A-10 Tournament involving UMass. The Minutemen can still finish anywhere from 7th to 11th place. The Minutemen can secure the No. 7 seed and a home game with a win on Saturday, thus they control their own fate. Here are the breakdowns from GazetteNet.com:
IF THE ATLANTIC 10 TOURNAMENT STARTED TODAY
If the Atlantic 10 Tournament started today, here's how it would look:
* UMass beat St. Bonaventure and Dayton giving the Minutemen the No. 7 seed.
* Dayton beat St. Bonaventure giving the Flyers the No. 8.
* La Salle beat Saint Louis giving the Explorers the No. 10.
* George Washington beat URI giving the Colonials the No. 5
First-round games at home sites: No. 12 Saint Joseph's (3-12) at No. 5. George Washington (9-6) No. 11 Saint Louis (6-9) at No. 6. Rhode Island (9-6) No. 10 La Salle (6-9) at No. 7 UMass (7-8) No. 9 St. Bonaventure (7-8) at No. 8 Dayton (7-8)
*1. Xavier 14-1 - at SLU-- Has clinched first *2. Temple 13-2 - vs. La Salle -- Has clinched second *3. Richmond 12-3 - vs. Duquesne - Has clinched third +4. Duquesne 10-5 - at Richmond - Could finish 4-5 - +5. George Washington 9-6 - vs. Dayton - Could finish 5-6 +6. Rhode Island 9-6 - at SBU - Could finish 4-6 +7. UMass 7-8 - at Fordham - Could finish 7-11 +8. Dayton 7-8 - vs. GW - could finish 7-10
+9. St. Bonaventure 7-8 - vs. URI - Could finish 7-11 +10. La Salle 6-9 - at Temple - could finish 8-11 +11. Saint Louis 6-9 - vs. Xavier could - could finish 8-11 12. Saint Joseph's 3-12 - at Charlotte - could finish 12-13 13. Charlotte 2-13 - vs. St. Joe's - could finish 12-13
^14. Fordham 0-14 - vs. UMass
* Clinched a first round bye + Clinched Tournament berth ^ Incapable of earning a tournament berth
If they finish in a three-way tie the order would be: Involving UMass: 1. UMass (2-0), Dayton (1-1), St. Bonaventure (0-2) 3. UMass (2-1), Dayton (1-1), La Salle (1-2) 4. UMass (2-1), St. Bonaventure (1-1), La Salle (1-2) 5. La Salle (2-1), Saint Louis (1-1), UMass (1-2) 6. Saint Louis (2-1), UMass (1-1), Dayton (1-2) 7. Saint Louis (1-1), UMass (1-1), St. Bonaventure (1-1), - SLU get higher seed because it would have had to beat Xavier to be tied.
FOUR TEAM TIE BREAKERS 1. UMass (2-1), Saint Louis (2-2), Dayton (2-2), St. Bonaventure (1-2) 2. UMass (3-1), Dayton (2-1), St. Bonaventure (1-2), La Salle (1-3) 3. St. Bonaventure (2-1), La Salle (2-2), UMass (2-2), Saint Louis (1-2) 4. Saint Louis (2-2), UMass (2-2), Dayton (2-2) La Salle (2-2), - SLU get higher seed because it would have had to beat Xavier to be tied.
FIVE TEAM TIE-BREAKER
1. UMass (3-2), Dayton (3-2), St. Bonaventure (2-2), La Salle (2-3), Saint Louis (2-3)
UMass basketball battled the three-time defending A-10 Champions, but lost 73-67 in overtime on Wednesday. Still, the Minutemen hold fate in their own hands when it comes to hosting a first-round A-10 Tournament game. A win on Saturday at Fordham OR several other scenarios would result in a home game to start the postseason. Read about the Temple game and the postseason situation here:
UMass basketball faces perhaps its stiffest test of the season as the three-time defending A-10 Champion Temple Owls comes to the Mullins Center for a huge contest on Wednesday night. Here are the previews.
The Atlantic 10 coaches don't seem to love the current format of the league's conference tournament, which starts next week, but a better format with a 14-team field remained elusive. Read about in the Daily Hampshire Gazette: Atlantic 10 men's hoop tourney format could be stronger
University of Massachusetts coach Derek Kellogg would like freshman Jesse Morgan to be more like Gary Correia than Lou Roe, when the Minutemen play La Salle Sunday. Find out why in the Daily Hampshire Gazette by reading Matt Vautour's story: Hometown next stop for Minuteman freshman Jesse Morgan.