It's a beautiful Friday morning here in Amherst with great weather ahead all Easter weekend. Only one UMass team in action today on Good Friday as baseball will open its road series at Charlotte this evening. Eight UMass squads will be competing tomorrow, all on the road. Today's Just Take a Minute has news on men's Lacrosse, softball, rowing, track & field and more.
Ron Chimelis has an update on David Gibbs' possible transfer from UMass on MassLive.com.
The Minutewomen used five home runs to sweep a doubleheader at La Salle yesterday and improve to 4-0 in Atlantic 10 play. The Daily Collegian has a recap of the twinbill.
After knocking off its second top-15 opponent in as many games, the No. 9 Minutemen head to Central Pennsylvania to take on Penn State in a CAA lacrosse battle. The matchup is previewed in The Daily Collegian.
David Brinch also has this column about the team's consistency translating into wins.
The women's lacrosse team heads down to Philadelphia to face Temple at Geasey Field - the site of last season's A-10 Championship Tournament that sparked the Minutewomen's run to the NCAA Tournament. UMass and the Owls will play on Saturday at 1 PM. Here is a video preview of the game with head coach Alexis Venechanos:
TRACK & FIELD
After nearly a month off since the end of the indoor seasons, the Minutemen and Minutewomen track & field teams will be opening up the outdoor schedule this weekend at UConn. The Daily Collegian looks at what lies ahead for the spring.
The UMass rowing team will complete in a regatta in Worcester this weekend, which is previewed in The Daily Collegian.
Don't Miss This: The Pond Club will hold its reverse raffle tonight at 6:30 p.m. on the 10th Floor of the Campus Center.
Happy April Fool's Day! Don't get tricked today. The No. 23 softball team is back in action for a twinbill at La Salle, action gets underway at 3 p.m. The tennis is also in action at 3 p.m., down at Sacred Heart. Several online auctions end today including ones for game-worn UMass hockey and baseball jerseys.
The final day of March brings the UMass Sports Luncheon at 12:15 p.m. Please join us at the Campus Center for today's event as sophomore lacrosse attacker Art Kell will be honored as the Athlete of the Week. Baseball coach Mike Stone and Springfield Republican writer Ron Chimelis will be the guest speakers. The NIT Semifinals last night displayed the Atlantic 10 as Dayton advanced to the final in beating Ole Miss and Rhode Island battling North Carolina before losing in OT.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY - MARCH 31: Max Butler (Swimming & Diving)
In more related coaching news, Holy Cross terminated Sean Kearney after one season. The Crusaders and Minutemen are slated to play this coming season.
In the Euroleague Playoffs, UMass alum Stephane Lasme has been a key player for Maccabi Tel Aviv. In the Euroleague Quarterfinals, Lasme had six points as Maccabi beat Lasme's former team, Partizan Belgrade, 81-73. Check out the feature interview on the former A-10 Defensive Player of the Year.
On Inside Lacrosse, analyst Mark Dixon has his mid-season "Truth or Fiction" with a note on on the Minutemen: UMass will be a player in the CAA.
Truth- The Minutemen are young but very talented. After an uneven start, they have been buoyed by two huge wins last week over Brown and Hofstra. What was looking like a two-team race between the Pride and Drexel in the CAA now has another entrant in UMass.
Also on Inside Lacrosse, Christian Swezey mentions UMass in his weekly podcast.
In the Springfield Republican, Garry Brown's "Hitting To All Fields" lists Garber's Gorillas: UMass bolted from 18th to eighth in the latest men's lacrosse poll.
The Daily Collegian has its look at the CAA Lacrosse as conference action started last weekend with UMass beating Hofstra, 11-9.
Don't Miss This: The UMass Sports Luncheon is the event of the day at 12:15 p.m., at the Campus Center Room 1009. Come out to hear from baseball coach Mike Stone and Springfield Republican writer Ron Chimelis.
Rain, rain, go away, come again another day! Tuesday's action involving the baseball and softball teams has been washed out. In Minnesota last night, Casey Wellman's Wild got the best of Jon Quick's Kings, winning 3-2, as former Minutemen took the ice against each other. JTAM has a nice feature on Sara Plourde, softball's new strikeout ace.
In the matchup of former UMass players in the NHL, the Minnesota Wild and Casey Wellman got the best of the Los Angeles Kings and Jon Quick, 3-2, last night in Minnesota. Quick had 17 saves in the loss. Wellman played 8:19.
Check out one of Quick's saves
The UMass men's lacrosse teams is reaping the rewards on Monday after a stellar week as the Minutemen topped two ranked teams. UMass moved up to No. 9 in both the USILA Coaches Poll and Inside Lacrosse Media Poll. The Minutemen were named ESPN/IL's Quint Kessenich's "National Team of the Week." Sophomore goalie Tim McCormack was named the CAA Player of the Week and sophomore attacker Art Kell was named UMass Athlete of the Week.
The ranking of No. 9 in the USILA Coaches Poll, UMass has its highest ranking since the Minutemen were No. 7 for back-to-back weeks in early March (6 and 13) of 2006.
On ESPNU.com, the Minutemen are the third-featured photo, one of Art Kell in the win over Hofstra.
ESPN and Inside Lacrosse expert analyst Quint Kessenich calls UMass the "National Team of the Week" in his Weekly Power Rankings. He lists the Minutemen at No. 10 in his poll.
"Minutemen are the national team of the week - beating Brown 11-10 on Tuesday and upsetting Hofstra 11-9 on Saturday. Both wins will be tremendous ammunition come NCAA Selection Sunday on May 9th. UMass is averaging 13.7 goals per game. Art Kell is setting the pace with 21 goals, and coach Greg Cannella has relied on freshman Will Manny (14,11), Bobby Hayes (14,8) and Anthony Biscardi (13,8). This is a UMass team who's undergone an offensive facelift since 2009 - they are shooting a red hot 41% in the fourth quarter this spring."
On Masslive.com, Scott Coen writes about the Minutemen lacrosse team in his weekly column.
Penn State is UMass' next foe and the Nittany Lions are staying focused on the rest of their season after an 0-6 start. They beat St. John's, 13-11. The Daily Collegian (of Penn State) has a story on Glenn Thiel's team.
In the Daily Hampshire Gazette, Matt Vautour has a sensational feature on sophomore pitcher Sara Plourde. UMass fans will get their first look at the new-and-improved Plourde at 2 p.m. today when the Minutewomen (17-7) are scheduled to host a doubleheader against Dartmouth at the UMass Softball Complex.
The Daily Collegian has a preview of today's doubleheader home opener vs. Dartmouth.
The Daily Collegian also takes a look at how UMass has been able to practice at home recently with the nice weather -- although its raining today.
In the Eagle-Tribune, former Salem High standout Whitney Mollica, a rare position player who had a major impact on the game for both the Blue Devils and UMass was named the "Eagle-Tribune Player of the Decade." At Salem, during an era when averages over .300 in New Hampshire were rare, Mollica was a four-time Eagle-Tribune All-Star who hit at least .449 every year, culminating with a .556 season that included 40 hits, 14 for extra bases, as a senior.
The Daily Collegian has a preview of today's baseball home tilt against local foe Holy Cross.
The Daily Collegian also takes a look at the UMas pitching staff, which has been going extended innings early on this season.
After a second-place finish at the Yankee Cup, the Daily Collegian reviews the race.
In the Springfield Republican, Ron Chimelis has a column on John Calipari, who he calls the greatest rebuilder ever even though his Kentucky team lost in the Elite Eight.
They may have only 7 wins on the season but don't count out the Springfield Armor too fast... It's only their first season and honestly, not many teams dominate in their first year. The Springfield Republican has a story on the future of the Armor, including UMass alum Dante Milligan.
Don't Miss This: Three games slated for today on campus, the last day of action for the UMass teams this month. The softball team is set to open its home schedule with a doubleheader vs. Dartmouth at 2 p.m. The baseball team will take on Holy Cross at 3 p.m., at Earl Lorden Field.
It was a winning weekend for UMass squads. The men's lacrosse team knocked off a Top 10 opponent for the first time since 2006, topping #6 Hofstra. The softball team no-hit GW twice on Sunday in a pair of shutouts. The women's lax and tennis teams each won two contests over the weekend. The baseball team picked up a win at St. Joe's on Sunday. On Monday, we wish Happy Birthday to track & field standout Lisa Wilson.
Huge hockey game in the NHL tonight as UMass players face each other as the Los Angeles Kings and Jon Quick play at the Minnesota Wild and Casey Wellman at 8 p.m. The game is on Fox Sports North and can be seen in DirecTV or Dish Network. Here is a preview.
The Wild's website has a great feature on Wellman and his quick start in the NHL. Once signed with the Wild, life for Wellman took on a frantic pace, although his luggage took it's own sweet time with the trip from Massachusetts. He quickly arrived in Minnesota the next day without his hastily packed luggage.
With all the UMass players signing with the Worcester Sharks, last week. None of them played in the Sharks three games over the weekend (2-1 record). Worcester's record improves to (46-22-2-3, 97 points) and they now lead the Atlantic Division by three points over Portland. Worcester has seven regular season games left this season (5 road, 2 home) and have a franchise best 97 points this season.
The Frozen Four is set and Boston College returns to the event in Detroit. The Eagles will take on Miami (Ohio) in one semifinal. Boston College won its NCAA Quarterfinal game 9-7 against Yale which UMass defeated back in November. The other semi pits Wisconsin vs. RIT. RIT goalie Jared DeMichiel was the back-up to Jon Quick when the pair played at Avon Old Farms Prep School.
Don't forget to sign-up for the Pond Club Reverse Raffle which is this Friday night and the Hockey Team Banquet which will be on Saturday afternoon. Information on the reverse raffle where you could win several prizes including the grand prize of $4,999 can be found here. To sign up for the banquet, click here. For more information, call the hockey office at 413-545-5175.
On Inside Lacrosse, Christian Swezey leads his weekend notebook with UMass. He writes: It was a good week for Massachusetts sophomore Art Kell. Starting attackman scored what turned out to the the winning goals in victories over No. 13 Brown, 11-10, on Tuesday and No. 6 Hofstra, 11-9, on Saturday. The Minutemen (6-2, 1-0 Colonial Athletic Association) have won three in a row. Kell has 21 goals and 12 assists this year. The Minutemen also have quite a 1-2 punch on defense with senior Diogo Godoi and sophomore Tom Celentani. Celentani leads the nation in caused turnovers, with 21.
In the first poll of the week, UMass is up to No. 8 according to LaxNews.com. James Land writes: UMass beat Brown and Hofstra in the same week. Sophomore Art Kell had 5 goals, 4 assists for 9 points with two game-winners.
The New York Times has a great feature story on assistant coach Amanda Belichick and her coaching family tree. Belichick has followed her father, the three-time Super Bowl-winning New England Patriots coach, Bill Belichick, into the family business. She is a 25-year-old first-year assistant with UMass. "I would love to be a Division I head coach," she said after a recent practice. "I'm definitely learning how to do that."
Another UMass alum may be on the move in the coaching ranks. BC Coach Al Skinner has spoken with St. John's about its opening reports the Boston Globe and Associated Press.
Check This Out On UMassAthletics.com: Visit the UMass Auctions Page to bid on game-used UMass hockey and baseball jerseys.
Don't Miss This: Monday will bring conference weekly honors as well as the UMass Athlete of the Week announcement. Also check back to see where the men's lacrosse team is ranked in the USILA and Inside Lacrosse polls.