After two days, Matthews tied for sixth in conference championship

After two days of competition, sophomore Brandon Matthews is tied for sixth overall at the 2014 American Athletic Conference Championships.

On the first day of competition Matthews shot a two-over 73, which placed him 13th overall out of 151 golfers. He started strong, as he was one among the top five golfers. But Matthews shot three over on his final four holes. He responded with a strong outing on Monday, shooting a one-under 70. He was one of seven golfers to break par on what was a windy day in Palm Harbor, Fla.

As a team, the Owls are currently in ninth place out of the 10-team field, 44 shots behind the leader – Central Florida. The event features a strong field, as five teams participating are currently ranked in the Top 50.

Junior Matt Teesdale is tied for 30th after shooting a three-over 74 on Sunday and a six-over 77 on Monday.  Senior Matt Crescenzo is tied for 42nd after posting a six-over 77 on Sunday and a 10-over 81 on Monday. Freshman Evan Notaro and junior Mike Amole are 49th and 50th overall, respectively.

The Owls tee off Tuesday at 8:20 am.

Macauley signs WNBA contract

Victoria Macauley, who played at Temple from 2009-13, signed a training camp contract with the Indiana Fever.

The center is fourth in career blocks and ninth in career rebounds for the Owls. She played for Lavezzini Parma in Serie A1 in Italy last season, where she averaged 15.9 points and 9.3 rebounds per game.

Macauley’s contract does not guarantee her a spot on the team. Should she make the team, she will become the fourth former Owl to play in the WNBA.

Postseason hunt continues for lacrosse

The Owls (3-3 Big East Conference) are still vying for a spot in the Big East tournament, and them clinching a spot will come down to the very end.

Louisville (6-0 Big East) and Georgetown (5-1 Big East) already have the No.1 and No. 2 seeds locked up, while Connecticut (4-2 Big East) has a spot in the tournament secured. The Huskies, however, still have to see whether they’ll be the No. 3 or No. 4 seed.

This leaves Temple in in a fight for the final spot with Villanova (3-3 Big East) and Rutgers (2-4 Big East).

The Owls will play Rutgers on Friday night, and Villanova will play UConn the next day.

If Temple wins and Villanova loses, the Owls are in. The opposite result sends the Wildcats to the tournament instead.

Any other scenario will put Temple and Villanova in a three-team tie with either UConn or Rutgers.

Should Temple and Villanova both lose their regular season finales, they will be tied with Rutgers for fourth in the Big East, with each team holding a 3-4 record.

All three teams lost to Louisville, Georgetown and UConn, and beat Marquette and Cincinnati. As a result, the tiebreaker will be determined by goal differential. The numbers aren’t set just yet, so the differentials won’t be calculated until both games are played.

If Temple and Villanova both win their final games, it puts them in a three-way tie with UConn for the third seed.  In this scenario, all three teams would be 1-1 against each other. Villanova lost to Temple but would have beaten UConn, Temple lost to UConn but beat Villanova, and UConn beat Temple but lost to Villanova.

The tiebreaker would once again go to scoring differential. In instances such as Temple’s 19-3 win over Cincinnati on April 13, only a maximum of seven goals would count towards the differential.

Through the first six conference games for each team, UConn is plus-9, Rutgers is minus-3, and Temple and Villanova are each minus-7.

Rutgers would be eliminated in this situation, giving UConn the three seed and leaving Temple and Villanova in a head-to-head tiebreaker for the fourth seed. Because the Owls beat the Wildcats back on April 5, they would gain the advantage in the tiebreaker and clinch the fourth seed.

The Owls’ regular season finale at Rutgers starts at 7 p.m. on Friday night, and Villanova’s last game at UConn will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Novices impress at Knecht Cup with grand finals appearance

Before the novices put their oars in the water on Sunday, they celebrated in the form of a talent show on Mercer Lake in New Jersey.

The Owls had a lot to be happy about as they made the grand finals in their first appearance at the Knecht Cup.

Among the 28 teams that competed in Novice 4 races over the weekend, the Owls finished sixth overall, behind conference rivals Southern Methodist and Tulsa, in Sunday’s grand finals with a time of 8:41 seconds.

Led by coxswain Nicole Barth, the third Varsity 8 boat also placed sixth overall in Sunday’s grand finals.

In the Novice 8 boat, the Owls crossed the finish line in fourth place in a time of 7:34.

In a final that featured some of Philadelphia’s own rowing teams, the Varsity 4 boat secured a third place finish in the petite finals behind Drexel and Villanova but just ahead of Philadelphia University in a time of 8:12.

Although coach Rebecca Grzybowski said the Varsity 8 boats were disappointed in their performance over the weekend, the Varsity 8 “A” boat rowed to a fifth place finish in the third finals, while the second Varsity 8 boat placed fourth in the third finals on Sunday.

The Owls will next compete against Bucknell, West Virginia and Buffalo on Saturday in Lewisberry, Pa.

Pickett, Britton lead track & field at Hurricane Alumni Invitational

The men’s and women’s track & field teams competed last weekend at the Hurricane Alumni Invitational in Coral Gables, Fla., where senior jumper Gabe Pickett earned an IC4A-qualifying mark and senior Anna Pavone placed fifth in a field of more than 30 distance runners.

In the 100-meter dash, freshman Adam Hasan recorded a personal best with his 21st place finish. Sophomore Elijah Hargove and Jamal Williams also posted personal-best times.

The women’s team posted eight Top 5 finishes at the event, including Jenna Dubrow who placed sixth. The top finisher on the day was junior Margo Britton, who placed second in the shot put with her throw of 14.80 meters – her top mark during the outdoor season. Both of the relay teams on the women’s team ran their fastest times of the 2014 season.

Both teams will return to the track this weekend – at home, for the first time this year – at the Owls’ Alumni Invitational on Saturday.

DiPietro honored by Camden Catholic High School

Softball coach Joe DiPietro has been elected to the Camden Catholic High School Hall of Fame.

DiPietro, who graduated from the school in 1976, returned to be an assistant coach after graduating from Gloucester County College. He became the head coach in 1988 and remained there for 15 years, winning three straight state championships from 1991 to 1993. He is the winningest head coach in Camden Catholic softball history. He left Camden Catholic when he got the head coaching job at La Salle in 2003. He came to Temple in 2008.

Roxas named as one of four Owls to be departing team

Sophomore guard Meghan Roxas has received approval on her request to transfer and will look to move to another institution prior to the 2014-15 season, according to a report from Bret McCormick of All Star Girls Report.

Roxas was reportedly granted her release from Temple and will begin searching for a new school.

Before the news of Roxas’ intent to transfer, in an interview with junior guard Rateska Brown  –where she announced her own decision to transfer from Temple  – Brown said that former Owls forward Jacquilyn Jackson and two unnamed Temple players would be transferring during this offseason. With Roxas’ release, six players have left the Owls program in the last two years – including Jackson, Brown, May Dayan, Leah Horton and Sally Kabengano.

Roxas declined a request for an interview and a spokesperson for the team declined to comment. Last season, Roxas averaged nine minutes and played in 27 games, scoring 2.4 points per game.

Rowing relocates tent

The women’s rowing team has temporarily moved its tent to the opposite side of St. Joseph’s boathouse until the East Park Canoe House is renovated.

Before the move, the women’s team was sharing tent space with the men’s crew team. Now with their own tent, coach Rebecca Grzybowski said having the tent closer to the river is more convenient for the team, instead of trotting across the St Joe’s boathouse parking lot to get their boats to the bank of the river.

The Owls look to move into their permanent home within the year.

Amid departures, Owls sign a transfer

After recent news of guards Rateska Brown and Megan Roxas transferring away from the team, Tonya Cardoza has secured a transfer of her own, signing Georgia Tech freshman guard Donnaizha Fountain to a scholarship.

Per the NCAA transfer rules, Fountain will sit out the 2014-15 season.

Although the Roxbury, Mass. native will not play next season, she joins the Owls’ recruiting class of guards Tanaya Atkinson, Alliya Butts, Khadijah Berger and forward Wendion Bibbins as the Owls’ newcomers for next year.

“I am really excited to welcome Donnaizha to our family,” coach Tonya Cardoza said in the team’s press release. “She hails from my hometown of Roxbury, Mass.”

“She will bring passion, toughness, athleticism, and size at the guard position,” Cardoza added. ” I expect her to make an immediate impact on our team even while she is sitting out her first year.”

Fountain averaged 3.3 points per game in 21 games last year for the Yellow Jackets, primarily as an option off the bench.

She played high school ball at Cambridge Rindge & Latin High School, and was once named to the ESPN Boston Super Team as one of the state’s top players.

With the Owls reportedly losing Brown, Roxas, guard Jaquilyn Jackson and one more player not yet named, the Fountain signing could be the first of more to come in the near future.

Three gymnasts to compete in national qualifier

Evan Eigner. | HUA ZONG TTN

Evan Eigner. | HUA ZONG TTN

The NCAA announced on Monday that three members of Temple’s men’s gymnastics team will compete in the National Qualifying Competition on April 10 at the University of Michigan.

Sophomore Jon Rydzefski and freshman Jakob Welsh will compete in the all-around category, with qualifying scores of 81.150 and 80.650 respectively.
Sophomore Evan Eigner, the son of head coach Fred Turoff, qualified in the still rings with a score of 14.725.
The only Eastern College Athletic Conference team that made the National Qualifiers was William & Mary, who received an automatic bid by winning the conference tournament in Annapolis on March 28.