May 2009


USF softball coach Ken Eriksen will serve as an assistant coach for the USA softball team in a number of different competitions this summer after being picked by its selection committee from a pool of 14 coaches.

Eriksen, who helped the Bulls to a 34-22 record this season, has plenty of national team coaching experience, assisting during three gold medal wins in the World Championships from 2002-04.

This summer, he’ll coach at the team’s selection and training camp in Chula Vista, Calif. in June, Canada Cup in British Columbia on July 3-12 and the World Cup of Softball in Oklahoma City July 13-20.

Twitter craze continues

USF women’s basketball coach Jose Fernandez is the latest person to join the coaches-on-Twitter fad.

It seems everyone has these now, and USF isn’t shorting out. There is a USF Athletics one, USF football and coach Jim Leavitt has his own person one.

Fernandez ran a couple of tests on his pages and then posted this as his first official Tweet:

“Here in my office, with the number one SID in the country Hurricane Mike Hogan launching my twitter account,” he wrote.

Needless to say, in three more posts he’ll have beaten me. I’ve got a Twitter page but I never keep up with it.

Why do you people have to know what I’m doing all the time! 🙂

-K.K.

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Dominique Jones has made a significant splash in the Big East. This summer, he’ll have a chance to make a bigger splash on a much larger scale.

Dominique Jones was named Honorable Mention All-Big East last season. ORACLE FILE PHOTO

Dominique Jones was named Honorable Mention All-Big East last season. ORACLE FILE PHOTO

Jones is one of 17 college hoops starts invited to the USA Men’s World University Games Team camp in Colorado Springs June 16-24 with a chance to make the 12-team roster, which will leave June 25 for the World University Games in Serbia.

“This is a great opportunity for Dominique,” said USF coach Stan Heath in a statement. “He deserves this, now it is up to him to make the best of it. His experience the last two years should prepare him for the trials. Not only will he gain experience but grow as a student-athlete during the process.”

Jones was named Honorable Mention All-Big East and joins 15 other confirmed members of the camp, including Clemson’s Trevor Booker, West Virginia’s Da’Sean Butler, Kansas’ Sherron Collins, Villanova’s Corey Fisher, Marquette’s Lazar Hayward and North Carolina’s Deon Thompson.

Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan will coach the team.

After a strong spring season, the USF Rugby Club has one goal in mind entering 2009: gaining promotion to the Division I level.

The team finished with a 12-1 record and won the USA Rugby South Championships by defeating East Carolina 27-24 in March, which helped gain it a spot in the nation’s final 16. USF beat Colorado School of the Mines in the final 16, then lost to Middlebury in the final eight April 19, ending its season.

The team plays in Division II, but coach Gordon Campbell said he’s hoping USF’s strong showing can help move the team up.

“After winning the Division II  South Championships, we’d obviously like to be playing Division I,” Campbell said. “Division I (teams) are more outside of the state of Florida. We would play teams like Arkansas State, Tennessee, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, those types of schools.”

Though USF played UCF this spring, beating them twice handily, it also faced schools like Maritime Academy, North Florida, Embry Riddle and Kennesaw State.

Campbell, who’s entering his fifth season as rugby coach at USF, is a native of Sydney, Australia and played the sport for about 17 years back home. He said the team has grown a lot since he’s been at the school.

“USF had a good team, but it had gone into dormancy for a year or two,” he said. “Basically, the whole team restarted in spring of 2005, and I came in as coach in fall of ’05.”

The rugby team participates in three different seasons — fall, spring and summer. Practices and games are held on USF’s recreational fields. The team has about 40 players, and Campbell said anyone interested in joining can attend a practice or get information at the team’s Web site, usfbullsrugby.com.

“All anyone really needs to do is be interested and we’ll teach them how to play the game,” Campbell said.

Center Jessica Lawson has been granted a sixth year of eligibility and will return to the USF women’s basketball team next year, coach Jose Fernandez announced Wednesday.

Jessica Lawson stands at Tampa International Airport with the WNIT championship trophy. ORACLE FILE PHOTO

Jessica Lawson stands at Tampa International Airport with the WNIT championship trophy. ORACLE FILE PHOTO

The Bulls lose six seniors from last year’s team that won the Women’s National Invitational Tournament (WNIT), the first in program history.

Lawson, listed at 6-foot-3, averaged 10.6 points and 6.7 rebounds per game despite battling a lingering knee injury that prevented her from practicing toward the end of the season.

Lawson, a native of Orlando, transferred to USF in 2006 after two years at the University of California where she sat out her sophomore season with a knee injury. She sat out the 2006-07 season with the Bulls because of NCAA transfer rules.

“We are thrilled to get Jessica back for a sixth year,” Fernandez said in a statement. “With the recruiting class that we have coming in for the 2009-10 season, along with the returning players from the WNIT Championship team, getting an experienced and consistent post player like (Lawson) back will help our inside game considerably.”

Fernandez signed a nine player class this offseason, which is ranked No. 35 nationally by the Collegiate Girls Basketball Report.

USF lost 6-foot-3 center Brittany Denson, but returns 6-foot-2 senior Porche Grant in the post.

The Bulls finished the season with a school best 27-10 record last season. Despite an 8-8 record, however, they were left out of the NCAA tournament, earning a first round bye in the WNIT.

USF then defeated Florida Gulf Coast, Mississippi, St. Bonaventure, Boston College and Kansas en route to the WNIT title.

USF has been eliminated from the Big East tournament by UConn, falling 10-8 at Bright House Field in Clearwater.

The Bulls clawed back from an 8-1 deficit, but it wasn’t enough.

Here is Phil Neary’s recap.

-KK

Things are getting awfully interesting here as USF has cut the lead down to 10-8 in the bottom of the eighth.

Junior Carlin grounded to short — with runners on second and third — and Mike Consolmagno came in to score on the fielder’s choice.

The Bulls are down to their last four outs, but there’s a runner on third and No. 2 in the lineup Jonathan Koscso is up to bat …

Can the Bulls stay alive?

-KK

USF is down to its last six outs, as Utility man Stephen Hunt came in the top of the eighth and shut down the UConn bats, which have been the main reason for the Huskies’ 10-7 lead.

The Bulls need three runs here, and they’ll have to do so off of reliever Dennis Accomando, who’s making his first appearance of the tournament.

Fresh pitcher. Down three. USF’s situation is looking grave …

-KK

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