With April winding down, this means that championship season is approaching for the Winthrop Eagles. This season has become quite the tradition for the women’s tennis team,
The women won the program’s 21st conference championship in program history, taking a 4-0 result over Radford at Virginia Tech’s Burrows-Burleson Indoor Tennis Center. The Eagles’ championship total is seven times that of any other Big South member institution.
The Eagles secured the doubles point by winning 2-of-3 courts, with the team of Rafaela Santos and Alisa Soloveva taking a 6-3 decision to win the point. Ellie Burns and Lauren Proctor each won straight-sets matches by 6-0, 6-2 finals, before a 6-0, 6-1 victory from Tayla Van Eck on court five clinched the championship and sparked a celebration.
“(There are) a lot of emotions right now, just sinking in slowly. I’m just happy for the girls,” said coach Cid Carvalho after the match. “It’s just a great feeling to win. It never gets old. To win the Big South tournament and get ready to go play in the NCAA is always exciting. That’s what we play for.”
Winthrop (16-7, 9-0 Big South) will now enjoy a week off before finding out its NCAA tournament draw. The bracket will be revealed at 6:30 p.m. next Monday night, and the reveal will be streamed on ncaa.com.
Baseball takes series from Gardner-Webb
Winthrop baseball took 2-of-3 from Gardner-Webb over the weekend, netting a superlative from the Big South office in the process.
Zach Peek got the only offense he would need in the first inning Thursday night, with a Spencer Yankle triple and Hunter Lipscomb groundout plating the runs in a 2-0 Winthrop victory. Peek authored a complete-game shutout against the Runnin’ Bulldogs, surrendering just six hits while fanning eight. Peek received the Starting Pitcher of the Week award from the Big South for his performance.
Peek joined reliever Dalton Whitaker in receiving plaudits, with Whitaker’s three-inning relief victory against Wofford earlier in the week netting him Big South Relief Pitcher of the Week honors.
Lefty Thad Harris nearly mirrored Peek’s performance in the nightcap of Saturday’s doubleheader, firing a two-hit, complete-game effort in a 7-1 victory over Gardner-Webb. Harris whiffed five in the 109-pitch effort. Yankle, Lipscomb, Grant English, and Brandon Fite all recorded multi-hit efforts in the victory, with English driving in three Eagle runs.
The Eagles are 12-6 in league play, behind first-placed Campbell (13-4) and technically behind 12-6 Radford, which swept the Eagles earlier this season. Presbyterian follows Winthrop at 11-7.
Winthrop (23-16, 12-6 Big South) plays a single game Tuesday night at Clemson, then heads to Presbyterian for a weekend series.
Lacrosse earns spot in Big South tournament
The Big South announced its lacrosse tournament bracket over the weekend, and Winthrop will be the third seed in the event.
Winthrop (7-10, 4-2 Big South) will face off with second-seeded Longwood at 7 p.m. Friday night in the tournament’s second semifinal match. The event will be contested at High Point University’s Vert Stadium. Sunday’s championship match will get underway at 2 p.m. ESPN+ will stream Friday’s semifinal matches, with the championship to be streamed over ESPN3.
The Eagles will be competing for their third conference tournament victory, following back-to-back crowns in 2015 and 2016.
Men’s tennis and golf seasons come to a close
Winthrop finished its seasons in men’s tennis and golf with appearances in their respective Big South tournaments.
Men’s tennis dropped a quarterfinal match with Campbell at Radford Thursday afternoon. The Eagles took the doubles point on a 7-6 (7-4) decision in favor of Connor Williamson and Leandros Pappayiannis on court three. The Camels then took the first four singles courts to advance in the tournament. Winthrop completes its season at 7-13 (2-6 Big South).
Golf also saw its season end at the hands of the Camels, as Campbell defeated Winthrop, 3-0, in the Match Play semifinals Saturday morning in Ninety Six. Senior Michael McKee earned honors from the conference, as he was named to the All-Academic Team.
Three Eagles notch top-10 finishes in Duke Invitational
Track and field competed in the Duke Invitational over the weekend, with three Eagles finishing in the top-10 in their respective disciplines. Colby Thorn finished fifth with a 7.19-meter long jump, with Evan Hailes’ 14.56-meter triple jump good for eighth place. Jalen Hodges (1.97 meters) finished 10th in the long jump.