UMSL Tritons weekly rewind
The top-seeded Tritons advanced to the Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament Championship for the first time in program history but were denied their first league title in a one-point loss to Truman State. Juniors Jose Grubbs and Yaakema Rose Jr. were named to the all-tournament team. Grubbs averaged 12.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.5 steals while Rose Jr. added 9.7 points and 3.0 assists per game and hit a game-winning 3-pointer as time expired in UMSL’s opening-round 53-51 win over Drury. Senior Jalen Wilkins-McCoy averaged 11.3 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.0 assists. The Tritons (27-6) landed the program’s first NCAA Tournament bid since 1988 and will begin play in the Midwest Regional on Saturday as the No. 3 seed. They will face No. 6 seed Southern Indiana at 11 a.m. in Indianapolis.
UMSL went 2-0 at home last week with victories over Missouri Western (4-3) and Purdue Northwest (7-0). Senior Marina Prediger picked up two singles wins at No. 1 to tie the program’s all-time singles wins record at 79. That matched Natalia Carvalhais, who won 79 matches between 2012 and 2016. The Tritons (2-1) will play their next three matches in Hilton Head, South Carolina, beginning Wednesday against Michigan Tech.
The men’s team defeated Purdue Northwest 5-2 at home last week. Seniors Ben-Hur Kasprzak and Milan Kovacs and freshman Jose Mayorga all won their respective singles and doubles matches. UMSL (3-0) will play its next three matches in Hilton Head, South Carolina, beginning Wednesday against Michigan Tech.
The Tritons went 3-3 last week as they began their six-day, 10-game trip in Florida. Sophomore Jessica Mrzlak batted .583 with seven hits, including two doubles and a home run, while adding three RBI and scoring two runs. UMSL (9-11) concludes its trip in the Sunshine State on Monday and Tuesday before returning home to open GLVC play at home against Lewis on Saturday and Illinois Springfield on Sunday.
UMSL went 1-2 in a three-game series at Drury to open GLVC play. Senior Andrew Hayden batted .643, tallying nine hits in 14 at-bats without striking out and while adding five RBI. The Tritons (4-10) will host Truman State this weekend in a three-game series with two games on Saturday and one on Sunday.
UMSL placed seventh at the Las Vegas Desert Classic last week, turning in a combined score of 901 (302-303-296). They were led by senior Chris Ferris, who finished ninth with a total of 219 (74-71-74). The Tritons will return to the course March 23-24 at the Ozark Invitational in Branson, Missouri.
The Tritons combined to shoot 302 on Sunday as they opened play at their own Emerald Coast Classic in Destin, Florida. UMSL entered today’s second round in first place with a five-stroke lead over Central Missouri in the 13-team field. Individually, senior Emma Thorngren was in second place, one shot off the lead, after an opening-round 72. The third and final round of the Emerald Coast Classic is on Tuesday.
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