Vanderbilt’s lacrosse team will revisit its beginnings when it returns to the NCAA tournament this weekend.
The Commodores made it to the 16-team championship field, which was announced Sunday, for the fourth consecutive year. Following a season in which they set a school record with 10 consecutive victories and finished 12-5 they were scheduled to play Duke in a first-round matchup Sunday at Durham, N.C.
VU’s first match this season was against Duke (a 19-10 defeat). Likewise, its first-ever appearance in the national championship was a match against Duke in 2002 (a 10-5 defeat).
“We played Duke early in the season and certainly had a few kinks to work out following that game,” coach Cathy Swezey said in a release. “We feel like we've made a lot of adjustments this spring that allowed us to be a lot better as a team.
“Obviously, (Duke is) a tournament-ready team. They're always strong in postseason, but we're looking forward to the chance to get another shot at them.”
This will be the Commodores’ sixth appearance all-time in the NCAA championship. Their best showing was 2004 when they reached the final four.
“We're constantly trying to get a little respect down here in the south, so to go four years in a row is really a great mark for our program,” Swezey said.
The pairings for the 2010 NCAA Women's Lacrosse Championship:
1. Maryland (18-1) vs. Marist (10-7)
8. Penn (14-3) vs. Boston University (11-8)
4. Georgetown (13-5) vs. Syracuse (13-6)
5. James Madison (16-2) vs. Stanford (15-5)
3. North Carolina (15-2) vs. Navy (17-3)
6. Virginia (13-5) vs. Towson (13-4)
2. Northwestern (17-1) vs. Notre Dame (11-6)
7. Duke (13-5) vs. Vanderbilt (12-5)
TSU finishes second
Tennessee State narrowly missed out on defending its title at PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship.
The Tigers started the final round three shots behind Texas-Pan American but gained only one during the final round on Sunday. They shot a final-round 290 and finished the event 10-over par.
Tigers’ senior Chris Seibel dueled Pan American’s Armen Kirakossianon for the team medalist honors but similarly came up two strokes short. The turning point came when Seibel made a double bogey on the par-4 10th, and Kirakossianon made four birdies on the back nine.
VU golf earns spot in championship field
Three players finished in the top 20 as Vanderbilt’s women’s team earned a spot in the NCAA championship with a fifth-place finish Saturday at the East Regional.
The top eight teams advanced to the NCAA Championship, which will be May 18-21 at Wilmington, N.C. The last time the Commodores made it s a team was 2007.
Sophomore Marina Alex, the SEC Player of the Year, finished tied for ninth at even par. Megan Grehan was one stroke back, tied for 13th, and Brooke Goodwin was another stroke behind, tied for 19th.
South Carolina won the team title, seven strokes ahead of Vanderbilt, which has been to the national championship four times previously.
“We are going to Wilmington with no pressure on us,” coach Greg Allen said. “We’re so excited and I’m so proud of them.”
• Lipscomb’s Adnan Hodzic withdrew from consideration for the NBA draft on Friday and announced that he will return to school for his senior season.
Hodzic declared himself available on April 8 but did not hire an agent, which allowed him to return to school.
• Lipscomb’s softball team is the top seed in the Atlantic Sun tournament, which opens Thursday. The Lady Bisons will play Campbell at 10 a.m. Thursday.