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Lynn Hickey newsletter

The AD's Corner — Wednesday, March 4, 2015


Men's Hoops To Close Out Regular Season At Home This Week
The men's basketball team (13-14, 7-9 C-USA) will enter the final week of the regular season with a chance to finish as high as sixth place in the Conference USA standings.

The Roadrunners will close the season with home contests against Rice (10-19, 7-9 C-USA) at 7 p.m. on Thursday and North Texas (14-14, 8-8 C-USA) at 2 p.m. on Saturday before taking off to Birmingham, Ala., for next week's C-USA Tournament (click here for more information).

The games against the Owls and Mean Green will serve as the final home contests for seniors Jeromie Hill, Keon Lewis and Kaj-Björn Sherman. All three players rank among the top 25 scorers in the league and Hill is the only player in the circuit to sit in the top five for scoring and rebounding.

Additionally, Hill has moved up the career charts in his final season. The Cairns, Australia, native owns school records with 119 games started and 812 rebounds, while his 1,637 points rank fourth.


Women Look To Improve Conference USA Tournament Seeding
The women’s basketball team sits in a three-way tie with UAB and Charlotte for fifth place in the Conference USA standings at 9-7 with a pair of road games remaining in the regular season at Rice (8-19, 3-13 C-USA) on Thursday and at North Texas (5-22, 4-12 C-USA) on Saturday.

The Roadrunners, 14-14 overall, are one game behind Old Dominion (10-6) for fourth place and UTSA owns the head-to-head tiebreaker with the Monarchs by virtue of a 52-51 road win on Feb. 12. ODU has road games at Marshall and first-place Western Kentucky this weekend.

The top 12 teams will earn a spot in next week's C-USA Tournament in Birmingham, Ala. with the top four receiving a first-round bye (click here for more information).


Main Campus Practice Facility

Catch First Glimpse Of 2015 Football Team On March 28
Head football coach Larry Coker will open spring practice to the public at noon on Saturday, March 28, at the Main Campus Practice Facility. Instead of taking Saturday spring practices on the road to local high schools as in the past, Coker is inviting fans to experience the Roadrunners on their campus.

Food trucks will be available on the west side of the practice fields beginning at noon and will serve throughout the two-hour practice. Fans will be able to walk out onto the fields during practice and will be able to meet and greet coaches and players upon the completion of practice at 2 p.m.

Fans are encouraged to park on the west side of campus near the baseball field and walk past the recreation fields to the football practice facility. Athletics personnel will be stationed near the baseball and softball fields to provide directions.

Following the football practice on March 28, fans are encouraged to make a day of it and attend the UTSA baseball game against Florida Atlantic beginning at 2 p.m. Baseball tickets are available at the gate or by calling the Ticket Office at (210) 458-UTSA (8872).

There will be two additional chances for fans to watch the football team during spring drills.

On Saturday, April, 11, the squad will open up another practice to the public, this one at 10 a.m. at the Main Campus Practice Facility.

The UTSA Football Fiesta Spring Game presented by HealthTexas will be played at 1 p.m. the following Saturday, April 18, at the Alamodome. Doors will open at noon.

Admission is free to all three events.


Megan Low vs. Iowa State
Megan Low

Softball Continues Torrid Start
The softball team is off to one of the best starts in school history at 15-5 and it will open Conference USA play this weekend with a three-game series at Southern Miss (10-5). The Roadrunners lead the league with a .337 batting average, six triples, 32 home runs, 91 walks and 148 runs, while their 177 hits rank second.

Once again, Megan Low is among the conference’s best with seven home runs to headline several Roadrunners among league leaders. Randee Crawford’s 29 RBIs and Courtney Buchman’s 23 runs scored each rank second in the circuit, while Kendall Burton is tied for the league-lead with three triples.

UTSA’s next home game is a 6 p.m. contest against McNeese State next Wednesday, March 11.


Logan Onda vs. Lamar
Logan Onda

Baseball Ends Losing Streak On Tuesday Night
The baseball team bounced back from a three-game sweep at McNeese State last weekend with a 4-3 victory at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Tuesday night. Senior Logan Onda dealt 6.1 innings of four-hit, scoreless baseball to lead the Roadrunners to their first road triumph of the season.

UTSA (7-5) will welcome UC Irvine (3-8), a 2014 College World Series participant, to Roadrunner Field for a three-game set this weekend. First pitch on Friday is slated for 6 p.m. (although that may change due to weather, so check with goUTSA.com before heading to the ballpark), followed by 2 p.m. and noon starts on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.


Roadrunners Win Four Events At Conference USA Indoor Championships
The track & field teams won a total of four gold medals at last Thursday's Conference USA Indoor Championships in Birmingham, Ala.

The men, who finished second to Western Kentucky at the one-day meet, were led by Andrew Akens, Keyunta Hayes and Dionte Robinson.

Akens successfully defended his shot put championship, while Hayes was victorious in the 60-meter hurdles. Meanwhile, Robinson was tabbed the Freshman of the Meet following his team-leading 14.5-point performance.

Stephanie Wangui won the women's 800m title and she also helped the distance medley relay win the conference crown for the second consecutive year. Grace Kohler, Shantel Swift and Emily Perez joined Wangui on the DMR.

The Roadrunners will open their outdoor campaign in two weeks at the UTSA Challenge Invitational at Park West Athletics Complex. The two-day meet is scheduled to begin on March 20.


Former Student Athletes Invited Back For Track & Field Meet
All former UTSA student-athletes are invited back to a Roadrunner Athletic Fund Student-Athlete Society gathering on the second day of the UTSA Challenge Invitational on Saturday, March 21, at Park West Athletics Complex. The six-team event will open the outdoor season for both the men’s and women’s track & field teams and Houston, Kentucky, Manhattan (men), Texas and Texas Tech will join the Roadrunners at their annual home-opening meet.

Lunch compliments of the Student-Athlete Society will be served in the press box beginning at noon on the day of the meet. All former student-athletes interested in attending must RSVP for lunch and free admission by contacting assistant track coach Lavera Morris at lavera.morris@utsa.edu.

For more information on the Student-Athlete Society and the March 21 gathering, contact Victor Yates via email at victor.yates@utsa.edu or by phone at (210) 458-6333.


Jefferson Middle School students

Jefferson Middle School Students Visit With Soccer Team, Rowdy
UTSA soccer players recently encouraged Jackson Middle School students to attend college as part of Generation Texas Week in the Northside Independent School District. Each day, soccer student-athletes greeted Jackson students in the library, gyms, cafeteria and hallways to promote higher education and answer questions.

Students were encouraged to wear college attire throughout the week. The classes that won second and third place for participation in the Generation Texas Week activities received a talk from soccer team members discussing their college experiences. The class with the greatest participation received an ice cream party with Rowdy the Roadrunner, the UTSA mascot.


Former Roadrunner Named New Women’s Golf Assistant Coach
Former UTSA women’s golf student-athlete Summer Batiste has been named assistant coach, head coach Carrie Parnaby announced on Monday. Batiste was a four-year letterwinner from 2007-12 and served as the UTSA team captain her final two seasons. The Spring native earned second team All-Southland Conference honors in 2010 and '11. Since graduation, Batiste has been working as an assistant pro at San Antonio Country Club and served as a volunteer assistant on Parnaby’s staff for the past 14 months.


Final Thoughts
The women’s basketball team closed out its home season last Sunday with Senior Day and an impressive win against tradition-rich Louisiana Tech.

The men will close its current home and regular season slate with games on Thursday against Rice and Saturday against North Texas.

I am so proud of head coach Brooks Thompson and our men’s team. Preseason coaches polls placed them at the bottom of Conference USA. Going into the final week of the regular season, the Roadrunners are in the middle of the league standings and will be a very dangerous opponent at next week's conference tournament in Birmingham, Ala.

I asked women’s head coach Luby Lichonczak to address his three seniors in last week’s Final Thoughts.

This week, Coach Thompson will say a few words about his three seniors who will play their final home game this Saturday.

“Jeromie Hill, Kaj-Bjorn Sherman and Keon Lewis have led us to a very solid year. They have paved the way for our underclassmen to continue UTSA’s growth into the future. Remember, our 14-man roster includes seven freshmen. Senior leadership has been vital.

“We hope to make some noise and continue to surprise a lot of people at next week’s Conference USA Tournament in Birmingham, but, before moving to the postseason, we have two very important games against in-state opponents this week at the Convocation Center.

“Jeromie will go down in UTSA men’s basketball history as one of the top players of all time. The Australian will finish as the top rebounder in school history and will be among the top five in scoring. Beyond the court, he has excelled in the classroom. He has completed his undergraduate degree and is currently pursuing his master’s degree.

“Kaj and Keon both came to us from North Idaho Junior College. The worst thing about junior college transfers is that they come and go so quickly. Kaj’s leadership and energy have been contagious for the entire team this year. Keon is a gifted scorer and has elevated his play-making skills and competitiveness on both ends of the court.

“I hope all of the people reading this newsletter will come out to say goodbye to Jeromie, Kaj and Keon. No one could have predicted that all three would be named C-USA Players of the Week within a four-week period earlier this season. I know all three would greatly appreciate your presence for either or both of our last home games.”

Kudos to track & field head coach Aaron Fox and his men’s indoor team for finishing second in last week’s C-USA meet. Challenging for a second straight indoor championship seemed out of the question prior to the season because of the graduation of a number of key performers on last year’s team, but, apparenly, Coach Fox apparently didn’t rebuild, he reloaded.

We hope that our students and their families have a fun and safe Spring Break. I will be traveling with the basketball teams to the C-USA Tournament and will take a week off from producing this newsletter. Please follow us on goUTSA.com and on radio broadcasts from Birmingham.

We’ll be back with the newsletter in two weeks.

Thank you for your support of UTSA Athletics. Please accept Brooks’ invitation to the Convocation Center on Thursday and Saturday and drop by the baseball field for games against UC Irvine this weekend and Houston Baptist next Tuesday.

Go Runners!

Sincerely,

Lynn Hickey
Director of Athletics

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