RowdyReport.com brings you the inaugural edition of Week in Review, which we plan on publishing every Monday throughout the year to recap the latest happenings in UTSA athletics.
Track & Field
The UTSA men’s track & field program brought home their seventh straight Southland Conference Indoor Championship over the weekend, setting a Southland Conference record for the longest such streak. Six Roadrunners took home individual titles at the meet, including Keith Benford earning his third title in the high jump. The five other first-place finishers were Richard Garrett Jr. (shot put), Keyunta Hayes (60-meter hurdles), Chrishunn Jamerson (800m), Phil Steinert (weight throw) and Tyler Williamson (long jump). In addition to his individual title, Benford’s high jump of 7-3¼ moved him into 11th place in the nation. The Roadrunners will return to the NCAA Indoor Championships on March 9-10 in Nampa, Idaho, followed by the start of the Outdoor season at the Aztec Invitational in San Diego, CA from March 15-17.
After losing three straight, the Roadrunners were able to clinch a Southland Conference Tournament berth with a 86-82 overtime win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in Corpus on Wednesday night. Three players scored over 20 points in the game (Kannon Burrage – 21, Melvin Johnson – 20, Iggy Nujic – 20) for the first time since 1999. The team was unable to build on that momentum as they returned home for the I-35 rivalry game on Saturday. Led by the sharp-shooting Matt Staff, who scored 28 points on 11-of-14 shooting, the Texas State Bobcats evened the series with a 66-52 win at the Convo, keeping their tournament hopes alive. The Roadrunners have two more games (Wed. @ Central Arkansas, Sat. vs. UT-Arlington) before heading to Katy to defend their Southland Conference title beginning on March 7.
If you thought the men’s slump was bad, you obviously haven’t been following the women’s team, who had lost seven straight coming into Wednesday’s matchup against A&M-Corpus at home. But the wait was finally over for head coach Rae Rippetoe-Blair’s 200th win at the helm of the Roadrunners, as the team earned the 72-58 victory over the Islanders. The Roadrunners then traveled to San Marcos on Saturday to try to get their eighth consecutive win over the rival Bobcats. Unfortunately, Texas State pulled away early and never looked back, defeating the Roadrunners by a final score of 87-67. With the loss, UTSA is out of contention for a conference tournament berth, ending their streak of eleven straight appearances.
After being reported by several outlets in previous weeks, UTSA officially announced the promotion of Kevin Brown from Tight Ends Coach to Offensive Coordinator effective immediately. He replaces Travis Bush, who left to coach running backs at the University of Houston. Bush brought Brown with him to UTSA from Texas State in 2010, where the two had been together since Brown was hired in 2007. Prior to that, Brown served as a graduate assistant at his alma mater TCU, a job previously held by Bush as well. Also, according to an article from Yahoo! Sports, UTSA will begin spring practice on March 19.
It took the Roadrunner baseball team 13 innings to get the win over Houston Baptist on Tuesday, but that’s when junior Daniel Rockett got his sixth RBI of the game to lead UTSA to a 9-6 victory. The team then hosted New Mexico for a 4-game series over the weekend, winning all but one (13-3, 7-14, 3-2, 8-4). They return to action on Tuesday, as they travel to Dallas to take on Dallas Baptist, followed by the UTSA Classic this weekend, when UTSA will play host to Kansas, Gonzaga and Louisiana-Lafayette.
The UTSA softball team travelled to Corpus Christi this weekend for the Best Western Marina Grand Islanders Classic. Junior Haylee Straton led the way with 12 strikeouts in a 6-4 win over North Dakota before the team fell to Mississippi 12-2 in five innings. The remainder of the event was cancelled due to heavy rain over the weekend.
The UTSA men’s tennis team started off the week with their first ever national ranking, coming in at #72, but faced an immediate challenge on Saturday, as they traveled to Austin to face #11 Texas. After taking care of St. Edward’s on Friday 6-1, the Roadrunners were no match for the Longhorns, who won the match 6-1. UTSA’s lone point came from sophomore Yannick Junger, who won in three sets. The tennis team will have its second Southland Conference match of the season as they face Texas-Pan American on Friday, followed by a match against Portland on Sunday. The women’s tennis team defeated Jacksonville State 6-1 on Friday before falling to Samford and UAB by scores of 7-0 and 5-2, respectively. They return to action with conference tilts at Central Arkansas and Northwestern State this weekend.