Redlands in a mad rush on courts
by Stanley Lee
Advertiser Staff Writer
Although the NCAA Tournament isn't for another two months, the frenzied competition of March Madness is on now for the University of Redlands (Calif.) women's tennis team.
For Paige Sumida (Waiākea '06 of Hilo) and Sara Yoshinaga ('Iolani '07 of Honolulu), their March schedule for the nationally ranked Bulldogs features a continuous flow of some of the top teams and players in Division III flocking to their Southern California campus.
Redlands, ranked No. 17, has dubbed this portion of the season, "March Madness" and hopes it will prepare the team for the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference season and perhaps another NCAA Tournament berth, which would be its 10th in the last 11 years. The Bulldogs have won the last two SCIAC titles.
"We are at the point of our season where we're playing matches, matches, matches, playing schools all over," said Yoshinaga, who plays primarily at No. 4 singles and No. 2 doubles. "We're pretty much looking to peak right about now and looking to April to play the top two competitors in our conference, Claremont and Pomona. We're looking pretty right now."
During a 10-day span earlier this month, Redlands (6-5) played five matches. The Bulldogs have four matches this week and cap the month against No. 9 Gustavus Adolphus (Minn.) on Monday. Redlands is currently 3-4 this month, having beaten Wellesley 5-4 yesterday, with all of its losses to teams ranked in the top 20.
After a 5-4 loss to No. 19 Trinity (Texas) last week, Sumida was motivated to practice harder. The senior was an All-American last year and won the region's Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award.
"It was the first time we had lost to that team in my four years being here," said Sumida, who plays primarily at No. 2 singles and No. 1 doubles. "It was kind of sad and losing to them opened my eyes and made me realize how precious these matches are."
Aside from the physical effort, it takes a lot of mental preparation to get through March Madness. Though their opponents are ranked, Yoshinaga said, "sometimes the ranking doesn't matter, doesn't really mean anything.
"Mentally we have to prepare. We know these teams aren't going to give up. We know we can hang with them."
Yoshinaga and Sumida, who are roommates, described each other as competitive. Yoshinaga said Sumida could be trailing 5-love and still claw back.
"She fights, she plays with a lot of heart," Yoshinaga said. "You can never count her out of a match. Numbers don't matter to her. She'll fight to the end."
Sumida said Yoshinaga has great hands and is strong at the net.
"She's a great doubles player, she make it look so effortless," Sumida said. "Someone will hit a ball and you think it's a winner and she takes it and hits a winner back to you."
Hawai'i players on the No. 18 Redlands men's tennis team are Keven Wong (Le Jardin '07 of Kāne'ohe) and Daniel Adachi ('Iolani '06 of Honolulu). The men's team has made 18 straight NCAA Tournament trips.
• Northwestern sophomore pitcher Michael Jahns (St. Anthony '08 of Kīhei) pitched five scoreless innings of relief to pick up the win in a 9-5 victory over Maryland-Baltimore Saturday. Sophomore designated hitter Paul Snieder (Punahou '08 of Honolulu) batted 3 for 4 with a homer and a double for the Wildcats.
• Cal State Northridge junior left fielder Ridge Carpenter (Kalani '07 of Honolulu) batted 2 for 4 with three walks, three runs scored, two RBIs and a stolen base in an 18-8 win over Seattle.
• San Diego sophomore catcher Zack Kometani (Punahou '08 of Honolulu) batted 2 for 3 and scored twice in a 9-8 loss to Rice Sunday.
• Southern Utah senior first baseman Bucky Aona (Punahou '06 of Kapolei) hit a three-run homer in the sixth inning of a 9-5 win over Chicago State Saturday. Freshman infielder D.J. Andrade (Damien '09 of Waipahu) went 2 for 4 with a double, RBI and two runs scored for the Thunderbirds.
• University of Mary (N.D.) sophomore outfielder Duane Kiyota Jr. (Pearl City '08) hit .471 with 16 hits, including three doubles, with seven RBIs and eight runs scored in nine games for the Marauders at their Spring Tournament in Auburndale, Fla.
• San Diego sophomore Alex Ching (Punahou '08 of Honolulu) went 4-0 to help the Torreros finish eighth in the 16-team Callaway Collegiate Match Play Championships at Dove Mountain in Marana, Ariz. Ching won 2-up to help USD beat Texas Tech in the first round. In a second-round loss to New Mexico, Ching again won 2-up before winning 4 and 2 in a third-round loss to UNLV. In the seventh-place match, Ching won 5 and 4, but the Torreros lost to Stanford.
• Colorado senior Christine Kim (Waiākea '06 of Pāhoa) tied for 21st with a 17-over 233 at the BYU at Entrada Classic, which ended yesterday in St. George, Utah. Oregon State sophomore Elyse Okada (Maui '08 of Kahului) tied for 48th at 32-over 248.
• Stanford senior setter Kawika Shoji ('Iolani '06 of Honolulu) broke the school's all-time record for digs in a career in a sweep of Cal Baptist. Shoji's six digs Saturday put him ahead of former record-holder and current U.S. Men's National Team member Kevin Hansen and gives him 713 in his career. Earlier this month, Shoji broke Hansen's all-time record for service aces. He had three against Cal Baptist to bring his total to 95.
• USC freshman outside hitter Maddison McKibbin (Punahou '09 of Honolulu) had 14 kills, six digs, five blocks, three assists and an ace in a four-set loss to BYU Friday. Junior setter Riley McKibbin (Punahou '07 of Honolulu) recorded 56 assists, 12 digs and six kills, and junior outside hitter Tri Bourne (Academy of the Pacific '07 of Honolulu) added 11 digs for the Trojans. BYU sophomore middle blocker Futi Tavana (Kaua'i '06 of Kalaheo) hit .615 (nine kills, one error in 13 attempts) and had seven digs and an ace in the Saturday's sweep.
• Cornell freshman Kristin Lim (Punahou '09 of Honolulu) won 6-2 and 6-1 at third singles in a 7-0 win over Central Arkansas Monday. She also helped the Big Red win 8-4 at No. 1 doubles. Lim won both her matches in a 7-0 win over Murray State yesterday.
• Cal State Northridge junior Brooke Doane (Kamehameha '07 of 'Ewa Beach) won 6-2 and 6-3 at No. 1 singles in the Matadors' 4-3 win over Wyoming Friday. Doane also helped CSUN win 8-1 in the top doubles' match.
• Mississippi State sophomore left fielder Kaili Smith (Kapolei '08) hit a three-run homer, her eighth of the season, in the third inning of a 6-4 loss to Ole Miss Saturday.
• Whitter (Calif.) junior left fielder Kellie Canida (Kamehameha '07 of 'Aiea) hit for the cycle with five RBIs and three runs scored in an 18-2 win over Dickinson at the Tucson Invitational Friday. Canida led off the bottom of the first inning with a double, tripled in the second, and hit a two-run homer and single in the third inning for the Poets.
WOMEN'S WATER POLO
• Pacific (Calif.) junior utility Dara Tawarahara ('Iolani '07 of Honolulu) scored twice in the Tigers' 11-5 win over Harvard Saturday. Later in the day, Tawarahara scored all four of Pacific's goals in an 11-4 loss to Cal.
• Occidental (Calif.) junior attacker Karie Nickel (Kamehameha '07 of Honolulu) scored three goals and assisted on three others in a 9-7 loss to Concordia Saturday. Freshman center Nanea Fujiyama (Kamehameha '09 of Honolulu) scored twice in the game and accounted for four goals in a 10-8 loss to Long Island later in the day.
• Redlands' Moana Tuipulotu (Lahainaluna '09 of Lahaina) scored four goals in a win over Macalester (Minn.) She had one goal in a loss to Azusa Pacific and had a goal in a win over George Washington.
• UC Davis junior Brandon Low (Saint Louis '06 of Honolulu) lost his opening-round match, 3-2, to No. 12 seed Steve Mytych of Drexel Thursday in the NCAA Championships at the Qwest Center in Omaha, Neb. Low lost to Central Michigan's Scotti Sentes 8-3 in an elimination round.
• Gonzaga junior guard Tatriana Lorenzo (Kamehameha '07 of Wahiawā) had an assist in three minutes of action in the Bulldogs' 82-76 NCAA Tournament first-round win over North Carolina Saturday. Lorenzo played in six minutes of Monday's 72-71 second-round win over Texas A&M and recorded two steals and an assist. Gonzaga plays Xavier Saturday in a Sweet 16 game in Sacramento.
WOMEN'S SWIMMING & DIVING
• UCLA junior Brittany Beauchan (Punahou '07 of Kailua) won the B Final of the 200-yard breaststroke at the NCAA Championships in West Lafayette, Ind. Saturday. Beauchan broke her own school record in the event with a time of 2:08.58, earned her second career honorable mention All-America distinction.
• Pacific (Ore.) senior defender Christine Nishida (Kailua '06) scored the first goal during a 9-0 start of the Boxers' 9-7 win over Fontbonne Saturday.
OUTDOOR TRACK & FIELD
• Willamette (Ore.) freshman Amanda Tamanaha (St. Andrew's '09) finished second in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the Chuck Bowles Spring Classic in Salem, Ore. Friday in a time of 12:07.24, which qualified her for the Northwest Conference championships.
• USC's Abe Markowitz (Punahou '08 of Hawai'i Kai) finished second in section B of the men's shot put at Saturday's USC Invitational with a throw of 50 feet, 2 1/2 inches.
• Portland's Pono Hanson (Kamehameha of 'Aiea) finished sixth in his section of the men's 400 hurdles in 58.42 at Saturday's Oregon Preview. He also ran on the 4x400 relay that finished third in their section.
Advertiser Staff Writer Kalani Takase contributed to this report.