Florida Tech Panthers Sports Roundup

By  //  April 20, 2014

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Men’s Varsity Eight Wins Silver at South Region Championships

 Florida Tech’s men’s varsity eight was awarded a silver medal for finishing second in the grand final Saturday afternoon at the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships. 

he men's varsity eight has now medaled at the SIRA Championships in five of the last six years. (Florida Tech image)

he men’s varsity eight has now medaled at the SIRA Championships in five of the last six years. (Florida Tech image)

The Panthers finished the 2,000-meter course at the Melton Lake Rowing Venue in a time of 6:05.80.  George Washington crossed the finish line 1.7 seconds before FIT to take the gold medal. Virginia, Temple, Purdue and UNC finished third through sixth.

Representing the Crimson and Gray were coxswain Jessica Mellinger, stroke Jose Gomez-Feria, Ernestas Zarskis, Carson Green, Mindaugas Beliauskas, Kevin Coyle, John Martin, Andrew Konecny and bow Joe Horn.

Jim Granger

Jim Granger

“The varsity eight had a tremendous piece today,” head coach Jim Granger said. “We were beat by a stronger crew and we rowed very well. We let them get out a little too far. GW rowed a smart race plan, gambled and won. Our kids came off the water feeling as positive as you could for finishing second. There was no dejection. They learned a lot and it was a very good race experience. We’ll see GW in a couple weeks and see if we can improve on our time.”

Jessica Mellinger

Jessica Mellinger

The second varsity eight of coxswain Katherine Hausrath, stroke Alec Bertossa, Martynas Mickus, Strahinja Markovic, Henry Walch, Clay Mathieu, Marko Milovanovic, Paul Kepinski and bow Andor Dezsi were among the leaders early in the race. However, the crew caught a grab and regrouped to finish fifth at 6:26.0. George Washington finished first at 6:09.80. Purdue, Temple and Virginia came in second through fourth. Oklahoma City placed sixth.

Mindaugas Beliauskas

Mindaugas Beliauskas

“The second varsity eight had some bad luck by catching a crab,” Granger said. “They were in a tremendous race with four crews vying for first place. Their rowing looked good before and after the crab. They will be ready for a rematch in two weeks.”

The varsity four featuring coxswain Aaron Evans, bow Eric Schiferl, Nate Hodge, Alex Eierle and bow Coen de Jongfinished second in the ‘C’ Final at 7:30.0. Marietta won the event at 7:24.60. Clemson ‘B’, Texas A&M, Davidson and Tulane were third through sixth.

“I thought the four did well,” Granger said. “The lineup was made a week leading into the race. They gained a lot of confidence and had better confidence with each race this weekend. I’m excited to see how they do at Dad Vail.”

When FIT returns to Melbourne, it will start preparing for the Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta, scheduled for May 9-10 in Philadelphia, Pa.

Florida Tech Topped by Nova Southeastern in Season Finale, 3-1

Florida Tech lost to Nova Southeastern 3-1 in the Panthers’ season finale on Saturday at the AD Griffin Sports Complex. FIT finishes at 23-25 overall and 8-16 in the Sunshine State Conference, while Nova Southeastern improves to 28-17 and 15-6 in the SSC with five games to play.

Amanda Bueno (far left) and Kelsey Donahue (far right) with head coach Val Silvestrini before the Panthers played their last home game of the season on April 6. (Florida Tech image)

Amanda Bueno (far left) and Kelsey Donahue (far right) with head coach Val Silvestrini before the Panthers played their last home game of the season on April 6. (Florida Tech image)

The Panthers took advantage of a Shark error in the first inning to score the game’s first run. Leadoff hitter Elaine Brown reached base on the mistake and stole her team-leading 20th base of the season. Following a single by Brigit Godfrey, which moved Brown to third, Nicole Shinsky launched a sacrifice fly to center field to put the Panthers up 1-0.

Taylor Smith

Taylor Smith

Nova Southeastern answered in the third inning. This time, the Sharks were the beneficiaries of a Panther miscue as Lorena Spaulding ran home from third base on a throwing error with Erika Garcia at-bat.

A one-out two-run single by Garcia gave her team the lead for good in the fifth inning.

Of the three runs Nova Southeastern scored on Taylor Smith (7-14), one was earned. She scattered five hits and walked one in six innings of work.

Garcia (10-6) relieved Shark starter Jennie Von Doellen in the fifth inning and earned the win. The pair combined to allow five hits and Von Doellen walked three.

Val Silvestrini

Val Silvestrini

“We had a good season overall,” head coach Val Silvestrini said. “We were unlucky at the end and didn’t achieve our goal to qualify for the NCAA tournament. Our conference was very competitive this year and we lost a lot of very close games.”

Kelsey Donahue

Kelsey Donahue

Amanda Bueno and Kelsey Donahue had two hits each in their last game as a Panther. They also led the team with two hits in their final home game on April 6 at Nancy Bottge Field.

Bueno finishes her FIT career having started all four years, mostly in center field. Donahue is graduating early after having her best season of her three-year career. She started all 48 games as an outfielder and batted .297 with 44 hits.

“We are sad to say goodbye to Bueno and Kelsey today, but we are grateful they came to our program,” Silvestrini said. “We learned a lot from them, they made us a better team and we are looking forward to applying what we have learned next season.”


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