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Capital University News, California State University, Sacramento

January 25, 2005

Spring sports season offers promise for Hornets

The Hornet men entered Big Sky Conference play with one of the youngest teams in recent memory. Beginning on Jan. 25, the Hornets will play six of their final eight regular-season games at home, including five Big Sky contests.

The women's team is off to its best start since the 1995-96 season. The team's new chemistry has evolved from the combination of five newcomers (four junior college transfers and one freshman) mixed with five veteran players.

Fresh off a season in which the softball squad won 32 games (the most since 1997), placed a school-record seven players on the all-Pacific Coast Softball Conference (PCSC) team and narrowly missed an at-large berth into the NCAA Regionals, the Hornets embark upon the 2005 season with high expectations and hopes for the program's first NCAA postseason appearance since 1995.

The Hornets open up their home portion of the 2005 schedule on Wednesday, Feb. 9, against UC Davis.

The rowing team continued its tradition of water dominance by going undefeated in dual-meet action while being crowned Dad Vail Regatta champions for the first time ever in 2004. In 2005, the team will return four student-athletes from last season's top boat, as third-year head coach Mike Connors begins the season with the most talented roster of his tenure. For the second-consecutive year, Sacramento State will serve as host of the NCAA Women's Rowing Championships. The three-day regatta, which features 22 teams from around the nation, will take place on May 27-29 at the Aquatic Center in Rancho Cordova.

The men's and women's tennis programs have been models of consistency over the years, combining for seven Big Sky Conference championships since the 1998 season. Guided by three-time Big Sky Coach of the Year Bill Campbell, the women's team will seek its fourth-consecutive league championship in 2005 behind the strength of three players who were ranked nationally during the 2004 campaign (Margarita Karnaukhova, Anna Erikson and Roberta Fessenko.)

The men's team returns all but one player for the 2005 season as the squad seeks its fifth conference title in nine years. Seniors Matt Jones and Peter Farkas lead a nine-member team which features six underclassmen (including five sophomores.)

Sacramento State features five returning gymnasts who all have qualified for the NCAA Regionals during their career. Head coach Kim Hughes has brought in three talented freshmen that will help Sacramento State seek its fifth conference championship over the past six years. The Hornets' schedule is arguably their toughest in school history as it features national powers UCLA, Cal, Washington State, Oregon State and Arizona State. Sacramento State began its season on Jan. 7, and the schedule continues into April.

Track and Field/Cross Country
In just one season, Kathleen Raske, the director of track and field and cross country, has the Hornet program heading in the right direction. Last spring, Raske guided the men to their best finish ever at the Big Sky Conference Outdoor Championships. In 2004-05 the men's team will be led by senior Brandon Parker who won the Big Sky long jump crown each of the past two seasons. The women will be paced by junior Roshena Duree who scored a school-record 20 points at the conference meet. The schedule features a dual meet against UC Davis for the first time in more than a decade and the return of the NCAA Div. I Outdoor Championships (June 8-11). Sacramento State opens its indoor schedule on Jan. 29 at Nevada and the outdoor schedule begins on March 6 at Stanford.

Both the Hornet men's and women's golf teams return the majority of their lineups from last season. The women are slated to bring back five players that competed last season, including Jennifer Parkes and Margaux Sheehan. Last year, Parkes averaged 81.44 over 18 rounds while Sheehan averaged 81.43 in 14 rounds.

The men's team will be guided by Brian Little. The junior was named first team Div. I all-independent last season after leading the team with a 74.42 average in 19 rounds. The men's team begins its spring schedule on Feb. 7 at Loyola Marymount while the women begin on March 7 at Montana State.

The baseball team will enter its final year of independent play as it prepares to join the Western Athletic Conference as an affiliate member in 2006. This season should be exciting, with three senior pitchers on the mound. Senior right-hander Ethan Katz was named first team all-Division I Independent last season after finishing with a 9-5 record, a 4.01 ERA, five complete games, a shutout and 90 strikeouts. Offensively, the team will feature seniors Pedro Santiago (.322), Brett Flowers (.312) and Ronnie Machado, Jr. (.253). The season begins Friday, Feb. 4, against Washington State at Hornet Field.


California State University, Sacramento • Public Affairs
6000 J Street • Sacramento, CA 95819-6026 • (916) 278-6156 •
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California State University, Sacramento • Public Affairs
6000 J Street • Sacramento, CA 95819-6026 • (916) 278-6156 •