81 Student-Athletes Earn Degrees

ATHLETICS | Loyola Marymount University held its annual Commencement Exercises on Saturday, May 11, 2019, where 81 LMU student-athletes participated. Prior to the university conferral of degrees, LMU Athletics held its annual Lions Athletic Fund Graduation Breakfast outside of Gersten Pavilion.

The Loyola Marymount softball team has accepted a bid to participate in the 2019 National Invitational Softball Championship. This is the second year in a row the Lions have made a postseason appearance. Last year, the team took home the 2018 NISC title, after going 3-1 at regionals, and then beating UT Arlington and UC Riverside twice in the championship. LMU heads to the NISC coming off of a 35-18 regular season, while going 11-4 in conference play. The Lions will play their first game on Thursday against Nevada at 4 p.m. Fresno State and UC Riverside will also be playing in the regional at Nevada. In addition, the WCC announced that Molly Grumbo and Delanie Wisz were named to the West Coast Conference 2019 Softball All-Academic Team, while Hannah Bandimere was named to Honorable Mention.

The 2019 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Regionals are underway. LMU senior Riley Elmes is competing in his second-consecutive regional tournament as an individual after being selected to play at the Stanford regional. Live scoring is available throughout the three-day tournament.

The final four home games of the season are here as the LMU baseball team hosts USC on Tuesday night followed by a weekend series against Gonzaga. With major conference tournament implications, this final home series is critical for the Lions to send out the seniors right, and to extend the season and finish in the top four of the conference and earn a spot in the WCC championships. Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday will all feature a 6 p.m. first pitch, with Sunday’s 1 p.m. game beginning with pregame Senior Day recognitions.

The 2019 West Coast Conference Rowing Championships are set for May 18 in Lake Natoma, California The Lions have been preparing all season for this day to compete for a conference championship. The first race of the day will begin at 8:40 a.m. and ensuing races will start ever 20 minutes thereafter. Complete coverage can be found on the West Coast Conferences’ Championship Central.

LMU reported three athletic programs with perfect multi-year Academic Progress Rates (APR) in 2017-18, and 10 of 18 teams have recorded scores of 990 or better, an improvement from seven teams the year before. Comparing year-to-year, 17 of 22 teams maintained or improved their multi-year scores, according to the annual APR report released by the NCAA earlier this week. The most recent rates, which include data for the 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17, and 2017-18 academic years, show every Lion program above the 930 cutline. Women’s swimming recorded its ninth-straight 1,000-point score, and men’s golf and men’s water polo each recorded perfect, 1,000-point multi-year APR scores for the second straight season.

In addition to swimming, golf and men’s water polo also earned last week’s NCAA Public Recognition Awards for ranking in the top 10 percent of their sport.

Beach volleyball players Sara Kovac and Jessie Prichard were named the West Coast Conference Pair of the Month, announced by the conference on Thursday. Kovac and Prichard went undefeated at the WCC Beach Volleyball Championship, leading the Lions to their first-ever conference title after beating No. 5 Pepperdine for the first time in program history.

Both men’s and women’s basketball teams signed players over the weekend. Parker Dortch has signed a National Letter of Intent to join the LMU men’s basketball team for the 2018-19 season. The Columbus, New Jersey, native played his junior college ball at Kaskaskia College (Centralia, Illinois) and helped lead his team to the NJCAA National Championships. Natalia Klimek has signed a National Letter of Intent to play women’s basketball with the Lions starting in the fall. Klimek comes to LMU from Ko?obrzeg, Poland, where she led her All-Star Five team to winning the championship in Poland’s First League, while then leading the team to a bronze medal in the European Championships in 2017.