By Ryan Sanudo
Sacred Heart University’s athletic teams were hard at work during the course of the university’s winter break and into the end of January. From cheerleading, ice hockey, and basketball to swimming and diving, track and field, and wrestling, all teams competed and had notable accomplishments.
The cheerleading red team placed sixth in the country for the All Girl Division I competition at the Universal Cheerleading Association (UCA) and Universal Dance Association (UDA) College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championship. This competition took place at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, FL. The Pioneers put together an overall score of 74.20 in the finals.
The 2017-18 cheer team is the second team in program history to reach the finals at the national stage. The 2014-15 team is the only other team to place, also coming in sixth.
In men’s ice hockey, junior Brett Magnus received his second Travel Team USA Atlantic Hockey Goalie of the The Week honor of the season. This came after back-to-back wins over Bently and Air Force.
It was the first time the Pioneers had back-to-back wins this season. The team currently has a 7-14-4 record, going 3-1-2 during the course of January. Their next home series is on Feb. 2 and 3 against Robert Morris.
In women’s ice hockey, defenseman Jayne Lewis had at least one point in seven of her last eight games. The team has an overall record of 20-5-1 and leads all of Division I women’s ice hockey in scoring average (4.73).
On the basketball court, men’s senior forward Joseph Lopez is second in the Northeast Conference (NEC) in rebounding with 9.1 boards per game. Sean Hoehn has seven games with at least 15 points and is fourth in the NEC in assists, averaging 4.32 per game.
Women’s basketball forward Katherine Haines posted a career-high 26 points in a game against Wagner College. Haines attributed her success to the coaching staff.
“I’ve been working with my coaches in practice on turning and facing in the post,” said Haines. “Being versatile is beneficial, but I think that my improvement in my game has all come from confidence and just playing freely which has come from both my teammates and coaches’ trust.”
In many cases for student-athletes, it’s tough to see family during the holidays. For Haines, she’s grateful her home isn’t too far from Sacred Heart University.
“Of course I wish I had a few more days at home, but I am fortunate enough to live relatively close to the school. I live only about an hour and ten minutes away so I get to see my family pretty often,” Haines said.
Swimming and diving sophomore Lauren Somers was named the NEC Co-Swimmer of the week on Jan. 28. She set a McCann Natatorium pool record on her way to winning the 100-freestyle by finishing with 52.49, the best time in the NEC on the weekend.
The men and women’s track and field teams competed at the Boston University Multi-Events Meet on Jan. 16. For the men, senior Sebastian Pierre won the 400 meters in a time of 50.22. For the women, Akuadasuo Ezenyilimba set a season best of 59’ 9.5 feet in the weight throw competition. Ezenyilimba was later named the NEC Women’s Field Athlete of the Week for her performance.
The wrestling team split events beating Virginia Military Institute 27-13, but losing to Bloomsburg University 29-13.