MORAGA, Calif. -- The Saint Mary's athletics program enjoyed another excellent season both on and off the field. Here is a quick A-to-Z look at some of the highlights from the past 12 months:
A – All-American: SMC volleyball standouts Jordan Shaw and Kristina Graven concluded their careers in fine fashion, earning AVCA All-America honors. Shaw became the first Gael ever to win an AVCA All-Pacific North Region award. Graven was named All-Pacific North honorable mention and the duo teamed with fellow senior Sarah Reams to help lead Saint Mary's to an 18-9 season record.
B – Beat Cal: Entering the season having never beaten Cal, the Saint Mary’s softball team defeated the Golden Bears not once but twice during the 2014 season. In San Diego, the Gaels took a 4-1 victory over the No. 23-ranked team in February. SMC later proved it was no fluke, trouncing Cal 8-2 in Moraga in April.
C – Comeback City: Trailing two sets to none against No. 19-ranked BYU, the Saint Mary's volleyball team provided one of the finest moments in its program history when it rallied to claim a stunning 23-25, 23-25, 25-12, 25-22, 15-11 home victory over the Cougars. Jordan Shaw collected career highs in kills (27) and digs (22) while Kristina Graven had a line of 23 kills and 17 digs that included the match-clinching final point.
D – Double Trouble: Danielle Mauldin finished her senior year with 24 double-doubles in 33 games and became SMC’s all-time leading rebounder. The first-team All-WCC forward also became the league’s all-time leader with 1,282 rebounds, shattering the old mark by a difference of 160. Mauldin also finished her career with the SMC record for free throws made and attempted.
E – End Of An Era: Kate Gaze concluded her outstanding career at SMC. She played in a school record 135 games, finished 12th all-time in scoring (1,303 points) and second in three-pointers made (195). After the season, she signed a professional contract to play for the Townsville Fire and will join the team after earning her master’s degree this summer.
F – Face-off: Rachel Minarovich of the lacrosse team earned MPSF all-conference honors after finishing the year with a school and MPSF single-season record of 81 draw controls. She also tied for the team lead with 28 goals, adding 24 ground balls and 10 caused turnovers. Minarovich also set both the MPSF and SMC records for career draw controls with 201, shattering the old mark of 141.
G – Groundbreaking: Saint Mary's women's tennis player Jenny Jullien redefined success on the court, winning her second straight WCC Player of the Year award and earning a top-15 ranking from the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA). She concluded the season as the Gaels' first-ever ITA All-American. Jullien became the first SMC tennis player to reach an ITA Regional final and competed at the USTA/ITA Indoor Intercollegiate Championships in Flushing, N.Y.
H – Haze: Andrea Hazel’s power hitting put Cal in a haze as the sophomore catcher hit two home runs with three RBI in the 8-2 win over the Golden Bears. Hazel blasted home runs in the first and fourth innings in the notable victory. She finished the year leading SMC in average, hits, home runs, RBI and total bases.
I – Immediate Impact: Freshman Cameron Neff burst onto the collegiate baseball scene in a big way, running off a stretch of 32.2 innings without allowing an earned run. The streak included starts against Penn State, Cal State Fullerton, Portland and BYU and featured a four-hit shutout at then-No. 9 Fullerton as well as a 10-strikeout, 2-hit gem against the Nittany Lions.
J - Jersey Retirement: Matthew Dellavedova's number 4 now hangs in the rafters and will never again be worn by a Saint Mary's men's basketball player. Delly was honored and his number was retired in February. The Aussie is one of the best to ever play for the Gaels, finishing first all-time in career points (1,933), assists (778), 3-points made (288) and attempts (761), free throw percentage (.860), starts (133) and games played (136).
K – K-Mo’: SMC freshman Katie Moss was nearly unhittable during WCC play, earning WCC Co-Freshman of the Year honors. In WCC play, Moss went 2-0 with a 2.13 ERA, holding opponents to a .186 average. Moss also had four saves and struck out 36 hitters in just 26.1 innings of work.
L – La La Land: Saint Mary’s women’s soccer won for the first-time at Loyola Marymount since 1999. The Gaels jumped out to an early lead and cruised to a 3-1 victory at LMU. Caroline Beaulne had two assists, while Briana Campos, Samantha Dion and Melissa Madrid scored for the Gaels.
M – Morro: After missing the last two seasons while undergoing treatment for leukemia, men’s soccer forward Emmanuel “Morro” Sarabia was granted a rare additional year of eligibility and rejoined the team for spring training. The Truckee, Calif. native was diagnosed in December, 2011 and his cancer battle has served as an inspiration.
N – National Champions: Saint Mary’s rugby earned the program’s first-ever national championship. The Gaels claimed a thrilling 21-6 victory over Life University in the USA Rugby Division IA title game on May 10 at Stanford. Mike O’Neill, Kingsley McGowan, Joey Reavey, Garrett Brewer and Cooper Maloney each received first or second team All-America honors.
O – Outstanding: Several Saint Mary’s student-athletes were honored at the department’s annual Gael Awards Show: Stephen Holt and Jenny Jullien were named Male and Female Athletes of the Year; Justin Howard and Kristina Graven earned the McKeon Award; Alex Braman and Jamie Pawid were Newcomers of the Year; Cameron Neff and Sarah Lira won Individual Performances of the Year; and Paul Thomas was named the Coach of the Year.
P – Patty Mills, NBA Champion: Guard Patrick Mills became the first former Saint Mary’s player to earn a NBA Championship ring after helping the San Antonio Spurs to a dominant 5-game victory over the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals. Mills played in 81 games over the course of the season and averaged 10.2 points, 2.1rebounds and 1.8 assists per game. He re-signed with the Spurs after the season, reportedly for three more years.
Q – Quick Start: Several SMC teams started strong and got a jump on the competition right out of the gate. The men's basketball team equaled its best start ever with nine straight victories to begin the season. Women's basketball won its first seven games, including victories over Washington (Pac-12) and Alabama (SEC). Men's tennis had its best stretch of the season at the beginning of spring, beating Fresno State and Cal Poly as part of a four-match winning streak to kick off the season. And, baseball opened WCC play by taking five of six from Portland and BYU to sit atop the conference standings after two weeks of conference action.
R – Rookie: Former Saint Mary’s men’s basketball player Matthew Dellavedova enjoyed a successful rookie season in the NBA. After not being selected in the 2013 NBA Draft, the 3-time all-West Coast Conference guard and 2012 Player of the Year signed a free agent contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers and became a fan favorite with his determination, leadership and work ethic. He appeared in 72 games, averaging 4.7 points and 2.6 assists per game.
R – Resume: The 2013-14 women’s basketball team was on the NCAA bubble all season and was one of the last teams considered for an at-large invitation. SMC had wins over teams from the Pac-12, Big East and SEC during the season. In addition to WCC wins over nationally ranked Gonzaga and BYU, the Gaels also scored a convincing 71-55 road win at eventual Pac-12 tournament champion USC.
S – Scholastic Success: A program-best four Saint Mary’s athletic programs earned recognition from the NCAA for academic success as the men and women’s outdoor track, women’s cross country and volleyball programs each maintained a perfect 1,000 multi-year score on the NCAA’s most recent Academic Progress Rates (APR) report.
S – Splash: Lauren Nicholson went 7-for-9 from 3-point range in a win over Alabama. The Aussie sophomore did her best impersonation of the Warriors “Splash Brothers,” scoring a career-best 28 points on 9-for-12 shooting, including seven 3-point field goals. SMC won the game 86-76 en route to its best start in school history.
T – Trifecta: Maryann Concannon became a three-time CRCA All-American. Concannon led the SMC varsity eight to a third-place finish at the WCC Championships and strong finishes at several other regattas. The Gaels also qualified for the Grand Final at the San Diego Crew Classic for the first time in program history.
U – USA: Ali Teliha concluded her freshman season by qualifying and competing at the USA Junior National Track Championships in Eugene, Oregon. Teliha re-wrote the school record books in both cross country and track. She registered a SMC top five performance and freshman record in the 6K as well as the college’s top 1,500 and 3,000 meter records in track.
V – Vegas: Three former Saint Mary’s men’s basketball players participated in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. Matthew Dellavedova, a 2nd year guard with the Cleveland Cavaliers was joined by Stephen Holt of the Atlanta Hawks and Mickey McConnell of the Charlotte Hornets. Dellavedova played the first three games of the Summer League before traveling to Australia to join the national team for the upcoming FIBA World Cup.
W - Wheelin' and Dealin': Saint Mary's outfielder Anthony Gonsolin led the Gaels' baseball team in most offensive categories but he ranked among the nation's leaders in one particular category. The Vacaville, Calif. native collected eight triples on the season, tying for second nationally. Gonsolin’s mark was the second most in SMC history, trailing only Von Hayes' 11 three-baggers in 1978.
X – X-cellence: Over the last five seasons, the Saint Mary’s women’s basketball program has amassed 107 total victories and played in the postseason every year. During that span, SMC’s win total is exceeded by only three NCAA Division I programs in the state of California. Similarly, the SMC men's basketball program owns the state's top winning percentage over the last decade and has appeared in the postseason seven-straight seasons.
Y - Yesteryear: Many of the best players in Saint Mary’s men’s basketball history returned to McKeon Pavilion for the Gaels All-Star Classic on June 29. The "older" veterans beat the "younger" veterans 115-111 in front of an electric crowd of 3,000. Paul Marigney led all scorers with 42 points, while Mickey McConnell scored 32 in a losing effort.
Z – Zummo: Lacrosse freshman Megan Zummo had an outstanding defensive game in a 22-12 win at Kennesaw State. She registered a MPSF freshman-high seven ground balls, six draw controls and three caused turnovers. Zummo started every game for the Gaels and finished the year with 23 ground balls, 28 draw controls and 19 caused turnovers.