| 03.17.2018

Sports briefs

Ron Verlin named Pacific head coach

Fresh off its NCAA Tournament appearance, the University of Pacific hired Ron Verlin, twin brother of Idaho coach Don Verlin, as the mens basketball team’s new head coach. Ron Verlin is a 19-year associate head coach at Pacific and will replace Bob Thomason following the conclusion of his 25th year as coach in Stockton, Calif.

The Tigers fell in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to No. 2-seeded Miami.

“Today is an extremely exciting day for my family and me,” said Verlin, during Pacific’s press conference announcing him as head coach. “I feel very honored and privileged to be the 20th head basketball coach at the University of the Pacific.”

Vandal swimming 25th

The Idaho swimming and diving team was ranked No. 25 in the country in the annual CollegeSwimming.com Mid-Major Division 1 poll.

“It is great for this program to be recognized as one of the best mid-major teams in the country,” coach Mark Sowa said. “We have spent the last two years building something pretty special and it is nice for that progress to be seen on a national level.”

Last month, the Vandals finished with a season-best fourth place in a Western Athletic Conference meet.  Despite having only two seniors, the team managed to break 13 school records this season.

“We believe that Vandal swimming and diving can continue to compete at the highest level and this recognition confirms that belief,” Sowa said.  “This will only help potential recruits see that they can take their swimming and diving to an elite level here in Moscow.”

WAC honors Cirstea

Idaho senior Marius Cirstea was honored as the WAC Tennis Player of the Week after his performances against Liberty University and Hawaii.

Playing in the No. 2 position, Cirstea won a close singles match 7-6 (8), 6-4. Later in the week, he went on to win 6-2, 6-4 in the No. 3 spot and teamed up with Abid Akbar to win a doubles match 8-5 against Hawaii as the Vandals improved to 15-1 as a team.

“Marius is very deserving of this award,” coach Jeff Beaman said.  “He has made great strides and is having a great senior year.  It’s great to see where he is in his senior year.  He’s having an amazing season in both singles and doubles.  He’s made tremendous progress.”

Womens soccer wins spring opener

The Vandal womens soccer team beat North Idaho College 4-0 Saturday in the first of four spring games.  Idaho began the game with an early goal, and didn’t let up.

“The girls played with a lot of confidence, with a smile on their face and we competed everywhere,” coach Peter Showler said.  “A team like NIC is going to come in here and try to rattle us and play physically.  They tried to do that and we handled it well and played good soccer.”

The Vandals’ Marina Siegl shined in her first game as starting goalkeeper.

“It’s always nice to have a new goalkeeper come out and get that shutout in her debut,” Showler said.  “Big strides are being taken because the monkey is off our back in terms of nerves.”

Showler is pleased about how his team played, but said there are some things to work on.

“We played very narrow so we’ve got to exploit the width a little bit more, but it’s early and those things will come,” he said. “The key thing was how confidently the kids played as individuals and as a team and it showed in the overall buoyancy and attitude in the game.”

The Vandal spring soccer schedule will see Idaho play Central Washington University at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 6 on the SprinTurf before hosting the annual Alumni Game at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, April 7 on the SprinTurf. The spring slate will conclude on the SprinTurf, when Walla Walla Community College visits Moscow for a 1 p.m. match.


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