As the first semester of fall sports have resumed and concluded within the blink of an eye, the return of winter and spring semester sports is upon us.
Men and women’s basketball have already begun regulation gameplay as well as indoor track and field.
This Friday, the indoor winter season begins for men and women’s track and field at the Youngstown State University Invite. It is a nonstop season for cross country and track and field, who play in both fall and spring meets.
While those sports are in action, the spring sports teams are busy preparing for their upcoming schedules too. Baseball, softball, tennis, outdoor track and field and lacrosse will again be able to enjoy a normal season of doing what they love.
Coming off a heartbreaking season, The Rock baseball team is hungry for another crack at the playoffs. Just shy of qualifying for a final seed into the playoff bracket, the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) commission ripped away their chance.
Due to COVID-19 cases on opposing teams and unprecedented weather conditions, the baseball games were constantly being rescheduled. While that is out of the team’s control, it forced games to be held up until the last day of regular season play. A thunderstorm rolled in on the last day before seeding, resulting in a long rain-delay that forced umpires to ultimately call the game for another day. Clarion University of Pennsylvania and Slippery Rock never resumed, so without hosting the home game and with no exceptions made by the commissioner, that was the end of the 2021 season.
The team was devastated that the opportunity to continue their season was ripped away without the chance to finish playing for it. Slippery Rock had previously defeated Clarion, who was already ruled out of playoffs. Head coach Bill Messer has made cuts in the offseason and prepped projected starters for a comeback year eager to clinch a spot in playoffs.
Rock softball struggled immensely last spring, and since then has grinded in the weight room and on the field to come out better this year. Finishing the season with only two wins, the squad is determined to play at a higher capacity in 2022. With a new undergraduate class of players, the team has a lot of new talent on deck to edge the competition.
Lois Page and The Rock tennis team will return for another crack at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Regional Championships. Page and Adriana Gonzalez Sanchez have already appeared in national ranking, released by the ITA. While the team is confined to a small group, they are mighty good at competing.
As for the lacrosse team, Interim Head Coach Taryn Burkholder has stepped up from her position as assistant coach and will look to bring a new regimen to this team. With practice and lift are underway, the first game of the season is closer than it appears. Women’s lacrosse will host Shepherd University Feb. 25, 2022, at 4 p.m.
Spring sports are almost here, but for now we have plenty of student athletes to root for during break as they compete in their winter seasons.