The school year is drawing to an end, but Racer Athletics are still making huge headlines. Here’s a recap of the greatest sports moments of spring 2014, and a few to look forward to.
Women’s tennis bound for NCAAs
After winning a regular season title and their seventh OVC Championship, the Racers were selected to travel and play No. 10 Vanderbilt May 9 during the first round of the NCAA tournament.
Of the Racers’ five NCAA appearances, the Racers have drawn Vanderbilt four times and have yet to win a point.
The Racers have faced the obstacles of a larger opponent in a hostile environment earlier in the year against competition such as Tennessee, Memphis and Chattanooga.
From breaking Eastern Kentucky’s 30-match OVC win streak to bouncing back from their only conference loss to Morehead State, the Racers have overcome much adversity this season. Their determination also helped them overcome a doubles point loss to UT Martin in the OVC Championship semifinals.
The Racers resumed practice this week in preparation for the game, which will take place Friday, May 9 in Nashville, Tenn., on Vanderbilt’s home court.
Racers claim CIT championship
The men’s basketball team finished its 2013-14 season at home as the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament champions with a 65-57 win over Yale. This was the Racers’ first post-season title since 2012, when they won the OVC Tournament.
The Racers went 23-11 on the season with four of its home wins taking place during the CIT. Murray State is the tournament’s sixth champion since the event was started in
2009, and only the second team to win the title on their home court.
Freshman guard Cameron Payne, the second Murray State freshman to score 500 points on his rookie season, was named the CIT MVP. Junior forward Jarvis Williams was also named to the All-Tournament team, scoring 17.2 points and averaging 7.4 rebounds per game, shooting 71 percent from the field.
Before hosting Yale, the Racers traveled to Springfield, Mo., to defeat Missouri State by just three points, 66-63. They then hosted the University of Nebraska-Omaha, Towson and Pacific, respectively, before taking down the Yale Bulldogs.
Lone senior Dexter Fields finished his college career not only with a title, but on what tied for the team’s longest win streak of the season, at five games.
The CIT title allowed Murray State to end its own season for the first time since 1978.
Rifle hosts NCAAs, individuals compete
Murray State hosted the 2014 NCAA National Rifle Championships for the ninth time and the first time since 2004.
The championship consisted of eight teams competing March 14-15. The smallbore competition was held in the Pat Spurgin Rifle Range, while the air rifle competition took place in the main arena of the CFSB center.
In addition to the eight teams that qualified, eight individuals were selected to compete, including junior Kelsey Emme. In her second NCAA Championship, Emme placed 26th in smallbore and 30th in air rifle, firing scores of 577 and 584, respectively. She was one of only two individuals who qualified in both guns at the championships.
Freshman Katarina Bisercic also competed postseason at the ISSF World Cup in Fort Benning, Ga., representing her home nation of Serbia.
Golf to begin NCAAs in Florida
After winning its ninth OVC Championship April 23, the women’s golf team will advance to the East Regional NCAA tournament. The first round will take place Thursday at the SouthWood Golf Club in Tallahassee, Fla.
Head Coach Velvet Milkman, who started the program 21 years ago, has never had a class graduate without at least one OVC Championship title to its name.
Lone senior Delaney Howson won the tournament with a low score of 212 and was named OVC Player of the Year. In addition, Howson’s second round of 4-under-par 68 was a tournament record.
With an overall team score of 915, the Racers were neck and neck with defending champion Eastern Kentucky, who carded 917 over the three rounds.
The Racers look ahead to the East Regional as one of 24 teams to compete at the event.