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Sports Report: Three Sagehens Earn All-America Status at Their NCAA Championships

Sammy Chao (left) and Lea Lynn Yen (right) receive their third-place trophies at the NCAA Division III Doubles Championships on Saturday.

Sammy Chao (left) and Lea Lynn Yen (right) receive their third-place trophies at the NCAA Division III Doubles Championships on Saturday.

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The final week of the 2013-14 athletic season saw three Sagehens earn All-America status at their NCAA Championships, while a fourth was voted on to a pair of All-America teams.

Sammy Chao ’14 and Lea Lynn Yen ’16 advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA Division III Women’s Doubles Championships at CMS. They opened the tournament with a 6-1-6-2 win over a doubles team from Wellesley, advancing to the quarterfinals and clinching All-America status. Their quarterfinal matchup was against the top seed in the tournament (Lindsay Raulston and Shelby Harris of Mary Washington) and after dropping the first set in a tiebreaker, the Sagehens roared back for a 6-7, 6-3, 6-2 win to advance to Saturday’s semifinals.

Chao and Yen fell in the first set of the semifinals to Caroline Ward and Katie Kuosman of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and nearly came back to force a third set. Leading 5-4 with CMS serving, the Sagehens rallied back from a 40-0 deficit to get the game to deuce with three straight points. The teams then went through 11 deuces and four set points for the Sagehens before CMS finally held after a 20-minute game. The Athenas used the momentum from the dramatic win to break for a 6-5 lead and held serve to earn the 6-3, 7-5 win and move on to the finals.

Paul Messana PI ’17 also earned All-America honors for the Men’s Track and Field team by the narrowest of margins. In Friday’s prelims of the 800 meters, Messana rallied over the final 200 meters to qualify for the last spot in the finals by one-hundredth of a second, earning an eighth-place finish out of 20 runners (he came in seeded 15th). Ailene Nguyen ’16 also qualified for the finals in the long jump, placing ninth (after coming in seeded 18th), but just missed a top-eight finish and All-America honors by 1/4 inch. Ben Girodias ’15 also far exceeded his seed in the 10,000 meters, coming in seeded 20th and earning a 12th place finish.

Rounding out the list of Sagehen All-America winners this week was Simon Rosenbaum ’16 of the Baseball team, who was voted first-team All-America by both D3baseball.com and the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA). Rosenbaum batted .474 with 47 RBI this year for the Sagehens, ranking second in Division III in batting average, first in on base percentage, first in doubles per game and fifth in slugging percentage. He was also named the West Region Player of the Year by D3baseball.com, while Tanner Nishioka ’17 was named third-team all-region.

Our weekly reports of Pomona-Pitzer Athletics will resume in the fall. To keep up to date with any summertime news, follow us on line at www.sagehens.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sagehens and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/sagehens (@Sagehens).