BY SIMON BRADY’
As the semester and school year winds down for UT students, spring sports are entering the home stretch of their seasons as well. With eight Spartan squads in action this week, including three teams that are nationally ranked, and an Sunshine State Conference (SSC) Championships in Boca Raton for Women’s Golf, there’s plenty of crucial sporting events on the horizon.
Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. marks a critical matchup for men’s lacrosse against SSC foe and 4-9 Palm Beach Atlantic. The ninth ranked Spartans are gearing up for the SSC semifinals, which begin Friday, April 27.
With three SSC opponents standing in the Spartans’ way to close out the regular season, including Palm Beach Atlantic, it’ll be important for them to play well and ride a wave of momentum into the SSC championships.
The Palm Beach Atlantic matchup is also important for UT because it is Senior Day when seven of Spartan’s careers will be celebrated. Emotions will be at an all time high as the senior class plays for the last time on Naimoli Field Saturday afternoon.
Elsewhere, UT Tennis welcomes SSC opponent Rollins College this afternoon at 3 p.m., for their final home game of the season. The Spartans, who are currently 10-7 overall and 4-5 in conference play, will look to end their season on a high note heading into postseason competition.
Palm Beach Atlantic will visit UT Baseball as well, as them and the Spartans will go head to head for a three game series this weekend. Don’t look now but the baseball team is scorching lately, as they’re winners of their last thirteen games. The Spartans haven’t suffered a loss since March 10, where they fell 3-0 at Albany State.
Currently at 28-5 and 17-1 in conference, the Spartans are gearing up for a run at the NCAA Championships in Cary, North Carolina, Saturday May 26. But the Spartans have 15 regular season games, including the Palm Beach Atlantic series to worry about first.
Staying on the diamond but switching over to the woman, Spartan softball has an important series against Palm Beach Atlantic too in West Palm Beach this Friday evening, and Saturday afternoon in a double header.
The Spartans will try to improve their 12-9 conference record and placement in the SSC standings. Currently ranked fourth in the conference, these next couple of series’ are extremely important as they play the top two teams in the SSC.
The aforementioned Palm Beach Atlantic squad they play this weekend is atop the conference at 20-1. Following that series, the Spartans will take on Saint Leo, who trails Palm Beach Atlantic at second in the SSC at 31-10, and 15-9 in conference.
Like most of the Spartan teams, the Women’s Lacrosse team will also take on Palm Beach Atlantic this weekend too. They have three regular season games remaining, all against SSC opponents. The Spartans will try to boost their 1-2 conference record to close out the season.
Senior day for Women’s Lacrosse will be held a week after they travel to West Palm Beach, April 21 against Embry-Riddle. The final regular season match will take place at 3 p.m. from Naimoli Field. The Spartans will prepare for the SSC Semifinals following the Embry-Riddle game, which begin Friday, April 27.
Lastly, women’s golf will travel to Boca Raton to compete in the SSC Championships at Osprey Point Golf Course. Play will begin Sunday afternoon April 15, and be followed up with the tournament’s second and third rounds Monday and Tuesday.
Following the SSC Championships, the Spartans will look ahead to the NCAA Super South Regional in Germantown, Tennessee May 7-9.
For full access information on all things Spartan athletics, go to tampaspartans.com.
Simon Brady can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org