Chase Named Best In British Columbia

Future Saint Mary’s volleyball player Sarah Chase added to her list of accolades and accomplishments Thursday when she was named the top high school volleyball player in British Columbia, Canada by The Province newspaper.

Chase, a 6-foot outside hitter who will join the Gaels next fall, was named Player of the Year by six of British Columbia’s university-level women’s volleyball coaches. A senior at Timberline Secondary School in Campbell River, B.C., Chase wrapped her high school career by helping Timberline reach the finals of the British Columbia AAA Senior Girls volleyball championships.

Saint Mary’s will welcome four highly touted players to the team next year, with Chase joining Payton Rund, Lindsey Knudsen and Lindsey Calvin to make up the four-person class. Before the Gaels get there, they’ll hit the sand this spring as they look to defend and extend their two-year run as Northern California’s top sand team.

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Geyer earns qualification on Tour

Former Saint Mary’s golfer Ben Geyer fired 3-straight rounds of 2-under 69 and finished in a tie for 21st with a 6-round total 10-under par at the Tour Qualifying Tournament at PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

Geyer’s top-45 finish provides qualification into the Tour and ensures he will maintain his tour status through the first two re-shuffles of the tour’s overall field.  The Tour reshuffles approximately every four events, meaning he will earn qualification into at least the first eight events of the season.

The Arbuckle, Calif. native carded rounds of 71-70-71-69-69-69 for a total of 10-under par.  He earned a $10,000 payday for his placing.

The 2015 Tour season gets underway Jan. 29-Feb. 1 at the Panama Claro Championship in Panama City, Panama.

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Geyer enters final day of Tour Qualifying

Former Saint Mary’s golfer Ben Geyer enters tomorrow’s final round at the Tour Qualifying Tournament at PGA National in a tie for 28th place at 8-under par.

Every player in the field has earned, at a minimum, conditional status on the Tour in 2015 by virtue of getting to the Qualifying Tournament Finals.  Players who finish inside the top 10 (and ties) will be exempt until the third reshuffle. Those who place inside the top 45 (and ties) will be exempt until the second reshuffle.

Approximately 1,200 golfers entered Q-School this fall, with some having to succeed in up to three previous stages of qualifying.

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Future Gaels Earning Big Time Recognition

Though they haven’t even taken their first class at Saint Mary’s, a few of the Gaels’ incoming volleyball players are giving fans plenty of reason to be excited as they close out their high school careers.

Incoming outside hitter Payton Rund already had quite a resume when she announced that she was coming to Saint Mary’s. This week, the native of Albany, Ore. learned that she’d been named the Gatorade State Player of the Year thanks to a brilliant senior season at West Albany High School. She was a finalist for the award in 2013, and Amanda Carraway of the Albany Democrat-Herald had a chance to speak with Rund after she earned the award.

Rund isn’t the only one receiving a bit of press. Lindsey Knudsen was recently named the co-Player of the Year in the Foothill League for her final season at Valencia High School in Southern California. Knudsen played outside hitter for Valencia and helped the team claim a share of the Foothill League title, and she’ll come to Saint Mary’s with an eye on playing setter. Santa Clarita Valley Signal assistant sports editor Dan Agnew spoke with Knudsen to recap her standout season.

Together with outside hitter Sarah Chase and middle blocker Lindsey Calvin, Rund and Knudsen will look to make their first impression with Gaels volleyball next fall.

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Geyer opens final qualifying tournament at even par

Former Saint Mary’s golfer Ben Geyer joined 149 other hopefuls at the Tour Qualifying Tournament at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.  The tournament is a six-round event that began today.

The field will play three rounds apiece  at PGA National’s Champion course – host of the PGA TOUR’s The Honda Classic – and the Fazio course.  The top 45 finishers earn exemption into next year’s Tour.  The tournament medalist earns full exempt status for the entire season, while the rest of the qualifiers are subject to various “reshuffling” of the tour field throughout the year.

The Arbuckle, Calif. native shot an even par 71 in today’s first round.  He carded a round that included seven birdies, six pars, three bogeys and two double bogeys.

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Gaels Ranked No. 7 In ESPNW Mid Major Top 10

Graham Hays for ESPNw recently came out with his mid-major top-10, with the Saint Mary’s women’s basketball team checking in at No. 7. Hays takes note of the Gaels coming off wins against CSUN, Iowa State and USC.

The Gaels have tough tests coming up at Fresno State, at Cal Poly, at Virginia and at George Washington.

The top 10 consists of No. 1 Green Bay, No. 2 Princeton, No. 3 James Madison, No. 4 Western Kentucky, No. 5 Florida Gulf Coast, No. 6 George Washington, No. 7 SMC, No. 8 Gonzaga, No. 9 Dayton and No. 10 Arkansas-Little Rock.

The Gaels enter the week with an RPI of 26, tops in the West Coast Conference. Despite losing three, 1,000 point scorers from 2013-14, the Gaels are doing it with a balanced attack featuring starters Lauren Nicholson, Shannon Mauldin, Stella Beck, Hayley Hendricksen and Carli Rosenthal. SMC has also gotten solid contributions from the bench as well.

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SMC Women’s Basketball Featured on Comcast Hometown Network

Tune into Comcast Hometown tonight (FRI) at 7:00 p.m. to catch a feature on the Saint Mary’s women’s basketball team. The Gaels are off to a strong start, having won five straight games heading into its home game against USC on Saturday.

Comcast Hometown Network is channel 104 to Comcast cable subscribers.

After watching the Gaels tonight at 7:00 p.m., fans, friends and family are encourage to come to McKeon Pavilion on Saturday to watch the Gaels host the USC Trojans at 5:30 p.m. The Trojans have also won five straight games and are looking to avenge last year’s 71-55 loss to the Gaels in Los Angeles.

As of Friday, the Gaels will enter the match-up with the Trojans with an RPI of 51. USC holds a No. 5 RPI, helped by playing No. 2 South Carolina and a win over Fresno State (No. 1 RPI).

Saint Mary’s features a balanced attack this year with Lauren Nicholson leading the way with 17.8 ppg which ranks No. 2 in the West Coast Conference. Shannon Mauldin (leads WCC in steals), Stella Beck and Hayley Hendricksen are also averaging in double figures.

Beck is the top ranking freshman in the WCC in points, rebounds, field-goal percentage (leads WCC), steals and defensive rebounds.

Saturday’s game against the Trojans tips at 5:30 and is part of a doubleheader with the SMC men’s team hosting Boise State at 8:30 p.m.

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