Where we are…

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By: Brian Laubscher
Sports Information Director

As I sit here at my desk thinking about what I’m going to write this week, I think about where we are.  Not only physically, but mentally and more importantly for an SID, where we are in the seasons and sports schedules.

I sit here wondering where the winter seasons went.  The swimming teams are already finished or are in the midst of their conference championships.  The wrestling team will have its conference championship meet this weekend.  The basketball teams are wrapping up regular season play tomorrow and the indoor track & field teams will have their conference championship meet next weekend.  I must admit that there was a time when I couldn’t wait for the winter seasons to end – not because I don’t like the winter sports (in fact I rather like the winter sports), but because the winter was by far our least successful season.  Feeling like you’ve got a touch of cabin fever from spending every working hour in the Warner Center doesn’t help either.  Being outside definitely makes me happier.

Now, obviously I’m at the point where I would like to see the seasonal weather change (see previous blog about snow), but for the first time ever, I’m not sure I’m ready for the winter seasons to end.  This has been the most pleasurable winter season I have experienced and I won’t lie, it’s because the men’s and women’s basketball teams are fun to watch and they are WINNING GAMES!!!! Both teams are experiencing their best seasons in a long time and both are positioning themselves quite well for the ODAC Tournament that begins next week in Salem, Va.

The W&L men are 16-8 overall and 8-7 in the conference.  One more win would give the Generals their most victories in a season since the 1988-89 season.  A win over Eastern Mennonite on Saturday combined with a Hampden-Sydney loss to Virginia Wesleyan would give W&L the No. 5 seed for the ODAC Tournament, which comes with a first round bye.  A W&L loss or a win coupled with an H-SC win would have the Generals as the No. 6 seed and they would host Emory & Henry on Tuesday at 7:00 pm in the first round of the tournament.  As evidenced by last year’s run to the ODAC title game, anything is possible and this year promises to be a tremendous men’s tournament with four ODAC teams ranked in the Top 25.

The W&L women are 14-8 overall and 13-5 in conference play.  The 13 conference wins are tied for the most in program history (accomplished last season) and the Generals could finish anywhere from No. 2 to No. 5 in the ODAC Tournament seedings.  W&L currently sits in third place, one game out of second place and one game out of fourth place with two games remaining.  W&L will play Roanoke (20-2, 17-1) this evening and Bridgewater (16-7, 12-6) on Saturday.  The Generals fell to the Maroons by just three points earlier this season in Salem and defeated Bridgewater on the road by nine points.  The women’s tournament also looks to be wide open and should be an exciting event.

If you’ve got a chance, come to the Salem Civic Center to check out the action.  The women’s tournament gets underway with the quarterfinals on Thursday.  Game times are 1:00/3:00/6:00/8:00.   The men begin with the first round games for seeds 6-11 on Tuesday at 7:00 at on-campus sites.  The quarterfinals will be on Friday at 1:00/3:00/6:00/8:00.  The men’s and women’s semifinals are on Saturday at 1:00/3:00 (women) and 6:00/8:00 (men), while the championship games are on Sunday at 1:00 pm (women) and 3:30 pm (men).

For tickets, call the Salem Civic Center at 540-375-3004.  Various packages are available.

As the excitement continues to build over the winter conference championships, an SID must also keep an eye on what’s to come and the spring seasons get into full swing next week as well.  Both lacrosse teams begin play mid-week, while the baseball team hopes to open on Sunday at Oglethorpe in Atlanta – they should be weeks into the season already but the weather has not cooperated.  Tennis has already gotten underway and riding hopes to begin this weekend as well.  Golf will be the last to get started, opening March 1 at the Callaway Collegiate in Georgia.

So there you have it.  An explanation of where we are when it comes to W&L sports.  It’s a busy time that often leads to thoughts about simply surviving, but it’s also an exciting time to be a fan of W&L sports.  Go Generals!

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