The GVSU Sunday Rundown (May 12-17)
A summary of the week’s top seven sports stories
Former GVSU wide receiver Brandan Green hauls in a pass during a 2013 game. He attended an NFL rookie minicamp with the New Orleans Saints from May 15-17.
LAKERS COMPETE FOR REGIONAL TITLE
The No. 22 Grand Valley State University baseball team will battle it out for the NCAA Division II Midwest Region Tournament crown today with two other teams at the University of Southern Indiana Baseball Field in Evansville, Ind.
GVSU began the tournament by taking down Lake Erie College 9-4 on Thursday and Wayne State University 7-2 on Friday, but snapped its 15-game win streak with a 5-2 loss to USI on Saturday night. If the Lakers defeat Drury University this afternoon, they will take on USI in the championship game at 5 p.m.
DIIANNI DEPARTS TO DIVISION I
Dave DiIanni, who coached the GVSU women’s soccer team to three national championships during his 11-year career in Allendale, has accepted the head coaching position at the University of Iowa.
DiIanni has the third-highest winning percentage (.895) across all divisions of the NCAA, and the highest in the history of the NCAA Division II with a record of 221-18-18. He led the Lakers to seven NCAA Final Four appearances and nine straight GLIAC titles from 2005-2013.
GOLFERS FALL SHORT AT NATIONALS
The GVSU women’s golf team ended its 2013-2014 season on Saturday with an 11th place finish at the NCAA Division II National Championships at the Rock Barn Golf & Spa in Conover, N.C.
GVSU, which tied the University of Indianapolis for first at the East Super Regional on May 6, shot a 114-over par 1,250 against 11 other teams in the three-day event. Junior Kelly Hartigan led the Lakers by carding a 14-over par 298 individually.
GREEN GETS HIS CHANCE
Former GVSU wide receiver Brandan Green, who was not picked in the 2014 NFL Draft, had a chance to prove himself with the New Orleans Saints over the weekend at the team’s rookie minicamp.
Green was a First Team All-GLIAC honoree last season after catching 53 passes for 1,210 yards and six touchdowns. He and offensive lineman Matt Armstrong, who signed as a free agent with the Saints on May 10, have an opportunity to join former Laker guard Tim Lelito on the team’s roster.
BASEBALL PLAYERS PILE UP ACCOLADES
After being tabbed as the GLIAC Player of the Year on May 7, GVSU senior 1B Giancarlo Brugnoni was named the Midwest Region Player of the Year last week by two different associations (ABCA and Daktronics).
Brugnoni was a first-team selection on both all-region squads along with three of his Laker teammates: junior SP Evan Nietfeldt, junior OF Jamie Potts and senior RP Chris Ripple. Junior SP Aaron Jensen and 2B Kevin Zak were named to the Daktronics All-Region First Team.
Zak also picked up a second-team plaudit (ABCA) along with junior 3B Aaron Overbeck (Daktronics), while junior OF Mike Nadratowski earned a second-team Gold Glove honor with the ABCA.
SENIORS EARN ALL-REGION RECOGNITION
Senior softball players Miranda Cleary (3B) and Briauna Taylor (SS) were named to both the Daktronics All-Midwest Region First Team and NFCA All-Midwest Region First Team last week.
Cleary’s batting average (.433), home runs (11) and RBIs (57) were the top marks in the GLIAC last season. Taylor also led the conference with 11 homers, and ranked second in RBIs with 56. The infielders combined to hit 81 roundtrippers and 353 RBIs during their four-year careers at GVSU.
MEN'S GOLF COACH RESIGNS
The man who started the GVSU men’s golf program in 1994, Don Underwood, announced he is stepping down as the team’s head coach after winning six GLIAC Championships during his 20-year career.
Underwood, who was named the GLIAC Coach of the Year four times, said the amount of time spent away from home is the main reason for the decision. The Lakers made 15 NCAA Tournament appearances and a pair of NCAA Division II National Championship berths under his direction.