Mar 19, 2012; Norfolk, VA, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers guard Christal Caldwell (1) shoots the ball over Stanford Cardinal guard Grace Mashore (1) during the first half in the second round of the 2012 NCAA women

Mountain Momma Monday: January 14


Women’s sports at West Virginia have kicked up their competition slate this past week with action from the basketball court to the pool. There is a lot of Mountaineers action to recap in an eventful week to start the spring season.

Basketball:

The women’s hoops team had a huge bounce back week in Big XII play with a pair of wins over Texas and Kansas State to even their mark in conference play at 2-2.

Against Texas, a pair of Mountaineer stars dominated the game with huge performances. Ayana Dunning and Cristal Caldwell accounted for 35 of the Mountaineers 53 points. Dunning shot 9-17 for 19 points and 7 rebounds. Caldwell racked up 16 points on 7-13 shooting with 5 rebounds.

The rest of the ladies struggled to find the basket against the Longhorns, only shooting 6-30 from the field and an atrocious 1-9 from three point range. While the shooting from the field was rough, the free throw shooting was a larger problem. As a whole, the team shot 42.9% from the charity stripe.

Poor shooting allowed the Longhorns to hang around in the second half when the Mountaineers should have buried them. West Virginia found their defense late in the second half to preserve a 53-49 win.

In the Kansas State game, the Mountaineers owned the glass to beat the Wildcats badly under the rim. WVU out-rebounded the Wildcats by a 41-26 margin. By holding such a large rebounding edge, the Mountaineers were able to easily out score Kansas State.

What is surprising about the Mountaineers huge rebound edge is that Ayana Dunning was only credited with 2 rebounds. Normally, Dunning owns the glass for WVU, but could not come up with many rebounds in this game. It is a huge credit to the team play under the rim,

Cristal Caldwell once again was chief in scoring for the Mountaineers with 19 points en route to a 66-52 beatdown.

Mike Carey’s girls will be in action tomorrow night at the Coliseum against TCU at 7 PM. The early season marquee game will be Saturday at #1 Baylor and their superstar Britney Griner. That game is set to tip at 8 PM.

Gymnastics:

WVU starts the win with a victory in the gymnastics version of the Backyard Brawl, taking down the Panthers 194.675-193.55.

Out of the four events of the meet, West Virginia walked away with wins in three of the four categories. The Mountaineers won the vault 48.925-48.15, won the beam 48.15-47.675, and won the floor 49.025-48.975. Pitt took home the bars 48.75-48.575.

The win is a solid start for coach Jason Butts team, that is now ranked #22 in the Gyminfo Poll. WVU will put their ranking on the line this week with a meet at Utah with Southern Utah and Oregon State on Saturday January 19.

Tennis:

The WVU tennis team will start their spring schedule on Saturday at Ohio State. Match is set for a noon start.

Track:

West Virginia got back to work on the track after a long winter break. The Mountaineers hit the road for the Doug Raymond Invitational at Kent State this past weekend.

A slew of Mountaineers finished quite well in the competition, with three Mountaineers taking home first place finishes. Senior Stephanie Alda took home first in the 800-m run while teammates Christa D’Egidio, Shannen Daly, Hallie Portner, and Allison Tyree finished 2nd, 6th, 9th, and 10th respectively.

In the distance medley race, the Mountaineer team of freshman Peyton Hampson, junior Sarah Martinelli, junior Arielle Gaither, and freshman Kelly Williams took home a first place finish.

Freshman Peyton Hampson also made waves with her win in the 1,000-m race, impressing coaches an teammates alike.

In all, it was a solid performance by the West Virginia track team. The Mountaineers will seek to continue their success in the WVU Invitational this Saturday at the Shell Building.

Swimming:

West Virginia took some lumps this past Saturday at Pitt in a 118-182 loss.  The Mountaineers built an early lead with a 200 medley relay team win by Courtney Miller, Jenelle Zee, Julie Ogden, and Jaimee Gilmore. The Mountaineers also got a pair of first place finishes out of Rahael Burnett in the 1,000-m free and 200-m free.

Outside of those first place finishes, the Mountaineers were competitive across all events, but was not able to rack up enough points to keep pace with the Panthers. It is a tough loss for the Mountaineers with only two meets left before the Big XII Championship.

West Virginia will take to the pool this Friday on January 18 at home against TCU.

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