Local teams struggle in playoffs

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A number of district teams made it to their national tournaments, but all were knocked out in the first round.

The La Roche women had a brilliant season and won the AMCC championship to get to the NCAA Division III Tournament but lost in the first round to DePauw, 73-43.

The Lady Redhawks received no favors from the tournament committee, drawing No. 1-ranked DePauw, which has since advanced to the Final Four.

All was not lost for the Lady Redhawks (24-3), though, as they set a school record for wins in a season and won their league's regular season and tournament titles for the third time in a row despite having only seven or eight healthy players all season.

Similarly, the Saint Vincent men had an excellent season, but left the NCAA Division III Tournament with a sour taste after an 84-75, first-round loss against Ohio Wesleyan.

The loss doesn't diminish the fact that the Bearcats finished 23-6 -- including 12-1 at home -- and won their first PAC title.

Point Park's women lost in the first round of the NAIA Division II national tournament against Indiana Wesleyan, 61-31, shooting just 17 percent from the field.

Much like La Roche, the Pioneers had a very tall task as Indiana Wesleyan is a top-5 team that spent most of the season ranked No. 1. The Pioneers, however, set a school record for wins (25) and advanced to the national tournament for the second time (the first time was last year).

Next up

The Division II national tournaments will get under way this weekend, and a number of district teams will be headed off to see where they stack up nationally.

On the men's side, IUP will play East Stroudsburg in a first-round matchup Saturday and Slippery Rock will play Winston-Salem State. The Crimson Hawks were the PSAC champions and thus got an automatic bid while the Rockets earned an at-large bid.

The PSAC was considered one of the strongest women's conferences in the country -- and usually is -- and that much was reflected in the tournament field that included five league teams.

Gannon (28-4) was the best team in the conference and earned a No. 1 seed in the Atlantic Region of the NCAA Division II tournament despite being upset by Bloomsburg (24-5) in the PSAC title game.

The Lady Knights will play host to the regional, and the winner will advance to the Elite 8 in San Antonio.

Gannon will play No. 8 seed Fairmont State (23-9) in the first round.

Bloomsburg, which earned the conference's automatic berth, is the No. 5 seed and will play No. 4 seed IUP (22-8) in the first round. Also, No. 2 seed Edinboro (22-6) will play No. 7 California (20-8).

All first-round games will be played tonight with second-round games Saturday and the regional final Tuesday.

Presidents move up

Washington & Jefferson is No. 22 in the D3baseball.com top 25 rankings, three spots higher than last week. The Presidents are 3-0, their best start since 2007 (5-0), as they completed a three-game sweep of PAC rival Bethany College.

Not surprising, pitchers have led the way, yielding just one run and nine hits in 23 innings over three games.

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Paul Zeise: pzeise@post-gazette.com and Twitter @paulzeise.


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