Delaware’s Winter Sports 101
Managing Sports Editor
The University of Delaware has a bizarrely long winter break, stretching from the middle of December until early February. This keeps a lot of students out of the loop from Delaware Athletics during the long hiatus. Don’t worry, The Review has you covered. Pun entirely intended. Here’s everything you need to know about how Delaware Athletics fared during winter session.
The Men’s Basketball team got hot early, setting a program record with nine straight wins to start the season and even received a vote in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll for the third time in school history and the first time since 1999. They hit a bit of a rough stretch shortly after, losing seven of their next 10 games. One of those losses was a close 70-78 loss against No. 20 Villanova.
Since then, they have catapulted off six straight conference victories, two of which were road victories against always tough Northeastern and preseason favorite Hofstra.
Delaware has a plethora of talent. The entire starting lineup is averaging double digit points, led by Nate Darling’s 20.9 points-per-game (ppg) which ranks third in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA). Ryan Allen and Justynn Mutts are 16th and 18th respectively in scoring. Mutts also ranks fourth in rebounding with 8.6 rebounds per game. Kevin Anderson ranks fifth in assists with 3.8 assists per game .
Delaware as a team has the second-highest scoring average in the conference at 74.8 ppg, trailing only Hofstra. In addition, the team leads the conference in field goal percentage, shooting at a 48% clip. Delaware ranks seventh in the league in scoring defense, giving up 70.5 ppg while holding opponents to 42% shooting and ranks third in scoring margin with +4.2.
The Blue Hens are third in the CAA standings but are only one game behind Hofstra for first place. The Blue Hens currently own the biggest winning streak in the league with six straight wins. If they can continue this hot streak, the CAA Championship game could be calling their name.
The Women’s Basketball team has not fared as well as the men’s. The Blue Hens currently sit at 9-13 overall and 5-6 in the CAA, holding seventh place. They started the season with four straight losses, all away from home where they have struggled to a 5-8 record, but have won their last three.
Graduate student Nicole Enabosi leads the team with 17.1 points per game and second with 7.4 rebounds. Sophomore forward Jasmine Dickey is first in rebounds (9.2) and second in points (12.4). Monmouth transfer Kayla Shaw, the team’s best three-point threat, has chipped in 9.3 points per night. Abby Gonzales and Samone Defreese round out the starting lineup averaging 8.8 and 7.8 points respectively, with Gonzales also leading the team in assists with 3.3.
Delaware is near the bottom of the league in many statistical categories including: scoring offense (6th), scoring defense (7th), scoring margin (6th), field goal percentage (5th), three-point field goal percentage (6th) and three-point field goal percentage defense (10th).
The team hit a bit of a slump early in conference play, losing six of their first eight in the CAA, but have won three in a row and four of their last five with a three game home stand coming up.
Delaware Women’s Tennis has gotten off to a really nice start to the season. They have won their first four games by a combined score of 25-3, including two consecutive shutouts. Sophomore Caragh Courtney leads the team with overall singles victories with 13, while Eliza Askarova leads the team in singles winning percentage with a 11-3 record.
The best doubles team has been Askarova and junior Sarah Whited who have teamed up for a team leading record of 6-1. However, the Blue Hens are just 20-19 in doubles, compared to 56-36 in singles. If they want to keep their perfect record, they will have to improve in doubles matches.
The Men’s Tennis team has gotten off to a great start as well at 6-1, with their lone loss coming in the season opener at Richmond 3-4. The team has rallied off 60 singles victories with sophomore Luis Molina leading the way with 12 victories.
They have also not fared as well in doubles, going 29-22 in those sets. The duo of freshman Liam Hedlund and sophomore James Wilkinson own the team’s best doubles record with a 6-2 slate. The Blue Hens have their next three matches, including their last five, close to home in either Elkton, Maryland or Wilmington which will give them a nice advantage to be able to add to their record.
Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving
Delaware’s men’s swimming and diving team has not had the success that they wanted, going 1-3 during January. The women, however, have swam to a 3-1-1 record.
Some standouts for both squads have been freshman Vic Ambrose who has posted three first place and five second place finishes in January for the women. Freshman Natalie Dobrzykowski has swam for five first place and seven second place finishes. Freshman Mira Selling has recorded a staggering 11 first place finishes.
For the men, junior Kevin Bargate has five first place and four second place finishes. Senior Kevin Basch has seven first place finishes.
In the past 22 days, the Blue Hens programs have gone a combined 25-5. It’s safe to say that the Blue Hens are rolling. This displays the kind of excellence that Athletic Director Chrissi Rawak aspires to achieve for Delaware Athletics.
All stats were taken from Bluehens.com and caasports.com and are accurate as of Feb. 10.