Alumni Notebook: Virva’s young Rebels have strong showing at NCAA swimming championships |

Alumni Notebook: Virva’s young Rebels have strong showing at NCAA swimming championships

the union staff

Dillon Virva, a freshman at UNLV, competes at the 2013 NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving championships at the IU Natatorium in Indianapolis Ind.

Dillon Virva, a 2012 Nevada Union graduate, was one of four talented freshmen on a team of eight UNLV Rebels to compete at the NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving championships last week in Indianapolis, Ind. While the Rebels placed in a three-way tie for 29th out of 40 teams just getting there was a huge accomplishment for such a young squad.

"We wish it went a bit differently," said Virva. "It was a great experience and we're all more prepared for the future. Our team had four freshmen out of eight (swimmers)."

UNLV finished with 15 points as a team, which tied them with North Carolina and Eastern Michigan. Michigan won the national title with 480 points as California received runner-up.

Virva's four-man freshmen relay team to placed 19th in the 400 freestyle with a time of 2-minutes, 54.76 seconds, the second-fastest time school history. The mark was just .54 seconds shy of a top-16 spot for a chance to swim in the finals.

"We're all coming away looking at it as a learning experience," added Virva. "My mom and NSA (Northern Sierra Aquatics) coach Larry Grueer came. It was really nice to have the support."

In the 200 medley relay Virva's group also came close to advancing to the finals.

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"We were disqualified for a false start in the 200 medley," Virva said. "We finished 17th in the nation and were the first alternate for finals."

UNLV has now scored at the NCAA championships three of the last four years and Virva still has three seasons ahead of him.

"It was definitely one of the fastest pools I've ever swam in," said Virva. "Our coach (Jim Reitz) said only 10 percent of teams make it to the NCAA championships and of those only 50-percent come away with points."


Josh Roenicke (Nevada Union '01); Minnesota Twins– Roenicke pitched in one game last week as the Twins fell to the Red Sox 4-2.

In Saturday's game Roenicke relieved starting pitcher Mike Pelfrey in the middle of the fourth inning inheriting two runners on first and third with two outs and was able to get of the jam. He threw 1 1/3 innings without allowing any runs or hits, walked one and also struck a batter.

The Twins finished spring training with a record of 17-16 and open the regular season versus Detroit today at home.

Chris Porter (Nevada Union '11); Cal State East Bay– Porter played in two games last week as Cal State East Bay split a four-game series with UC San Diego.

In the second game of Friday's double-header, Porter was 0-3 at the plate and contributed six put outs from the catcher position in a 3-0 loss. In Saturday's game, Porter only batted once and picked up a walk as his team clobbered UC San Diego for 19 hits in an 11-3 victory.

The Pioneers (24-10) open a four-game series at Cal State Los Angeles on Friday.

Dusty Zeisler (Nevada Union '12) Holy Names University– Zeisler's Hawks had a rough road trip as they were swept at Grand Canyon University in a four-game series.

Zeisler started at short stop batting eighth and played in three of four games to finish the series batting 2-for-7 at the plate, including an RBI-double which scored a pair of runs in Friday's 9-5 loss. Holy Names lost its second game Friday 10-1 as the team only came up with three hits. In Saturday's first game Zeisler was 0-2 batting and walked twice in a 10-0 loss. Holy Names was outscored 32-8 in the four-game span.

The Hawks (9-21) play at Dixie State on Thursday.

Zach Welz (Bear River '11); Solano Community College– Welz and the Solano Falcons went 0-2 last week losing at home to Mendocino and on the road against Los Medanos.

In Tuesday's 6-4 home loss, Welz started in right field batting third in the line up and went 0-for-4 at the plate. The Falcons surrendered a pair of runs early and were never able to recover. In Thursday's loss at Los Medanos, Welz went 2-for-4 batting with an RBI-double in the top of the sixth inning. It was Solano's only run of the game as it lost 4-1.

Solano (14-9) hosts Los Medanos Tuesday.


Karly Harris (Nevada Union '10); Dominican University of California– The Lady Penguins went 0-4 last week as they were swept in a four-game series at home versus Chaminade University.

In Thursday's opening game, Harris went the distance hurling 10 innings as her team lost 4-2. In the extra inning heartbreaker Harris yielded three earned runs off nine hits, walked three and struck out five batters. In Friday's first game it was deja vu all over again as Harris pitched another 10 strong innings from the circle with Domincan coming up short 6-4. Harris allowed four earned runs off 12 hits, walked two and struck out three batters. In each loss Chaminade came up with clutch base-hits as runners were placed at second for the International Tie-breaker.

Dominican (5-29) hosts a double-header today against University of Hawaii (Hilo).

Maddie Phelps, (Bear River '12); Sierra College— Phelps pitched in both games during a double-header Saturday versus Sacramento City College as Sierra College split.

In the first game, Phelps started in the circle and went the distance pitching eight strong innings yielding seven hits, two earned runs and two walks while striking out four batters. Sacramento City College took a 3-2 lead in the top half of the eighth, but the Lady Wolverines scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth to walk-off with a 4-3 victory. In the second game, Phelps entered the game as relief in the fifth inning and closed it out pitching three innings allowing three earned runs off five hits as her team fell 10-7. The Lady Wolverines also committed four errors in the loss.

Sierra College (19-8-1, 7-1) hosts Santa Rosa on Tuesday.

Kendal Butterfield (Nevada Union '10); Colorado State — The Lady Rams offense caught fire last week and exploded for 35 runs in a three-game series at home to sweep UNLV.

In Thursday's opening game Butterfield started in left field batting eighth and finished 0-for-2 batting as her team put two runs up on the scoreboard in the first inning and held on for a 2-0 win. In Friday's game Butterfield was 2-for-3 at the plate with three RBIs, a run scored and a walk as her Lady Rams won easily in five innings, 18-10. In Saturday's game Colorado State unleashed its bats again as it took care of business in another short five inning game, 15-7. Butterfield was 0-2 at the plate.

The Lady Rams (17-14, 3-0) travels to take on Texas A&M in a three game series beginning Friday.

Courtney Ceo (Bear River '10); University of Oregon — The No. 10 ranked Lady Ducks took two out of three games from Pac-12 Conference foe No. 15 Washington last week.

In Thursday's opening game Ceo started at shortstop batting second and finished the game 1-for-4 at the plate with a three-run homer to left-center field. The four-bagger was part of a seven-run seventh inning for Oregon as it went on to a 12-1 victory. In Friday's 4-2 win, Ceo was 2-for-4 batting with two runs scored. Washington took a 3-2 lead after it scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth, but the Lady Ducks answered with three runs in the top of the sixth as Ceo began the rally with a bunt-single. In a 2-1 loss in Saturday's series finale Ceo was held hitless as she went 0-for-3 at the dish and her team came up with just four hits while allowing eight.

Oregon (28-5, 3-1) hosts Utah for a three-game series beginning Tuesday.

Stephanie Ceo (Bear River '12); University of Texas — The No. 9 Lady Longhorns swept a three-game series at Kansas last week.

Texas won 5-0 in the opening game on Thursday where Ceo went 1-for-2 at the plate with a SAC-bunt to bring home a run in the fourth inning. The Lady Longhorns pitching staff shutdown Kansas only allowing two hits. In Saturday's game Texas put on an offensive show slugging 15 hits as it cruised to a 16-4 win. Ceo went 2-for-4 at the plate contributing two singles in a 14-run sixth inning. Later that day the Lady Longhorns edged Kansas 5-4 to capture the sweep. Ceo went 0-for-3 batting and had three put outs at second base.

Texas (32-4) plays a double-header versus McNeese State on Tuesday.

Brianna Nicholson (Nevada Union '10); Cal State Stanislaus— The Lady Warriors had a tough week as they were swept in a four-game series versus Sonoma State.

Nicholson started at first base batting seventh and played in all four games going 4-for-11 at the plate reaching base in every game. The Lady Warriors offense struggled as a whole and were outscored 27-1 in the four game stretch. Nicholson contributed 16 put outs at first base.

Cal State Stanislaus (11-21, 6-18) hosts Montana State-Billings on Wednesday.

Katie Mathis (Bear River '10); San Diego State — The Lady Aztecs went swept a three-game series versus New Mexico last week.

In Thursday's opening game Mathis made a late appearance pinch-hitting in the ninth spot to finish 0-for-1 at the plate as her team scored all its runs in the third inning and went on to a 4-1 victory. In Friday's game Mathis started at second base batting second and went 1-for-2 at the plate with a bunt-single. The Lady Aztecs pitching was superb striking out nine and with no runs allowed as they led the team to a 5-0 win. In the series finale Mathis started and finished 0-for-2 batting with a walk. The Lady Aztecs lone run came in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI-single down the right field line and it was all they would need as they hung on 1-0.

San Diego State (22-12, 3-0) hosts San Diego for a game Wednesday before playing at Nevada.

Alyssa Reina (Bear River '12); North Dakota State University — The Lady Bison began conference play with a three-game sweep of Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis.

In Friday's series-opener Reina started at first base batting sixth in the line up and went 1-for-3 at the plate and had 10 defensive put outs as her team won convincingly, 8-0. In a 3-2 win on Saturday the Lady Bison took the lead on an RBI-single in the bottom of the fourth inning and held on for a 3-2 win. Reina finished 0-for-3 batting and recorded 12 put outs at first base. In Saturday's series finale Reina went 0-for-2 batting, but the Lady Bison pitching staff shutdown IUPIU surrendering just two hits to preserve a 2-0 win.

North Dakota State (16-13, 3-0) plays a three-game series at Western Illinois beginning Friday.


Spencer Biersdorff (Nevada Union '08); University of Colorado, Colorado Springs — The UCCS men's golf team finished eighth in the Grand Canyon Thunderbird Invitational at the Wigwam Golf Course in Litchfield Park, Ariz.

Biersdorff shot two strokes under par (70) to tie for third after the first round and led UCCS in the first day of competition. He shot 77 in the second round to finish the day at three strokes over par with 147. Biersdorff tied for the fourth-best score on par five holes in the first two rounds and finished the first day with eight birdies. After posting a third round 79 Biersdorff finished the tournament in a tie for No. 22 overall with a score of 226.

The Mountain Lions return to action in Arizona today for the Western New Mexico Mustang Intercollegiate at the Palm Valley Golf Course.


Brandyn McCary (Nevada Union '02); Delta Ducks– McCary, a linebacker for the Delta Ducks minor league football team, played solid defense as his squad crushed the East Bay Outlaws 30-9.

McCary has wrapped up one tackle and the team's defense is allowing an average of just six points per game.

The Delta Ducks (2-0) host the Redding Heat this Saturday at Del Oro.

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