Weekend: Worst Case Scenario realized by DU Athletics

It was a difficult weekend for DU athletics but some losses were more painful than others:

Pain Scale Score = 6: Hockey DU 1 - North Dakota 5

Getting blown out in the series opener by your biggest and most competitive rival is never a good thing, but the Pioneers played without two difference-makers in Gabe Levin and Will Butcher. The Ralph is no easy place to play for any team, but even more so for a NoDak rival. After jumping out to a 1-0 lead on a goal by Grant Arnold, the weekend went downhill from there. As Coach Montgomery stated after the game..."we were far too easy to play against tonight. That’s not what Denver Hockey looks like and I fully expect a much better effort tomorrow.” 

Pain Scale Score = 8: Hockey DU 0 - North Dakota 4

After Friday night's loss with DU back to full strength with Levin and Butcher back in the lineup, hockey fans were expecting to see DU bounce back and put forth a better effort on Saturday. No one expected DU to be shut-out in game two for the first weekend sweep in this rivalry since the 2009-2010 season. "...We didn’t execute well in any phase of the game and were far too easy to play against on both nights," Coach Montgomery explained after the game on Saturday. Here's hoping the Pios can turn it around when they welcome the St. Cloud State Huskies to Magness Arena next weekend.

Pain Scale Score = 5: Men's Basketball DU 59 - Air Force 60

Losing to a regional "rival" at home in a close game is painful. Add in DU's 17 turn-overs and a miserable 27.8% from the three point arc and you have the formula for defeat. Air Force is a good team and improved to 6-2 with their victory over DU. Despite the challenges and playing without C.J. Bobbitt and Duke Douglas, DU battled and took the game to the final seconds. After the game, Head Coach Joe Scott said, “I’m seeing a team grow up in front of my eyes and I’m enjoying coaching and it’s going to be a matter of the resiliency—we’re going to stick with that because we have the answers. The answers are in that locker room, the answers are in what we’re doing and I know it because I’m seeing it, so that’s a positive. "

Pain Scale Score = 1: Women's Volleyball DU 0 - Washington 3

The Pioneers traveled to Seattle to play the University of Washington (29-2), ranked #2 in the country in the coaches poll, to play the Huskies in the first round NCAA playoffs. DU scored the first point, played in front of 4,231 rabid volleyball fans, scored double digits in all three matches and had a chance to see how they stack up against the best of the best. They made it this far with only one senior so, by nearly any measure, this was a great season. At the conclusion of the match, Coach Jesse Mahoney said, "I’m really proud of our team for how we played. I thought we were pretty fearless. I thought we went toe-to-toe, we didn’t back down, we took a lot of really big swings, and I thought we got better as the match went on, so proud of how we played and definitely proud of our season this year.”

Note: There was no pain to report for our unheralded men's and women's swim teams. At the Hawkeye Invitational in Iowa City, IA, they shattered five school records in a single day this weekend. Congratulations! Also, the women's basketball team played two games on the road over the weekend and unfortunately lost both. We were unable to watch or follow their games closely due to prior obligations.

Here's hoping for a much better stretch next weekend.

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