After tying for second in the tight and competitive Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) standings with a record of 9-7, Redlands men’s basketball moved onto the SCIAC Postseason Tournament for the third time in six years. During the final regular-season showdown, the Bulldogs clawed their way back from 17 points down to capture Head Coach Jim Ducey’s 200th career-win with a thrilling 78-76 victory over the University of La Verne Leopards. Redlands repeated this effort in the semifinal of the SCIAC Postseason Tournament, earning a 76-74 victory for the first win over Whittier College in three meetings. Although the Bulldogs came up two points short in the tournament finale, they finished out the season with a 14-13 overall record. Senior forward Al Bjekovic (Maribor, Slovenia) became the 20th men’s basketball player in Redlands history to join the 1000-point club en route to earning his second All-SCIAC honor with this year’s spot on the First Team.
The women’s basketball team advanced to the SCIAC Postseason Tournament for the ninth consecutive time. The Maroon and Gray completed the 2015-16 season with a 12-14 overall record and a 9-7 mark in SCIAC competition to secure fourth place. The Bulldogs celebrated Senior Night in style by stunning the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges Athenas in a 58-51 decision in Currier Gym. With tenacious defense and poise on offense, the Bulldogs broke a late tie to hold on for the victory over the conference’s previously undefeated leader, which resulted in the Athenas’ first loss since December 29. In the final game of the regular season, the Bulldogs erupted for 27 points in the third quarter to pull away a 61-48 victory over the University of La Verne Leopards to solidifying their spot as the No. 4 seed in the SCIAC Postseason Tournament. Junior guard Jade Cheldelin (Portland, Ore.) and sophomore forward Reyna Ta’amu (Lakewood, Calif.) represented the Redlands women’s basketball program on the All-SCIAC Second Team.
Swimming and Diving
With the return of Head Coach Leslie Whittemore to the helm of the Bulldogs, the swimming and diving teams began a new and exciting chapter in the program’s history. The teams each capped off the 2016 season with a third-place showing at the SCIAC Championships and quality performances at the SPLASH! La Mirada Regional Aquatics Center in late February. The Bulldog women completed the four-day competition with 658.5 points, while the men tallied 572 points overall. After an impressive inaugural SCIAC Championship meet, freshman Zack Amendola (Palos Heights, Ill.) was honored with the SCIAC Male Newcomer of the Year. Junior Ellie Jaques (Covina, Calif.) captured Redlands’ only individual title with her blistering time of 4:30.11 in the 400 individual medley. She went on to represent the Bulldogs at the NCAA Championships in her national debut in the 200 IM, 400 IM, and 100 fly, and earned Honorable Mention All-America nods in the IM events with school record-setting performances.