’98 Year to Remember for Georgetown, Too

By Michael Medici Hoya Staff Writer

Well, well, well. It’s 1999. Only one more year until the new millenium. Only one more year till the apocalypse. One more year till Y2K shuts down everything. Just one more year till those futuristic movies made in the 1970’s become realized.

But before all of you get too crazed up partying like Prince told you to, let’s take a moment to reflect. I know, all of you out there are busy making plans for where you will be this Dec. 31, but lets take time out to reflect on what is going to be considered the greatest year in sports history.

With Mark’s 70, Mike’s last shot and John’s Super Bowl win, Sports Illustrated announced 1998 the greatest year in sports.

So, we at the Hilltop are constantly asking, what about us? No, there were no national championships. But, right down the line, sport in, sport out, Georgetown was right there all year long in 1998, and its time we take notice.

The women’s volleyball team tore through its regular season schedule with ease, posting a 24-5 record, and claiming a share of the Big East title. On top of all that, they made the NCAA tournament for the first time in its history, but fell short to a much more experienced Kansas State team. Head Coach Jolene Nagel was named District I coach of the year, and the team placed three of its players, senior Melissa Tytko, sophomore Kiran Gill and freshmen Yulia Vturyina, on the All-District team.

The football team, with a new quarterback and a stud sophomore wide receiver rolled again in `98, winning their second consecutive conference title. Included in that win was a 28-23 win at Duquesne, the first time the Hoyas beat the Dukes since we entered the league. The team tied its record for wins in a year with nine, originally set in 1925. Eight players were named to the Non-Scholarship Division I-AA All-American team with three, senior tackle Skender Derti, wide receiver Matt Mattimore and linebacker ike Melchionda, named to the first team.

The men’s soccer team gave its crowd much excitement all throughout the year, before going up to the Big East tournament and beating the then No. 2-ranked University of Connecticut in the semifinals. Although the team lost the following day to St. John’s in the championship game, its absence from the NCAA tournament was a travesty and they finished up the year ranked No. 24 in the nation. Senior forward Eric Kvello, the team’s second leading scorer in its history, was the first Hoya soccer player ever to be named an All-American, as he was picked for the third team. Junior forward Jason Partenza was named to the NSCAA 1998 Men’s East Region Scholar Athlete Honorable Mention All-America Team.

The men’s golf team won the 1998 Big East Championship tournament in rather stunning fashion. It was the program’s first championship ever, highlighted by freshmen Andreas Huber’s record setting 69-72-141 two day total.

Sophomore Kristen Gordon blazed through the trail at the national cross country championships, finishing fourth overall with a time of 17:09.17, behind two seniors and one junior, this might just be the beginning for the star you’ve never heard of. Overall, Georgetown finished fourth in the competition.

After both the men and the women won the Indoor Big East track and field title for the ninth time, the men’s outdoor track team won the Big East by 25 points over Miami. This is nothing new for the Hoyas, as it is their fourth title in a row.

The men’s lacrosse team made its second appearance in the NCAA tournament and beat University of Maryland-Baltimore County 9-8 before losing in the second round to Loyola 12-11. Pulling in the individual accolades for the team was Senior Steve Iorio, who was named to the 1998 GTE Academic All-American first team.

The men’s sailing team took the home the 1998 Atlantic Coast Dinghy Championship, beating out a field which contained 15 of the top 20 ranked teams in the Sailing World poll. Georgetown upset all of those teams, including top ranked St. Mary’s, and finished ranked No. 11 in the poll for the fall season.

It seems pretty amazing that a school with an enrollment of just over 6,000 can produce so many great athletes. But the little school overlooking the Potomac is now a sporting powerhouse.

Even though these accomplishments seem great by themselves, I have saved the best for last for you lucky readers. For ’98 will be remembered as the best sports year of recent memory by many, but it will be remembered also as the last year the legendary John Thompson loomed the sidelines for the men’s basketball team. The man who turned a nothing program into one that found itself churning out top-notch NBA-caliber talent is now gone, and we are that much luckier to have been here to see him. Give me the 6-foot-10 frame, give me the towel, give me the yelling and screaming. He was one of the best, and always will be.

So here’s to you, Georgetown, and here’s to hopes that 1999 can be half as good a year as ’98. From football to sailing, from running to Thompson’s sauntering, we will never forget the year that was 1998.

 

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