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Cox's Corner: ODAC Tournament Picture Still Muddled As Regular Season Winds Down

Cox's Corner: ODAC Tournament Picture Still Muddled As Regular Season Winds Down

BRIDGEWATER, Va. – With just two weeks and four conference games remaining, the playoff possibilities for both the Bridgewater men’s and women’s basketball teams are numerous.

More than likely, several tournament seedings will still be on the line when the men’s and women’s teams enter the final game of regular season play.

First, let’s look at the women’s race.

At this point, the goal for the Eagles is to secure a top-four finish and a bye in the opening round of the ODAC tournament.

The Eagles are currently tied with Virginia Wesleyan for the third spot in the standings with an 8-4 conference mark. Lynchburg College is a game back in fifth at 7-5.

With four games left, Bridgewater probably has one mulligan left to its disposal. A 3-1 mark down the stretch should be good enough for a No. 4 seed. The Eagles have home games left with Shenandoah and Eastern Mennonite and road games at Randolph-Macon and Roanoke.

Virginia Wesleyan travels to Lynchburg next week in a huge game for the both teams. A Virginia Wesleyan victory would make things easier for the Eagles. In this scenario, the Eagles could probably go 2-2 and finish in a tie for fourth with Lynchburg. Bridgewater defeated Lynchburg earlier this season and would hold the head-to-head tiebreaker. A Lynchburg victory over Virginia Wesleyan could bring in the possibility of a three-way tie for the third, fourth and fifth seeds. The Eagles would have the advantage in a three-way tie with Lynchburg and Virginia Wesleyan since they defeated both teams head-to-head.

On the men’s side, the Eagles have a solid chance at hosting a first-round game in the ODAC. The first four teams receive a bye in the conference tournament while seeds five through eight host a first-round game.

The middle of the ODAC pack is tightly bunched. Bridgewater is two games behind a group of three teams tied for third place. The Eagles are just one game, however, from falling into a tie for the ninth spot. To have any chance of sneaking into the top four, the Eagles would have to run the table and win their final four regular season games.

As the standings are right now, the Eagles are battling EMU and Washington and Lee for the right to host a first-round game. The Eagles and EMU are tied for seventh with 6-6 ODAC records while W&L is a game behind in ninth at 5-7.

To make it simple, the Eagles need to win two of the next four games to have a reasonable shot at hosting a first-round game. Bridgewater probably has the toughest task ahead as far as the remaining schedule. The Eagles play three of their final four games on the road. After playing at Shenandoah on Wednesday, the Eagles have road dates against ODAC-leading Hampden-Sydney and rival EMU looming on the schedule. Bridgewater closes the regular season at home against Guilford, a team receiving votes in the national poll.

First round games in the men’s tournament will be played on Tuesday, Feb. 19.

ODAC Swimming This Weekend: The 2013 ODAC Swimming Championships will be held this weekend at the Greensboro Aquatic Center. Nine teams will vie for the ODAC title during the three-day meet.

To view the meet schedule, go the ODAC Swimming Championships website.

Big Weekend For Sohl: Bridgewater’s Luke Sohl is just a sophomore, but he has already stamped his name in the track & field record books several times.

As a freshman, Sohl set new BC records during the outdoor season in the 5K and 10K events.

In the past 10 days, the Bridgewater distance ace set two new individual indoor records while also helping the distance medley relay team set a new BC and ODAC record.

Sohl established a new indoor mile record two weekends ago with a time of 4:20.48 eclipsing Doug Coleman’s record that had been in the books since 1972.

This past weekend at the Armory Collegiate Invitational in New York, Sohl pulled off an impressive double to set two more records.

Late Friday evening, Sohl teamed with Tim Wisniewski, Nevin Heckman and Sam Gunther to set a new ODAC record in the DMR with a time of 10:17.20, trimming more than nine seconds off the mark set by Lynchburg in 2003. The time currently ranks as the seventh-fastest in Division III this season.

Sohl had a quick turnaround as he competed in the 5K on Saturday morning. He ran the event in 14:55.57 to shave more than 21 seconds off Nate Rittenhouse’s BC record. Sohl now ranks in the Top 50 in the nation in both the mile and 5K. His mile time checks in at No. 44 in Division III while his 5K time ranks at No. 36.