Denver Men’s Golf made a final day charge but their over-par performance on the final few holes caused them to fall to sixth out of 13 teams at the 2021 NCAA Cle Elum Regional. Just the top five teams advance to nationals out of each regional and Denver fell just short of fifth-place Florida. It would have been historic for men’s golf to appear in the NCAA championships, a drought that has extended for over 61 years. Only three individual athletes remain in the NCAA playoffs. DU Women’s golfer Anna Zanusso is left as an individual athlete competing May 21st-23rd at the NCAA Championship at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona. Anna Reidmiller from Women’s Tennis and James Davis from Men’s Tennis are in the NCAA Tennis Championships May 23rd-28th in Orlando, Florida.
It has been quite a year for DU Athletics. The biggest disappointment was DU hockey’s season-long struggles. Denver men’s lacrosse loss at home to Loyola, after a strong regular season was a surprise and DU’s volleyball rare absence from the NCAA Tournament following a heartbreaking loss to South Dakota in South Dakota at the Summit League Conference Tournament. Denver men’s soccer had to withdraw from the first round of the NCAA Tournament due to COVID-19. Skiing underperformed and lost their head coach, Andy LeRoy, to his native CU. Men’s basketball, after a 2-19 campaign, replaced DU alum Rodney Billups with former Stanford Assistant Jeff Wulbrun.
However, there were still far more positives than negatives this year, on and off the field.
DU women’s athletics had an outstanding season, especially in soccer and lacrosse with regular-season titles, conference tournament titles, and 2nd round NCAA tournament appearances. Denver gymnastics had an outstanding season, overcoming injuries, to almost advance to the team Championship finals. Lynnzee Brown overcame a serious achilles injury to lead the team and participate at the NCAA finals and should be a shoo-in for Denver Athlete of the Year. She has also been named one of four finalists for the Honda Sport Award for Gymnastics, the Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA). Men’s and women’s golf and tennis, often forgotten by many fans, continued to dominate the Summit League.
All things considered, there are many reasons to be grateful for the efforts made by the Denver Athletics administration, coaches and student-athletes to provide fans with an exciting year during very challenging times. Denver faced financial hurdles and logistical health protocols which many of their competitors did not have to face and, overall and delivered outstanding performances in the gym, on the courts, on the field and on the links. It has not been an easy year, yet the University of Denver continues to provide fans with great entertainment and student-athletes with fine coaching and NCAA Tournament appearances. All this while continuing to receive numerous academic achievement awards.
Sure, this year had its ups and downs but sport is ultimately decided on the field of play. This academic year, DU Athletics has shown resiliency and delivered success in the most challenging of times.
Top photo courtesy of Denver Athletics