CU sports notes: Buffs lacrosse ready for new Big 12 league

Feb. 27—Colorado is renewing acquaintances with San Diego State and UC Davis as women's lacrosse league rivals for the first time since the Buffaloes left the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation following the 2017 season.

Those renewed rivalries will continue even with the demise of Pac-12 lacrosse.

The Big 12 Conference, which Colorado rejoins later this year, announced last week the addition of San Diego State, UC Davis and Florida as affiliate members in a new, six-team women's lacrosse league that will begin play in 2025.

The league includes the Buffs and Arizona State, which also joins the Big 12 in 2024-25. It also includes Cincinnati, which joined the Big 12 this year but is playing the 2024 lacrosse season as an affiliate member of its former league, the American Athletic Conference.

San Diego State and UC Davis are in their first seasons as affiliate members of the Pac-12, but the splintering of the conference is sending the women's lacrosse programs to three different conferences — CU and ASU (plus SDSU and UC Davis) to the Big 12, Oregon and USC to the Big Ten, and Stanford and California to the ACC.

"I think we're excited about the Big 12 in general," CU head coach Ann Elliott Whidden said. "It's awesome that they've decided to sponsor lacrosse. That's huge for us and for the sport. It's great to add those affiliates. I know we're spread out through the country but it's great to have a team like Florida, too, in our conference. I think we're focused on competing at the highest level and we want teams that share in that and that are ready to compete and have challenging schedules. We're excited about where we're at and we're looking forward to it."

Despite suffering the first loss of the season last week against No. 4 Northwestern, the Buffs (3-1) moved up one spot to No. 19 in this week's IWLCA top 25. Northwestern moved up one spot to No. 3 this week. CU resumes nonconference play on Thursday at Central Michigan (1 p.m. MT).

Century mark

Aya El Sayed helped the CU women's tennis team finish nonconference play with a flourish, earning the 100th win of her career (singles and doubles) as the Buffs topped Colorado State in the nonconference finale on Sunday.

CU has won 10 consecutive matches with an 11-1 mark overall, posting the best nonconference record in program history.

"Aya is Ms. Consistency," CU coach Anthony Pham said in a release. "She went from playing three, four last year to one this year and the great thing is you know what you're going to get from her all the time. It's good when your best player exhibits the values and characteristics your program is about: hard work, being a really good teammate, being a good person, and just bring it every day."


The CU women's golf team finished eighth last week at the Pac-12 Preview in Hawaii. ... On Monday, CU skier Filip Wahlqvist was named the RMISA men's slalom league MVP. ... The NCAA Indoor Track and Field championships begin March 8 in Boston.