News & Features
The Sports Page
With the summer over and the fall sports season underway, Vassar’s athletic teams are once again in action. In this installment of The Sports Page, varsity head coaches take a look ahead and tell us what to expect.
Head coach James McCowan: “The women graduated a strong and spirited group last year, but still return an outstanding team, including five of last year's top seven runners. Notable returners include 2011 NCAA Cross Country National qualifier and two-time NCAA 800m qualifier Kelly Holmes ’13, 2011 Junior National and 2012 NCAA National 5K qualifier Aubree Piepmeier ’14, and sophomore NCAA Regional standouts Cass Carpenter, Harper Cleves, and Viviane Ford. With a strong freshman class and a big crew of returners, the Brewers look to repeat our Seven Sisters Championship victory and exceed the previous two years’ sixth place NCAA Regional finish to send a team to the National Cross Country Championships.
“The graduation of many top runners last year means the men's program returns only three of last year's top seven runners, but the men have come back in excellent shape and have worked hard to rise to the challenge this season. Top returners include two-time NCAA 800m National qualifier and 2010 NCAA All Regional cross country runner Sam Wagner ’13, Roni Teich ’13, and Eliot Gerson ’15. With several strong freshman additions and an entire team of well prepared and hard working upperclassmen, the Brewers are looking to break back into the top 10 slots in the region.”
Head coach Tony Brown: “The men have a tough 2011–12 act to follow. Last year the Brewers won the Metropolitan New York Division II Conference title and advanced to the Final Four in the Northeast region. The 2012–13 Brewers will be striving to repeat that feat. The conference has been re-named the Tri-State Conference (http://www.TriStateRugby.com) and the first game is on September 9th at the Farm. Captains Joe Karpman and Ian Ruginski will lead the squad.
“The women finished last year ranked in the top eight in the country among Division II programs, but will be without their two All-American selections as O'Mara Taylor has graduated and Margaret Kwateng will be studying away her junior year. They return the bulk of the forwards but will need to have a good influx of freshmen to make a concerted charge. Hannah Bober ’13, Dallas Robinson ’14, and Patty Walton ’13 are the captains. The team opens against the University at Albany on September 9th at home.”
Women’s head coach Laura Williamson: “I'm really excited for my first season as head coach here at Vassar. We have a very talented core of returners who have the experience necessary to make this fall special. Under the leadership of senior goalkeeper Ali Higgins, our first-year class is already comfortable with the group and has taken ownership of their contributions to this team. As a collective, we plan on making a name for Vassar Women's Soccer this fall.”
Men’s head coach Andy Jennings: “Last season we not only competed in the NCAA Championship but also won the Liberty League Championship after advancing to the final by beating the #1 team in the nation. In addition, Vassar again received the NSCAA Academic Team Award and out of a total of 219 men’s programs across all divisions we finished 15th with a team GPA of 3.37. Our 2012 goal is to repeat as league champions and return to the NCAA Championship. We have some very good incoming freshmen who will help us immediately, but we also return the core of the team from last year.”
Head coach Jonathan Penn: “With six returning starters and a fierce competitive attitude, women's volleyball is poised to make a run at the Liberty League championship. A combination of seniors wanting to put a cap on their careers and some younger players wanting to make their mark on the program has led to a focused and very competitive pre-season. Led by senior setter Hilary Koenigs and senior hitter Chloe McGuire, the team is talented and hungry, usually a potent combination.”
Men’s head coach John Cox: “The Vassar Men's Tennis Team returns after a season of multiple program firsts. For the first time in program history they advanced to the Final 16 of the NCAA Tournament. This performance was paralleled by a first-ever doubles victory at the Small College National Championships and a win over the #1 team in the country. They will be returning two-time All-American Andrew Guzick and seven other players. The five new freshman players will add strength and depth to the team. They begin play on September 15.”
Women’s head coach Kathy Campbell: “The fall season is structured to provide lots of playing opportunities to all the team members, as this assists in formulating doubles pairs and possible line-up positions for the championship spring season. There are seven returning players including senior and team captain Natalie Santiago. The season begins with an invitational at Williams that includes top-notch, national competition. Other fall highlights include the ITA Northeast Regional where sophomore Ava Sadeghi is the defending singles champion. In our only home event of the fall season, Vassar hosts NYU and SUNY New Paltz on Sunday, September 30. An annual favorite fall event is the NY State Championship in Ithaca, which concludes the fall season. The team will have tremendous depth, and I know our freshmen will be strong contributors as well. Sadeghi, who earned All-American honors as a freshman, leads the team among the returning players.”
Head coach Rhett Myers: “We have a very bright vision ahead for the fall season. Returning are seniors Nicole Bronson and Celynne Balatbat with incoming impact players Angela Mental and Aimee Debois arriving as freshmen. On paper, it may be our strongest squad in years to make a run at Nationals in May. Our first match will be September 15th at the NYU Invitational.”
Women's Field Hockey
Head coach Cara Dunn: "Captains Anna Schroeder '14 and Becca Smith '13 are at the helm for the 2012 field hockey season. Coming off of the most successful season since 2002, the Brewer's had a victorious season opener over Hartwick , the first in program history. Players to watch include goalie Maggie Brelis '14 (a recent Liberty League Defensive Player of the Week), Enya Cunningham '15, Dara Davis '15, and Cat Fiore '14."
Compiled by Peter Bronski
Posted Thursday, September 6, 2012