Top-seeded Vassar failed to win the Liberty League playoffs for the first time in three years, losing in the semifinals to fourth-seeded William Smith, 69-58, at the Athletics and Fitness Center on Feb. 20. The game was tied at 42-42 in the second half before William Smith went on a 17-6 run in the next six minutes to seal the victory. Sophomore forward Colleen O’Connell led Vassar with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Junior point guard Cydni Matsuoka scored 16. Matsuoka was named Liberty League Player of the Year, and she and O’Connell were both selected as first-team all-stars. Coach Candice Brown and Assistant Coach Margaret White were named Liberty League Coaching Staff of the Year.
Vassar clinched the regular season Liberty League title with victories over Skidmore and Union on Feb. 15 and 16. Junior forward Hannah Senftleber scored six straight points down the stretch to preserve the lead in a 64-57 victory on the Skidmore campus on Feb. 15. The next day, Vassar secured the regular season championship league title with a 72-58 victory at Union. Matsuoka led the Brewers with 23 points, including 16 in the second half.
On Feb. 9, the Brewers finished their home season with an 85-75 victory over Rochester Institute of Technology. Reserves Natalie Allen and Ali Higgins were named starters for the game on Senior Day, and both contributed to the win. Allen matched a career high with 10 points, and Higgins keyed a 13-4 run to help Vassar build its lead. On Feb. 8, Matsuoka and O’Connell ignited a 17-6 spurt in the second half to lead Vassar to an 80-70 victory over William Smith on Feb. 8. Matsuoka finished with 23 points and five steals. O’Connell scored 19. O’Connell, Nyah Berg, and Caitlin Drakeley scored clutch baskets down the stretch on Feb. 5 as Vassar defeated RPI, 61-57.
Vassar avenged an earlier loss to Liberty League rival St. Lawrence with a 79-54 victory on Feb. 2 at the Athletics and Fitness Center. Matsuoka scored nine points early in the first half as Vassar sprinted to a 27-10 lead. O’Connell also contributed to the quick first-half start with 12 points and six rebounds. Berg finished the game with 18 points. On Feb. 1, Higgins ignited a 28-7 second-half spurt with nine points to lead Vassar past Clarkson, 81-50. Matsuoka and Berg each had 15 points, while O’Connell and Drakeley each finished with 11.
Vassar finished the season with a 7-18 record (3-13 in the Liberty League), dropping its final two games of the season on Feb. 15 and 16. On Feb. 15, Skidmore pulled away with a 9-0 run late in the second half to defeat the Brewers, 67-56. The next day, Union defeated Vassar, 90-63. Sophomore guard Curtis Smith kept the Skidmore game close, scoring six points during an 11-5 run that brought Vassar to within two points, 58-56. Sophomore forward Alex Snyder and sophomore guard Andrew Adkins each scored 13 points in the loss to Union. A late Vassar rally fell short on Feb. 9 as Rochester Institute of Technology held on for a 63-60 victory over the Brewers. Snyder sank nine of 10 shots from the floor and pulled down 17 rebounds in the loss. Hobart opened the second half with a 13-2 run to key a 61-53 victory over Vassar on Feb. 8. Snyder and Smith each finished with 11 points. On Feb. 5, Smith scored a career-high 20 points, but Vassar fell to RPI, 85-76. Three days earlier, freshman guard Erikson Wasyl sent the game into overtime with a 3-pointer, with 0.5 seconds on the clock, and Vassar went on to defeat St. Lawrence, 84-80, in double overtime in a Liberty League matchup at the Athletics and Fitness Center. Junior guard Sam Rappaport and junior forward John Donnelly led the second-half comeback, and Rappaport opened the second overtime with a 3-pointer. Smith led Vassar in scoring with 16 points, while Wasyl and Rappaport each had 14. On Feb. 1, the team lost to Clarkson, 72-54. Snyder led the Brewers with 17 points and 12 rebounds.
Junior John Arden finished fourth in individual sabre competition on Feb. 23 at the 2013 New England Championships at Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass. Arden, Zach Wilson, Kenny Lee, and Gio Zaccheo finished fifth in sabre team competition. Junior Matt Steinschneider led the foil squad to a third place finish. Other members of the squad were Alex Vastola and Tre Artis.
Vassar’s foil squad had a 6-3 record against Columbia, but the Brewers lost a pair of matches in New York City on Feb. 8, losing to NYU, 20-7, and to Columbia, 17-10. Vastola picked up a foil win and Tavish Pegram had two epee victories in the loss to NYU. Arden had two sabre wins against Columbia. The Brewers celebrated Senior Day on Feb. 2, with victories over Drew and Hunter, but fell to Yale in a competitive match. The sabre squad captured 6-3 victories over all three teams. Pegram was 6-1 in epee, and Arden was 6-2 in foil. Vassar defeated Drew, 19-8, and Hunter, 15-12, while losing to Yale, 17-10.
For the second straight year, Katie LeClair won the individual foil competition on Feb. 23 at the New England Championships at Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass. Senior Caitlin Clevenger was third in individual epee competition and led her team (including Megan Lewis, Noelle Sawyer, and Rachel Messbauer) to a third place finish in the team event. Vassar defeated Queens, Drew, and Hunter and lost to Yale in Senior Day action at Kenyon Hall. LeClair was undefeated in foil, Tracy Bratt was 7-2 in sabre, and Clevenger and Lewis each finished 5-2 in epee. Vassar beat Queens, 23-4; Drew, 21-6; and Hunter, 18-9. Yale defeated the Brewers, 19-8.
Vassar won one match and lost two others the weekend of Feb. 15-17. The Brewers fell to William Smith, 7-2, on Feb. 15, suffered a 9-0 shutout to Georgetown on Feb. 16, and defeated Northeastern, 7-2, the following day. Alexandra Bowditch and Nancy Zhang starred for Vassar. The Brewers lost to NYU, 19-8, and to Columbia, 23-4, on Feb. 7 in Manhattan. Top performers were Caitlin Clevenger and Rachel Messbauer. Both finished 3-3 in epee. Vassar defeated Smith, 6-3, but dropped 9-0 matches to Wellesley and Mount Holyoke at the Seven Sisters Championship on Feb. 2 at Mount Holyoke. Zhang and Bowditch earned spots on the all-tournament team.
Vassar won three of five matches at the College Squash Association National Team Championships on Feb. 24 in New Haven, Conn. The Brewers beat Siena, the University of Minnesota, and Illinois-Springfield, while losing to Ithaca College and Notre Dame. Senior Jake Harris won four of his five matches, and junior Kiet Phun won his final three matches of the tourney.
On Feb. 3, Harris won his match, but Vassar fell to Fordham in the Bronx. Harris defeated Fordham’s No. 1 player, Kincade Webster, in three sets, 11-4, 11-3, and 11-6.
Women’s Swimming and Diving
Sophomore diver Jane Cardona qualified for regional competition with her strong finish on Feb. 24 at the Upper New York State Collegiate Swimming Association (UNYSCSA) Championships in Ithaca. Cardona will compete in the 1-meter event at the NCAA Regionals in Springfield, Mass., on Mar. 1 and 2. Senior Shannon Sara finished eighth in the 200-yard breaststroke—breaking a school record—in the UNYSCSA event.
Vassar finished third in a seven-team field at the Skidmore College Sprint Invitational on Feb. 2 in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Cardona captured top honors in the 1-meter and 3-meter diving competitions. Sara won the 100 IM and finished third in the 50m breaststroke. Marie Schmidt, Juliana Struve, Anna Kuo, and McKenzie Quinn all swam season bests. SUNY New Paltz won the meet, followed by William Smith. Vassar was third, followed by Skidmore, Sarah Lawrence, Bard, and SUNY Cobleskill.
Men’s Swimming and Diving
Vassar finished 10th overall on Feb. 24 at the Upper New York State Collegiate Swimming Association Championships in Ithaca. The 400-yard freestyle relay team of Luc Amodio, Greg Cristina, Isaiah Hale, and Mathúe Duhaney finished ninth overall. On Feb. 9, the 200-yard medley relay team of Amodio, Matt Weiss, Duhaney, and Cristina broke the meet record as the Brewers finished third in a field of five at the Vassar Sprint Invitational. Skidmore won the meet, followed by SUNY New Paltz, Vassar, Sarah Lawrence, and Bard.
Vassar fell to 22nd-ranked Skidmore, 6-3, on Feb. 23 in a match at the Walker Field House. Andrew Guzick defeated Oliver Loutsenko, 6-4, 6-3. Loutsenko is ranked seventh in the country. Vassar lost to Mary Washington, North Carolina Wesleyan, and Case Western Reserve in matches on the Mary Washington campus in Fredericksburg, Va., the weekend of Feb. 16 and 17. Senior No. 1 Guzick won his singles and doubles matches against Mary Washington, a team ranked 21st in the country. Senior Nick Jasso and freshman Daniel Cooper lost a close match to Army’s Peter Slenko and Henry Jang-Milstein as Vassar fell to the Cadets, 7-0, on Feb. 10 at West Point. The loss to the Division I powerhouse was Vassar’s first of the year.
The Brewers lived up to their No. 14 national ranking at the Baruch Invitational tournament on Feb. 23, defeating Rivier College and MIT to improve their record to 9-5. Freshman Reno Kriz had a career-high 20 kills in the victory over Rivier. Senior Charlie Caldwell and junior Joe Pyne led Vassar to a 17-15 win in the fifth set against MIT. Senior Matt Elgin was named to the all-tournament team.
Vassar won nine straight sets against three opponents over the weekend of Feb. 15 and 16, defeating Hunter, SUNY Institute of Technology, and Keuka College. Elgin was named United Volleyball Conference Player of the Week for his performances. Pyne had 13 kills, and Elgin hit an impressive .500 as Vassar defeated Hilbert College on Feb. 10 at the United Volleyball Conference Crossover at Medaille College in Buffalo, N.Y. Caldwell, Kriz, and Patrick Donohue all had outstanding performances.