The Brewers kicked off their post-holiday action with a strong showing at the Salem State Holiday Tournament on Dec. 29. They defeated the Salem Vikings by a score of 66-49. The Brewers outscored Salem 19-4 in the second quarter to take control of the game. In the title game the next day, they took on Wheaton College and put up a fight before ultimately falling 65-59. The team had a week off before facing St. Lawrence University on Jan. 8. They fell 56-59 in a close contest as Colleen O’Connell’s three rimmed out at the buzzer. The next day, they headed to Clarkson University in Potsdam, N.Y. where they fell in yet another close contest to the Golden Knights. Sophomore Ariella Rosenthal scored a career-high 24 points, going 11-22 from the floor. The Brewers then returned home to face Rennsselaer Polytechnic Institute on Jan. 12 and pulled out an impressive 72-58 win. Vassar outscored Rensselaer 21-9 in the fourth to seal the victory. The Brewers went on to lose their next four games to Skidmore College, Union College, Rochester Institute of Technology and William Smith College by scores of 54-61, 61-63, 62-65 and 69-74 respectively. While their record may reflect it, the Brewers are playing competitive basketball. Against RIT, ranked No. 23 in the nation at the time, the women put up a fight for the entire game. The Brewers had a three-point lead after three quarters and came within one point with 18 seconds left to play. The women stopped their losing streak against Bard on Jan. 26 with a 71-59 victory. Freshman Nicole Teta exploded for 23 points and shot 58 percent from the field as the Brewers put Bard away in the third quarter. They faced another tough loss in their rematch against Clarkson University. After outscoring the Golden Knights 17-7 in the third quarter to take a 10-point lead, the Brewers got a taste of their own medicine as Clarkson outscored them 20-8 in the fourth to win the game. The women did manage to get revenge against St. Lawrence this past Saturday as they blew out the Saints at home to win the contest 76-60. Serafini became the Vassar women’s all-time leader in blocked shots over break as well. The Brewers now sit at 3-7 in the Liberty League and 6-13 overall.
The men’s team traveled to Puerto Rico over break for the Puerto Rico Clasico. They defeated Gustavus Adolphus College on Dec. 28 behind 21 points from senior Erikson Wasyl and 20 points from sophomore Jesse Browne. The next day, they faced off against Central College in the championship contest and fell 62-55 in a tight contest. The team then faced St. Lawrence University and Clarkson University on back-to-back days after a week break. Vassar was tied with St. Lawrence at the half. However, the Saints proved to be a tough opponent as they outscored the Brewers by 13 in the second half to take the contest. The next day, they fell in a closer contest to the Clarkson Golden Knights who went on a 6-0 run during the last 19 seconds of the half to gain a bit of momentum. Wasyl scored 16 points, but the Brewers ultimately fell 50-58. The men then came home where they rattled off two straight victories against Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Skidmore College by scores of 70-62 and 69-64 respectively. On Jan. 15, they took on a Skidmore team that outscored them by five in the first half. Big man Paul Grinde scored 18 points, but the night belonged to Wasyl who became the 14th player in Vassar College men’s basketball history to score 1,000 career points. The basket couldn’t have been any bigger as he scored with 14.8 seconds left to make it a two-point game. The men fell to Union College on Jan. 16 74-78 in a close contest but battled back that Friday with a 74-63 win against Rochester Institute of Technology. They faced a tough Hobart College Squad the next afternoon that took them down 52-77. Still, the men bounced back with wins over Bard College and Clarkson University. Bard was a close contest that saw the Raptors almost come back in the second half. The men won 65-61. Clarkson was a different story as the Brewers outscored Clarkson by 16 in the first half. In their most recent game this past Saturday against St. Lawrence, the men fell in a tight overtime contest. The game was tied at 33 after the first half and 66 after the second. Still the Saints locked down the Brewers in overtime to win 80-73. The men now sit at 5-5 in the Liberty League and 9-10 overall.
Women’s fencing traveled to University of California-San Diego to take part in the West Invitational on January 18. They went 2-4 on the afternoon, defeating the University of Incarnate Word and California Institute of Technology. The teams were 22-5 and 21-6 respectively. The three teams Vassar faced were either ranked in the CollegeFencing360.com National Poll or received votes in their latest release. Vassar lost to Northwestern University, ranked No. 5 nationally, 21-6 in round four. Vassar also fell to Air Force 17-10, University of California-San Diego 17-10 and Stanford University 16-11. Sophomore foilist Kirsten Denman lost only three of her 17 bouts on the day. Junior open fencer Olivia Weiss totaled a 13-4 record on the day.
On Jan. 23, the women traveled to their first Northeast Fencing Conference meet of the year, hosted by Boston College. They defeated Smith College handily by a score of 22-5 but lost to Tufts University in a narrow contest by a score of 13-14. The Brewers also lost 15-12 to Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Brandeis University and Boston College and Brown University by a score of 17-10. Denman and Weiss had strong performances, but it was sophomore Annie Innes-Gold who led the team with 16 wins. Last Saturday, the Brewers fell to Yale by a score of 17-10. The Brewers return to action next Saturday at Smith College to finish their Northeast Fencing Conference competition for the year.
The men’s team also went out to California for the West Invitational on Jan. 19. The brewers faced off against No. 10 Stanford University and UC-SC who received votes in the CollegeFencing360.com National Polls. The team went 3-3 on the day, defeating University of Incarnate Word two times by identical scores of 23-4. They also defeated Cal Tech 21-6. The sabre squad helped carry the team as it went 37-17. Senior captain Elam Coalson went 10-4 on the day and junior Campbell Woods did the same. Men’s epee also picked up 28 wins, with nine coming from sophomore Jonathan Alperstein, who had at least one win in all six matches. He also went 3-0 against Stanford.
In their conference play, the men traveled to Chestnut Hill, MA to take part in Northeast Fencing Conference competition. They defeated MIT 18-9, Boston College 16-11 and Tufts University 17-10 to start out the day strong, but fell to the conference leader Brandeis University 14-13. The match was close, but Brandeis went 8-1 in foil to take the victory. They then lost to Brown 15-12 in the final round. Sophomores Eli Polston, Tom Racek and Alperstein each posted 3-0 scores against the Eagles. Polston led all Vassar fencers with 13 total victories on the day. The men then fell to Yale last Saturday by a score of 15-12 as Racek was the only Vassar foil fencer to earn a victory on the day. Vassar looks to finish in the top three of the Northeast Fencing Conference as they face off against Smith College this Saturday.
Their Saturday Trimatch may have been canceled due to the impending blizzard on Jan. 21, but the women’s squash team got right back to work with dominant 9-0 victories over both Georgetown and Boston University. Sophomore No. 1 Hannah Nice picked up a win against GU by scores of 11-5, 11-5 and 11-4. Freshman Jiamin Wu also had a strong performance at No. 3 winning 11-7 and 11-9 before dominating in her last set and winning 11-0. Against Boston University, Nice won easily by scores of 11-2, 11-0 and 11-1 and freshman Fiona Agger dominated similarly at No. 2 by scores of 11-4, 11-1 and 11-4. They look to continue their winning ways at the Seven Sisters Championships next Saturday.
Men’s squash also dealt with a snow day on Jan. 21 and subsequently fell to Colgate and Boston University a week later. Colgate bested Vassar 7-2, though sophomore Andrew Patton had a hard-fought win at No. 8 and junior Richard Bryenton won at No. 9 by scores of 11-4, 11-9 and 11-4. Against BU, the men didn’t fare much better, falling 8-1. Bryenton earned a default victory at No. 9. This was also senior day for the men as seniors Tim Veit, Tim Boycott, Juan Fernandez, Michael Iselin and Ben Kurchin were each honored for their commitment.
Women’s Swim and Dive
The women’s swim team went to Delray Beach, Fla. on Jan. 9 to compete in the Atomic Fireball long course meet. They competed mostly against themselves, but also faced tough training in a much longer 50-meter course. On Jan. 14, the team fell 163-136 to Mount Holyoke College, but defeated Trinity College handily 195-84. The women were led by two wins from Stone. The dive team saw big performances from freshman Mia Moraru, senior Maya Pruitt and sophomore Nora Kyrkiebo who finished first, second and third in the three-meter dive.
They fell in two tough matches to Hamilton and RIT on Jan. 16, but bounced back in a big way at the Seven Sisters Championships on Jan. 24. The women finished in second place for the first time since the 2011-2012 season. The team scored 779.5 points on the afternoon. In the three-meter dive, Pruitt finished with an 11-dive score of 385.5, the best of her career. Freshman Sammy Stone was impressive again, finishing second overall in the mile swim with a time of 17:49.65. Sophomore Cali Corbett finished ninth in the 1650 to score nine points for the Brewers. Cunningham earned a first place finish with her 2:05.55 time in the 200 fly. Junior Zoe Kurtz picked up points in seventh place with a score of 2:51.72.
The team’s final match of the year was this past Saturday as the Brewers finished first in the Sprint Invitational at Vassar. Cunningham broke two meet records as the team scored 642 points on the day. Stone also set a record for the day in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:59.37. They also took home first in the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:45.29. The team now looks to the UNYSCSA Championships in two weeks.
Men’s Swim and Dive
The men’s team also traveled to Florida to practice their strokes in a warmer climate. Junior Anthony Walker posted a 2:27.75 in the 200-meter IM and freshman Alex May swam a 2:16.9 in the 200-meter freestyle. The sprinters performed well as a whole on the day. Despite sophomore Jonah Strand’s strong performance that included a pair of victories, the men fell to Trinity College on Jan. 14 by a score of 174-113. Strand won the 100-yard breaststroke and 200-yard breaststroke respectively. Freshman Alex May also won the 1000-yard freestyle with a time of 10:38.70. Walker and Strand were again strong for the Brewers on Jan. 16, but the team ultimately fell to Hamilton College and Rochester Institute of Technology by scores of 202-92 and 201-94.
The Brewers also fell to Montclair State on Jan. 27 by a score of 128-102, but they too bounced back in a huge way to take first in the Sprint Invitational. The team broke two meet records on the way to finish first out of four teams on the day. Freshman Michael Colletta and senior Greg Cristina joined Strand and Walker to finish first in the 200-yard medley relay . They finished with a time of 1:41.16 to set a meet record on the day. Strand then broke the 50-yard breaststroke with a time of 27.81 to break the previous meet record for that event as well. The men also won the 200-yard freestyle relay. Both male and female seniors were honored before the event, making the teams’ first place finishes all the more satisfying.