Athletics wrap up 2016 with a bang, impressive finishes

Senior Mariah Ghant scores in match against Davenport, her penultimate game as a Brewer. After defeating the United States Coast Guard Academy, Vassar earns spot as No. 3 in the country. Courtesy of Carlisle Stockton

Men’s Basketball
On Thursday, Dec. 1, the Vassar men’s basketball team was defeated by its NESCAC opponent Williams College 55-78. The game started in Vassar’s favor as the Brewers gained a quick 8-1 lead in just over two minutes. For the rest of the half, the lead switched hands multiple times and Vassar entered the break with small deficit of 32-37. However, after the break, Vassar was unable to outplay William’s talent and height and the Ephs secured their win.

Despite the result, multiple Brewers had strong showings to help VC stay in the contest. Sophomores Alex Seff and Mason Dyslin each totaled a team-high 13 points on the day, while junior Jesse Browne added another 12. Sophomores Steve Palecki and Chris Gallivan and freshman Owen Murray all tallied four more points for the Brewers. To lead the defensive end, Murray chalked up six defensive rebounds, followed by Browne with four, three from Seff and two from Palecki.

Collectively, Vassar shot 40 percent from the paint and 29 percent from the 3-point line. These results are slightly downhill from the team’s percentages against Waynesburg, as the team tabbed 48.2 percent and 41.2 percent, respectively, against the Yellow Jackets.

Vassar will next travel to Middletown, CT. to face second NESCAC competitor Wesleyan University on Wednesday, Dec. 7.

Women’s Basketball
After falling to William Paterson on Nov. 28, the women’s basketball team sought revenge against a second New Jersey opponent, Drew University. From the onset, the Brewers did not give Drew a chance as they took the lead for the entirety of the game. VC entered halftime with a substantial 39-24 lead and eventually increased the margin to capture a 67-48 victory.

Junior captain Ariella Rosenthal was once again the team’s highest scorer as she tallied 20 points against the Rangers. Rosenthal also tabbed five assists, seven total rebounds and a steal. Freshman Isa Peczuh had the game of her career against Drew as she notched a career-best 14 points, career-best three assists and two steals.

Junior captain Samarah Cook and freshman Sophie Nick also reached the leaderboards for Vassar, adding 13 and 10 points respectively. Fellow junior captain Kim Romanoff also led the team to victory as she contributed four points, eight rebounds and four assists.

Fresh off of their win, the Brewers faced Ithaca College on Saturday, Dec. 3. The team entered the game ready to prove itself, as Ithaca will join the Liberty League next year and will become a regular conference opponent. Unfortunately, Vassar’s enthusiasm was not enough as Bombers took the game 72-53.

Nevertheless, Rosenthal tabbed 18 points, while Nick added 10 and sophomore Nicole Teta notched eight more for VC. As a unit, Vassar shot 35.3 percent from the paint and 57.7 from the foul line.

The women’s basketball team will next hop on a flight to San Juan, Puerto Rico to play Messiah College on Sunday, Dec. 18 at noon.

With second and third-place finishes, junior Jonah Strand was crucial to Vassar’s success at the league championships on Dec. 2 and 3. Vassar will race against Trinity College on Jan. 14. Courtesy of Carlisle Stockton
With second and third-place finishes, junior Jonah Strand was crucial to Vassar’s success at the league championships on Dec. 2 and 3. Vassar
will race against Trinity College on Jan. 14. Courtesy of Carlisle Stockton

Men’s Swimming and Diving
After diving into the Liberty League Championships on Dec. 2 and 3, the Brewers emerged with a sixth place finish out of nine teams. Throughout the two days, Vassar participated in 16 events and accumulated a total of 500 points.

In Rochester, senior Anthony Walker was crucial to the Brewers’ success as he earned points in a few different events. First, Walker claimed fourth place in the 200 medley relay alongside fellow senior Chris Cerutti, junior Jonah Strand and sophomore Ian LaBash. Walker then had two season-best swims, finishing the 200 fly in 1:57.30 and the 100 fly in 53.14 to earn second and fourth place finishes.

In addition to team success in the 200 medley relay, Cerutti claimed individual victories as he finished at 15th in the 100 backstroke and 11th in 200 yard back. To reach the leaderboards in the 100 backstroke, Cerutti swam a season-best time of 56.49, beating his old time of 58.30.

Meanwhile, Strand had the highest standings of the day as he clinched second place in the 200 backstroke and third in 100 backstroke. These finishes landed Strand All-Liberty League honors.

Other strong VC swimmers include senior Patrick Lai who earned 18th in the 200 breaststroke and 22nd in the 100 breaststroke, and fellow senior Walter Gabriel who clinched the 26th seed with a time of 18:45.45 in the mile.

After a few weeks off, Vassar will return to the pool against Trinity College on Jan. 14 in Hartford, CT.

Women’s Swimming and Diving
The women’s side finished in seventh place out of 10 teams at the Liberty League Championships hosted by the Rochester Institute of Technology on Dec. 2 and 3. With 576 points, the Brewers outscored Skidmore College but fell behind William Smith College and Saint Lawrence University.

Sophomore Sammy Stone was a standout performer for Vassar, claiming the only first-place victory over the weekend. Stone zipped through the 1650 Yard free in 17:37.79, beating the second-place finisher, RPI’s Jen Enos, by over 16 seconds. With this finish, Stone rewrote the Liberty League record of 17:40.85, which was set by Enos in 2013.

Senior Julia Cunningham also topped the leaderboards at the Championships as she finished in second place in the 400 individual medley and clinched fourth place in 100 butterfly. Cunningham collected 54 points for VC over these two events. Up next, sophomore Hayley Schultz took seventh place in the 100 breaststroke, followed by senior Julia Wieczorek in 16th and junior Emily McDaniels in 20th. Senior Kayla Schwab then took home 18th with a season-best 5:26.52 in the 400 IM.

Following in the upperclassmen footsteps, freshmen Laura Vidano and Sarah Boese earned victories in their first showings in the Championships. Vidano placed in 24th for the 100 fly while Boese took home two victories, a 19th place finish in the 100 backstroke and 24th in the 100 backstroke.

The Brewers will continue practicing over the next week weeks before heading to Hartford, CT to race against Mount Holyoke College and Trinity College on Saturday, Jan. 14.

Women’s Squash
VC annihilated the Raptors of Bard College 9-0 before falling to the Jumbos of Tufts University 4-5.

To start the day, sophomore Jia Min Wu, seniors Isabelle Bertram and Carly Scher, freshmen Sydney Nemphos and Alessandra Pilkington and junior Cherylann Mucciolo all won straight sets against Bard.

Mucciolo won her sets with scores of 11-4, 11-0, 11-0, only allowing Bard’s Christa Gammage four points. Nemphos held Bard’s Audrey Hutchinson to merely one point, while Scher swept her match with 3 perfect matches 11-0.

Nemphos and Pilkington continued their success against the Jumbos to go 2-0 on the day. Seniors Hannah Nice and Diana Howland were also victorious against Tufts. Nice won in four sets with scores of 11-6, 11-2, 9-11, 11-4 while Howland claimed the win 11-4, 11-8, 10-12, 11-8.

Despite these strong showings, the Brewers were inched out by Tufts and were defeated 4-5. Going 1-1 on Dec. 4, the women’s squash team now holds an overall record of 6-2.

VC will next take the court on Jan. 24 to face Haverford College and Johns Hopkins University in Haverford, PA.

Men’s Fencing
On Dec. 4, the Brewers participated in the Sacred Heart University Multi-Meet and faced six very skilled teams. While Vassar defeated SHU 16- 11 and the New Jersey Institute of Technology 15-12, VC fell to Harvard 3-24, New York University 9-18, Princeton 6-21 and Penn State 7-20.

Vassar’s sabre team led the efforts to defeat Sacred Heart Pioneers as they finished with a collective record of 8-1. Senior captain Campbell Woods and junior Eli Polston both went 3-0 against the Pioneers while freshman Graeme Mills posted the final two wins.

For the epee squad, senior Ry Farley and juniors Jonathan Alperstein and Daniel Swerzenski all earned wins against Sacred Heart. To top things off, freshman Noe Berger earned two wins while fellow classmate Jack Holmes grabbed one win in foil. With Alperstein at the reins, the epee team steered the Brewers to victory against NJIT. Alperstein went 3-0 against the Highlanders, collecting two wins over NCAA Regional qualifiers. These impressive wins tallied a total of 12 victories for Alperstein on the day.

In foil, Swerzenski also tabbed three more wins, while junior Tom Racek and Berger grabbed two more each. Then for the sabre squad, Polston notched two wins with one win apiece from Mills and Wood.

After this hard day of competition, the Brewers will have a few weeks off before heading to Ohio to face Cleveland State University on Saturday, Jan. 21.

Senior Mariah Ghant scores in match against Davenport, her penultimate game as a Brewer. After defeating the United States Coast Guard Academy, Vassar earns spot as No. 3 in the country. Courtesy of Carlisle Stockton
Senior Mariah Ghant scores in match against Davenport, her penultimate game as a Brewer. After defeating the United States Coast Guard Academy, Vassar earns spot as No. 3 in the country. Courtesy of Carlisle Stockton

Women’s Rugby
After a long bus ride to Greenville, SC, the Brewers were unfortunately defeated by Davenport University in the Final Four Championships.

After trailing early in the game, Vassar decreased the margin to 22-29 as sophomore Jennie To scored for the Brewers. As the Panthers scored a penalty kick to make the score 37-22, senior Laila Blumenthal-Rothchild kept the Brewers in the game as she scored with 18 minutes left in the game.

The remaining tries came from seniors Mariah Ghant, Nathalie Freeman and Lauren Workman and sophomore Rachel Elson. However, these points were not enough as the defending National Champions claimed the win with a score of 47-32.

The very next day, Vassar turned things around to top the United States Coast Guard Academy 15- 10. With this win, Vassar was officially the third in the nation!

Although the game ended with a close score, Vassar only allowed the Bears nine out of 80 minutes in their half. For the second day in a row, Freeman commanded the Brewer’s offensive efforts as she scored two tries. Senior Mary-Margaret McElduff added a try to seal the victory for VC.

Finishing at the third rank in Division III with an impressive record of 12-2, the women’s rugby team will have much deserved time off before starting their spring season in 2017.

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