Winter sports handed disappointing season endings

Senior Shayna Becker slams ball passed her opponent during 2016 home match. Becker and the team will look to find success in their upcoming conference matches against RPI on Saturday, Feb. 25. / Photo courtesy of Carlisle Stockton

Women’s Tennis
VC started its spring season on a very strong note as the team topped Muhlenberg College 9-0 on Saturday, Feb. 18. However, the Brewers lost their footing against Division I opponent Army West Point and fell 0-7 the next day.

Beginning the day on Saturday, the doubles squads surpassed their competition unscathed. At No. 3 senior Connie Yoo and junior Dasha earned the 8-0 win against the Mules. Up next, senior Shayna Becker and freshman Tara Edwards captured a 8-1 victory at No. 1, soon followed by a third win by No. 2 by junior Kate Christensen and sophomore Morgane Flournoy.

After the team’s very strong showing in doubles, Vassar headed to singles play. Yoo finished the day holding her opponents scoreless as she topped Hannah Bobker 6-0, 6-0 at No. 5. Edwards also continued her success as she earned a 6-0, 6-1 victory at No. 3.

At No. 1, Christensen cruised to a 6-0, 6-0 victory to collect her ninth win of the season. Right behind Christensen, Becker also finished with a strong 6-0, 6-0 win at No. 2. Flournoy then picked up a 6-0, 6-1 victory at No. 4. To wrap up the day, Ivenitsky claimed another 6-0, 6-0 win for VC against Muhlenberg’s Shelby Knafo.

The next day, the Brewers hit the road to travel to West Point, NY for another string of matches. Unfortunately, the Brewers were bested by Army and were unable to claim any wins on the day.

Nevertheless, Vassar held strong against their opponents. At No. 6, Ivenitsky forced her match to a super-tiebreaker against Stella Fedele. Christensen also fought hard against Army as she took a 3-2 lead in the first set to later fall 4-6, 5-7.

Unfortunately, doubles play did not end any better for Vassar, and Army was able to claim the shoutout.

The Brewers will look to turn things around for their first conference match of 2017 against Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute on Saturday, Feb. 25.

Men’s Basketball
On Friday, Feb. 17, the Brewers faced a tough 53- 73 loss against the RPI Engineers during their last game of the season.

As sophomore captain Alex Seff scored the game’s first layup, Vassar earned its lone advantage of the night. Less than a minute later RPI reciprocated with a basket and later ran away with the game.

Vassar was bested due to turnovers and shot differential, as the squad tallied 14 turnovers and scored 37.3 percent for field goals and 25.9 percent for three-pointers in comparison to RPI’s 45.3 and 40.9 respective shot percentages.

Nevertheless, multiple Brewers contributed to the team’s efforts on the night. Seff lead the team with 12 points, while freshman Hunter Gettings tallied eight and junior captain Jesse Browne and junior Tony Caletti each added five points.

In terms of rebounds, Murray tallied a gamebest 10 rebounds, followed by Caletti with five and sophomores Steve Palecki and Chris Gallivan with three apiece. Browne led the squads in assists with five, followed by Murray (4), Caletti (1), Gallivan (1) and freshman Kyle Kappes (1).

In terms of efficiency, standout performers of the night were Gettings and senior Elijah Winston. While on the court for 11 minutes, Gettings scored three impressive three-pointers and shot a perfect two from the foul line. Meanwhile, Winston played for five minutes and scored a bucket in addition to grabbing an offensive rebound.

With these results, Vassar and RPI both finished their seasons. Although they finished victorious, the Engineers are seated at No. 5, just out of reach for the playoffs.

As the season comes to a close, the team will say goodbye to a very influential trio: Mickey Adams, Ryan Huegel and Winston. During their tenures, Adams tallied 323 total points, while Winston contributed 12 and Huegel added 47 total points.

Despite graduating their seniors, the Brewers will look forward to a strong season starting in October 2017.

Women’s Basketball
Despite having a successful season, the women’s basketball team ended on an unfortunate note falling to RPI 64-62 due to a last minute buzzer-beater from the Engineers. This upset ended the Brewers season, as they needed to top the RPI in hopes to reach postseason play.

This battle saw 13 lead changes and 12 ties during the 40 minutes of play. The final tie came with only four seconds on the clock as sophomore Nicole Teta scored an unbelievable three-point shot. However, RPI’s Sam Krumbhaar answered with a layup with one second on the clock, securing the win for the Liberty League foes.

Against RPI, Teta matched her career-high 23 points while also contributing three steals, a block, two assists and four rebounds. Behind Teta, junior captain Samarah Cook and freshman Sophie Nick tabbed nine points each.

Continuing the freshmen success, freshmen Isa Peczuh and Jackie Cenan added six points apiece. VC’s scoring efforts were rounded out by junior captain Ariella Rosenthal (5) and sophomore Sabrina Ulsh (4).

The entire match-up was a nail-biter, as each of the four quarters ended with very close scores. Teta initiated the day’s buckets as she sunk a three-pointer just 16 seconds into the contest. With this momentum, the Brewers were able to keep the lead for the first quarter, with the Engineers close behind 17-16.

However, RPI fought back in the remaining three quarters and forced the game to a more back-and-forth chase. While Vassar shot 35.3 percent for field goals, 36.8 percent for three-pointers and 100 percent from the line, RPI executed on 44.4 percent, 11.1 percent and 63.6 percent respectively.

Despite the Brewers’ higher conversion rates, the Engineers put up a fight and took a critical 62- 59 lead with less than a minute left of play. After a strategic time-out, Cook handed the ball off to Teta, who drained the three-pointer with ease. The game was tied for a final time at 62 apiece. Then, with one second left, RPI earned two more points to push VC out of playoffs.

While the team hoped for a more positive end to their strong 12-13 season, the senior-less team will return its full squad next fall for even more success.

Freshman Graeme Mills celebrates after win against Haverford College. Graeme recently
earned impressive wins against opponents of No. 2 Columbia University on Wednesday, Feb. 15. / Photo courtesy of Carlisle Stockton

Men’s Fencing
This past weekend, the Brewers traveled to New York City to face New York University and nationally-ranked Columbia University.

VC first faced the hosting NYU Violets and were topped 6-21. The epee squad racked up multiple wins to put Vassar on the scoreboards and even earn the 5-4 squad win. Junior Daniel Swerzenski led the epee team’s efforts as he defeated both NYU’s Alexandre Czepeaux (5-4) and Blake Xia (5- 3). Shortly after, juniors George Whiteside and Jonathan Alperstein each claimed 5-2 victories as well.

Vassar’s foil team faltered a bit against the NYU Violets as the only member to earn a win was freshman Jack Holmes, who earned a 5-4 win over NYU’s Eric Zobel.

Less than an hour later, Vassar faced No. 2 Columbia and was unable to capture the win, falling 10-17 against the Lions. Nonetheless, the epee squad earned another group victory, sabre scooped up three bout wins and foil collected two bout wins as well.

To earn the epee win, Whiteside and Alperstein finished with two victories and senior Jackson Damman collected a 5-3 win over Columbia’s Jarett Poliner.

In sabre, freshman Graeme Mills also collected a pair of wins for VC as junior Eli Polston tallied a win himself. The freshmen class continued the success as sabre Aaron Choi defeated Albert Zhang 5-4 and Noe Berger clinched a strong 5-1 win over Columbia’s Mack Berghouse.

After this challenging weekend, the Brewers will have some much deserved time off before competing in the New England Intercollegiate Fencing Conference Championships on Mar. 4 at the University of Vermont.

Men’s Squash
In its season close, the Vassar men’s squash squad faced some difficulty at the CSA Championships against Duke University, Boston University and Lehigh University. The competition-filled weekend took place in Cambridge, MA and lasted from Friday, Feb. 17 to Sunday, Feb. 19.

On Friday, the Brewers were knocked off by the Duke Blue Devils 2-7. Despite the result, junior Alex Riccio and sophomore Isaac Stuart emerged victorious. At No. 7, Riccio topped Duke’s Sam Kahane 5-11, 11-7, 13-15, 11-6, 11-2. Meanwhile at No. 9, Stuart earned the win in five sets 5-11, 11-7, 13-15, 11-6, 11-2.

Tough competition prevailed during day two of the championships as BU defeated Vassar 1-8. Freshman Viraj Nadkarni clinched the sole win for the Burgundy and Gray. Nadkarni battled against BU’s Parker Tonissi and eventually earned the fiveset victory 11-7, 11-8, 8-11, 5-11, 11-8.

Then on the last day of the season, Vassar was outplayed by the Lehigh Mountain Hawks 2-7. Nevertheless, the team smiles upon multiple accomplishments of both the weekend and the season.

Wearing his VC uniform for the very last time, senior Vincent Mencotti earned his final win at No. 1 against Lehigh’s Gordon Newell in three sets 11-2, 11-6, 11-5. Meanwhile, Nadkarni claimed another victory of the weekend at No. 2 with scores of 13-11, 15-13, 11-2.

With these results, Mencotti closed the season with a team-high 12 wins, holding a 12-7 record as Nadkarni held the second highest amount of wins with a 8-10 record.

Right behind Nadkarni, sophomore Caden Gruber and Riccio wrapped up the season with seven victories each, while senior Richard Bryenton, senior Lucas Fifer and Stuart claimed five wins apiece.

As the team wraps up the season, Vassar will wave goodbye to its memorable seniors: Samuel Hammer, Bryenton, Fifer and Mencotti. The rest of the squad will have the rest of the year off and will resume play in the fall.

Women’s Fencing
On Sunday, Feb. 19, VC hosted the Eastern Women’s Fencing Conference (EWFC) Dual Meet Championships. The team finished in fourth place out of eight teams: defeating Haverford College (18-9), City College of New York University (23-4), Yeshiva University (26-1) and Hunter College (23- 4), while losing to Drew University (13-14), Stevens Institute of Technology (11-16) and Johns Hopkins University (12-15).

While the team collectively secured fourth place, individual fencers earned impressive accolades as well. Six Brewers were named EWFC AllStar Honors, including four First Team titles and two for Second Team.

Senior foilist Elsa Stoff, sophomore foilist Sophie Blumenstock, senior epee Olivia Weiss and junior sabre Annie Innes-Gold were all named First Team All-Stars after strong performances in the championships. Meanwhile, sophomore foilist Mirit Rutishauser and sophomore epee Rose Hulsey-Vincent were given Second Team All-Star Honors.

The day consisted of both Dual Meet and Individual Tournaments, made up of elimination rounds in each of the three weapons. Multiple Brewers earned individual victories and survived several elimination rounds.

Stoff, Rutishauser and Blumenstock of the foil team held spots in the elimination bracket, and Stoff and Blumenstock even earned spots in the quarterfinal rounds. Stoff surpassed two rounds of competition before falling in a very close 15-14 loss to Stevens’ Allison Urban-Spillane. In a similar manner, Blumenstock reached the round of four to eventually fall to later-crowned champion Steven’s Abigail Kaye.

Weiss also made it to the semifinal round in epee as she topped Yeshiva’s Jamie Baum 15-4 and CCNY’s Judine Watkis. However, Weiss fell at the hands of another Steven’s fencer, Amanda Choy. Also in epee, Hulsey-Vincent survived the first round with a 15-8 victory.

Innes-Gold had the strongest finish of the championships, lasting until the sabre finals. To reach the finals, Innes-Gold collected a 15-7 win in the first round, a 15-11 victory in the second and a 15-13 win in the semifinals. Despite her greatest efforts, Innes-Gold was unfortunately bested 12-15 in the finals against Johns Hopkins’ Erin Chen.

To earn their honors, Stoff finished with a 19-2 record, Blumenstock claimed a 17-4 finish and Rutishauser was 14-7. In epee, Weiss collected a weapon-high touch count with 91 and secured a 15-4 record. Hulsey-Vincent also finished with a 15-4 record. Innes-Gold finished above all sabre competitors in the championships in terms of touches and victories as she finished with 94 touches and 19 wins.

From one championship to another, VC will next compete in the NEIFC Championships on Saturday, Mar. 4

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