Bittersweet endings: spring sports celebrate Senior Days

Men’s tennis seniors Juan Felipe Laso, Alexander Luckmann and Nick Litsky pose for the camera. Competing on the Josselyn Tennis Courts for their very last time, all three found success. / Courtesy of Carlisle Stockton

Women’s Golf

This past weekend, the Vassar women’s golf team wrapped up its season in the Liberty League Championships. Vassar (662) finished in fourth place, falling behind NYU (605), Mount Holyoke (648) and Wellesley (660) while defeating St. Lawrence (689), Union (719) and William Smith (762).

First-year Andrea Han shined once more, as she finished tied for fourth overall with a score of 156, shooting 78 on both days of competition.

Fellow first-year Qiwan Tan and senior Emily Prince also posted strong performances during the championships. Both Tan and Prince totaled a score of 85 at the end of day one, tied for 15th place.

Prince improved her performance on Sunday by four strokes, totaling a score of 166, tying for 12th place. Meanwhile, junior Annie Hsu improved her play by eight strokes to score a 168 and to finish tied for 15th place.

Tan shot a total of 173 to tie for 18th place, while First-year Evon Shay finished in 31st place with a total of 186.

As a collective unit, Vassar performed well on par 3 holes, averaging an impressive 3.43, the second best throughout the championships. VC also collectively shot 80 pars and three birdies.

After the team’s successful season, VC will return to the golf course in the fall of 2017.


After the team’s impressive sweep of Union College, Vassar faced Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in four games over Saturday, April 22, and Sunday, April 23. The Brewers earned 8-6 and 5-2 wins on Saturday, but later fell 0-11 and 1-10 on Sunday.

During Saturday’s first game, Vassar took a 1-0 lead in the third inning thanks to senior Denis Shanagher, who sent first-year Connor Levchuck home. However, RPI answered back and led 4-1 after the fourth inning.

Nevertheless, Vassar answered with seven runs in the fifth inning to take the lead and eventually the game. First-year Evan Trausch started the efforts with a walk, earning a run from junior Matt Hernandez. Fellow first-year Daniel Bonfiglio then singled to bring home both Shanagher and junior Bobby Kinne.

Vassar’s fifth run was due to an RPI error, as sophomore Jake Doyle helped Trausch home after being hit by a pitch. Next up, although sophomore Matt Schwartz grounded out to the pitcher, he earned an RBI with a run from Bonfiglio. Hernandez then rounded out the scoring efforts with a single, bringing home sophomore Taylor Smach.

With the win awarded to senior pitcher Adam Erkis, the Brewers headed into the second game of the doubleheader.

First-year Jake Silver then took the mound to earn the 5-2 win. Fellow First-year Matt Martino earned the first run of the game with a walk, sending Hernandez home. After RPI tied it up, Martino lifted Vassar to a lead once more with a single and a run from Shanagher.

First-year Erik Rubin continued the freshmen prowess as he earned an RBI with a run from Trausch. Smach followed suit, hitting a single and bringing Martino home. Lastly, Hernandez singled to earn the final run of the game from Martino.

After this win, VC traveled home to host the second doubleheader of the weekend against RPI. Unfortunately, the success did not continue through the weekend and the Brewers lost the next two games. The sole run on Sunday came at the hands of Trausch, who singled to bring home Shanagher.

With this split against RPI, the Brewers will head into Senior Day and another set of doubleheaders against Bard College on Saturday, April 29 and Sunday, April 30.

Men’s Lacrosse

The Brewers faced a tough loss against No. 4 Rochester Institute of Technology on Saturday, April 22. After RIT scored the first seven goals of the contest, VC was unable to keep up and eventually fell 8-21.

Frequent Liberty League honoree senior Liam Moriarty ended RIT’s scoring streak with an unassisted goal with 3:40 left in the first quarter. Moriarty then notched two more goals to complete his hat-trick before halftime.

First-year Michael Mullen added one more goal for the Brewers, with an assist from senior Chris Billups, to send both teams into the break with a score of 4-15.

In the third quarter, Billups then scored a goal of his own with an assist from sophomore Dekker Stebel. The seniors kept things rolling as Sam Houston-Read tallied a goal with an assist from Mullen, and Billups tacked on another, assisted by Brandon DeStasio, with 1:20 left in the third quarter. Houston-Read would score the last goal for the Brewers as he reached the back of the net with 3:44 left in the contest.

Despite the result, other Brewers had notable performances on the day. First-year Matt Lowrey won 15 of the 23 faceoffs, while senior Brandon Klein collected four ground balls and fellow senior Steven Mages caused four turnovers. In goal, first-year Matt Boyd contributed 10 saves, while junior Erik Mikelinich tallied four.

The squad hopes to return its Liberty League record to .500 as VC takes on Bard College away on Wednesday, April 26.

Women’s Tennis

Unfortunately, the No. 40 Vassar women’s tennis team was unable to upset No. 20 Skidmore College this past weekend. Despite valiant efforts, the squad eventually fell 2-7 to the Thoroughbreds.

The day was highlighted by a very impressive win from No. 1 doubles pair senior Shayna Becker and First-year Tara Edwards. The duo earned a 8-6 victory over Skidmore’s Michelle Fuca and Madie Ben, who are ranked No. 7 in the Northeast Region.

Then at No. 3 doubles, senior Connie Yoo and junior Dasha Ivenitsky earned another victory for VC as they topped their competition 9-7. Unfortunately, this would be the final victory for the Burgundy and Gray for the day. At No. 2 doubles, junior Kate Christensen and sophomore Morgane Flournoy were unable to complete the doubles sweep and fell 3-8.

In singles, although VC was unable to earn any wins, the squad fought hard. With scores of 7-5, 6-3, Skidmore topped both Christensen at No. 1 and Edwards at No. 3. Then at No. 4, Skidmore topped Flournoy 6-1, 6-0, while also defeating Ivenitsky at No. 6 with scores of 6-3, 6-0.

At No. 2 and No. 5, Becker and Yoo did not go out without a fight and sent both of their matches to three sets. Becker won the first set with a 7-6 (3) tiebreak victory, but later fell 1-6, 2-6 in the remaining two sets. Yoo, at No. 5, also earned a victory in the first set with scores of 7-5, before being topped 4-6, 1-6 in the remainder of the match.

The Brewers will next celebrate Yoo and Becker for their Senior Day against Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) on Saturday, April 29.

Men’s Tennis

On Sunday, the Brewers were full of smiles as they honored their three seniors and defeated St. Lawrence 7-2 to solidify a spot in the Liberty League playoffs.

Senior Nick Litsky and sophomore Nick Zuczek opened the day with a win as the duo surpassed their competition 8-4 at No. 3 doubles. However, VC fell at both No. 1 and 2 singles as first-year Allen Sokolov and senior Juan Felipe Laso fell 5-8, and first-year Jeremy Auh and senior Alexander Luckmann were topped 7-9. After falling into a quick 1-2 deficit in doubles, the Brewers bounced back to earn the next six points and clinch the victory.

In his last match at home, Laso swept his competition at No. 3 singles with a 6-0, 6-0 victory. This singles win marked the 13th of the season for Laso. Next up, first-year Zamir Birnbach lifted Vassar ahead with a 6-1, 6-0 victory at No. 6 singles.

Playing on the Josselyn courts for the last time, Litsky earned yet another win at No. 1 singles with scores of 6-0, 6-3. With this win, Litsky leads the team in victories with 17.

Sokolov would seal the win for the Brewers as he earned Vassar’s fifth point, defeating his opponent 6-2, 6-1 at No. 2. At No. 4, Auh then clinched a 6-1, 6-4 victory over the Saints.

In the last match of the day, Luckmann took to the Vassar courts one last time. After falling 1-6 in the first set, Luckmann recovered to earn the victory win a super-tiebreaker with scores of 6-5, 12-10. All three seniors wrapped up their collegiate home court play with victories.

With this impressive feat, Vassar has earned a spot in the Liberty League playoffs in early May. However, for now, the Brewers will focus on their last regular season match against Hobart College on Saturday, April 29, in Geneva, NY.

Men’s Rowing

This past weekend, the Brewers traveled to both Albany and West Point to compete in numerous races and earn multiple wins.

To start the day on Saturday, Vassar boarded two boats to race in the Varsity 4+ event. VC took home third and fifth place with respective times of 6:25 and 6:34. Up next, the Novice 4+ clocked in at 7:32 to claim second place, being edged out by Skidmore but surpassing RPI by 20 seconds.

Lastly, the Varsity 8+ nabbed a third place finish with a time of 6:36. Skidmore won the event, finishing just six seconds before the Brewers.

Vassar then traveled to West Point to race in the President’s Cup to take on Division I opponents Marist College and Fairfield University in addition to conference foe RIT and event host West Point.

To start the day, Vassar claimed second place thanks to the 4+ crew headed by junior Coxswain Janet Ortiz. With a time of 6:28, Vassar clocked in before two Division I Marist boats and only a mere second behind Army.

Soon following, the Novice 4+ finished the course in 6:12 to earn fourth place in ront of a Fairfield crew. Finally, the Varsity 8+ nabbed fifth place with a time of 7:05.

The Brewers now look towards the Spring Metropolitan Championships held on Saturday, April 29.

Women’s Rowing

This past weekend was a busy one for the women’s rowing team as the squad faced the University of Albany, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and Skidmore College on April 22 before competing in the President’s Cup at West Point.

On Saturday, the women’s 3V 8+ was up first. The squad earned the victory as they finished the 2000m course in 6:49.80, edging out Albany (6:54.30) and RPI (6:54.80). The Varsity 8+ continued the success of the Burgundy and Gray as the team earned an impressive 16-second victory, clocking in at 6:53.70.

Vassar then claimed yet another win at the hands of the 2nd Varsity 8+. The crew surpassed both Skidmore and Albany by at least five seconds with a final time of 7:47.9.

For the last race of the day, the Varsity 4+ hopped in the Hudson River. VC earned third place in the event with a time of 8:08, defeating Albany.

On Sunday, the Brewers then traveled to West Point to compete in the President’s Cup, taking on Army and Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT).

Vassar’s captains, senior Lianne May and sophomore Julia Blass, raced first in the women’s pair. The duo had a strong performance and finished in second place. Up next, the 3V 8+ earned fourth place with a time of 7:22, being edged out by RIT by a mere four seconds. VC then went on to claim two more third-place finishes, one from the Varsity 8+ and the 2V 8+.

The Vassar squad will return to the water on Saturday, April 29, for the Spring Metropolitan Championships in New Rochelle, NY.

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