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Swat Athletics puts together another strong year

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If it wasn’t obvious already, many of the varsity teams on campus played exceptionally well across the board, making for an overall strong year for athletics. The athletics program as a whole seems to have improved dramatically over the last two to three years, with some teams displaying historic performances.  Most of Swat’s historically strong teams were able to repeat their dominance in the Centennial Conference, while other up-and-coming teams have started to draw serious attention.

After the baseball team finished 6-11-1 in the Centennial Conference just two years ago, they more than doubled their conference win total this year, going 15-3 –– good enough for first place in the Conference. Currently at 29 wins with the Conference tournament still to be played, the team shattered the highest single-season win record of 27 games set in 1985. Outfielder Charlie Levitt ’19 set the college’s single-season home run record and currently leads the conference with eight. Designated Hitter Jackson Roberts ’19 is slugging .643, which would put him seventh all-time in the school’s record books. First Baseman Cole Beeker’s 54 runs batted in blow away the school record of 46. Outfielder Jared Gillen’s 14 doubles put him at second all-time. Pitcher Jack Corkery ’20 has earned seven saves, also good enough to tie the school record. For the second time in school history, the baseball team will appear in the Centennial Conference tournament and will host the tournament for the first time.

The softball team also made a notable jump in performance this year, winning seven games in conference, their highest total since 2010. Several members of the team put up video-game numbers on the season. Infielders Emilie Morse ’20 and Marit Vike ’19 batted .413 and .411, both of which will be placed  top ten in the record books for average in a single season. Catcher Kennedy Kings ’20 wasn’t far behind, hitting .381 and blasting a homer. Vike’s 29 runs and 45 hits will also place her in the top 10 in Swarthmore’s record books. The pitching staff were also outstanding in the circle this year, managing a 2.46 team earned run average. Emily Bowman ’18 posted a 2.20 ERA on the season, also good enough to sneak into the top 10 in school history.

The men’s basketball team put together another historic run this season, coming in first place in the conference after going 15-3. Kosmalski’s Kids went deep into the N.C.A.A. Tournament, falling to Springfield College in the Elite 8. They finished the season as the 14th ranked team in the country. Guard Cam Wiley’s 488 points this season put him at sixth in the record books for the most points in a single season. Wiley earned first-team All-Conference this season. However, that doesn’t bother him too much, as he already owns the top spot after scoring 537 last year. Guard Zack Yonda ’18 ends his career with 1,522 points, good for fifth all-time. Yonda also made second-team All-Conference. Forward Robbie Walsh ’18 made 187 blocks, good for second all-time, barely missing the first place mark of 193. Forward Zac O’Dell ’20 received Honorable Mention.

As usual, women’s soccer reminded the rest of the teams who runs the Centennial Conference. After going 15-4-2 overall and 7-2-1 in conference play, the Garnet triumphed over Haverford and Johns Hopkins in the Centennial tournament, and went home champions. Marin McCoy ’19 was unstoppable, leading the Conference in goals, assists, points, and shots. With still an entire season left to play, McCoy holds the record for most points, goals, and assists in a career in school history. McCoy, along with Katie Dougherty ’18 and Yasmeen Namazie ’19, also took home first-team All-Conference awards. Redshirt senior Hannah Lichtenstein won second-team All-Conference, and Lizzie King ’21 took home Honorable Mention. To top it off, McCoy also took home conference Player of the Year. The Garnet finished the season ranked No. 21 nationwide.

After showcasing what may have been the greatest feat in Swarthmore Athletics last year, the men’s swim team continued their success in conference play. After finishing second in the conference, the squad put six members on All-Conference teams, including fourth-year Alejandro Hernandez, third-years Michael Lutzker, Chris Smith, Jeffrey Tse, and Charles Yang, and lastly first-year Alec Menzer, who also took home Rookie of the Year. Lutzker and Menzer went on to compete at Nationals. Collegeswimming.com put the Garnet as the 25th ranked team in the country.

The women’s swim team also finished in second in the conference. They have continued to improve year in and year out. Just two years ago, the team went 3-4 in conference and finished at a modest fifth place in the Conference championship. They are definitely a team that could break out next season. With a small senior class, the squad will surely be returning a lot of key members. The women’s squad put five members onto All-Conference teams, including fourth-year Maggie Eberts, third-year Scout Clark, second-year Clare Cushing, and first-years Hannah Kloetzer and Sophia Lee. Kloetzer qualified for the NCAA Nationals for three different swims, with her best finishing coming at 26th in the country in the 1,650 free. Collegeswimming.com had the women’s squad at 36th overall in the country.

The men’s tennis team is continuing their tradition of excellence this season. The team just finished up the Conference season at 8-1 and are currently ranked 16th in the country. The team have done an excellent job of competing against other ranked opponents this season. The squad have earned victories against Washington and Lee, Whitman, Sewanee, and Mary Washington, all of which are top 35 in the country. The dynamic duo of Mark Fallati ’18 and Josh Powell ’18 continue to give teams a hard time. The doubles team are regionally ranked third, and lead the conference with 14 wins. By himself, Fallati is also leading the conference in wins and is ranked 6th regionally. They play Haverford in the Conference tournament this week.

Women’s tennis has been equally strong in conference this season. Their 9-1 effort is good enough for second in the conference. They also play Haverford in the Conference tournament this week. Although the team have just barely fallen off the national rankings, they sit at an impressive eigth regionally.  During spring break, the team earned a win against the 31st ranked team in the country Millsaps College. The women’s team also have a strong doubles team in Emma Kassan ’20 and Anna Scheibmeir ’18, who are 11-7 overall and 8-0 in conference.

Women’s Volleyball went 8-2 in conference and lost the championship game to Johns Hopkins. However, the season was nowhere near over for them. After qualifying for the N.C.A.A. Tournament, the team went on to win their first three games, beating No. 10 Carnegie Mellon, then getting their sweet revenge against No. 12 Johns Hopkins in the Sweet 16. The Garnet finished in the Elite 8, falling to #3 Wittenberg. The Garnet were ranked 18th in the country, but they clearly outperformed that ranking the tournament and made their case for the strongest team on campus.

It’s exciting to see so many teams on campus improve so quickly, and even more exciting that many team are now in the hunt for a conference champions. Having our teams not only perform well in conference, but also get recognition on a national level is something worth taking pride in. While some teams have simply continued their strong performances, many other teams are on the edge of becoming a serious threat. Hopefully, with the overall rise in performance in athletics, a National Championship in at least one sport is on its way soon.

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