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Volleyball players aim high by taking a knee

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At the women’s volleyball home game on Sept. 30 against Widener, most of the team knelt during the national anthem. Those who didn’t kneel held hands with their teammates in an expression of solidarity. Spectators were mostly activists and supporters; many of them were dressed in black and knelt in solidarity.

After the national anthem ended, the group returned to the stands, and president of the Swarthmore African-American Student Society Annie Slappy ’20 spoke words of encouragement.

Slappy, who helped organize the spectators through a Facebook event, said that the players who knelt reached out to SASS for support.

“We couldn’t put it all on our players,” she said. “Any time anybody asks me to come to something like that, I’m going to do it.”

Prior to the team’s home game on Sept. 27 against Franklin and Marshall, the two players who started the protest, Emma Morgan-Bennett ’20 and Lelosa Aimufua ’20, released a statement outlining why they believed it was necessary to take a knee. In the statement, they discussed how Trump’s incendiary comments about NFL players taking a knee feed into persistent racism in the United States and addressed questions of patriotism and peaceful protest.

Aimufua believes that the protest was a way to display her own political positions.

“Being a black woman is something that I think about in every aspect of my life … and so I want to say that the motivation behind this type of protest would be that feeling like my voice has constantly been silenced by American society,” Aimufa said.

Morgan-Bennett outlined four reasons why she decided to take a knee: to support Colin Kaepernick’s original protest against the harm of police brutality on minorities; to condemn Donald Trump’s attacks on athletes of color; to make a gesture that she has faith in the country but wishes for people to recognize the differences of protection for people of color and affluent white male citizens; and finally, to promote solidarity and respect for veterans as she herself comes from a military family.

Both Aimufua and Morgan-Bennett commented that, in addition to wanting to support Kaepernick and denounce Trump, they wanted to start a discussion of the intersection between race and sports, especially at the college level. According to Aimufua, they spent a lot of time considering their statement and met with their teammates, coaches, and the assistant director of athletics.

Morgan-Bennett noted that these meetings contributed to what she views as one of the successes of this protest.

“We began a dialogue and opened a conversation about race, about activism, about the relationships between sports and black bodies on the court and on the field. Our entire team had a very meaningful and introspective conversation about race and racial politics within our sport, within our team and what we want to do with this,” Morgan-Bennett said.

She also hopes that taking a knee could potentially spread to other colleges in the area, sparking a conference-wide protest.

Head Women’s Volleyball coach Harleigh Chwastyk explained that the team has been addressing this issue for over a year by having discussions on diversity and identity in classroom sessions, small groups, and one-on-one conversations. According to Chwastyk, the team also discussed each player’s opinions about Morgan-Bennett and Aimufua’s statement and the choice to kneel or stand for the national anthem.

“We talked about how we felt about it, individual choices, where people stood, where their opinions were in that moment and what they were planning on doing [during the national anthem], and how we could also show solidarity as a team,” Chwastyk said.

Outside of the team, the spectators who took a knee believe that it generated a conversation on campus about racial injustice.

“It’s a good way to call attention to injustices that have been occurring in the world,” said Lali Pizarro ’20, a spectator who participated in the protests. “I do think that it was powerful and it got people on this campus talking.”

Aimufua sees the protest as a success in part because it allowed for people to think about larger issues facing the country.

“What I wanted from the protest was for people to actually reflect on the status of the country and how … to make this country great, because I don’t think it’s great right now, and I think we can do so much better,” Aimufua said.

When asked why they decided to kneel specifically at Swarthmore, Morgan-Bennett said that regardless of the school they attended, they would have made the same choice because they felt compelled to follow their personal morals as black athletes.

“We are people who occupy both spaces on the court and also our own identities as black women … it’s not about an ideal place to protest,” Morgan-Bennett said.

Aimufua agreed with her teammate.

“We live here … it’s an important part of our lives … and our activism is also another important part of our lives,” she said.

Their activism is now closely tied to the fierce national debate about patriotism and first amendment rights in relation to sports.

The debate has gotten more attention lately since late September when, at a rally in Alabama, Donald Trump made a series of inflammatory comments regarding Colin Kaepernick’s taking a knee during the national anthem to protest police brutality. After the rally and following Trump’s tweets, the “Take a Knee” protest spread, including more players kneeling, linking arms, or raising fists during the pre-game national anthem.

Referring to these events and an op-ed published by the Daily Gazette this past Thursday, Slappy said that often, people will tell black protesters that they are “ineffectual” or not “protesting in the right way.”

“[It’s a sentiment] that further reinforces the [idea] that black people are only here for sports, and I feel like black people already feel that enough,” Slappy said.

She also commented that society judges black people almost exclusively by how hard they work and their physical characteristics, which is reflected in how black athletes are expected to perform but not have a political voice.

“It’s time for us to understand that black bodies are fetishized, especially in sports. Because the fact that all of these things are happening in the world and football fans don’t feel responsible for it is a problem, especially since there is so much money and influence in athletics,” Slappy said.

Aimufua offered a way to understand her and her teammates’ gesture through established practices in organized sports.

“What kneeling for the anthem means is that in sports, if someone gets injured on the field, you take a knee, regardless if the person is on your team or the opposing team. Taking a knee is a sign of respect and acknowledgement that someone is hurt, and someone is down, and they need you to care, and take a breath, and reflect,” Aimufua said.

Aimufua and Morgan-Bennett’s full statement can be found on page A4 of this issue of the Phoenix, as well online in the Opinions section.

 

 

**This article has been edited to reflect that Morgan-Bennett and Aimufa’s statement is also available online.

Swat Volleyball Takes China by Storm

in Fall/Season/Sports/Uncategorized/Women by

While most Swarthmore students were enjoying their last few weeks of summer, the Swarthmore Women’s Volleyball Team headed to China in search of some challenging competition to prepare them for the fall season. Along the way, they tried new foods, found a local karaoke spot, and climbed the Great Wall of China. With fourteen days and four cities to navigate through, Swat Volleyball was kept busy with practices, games, and sightseeing.

Getting to China was the hardest part for the team. The team missed a connecting flight and were forced to spend the night in Texas, Swat Volleyball finally arrived in China on Aug. 6th in high spirits. Upon arrival, they took to the court, playing against challenging club teams from Beijing, Nanjing, and Suzhou. Olivia Leventhal ’18 shared her thoughts on the differences between the styles of play in the States and in China.

“The Chinese teams were not as different as I had expected. They utilized a lot of the same strategies that teams in our conference do. They did, however, have a designated “shrieker” who screamed every time we served the ball to try to mess us up, which isn’t really that common in the Centennial Conference.”

Although most of the trip was spent playing volleyball, there was plenty of time for the team to explore China. Sarah Girard 19 gave her take on the team’s experience off the court.

We took sightseeing to a new level. We visited the Great Wall, the Temple of Heaven, and the Forbidden City, as well as some other places like a Buddhist temple and the Nanjing Massacre Museum that allowed us to really see a different side of China besides what the tourist locations were showing us,” said Girard.

The team spent two weeks travelling through Shanghai, Suzhou, Nanjing, and Beijing, which proved to be an exhausting endeavor. Elise Cummings ‘19, who swears she is still jet lagged three weeks later, felt that the two weeks in China prepared her and the team for the upcoming season.

“Competing against challenging Chinese teams prepared us physically for our season, but more importantly, our shared experiences in China and the great appreciation for volleyball we developed overseas will prove to be a valuable experience that will help us succeed together this season,” said Cummings.

With this trip to China under their belt along with two consecutive ECAC Championships, the Garnet are poised for another strong season. With 15 players returning and two incoming freshmen, Swat Volleyball intend to build off of their past success for an even more successful upcoming season.

The team’s next game is this Thursday at Stockton University, where the Garnet hope to get a win before conference play begins. Conference play begins this Saturday, September 16th at 1pm against Dickinson.

Pressures, academic or others, no big deal for athletic titans

in Columns/Sports by

After visiting or reading about Swarthmore, some prospective students might feel that they have learned two pieces of information about Swarthmore College. First, this school is a pressure cooker. Second, this school is full of kids who are so smart they couldn’t possibly be athletic. I believe that because our top-tier Women’s Volleyball  and Soccer teams each carry All-American athletes, you can be smart and athletic at Swarthmore. However, it’s false to say that Swarthmore doesn’t have any impressive athletes, but because Swarthmore is a place with plenty of pressure to succeed, they might find it hard to meet expectations. Now, imagine that you go to Swarthmore and your team makes the playoffs. How do you handle the added pressure?

    This year, Swarthmore is sending two fall sport teams to playoffs. The Women’s Volleyball team ended their conference season with an 8-2 record, placing second in the Centennial Conference heading into playoffs. Women’s Soccer is following closely behind, ending conference play with a 7-2 record, setting them up as the third seed in conference playoffs. Both teams are in the midst of impressive runs, with players from each team ranking with high individual stats in the conference and many players earning Player of the Week commendations. Currently, Marin McCoy ’19 has the second most points for Women’s Soccer players in the conference, and Sarah Wallace ’18 has the sixth most kills out of players in the conference. These girls are worthy opponents by anyone’s standards.

    They may be physically talented enough, but can they handle the playoff pressure?

    According to several players, the added pressure is undeniable, but certainly not crippling.  Different players feel the weight of the game in distinct ways.

    “The only time I feel the pressure of a big match is in the days leading up to it. Once I actually start playing, I get so invested in the immediate action that I don’t worry about the pressure involved, and just focus on myself and my teammates,” said Sarah Girard ‘19, the libero for the Women’s Volleyball team.

     McCoy ’19, starting forward for the Women’s Soccer team, looks at pressure from a different perspective.

    “All forwards feel a pressure to score a goal in an important game, and when we give up a good scoring opportunity, we are especially hard on ourselves,” said McCoy. Both athletes recognize the pressure, but its timing and weight plays in differently for them. Although both are key players for their teams, McCoy and Girard differ in how they handle stress. While their personalities are likely explanatory factors, it is probable that the type of sport they play contributes as well. Volleyball is a high-scoring and fast-paced game compared to soccer, where it is possible that no one scores in an entire game. This divergence can lead to a varying amount of pressure placed one individual’s mess up or scoring opportunity.

    While these sports may have stark formatting differences, they have one vital similarity. They are team sports. Although one player’s performance can make a difference, in both sports, there is always a teammate there to help pick you up when you’re down. McCoy knows exactly what the word teammate means.

    “When I think about this being the last opportunity that our seniors play college soccer, I am the most motivated. I know how much they have put into this team, and I put more effort in the game when I think about how important it is to them.”

    Only a sophomore herself, McCoy lays it all out on the line as if it was her last chance because she knows that for some of her teammates, it is. Girard also weighs in on the significance of the team as a motivator, commenting,

    “I have to play for my teammates, so that I can win with my teammates.”

This team dynamic drives Swat Volleyball, with Wallace agreeing that they have a very strong team focus.  She explained that they, “Always stand in a huddle in the middle of the court, and tell each other to play hard and to play for each other.” Doing well for their team challenges these players to conquer the pressure and work hard for themselves but, more importantly, for the team.

    Unfortunately, for these athletes, their seasons and the extra pushes of playoffs do not mean they get to skip out on their work for classes. Despite the extra work, Girard and Wallace both recognize their ability to separate school from volleyball, avoiding thoughts of work during practices or games and use their sport as a break from the busy world of Swat. For McCoy, the stress and constant flow of schoolwork is actually an advantage.

    “If I did not have as much school work, I would spend a lot more time analyzing rankings, film, and soccer in general,” she said, adding, “The way that academic experiences at Swat challenge us to push through help me maintain my determination and motivation not to give up and to continue working hard in soccer.”

Just as all students here feel the strain to do well in their classes, these athletes feel the pressure to perform well in their games. As our two teams head off to playoffs, we can support them knowing they will go all out on the court or the field despite the pressure. Wallace said, “It’s a great thing to feel pressure, because that means you want to win.”

Each player conquers the stress of both their athletic and academic worlds in different ways, but we know that each player will put their best foot forward to win. They sometimes use academics as a distraction from sports, or they use practices and games as a break from their rigorous workload. Though it may be tough, these athletes will always persevere through the pressure for their teammates; after all, they are Swatties, and Swatties know stress best.

President Val Smith and the importance of Swat athletics

in Columns/Sports by

Recently, my friend and ex-baseball teammate from high school shockingly decided to transfer out of Oberlin College, a liberal arts school in Ohio. While he seemed perfectly content during his freshmen year at Oberlin, succeeding academically, as well as athletically as both a goalie for the soccer team and catcher for the baseball team, he felt that the Oberlin student body socially shunned student-athletes on campus. Although unfortunate, this shunning atmosphere is contrary to the diverse community that similar institutions, like Swarthmore, attempt to foster. This phenomenon has manifested itself far too commonly, particularly in liberal arts colleges in America.

     This division within the student bodies of liberal arts colleges is dangerous, and  Swarthmore President Valerie Smith has decided to take a stand. Recently, President Smith was seen on the sidelines of a Women’s Soccer game as an honorary coach. In her tenure thus far, the athletics program at Swarthmore is growing in its successes. The act stood as a sign of unity and respect, as the esteemed President felt compelled to show her support and appreciation for the athletics department. Whether cheering for the Garnet in the baseball stands or along the track, Smith certainly has had an impact on the way athletics are viewed here at Swarthmore.

      Her actions have not gone unnoticed. This past year, the Women’s Volleyball team held a  Faculty and Staff Appreciation Game, creating invaluable connections between the administration, athletes, and the student body. This appreciation for athletics has followed Smith throughout her career, even as far back as commandeering a movement for equality for women in athletics during her undergraduate studies at Bates College, another prolific liberal arts school. In an interview with local news station NBC10, Smith went as far to say, “I’m happiest when I’m able to get a lot of exercise…” Smith also discussed in that same interview the need to address and include the voices of all students, especially in an era of such social change and awareness. In her example, we all should strive to appreciate the culture, community, pride, and competition that athletics contributes to our community.

      I went to a small, all-male private school in the heart of Washington, DC, that mandated all students participate on some sports team for almost every season of their high school career. This requirement certainly benefited the school,  teaching students the importance of physical education and health; however, it also meant that sports played a major role in the social weave of the school community. This created a lack of people with unique and diverse interests outside of sports. Those who did were labelled as effeminate or inept. Arriving at Swarthmore, I have already been struck by the sincere diversity of interests and talents that we, as a student body, possess. However, it is imperative that we not ostracize the athletes, thereby cultivating a student body of only one type of student.

      Here at Swarthmore, we pride ourselves on opening the macroscopic dialogue to people of all backgrounds, experiences, beliefs, and cultures. It is this strong interwoven sense of community that allows us to succeed both individually and as a whole. In this day and age where stereotypes prevail, we cannot regard all athletes as sports-first-school-second, insensitive jocks. It becomes all the more imperative that college communities support the endeavors undertaken by our colleagues and classmates. Particularly, when certain athletes at other schools have been the focus of so much controversy in the media for their involvement in misogynistic behavior and breaches of integrity, it is important that we recognize that athletes are members of the Swarthmore community as well, accomplished, intelligent, and important in their own right.

Athlete of the Week: Sarah Wallace ’18

in Athlete of the Week/Sports by

What She’s Done:

To start the 2016 season, Wallace, the 2015 Centennial Conference MVP, has not missed a beat. Last week, Wallace averaged 3.86 kills per set and 3.14 digs per set, helping spur her team to the Neumann Invitational title and a 5-0 record. In addition to being named the MVP of the invitational, she recorded her 1000th career kill and was named Centennial Conference player of the week.

Why Volleyball?

Out of all the sports I tried playing when I was little, volleyball was my favorite because I found it to be the most exciting. I like how it’s a high scoring game and how a team can come back from a point deficit at any time.

Person You Look up to Most:

My sister is the person that I look up to most because she finds ways to succeed in tough situations, particularly with balancing Division I volleyball and being pre-med at Harvard.

Favorite type of Ice Cream:

Coffee

Weekend Roundup

in Sports by

Women’s Soccer

This weekend featured a whirlwind of emotions for the women’s soccer team. As the top seed in the Centennial Conference tournament, the Garnet had high expectations. In Saturday’s semifinals versus Ursinus, the team did not disappoint. Though the teams were tied 0-0 at the half, Swarthmore wasted little time in the second half before they put the game out of reach. In the 49th minute, Amanda Bosworth ’16 headed in a perfect corner kick from Melissa Trofa ’16. Just one minute later, Katherine Zavez ’17 scored off of a pass from Katie Dougherty ’18. Finally, in the 53rd minute, Caroline Khanna ’17 tallied her eighth goal of the season, effectively putting the nail in Ursinus’ coffin. Swarthmore preserved the lead, winning the contest 3-0.

On Sunday, Swarthmore faced off against Johns Hopkins in a rematch of last year’s final. Marin McCoy ’19 opened up the scoring in the sixth minute with her 14th goal and conference-leading 38th point of the season. McCoy actually set the school record for points in a season, edging out the mark Katie Kanuka ’10 set in 2006 (37).

In the 58th minute, however, Hopkins struck back. They scored on a scrum in front of the net. Initially, it appeared that Swarthmore goalie Reba Magier ’16 had made the save, punching it out of the net. Yet, the referee ruled that the ball crossed the goal line, awarding the goal to Hopkins. From where the referee was positioned, it did not seem like she could have been able to tell that the entire ball crossed the line, but the goal stood nonetheless.

Ultimately, the game went into double overtime and finished in the 102nd minute when Hopkins took advantage of a Swarthmore defensive miscue.

Despite the loss, the Garnet still moved up two spots in the NCAA DIII rankings to number 10 in the nation.  Furthermore, they were given an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament and will be hosting the first round of the tournament for their bracket this weekend. Their next game will be at 5 pm on Clothier Field this Saturday versus St. Joseph’s College. If they win, they will play again on Sunday, also at home.

Volleyball

Just like the soccer team, the volleyball team gave everything they had this past weekend. On Saturday, the team faced off against Haverford in the conference semi-finals. After losing to Haverford the weekend before, the Garnet came out firing on all cylinders. They won both the first and second sets by a score of 25-16. However, they dropped the third and fourth by scores of 18-25 and 23-25.
In the fifth set, Swarthmore regrouped. They went blow for blow with Haverford and even earned a match point at 14-13 (teams play to 15 in the fifth set). However, the Garnet could not convert and ultimately lost the set 16-18.
Though they lost, all-conference players Sarah Wallace ’18 and Sam DuBois ’16 had stellar games. Wallace recorded a double-double with 18 kills and 23 digs, while DuBois also notched a double-double with 37 assists and 15 digs. Sarah Girard ’19, another all-conference player, also had a nice game with 21 digs.
The team is not done with their season yet. They qualified for the ECAC tournament and played a quarterfinal match last night against FDU-Florham. Madison Heppe ’16 set a new program record in career digs. The Garnet will face their next opponent, Lebanon Valley, on Nov. 14.

Men’s and Women’s Swimming

The men’s and women’s swimming teams went out to a dual meet at Franklin & Marshall’s on Saturday, where the men dominated en route to winning 180-65 while the women were dealt a close defeat 133-129.

F&M’s men were unable to overcome the Garnet in capacity, who won every event and took first and second place in seven of them. Many of the men’s swimmers won multiple events, including Liam Fitzstevens ’17,  Jeff Tse ’19, Michael Lutzker ’19, and Charles Yang ’19. The 200-yard breaststroke was a fine example of the team’s performance, as CJ Cling ’18, Jason Fu ’18, and Jerry Gu ’19 took first, second, and third in the event, respectively.

Although the women’s team was ranked two places below F&M in the preseason poll, they put up a fight that showed they were very much level. Ashley Hwang ’18 came in first in both the 100- and 200-yard freestyle races, while Emily Bley ’19 also won two events. Despite these and many other impressive performances, however, the Garnet was unable to get the win.

The men’s team currently has a 2-0 record while the women are 1-1 (all meets in-conference so far). Both of the teams will compete next in a meet next Saturday at Widener, where they hope to add crucial wins to their conference record.

Weekend Roundup

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Field Hockey

The field hockey team came out with intensity in their home game against Ferrum College last Saturday, which they ultimately won 4-0. With 38 shots taken by the Garnet compared to Ferrum’s two, Ferrum had no choice but to give in to the unrelenting pressure.

As it was also Senior Day for the Garnet, the five seniors were honored prior to the game: Audrey Allen ’16, Julia Thomas’ 17, Erin Gluck ’16, Laura Hyder ’16, and goalkeeper Ainsley Parrish ’16. They lived up to the honor by contributing a fair share to the win. Gluck scored the first goal of the game in the 17th minute, her team-high 14th goal of the season. She also added an assist later on. Allen scored the second goal of the game. Parrish saved one of the two shots taken by Ferrum, helping the Garnet keep a clean sheet. Notable performances among non-seniors include Jane Blicher ’18, who scored the third goal of the game, and Kathleen Carmichael ’19, who scored the last goal of the game in the 45th minute.

The team’s record currently stands at 4-12 overall and 0-8 in-conference. Their next game will be at Bryn Mawr on Friday, followed by their last game of the regular season at Haverford on Saturday. This will give the Garnet two opportunities to add wins to their subpar conference record before they close out their season.

Men’s Soccer

Although they took a 1-0 lead against Dickinson last Saturday, the men’s soccer team ultimately ended the game in a 1-1 tie. After a scoreless first half, Michael Nazfiger ’18 got the Garnet on the board with a goal in the 59th minute off a corner by Billy Evers ’17. However, the team let the lead slip away in the 83rd minute as Dickinson capitalized on a dangerous set piece situation. The Garnet couldn’t put in a goal in the final minutes of regulation, pushing the game into overtime. The game remained locked in the tie despite Dickinson’s four corners and the Garnet’s two shots during the period.

The tie put the Garnet at fifth place in the conference standings, which is the final spot that gets to play in the postseason conference tournament. They entered the game in sixth place, so the tie was not a failure in the end as it pushed them into playoff position. Their conference record, as of that game, stands at 2-2-3.

The Garnet’s next and final game will be at Haverford on Saturday. There, they will hope to clinch a playoff spot and keep their season alive. If they do qualify for the Centennial Conference playoffs, the first round game will be this Wednesday.

Women’s Soccer

After going undefeated throughout the season, the women’s soccer team finally saw their streak end last Saturday, when they were handed their first loss by Montclair State at home. The game was close, but the Garnet ultimately could not recover from an early goal by Montclair that ended up deciding the match, which ended with a score of 1-0.

The matchup was bound to be intense, as it pitted the 13th-ranked Garnet against the 19th-ranked Montclair. Montclair scored with a header off of a free kick in the 15th minute. The Garnet tried to rebound as it had been able to do so often this season, taking control of the game’s pace and flow but being unable to score by the end of the first half. The second half was a similar story, as the Garnet outshot Montclair 8-4. Katie Dougherty ’18 finished the game with 5 shots, a mark of her strong effort to put in the equalizer despite not being able to do so.

The team honored its nine seniors prior to the game. They were Tazmin Bailiff-Curtis ‘16, Amanda Bosworth ’16, Emily Gale ’16, Caela Long ’16, Reba Magier ’16, Cappy Pitts ’16, Aine Schanche ’16, Emily Telford-Marx ’16 and Melissa Trofa ’16.

Despite the loss, the team’s record stands at an impressive 13-1-1 overall, and 7-0-1 in conference play. The Garnet will have their undefeated conference record tested twice more, as they will face Bryn Mawr at home on Thursday and finish the regular season at Haverford on Saturday. The conference playoffs begin on Wednesday, with locations and matchups to be determined.

Men’s Golf

The men’s golf team ended their fall season last Saturday at the Rutgers Camden Invitational at Pennsauken Country Club. They played on a par-70, 6250 yard course. Out of 14 teams, the Garnet ended the invitational in a respectable fifth place with a 327, 20 strokes behind first place Rutgers University-Camden.

Individually, the team had a few impressive performances. Nick DiMaio ’19 had the best results for the team, tying for 3rd place out of 72 individual competitors. He shot a 76, 6 strokes behind the first place individual. Dan Altieri ’19 placed 17th after shooting an 82, with Drew Langan ’17, Andrew Pak ’16, and Thomas Kim ’16 all shooting in the 80s as well.

With the fall season done, the Garnet will now be looking to improve on their results, individually and as a team, going into the spring season.

Volleyball

Over the weekend, the women’s volleyball team went out to the Eastern University Quad-Match in St. Davids, Pennsylvania with high hopes. Unfortunately, they didn’t fare very well, losing all three of their matches in three sets, 3-0. Their first loss was on Friday against Stockton, followed by losses on Saturday against Susquehanna and Eastern.

Against Stockton, Swarthmore played close in the first and third sets, which they ended up losing 25-21. Sam DuBois ’16 performed well for the team with eight digs, 19 assists, and 4 kills. The match against Susquehanna was similar, as they lost the first set 25-21 and 25-23. Eastern, ranked 14th in the country, proved to be too difficult of a matchup for the Garnet to stay close as they were outclassed in the three sets 25-19, 25-16, and 25-17.

The Garnet fared much better in their Senior Day match last Tuesday, defeating Bryn Mawr at home in three sets 25-15, 25-21, 25-12. The three seniors, Sam Dubois ’16, Madison Heppe ’16, and Anastasia White-Torruellas ’16, were honored before the game. Dubois had eight digs and 27 assists, a match-high, while Heppe led the team with 10 digs. Olivia Leventhal ’18 impressed with 17 kills, as did Malia Scott ’18 with 13 assists and nine digs.

Thanks to their dominance in Centennial Conference play, where they have an 8-1 record, the Garnet has already clinched a spot in the conference playoffs. Their last match will be at Haverford on Saturday; if they win, the Garnet will earn home-court advantage for the semifinals and finals if they make it through to those rounds.

Weekend Roundup

in Sports by

Women’s Soccer

If you weren’t already convinced of the women’s soccer team’s current dominance, then here’s some news that should change your mind: in a ranking released by D3soccer.com, the women’s soccer team was ranked as the 11th best team in the nation. They were also ranked 20th in the official national coaches’ poll top 25.

The team strengthened this deserved reputation with yet another win on Saturday, this one a 2-1 triumph away against conference opponent Johns Hopkins. The Garnet showed composure in this game after falling behind early because of a goal in the 6th minute from Johns Hopkins. They did just that and eventually evened up the game in the last minute of the first half, as Sarah Hancock ’18 scored off a cross from Hannah Lichtenstein ’17. The Garnet carried this momentum into the second half, where they took the lead early on after Katherine Zavez ’17 scored in the 53rd minute, assisted by Marin McCoy ’19. The goal was the first of Zavez’s career, and came at a fine moment as it put the team ahead for the game. It also pointed to the team’s impressive depth, as Zavez was the 20th player to score a goal for the team this season.

With an unbeaten overall record (9-0) and conference record (3-0), the team hopes to continue to prove why they are one of the best in the nation. Their next chance to do that will be this Saturday at home against in-conference opponent Gettysburg, which will be their only game this week.

Men’s Soccer

The men’s soccer team played away at conference opponent Ursinus on Saturday and only came away with one point in the standings after ending the game in a 1-1 tie. Although the game went the full possible 110 minutes, both of the goals were scored within the first four minutes of the opening half.

The home team struck first, scoring a goal against the Garnet after only slightly more than a minute of the game had passed. The Garnet fought back immediately and put in a goal soon after, when Billy Evers ’17 scored on a free kick from 30 yards out by Ryan Meuth ’17. The goal was Evers’ first this season.

Both teams attacked plenty throughout the remainder of the game, with the Garnet taking 20 shots to the Bears’ 14. However, neither was able to break through the others’ defenses and goalkeepers for the decisive goal. Goalkeeper Tyler Zon ’16 contributed to the Garnet’s defense with 4 saves.

Last night, the Garnet played a non-conference match against Rowan at home, and lost 1-0 after Rowan scored the only goal of the game in the 28th minute. Although the Garnet were able to put more shots on goal, five as opposed to Rowan’s three, they ultimately were unable to find the back of the net.

The Garnet’s record stands at 4-7-1 overall and 1-2-1 in Centennial Conference play. Up next for the team is a home match against conference opponents Gettysburg on Saturday.

 

Volleyball

With two more wins this week after defeating Johns Hopkins on Saturday and Washington College on Tuesday, the volleyball team extended their current win streak to 13 matches. The wins also maintained the Garnet’s undefeated conference record (4-0) and added to their impressive overall record (14-3).

The first win was special because it was the Garnet’s first road victory at Johns Hopkins in more than two decades. Although they dropped the first set 15-25, they rebounded and picked up the next three sets 25-22, 25-19, 25-20 en route to a 3-1 victory. Sarah Wallace ’18 led the Garnet in kills with 15, while Olivia Leventhal ’18 was close behind with 10 kills and a block. Malia Scott ’18 served up 5 aces as well.

The team carried this momentum into their home match against Washington on Tuesday, which they won 3-1 by a score of 25-13, 25-19, 13-25, 25-22. Sarah Girard ’19 had a match-high 26 digs. Sam Dubois ’16 had two block assists and 38 assists total, which brought her past the 2,500-assists mark for her career,

For the week ahead, the team has two more conference matches. The first is on Saturday at home against Gettysburg, followed by an away match at Ursinus on Wednesday. The Garnet hope to continue their undefeated streak and uphold their dominance in the Centennial Conference thus far.

 

Field Hockey

The field hockey team (1-8, 0-4 CC) continued to struggle against conference opponents this past weekend and fell to both Ursinus College and Johns Hopkins 8-0 and 3-1, respectively.

The Bears, ranked 8th in the nation, proved to be the team’s most challenging opponent thus far and forced the Garnet into a 5-0 deficit within the first 15 minutes. Swarthmore countered with four shots during the first period, three of which were on goal, but ended the period without touching the back of the net. The second period was marked by a barrage of shots from the Bears’ offense which resulted in Ursinus’ 19 shots taken compared to Swarthmore’s 0. Out of Ursinus’ 24 on-goal shots, goalkeeper Zelda Bank ’19 recorded a total of 10 saves to lessen the Bears’ offensive impact. However, the Garnet conceded two more points during the second half for a 8-0 loss.

The team attempted a comeback against Johns Hopkins after the Ursinus loss, but ultimately fell to the Blue Jays as well. The Garnet suffered a 3-0 deficit within the first 34 minutes of the game but rallied soon after to score their first goal of the game. Erin Gluck ’16 broke the Garnet’s dry spell off of a corner shot taken by Ursula Monaghan ’17 and finished the goal off near the left post. Both teams were unable to find the back of the net in the second period during which Bank recorded a total of six saves. Goalkeeper Ainsley Parish ’16 also recorded a total of 5 saves in the first period.

Today, the Garnet will travel to Chestertown, Maryland and go head to head with conference opponents Washington College in the hopes of earning their first conference win of the season.

 

Cross Country

Katie Jo McMenamin ’16 highlighted the women’s cross country team’s performance this past weekend as she earned first place in the Paul Short Brown 6K run. Running against a whopping 387 athletes from all three divisions, McMenamin finished the race in 21:23 and crossed the finish line three seconds ahead of the second place finisher. McMenamin’s finish helped launch the Garnet to 10th place out of the 45 teams that competed from all three divisions.

The men’s team competed in the Paul Short 8K run (which included 354  runners from all three divisions and 39 teams total). Paul Green ’15 led the way for the Garnet and finished in 105th place in 25:58. Corey Branch ’17 finished second for the Garnet in 26:12.

Both teams will compete in their final meet this Saturday in the Inter-Regional Border Battle before facing their conference opponents in the Centennial Conference Championships hosted by Johns Hopkins on October 31.

Golf

The men’s golf team tied for seventh place with Gettysburg College this past weekend in the Mason-Dixon Classic. Dan Altieri ’19 continued to lead the way for the Garnet and carded a par 72 on the first day and 76 on the second. This performance follows his two prior first-place wins, which were his first two collegiate tournaments as well. His outstanding performance thus far earned him the title of Centennial Conference’s Golfer of the Week last Tuesday.

On the second day of the tournament, Nick DiMaio ’19, Drew Langan ’17 and Michael Chen ’17 all followed close behind Altieri and shot 77, 78 and 79, respectively.

The men will travel to the Patriot’s Glen National Golf Club this weekend to compete in the Revolutionary Collegiate Classic hosted by Ursinus College.

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