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Women’s Basketball

Athlete of the week: Audra Woodside ʼ19

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Audra Woodside ʼ19, a forward from Woodstown, NJ. has had a standout season so far for the Garnet women’s basketball team. Although the team has struggled to put up points, Woodside has been a bright spot, averaging 9.3 points per game — a team and personal high. She has had standout games against Washington College and Ursinus, scoring a personal high of 16 points in the former and securing 11 rebounds in the latter. The Garnet hope to finish their season strong, and take on Bryn Mawr College tonight at the Tarble Pavilion.

Ping Promrat: What is your major, and what are your plans following graduation at Swarthmore?

Audra Woodside: I am a double major in chemistry and religion. After I graduate from Swarthmore next year I plan to find a job in some part of the chemical industry. Right now I am interested in cosmetic chemistry, but I am looking forward to exploring various options.

PP: What got you into basketball as a kid?

AW: Playing basketball runs in my family. Two of my grandparents played when they were younger, both of my parents played in high school, and a few of my cousins also played. I grew up going to the high school games of my older cousins and I remember watching them, thinking that one day I was going to be just like them. I loved playing in high school and was lucky enough to have the opportunity to continuing playing in college.

PP: What have been some of the highlights from this season?

AW: I think one of the main highlights for the team this season was the Haverford game. Even though we ended up losing, we played a great three quarters of basketball. It was one time where everyone was in the flow of the game and we were able to come together and play a great game. We were also missing five of our players at that game, which I think made even more impressive that we performed how we did.

PP: Describe what it is like being the leading scorer for the team so far.

AW: My teammates have a lot to do with me being the leading scorer right now. As a post player, some of my points rely on the contribution from my guards. One of my teammates has the ability to know when I’m open even before I do. Also, my fellow post players are amazing. Not only can I trust them to rebound my miss shots, or make an amazing move when I pass the ball to them, but also they are an outstanding support system. They help me with things I need to improve on throughout the games and always help me keep my head together. Basketball is a game of five people working towards one goal and I am really lucky to have teammates who trust me.

PP: What are the greatest challenges in being a student athlete?

AW: Being a student athlete comes with its trials, but also its rewards. Playing a sport is like taking an additional double credit seminar at Swarthmore, and I do not think many people realize the dedication and time commitment it takes. Coach DeVarney states that in addition to our academic classes we also take “basketball class,” and basketball class takes not only physical effort but also a significant amount of mental focus and concentration. Although it sounds cliché I honestly think that the biggest challenges are time management and communication. As a student athlete you have to plan out your schedule weeks ahead and be able to communicate not only to your professors, lab instructors, and leaders of your other commitments but also your coaches and teammates; it requires a lot of planning and a decent amount of give and take.

PP: The team has struggled record wise. What are the coaches/players doing to try and finish the season strong?

AW: We are trying to approach each game one at a time and leave it all out on the court. Our goal for the next six games is to come together as a team and play with as much heart and intensity as possible.  

PP: If you could change one thing about Swarthmore, what would it be and why?

AW: If I could change one thing about Swarthmore it would be the pass/fail policy. I think it is great that we have the option to pass/fail four classes after our first year, but I think it would be better if we could uncover the grade after we decide to pass/fail if we choose. Sometimes we think we have to pass/fail a class because we performed badly on one test, but then are able to work it out by the end of the semester. I would like the opportunity to display that grade if I was happy with it.  

Athlete of the Week: Maggie O’Neil ’17

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Maggie O’Neil, a native of Woodbury, Connecticut, is a member and significant contributor to both the Women’s Track and Field and Basketball teams. O’Neil was recently named Centennial Conference Field Athlete of the Week for her incredible performance at the Coach I Open at Franklin and Marshall College. She came in first in shot put with a 12.79m throw and fourth in weight throw with a 11.49m performance. The 2015 Centennial Conference Honorable Mention also holds the school records for javelin (33.78m) and hammer throw (33.88m). On the basketball court, O’Neil is shooting a solid 71.9 percent from the free-throw line, while also collecting 5.1 rebounds per game.

THE PHOENIX: What do you like most about being a student-athlete?

MAGGIE O’NEIL: My favorite thing about being a student athlete is the structure it provides to my day. I love the fact that I get to spend two to three hours a day working hard with my best friends, and I thrive on the challenge of this time commitment in the context of being a student at Swarthmore.

TP: How do you balance being on two varsity teams on campus?

MO: Until this year, I was fortunate in that my seasons never overlapped, and so I was able to treat and devote myself to each one separately. This year is a little different in that there is some slight overlap, but with a little more discipline and focus on time management, it has been going smoothly.

TP: What is your major and what influenced you to pursue it?

MO: I am a double major in political science and psychology. I was drawn to these subjects because of the introductory classes I took in my first two years at Swarthmore. Although I intend to get a job more in line with my political science degree, I’m still pursuing both because I remain fascinated by the material I’m learning.

TP: Being a senior, what are your after-college plans?

MO: After graduation, I plan to work for a year while I study for the LSAT and apply to law school. My end goal is to be a Judge Advocate General in the Military.

TP: What is your favorite Swat athletics memory?

MO: One of my favorite Swat athletics memories has to be our home victory against Muhlenberg my freshman year. We had lost to them in overtime earlier in the season, and I had my career-high 19 points in the rematch. Off the court I have too many memories with my teammates to even try to pick a favorite.

Women’s Basketball Profile: What to expect from the Garnet

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The Garnet is destined for a strong 2016-17 season. A revamped roster along with a strong returning class is expected to bring new depth and talent to this year’s team. The Garnet will return eight players from the 2015-16 season, having lost only two to graduation. One returner is Maggie O’Neil ’17, starting guard/forward, and senior captain. As a junior, she made 24 starts, averaging 7.4 points, and 6.4 rebounds per game. She also broke the single-season blocks record, totaling 77 blocks in the 2015-16 season.

     O’Neil, a native of Woodbury, Connecticut, and a Political Science and Psychology major, reflected on the 2015-16 season and her hopes for the upcoming season.

     “Last season was a little disappointing: we were often down in numbers and lost a lot of close games. Our record didn’t exactly reflect our overall experience in the season. I’m really optimistic about this year because we have a lot of new and committed freshman, and I hope this year is a turning point for the program.”

     Due to injuries and extenuating circumstances, the Garnet often did not have enough for five-on-five in practice last season.

     “One thing that I’ve noticed in this year’s preseason are the improved numbers for practices,” O’Neil said. “The gym is a lot louder with new voices, and I hope that will reflect on our team positively in the months to come.”

     The Garnet welcomes six freshmen to the roster, the largest incoming class in recent years. The class hails from states including California, Connecticut, New York, Illinois, and South Carolina. Such geographic diversity demonstrates not only the stellar job that the Garnet coaching staff has done on the recruiting trail, but also the attractiveness of the program to players from all across the country.

     Christina “Tina” Holmgren ’20, from Wilton, Connecticut, is passionate about the dedication that the women’s basketball program has to both academics and athletics.

     “The team really emphasizes a balance between school and sports, from the coaching staff to the players. That was one of the main reasons I wanted to play for the Garnet,”  she said.

     Lizzie Stiles ’20, from Syosset, New York, echoed similar sentiments.

     “Coach DeVarney made a great first impression when I visited. In general, all the girls are ambitious in both academics and athletics, as I am,” she said.

     The team is working to integrate the new freshman as much as possible, and has partaken in an extensive preseason designed to bring the team closer. Lindsay O’Sullivan ’20, from Old Brookville, New York has been very impressed with the preseason process so far.

     “We did a team advance […] we came back from fall break earl, and went to a teammate’s house and the Atlantic City boardwalk, where we did a run, participated in a scavenger hunt, and really came together as a team,” she said.

     The goal of the team advance was to bring the team together, and according to some of the players, the preseason process has done exactly that.

     The coaching staff is led by head coach Renee DeVarney, who enters her 12th season at helm of the women’s basketball program. A former Division I player at the University of Vermont, DeVarney has coached at the high school, Division I, and Division III levels. She has been a finalist for DIII National Coach of the Year, and has had many successful seasons in charge of the Garnet, most notably the 2012-13 season, one of the best in the program’s history. Players appreciate her experience and knowledge of the game as a whole. In addition to DeVarney, the Garnet has added a new assistant coach, Lashay Banks, for the 2016-17 season. Banks, a Philadelphia native and standout athlete at the University of Cincinnati and Rider University, has added a noticeable new dimension to the coaching staff.

     “Banks brings a Division I mentality to practice,” O’Neil said. “She carries over what was expected of her at the Division I level to us, which is really pushing us as individuals to focus on our player development, and that has definitely stood out to us as players in practice so far.”

     The coaching staff for the 2016-17 season will continue to push the players to develop as much as possible, and will focus on balancing a winning mentality with the rigorous academics at Swarthmore College.

     Ultimately, the team’s major goal is to continue on a track of improvement and success in the 2016-17 season.

     “The goal is to set a foundation for this freshman class, and hope that they can continue to improve the program in the next four years,” O’Neil added. “I look at what the men’s basketball team is doing and how much they’ve improved over the last four years, and I hope we as seniors can set that legacy. Another tangible goal would be to make the conference playoffs.”

     The Swarthmore College women’s basketball team is motivated and ready to improve on the standards set last season. The team will open its season on Nov. 15th at home against Rosemont College, at 6:00 P.M. in the Tarble Gymnasium

Weekend Roundup

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Swim team honors seniors with win

This Saturday, the swim team had much on the line. Not only were the Gettysburg Bullets, the 2015 men’s and women’s Centennial Conference champion, coming to town, but it was also Senior Day. As a result, the team came in with a lot of energy and a lot to prove.

The men’s team lived up to the moment and found the best way possible to honor the six seniors — Riley Collins, Michael McVerry, Nikhil Paladugu, David Ranshous, Kurtis Swartz and Joshua Turek-Hurman — they won. With contributions from Jeffrey Tse ’19 who won the 100-yard backstroke and Chris Smith ’19 who won the 200-yard freestyle, the Garnet dethroned the 2015 champions and secured a 143-119 victory.

Though the women were not able to replicate the men’s positive result, the team battled with the reigning champion. Emily Bley ’19 won the 500-yard freestyle and Erica Flor ‘17 won the 100-yard backstroke. Though seniors Margaret Luo and Eva Winter had to leave Ware Pool on a losing note, they walk away with a lot to be proud of.

This Saturday, the team will travel to Dickinson for its second to last meet before the Conference tournament. This year, Conferences will be held at Gettysburg on February 19.

Men’s basketball stumbles before getting back to winning ways

The Garnet had a five-game win streak coming into Saturday’s matchup with Johns Hopkins university, along with the home-court advantage. Add that to the desire to make up for their loss against the Blue Jays earlier in the season — one of the Garnet’s few blemishes — and it seemed that the Garnet were in prime position to claim yet another victory. Unfortunately, they lost 62-53 in one of their more disappointing performances of the season.

A poor start to the game put the Garnet in a difficult position for later in the game. The team shot 17.1 percent and went into the half staring at a deficit of 13 points. Nonetheless, the team fought back and even managed to come within one point in the final two minutes of the game after a free throw from Robbie Walsh ’15. After that, however, the Garnet were unable to score and the Blue Jays ran with the lead en route to victory.

On Tuesday, the Garnet rebounded with a big win at home against Ursinus College, 83-64. Even though they did not lead until there was 7:33 left in the first half, the Garnet dominated the game. Four players scored in double-digits by the end, and the team as a whole improved, particularly in three-point shooting (52 percent).

Looking ahead, the Garnet, currently at second place in the conference with a record of 10-3 (16-4 overall) have a crucial matchup with conference leaders Franklin & Marshall on Saturday at home, where they will try to avenge their close loss from last month.

Despite losses, Jess Jowdy ’16 shines for women’s basketball

It was another tough week for the Garnet. The team, which is currently on a thirteen game losing streak, went 0-3, dropping its overall record to 3-17. Though it has been a season to forget for the Garnet, one of the lone bright spots has been the play of Jess Jowdy ’16. Over her past three games, Jowdy averaged 28.0 ppg, 4.0 apg and 9.3 rpg, bringing her season totals up to an astounding 17.2 ppg, 3.7 apg, 7.0 rpg. Her overall stellar performance earned her Co-Conference player of the Week (1/25-1/31) and put her in prime position for an All-Conference nomination.

        The Garnet head to Washington College (3-15, 0-12 CC) on Thursday, Feb. 4 and will face off against Bryn Mawr (3-14) next Wednesday, Feb. 10. Since both of the games are very winnable, expect another big performance from Jowdy and the rest of the Garnet squad.

Track & Field teams showcase skills during busy weekend

The track & field team had a busy weekend that consisted of two meets. The first was the Widener Invitational on Friday, followed by the McElligot Invitational at Haverford College on Saturday.

At the Widener Invitational, jumpers from both the men’s and women’s teams showed off their skills. From the men, Nolan Hofstee ’19 tied for first place in the high jump with a height of 1.67 meters, and also placed second in the triple jump. Hofstee’s classmates Greta Studier ’19 and Rachel Leifeld ’19 from the women’s team also participated in the high jump, coming out with a height of 1.47 meters.

The McElligot Invitational was much busier and featured many notable performances all around. From the women’s team, Sarah Neilsen ’16 participated in the 800-meter run and ran an ECAC D-III qualifying time of  2:20.85, good for second place overall. Jenn Beltran ’18 led the way for the team in the 400-meter dash, where she placed fourth with a time of 1:04.42. Kenzie Himelein-Wachowiak ’19 led the Garnet for the one-mile run, running it in 5:26.05.

From the men, Saadiq Garba ’19 also placed 4th in the 400 meter dash, missing third place by two one-hundredths of a second. John Gagnon ’17 placed fourth in the one-mile run and won his heat.

Next Saturday will be another full day for the teams, who will be attending both the Colden Invitational hosted by Ursinus College and the Villanova Invitational in Staten Island, NY.

Weekend roundup

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Shane Loeffler '16 attempts a three in Saturday's game vs. McDaniel. Shantaun Jain/ The Phoenix
Shane Loeffler ’16 attempts a three in Saturday’s game vs. McDaniel.    Shantanu Jain/ The Phoenix

Men’s basketball wins third in a row

The men’s basketball team pulled off a tight win in its last home game of the season, defeating visiting McDaniel 69-68. This, combined with Wednesday night’s 81-62 victory over Washington College,  put the Garnet at an overall record of 11-13, assuring them of their first season with double-digit wins since the 2006-2007 season.

Once again, the team found itself in another close contest. However, thanks to the players’ grit and a strong long-range game in the first half, which saw eight three-pointers, Swarthmore entered the second half leading by a slim margin of 36-31.

McDaniel forced Swarthmore to fight to maintain their lead until the very end, getting themselves to within one point in the final second of the match. However, Swarthmore sealed the win in the end, their fourth in their last five home games and second in a row overall.

This was the last home game for Karl Barkley ’15, who was recognized for his contributions to the team beforehand. Barkley stepped up when the team needed him most by scoring 10 of the Garnet’s 33 points in the tense second half.

Matt Brennan ’18 led the team with 19 points, followed by Barkley with 13 points and Chris Bourne ’17 with 12 points. The Garnet will play its last game away at Haverford on Saturday, looking to add to what has already been a solid season thus far.

Seniors carry women’s basketball

The women’s basketball team defeated Washington College on Wednesday night, 64-54. As usual, Elle Larsen ’15 led the way, this time with her passing as much as characteristically scoring and rebounding. Larsen scored 18 points, along with 13 rebounds and five assists. Jess Jowdy ’16, Chastity Hopkins ’15, and Raina Williams ’18 provided support, ending the game with a combination of 31 points and 19 rebounds.

In their last home game of the season on Saturday, the team fought hard but ultimately lost to Centennial Conference leaders McDaniel College by a score of 58-51.

The Garnet kept the game close in the first half, closing up their deficit from 10 points to two by the end of the first half. However, McDaniel ultimately controlled the game in the second half, preventing Swarthmore from getting within five points for the majority of the half.

The seniors on the team contributed heavily with their strong presence and impressive performances. Larsen and Hopkins were both honored before the game. Larsen led the team with 23 points and 14 rebounds, marking her 10th double-double for the Garnet this season. Hopkins added three points and three rebounds.

Although they no longer have any home games, the team hope to finish the season on a strong note against rival Haverford on Saturday, which they lost to by a score of 62-53 in their prior matchup this season.

Green ’16 runs fastest mile in Swarthmore history 

The men’s and women’s track teams both competed in the Valentine Invitational hosted by Boston University last Saturday. Garnet history was made when Paul Green ’16 overcame a bout of mononucleosis and ran the fastest mile in Swarthmore history, accomplishing the feat in 4:14.73.  With this, Green broke both the indoor record for the mile set last year and the outdoor record from 1970.

In addition to Green, the men’s team was also represented by Erick White ’15 and John Gagnon ’16. White competed in the 800-meter run in 1:56.66, an ECAC qualifying mark, while Gagnon ran the 5,000-meter run in 16:19.64.

The women’s team had an impressive performance in the mile of their own when Sarah Nielsen ’16 ran it in 5:00.65, which was among the best marks in the nation. Osazenoriuwa Ebose ’15 continued to excel in the shot put, with a toss that measured 42 feet 2.75 inches. Ebose’s effort ranked sixth overall in the competition and first among all NCAA Division III athletes. Indy Reid-Shaw ’17 also represented the women’s team, completing the 3,000-meter run in 10:28.88.

Both teams will head out to Haverford next Saturday to compete in the Keogh Invitational. There, they can get themselves ready for the Centennial Conference Championships, which will take place the following Saturday at the same location.

Basketball hopes for strong finish as season winds down

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Elle Larsen ’15, pictured above in white with 32 on her jersey, drives to the hoop for Swarthmore’s women’s basketball team.

The season is gradually coming to a close, but the Swarthmore women’s basketball team still hopes to finish forcefully. This year, the Garnet (6-13 CC 3-10) have produced some key wins, most notably a season sweep of Franklin and Marshall and a 69-66 nailbiter over talented Gettysburg College.

The Garnet’s most recent victory was Saturday against Franklin and Marshall College. The first half proved difficult as Franklin and Marshall took a lead heading into halftime. Nonetheless, Swarthmore came out in the second half ready to put up big numbers and they secured the win over the Diplomats with a score of 66-55. The team felt that its ability to play well together and make good passes contributed to their second half performance.

Senior Elle Larsen ’15 put up her seventh double-double of the season with 27 points and 11 rebounds. Larsen, who has put up huge numbers in her Swarthmore career and is leading the Centennial Conference in points per game this season, will leave large shoes to fill next season. Captain Jessica Jowdy ’16 said, “She is a dominant presence in the paint.”

The team admires Larsen as a role model for consistency, energy, and work ethic as well as for her ability to score in high pressure situations and to dominate in the paint.

One reason for the Garnet’s win over Franklin and Marshall came from a team combined 38 points in the paint. The Diplomats came nowhere close to matching that number with only 16 points in the paint. Much of those 36 points came from second chance opportunities. Jowdy and Larsen both received double digit numbers of rebounds and Jowdy fell just shy of her own double-double.

This season has not been the most successful in conference for the Garnet, but the team still desires to finish on an upswing. “It is sad to know that the end of the season is approaching,” commented Jowdy, “But there are still so many games left to worry about that.” The team’s goal is to finish the season with a dominating win over Haverford to go into next season on a positive note.

Although some key players will be graduating this year, the upperclassmen are confident that this year’s freshmen will fill those roles. “We have had a lot of underclassmen step up this year and provide huge sparks of energy,” said Jowdy. The team commented, “Our large freshman class has stepped up and played some big minutes.”

The Garnet, unfortunately, fell short to Washington College Monday night, recording a 52-50 loss to the Shorewomen. However, Larsen and Jowdy again put up big numbers. Jowdy recorded a double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds, while Larson scored 17 points with 9 rebounds.

The Garnet’s next game will be hosting Johns Hopkins on Saturday at Tarble Pavilion. Tipoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.

Women’s basketball season underway

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Elle Larsen made the all-tournament team after averaging 21 points and 11 rebounds this past weekend against Hartwick College.
Elle Larsen made the all-tournament team after averaging 21 points and 11 rebounds this past weekend against Hartwick College. Photo courtesy of Swarthmore Athletics.

It is that time of the year again. Derrick Rose tears his ACL, Kobe doesn’t pass, Chris Paul assists Cliff Paul and the Swarthmore Women’s basketball team amps up their soon-to-be dominant season.

The Garnet initiated their season in the annual Tipoff Classic Tournament held here at Swarthmore College this past weekend. The team finished 1-1 with a loss to Johnson & Wales on Saturday by a score of 64-71. The loss did not slow down the young Garnet squad because the very next day, they played lights out against Hartwick College and beat them by a score of 73-47.

The first game was not an all-out loss. Most notably, it was the first real game that the freshmen of the team had played together. They were able to put on instances of strong play. Haley Raymond ’18 commented, “There were definitely stretches where we played well and we were in the flow of things.”

With a team that consists of half new players, it can be difficult to immediately shove momentum in full force. More than anything, the tournament gave the freshmen a chance to see collegiate basketball for the first time and to adjust to the high level of intensity and speed that it requires.

The Garnet played a strong 40 minutes on Sunday with a win to even their record at 1-1.  Raymond remarked, “On Sunday we did a much better job of putting together the full 40 minutes.”

Head Coach Renee DeVarney put a strong emphasis on weight-lifting, speed and agility this preseason to prepare players for the high level of play that the Centennial Conference has to offer. Complete team presence can significantly affect players improving each other’s games and learning to trust and support one another. During this preseason a few players had commitments to other sports and were unable to attend workouts. Full team chemistry could not be established early in the school year, but the team was able to come out this weekend with a strong start to the season.

The emerging team has a freshman class consisting of players who possess very different skill sets. One thing that may make this team so effective this year is their element of surprise; other teams do not understand how many of the players exhibit their game. Many freshmen will likely see much playing time, as 5 of the total 12 players on the team are in the freshman class. Chastity Hopkins ’15 commented, “It was nice to see that they all had different styles of play that worked well together.”

Much of the responsibility falls on younger players this season to step up and fill in gaps from last year’s graduated seniors. Jessica Jowdy ’16 said, “We need them to play a lot of minutes, because they make up such a big part of this team.”

The players have proven their ability to play with one another and should not have any difficulty integrating with the rest of the team. “I think they have done a really good job coming into their own and meshing well with each other,” Jowdy remarked.

Integrating skill sets and abilities, but also personalities, is always uncertain for a coach with a whole new selection of players. Raymond commented, “I felt like they accepted me right away. That was one of the main reasons I chose to come [to Swarthmore].”

 The team has a regular activity that they call “teamshare.” After practice, each player has a minute to tell a basketball or family related story. This activity is similar to the women’s volleyball team’s “dump,” in which players take a moment before practice to tell a personal story. More than anything, team chemistry remarkably improves, and for the women’s basketball team, players can get to know one another on a much deeper level. Hopkins noted, “Our team is full of a lot of really unique and intense personalities. It can be intimidating to some at first, but everyone puts their full heart into everything, and everyone is surrounded by girls who have the same fire and passion as they do, which is key to having a great team.”

Despite a 25 point effort from Elle Larsen ’15, Swarthmore dropped its Centennial Conference opener to Muhlenberg on Wednesday night at Tarble Pavilion. The team hopes to rebound on Saturday, when they travel to Gettysburg. Swarthmore’s next home game will be played on Saturday, December 6 against Dickinson.

Weekend Roundup

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Men’s Basketball hopes to continue improving

Retooled and ready to make a splash in the Centennial Conference, the Swarthmore men’s basketball team opens its season this weekend. The men will compete in the Equinox Classic, hosting Rochester Institute of Technology and taking on Bard at Haverford.

Lone senior Karl Barkley ’15 headlines a Garnet squad looking to improve upon last season’s 8-17 record. The combo guard is one of Swarthmore’s best all-around players, finishing last season second in points, fourth in rebounds and second in steals.

The team will welcome back five of its seven leading scorers, including leading scorer Chris Bourne ’17. Bourne will need to improve both his scoring and rebounding to help replace Jay Kober ’14 and Joe Keedy ’14. The pair’s combined average was 20.7 ppg and 11.2 rpg last season.

The ability of the team’s six-player freshmen class to perform at a high level will likely be a key factor in the team’s success.

Barkley is confident in the team’s ability to continue improving, saying, “We will be a young team, but I think we will surprise a lot of people both in conference and in our non-conference slate of games.”

Women’s basketball healthy, ready to go

The women’s basketball team hosts the annual Swarthmore Tip-Off Tournament this weekend. They open Saturday against Johnson & Wales and will face either Hartwick or Oberlin on Sunday.

Replacing an All-American is never easy, but the Garnet will have to do just that, having lost forward Katie Lytle ’14.

Leading the returning players is Elle Larsen ’15. The forward averaged 16.8 ppg and 7.0 rpg last season. Larsen will likely need to perform at an all-conference level if the Garnet hope to make a playoff run.

Along with strong play from Larsen, the Garnet will need its young guards to replace a backcourt that was comprised almost entirely of seniors last season. The team will need Jess Jowdy ’16 to bounce back successfully from a torn ACL that derailed the promising shooting guard’s season last year. It also must hope for emerging success from young guards Jordyn Bell ’17, Hayley Raymond ’18 and Melanie Ackerman ’18.

Larsen views this weekend’s tournament as a chance to take stock of where the team is at. She said, “Despite how young we are this year, the team hopes to surprise the competition and make it to playoffs. We have a lot of potential, and this weekend will be our first opportunity to truly gauge where that potential might take us.”

Volleyball recognized for memorable season

While Swarthmore’s volleyball team fell earlier than it expected in the Centennial Conference tournament, dropping its semifinal match to Muhlenberg, 3-1, the Conference recognized the team for its near-perfect season.

Swarthmore was represented five times on the Conference awards list, headlined by Rookie of the Year and First Team All-Conference Sarah Wallace ’18 and First Team All-Conference libero Madison Heppe ’16. Joining that dynamic duo in receiving honors are head coach Harleigh Chwastyk (Coach of the Year), setter Sam DuBois ’16 (Second Team) and Chastity Hopkins ’15 (All-Sportsmanship).

Swarthmore narrowly missed out on earning an NCAA Tournament bid. Haverford earned an at-large bid to the tournament after having defeated Swarthmore to win the Conference’s regular season title on the final day of the season.

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