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.