Weekend roundup and the week ahead

Volleyball concludes fantastic season

The women’s volleyball team officially concluded their outstanding season with a straight sets victory over Neumann in Saturday’s ECAC third place game. The team was defeated 3-1 earlier in the day by Marymount in the semifinal match.

Despite a somewhat disappointing end of the season for the squad, the team was upset in the Conference tournament and narrowly missed an NCAA Championships bid, Swarthmore’s season was a resounding success. The Garnet finished with a 24-8 overall record, sending seniors Kate Amodei and Chastity Hopkins off on a high note.

Swarthmore was a young team this year and figures to be a dominant force in the Centennial Conference for years to come. They will return all three of their All-Conference selections, Rookie of the Year Sarah Wallace ’18, libero Madison Heppe ’16 and setter Sam DuBois ’16.

Fittingly, Wallace, DuBois and Heppe led the way for the Garnet on the season’s final day. Wallace had 34 digs in the two matches, bringing her season total to an even 450. DuBois turned in double-doubles in both matches, while Heppe tallied 38 digs on the day.

Difficult first weekend for men’s basketball

Second half struggles did in Swarthmore’s men’s basketball team on two occasions last weekend. Both RIT and Bard were able to pull away from Swarthmore in the closing 20 minutes, dropping the Garnet to 0-2 in the young season. RIT won 75-65, while Bard won Sunday’s game 71-62.

Swarthmore has a very young team this year and the weekend featured some promising signs for the program. Underclassmen Chris Bourne ’17 and Matt Brennan ’18 paced the team in both games. Bourne averaged nearly a double-double for the weekend, racking up 16 points per game and 9.5 rebounds per game, while Brennan showed promise in the backcourt, leading the team in assists and steals, while also tallying 11.5 points per game. Guard Sam Lebryk ’17 showed marked improvement from last season by scoring 9.5 points per game, roughly doubling last season’s average of 4.8 points per game.

Swarthmore opens Centennial Conference play this week with a couple of interesting tests, as they face the two teams picked to finish immediately ahead of them in the standings. On Saturday, Swarthmore travels to Gettysburg, before hosting Ursinus for its conference home opener Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Kakkar qualifies for NCAA Championships in Cross Country

Sid Kakkar ’17 paced Swarthmore’s cross country team at Saturday’s NCAA Regional meet, finishing with a time of 25:40.9. Kakkar qualified by finishing 19th out of 343 runners at the meet. He will have a chance to compete against the nation’s best on Saturday in Mason, Ohio. Kakkar was named to the All-Mideast Region Team his freshman year and figures to garner similar honors at the conclusion of this season.

Kakkar’s performance highlighted a strong overall showing from both the men’s and women’s teams. The men finished sixth out of 47 teams and were led by Kakkar, Jonas Oppenheimer ’15 and Erick White ’15.

On the women’s side, Swarthmore finished fifth out of 52 teams. The squad was paced by Indy Reid-Shaw ’17, Liz Tawa ’15 and Sarah Nielsen ’16.

The team narrowly missed out on an at-large bid to the NCAA Championships, meaning that the focus of many of the runners will shift to training for track and field. Expect Tawa to lead the Garnet in the spring, as the senior will look to build off of a breakout 2014 season in which she was named to the All-Conference First Team in three events.

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