The Year In Sports: Winter Season
Issue   |   Fri, 05/22/2015 - 11:07
Rob Mattson
The men's squash team will see six seniors graduate and will look to rebuild for the next season.

Men’s Basketball

Coming off an appearance in the NCAA Division III Final Four, the Jeffs once again made the NCAA tournament this season, but this time fell in the second round of competition.

There were many bright spots throughout the year as the Jeffs began the season by hosting and winning the Ken Wright ’52 Invitational, scoring 282 points over the course of three games.

The Jeffs also defeated Williams in a home contest on Jan. 21, a key overtime win that forced the rivals to split the season series. Connor Green ’16 scored a season-high 30 points, helping contribute to his team-high average of 16 points per game.
The junior continued his stellar Amherst career, earning various honors, including a NESCAC player of the week title, ECAC Division III New England player of the week honor, a vote to the third team All-Northeast Region and a NABC Division III All-Northeast second team nomination.

First-year Johnny McCarthy performed well in his first season for the purple and white and was named the ECAC Division III New England Rookie of the Year as he led the team in steals and was second in points per game, rebounds, assists and blocks.

Next year Amherst will look to replicate the success of their 2013-14 run, returning 14 of their 15 players heading into next season.

Women’s Basketball

Losing just four games this season, the women’s basketball team advanced deep into the NCAA tournament and enjoyed another widely successful season.

Their year kicked off with a 14-game win streak that featured decisive victories over NESCAC foes Hamilton and Williams.
Captain Megan Robertson ’15 bookended her Amherst career with a stellar season, reaching numerous milestones. She became Amherst’s all time leading shot blocker, as she recorded her 175th career block against Arcadia University. The following day she scored her 1000th career point against Farmingdale State. Later in the season she notched her 200th career block, leaving her as the only player in Amherst history to score 1,000 points, grab 700 rebounds and block 200 shots.
Robertson earned second team All-NESCAC honors, along with teammate Ali Doswell ’17, who led the team with 12.3 points per game on average.

Other key contributors for the Jeffs included Marley Giddins ’16, who followed up her breakout sophomore campaign by posting an average of 8.9 points per game. Sophomores Hannah Peterson and Meredith Doswell were also two of Amherst’s most consistent players, contributing 7.5 points per game and 7.4 points per game respectively. Meredith Doswell started every single game for the Jeffs.

As Coach G.P. Gromacki loses Robertson and Taylor Smith ’15, the team will rely on these experienced, younger players moving forward.

Women’s Ice Hockey

Starting the season on a five-game win streak, the women’s ice hockey team made an appearance in the NESCAC semifinals and posted a 17-5-4 record.

One thrilling win came over Colby in NESCAC quarterfinal action. Senior captain Tori Salmon scored the game-wining goal in overtime to give the Jeffs the 2-1 victory.

Salmon was named to the All-NESCAC first team for her third consecutive time. She led the team with 34 points on the season, consisting of 16 goals and 18 assists. She also received All-New England honors, as one of the only six NESCAC student-athletes to be named to the New England Women’s Hockey All-Star team.

Other All-NESCAC honorees were Erin Martin ’16 (her second straight honor), as well Lynndy Smith ’17 and Caitlin Ryan ’17. Martin was a fixture on offense, scoring six goals and adding 22 assists. Smith and Ryan were both integral to the team’s defense but also packed a punch on offense, adding five goals each.

Brenna Sullivan ’18 had a strong showing in her first year in purple and white. She played in 23 of 26 games for the Jeffs, scoring 11 goals, good for third on the team and adding six assists.

Men’s Indoor Track and Field

The men’s indoor track and field team found its way back to the NCAA Division III championships for the 12th time in program history, placing 32nd overall in the field of 66. The team earned a first-place finish at the ECAC championships among 56 competitors.

A first-place finish from Kevin Connors ’17 in the 1,500-meter race highlighted the win in the ECAC championships. Romey Sklar ’15 finished second in the 1,000-meter race.

Competitors at the NCAA Division III championships included Mohamed Hussein ’18, who finished 13th overall in the 5,000-meter run.

Greg Turissini ’15 was the other runner who qualified for an individual event. He placed 11th in the 3,000-meter run.

The Jeffs also competed in the distance medley, with the team featuring Sklar, David Ingraham ’18, Brent Harrison ’16 and Turissini. The unit finished in third place at the national meet.

Women’s Indoor Track and Field

After opening their season with a misstep at the Little Three championships, the women’s indoor track and field team quickly picked up the pace, taking second at the Springfield Invitational, third at the Tufts Stampede and fifth at Division III New Englands. The team sent five representatives to the NCAA Division III Championships and finished in 29th.

The competing Jeffs included Lizzy Briskin ’15, Lexi Sinclair ’16 and sophomores Karen Blake, Savanna Gornisiewicz and Kiana Herold.

Herold’s stellar year was capped off with a 1.69-meter mark in the high jump at the NCAA Division III championships, placing her at third on the national stage.

Blake ran well in the 60-meter dash, improving from her No. 14 seeding to take 12th in the race.

Men’s Squash

Although they finished the 2014-15 season with a losing record, men’s squash did have numerous strong performances throughout the year.

Noah Browne ’16 played out of the No. 1 spot for the entirety of the season and continued to dominate for the Jeffs. He earned All-NESCAC recognition, his third consecutive all-conference honor, and also represented Amherst at the CSA Individual Championships.

Other bright spots included the play of first-year Cameron Bahadori. Bahadori found himself on the No. 3 court for much of the season. He picked up two wins at the Division III individual tournament.

The team will see six seniors graduate and will need to rebuild heading into the 2015-16 season.

Women’s Squash

The women’s squash team saw a significant improvement in its record this year, dropping only six matches all season. The Jeffs defended their title in the Walker Cup (C Division) defeating Bowdoin in the finals of the WCSA National Team Championships. They finished the season ranked 17th in the nation.

First-year Kimberly Krayacich established a name for herself, playing on the No. 1 court all season and picking up key NESCAC wins over Middlebury, Hamilton and Colby.

Fellow first-year Haley McAtee also had a breakout year, bouncing between the No. 2 and No. 3 spots. She was named the player of the 2015 women’s national team championship for her outstanding play at the Walker Cup.

The team graduates just two seniors and will rely on its younger talent as it hopes to improve again in the coming year.

Men’s Swimming and Diving

Men’s swimming and diving raced to a second-place finish at the NESCAC championships and tied for 13th at the NCAA Finals.

Connor Sholtis ’15 ended his Amherst career with a dominant showing. He set a program record in the 50-yard freestyle at the NESCAC championships, taking first place in the race. Additionally, the senior captain took eighth in the 100-yard freestyle at the NCAA Division III championships.

The team placed an impressive 11 Jeffs to the All-NESCAC team. Sam Spurrell ’18 was named rookie of the meet, placing third in the 200-yard butterfly and also helping the 400-yard medley team place second.

Other Jeffs who earned All-Conference recognition included Sholtis, Jeff Anderson ’16, Tyler Hampton ’15, Alex Dreisbach ’17, Ben Grimes ’15, Matthew Heise ’16, Elijah Spiro ’18, Michael Rochford ’14, Connor Haley ’17 and Asher Lichtig ’16.
Lichtig earned a seventh-place in the 3-meter dive at the NCAA Division III championships. He was also the lone Jeff to compete at NCAA Diving Regionals. He placed fifth overall in the 3-meter dive among 20 other divers. Lichtig also placed fourth in the 1-meter dive, scoring 501.35 points.

Amherst’s 400-yard freestyle relay team consisting of Hampton, Dreisbach, Anderson and Sholtis took 11th on the national stage.

Women’s Swimming and Diving

The women’s swimming and diving team opened its season with three consecutive wins and continued on to place fourth at the NESCAC championships and sixth at the NCAA finals.

Emily Hyde ’16 took third place in the 200-yard breaststroke at the national meet, following up her first-place finish and meet record in the race at the NESCAC championships.

The 400-yard freestyle relay team, featuring Ashleigh Stoddart ’15, Stephanie Ternullo ’15, Sarah Conklin ’16 and Hyde, took eighth at the NCAA finals.

Stoddart also competed in the 100-yard freestyle, earning an NCAA ‘B’ cut time. Also earning a‘B’ cut time was Conklin, who took second place in the 200-yard butterfly.

Six Jeffs were named to the All-NESCAC team. The group consisted of Conklin, Hyde, Stoddart, Ternullo for individual performances as well as their time in the 400-yard medley.

First-year Stephanie Moriarty was also recognized, as she placed third in 200-yard backstroke. Charlotte Chudy ’16 competed in the 800-yard freestyle relay with Hyde, Stoddart and Ternullo to earn her third all-conference honor.

Coach Nick Nichols will lose four seniors after graduation but will return many elite performers for the 2015-16 season.