Spring teams make splash nationally
The women’s tennis team had one of its best seasons ever, advancing to the NCAA finals for the first time since 1999 before falling to Emory University. Amherst tied with Williams College for the conference title and Kristen Raverta ’06 took the conference singles championship outright. Katie Hudson ’07 won the “C” flight while Raverta teamed with senior captain Wallis Molchen to win the doubles “B” flight.
Raverta and Tristan Hedrick ’05 advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA individual tournament as well. Both Jeffs had standout seasons at second and first singles, respectively. Hedrick won her singles matches in important regular-season victories over Middlebury College and Williams and also saw success at first doubles with classmate Rachel Holt. The two participated in the NCAA individual doubles tournament, losing in the first round. With just one senior graduating, the Amherst tennis dynasty should be a formidable one in years to come.
Though they did not successfully defend 2003’s national championship, the women’s lacrosse team still compiled a stellar season, advancing to the NCAA Final Four with a 16-3 record-all three losses coming against eventual national champion Middlebury College. This feat is even more impressive considering that the Jeffs lost eight seniors from the national champion squad. Amherst fell to Middlebury, 13-9, in the national semifinal game.
The closest competition of the season came in the regular-season finale against Williams College, as the Jeffs topped the Ephs in double overtime, 11-10, on a goal with 15 seconds remaining by Ashley Harmeling ’05. Amherst regularly beat opponents by margins of five goals or more, led by a balanced and potent attack. NESCAC Player of the Year Harmeling (who also earned that distinction as a member of the women’s soccer team) had an incredible 75 goals and 52 assists to set Amherst single-season records in points, goals and assists while leading the conference in all those categories. Tri-captain Liz Martin ’04 set the school record for career goals with her 185th and earned First-Team All-NESCAC honors along with Harmeling and tri-captain Allison Aldrich ’04. Senior tri-captain Jackie Sargent and classmate Christine Ryan earned Second-Team All-NESCAC recognition.
In the surprise of the spring season, the baseball team ran away with its first-ever NESCAC Championship and a trip to the NCAA Tournament after a decidedly subpar regular season. Amherst defeated Trinity, Bowdoin and Williams Colleges without dropping a game in the double-elimination tournament. Amherst faced Eastern Connecticut State University on Thursday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
The stars of the NESCAC Tournament were a pair of rookies-pitcher Brian Donahue and designated hitter Mark Mazzone. Donahue, the NESCAC Rookie of the Year and a First-Team All-NESCAC pick, pitched a complete-game victory over Bowdoin in the second round. He compiled a team-leading 6-1 record on the season with a 1.64 ERA and 45 strikeouts. Mazzone had the game-winning RBI single in the final win over Williams.
The offensive leaders throughout the season were first baseman Dave Levinson ’06 and Dave Powers ’05, who batted .358 and .328, respectively, with 39 hits apiece.
The softball team finished the season with a 13-14 record and an even 4-4 mark in the NESCAC. Steady defense and shaky offense were the hallmarks of a youthful Jeff squad, which batted a paltry .199 but played solid defense all season long.
Amherst swept league doubleheaders against Wesleyan University and Hamilton College, outscoring Hamilton 15-0 in the Jeffs’ biggest offensive burst of the season. Another highlight of the year was a non-conference 6-1 win over a Brandeis University team that had defeated Amherst 9-1 in 2003.
Miya Warner ’06 starred on the mound, compiling a 1.36 ERA and 136 strikeouts in 118 innings of work. Warner earned CoSida Second-Team Academic All-District One honors for her performance. First baseman Laura Trigiero ’06 won the team batting title for the second straight season with a .326 average. Second baseman Gina Scribner ’04 was named Second-Team All-NESCAC after batting .286 with 15 RBIs.
The men’s lacrosse team traveled to the NESCAC Tournament semifinals for the second straight year before falling to eventual champion Middlebury College. The Jeffs started the season red-hot, winning seven of eight games including three conference victories before hitting a mid-season slump that included losses to Wesleyan and Tufts Universities. However, Amherst bounced back in time for the end of the regular season and postseason play with three straight NESCAC wins, including an 11-9 squeaker over Williams College. Amherst beat Bowdoin College in the first round of the tournament in an 6-5 thriller before losing to Middlebury for a final record of 11-5 (6-3).
Rookie attackman Derek Cherney led the Jeffs in goals with 28 and was second in assists with 15. He earned NESCAC Rookie of the Year and First-Team honors as well as All-New England Rookie of the Year recognition. Joining him with First-Team All-NESCAC accolades were midfielder Andrew Wilcox ’06, defender Greg Donohue ’05 and co-captain midfielder Mike Allison ’04.
Wilcox and Donohue were also First-Team All-New England picks. Co-captain defender Alexei Kudla ’04 and goalie Cushing Donelan ’05 earned Second-Team All-NESCAC mentions. Over the course of the season, Donelan also was named National Div. III Player of the Week and NESCAC Player of the Week. Donelan had a .638 save percentage and averaged 6.70 goals against per game. Amherst loses just four players to graduation and with 10 first-years with one collegiate season under their belts, 2005 looks bright for the men’s lacrosse team.
The men’s tennis team finished sixth in the NESCAC Championships and accumulated a 4-7 record in the spring season. The Jeffs played a tough schedule with dual matches in addition to championship play against the top two teams in the country, Williams and Middlebury. Colleges
In what was the highlight of Amherst’s season, the first doubles team of sophomores Josh Rilla and Danny Babkes won the NESCAC doubles championship and earned First-Team All-NESCAC honors as a result. The pair participated in the NCAA Div. III Men’s Doubles Championship for the first time, though they lost in the first round. The other highlight to the spring season came the first week in April, when the men picked up three wins in a row over Connecticut College and Wesleyan and Drew Universities.
The men’s and women’s teams battled fickle weather but played unevenly.
Junior captain Justin Sharaf led the men in the spring. He was the team’s top finisher in three of four medal play tournaments, including his first collegiate individual victory at the Palamountain Invitational at Skidmore College with a score of 73-76-149. Sharaf’s first-place finish stands out in what was otherwise a ho-hum season for the Jeffs collectively. All five scorers were rarely in sync despite some individual highlights.
Sean Jules ’07 and Keith Zalaski ’06 were Amherst’s other top finishers at the Lou Flumere Invitational and the Little Three Championships, respectively. Amherst finished second at Little Threes, beating Wesleyan University and losing to Williams College, and Zalaski won two singles matches and also two alternate-shot matches with partner Andy Bruns ’07.
The women’s team placed second in three of five spring tournaments. The Jeffs began the season on a high note on a spring break trip to Arizona where they finished second in the Paradise Valley Community College Invitational. Senior Kathryn Kuchefski fired a 73-77-150 to lead Amherst, followed by a fine performance by first-year Sarah Harper, who shot a collegiate-best 152 over two days including a 73 on day two.
Amherst’s second runner-up finish came at the Wellesley Invitational, where Kuchefski and Meg Sullivan ’05 finished four-five in a field of 26. The Jeffs’ earned second place for the final time in the team’s second-to-last tournament of the season, the Massachusetts State Invitational, with a score of 341. Kuchefski’s 76 earned her second place overall while Sullivan and Harper finished 11th and 12th, respectively.
Though some members of the men’s and women’s teams still have to compete in the NCAA Outdoor Championships next weekend, the spring season thus far has been impressive for both squads.
The women had their best-ever finish at the Div. III New England Championships, coming in third place. Over the course of the season, Carter Hamill ’05 broke an incredible five school records in the last five meets of the season and is poised to add more All-America honors to the five she currently holds. Shauneen Garrahan ’07 capped fine cross country and indoor seasons with an excellent spring performance, setting school records in the 800m and 1500m events. Aly Venti ’04 finished her career at Amherst with a number of fine performances, including a victory in the 10,000m run at the NESCAC Championship. In addition, the women’s 4×400 relay team of Garrahan and sophomores Ginger Polich, Ariel Haney and Julia Rucker also had a fine spring, with a second-place finish a NESCACs.
The men’s team also had a solid spring, highlighted by junior Jack Morgan’s first-place finish in the 800m at NESCACs and second-place run in that event at Div. III New Englands. The Distance Medley Relay team of Morgan, Dave Molina ’05, senior tri-captain Janak Chandrasoma and John Stanton-Geddes ’04 took first place at the NESCAC Championship.