Men Finish on Top

Sophomore Alex Franz scored career high 23 points. (Photo by Matt Molek)
Sophomore Alex Franz scored career high 23 points. (Photo by Matt Molek)

With two key starters missing due to suspensions, the men’s basketball team still delivered on their promises of victory Saturday afternoon, defeating Wesley College in a 79-73 thriller to secure the No. 1 seed in the Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) playoffs.

Junior guard Camontae Griffin, the second highest scoring player in the CAC, and senior center Alex Irmer were stuck watching the game from the stands, both serving one game suspensions resulting from an altercation in an 84-74 win against Gallaudet on Feb. 14.

Despite the setback, senior forward Calvin Wise said, “[the team was] confident coming into the game… We knew players were going to step up big in this game, and they did. They answered the call.”

The flow of the game was familiar to anyone who has followed the Seahawks closely this season. The team was dominant early in the game, achieving a 31-16 lead 11 minutes into the first half.

That lead wouldn’t last though as Wesley immediately turned the score around with a 22-6 run, taking a brief 1 point lead with 3 minutes left in the half. The Seahawks got back into their groove though, and finished the half leading by 5.  The second half was a close one, with the Seahawks never leading by more than 9 points. That was all they needed though. They never surrendered the lead again.

The CAC’s leading scorer, Wesley senior Rashawn Johnson, was held nearly 10 points below his season average of 25.3 points per game.

Head coach Chris Harney recognized two of his younger players for their defensive efforts, “I can’t say enough about how big James Davenport, as a freshman, and Mikey Fitzpatrick, as a sophomore, were going up against [Johnson] … They went toe to toe with him.”

With 3 minutes left in the game, and the score 68-67 in favor of St. Mary’s, sophomore Mike Bowden put away huge dunks on two consecutive drives. The Seahawks were up by 5 and the crowd was electrified.

As the game came to a close, Alex Franz was experiencing serious leg cramps, and limped to the bench in visible pain at each time-out.

Franz said, “I was like, ‘just a few more minutes. I’ve just got to push it for these last couple minutes.’ I just knew I had to do it.”

It was a good thing Franz kept fighting because he owned the last two minutes of the game. With the Seahawks lead cut to 2 points and only 45 seconds left to play, the ball went to Franz on the baseline. He eyed up a 3 pointer through heavy defensive coverage, and let it fly. “I wanted that shot,” said Franz. “I knew if I hit that shot, it was over.”

Franz got what he wanted. Ball met basket, and the crowd went insane.

In the final 20 seconds, Franz pulled down two defensive rebounds, and drew a foul. His free throw brought the score to its final tally, and as the clock wound down, everyone in the house was on their feet. At the sound of the buzzer, Franz triumphantly pointed to the fans, as if to say “thank you.”

“The crowd was huge, just huge… I can’t say enough. I love this place,“ said Harney.

“I said it last time we were out here. I guaranteed we were going to beat Wesley at home. We might have been down two starters, but our most important player, the fans, came through for us again,” said Wise.

In the end, four players scored double digits, with Franz putting away a career high 23 points.

Harney credited the win to the Seahawks teamwork. Missing Irmer and Griffin left a big hole for the team but Harney said, “[the team has] 14 guys on the roster and it [was] those other 12 guys. They just stepped up…with a lot of heart and a lot of guts.”

The team has captured the No. 1 seed for the CAC playoffs, which means that they have the opportunity to hold onto home court advantage all the way to the CAC championship.

The winner of the CAC championship gets a spot in the Division III NCAA tournament. The Seahawks are defending CAC champions, and made it to the sweet 16 in last year’s NCAA tournament.

With Saturday’s win the Seahawks ended the regular season on an 8 game winning streak, and with a 21-4 record, the best in program history.

This is the second season in a row that Harney’s squad has broken the regular season wins record.

The Seahawks next game is the CAC semifinal at home on Thursday, Feb. 26 at 7:00 pm.

Said Wise, “We’re going to win it all. We’re going to go to the NCAA [tournament]. We’re ready to do it.”

Successful Swimming at CAC Championships

Brie McDowell, senior, set multiple conference and school records. (Photo by Brendan O’Hara)
Senior Natalie Schaefer at the CAC championships. (Photo by Brendan O’Hara)

St. Mary’s hosted the 2009 Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) championships on Feb. 13, 14, and 15; where the women’s swimming team finished second and the men’s team finished third. Both teams swam very well, setting several records and winning a multitude of awards.

Aquatics Center Director and Head Coach Andre Barbins said, “[The tournament] exceeded all expectations, not only for our team, but for the conference.”

The University of Mary Washington teams were ranked first overall for both women’s and men’s events, but St. Mary’s had their share of individual accomplishments. Senior captain Brie McDowell won seven gold medals, set seven CAC meet records, nine conference records and nine St. Mary’s marks. She also qualified for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Championships, which will be held during spring break. In an interview, McDowell said the women’s team gave their “best performance ever” and she was “definitely excited” about going to the NCAA championships.

But McDowell wasn’t the only one establishing herself in the pool over the weekend. On the men’s team, senior Mike Preston “capped off his career with 5 school records,” in Barbins’ words. Junior Rachel Hotchko will also be attending NCAA championships with McDowell.

The success of the Seahawks during this championship was also shown through sophomore Jackson Webb’s new school record in the men’s 200-meter fly, first year Amanda Pazouki’s new school record in the women’s 200-meter breaststroke, and senior women’s captain Nat Schaefer’s first place finish in the women’s 1650-meter freestyle.

Barbins was also awarded his third CAC Women’s Swim Coach of the Year by the conference. During an interview, he stressed how “good [it was] to see the team’s goals and individual goal’s realized.” He said the team is still focused on this year and the upcoming championship in March.

Members from both teams also volunteered their opinions about the champions. From the women’s team, first-year Christine DiMenna said, “I was really nervous how I would rank against girls on the other teams, but knowing that my teammates were there to support me and cheer for me really took that stress level down.”

Also on the women’s team, junior Anna Chiplis said, “It was great to watch people race and see all of our hard work from September to February pay off.” When asked what could have been improved during the championship, men’s swimming junior Cameron Buckingham said, “Nothing. We did great.”

DiMenna said “There is amazing team unity and I am proud to say I am a part of it and to call these amazing people my friends.” St. Mary’s swimming teams were very successful during this tournament. Barbins said, “I couldn’t be more proud.”

Cross-Country Makes Varsity Upgrade

Next fall, the number of varsity teams that St. Mary’s sponsors will reach 17, as a new varsity cross-country team is added into the mix.

Director of Athletics and Recreation Scott Devine said that this addition has been on the agenda for some time now.  There has been considerable interest from prospective students, the sport is fairly easy to start up, and there is great potential to attract exceptional student-athletes to the college.  “The beautiful area that the College is situated combined with the numerous trails nearby make this ideal for the sport to grow and flourish,” said Devine.  “The Capital Athletic Conference is happy to see us add the sport as well because SMCM will strengthen the conference and the conference championships in cross country.”

The department plans to hire a part-time coach in the coming months to begin building up a team and to start the process of recruiting potential athletes.  The plan is to begin with a team consisting mainly of club runners and to incorporate new runners each year.  Devine said, “We will start in the fall with a good base of runners who are already here and then add to it over the next few years as the new coach works to recruit talented cross country athletes from around the state and the region.”
Assistant Athletic Director Shawne McCoy has been working out the schedule for the fall season.  It will consist of five or six regular season meets as well as the Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) championships and the men’s and women’s teams will travel together to away meets.

Another motivation for launching the varsity team comes from the great interest among the current club runners.  Vice President Tristan St. Onge says, “The majority of them ran in high school and miss that sense of competition and the idea of a real ‘team’ they can train with.”  This will provide the opportunity for these runners as well as others to showcase their hard work and talent in Division III of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

Despite the varsity upgrade, the club team will stay intact for those who want a less competitive running experience.  “I believe that there will be interest in keeping the club as well since some of the club members like to run only for fun.  It is easier and more fun to run with other people than by yourself,” says St. Onge.

The club has been busy this season, participating in five road races thus far.  Most of these races were 5Ks, measuring 3.1 miles; however they have plans to run some lengthier distances this spring.  Senior Anna Vaudin describes, “There’s a race in Leonardtown in April where you can run either 5K or 10K, which is nice because the runners have a choice of distance while all participating in the same event.”  The team also plans to participate in a run to Point Lookout this semester.  “It’s a 12.5 mile run, so it’s a big accomplishment when you’re done,” Vaudin says.

This development proves that the college’s athletics program is moving in an exciting direction.  Devine said, “We are confident that we will fill both the male and female cross country rosters with student athletes who will train hard and represent the college in a first class manner. It will be fun to see the Seahawks competing in cross country this upcoming fall.”  Anyone who has an interest in the men’s or women’s cross country team next year should contact Scott Devine at swdevine@smcm.edu.  In addition to providing contact information please include any pertinent information about your running experience in high school, road races, trail running, etc.

Wise Breaks 1,000 as Men Win 5 Straight

Senior Calvin Wise surpassed 1000 career points in a solid performance against YCP. (Photo by Matt Molek)
Senior Calvin Wise surpassed 1000 career points in a solid performance against YCP. (Photo by Matt Molek)

With a victory on Saturday afternoon, the men’s basketball team extended their home winning streak to 14 games in what was, at times, an uncomfortably close game against Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) opponents, the York College of Pennsylvania Spartans.

The game got off to a strong start with a 12-0 run by the Seahawks in the first four minutes, but by halftime the team had given up a 17 point lead and went to the locker room with a tied score, and nervous fans. “We kind of slacked off a little bit,” said senior forward Calvin Wise. The Seahawks posted a strong second half though, and put the Spartans away  with a final score of 88-79.

It was a memorable game for Wise, as he scored his 1000th career point early in the game. One of only two seniors on the team, Wise was head coach Chris Harney’s first recruit four seasons ago, long before the team was the CAC powerhouse that it is today. “When I first talked to Harney, he said that he was building something special here. I believed in that. I came here, and I stuck with it for four years”

Since then, Wise has seen the program transformed through his efforts, and those of his teammates around him. “I’ve been blessed to have very talented players around me, to help build this program,” Wise said. “I can always look back and say ‘We started that. We built something special,’ and that’s something that I’ll carry with me for the rest of my life.”

Junior Guard Camontae Griffin has earned CAC player of the week honors for the second time this season. (Photo by Matt Molek)
Junior Guard Camontae Griffin has earned CAC player of the week honors for the second time this season. (Photo by Matt Molek)

“I can’t say enough about him,” said Harney. “He is without a doubt the heart of our team … He is one of the best captains I’ve ever had. He’s a great leader.”

Another Seahawk in the spotlight this week is junior guard Camontae Griffin, who earned CAC player of the week honors for the second time this season. He continues to lead the team in playing time and scoring, averaging 20.1 points per game. “This is one of the best teams I’ve been a part of … I’m just having fun. I’m just going along for the ride with these guys,” said Griffin.

Inconsistent play has occasionally plagued the team during an otherwise spectacular 18-4 season.  There have been a lot of close games that the team feels should have been more definitive wins. “We get up… then we get sloppy, and we allow teams to come back. We need to learn how to put teams away early,” said senior center Alex Irmer.

Talking about his team’s inconsistency in the York game, Harney said, “We’re a young team, we do very young things. Everything’s a teachable moment, and even though we won the game, there were a lot of teachable moments in this game.”

“We are a young team,” Wise reiterated. “People forget that. It’s a learning process.”

Calvin Wise embraces coach Harney during a time-out immediately after tallying his 1000th career point. Wise was Harney’s first recruit as head coach four years ago. (Photo by Matt Molek
Calvin Wise embraces coach Harney during a time-out immediately after tallying his 1000th career point. Wise was Harney’s first recruit as head coach four years ago. (Photo by Matt Molek

One game that the team would surely like to have back, was against first ranked CAC rival Wesley College on Jan 24. The Seahawks held a 12 point lead at halftime, but ended up losing the game by just four points.  Griffin said, “When we lost to them it was just tough, because we were up to them the whole game, and the last 10 minutes we just kind of fell apart.”

The Seahawk’s only remaining home game, on Feb 21 at 4:00 p.m., is against Wesley, and will likely determine the first seed for the CAC playoffs, which will send the winner to this year’s NCAA tournament.

There are still two more away games before the Seahawks return home again. The team as a whole stressed that they need to take the rest of the season one game at a time, but it was hard not to look forward to the Wesley game. “They’re definitely rivals,” Griffin said.

Wise said, “We have the best fans in the CAC, possibly in the country, they come every game and support us wholeheartedly and they’re the X factor…We just can’t wait to get [Wesley] here in our house, to meet our fans, and just take them out. We’re not going to lose to them again.”

Women’s Basketball Team Strives to Make Playoffs

Senior Allie Scott leads the team in rebounds per game. (Photo by Matt Molek)
Senior Allie Scott leads the team in rebounds per game. (Photo by Matt Molek)

The Lady Hawks, fresh off their recent win on February 4 against Hood College, are working towards a spot in the Capital Athletic Conference championship. The team has a 5-7 record in the CAC, and an overall record of 7-13. At the time of this writing, there are 5 games left before the championship games begin on February 24.

The top six teams in the CAC play against each other in the championship. St. Mary’s women’s basketball is currently ranked 6th, as of February 5, with four more conference games to play before the championship starts.

Women’s basketball had a major victory against Hood College on February 4, with a score of 84-31. The team played very well together, consistently scoring points and getting rebounds.

In an interview with Barb Bausch, Head Women’s Basketball Coach, she said the team was making “progressive improvement.” She said one of the major setbacks the team faced was not having a point guard, making it difficult during practices and during games. However, she has been doing recruiting and working on getting a full roster for next season.

Bausch also said the team was a “pretty close bunch…[they] support each other well.” Tiara Hurte, sophomore, supported this saying, “I feel as though our experience here has made us a stronger team.”

Junior Alex Wenger has played in every game this season. (Photo by Matt Molek)
Junior Alex Wenger has played in every game this season. (Photo by Matt Molek)

According to Bausch women’s basketball has been working on becoming a more cohesive unit, already strong in shooting and running in the open court. They are continuing to learn how to read defense and “get[ting] to know each other’s movements.”

Allie Scott, senior, said “we have a lot of talent, but we are young team.” In regards to the upcoming championship, she said, “Not all of the teams in our conference make the playoffs this year so we are hoping to be one of the teams that does, which is looking like we are.  Our goal is to make it to the championship by taking down our rivals that we lost to in the beginning of the season since we are now playing more like a team.”

Women’s basketball’s last home game is February 21.

Undefeated Seahawks Claim Two Tournament Titles

The Men’s Basketball team is looking stronger than ever with an impressive 7-0 record, and two tournament titles under their belts.

The Seahawks won the Penn State-Behrend Tip-Off Tournament, notching convincing victories against 2008 NCAA tournament qualifers Nazareth and Penn State-Behrend, and then proceeded to plow through the Provident Pride of Maryland Tournament. The Seahawks knocked out last years tournament winner, McDaniel College, in the first round of tournament play, and won the championship game in a come from behind 84-81 victory against Johns Hopkins University.

The team is also 2-0 in conference play this season, having posted 9 point victories over Stevenson (80-71) and Marymount University (76-67).

St. Mary’s was named to the No. 18 spot on D3hoops.com’s Division III Top 25 poll, the highest national ranking in program’s history. The team was ranked No. 28 in preseason polling.

The Seahawks won’t return home again until Jan. 3 when they will host Arcadia at 2:00 p.m.

Sailing Wraps Up Fall Season with Anticipation for the Spring

The team consists of sailors from all over the country, as well as outside. The recruitment process usually involves sailors “contacting us,” a sign of the status St. Mary’s holds in the sailing world. (Photo submitted by Jen Chamberlain)
The team consists of sailors from all over the country, as well as outside. The recruitment process usually involves sailors “contacting us,” a sign of the status St. Mary’s holds in the sailing world. (Photo submitted by Jen Chamberlain)

As most sports move indoors this time of year, the St. Mary’s sailing team toughs out the cold.  “It wasn’t too long ago that we all arrived on campus early to do boat work and prepare for the season. Now that our fall season is wrapping up I find myself in a dry suit all bundled up.  But as our coach always says, at least the water is still warm,” says junior Sara Morgan Watters.  The team concludes a most successful fall season: in a recent November national ranking, the coed team was ranked #2, while the women’s team was ranked #1 in the country.

Qualifying for each possible nationals event, including the men’s single-handed nationals, women’s single-handed nationals, and Sloops Nationals, the squad is proud of their accomplishments thus far.  They were only one point shy of winning a consecutive Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association (ICSA) Sloop Nationals at the University of South Florida, and executed an exciting victory at the Co-Ed Atlantic Coast Championship, the most important double-handed event of the fall season.  Junior captain Ted Hale says, “I feel like the regattas we’ve had so far this season have gone really well, we are always in contention for winning every event, and have come home with some W’s. I think the whole team and the coaches are really excited and looking forward to the spring season.”

The team has high expectations for themselves this spring with their sights set on San Francisco, the location of the 2009 ICSA Women’s, Coed and Team Racing National events.  But to pave their way to the Golden Gate, they are firm believers in the adage “practice makes perfect.”  “Our goals for the spring season will be to continue to get better every day. As coach Bill [Ward] says, we are not just competing on weekends, we compete every day at workouts and practice  in hopes to work a little harder and get a little better than the other teams,” states Watters.

“Our biggest challenge will probably overcoming inexperience as we have a rather young but talented team,” says junior Jesse Kirkland.  Graduating a whopping eleven talented sailors last spring, the team is indeed a young one.  However, Coach Adam Werblow has faith in all of his athletes to keep the standards high.  “Our team is 15% smaller and that means we don’t have a person to waste.  If just a couple of people are doing less than their absolute best in our daily training; the results will begin to show it.  St. Mary’s College Sailing has a tradition of excellence and we hope and intend to be one of the teams capable of vying for national titles later this spring.”

The new River Center is an exciting addition to the campus that will be extremely beneficial to the sailing team.  “Our resources are more plentiful than ever and it is much appreciated by all the sailors,” says sophomore Michael Menninger.

The team is especially happy to have locker rooms for the first time, so that they won’t have to change out of their wetsuits in the frigid weather.  But although this addition to the campus is much appreciated by the sailors, Werblow hopes that the entire campus community will make use of the new waterfront as well.  “We hope the campus community as a whole couldn’t be happier with their new waterfront.  This facility is for the entire college community and we are excited to see it come online and fully operational.”

This weekend the Possum Bowl took place, an annual alumni regatta in which undergrads also participate and look forward to greatly.  Alumni from all across the nation flew in for the event to sail, reunite with college friends and teammates, and visit their beautiful alma-mater.  During this time, the River Center and Rowing Center were blessed.  With a great fall season and a stunning new facility, the team is rearing to go for the spring.  “The River Center has brought a lot of excitement to the team which we hope to translate to wins on the water,” says Hale.

Women’s Soccer Makes SMCM Sport History

Sofia Esparaza had three shots on goal in the game against York (Photos by Brendan O’Hara).
Sofia Esparaza had three shots on goal in the game against York (Photos by Brendan O’Hara).

With eleven hours and counting before they leave for Lynchburg to make program history, the ladies of St Mary’s soccer team are huddled around the Daily Grind for a Thursday night TNA coffeehouse, cheering for teammate Katie Klotz as she belts out an a capella rendition of Alicia Key’s “No One.”

Aside from the setting, it’s hard to distinguish the girl’s shouts of encouragement from the ones heard on their field at a typical game—but that shouldn’t be a surprise.  It’s that kind of continuous support–on and off the field–that the team cites for their extremely successful season which included a 12-2-3 record, a CAC championship, and a first-ever bid to the NCAA tournament.  “Things are clicking this year,” articulates senior captain Marie Oben.

And they certainly are—on top of a championship title, the Seahawks were recognized with seven All-CAC picks, matching a program record dating back to 1992.  Lauren Carrier was honored as CAC Player-of-the-Year, and managed to lead the conference with an average of 2.42 points per game and 1.08 goals per game, despite being forced to end her season early with a devastating knee-injury. Carrier’s injury on
October 15th was just another testament to the teams grit and togetherness.

Junior midfielder Sophie Esparaza describes; “the loss of Lauren really freaked us out initially but players stepped up, proved themselves, and we proved as a team that we could come back from that and not let it affect our chemistry on and off the field.”

And there’s no doubt in any of the girls minds that Carrier was deserving of her CAC honor; “even after missing those games, she [Carrier] still leads the conference in goals and assists,” says
Oben, “I’m glad they got that right.”

Joining Carrier on the all CAC first team was Oben, Esparaza, and senior defender Katie Klotz.  Junior defender Karisa Carroll, freshman forward Bridget McGovern and senior midfielder Taylor Cervenka all earned spots on the second team.  Excited as they are
about the honors, Oben and others don’t see this season as one about individual skills—“we’re all in this together” she says.

And that’s the attitude they carried with them into the tournament last weekend.  “Our team chemistry is fantastic” says CAC Coach-of-the-
Year Brianna Weaver; “Our goal throughout the year has been playing every game to the best of our ability, and that’s exactly what we hope to do on Saturday against Emory.”

Senior captain Taylor Cervenka describes how this year, the team and coach Weaver took a whole new approach to the season.  “Last year, we learned a lot about what to do differently and better,” she said.  It wouldn’t be surprising for a team whose been at it full-force since mid-August to be physically andmentally exhausted by this point, but Esparza says that Weaver makes sure that the girls maintain their composure and excitement going into the tournament.

“At this point in the semester and season people usually get stressed and burnt out. Bri’s done a great job of making it fun for us this past week while still working us hard. She always gives us days off and if people feel the need to take more time off to be completely healed and 100 percent for games she has no problem with that.”

Not only does Weaver coach a team of supportive and talented individuals, but she also makes a point to reach out to the greater St. Mary’s community.  “Bri strives for community outreach and wants to represent St. Mary’s outside of school.”

Junior midfielder Lea Gonzalez blocks the ball. She proved to be an essential player during the game.
Junior midfielder Lea Gonzalez blocks the ball. She proved to be an essential player during the game.

The team invited a few local girls, including St. Mary’s English Professor Ben Click’s daughters, to join them in a practice to participate in shooting drills, and the girls even came to some games.  Junior Brianne Carroll thinks that this outreach benefits the team itself as well as the community.  She says, “Seeing girls nine years old keeps us grounded and reminds you of when you were little, how you loved soccer so much, and how you still love it.”

And while the teams historic season ended in the first round of NCAA play with a 3-0 loss to Emory, all of this will serve them well.  Coach Weaver knows that the great success of her team this year will certainly benefit the program in the coming years.  “We had the fortunate opportunity to follow in the steps of lacrosse and basketball.

This will attract a higher level of soccer player to bring the [soccer] program up even more, and with it, the rest as well.”  This season marks the beginning of a very bright future for St. Mary’s Soccer, and this is all owed to Coach Weaver and her players.

Esparza says, “It feels great to be apart of the first team in the school’s history to win a CAC championship and I think it can only get better from here. The younger players have a lot to look forward to and the older ones are happy to have been a part of such a successful team.”

To end their historic season, the team lost to Emory University 3-0 in the first round of the NCAA Division III soccer tournament.

Seahawks Upset Bowie State

Camontae Griffin led the team with 25 points against Bowie State.
Camontae Griffin led the team with 25 points against Bowie State.

After winning the CAC championship and fighting to the NCAA Sweet 16 in an historic season last year, the men’s basketball team showed no signs of slowing down as the Seahawks upset the highly favored Division II Bowie State Bulldogs in an exhibition game at the Verizon Center in Washington D.C. on Nov. 7.

Speaking about the victory, head coach Chris Harney said, “It was exciting. It was a hard fought win against a team that definitely didn’t expect to lose the game… Usually you don’t expect a team that has 12 full scholarships to lose to a team that has none.”

The Seahawks got off to a rough start at the beginning of the game, falling behind by 17 points early in the first half after an 18-1 run by Bowie State. “We were a little rusty…and I guess a lot of that had to do with nerves” said senior forward Calvin Wise. Those nerves were not unfounded. Bowie State is favored to win their conference, the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA), this year “which many feel is the best Division II conference in the country,” Harney said.

The Seahawks were able to pull it together though, coming right back against Bowie State with an 18-4 run of their own to finish the second half trailing by only 4 points. The game was very close for most of the second half, but giving up that massive first half lead had clearly gotten to the Bulldogs. “When it got tight and we took the lead they showed their almost lack of mental toughness. They became unraveled and started yelling at each other,” said Harney.

“[Basketball] is a game of runs. People are going to make a run at you. They’re going to have their run, and then you have to answer with your run,” said Harney. “It’s just going to be a constant back and forth battle of that, and the team that hangs tough is the one that will win.” After both teams exchanged damaging runs in the first half, it was St. Mary’s who gave the final answer, finishing the game on a 16-9 run to win by a score of 82-75.

“In the second half we really played our game,” said Wise. “We’re feeling as confident as ever.”

The team’s leading scorer in the game with 25 points was junior guard Camontae Griffin. A new face on the team, Griffin is a transfer from Division II Shaw University, also a CIAA program.  On the Bowie State game Griffin said, “It was a great experience. It was great for the team, confidence-wise. I feel as though we won’t play another team like that, as athletic as them, so I think we should be very good this year.”

The seahawks will see more preseason action at the Penn State-Behrend Tip-Off Tournament this weekend, with their first game friday at 6pm against Nazareth College. “Nazareth won 20+ games last year and went to the [NCAA] tournament, so we’ll get a test right away against a NCAA tournament caliber program,” said Harney. “I think we’ll be ready,” said Griffin. “I feel ready.”

Looking forward to the rest of the season, Harney said, “our schedule this year is one of the toughest I’ve ever seen here. So we’ll be tested early and often, but that’s why you play … I want us to work for everything we get.” Wise said that the team is “really excited to get at it.”

Look for the Seahawks at their first home game, Tuesday Nov. 25 at 7pm against McDaniel College.

Swim Team Makes Strong Strokes

First-year Troy Kent swam at Linganore High School. His strongest events include fly and freestyle (Photo by Brendan O’Hara).
First-year Troy Kent swam at Linganore High School. His strongest events include fly and freestyle (Photo by Brendan O’Hara).

The St. Mary’s Men’s and Women’s swimming teams have had a strong start this year; both the men and women have 1-0 conference records, beating Hood on November 8th. As of November 14, overall, the men’s team has a 1-1 record and the women’s team has a 2-1 record. The teams are looking forward to their meets and according to Head Coach Andre Barbins, “building] on their success and placing] higher in the conference.”

The teams faced Hood College and Catholic University on November 8th. The women’s team won against both, while the men’s team defeated Hood and lost against Catholic. On November 14th, the Lady Hawks squared off against Randolph Macon College, but lost 129-76. This past Saturday, November 15th, both teams raced against Washington College.

The swimming teams have been working very hard with rigorous preseason training. Coach Barbins said the teams have “good work ethic” and they “started off really well.” The swimmers have also commented on the intensity of their training and their preparedness for the season.

Sophomore Nico Pinto said, “We’re doing much better than last year and we’re ready for the championship.”

The swimming team also gained several new additions. Sophomore Kalvin Day, who joined this year said, he’s “looking forward to the season” and “everyone’s been getting along real well.”  Senior women’s captain Brie McDowell said that the bigger size of the team “makes us more competitive.” Coach Barbins also commented on the strong mix of senior class leaders and new swimmers.

The teams are not only strong in the water, but they are close outside of the pool as well. Both the men’s and women’s teams get together on the weekends and convene for meals which helps keep everyone committed and strong.

Although, things are looking up for the swimming teams, the teams are always looking to develop their abilities. Barbins said he wants the teams “to continue to get better cohesively.” Pinto also said the team has to have the “commitment to improve.”

Aside from near-weekly meets, the teams are preparing for their annual training trip to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. In the beginning of January, the teams travel to Florida for a week and a half for twice a day practices, competitions and invitationals. McDowell said it’s “a lot of fun, but you definitely have to be in the right mindset.”

On November 21st the teams have a home meet with Marymount University and Gallaudet University. Coach Barbins invited everyone to come out and cheer on the swimmers.

Like her teammates, McDowell is optimistic and said, “I’m really excited for the season. I think we’re going to do really well.”