Sunday, January 23, 2011

SMC Baseball Meets Buster Olney

Even in these sub-zero temperatures, my teammates and I are already looking forward to the start of baseball season. As an exclamation point on a great first week of indoor practice, we got to meet Buster Olney, a national baseball writer for ESPN, today in Burlington.

Olney, who is a native Vermonter, was in town for a book signing. He recently released How Lucky You Can Be: The Story of Coach Don Meyer, and has been met with excellent reception by everyone who has read the book. But today he took a half hour out of his busy schedule and talked to us about baseball. The topics ranged from steroids to sabermetrics as Olney showed us all what a down-to-earth guy he is. He seemed to really enjoy getting the chance to talk to thirty guys who really love baseball.

He was nice enough to pose for a picture with us after all the questions were answered and if you look hard enough I'm sure you'll come across the pictures on Facebook. Perhaps you'll even notice an unnamed baseball player giving Olney bunny ears. Classy as always.

47 days and counting until baseball season begins in West Palm Beach, Florida.

"Nobody goes there anymore, it's too crowded."
- Yogi Berra

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Hey Superfans!
The Purple Knights had a fabulous weekend at Whiteface with some great results and constantly changing weather.

On Friday, the team raced the Giant Slalom. If you have not been to Whiteface, the GS hill consists of 2 pitches with a nice flats section in the middle. Visibilty wasn't an issue which was refreshing! Last year at Whiteface, racers were battling rain! While the course got a little bumpy, it was nothing the team couldn't handle. Here are the collegiate results (this is from the SMC Athletics Press Release):

Kelly and Gabbi
Sophomore Gabbi Hall (Incline Village, Nev./Forest Charter School) had the best finish of the day for the Purple Knights, as she placed 22nd in the women's giant slalom. Three other Purple Knight women placed in the top-40 in the giant slalom, as sophomore Kelsey Redden (Ramsey, N.J./Northwood School/Ramsey HS) was 33rd, freshman Kelly Waddle (Harpswell, Maine/Carrabassett Valley Academy) placed 34th, and junior Ashley Langlands (Shelburne, N.H./Gorham Middle) took 38th.

 In the men's giant slalom, four Purple Knights finished in the top-40, led by junior Kevin O'Brien (Ridgefield, Conn./Ridgefield) and his 34th-place finish. Placing 36th, 37th and 38th were classmate J.D. Levine (Toronto, Ontario/National Ski Acad./King's College at Univ. of W. Ontario), fellow junior Nathan Bryant (Lee, N.H./Oyster River), and sophomore Andrew Keating (Waterbury, Vt./Burke Mountain Academy).

The following day (Saturday) was Slalom on the lower part of the GS hill. It's starts off flat, but the majority of the SL has a nice pitch. On the men's side, conditions were tough. The snow was chunking out and spectators definitely watched a show. Our boys forged ahead posting some fabulous results! The women had less problems with snow as they had a rock hard surface underneath. All racers did battle some visibility problems when it started to snow before second run. Here are the collegiate results  (from the SMC Athletics Press Release):

Carl Oscar and Tim at the bottom of the Gs

Freshman Tim Spangler (Summit, N.J./Summit/Univ. of Colorado) had the Purple Knights' best finish of the day, placing 17th in the men's slalom. Classmate Carl-Oscar Bredengen (Reistad, Norway/Donski VGS) finished 25th for Saint Michael's, while juniors Nathan Bryant (Lee, N.H./Oyster River) and J.D. Levine (Toronto, Ontario/National Ski Acad./King's College at Univ. of W. Ontario) recorded 27th and 29th-place finishes, respectively.

In the women's slalom, sophomore Gabbi Hall (Incline Village, Nev./Forest Charter School) led Saint Michael's with a 25th-place finish. Freshmen Kerstin Middleton (Greenland, N.H./Proctor Academy) and Kelly Waddle (Harpswell, Maine/Carrabassett Valley Academy) were 33rd and 36th, respectively, while junior Ashley langlands (Shelburne, N.H./Gorham Middle) took 37th.

The team starts classes this week and will be heading off to Sugarloaf, ME, hosted by Colby College, on Thursday! 
A big thanks to all the parents who brought food to Whiteface! You are all truly fabulous!

Monday, January 17, 2011

This Week in SMC Athletics

Big wins for men’s hockey and women’s basketball, a new 1,000-point scorer, and a landmark win for women’s basketball head coach Jen Niebling put the Purple Knights in great position for a strong second half to the winter season – just in time for the returning students to witness all the upcoming action.

Women’s basketball earned two wins this week, boosting their record to over .500 for the first time since Dec. 4. Junior Logan Pintka (Schenectady, N.Y./Colonie Central) and sophomore Nicole Adach (Schenectady, N.Y./Mohonasen) propelled Saint Michael’s to its first three-game Northeast-10 Conference win streak since Dec. 3-13, 2008. Pintka became the 17th 1,000-point scorer in program history, averaging 17 points per game while shooting 50 percent from the field and 88 percent from the foul line during the week. Adach tallied back-to-back double-doubles, improving to a team-leading five on the season and averaging 16 points and 10 rebounds over two games. Niebling coached her 200th game as the Saint Michael’s head coach on Tuesday, a 63-56 win over Southern Connecticut, and is now 90-111 at the helm of the Purple Knights. Saint Michael’s returns to action on Wednesday at New Haven at 7:30 p.m.

Men’s basketball locked down Southern Connecticut with a 62-43 home win on Tuesday before dropping a 75-57 decision at Pace on Saturday. Tuesday’s win over the Owls marked the fewest points allowed for the Purple Knights since a 78-40 win over Norwich on Nov. 15, 2008. Freshman Michael Holton, Jr. (Portland, Ore./Sunset/The Winchendon School) kept his scoring streak alive, averaging 15.5 points per game over the week to improve to 14 consecutive games with ten or more points to begin his college career. Saint Michael’s is 4-2 at home, but has yet to secure a road victory with a 0-6 mark away from the Ross Sports Center. The Purple Knights will look to pick up their first road win when they head to New Haven on Tuesday.

Men’s hockey secured the top spot in the NE-10 and moved into the top half of the Eastern College Athletic Conference East with a 1-0-1 week, which began with a 4-2 win at Saint Anselm on Saturday that gave the Purple Knights their first win over the defending NE-10 champions since beating the Hawks in the NE-10 championship in 2008. Junior Reave MacKinnon (Winnipeg, Manitoba/Winnipeg Saints) netted the game winner against the Hawks, had three assists over two games, and is tied for first and third in goals scored in the NE-10 and ECAC East, respectively. Junior Brady Earle (Columbia, Md./The Gunnery School) tallied the game-tying goal in a 2-2 stalemate at New England College on Saturday, and sophomore goalie Mike Dizgun (Kirkland, Quebec/OCN Blizzard) stopped 53-of-57 shots in two stints between the pipes. The Purple Knights complete their four-game road trip with ECAC East contests at Trinity and Wesleyan on Friday and Saturday.

Women’s hockey suffered road setbacks to Salve Regina and Holy Cross over the weekend. Junior Madelena Santore (Millington, N.J./New Jersey Rockets/Rutgers Univ.) scored a goal in a 6-2 loss at Salve Regina on Friday, upping her team-leading total to 10 and giving her over a third of the Purple Knights’ goals this season. The junior forward is fifth in the ECAC East in goals scored, and is just the sixth player in Saint Michael’s program history to net 10 goals in a season. Sophomore Allison Graf (Long Lake, Minn./Minnesota Thoroughbreds) netted her fourth goal of the season and the lone goal for Saint Michael’s in Saturday’s 7-1 defeat. The Purple Knights will look to pick up their first home win of the season when they host nationally-ranked Norwich on Friday in the first game of a home-away weekend series against the Cadets.

The ski team finished 10th on Saturday in the season-opening Saint Lawrence University Carnival. Freshman Tim Spangler (Summit, N.J./Univ. of Colorado) paced the Purple Knights with a 17th-place finish in the men’s slalom in his first collegiate carnival, and sophomore Gabbi Hall (Incline Village, Nev./Forest Charter School) raced to the women’s best alpine effort with a 22nd-place finish in the giant slalom. On the Nordic side, freshman Gabrielle Naranja (Fort Kent, Maine/Fort Kent Community) was 54th in the women’s 10-kilometer free technique on Saturday, and Robert Sitzer (Lennox, Mass./Lennox Memorial) placed 50th in the men’s 15-kilometer free technique. The Purple Knights hit the slopes again on Friday and Saturday at the Colby Carnival, which will be held at Sugarloaf and Titcomb Mountain.

Swimming and diving took losses in home meets to Bentley and Saint Rose this week. Junior Eileen Mullowney (Burlington, Vt./Burlington) had strong performances on the women’s side, winning five individual races over two meets: the 50-, 100- and 200-yard freestyles against the Falcons on Thursday, and the 100- and 200-yard freestyles against the Golden Knights on Saturday. Junior Dan Healy (South Burlington, Vt./South Burlington) picked up four wins for the men: the 100- and 200-yard backstrokes on Thursday, and the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard backstroke on Saturday. Junior Kaytlyn Kelley (Jefferson, Mass./Wachusett Regional), sophomore Andrea Munar (Westwood, Mass./Westwood), senior Catie Watt (Cumberland, Maine/Greely) and freshman Julie Mullowney (Burlington, Vt./Burlington) helped earn the Purple Knights’ lone relay win of the week in the 200-yard freestyle relay on Saturday. Saint Michael’s takes on Le Moyne on Wednesday in its lone meet of the week.

This Week’s Schedule:

Jan. 19 Swimming and Diving vs. Le Moyne*, 3:30 p.m.
Men’s basketball at New Haven*, 5:30 p.m.
Women’s basketball at New Haven*, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 21 Skiing at Colby Carnival, 9 a.m.
Men’s hockey at Trinity^, 7 p.m.
Women’s hockey vs. Norwich^, 7 p.m.

Jan. 22 Skiing at Colby Carnival, 9 a.m.
Women’s basketball vs. Assumption*, 1:30 p.m.
Men’s hockey at Wesleyan^, 3 p.m.
Men’s basketball vs. Assumption*, 3:30 p.m.
Women’s hockey at Norwich^, 7 p.m.

*Northeast-10 Conference Game
^Eastern College Athletic Conference East Game

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Nordic Ski Team Winter Training

On January 5th the nordic team made our way to Jackson, NH to start our winter training. It's been a busy week or so for SMC Nordic. We stayed at Larissa's house in Jackson and skiing at Bretton Woods just half an hour away. The conditions there were absolutely perfect while every other ski area was hurting for snow. We had sunny days and hard tracks. We got in a day of intervals, a double session, and a really successful long ski. We were all absolutely in love with the place and were sad to leave. I'm absolutely in love with the hotel. It's basically a castle and it's amazing.
Mount Washington Hotel
Larissa up at the Yurt
Kat and I

From New Hampshire we headed back to school for a few days and spent a good amount of time up in my area of St. Albans, VT. We skied at Dickenson's, which is where I skied in high school, and had chicken parm made by my Gram at my house.

Kat, Silke, Larissa, and Gabbi at Dickinson's
Yesterday we had a quick ski at Sleepy Hollow and then made our way to Lake Placid. We had dinner at Colin's which was nice since it was the first time in a while our whole team together. Colin's been M.I.A. with a broken ankle from ski jumping and Silke's leaving soon for World Juniors for biathlon. Clearly straight up nordic skiing is the only way to stick around for extended periods of time. Last night it started snowing and pretty much didn't stop. It let up for a while, but is now going steady again. Things are looking good for the carnival this weekend hosted by SLU.
Kat shoveling away this morning
Excitement on the way to ski this morning
Races on the bridge

Kat and I pretending to be Silke
Check out the team blog for Larissa's account of our day in Placid! Tomorrow's an easy ski on the courses for the weekend and then Friday we start our carnival season. Busy busy.

Monday, January 3, 2011

This Week in SMC Athletics

COLCHESTER, Vt. – The first official Saint Michael’s athletic events of 2011 are in the books, but the Purple Knights have yet to claim a win in the new year. After a handful of losses over the weekend, men’s and women’s basketball and men’s ice hockey will have a chance to turn things around in the coming week with several conference games.

Men’s basketball pulled within a point of nationally-ranked Bentley (53-52) midway through the second half on Sunday thanks to keen shooting by junior Tom Ward (Brighton, East Sussex, England/Saint Francis (N.Y.)), but the Falcons pulled away for their ninth straight win to exact revenge on the Purple Knights, who upset the national superpower back in February. Ward had a team-high 20 points on 6-of-8 shooting from behind the arc, exactly a year after his career-best 21-point performance at Bentley, a game in which he netted seven three-pointers. The sharp-shooting junior sank trifectas on three consecutive possessions in the second half to bring Saint Michael’s back from a seven-point halftime deficit. Sophomore Travis Warech (Pine Brook, N.J./Montville) added 18 points and five rebounds, while senior Nate Birr (Burnsville, Minn./Saint Thomas Academy) dished out a career-high 13 assists in the loss. Saint Michael’s returns to action on Wednesday at home against Saint Rose at 7:30 p.m.

The women’s basketball team suffered its second overtime loss in the last month when the Purple Knights surrendered an eight-point first half lead before falling 82-79 to nationally-ranked Bentley at home on Sunday. Senior Logan Pintka (Schenectady, N.Y./Colonie Central) continued her stellar offensive play with a team-high 19 points on 7-of-13 shooting, while junior Coreen Hennessy (Chatham, N.H./Fryeburg Academy) added 14 points. Sophomore Megan Olsen (Glenmont, N.Y./Bethlehem Central) tallied a career-best 12 points off the bench in her first appearance of the season. The Purple Knights stormed out to an early 7-0 lead and maintained a 35-27 lead at the half, but Bentley caught fire after intermission and scored the first 10 points of the second half. Pintka hit two free throws to force overtime, but the Falcons used a 7-0 run in overtime to take the win. Saint Michael’s returns to action on Wednesday at home against Saint Rose at 5:30 p.m.

Men’s hockey took back-to-back 4-2 losses in the Saint Michael’s Holiday Classic, first to Johnson & Wales on Saturday and then to Morrisville State on Sunday. Freshman Petr Soustal (Unicov, Czech Republic/Gymnazium Unicov) netted his first two collegiate goals in Saturday’s loss, while senior Alex Higgins (Phoenix, Ariz./Kent School) had an assist and received All-Tournament Honors. On the previous Tuesday, Saint Michael’s earned a 3-2 exhibition win over the U.S. Men’s National University team, which beat nationally-ranked and would-be SMC Holiday Classic champions Castleton the previous day. The Purple Knights resume to ECAC East action when they play host to Colby on Friday at 7 p.m.

Women’s hockey lost 4-3 to Colby on Saturday and 4-2 to Saint Catherine on Sunday in the Saint Michael’s Holiday Classic. Junior Madelina Santore (Millington, N.J./New Jersey Rockets) scored twice in Saturday’s loss and received All-Tournament honors, while sophomore Allison Graf (Long Lake, Minn./Minnesota Thoroughbreds) joined Santore on the All-Tournament team with a goal and an assist on Sunday. Saint Michael’s will see some downtime until the Purple Knights travel to Salve Regina on Jan. 14 at 12:30 p.m.

This Week’s Schedule:

Wed. Jan. 5 Women’s Basketball vs. Saint Rose*, 5:30 p.m.
Men’s Basketball vs. Saint Rose*, 7:30 p.m.

Fri. Jan. 7 Men’s Hockey vs. Colby^, 7 p.m.

Sat. Jan. 8 Women’s Basketball at Le Moyne*, 1 p.m.
Men’s Basketball at Le Moyne*, 3 p.m.

*Northeast-10 Conference Game
^Eastern College Athletic Conference East Game