Vassar Today

Sports: Season of Champions

Field hockey match
Field hockey match
Several Brewer squads reveled in victorious glory last spring after successful seasons, two of which ended in national championship tournaments.

The mens volleyball team won the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (EIVA) playoffs, which sent them to compete at the Molten Division III National Championship for the first time in the team’s history.

"We set the goal for the national championship five years ago, and it has been an incremental process," said head mens volleyball coach Jonathan Penn. "We lost in the (EIVA) playoffs last year. But we won there this year, and came one swing away from the (Molten) final."

In the Molten consolation match, Vassar lost to top-seeded Clarke College. But the match was close, powered by stellar Brewer moves from Jeff Barr ’03, David Paine ’02, and Matt Walczak ’01. The tournament capped off a successful season that began with the Brewers capturing the Vassar Invitational crown, included a series sweep over Harvard and a victorious match against the then-top seeded Springfield College. Vassar was one of only five teams ranked in the national top 10 throughout the entire year.

The womens tennis team finished strong with an overall record of 18 wins and 6 losses. This impressive record warranted an invitation to compete in the Northeast Region NCAA Division III Championship, the first they have received since 1991.

However, the Brewers lost a rain-soaked match to the Tufts University Jumbos, 1-6. The lone point was garnered by the doubles play of Sarah Tighe ’03 and Becky Weldon ’03. Weldon added this victory to her personal scorecard, giving her the rights to boast the year’s top womens tennis record with 39 wins overall.

Rowing crew
Rowing crew

Stefan Bussey '01 and James Hildebrand '01 helped row their team through a successful season.

Boats propelled by Vassar’s mens and womens rowing squads reached success at a championship tournament during last spring’s sprint season. The mens varsity four boat finished third out of 18 boats, winning a bronze medal at the Avaya Collegiate Championship. This was Vassar’s best finish ever at the race.

Meanwhile, the womens varsity eight boat competed in its first Avaya Collegiate Championship, taking third place in the third-level final. "This was a great start for the team as we continue to build the program," said head coach Mike Alton. A great start indeed — the womens varsity eight ended their year ranked 19th in the nation.

Jennifer Price '01
Jennifer Price '01

Jennifer Price '01 carries the ball for the Vassar womens rugby team, which was named "Beast of the East."

Finally, the womens rugby team concluded its dominating season (14-1-1) with another successful rumble. The Brewers took home the official title, "Beast of the East" from the Rugby Imports Tournament. They defeated Wesleyan University in the opening match, shut out rival Radcliffe in the semi-finals, and kept Providence College off the scoreboard in the championship match.

Spring Sports Round Up

Baseball 15-18
(5-7 UCAA)

The team set a school record for regular season wins with 15. In its inaugural appearance in the Upstate Collegiate Athletic Association, Vassar finished fifth in the league. Highlights included a sweep of conference rival Skidmore and the team’s first series sweep of SUNY New Paltz.

Womens Lacrosse
(5-10, 1-7 UCAA)

The Brewers finished fifth at the Seven Sisters Championship, with a 2-1 record, including a 4-3 defeat of Mount Holyoke. Emily McLaughlin ’01 was named to the all-tournament team and Sarah Milo ’01 was selected a member of the All-UCAA second team.

Mens Lacrosse
(5-10, 0-6 UCAA)

Tying last year’s school record for wins in a season, the Brewers won five games, reeling off three consecutive wins late in the season and scoring in double figures in all of their victories.

Mens Rugby
(7-10 overall)

The Vassar men bounced back after a fall season that included only two wins, to come out on top in five of their last six games.

Mens Tennis
(3-14 overall)

Vassar’s Joss courts hosted the UCAA Mens Tennis Championship, at which the Brewers placed sixth. The team looks ahead to its 2001–2002 season when its top three singles players will be returning as sophomores.

Other Sports News and Accolades

For more information on Vassar sports, including where to look for upcoming Vassar competitons, visit The site also features reports on the outstanding Vassar athletes who were honored at the annual end-of-the-year banquet.