Vassar Today

Vassar's Wide World of Sports

By Samantha Soper '91 and Veronika Ruff '01

Down (Under) and Dirty With Rugby

For the 54 members of the men’s and women’s rugby teams, spring break this year meant traveling for more than 24 hours and almost 10,000 miles. Their destination? Manly, Australia, located just across the harbor from Sydney. With practices on the beach, time off for sightseeing, snorkeling, and diving, this was a spring break to remember.

Despite the fun-in-the-sun atmosphere, the players were there to compete. And compete they did. Battling injuries and sunburn, the lineup of Australian university teams was fierce. The women’s team opened the tour with an exciting win over Eastwood Women of the Sydney Competition. Although this would prove to be the only Vassar rugby win of the trip, head men’s and women’s coach Tony Brown was pleased with the teams’ performances in this rugby-crazed country.

“The Australia Tour has certainly been a great learning experience for all the Vassar students that participated. There is no doubt that the players are much more streetwise in their play particularly in the loose. The question is will the referees allow it over here? We got to see a beautiful country and city with our friends and hopefully there will be memories to last a lifetime,” said Brown.

Read a day-by-day account of the teams abroad in “A Coach’s Diary” by Tony Brown online at

— S.S.

VC Hosts International Pro Squash Open

Though the title — Vassar Class of ’32 Women’s Squash Open — proved confusing for many (no, members of the class of 1932 did not sport protective goggles while quickly dodging a small rubber ball), this second annual international professional squash tournament was held on campus in March. The event was sponsored by Al Gordon, in honor of his mother, Mary Rousmaniere Gordon ’32 and her classmates. The five international squash courts in Kenyon Hall (built between 1995 and 2000) were also funded by Al and named for his mother. Though neither Al nor Mary played squash, Al’s 16-year-old son Christopher is one of the top-ranked junior squash players in the U.S., and placed third at the 2001 Vassar Junior Classic Tournament.

“Vassar is the only U.S. college to host a world-class squash tournament for women. There have been many positive outcomes following the events [including] greater exposure for Vassar and its squash program both nationally and internationally,” said Jane Parker, head coach of Vassar’s men’s and women’s squash teams.

This year, the Vassar women clinched their third Howe Cup championship in four years. Vassar has brought home Howe Cup championships in the last four decades. The Brewers ended the year with an 11-6 mark. This was the most wins in a season since the 1998-99 team won 13. Sara Wood ’05 advanced to the quarterfinals of the Women’s Intercollegiate Squash Association’s B consolation championship. The Vassar men won their third consecutive New York State championship. Tim Shea ’03 represented Vassar at the National Intercollegiate Squash Racquets Association individual championship. — V.R.

Season Stats

Women’s Basketball
(8-16, 2-14 UCAA)

Vassar opened the season with a 6-0 record, finished second at the Seven Sisters Championship, and ended the year with a win over conference rival Skidmore as VC bid farewell to its four seniors. Carleen Aubee ‘03 was tabbed second-team All-UCAA. Vassar had seven selections to the All-Academic list.

Men’s Basketball
(9-15, 3-13 UCAA)

The Brewers won the VC Invite and finished second at Amherst’s invitational. On its home court, Vassar shocked St. Lawrence, 76-69, thanks to Brian Snodgrass’ '03 five 3-point field goals. Steffen Ringelmann '04 was an honorable mention selection for All-UCAA and was named to the All-Academic list.

Men’s Fencing
(9-11, 13th IFA Championship)

Jonathan Lord '05 medaled at the New England Regional Championship to open the season. In the foil, Tom Creeley '03 took third at the New England Championship and Jacob Goodman '05 captured the junior varsity championship. At the Vassar-hosted Intercollegiate Fencing Assoc. Championship, Ben Bedore ’05 posted a 4-4 mark in í‰pée Pool C competition.

Women’s Fencing
(10-12, 14th IFA Championship)

Terri Waymire ’02 and Anne Tiballi ’03 medaled in épée competition, and Maureen Karb ’02 in the saber at the New England Regional Championship. In foil, Jesica Pascual ’02 advanced to the final round at the New England Championship. At the Vassar-hosted Intercollegiate Fencing Association Waymire and Kari Strickland ’05 won four bouts in the épée and foil, respectively.

Men’s Swimming & Diving
(6-5, 7th UCAA Championship)

Vassar posted its first winning season in dual meets since the 1994-95 season and had its best showing, eighth, at the Upstate NYSCAA Championship. Ben Chung ‘03 won his third-consecutive 500-yard freestyle at the UCAA Championship. Pete Isgrigg ‘03 broke the record for the 100 breaststroke this year.

Women’s Swimming & Diving
(6-4, 5th UCAA Championship)

Vassar gave its best performances at the UCAA (fifth place) and the NYS Women’s Collegiate AAC championships (ninth) since 1994-95. Devon Chen ‘03 added another record, the 50-yard fly. Megan DeLong ‘05 got her career off to a great start with four records.

Photo by Mike Fabius ’04.