Vassar Today

Sports: Season of Speed and Power

By Robin Deutsch, director of sports information

Men’s Soccer Has New, Old Coach

It had been seven years since Andy Jennings coached Vassar’s men’s soccer team. The 2004 season marked his return, and Jennings was able to put his stamp on the program quickly. The Brewers were competitive as ever, losing to Clarkson and St. Lawrence, two of the Liberty League’s top echelon programs, by identical 1-0 scores. A first-ever win over Hobart in overtime put Vassar in position to earn a spot in the Liberty League Championships. A tough, 3-2 loss to RPI dashed these hopes, but Jennings has set the foundation for a bright future.

Kramer Smashes Cross Country Record

Avi Kramer ’05 breaks course record
Avi Kramer ’05 breaks course record
In his first cross country race of the 2004 campaign, Avi Kramer ’05 put his name in the Vassar record books. Running on an abnormally warm September afternoon, Kramer not only won top honors in the Vassar College Invitational—and catapulted the Brewers into the team championship—but he also won the race by a whopping 2 minutes, 22 seconds, and smashed the seven-year course record. Kramer’s 25:36 time was the best since current assistant coach James McCowan ’99 set the record (25:24) in 1997. Kramer was also named First-Team All-Liberty League.

Kramer and fellow senior Schulyer Schuster led the Brewers to perhaps Vassar’s best cross country season ever, with a first-ever second place finish at the Liberty League Championships and a third-place result at the ECAC Championships.


Women’s Teams Continue Championship Victories

Sophomore Kelly Graham qualifies for national competition
Sophomore Kelly Graham qualifies for national competition
Coach Kathy Campbell’s women’s tennis team, on the strength of two nationally ranked players—Debbie Sharnak ’07 at first singles and Kelly Graham ’07 at second singles—won both the Liberty League and the New York State Championships for the third straight year. The Brewers were ranked 26th of 350 Division III teams and 7th in the 110-team Northeast Region. Sharnak and Graham, in addition to being named First-Team All-Liberty League, captured the ITA Regional Championship and now qualify for national competition. Sharnak ranked fifth in the region in singles, and Graham 23rd. As a doubles teams, the unbeatable pair, with a 17-0 record, were fourth in the Northeast, the highest such ranking for a Vassar pair since 1997.

Women’s volleyball won their fourth straight Liberty League Championship. Despite being down 2-0 to Skidmore in the championship match of the tournament, in the decisive fifth game Vassar moved ahead of Skidmore’s initial 7-3 lead to tie the score at seven. Vassar scored 8 of the final 13 points, with junior hitter and tournament MVP Anita Stavin, also a First-Team All-Liberty League, providing the game-winning kill. Head Coach Jonathan Penn said of his team, “They believed in themselves, stepped up, and showed a lot of heart out there.” The Brewers would parlay that victory into a postseason appearance in the prestigious ECAC Tournament.


Season Stats

Men’s Rugby 7-3

Vassar finished second in the Metropolitan New York Division II. The Brewers qualified for the Northeast playoffs, falling to St. Bonaventure in a thriller, 42-36.

Women’s Rugby 11-2-0

The Vassar women’s team thoroughly dismantled 11 of its 13 opponents during the fall, but played its best rugby in the Women’s Division I Northeast Championships. The Brewers defeated both Radcliffe and UMass, to advance to the National Final 16, scheduled for April 16 at the University of Florida against Ohio State. The NE Championship placed the team in rare company—among the 10 best teams in the country.

Women’s Soccer 10-8-1

First-year Interim Head Coach Tony Mohammed led the Brewers to a 10-win season, the championship of the New York State Tournament, and an appearance in the ECAC Tournament.

Women’s Cross Country

Led by Nilly Buchsbaum ’06 and Christine Schleppegrell ’08, who was named Second-Team All-Liberty League, the women’s cross country team had numerous fine performances, including placing second at the VC Invitational, fifth at Saratoga, and 9th of 24 at the ECAC Championships.

Field Hockey 3-13

Vassar’s field hockey team featured highlight performances from Kaitlin Harvie ’05, who was named All-New York State; Bernie Wu ’07, who was named All-Betty Richey; and two All-Seven Sisters selections: Kim Stein ’05 and Genevieve Fare ’06.

Save the Date!

The first annual Vassar College Micro-Brew Golf Tournament, sponsored by the Office of Athletics & Physical Education, will be held on Founder’s Day, April 30, at 9:00 a.m., at the Vassar Golf Course. For information, contact Sharon Beverly, interim director of athletics, at 845.437.7452 or by email at

Photo credit: Stockton Photo Inc.