Vassar Today

Winter Athletics Wrap Up

By Robin Deutsch, sports information director


The sizzling heat of summer generally gets folks scrambling for the comfort of cool, refreshing water, whether the ocean or a pool. For Vassar’s freshman swimming sensation Emily Love, water is pure joy any time of year, particularly in the winter.

While the Brewers coaching staff knew that Love would have an immediate impact this past season, no one could have predicted the type of debut she would enjoy in Liberty League and New York State competitions. Her freshman season concluded with more honors and accolades than expected. She was named the Rookie of the Meet at the Liberty League Championships at RPI, earned eight weekly Liberty League honors—three as the Rookie of the Week and five as the Performer of the Week—and was an All-New York State performer in winning the 100 backstroke (59.43) and the 50 freestyle (24.76).

The modest Love, who preferred the attention be distributed among VC’s other talented swimmers, couldn’t hide from dominating the 200 backstroke. She barely missed qualifying for the NCAA Division III Championships in this event, although several times during the season she produced NCAA qualifying times, the latest being a third place 2:08.41 time at the New York State meet in Syracuse.

Coach Lisl Prater-Lee and staff put together another top season, particularly in Liberty League and New York State meets. This past winter, despite having a roster without a senior, the Brewers finished fourth in the Liberty League. The effort earned Prater-Lee, Assistant Coach Jesup Szatkowski, and Diving Coach Tom Albright Coaches of the Meet honors. In the New York State event, VC placed sixth. Among many swimmers who produced exceptional seasons were junior Blaire Fromm, a three-time Liberty League weekly honoree and freshman Allison Koenker, who was a Rookie of the Week selection.

On the men’s side, senior Will Oldehoff finished his career with an all-time best 2:18.92 finish in the 200 breaststroke at the New York State event. Fellow senior Matt Shapiro swam a lifetime best in the 200 butterfly (2:26.25) at the same meet.


Lawrence Avitabile '08
Lawrence Avitabile '08
The winter athletic season was equally exciting for the men’s basketball team, which began the season with a school best 7-1, finished 12-12, and made noise in Liberty League contests, losing three league games in overtime. Sophomore forward Lawrence Avitabile followed up his top league rookie season by being named to the Liberty League Second Team. Avitabile led the Brewers in six statistical categories, including points (15.0 ppg) and rebounding (8.0 rpg). The women’s team opened the season winning the Stevens Tech Tournament, but struggled to a 7-17 record. Junior center Rachel Cerlen was named honorable mention All-Liberty League.

Right: Lawrence Avitabile ’08 from Southington, Connecticut


Katie Siegel '06
Katie Siegel '06
At the newly renovated Kenyon Hall squash courts, Head Coach Jane Parker is building strong men’s and women’s teams. The men’s team (8-8) advanced to the final of the CSA Conroy Division Tournament, losing to the Rochester team in the final. The women’s team (9-7) becomes the focus of attention when the annual Seven Sisters Tournament takes place. For the fourth consecutive year, the Brewers won the Seven Sisters championship in convincing fashion, losing only four individual matches and placing six of nine players on the All-Tournament Team. With Vassar hosting the 2007 tournament at Kenyon, is it too early to start talking about a fifth straight title?

Above left: Katie Siegel ’06 from Northampton, Massachusetts


For the third straight year, Vassar had a fencer qualify for the NCAA Tournament. Senior captain Justin Bernstein qualified for a second time after finishing eighth at the Northeast Regional Championships in the saber competition. He finished 19th at the NCAA Tournament held in Houston, Texas.