Athletics

Wesleyan Athletics Hosts Girls, Women in Sports Day

Kathy Keeler '78, Wesleyan's only graduate to win an Olympic gold medal, spoke to participants at Wesleyan's National Girls and Women in Sports Day celebration Feb. 13 in Freeman Athletic Center. Keeler, who rowed at Wesleyan, stroked on the women’s eight crew to a top finish at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. She was a member of the U.S. national team in 1982 and was part of the women’s four that captured a silver medal at the World Championships in Lucerne, Switzerland. She also qualified for the U.S. Olympic rowing squad in 1980 and has been part of four U.S. national teams.

Kathy Keeler ’78, Wesleyan’s only graduate to win an Olympic gold medal, spoke to participants at Wesleyan’s National Girls and Women in Sports Day celebration Feb. 13 in Freeman Athletic Center. Keeler, who rowed at Wesleyan, stroked on the women’s eight crew to a top finish at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. She was a member of the U.S. national team in 1982 and was part of the women’s four that captured a silver medal at the World Championships in Lucerne, Switzerland.

On Feb. 13, Wesleyan student athletes welcomed local girls to campus and recognized the courage, confidence, and character women and girls gain as they participate in sports.

February marks the 30th anniversary of National Girls and Women in Sports Day, an event created to celebrate the extraordinary achievements of women and girls in sports.

The Wesleyan Athletics Department celebrated by hosting a day of fun-filled sports activities for girls, ages 5-12. Participants took part in sports clinics, had lunch and discussions with Wesleyan’s female student-athletes and coaches, and cheered on the women’s basketball and ice hockey teams during their home games.

“In our experience volunteering in the community and during our conversations with local community leaders and teachers, it became evident that this would be a tremendously beneficial event for the young girls in our community,” said event organizer Jeff McDonald. “It provided them with an opportunity to connect with our student-athletes, see all the positives that athletics brings, and experience all the different types of sports available.”

McDonald, assistant football coach, coordinated the event with help from Kim Williams, head women’s lacrosse coach; Jen Lane, head softball coach; and Olivia Berry, assistant softball coach.

As part of the celebration, Wesleyan highlighted some of their female alumni who dominated in their respective sports, including Wesleyan’s own Olympic gold medalist, Kathy Keeler ’78, who gave a short address to the group at the start of the day. Read stories from other Wesleyan alumnae athletes here.

Photos of Wesleyan’s Girls and Women in Sports Day is below: (Photos by Ryan Heffernan ’16)

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Men’s Basketball Davis ’16 Reaches 1,000-Point Milestone

B.J. Davis '16

B.J. Davis ’16

B.J. Davis ’16, a guard on the men’s basketball team, scored his 1,000th career point as the 25th-ranked Wesleyan Cardinals used a second half rally to defeat the Connecticut College Camels in NESCAC play Jan. 30, 87-79.

Wesleyan trailed the entire first half but outscored the Camels, 53-37 in the final 20 minutes of regulation to earn its fourth-consecutive win.

With 13 points, four fouls and just :43 remaining on the clock, Davis went to the foul line. He missed his first shot but hit the second to etch his name in the Wesleyan record books as he finished with 14 points on the day.

More Cardinal Athletics news can be found on this website.

(Information provided by Mike O’Brien, sports information director)

Alumnae Athletes Share Their Stories

All of the following women were Jones Award winners—women who represent the very best of Wesleyan athletics. Here are a few of their stories:

Christina Fedolfi ’90

Christina Fedolfi ’90

At Wesleyan, Christina Fedolfi ’90 (soccer) played soccer for four seasons, basketball for one season, and rugby for two seasons. “During these seasons, I made my lifelong friends- women who were dedicated, smart and fun. Athletics always provided structure to my college life- I knew I had to carve out time for my academics once practice and games were over. Playing sports made me a better student. I had my sports time and my academics time. I am trying to instill this in my kids today.”

Joanna Buffington ’81 (soccer) says she loved being part of the first varsity women’s team (after being club status for two years). “Being elected captain two years in a row (first year there were 4, second just 1) by my peers meant so much to me, as it clearly wasn’t because I was the most talented player. It was (I believe) because I had the biggest mouth and was constantly yelling encouragement and advice from all over the field (and off). Apparently my teammates thought that was helpful. Since playing soccer and running track at Wesleyan, I have managed to continue to play organized sports — I currently play pick-up Ultimate Frisbee, and am the oldest (by about 30 years) female to participate. I could be the grandmother of some of these kids. At least the more polite young men have stopped calling me ‘Maam.’

Here’s hoping to play for another 20 years.”

Homecoming Football Game Webcast Live at 1 p.m. Nov. 7

The Wesleyan Cardinals will take on the Williams Ephs Nov. 7. During the 2013 Homecoming game, Wesleyan defeated Williams 16-14 and earned the Little Three title

The Wesleyan Cardinals will take on the Williams Ephs Nov. 7. During the 2013 Homecoming game, Wesleyan defeated Williams 16-14 and earned the Little Three title.

 

(Updated: Wesleyan won 27-7)

If you’re unable to attend the 2015 Homecoming game Nov. 7, cheer on the Cardinals to victory from the comfort of your own home!

The Wesleyan vs. Williams College Homecoming football game will be webcast live at 1 p.m. EST by Northeast Sports Network accessible through WesCast. To view a live streaming video of the game, see http://www.wesleyan.edu/wescast/. The Cardinals current record is 4-2, 4-2 NESCAC. View the team’s roster online here.

Also, at 11 a.m. Oct. 7, men’s soccer (7-7-1, 3-6-1 NESCAC) will move on to the second-round of the NESCAC Tournament when they take on No. 2 seed Middlebury. This game also will be webcast through NSN.

For those on campus, tailgating for football, baseball, softball, women’s basketball, football, women’s lacrosse, squash, track and field and wrestling will be held near their respective playing areas between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Nov. 7.

The athletic contests are part of Wesleyan’s 2015 Homecoming/Family Weekend Nov. 6-8. View the entire schedule of events online here.

Rugby Team Wins 2015 Little Three Championship

The men's rugby team is one of several club sports at Wesleyan. Pictured is the 2015 team.

The men’s rugby team is one of several club sports at Wesleyan. Pictured is the 2015 team, which won the Little Three Championship this fall.

The Wesleyan Men’s Rugby Team, which recently celebrated its 50th anniversary, played Trinity College on Oct. 30 at the Long Lane field. The team, also known as the Wesleyan “Old Methodist” Rugby Football Club, now plays in a recognized New England Rugby Football Union league including the Little 3, Trinity and Connecticut College, and they can compete for both New England and National titles. In fact, Wesleyan beat both Amherst and Williams in league play this fall to win the Little Three championship!

Wesleyan won 19-15 over Williams on Sept. 26 and 48-35 over Amherst on Oct. 10. Rugby is coached by Peter Velcovsky and Dennis “Doc” Lyons.

Rugby is one of Wesleyan’s many club sports, which provide a competitive alternative to varsity athletics. Although schedules vary from team to team, many practice more than three times a week times and play games against other schools. All teams are run and organized by students and are supported by the Wesleyan Student Assembly and Wesleyan Department of Physical Education and Athletics.

Other club sports recognized by Wesleyan include: women’s rugby, cycling, equestrian, ice hockey, men’s and women’s sailing, co-ed Ultimate Frisbee, men’s volleyball, water polo, fencing, men’s lacrosse, badminton, Kung Fu, boxing and climbing (WesClimb).

More photos of the men’s rugby team in action are below: (Photos by Olivia Drake MALS ’08)

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Homecoming/Family Weekend is Nov. 6-8

In advance of Wesleyan football's Homecoming match, various athletic teams host tailgates on Andrus Field for family, friends and alumni, with concessions provided by the baseball and softball teams. (Photo by John Van Vlack)

In advance of Wesleyan football’s Homecoming match, various athletic teams host tailgates on Andrus Field for family, friends and alumni, with concessions provided by the baseball and softball teams. (Photo by John Van Vlack)

The entire Wesleyan community is invited to Homecoming/Family Weekend Nov. 6-8 to experience life at Wesleyan and reunite with friends and family.

Events include campus tours, WESeminars, multiple art exhibitions, a Career Center open house and Summer Experience Showcase, a family swim, “Mass Incarceration: Feminist Responses” symposium, an Asian American Arts Festival, the annual Homecoming/Family Weekend Dinner, the 12th annual Schumann Symposium “Where on Earth Are We Going?,” a Friends of the Wesleyan Library book sale, a president’s reception honoring leadership donors and volunteers, a West African Drumming performance, an A Capella concert and much more. A special celebration honoring Wesleyan’s recently-retired alumni director John Driscoll ’62 will be held Nov. 6.

Tailgating for football, baseball, softball, women’s basketball, football, women’s lacrosse, squash, track and field and wrestling will be held near their respective playing areas between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Nov. 7. Come cheer on the Cardinals to victory as they play William College at 1 p.m. in the annual Homecoming game.

View the entire schedule of events online here.

Register for HCFW online here. Check-in hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Nov. 6; 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Nov. 7; and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 8 inside Usdan University Center.

For more information e-mail parents@wesleyan.edu or hcfw@wesleyan.edu.

Staff on the Move September 2015

The Office of Human Resources reported the following new hires, transitions and departures for September 2015: 

Newly hired
Max Sass was hired as a men’s basketball intern in the Department of Athletics on Sept. 1.
Laura Pierce was hired as a women’s basketball intern in the Department of Athletics on Sept. 1.
Adrian Blackadar was hired as a men’s soccer intern in the Department of Athletics on Sept. 1.
Prashanie Silva was hired as senior budget analyst in financial planning on Sept. 3.
Marek Mikunda was hired as program coordinator in Upward Bound on Sept. 14.
Lee Maes was hired as a volleyball intern in the Department of Athletics on Sept. 15.
Kate Quigley Lynch`82 was hired as assistant director of annual giving for the Wesleyan Fund on Sept. 15.
Allison Grella was hired as assistant director of university events and scheduling on Sept. 17.
James Zareski was hired as a research assistant/ lab manager in the Department of Earth and Environmental Science on Sept. 21.
Chris Wojick was hired as assistant director of annual giving for the Wesleyan Fund on Sept. 28.
Steven Bertolino was hired as academic computing manager for arts and humanities on Sept. 30.

Transitions
Jayana Mitchell was hired as budget analyst in financial planning on Sept. 7.
Samantha Burr was hired as manager of the Cardinal Technology Store on Sept.  21.

Departures
Anita Deeg-Carlin, administrative assistant in physics
Brian Katten, sports information director in the Office of University Communications

IntraGreek Council to Host Fall Harvest Festival Oct. 10

Wesleyan’s IntraGreek Council (IGC), in partnership with the Division of Student Affairs and the Athletics Department, is inviting Middletown families to participate in the inaugural Wesleyan Fall Harvest Festival on Oct. 10.

Traditional carnival games with prizes, face painting, a crafts table and other fall activities will be offered for children 13 and younger. The ICG will collect canned food donations for the Office of Community Engagement’s Thanksgiving food drive. The festival will run simultaneously with the home football game against Colby College. During half-time, children who come in costume may walk across the field in a parade, and will have a chance to win one of several different prize packages in a costume contest.

“The Wesleyan Greek Community and the IGC are excited to sponsor this fantastic event, showcasing how we do Greek Life the ‘Wes Way’ by participating in community engagement in a fun and unique way,” said Jason Brandner, a senior in Alpha Epsilon Pi and the current IntraGreek Council president.

“Wesleyan students have a long history of involvement and volunteer work with Middletown community,” added Vice President for Student Affairs Michael Whaley. “Our Greek organizations in particular have philanthropy as a significant part of their missions, and I’m thrilled to see the Greek community collaborating on this event for Middletown children.”

Students in the seven Greek Letter Organizations at Wesleyan strive to provide an open, inclusive environment that promotes scholarship, leadership, civic engagement, and personal development. Through their combined efforts, Greek students have raised thousands of dollars for local and national charities including Habitat for Humanity, Take Back the Night, Relay for Life, and more.

For more information about the festival, please contact:

Abby Reed ’16, community engagement chair for IGC, at aereed@wesleyan.edu;
Jason Brandner ’16, president of IGC, at igc@wesleyan.edu; or
Zack Pfeifer, coordinator for Greek life, at zpfeifer@wesleyan.edu or 860-685-2773

Wesleyan, Yale Reenact Historic Baseball Game on 150th Anniversary of Event

Wesleyan University and Yale University reenacted a historic baseball game at Yale on the 150th anniversary of the event. The two teams met on Sept. 30, 1865 to inaugurate intercollegiate competition at their respective landmark institutions. Wesleyan was founded in 1831 while Yale, the fourth oldest institution of higher learning in the nation, dates back to 1701. (Photo by John Van Vlack)

Wesleyan reenacted a historic baseball game Sept. 26. Pictured is the 2015-16 squad at Yale University. (Photo by John Van Vlack)

Wesleyan, founded in 1831, and Yale University, founded in 1701, are both celebrating the 150th anniversary of baseball at their respective colleges this year as the two met on Sept. 30, 1865 to inaugurate intercollegiate competition. A lot has changed since then, on and off the diamond, but for one night, students and alumni celebrated the rich history of these two prestigious programs and the great game of baseball.

On Sept. 26, to commemorate that first contest, the two clubs squared-off wearing throwback uniforms in an exhibition game at Yale Field. The idea for the game was spawned more than five years ago when Wesleyan head coach Mark Woodworth ’94 and Yale head coach John Stuper talked about playing the game while together at a summer camp.

At left, Yale University head coach John Stupe and Wesleyan head coach Mark Woodworth welcomed Fay Vincent to the reenactment game. Vincent served as the Commissioner of Major League Baseball from 1989 to 1992.

At left, Yale University head coach John Stupe and Wesleyan head coach Mark Woodworth ’94 welcomed Fay Vincent to the reenactment game. Vincent served as the Commissioner of Major League Baseball from 1989 to 1992.

“It seemed really important to me to celebrate the great traditions of both of these historic programs,” Woodworth said. “Both schools have been at the forefront of establishing college baseball and we are excited to recognize all the alums and all the players that have been a part of it.”

More than 50 Wesleyan baseball alumni attended the game at Yale.

The Cardinals hoped for a better outcome than the 39-13 final score of the original contest, concluded after just eight innings so Wesleyan could make it back home on the last train of the day. That game lasted 3:05. In the 150th anniversary contest, Wesleyan exacted its revenge with a 6-3, 10-inning victory.

Woodworth and Stuper both made opening comments in the ceremony,

Gavin Pittore ’16 is Playing in the Prestigious Cape Cod Baseball League this Summer

Gavin Pittore pitching for Wesleyan in Spring 2015.

Gavin Pittore pitching for Wesleyan in Spring 2015. (Photo by Brian Katten ’79)

In this News @ Wesleyan story, we speak with Gavin Pittore of the Class of 2016. This summer, Pittore played with the Bourne Braves of the prestigious Cape Cod Baseball League (CCBL), the foremost of the dozen or so wooden-bat summer collegiate baseball leagues sanctioned by Major League Baseball. A second-team all-NESCAC pick in 2015, Pittore posted a 7-2 record with a 1.54 ERA and seven complete games over his 10 starts during Wesleyan’s 30-11 baseball season. Pittore had 12 relief appearances for the Braves (22-20-2 overall, playoff semifinalist), throwing 17 innings while giving up a mere eight hits and no earned runs with 17 strikeouts and a 1-1 record. He was chosen as one of nine pitchers for the West squad in the annual Friendly’s Cape Cod League All-Star Game that was played in Wareham Sat., July 25, won by the East, 1-0. Pittore pitched a scoreless inning in that contest. Five days later (July 30) he was signed as a free agent by the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Q: You have accomplished perhaps every college player’s summer dream of playing in the Cape Cod League. Can you describe how you prepared for and earned an opportunity for a spot on one of the 10 teams?

A: Playing in the Cape Cod Baseball League is definitely a dream come true for me. I’ve always been familiar with the league, but not until relatively recently did I think I would have a chance of playing there. I played on the Cape last year and really got to understand what it was about. My sophomore year at Wesleyan was filled with growing experiences and many obstacles, which definitely prepared me for the mental and physical challenges presented by playing a summer on the Cape. One thing I took away from two years of trying to get into the league is that patience is key. As a sophomore, I was very anxious to be placed in a league and [Wesleyan Head] Coach [Mark] Woodworth made sure to emphasize the fact that as long as I pitched well in front of the right people, I would end up where I belonged. I took his advice and went to the annual tryout for the Cape League after both my sophomore and junior years. Both years I was signed to a temporary contract, both of which luckily turned into permanent contracts. Listening to my coaches and sticking with my daily routine prepared me to play in such a prestigious league.

Q: As a member of the Bourne Braves, you are the only Division III pitcher on a staff of some 17 hurlers. Some are from Division I powerhouses like LSU, Illinois and Notre Dame. How do you feel throwing alongside players from such high-powered programs?

A: It definitely is intimidating at first. There is a big adjustment, especially mentally, going from playing Division III baseball to facing lineups that are essentially all college all-star teams. Similarly, it is difficult to adjust to being surrounded by players that come from such storied programs.The first few weeks everyone is still getting to know everyone else and starting to understand where everyone fits in, so it was important for me to prove that I belonged. After a couple successful outings, I no longer viewed myself as D3 guy playing amongst SEC, Big 10, and ACC players, but rather just another member of the Bourne Braves. At the same time, it is an honor to be competing with and getting to know such talented and successful guys. It’s been a privilege getting to know and getting to learn from the 2015 Bourne Braves pitching staff.

Yin ’15 Repeats First-Team Academic All-American Honor

Andrew Yin '15

Andrew Yin ’15

Baseball player Andrew Yin ’15, who helped Wesleyan win two straight NESCAC titles, along with a perfect 12-0 conference record in 2015, was recently named a CoSIDA/Capital One First-Team Academic All-American for the second straight year. He is the only player among the 33 honorees on the three national teams in 2015 to repeat as a first-team choice.

Yin also is the only player among those cited to be a three-time Academic All-American. In 2013, Yin, then a sophomore, made his first appearance as an Academic All-America third-team selection. Sophomores are rare on the squad as only one of the 33 players in 2015 is a sophomore, also a third-teamer. Yin is the only Wesleyan player in any sport to be named an Academic All-American more than once, and is the fifth Cardinal baseball player since 1972 to grace the list.

Yin started 38 of 41 games at second base during Wesleyan’s banner 2015 campaign as the Cardinals posted an overall record of 30-11, just the third 30-win campaign in program history. The 2014 Cardinals set the record for wins in a season, going 31-13. Yin hit .309 with 43 hits in 139 at-bats in 2015. He led the Cardinals in walks with 21 and stolen bases, going 17-for-21. His 32 runs scored were second-highest on the team. He knocked in nine runs, had seven doubles and fielded at a crisp .957 mark. He ended his career on a 10-game hitting streak. Three of his doubles came in one game and keyed Wesleyan to its 4-3, 12-inning victory over Amherst in the NESCAC title game May 10. Yin doubled and scored in both the 5th and 7th innings, then doubled in the 9th inning to drive in the tying run. Wesleyan won the game on Guy Davidson’s (’16) 12-inning solo homer.

Yin is the only Wesleyan player in any sport to be named an Academic All-American more than once,

Andrew Yin is the only Wesleyan player in any sport to be named an Academic All-American more than once.

Davidson was among six Cardinals named all-NESCAC in 2015 as he joined pitcher Sam Elias ’15, also named Pitcher of the Year, and first-baseman Sam Goodwin-Boyd ’15 on the first team. Named to the second team were center fielder Donnie Cimino ’15 and pitchers Nick Cooney ’15 and Gavin Pittore ’16.

Yin was a first-team all-NESCAC choice in 2013 as well as second-team all-ECAC New England Division III.

Yin also was the recipient of Wesleyan’s Roger Maynard Award, given to the top senior male scholar-athlete at the university. Yin, who graduated May 24 with degrees in chemistry, molecular biology and biochemistry, and neuroscience and behavior, held a cumulative GPA of 4.01.

Read more here.

Chong ’18 Claims NCAA Division III Tennis Title

Eudice Chong '18 with Head Coach Mike Fried on the courts of the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio moments after capturing the 2015 NCAA Division III women's tennis singles title. (Photo courtesy of Ohio Northern U.)

Eudice Chong ’18 is pictured here with Head Coach Mike Fried on the courts of the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio moments after capturing the 2015 NCAA Division III women’s tennis singles title. (Photo courtesy of Ohio Northern U.)

Eudice Chong ’18 claimed the first-ever NCAA Division III tennis title for the Cardinals in a thrilling 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 victory in the title match of the NCAA Division III women’s tennis singles championship in Mason, Ohio on May 23.

Named the NESCAC Player and Rookie of the Year, as well as the ITA Division III Rookie of the Year, Chong completed the 2014-15 campaign undefeated in singles play (22-0), dropping just two sets all season, both of them 4-6 to Joulia Likhanskaia of Bowdoin, whom she played for the third time this year in the NCAA finals.

Chong also earned All-America honors in doubles this spring as she teamed with Helen Klass-Warch ’18 to reach the NCAA Division III doubles quarterfinals, losing a three-set match to the top-seeded pair from Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. The Cardinal tandem amassed a 20-4 record at No. 1 doubles this year.