The Bobcat Bulletin
Vol. 2, Issue 6 March 4, 2013
Presented by the Quinnipiac Bobcats Sports Network
GOLD RUSH Womenâ€™s basketball clinches NEC
QU Gold rush | Page 2 Evan Conti | Page 3 Spring Previews | Page 4 & 5 Photo by Matt Eisenberg
Off the bench, rolling in the deep By Jordan Katz
he Quinnipiac Bobcats Sports Network (QBSN) is the exclusive student-run sports organization at Quinnipiac University. Originally founded by Corey Hersch and Alex Birsh in the fall of 2010, QBSN offers students the unique opportunity to become active as a sports journalist at QU. QBSN’s primary function has been to broadcast most of the athletics at Quinnipiac – streaming live online at its website (www.theqbsn.com). Sports broadcasted include: men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s hockey, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s lacrosse, baseball, softball, acrobatics and tumbling, women’s rugby, volleyball and field hockey. Students offer play-by-play and color commentary for each game, along with Twitter updates and an in-game live blog on the website. In addition to the games being broadcasted live, QBSN also offers game previews, recaps, feature articles and live podcasts through its website. Hockey Night in Hamden and Full Court Press are two podcasts broadcasted weekly that focus on the week that was for Quinnipiac ice hockey and basketball. The shows have become popular among both ECAC hockey and NEC basketball enthusiasts. Pregame shows are offered live twice a week as well, going out before the first athletics action of the weekend. QBSN is fueled by the passionate commitment that its members have demonstrated time and time again. Only two-and-a-half years into its existence, QBSN has gained noticeable recognition, earning the QU New Student Organization of the Year award in the 2010-11 scholastic year and the 2011-12 Quinnipiac Athletics Department Behind the Scenes Award. With a passion not only for sports journalism, but for Quinnipiac athletics as well, QBSN is proud and excited to present the exclusive Quinnipiac University athletics monthly bulletin.
Future Bulletin Dates: May 6
All statistics in the Bulletin current as of Mar. 1
Meet the Staff Co-Directors Marc Schwartz, 2013 Matthias Gausz, 2013 Publishing Editor Angelique Fiske, 2014 Editors Brian Farrell, 2013 Kevin Noonan, 2014 Layout Design Rebecca Castagna, 2016 Adviser Lila Carney
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When opposing teams sit down to sketch out a game plan against the Bobcats, all Tricia Fabbri’s squad can say is “good luck.” In past seasons, teams tried to find ways to isolate one or two key players. This year the Bobcats are forcing teams to key in on 10. “I actually hadn’t heard the term until coach Fabbri said it in her pregame speech last week,” sophomore forward Sam Guastella said. “We were discussing strategy and she said ‘You know people are calling us [the bench players] the Gold Rush.’ We were all a little surprised, but I think it works because we really do rotate five players in and five players out. I
can’t imagine how other teams game plan for that.” The Gold Rush is more commonly known as the period in the mid 1800s when many fled to California after gold was discovered in what is now nicknamed the “Golden State.” But in Hamden, it is what happens periodically throughout a game. The Bobcats’ bench production has been off the charts this season. Typically a team has at least one player averaging over 30 minutes a game. Some teams, like Robert Morris, have two players averaging over 35 minutes per game. The Bobcats do not have a player that plays more than 28 minutes per game. Quinnipiac’s per 40 minute averages, a statistic that calculates what
Photo by Matt Eisenberg
Sophomore guard Jasmine Martin leads her teammates in a pregame huddle. Martin has started every game for the Bobcats this season.
a player’s numbers would be if she played all 40 minutes in a game, highlights the productivity of the bench. If every player were to play 40 minutes per night, Maria Napolitiano would be the team’s third leading scorer, Lisa Lebak would be second on the team among active players in both assists and steals, and Sam Guastella would be averaging almost a double-double for the season. “Sam just brings energy, her unique ability to shoot the ball at 6 [foot] 2 [inches] is a real dagger,” Fabbri said. “Teams have a real problem trying to defend her beyond the arc, and her ability to knock down shots really takes the air out of other teams.” Guastella is shooting 48 percent from 3-point range on the season, and that is just one of the many ways this bench brings an unique skill set into the game. Sophomore forward Nikoline Ostergaard can do it all on the court as displayed by her per 40 minute averages where she would be averaging 11.5 points per game, 7.2 rebounds per game and over three assists per game. “She’s so crafty on the inside and she can shoot it from the outside as well,” Guastella said. The Bobcats’ bench aids the team in more ways than just their play on the court. “The bench is just so positive and brings so much positive energy. If someone doesn’t have it or makes
a mistake, you have someone who’s right there saying ‘You’ve got it. Next play, just play through it’ and everyone feeds off it,” Guastella said. “I think you saw firsthand in the game against Monmouth last Wednesday night when our starters were drained and our gold rush came in and got us back the lead,” Fabbri said. In that 72-45 win against Monmouth on Feb. 20th, the bench combined to score 39 points, led by Napolitiano’s 14 points on 5-for-7 shooting and Guastella’s 10 rebounds, as they helped spark a 24-6 run in the first half that allowed Quinnipiac to take control of the game. “Teams have to prepare for not just a certain number of players or a certain number of sets, but they have to key in on an entire roster and I think that’s another reason as to why this team has been so successful,” Fabbri said. Quinnipiac has proven time and time again that it is the class of the NEC. The Bobcats are still undefeated in conference play and finished the regular season unbeaten at home. While a lot of the successes of the team have to do with the outstanding play of Felicia Barron, Jasmine Martin and Brittany McQuain, the Bobcats’ bench plays just as big of a role. After all, how many other benches around the country can say that they have earned themselves a nickname?
For Roesler, it’s all in the family By Peter Rossi While most boys feared getting cooties, Cydney Roesler’s opponents in her boys’ youth hockey league feared her iron fists. “There was a game that was getting out of control and a fight broke out and two kids start beating on one of our players,” Cydney’s father, Ky Roesler said. “Well, Cyd comes to the rescue and decks one of the kids, puts him down and then challenges the other kid, who did nothing.” Ky takes pride in the fact that his daughter could skate with boys during her youth years, as she skated on her all boys’ squads until the age of 14. “Playing all those years with the boys helped learn the game at a quicker pace,” he said. “It also toughened her up a lot. She became one of the best open-ice hitters in that league at that time and wasn’t afraid to go into the corners.” Though playing with the boys taught Cydney to be tough, it was her family who introduced her to the sport. Growing up in Stittsville, Ontario, where hockey was held in the highest regard, Roesler knew that hockey was going to play a prominent part in her future. Ky played an important role in her early playing days serving as both coach and father figure.
“My dad has taught me so much about the game, but he knew it was my decision to pick whatever school I wanted, but [he] definitely helped me along the way,” she said. With Cydney playing so many sports, her parents were ready to support her in whichever one she chose to follow at the collegiate level. “We supported Cyd in anything that she did. She was a natural athlete where things came to her very easily. She was not only good at hockey but she was also as good at soccer, flag football and track along with anything else she took up,” Ky said. “It was her choice to choose hockey, and I felt that she could have succeeded in any sport that she chose and been very good at it, but I’m glad she chose hockey.” No person in her life was better to help when it came to the sport, seeing as he played Division I hockey for one of the school’s his daughter now plays against in the ECAC. Ky was a defenseman for Colgate University from 1978-82 and wore the No. 21, a number that he and Cydney share on the back of their jerseys. “I had such a great experience when I played Division I hockey at Colgate, and I knew with Cyd’s athletic ability that there was the possibility for her to have the same opportunities as I had,” her father said. “She would be able to share some of
the same experiences and create her own fond memories of her time at Quinnipiac as I did at Colgate.” The chance to play against her father’s former team is something Roesler prides herself on, knowing that he still roots for his alma mater as well as Quinnipiac. “It definitely helps when we beat them, and I know he is cheering for me, even though he still has his old Colgate jacket and stuff,” she said with a chuckle. Ky serving as Cydney’s coach in her early hockey days not only strengthened the father-daughter
bond but helped Cydney learn the little things from her dad. “He was my coach for the longest time, so I always said it would be a lot different when he wasn’t coaching, but he still gives me pointers, which I appreciate and it still helps me get better.” While choosing the sport that her family loves might have been easy, the way Cydney plays and the type of person she is off the ice is allowing her to create her own road. She’s already proved she’ll beat down any one who gets in her way.
Photo by Matt Eisenberg
Freshman defender Cydney Roesler fights for positioning against her father’s alma mater on Feb. 10.
Conti (n): fearless
Will the real No. 1 stand up? to do is look at the stats to see that they’ve played consistent defense all season. Between the pipes they have Eric Hartzell who has been the best Ever since making a weekend trip goaltender in the nation. up to Orono, Maine in early October The Bobcats are the most dangerto see the men’s ice hockey team play ous team heading into the postseason the University of Maine Black Bears, because of these reasons. They don’t it was clear that there was something rely on a single player or line to win special about this hockey team. games, they play solid defensively, Now in March, the Bobcats are and when they have the occasional vying for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA breakdown, Hartzell has been there tournament after a 21-game unbeaten all season to bail the team streak that practically defined their season. Quinni- “This team has the most to prove on the out. The thing that other piac dominated the ECAC, national stage and still hasn’t played its teams in the nation should earning them the No. 1 seed best game of the season.” be worried about is that this in the conference tournateam has the most to prove ment with a bye in the first on the national stage and round. But for some reason a lot of peo- teams, but the Bobcats don’t win still hasn’t played its best game of ple still aren’t completely sold on games based on their talent. They the season. The Bobcats have played to their this team and would be hesitant to win games by sticking to the system even include the Bobcats in the same established by Rand Pecknold and full potential in spurts this season, category with the other top teams in the rest of his coaching staff and by but not for an entire 60 minutes. playing as a team in all three zones. When that game comes it will be inthe nation. Nationally, Quinnipiac doesn’t teresting to see the stage that it will The criticism starts with being in the ECAC because many people have a player within the top 50 in be on because this team is primed look down on it compared to the scoring. But it doesn’t need one be- for a long playoff run in the ECAC Hockey East, WCHA, and CCHA. cause out of the 23 players to see the tournament and a No. 1 seed in the Those three conferences are home ice this season, 18 have a goal and 21 NCAA tournament. to the last 23 national champions. have at least one point. All you have By Marty Joseph Opinion
Photo by Matt Eisenberg
Sophomore guard Evan Conti celebrates with his teammates during a 63-61 win over Robert Morris University at the TD Bank Sports Center on Feb. 14. Conti has stepped into a starting role this season for Quinnipiac.
By Joey Zocco The basketball legends of Quinnipiac are gone. But, despite the departure of Justin Rutty and James Johnson, the men’s basketball team is in position for another playoff run. After starting off the season with a 5-11 record, the Bobcats have won 10 of their last 13 games. Coming into the 2012-13 season the last player anyone, except maybe himself, thought would be a leader on the court is now putting the team on his back. Sophomore Evan Conti has emerged as one of the top players after stepping into the starting rotation following an injury to redshirt senior Garvey Young. Conti was inserted into the starting lineup on Dec. 21 against Albany, and has started every game since. In six of the last nine games, Conti has posted double figures in points for the Bobcats. “Once I started getting consistent minutes and coach [Tom] Moore started to gain more and more confidence in me, he let me do things that he probably would not have let me do before. He is letting me play more of my game,” Conti said. It was Conti with the ball in his hands in the final five seconds against Central Connecticut State University. At that time in the game last season, he was on the bench. Moore attributes Conti’s success this year to being physically ready and his creativity. “He has created opportunities by hard work in practice and by having a lot of toughness,” Moore said. “Truly his play in practice is the thing that allowed me to have more belief in putting him in games, and when he has had opportunities in games he hasn’t been afraid to do things. I love kids who aren’t afraid to fail.” Conti was not always guaranteed a spot at a Division-I program though. At times it looked like he
might never get the offers he thought he deserved. Conti attended Holy Cross High School in Flushing, N.Y. and played in the Catholic High School Athletic Association. The league gave Conti the task of guarding many future Division-I scholarship players, until an injury during his junior season kept him out until the summer of his senior year. “My first time playing again I was out of shape. I was slow and I wasn’t ready to play, so I didn’t play as well as I wanted to,” Conti said. “So a lot of schools that were looking at me stopped.” While the schools stopped looking, Conti kept playing and dreaming. “I was playing for a scholarship. This is something I have wanted my whole life, and I had to keep playing better every game to get what I wanted,” Conti said. Despite the injury, the Bobcats’ staff was well aware of Conti. Quinnipiac coaches went to one of Conti’s high school games to scout another player on his team, but it was Conti that impressed them. “I went to go see his team play because I was looking at their big guy,” Moore said. “I’m trying to focus on the big guy, but Evan is fearless, I mean fearless. Boy, is he a confident kid. He took on the whole crowd and nothing phased him. I love that about him.” Unfortunately for Conti Quinnipiac did not have an opening for a guard at the time. Conti was aware of the situation, and about a month later, it all changed. “They had another scholarship, and they offered it to me. They always supported me even before I was a part of the program,” Conti said. “Then when they offered me [the scholarship] it was a huge reason why I decided to come here instead
For those who argue those teams are better, the Bobcats are 5-0-2 against teams from those three conferences this season. In terms of the ECAC, as a conference it’s been a down year for some of the teams, but that being said, you can only beat the teams on your schedule. On pure talent alone, the Bobcats don’t compare to the talent of Minnesota and Boston College that have a combined 20 players drafted by NHL
of other schools that started calling me once they heard I got that offer.” As a freshman, Conti’s role was limited. His minutes gradually increased throughout the season until he got his first career start in the last game of the 2011-12 season against the University of Pennsylvania at the College Basketball Invitational tournament. “That was a big confidence boost,” Conti said. “That was the first game I really played an entire game and I was like ‘This is something I can do. I belong here.’” Conti took this confidence into the summer and carried it into his sophomore season. His minutes increased, and he was ready to once again take advantage of his opportunity. “I’m not really worried about starting; that’s really not what I’m about. I just want to help my team win,” Conti said. Sophomore forward Justin Harris has been Conti’s roommate since they both arrived on campus and has not seen anything change about Conti over the past two years. “He has been consistent,” Harris said. “The same old Evan, no matter if he is starting or if he is not. He keeps the same mind-set. He has worked hard, and he has been doing the same things that he has been doing since last year so it’s good to see that it is paying off for him.” This year Conti is averaging 8.4 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. Even with the recent success, he feels he still has something to prove. “Now since I’m here, I got what I want, but now I have to prove to people that didn’t offer me [a scholarship], ‘Look you missed out,’” Conti said. “I always have that in the back of my mind. That’s my motivation all the time.” The Bobcat Bulletin 3
Alfiere, Paolucci to fill Schwartzburg’s shoes Even though the Bobcats lose Schwartzburg in the circle, Quinnipiac does regain a valuable piece How do you replace a pitcher to the roster in Paolucci at the plate, that rewrote the Quinnipiac record who was lost for most of last season books after four impressive years in with an injury after winning the 2011 the circle? NEC Rookie of the Year award and Heather Schwartzburg’s numsmashing 15 home runs to lead the bers don’t lie. Recording 78 wins, Bobcats’ offense. 969 strikeouts, a 1.52 ERA, an opDespite the impressive offensive ponent batting average of .182 and numbers, Paolucci has found a way pitching in 59 percent of the innings to turn off the pressure. in her four year career is tough to “I do feel pressure, but I find if replicate. I focus on trying to have quality atJunior Katie Alfiere, Schwartzbats and just do my job, then everyburg’s backup in 2012, is ready for thing will fall into place,” Paolucci the challenge of taking over as the said. “I have faith that I’m going to ace of the rotation this season and do well.” leading a staff made up of primarily Fairchild said that Paolucci’s underclassmen. presence in the “There’s always pressure be- “I am quite certain that five can do what one lineup is a huge plus for the Bobing the ace and was able to do over the last several years, cats’ offense. wanting to do well “The biggest for your team,” and they’re talented. I’m excited to see how impact Jordan’s Alfiere said. “At they do” - Germaine Fairchild going to have is the same time, I simply being preslike pressure so it mound every game but it’s going ent in our lineup,” Fairchild said. should be okay.” Head coach Germaine Fairchild to get the same job done,” Paolucci “She brings a confidence and an air about her that other players feed off thinks that Alfiere’s two years of ex- said. Fairchild said there has been a of and whose performance will be perience alongside Schwartzburg has greater focus on strength and con- enhanced by watching her example.” only benefited her. Quinnipiac’s lineup certainly “Katie learned a lot in pitching ditioning in the offseason to help with Heather and working as a team improve the staff. In the circle the receives a boost with the return of with Heather, and I think all early focus has shifted to the pitches that Paolucci, but Fairchild said there indications are that Katie is really leave the zone, such as drops, rises are nine spots in the order, so it’s not ready to take the reins and be the and changes, and less on the curve- solely up to Paolucci. balls and screwballs.. With Alfiere taking over as the leader of our staff,” Fairchild said. “I think we’re much better as ace of the pitching staff and Paolucci This season, instead of having one pitcher lead the way as a staff with changing speeds and returning to the lineup for the BobSchwartzburg had for four years, the throwing in the vertical zone than cats, Quinnipiac believes it has a new Bobcats will work with a complete we’ve ever been before,” Fairchild recipe for success. staff of five pitchers. Including Al- said. By Kevin Noonan
fiere, the Bobcats have sophomore Hannah Lindsley and freshmen Nicole Gubellini, Molly Jarett and Sydney Robey. “I am quite certain that five can do what one was able to do over the last several years, and they’re talented. I’m excited to see how they do,” Fairchild said. Catcher Jordan Paolucci has worked with the pitchers in the offseason and said that despite losing Schwartzburg, the staff should remain successful. “It’s different where we don’t have one set ace, and we’ve got a full staff that compliments each other really well, so it’s going to look different where it’s not Heather on the
Photo by Matt Eisenberg
Above: Redshirt sophomore Jordan Paolucci celebrates with her team after a home run during the 2011 season. Below: Senior starting pitcher Derek Lamacchia gets ready to deliver a curveball in a start for Quinnipiac
Photo by Matt Eisenberg
Return of rotation sparks optimisim Lamacchia, Kane and Fabrizio to lead pitching staff By Kevin Adler It is no secret that Quinnipiac baseball has struggled in the past. Last season was another tough year as the team finished with an overall record of 9-38 and 8-24 in the Northeast Conference. The roster was full of inexperience as five of the eight players with at least 130 at bats were first-year players. As the calendar turned from 2012 to 2013, those freshmen gained experience. Along with a pitching rotation full of veterans, there is a brand new supporting coaching staff, for head coach Dan “Skip” Gooley to work with. Gooley returns for his 28th season as head coach of the Bobcats and has an entirely new staff comprised of former Quinnipiac infielder John Delaney (‘08), former Monmouth pitcher Brett Conner, and former The Bobcat Bulletin 4
UConn infielder Ryan Fuller. According to Delaney the new coaches have created a new system focused on players’ development and mentality. “The style that has been implemented is accountability and just putting in the time and work ethic,” Delaney said on his coaching philosophy. “The talent is there, and it’s more of believing that they can get to the goal they want to.” The new group of coaches has already impacted the team in the eyes Chris Migani, a fifth-year senior who missed 2012 because of a shoulder injury. “Their development with us has been a lot more personal. They seem to take a personal interest in each player in working with them, either film, what type of player they are, where they fit best on the field, or on the team,” Migani said. “There has been more discipline and account-
ability because they see how serious this coaching staff is.” While the new coaching staff is already making strides, it is the veteran players that Gooley will rely on to be successful. “It’s going to come down to a veteran pitching staff going out there and taking total ownership of a game and then relying on a pretty solid bullpen that has some veterans in it,” Gooley said. “You have to play good team defense and get a two-out hit to score some runs.” Veterans Derek Lamacchia, Spencer Kane and Nick Fabrizio anchored last season’s staff with each logging over 55 innings. Lamacchia garnered most of the attention as the Friday afternoon starter. “Being a Friday, game-one starter for the past few seasons has truly been an experience that I am very grateful and appreciative of,” Lamacchia said. “It gives me the
opportunity to truly set a tone for an entire weekend series, and that starts from the very first pitch of the game.” Thanks to a hungry mind-set, Kane has emerged as the No. 2 starter for Quinnipiac this coming season. “My goal this year is to win every conference game I pitch,” Kane said. “This year I know some of the hitters in the league better and I know what mistakes I made last year.” The pitching staff is not alone in returning veterans. The offense will be anchored by Migani, 2012 First Team NEC Selection Zak Palmer and 2012 NEC Second Team Selection Vincent Guglietti. The annual spring break trip will include games against the University of Richmond, North Carolina State, Duke and Akron. Quinnipiac’s first home game will be on March 22 when it hosts Monmouth for a fourgame series to open NEC play.
Seniors trying to dance for first time By Ben Dias
Photo by Matt Eisenberg
Junior attackman Dylan Webster tries to evade a Brown defender in last season’s matchup. The Bobcats lost the game 12-7.
Unfinished business plagues the mind of Quinnipiac’s men’s lacrosse team. After a 3-11 season, it lost to Bryant in the Northeast Conference Semifinals, 11-6. That loss was one of five-straight to end the year after the Bobcats lost their first six to open the season. With 23 roster spots dedicated to freshmen, eight of whom received significant playing time, the Bobcats knew it was a transitional year. “Last season was kind of a rebuilding season for us because in 2011 we went to the NEC Championship,” captain Basil Kostaras said. “We wholesaled a lot of seniors, so last year we had a lot of freshmen starting and we were really trying to get them experience.” This season they will be led by a senior class featuring Kostaras, Jay Binkowski, Chris Messina and Brendan Wilbur. “Those guys know what it takes to win, and they’re kind of leading the way back to where we were in 2011,” head coach Eric Fekete said. This season, Quinnipiac was selected to finish fourth in the NEC
Preseason Coaches’ Poll with defending champion Bryant, runner-up Mount St. Mary’s and Robert Morris finishing above them. Sacred Heart and Wagner rounded out the poll. This marks the first season the NEC has an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. The Bobcats have a daunting March schedule in which they play five of their seven games on the road. “I think we match up well with anybody, but I think the biggest concern with this group is our ability to execute,” Fekete said. “I think we have the depth and talent to play with anybody, but I think the ability to execute on any given day is where we are at and that comes with maturity.” Kostaras noted that the Bobcats’ mental game is something they want to improve on from the past. “We have to have confidence going into the games and we see these big name teams and we let the name defeat us,” he said “I think having confidence and translating that to game day will be huge for us.” Quinnipiac will have to rely on an experienced offensive attack as the team returns the bulk of its firepower including five players with
20 or more points. Last year’s goal leader Dylan Webster returns after a 25 goal campaign along with Michael Sagl who led the team with 33 points. Freshman standout and AllRookie team selection Pat Corcoran also returns to contribute alongside Kostaras, Binkowski and Wilbur. It is the defensive side of the ball, that is the question mark this season. With the nation’s leader in caused turnovers per game Chris Coppolecchia graduating last year, second-year Bobcat Greg Pendergrast is going to be looked upon to lead the defense. Pendergrast was named to the All-Rookie Team after completing a formidable freshman season with 24 ground balls and eight caused turnovers. Last season, the Bobcats’ defense ranked second in caused turnovers, second in penalty-kill percentage and fourth in goals against average. In 2012, Quinnipiac allowed 10 or more goals in 11-of-14 games, while only scoring more than 10 in just three of those 14 games. “I think the 10-goal swing is really important for us,” Fekete said. “We probably gave up more than we
should last year, and offensively we played five or six freshmen at a time, and when Basil was hurt, it’s very hard to overcome momentum when you’re young.” The defense will look to junior transfer Gill Connors to become the starting goaltender. Connors led Onondaga Community College to a fourth straight NJCAA Championship last spring. “He’s a really good leader from a defensive perspective that I think we really need because we lacked that last year - a voice on defense,” Kostaras said. “We have great goaltending this year, and the goaltending has been the best it’s probably been since I’ve been here,” Fekete said. With a slew of players on offense and defense and Connors anchoring the pipes, Fekete is confident the Bobcats can make a postseason run, but they have to be playing their best. “We’re in it to win it every year. We know our objective is to get in the playoffs, get one of those four spots and from there you got to just win two games,” Fekete said. “You got to be playing your best lacrosse come April.”
Balanced approach By Zack Daly For the past several years, the women’s lacrosse team has looked to one or two players to put goals on the board, but with the graduation of Marissa Caroleo and Devon Gibney, Quinnipiac is changing its style of play. “We don’t have the offense that we did last year,” junior attack Michaela Tinsley said. “Where it was always waiting for Marissa or Devon to do something, then we follow.” Quinnipiac does return senior attack Sarah Allen who led the NCAA in assists last season with 64 in just 15 games played. Allen’s 4.27 assists per game last season was also tops in the nation. In Allen’s first game of the season this year, she was able to pass Katie Latonick for the program record in career assists, with 112 helpers and counting. Even with Allen, the Bobcats’ attack is more balanced, with four players that will fuel the Bobcats’ offense, along with a bench that will be able to provide a spark throughout the course of a game. “We have always been the kind of team that puts more emphasis on the unit instead of the individual,” head coach Danie Caro said. The Bobcats’ balanced attack will help them compete in the Northeast Conference this season, which has many teams that can challenge for the title. In the past, the NEC has seen just a few teams separate them-
selves from the pack. This year the conference, which is comprised of eight teams, could see six or seven teams vying for four playoff spots. “Every NEC team is a challenge,” Allen said. “I think every team can be a threat.” “I don’t think you can focus on any one team, and overlook anyone else,” said Caro. Quinnipiac has been tabbed to finish second behind Monmouth this season, but Caro believes she has a team with the ability to challenge Monmouth as well as the rest of the conference. “You have to be on your toes,” Caro said. “You have to be able to
bring it every single day, and I feel we have a team that when they play at the level of play that they are capable of consistently, they’re one of the best teams in the NEC.” Replacing high profile players, like Caroleo and Gibney, is never easy, but the Bobcats know that they have the talent on their team to do it. Their attack and style of play may look different, but the Bobcats expect the same results as in years past. “Some teams are going to underestimate the talent that we do have returning,” Caro said. “So we are hoping that will play to our advantage.”
Photo by Matt Eisenberg
Senior attack Sarah Allen protects the ball against Mount St. Mary’s University in the 2011 Northeast Conference Championship.
The Bobcat Bulletin 5
Golf gets back into swing of things After successful fall season, Quinnipiac’s squad is back on the green By Neil Ravin Just over three years ago, Quinnipiac cut the men’s golf program and added the women’s and since then, the team has gotten better and better each season. This past fall in particular was when the women’s golf team began to make the turn. When the team officially won the Quinnipiac Classic on Oct. 23, it marked the first tournament win in program history and came just one week after missing a historical win with a runner-up finish in the St. Francis Brooklyn Invitational. The Quinnipiac Classic was the seventh and final tournament of the fall season. It was the first season in which head coach John O’Connor really pushed his team. “My main intention was to challenge the incoming freshmen,” O’Connor said. “The freshmen obviously are the core of our team, and I wanted them to get a good taste of what competing at the college level is like. It was a real challenge for them, but we definitely ended on a
high note by winning our own tournament at the end of the season.” O’Connor went on to say that while that win is great to have, and a true milestone achieved, the team still needs to push itself to become even better. Of course right now with the snow on the ground the team is forced to train and practice indoors. O’Connor’s training program has the girls following a unique schedule throughout the course of each week. O’Connor emphasized that he put this program in place because he wants his team to be in top shape when the spring season arrives. The goal is to pick up right where they left off in the fall and one key is a bit off the beaten path. “One thing that the student-athletes need to be is flexible and also strong. Yoga gets their core stronger and their whole body more flexible.” O’Connor said. “Yoga happens to be extremely beneficial to golfers.” O’Connor has been satisfied by how hard his team is pushing themselves right now, but there is one golfer in particular that he wants ev-
eryone to watch out for - freshman Alexa Gentile. “While she didn’t have much of an opportunity in the fall, I am going to take her to the first tournament and I expect her to break out and start to contribute to the team right away,” O’Connor said. O’Connor has seen his team grow very quickly and hopes that his, “five days a week, three hours every morning” program will help his players improve to levels they haven’t made it to before. “I expect us to move up even more this spring,” O’Connor said. “Not only has the confidence gotten a lot better, but the fact that we work out five days a week in the rec center, training the way we are; that’s really much better than what all the other schools do in the Northeast. We have been very creative with what we do in the rec center.” The golf team’s spring season begins when it heads to Virginia for a three-day tournament hosted by The College of William & Mary on March 17, 18 and 19.
Graphic by Matthias Gausz
Chemistry, trust and harnesses – safety first By Angelique Fiske Bookies in Vegas would place big money on a coach crediting chemistry for a team’s success. When Mary Ann Powers, head coach of the acrobatics and tumbling team, stresses the importance of chemistry in her team’s training for its season, it is not a cliché. “What I really tried hard to do
this year with this team is chemistry and a mind-set that was not afraid to go for something,” Powers said. “This is no longer just a two and a half minute routine. There are many rounds of play.” This chemistry translates into trust. While simple in concept, trust is not easily attained though it is crucial in acrobatics and tumbling. “You’re dealing with a sport
where you’re flipping and twisting, and you have to trust each other,” Powers said. While trust plays a huge role as women fly through the air, Powers recognizes the dangers that come along with the sport and dedicated time to ensuring their safety, including using harnesses in practice. “They have all of the diligence behind them that any sport team
does – athletic trainers, strength and conditioning coaches,” Powers said. “Our strength and conditioning staff spent a good amount of time with me breaking down film and seeing what these kids needed to be on that floor safely.” Safety may be at the forefront of Powers’ coaching, but a competitive edge is ever present, teaching her team not to fear but to embrace their
Photo by Matt Eisenberg Photo by Brian Farrell
The acrobatics and tumbling team goes up for an jump in its team routine from a meet last season. The team routine is only one area of play for the team.
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opportunities in meets. “We worked really hard on building the team trust amongst them and building a tough mind-set like there’s nothing in this sport that’s about being unaggressive,” Powers said. “If you want to be in this sport, you have to be an aggressive athlete.” In the fall, Powers and the other coaches were presented with an opportunity to further such technicalities to improve aggressive play. They were invited to Béla Károlyi’s camp to observe acrobatic technique to take back to their respective teams. “[It’s] a fun place to go, but a serious place to go,” Powers said. This environment helped in the crusade for safety, as the importance of precise performance was reinforced. The judges pay particular attention to performances, and though it requires active concentration on every detail, it is a necessity. “This is all on execution; they’re specific,” Powers said. “When an athlete mentally understands when they’re going to get a deduction, it’s going to make them safer because they’re doing what they need to do to do it safely.” Flyer Christina Lasto also understands the importance of an active mind during competition. “It’s so much mental that the second that you doubt yourself is the second you get hurt,” Lasto said. The Bobcats put much emphasis on the mental strength of their team,
but that does not mean physical strength was put on the back burner. According to Powers, so much of the team’s first practices were based on strength and conditioning that many of her freshmen momentarily questioned what they had signed up for. However, the emphasis on strength was for good reason, as she wanted to ensure that their “strengths matched on all ends” because many of these women are performing at a different level than what they are used to. “Whether they’re coming from gymnastics, acrobatics, or All Star competitive cheer or high school cheer, they’re doing things that are not allowed at the high school level for the first time,” she said. In spite of the trying weeks leading up to the action, the Bobcats stuck through because of the unique chance to join others across the nation in pioneering an opportunity for women to excel athletically. “These kids have uprooted their lives and come to the university because they believe that they are actively engaged in creating a new sport for women,” Powers said. “This team, I think, is behind that, much like Oregon’s kids, Baylor’s kids, and the rest of the women doing this.” The Bobcats continue in uprooted fashion in March, as all of their meets are on the road. Quinnipiac does welcome Oregon on March 25 at the TD Bank Sports Center.
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Deuce: Advantage, seniors Track gains Veteran partners prepare to part in final season XC mentality in the country, that’s for sure, but they have a lot of heart and that’s reFor the last eight years, women’s ally all you need.” cross country has been the most sucRebecca Stabile is one of the cessful team at Quinnipiac. Whether lead runners at the heart of the Bobpeople want to admit it or not is their cats’ new system. The Haverhill, problem. The only problem that head Mass. native spent her time last seacoach Carolyn Martin has had is son as a middle-distance runner betransferring that success to the track fore taking over as a premier sprinter program. this season. While the Bobcats have con“When I recruited Rebecca, she tinued their success in the distance was really our first kid that had the events, it has never been enough to ability to be a middle-distance runmake Quinnipiac a truly competitive ner, but she had such range that she program. That is until now. is a sprinter too,” Martin said. “We With the addition of sprinting knew she was the perfect kid to help coach Steve Belanger and track leg- build the program because she is end Wilton Wright, the Bobcats are good at multiple events.” starting to turn heads. Last week, While Rebecca is competing at Martin a high level was named year, “They have a lot of heart and this Northeast breaking Conferthat’s really all you need.” her own ence Coach school re- Steve Belanger of the Year cord in the after the 500 meteam’s sixth place finish at the NEC ter, she hadn’t planned on attending championship. Quinnipiac. “Obviously they should be nam“It wasn’t my top choice at the ing it coaching staff of the year,” time but then I came and visited, and Martin said. “It really lets us know I thought it was beautiful,” Stabile that the coaches in the conference see said. “Then I met Coach and she was the hard work we are putting in to ex- awesome. She’s just really personpand this program.” able and when we sat down to talk The transition, although quick, it seemed like we had known each has been a tall task for Belanger. other forever.” “It was a pretty clean sheet to It’s that personal, family attitude work with my first year,” Belanger that has translated into success this said. “We didn’t have too many girls season. that I would work with. It was more “I just love being on this team,” of a building process and now that Stabile said. “Everyone on the team I am full time, it is helpful that we is their own personality, but we also have this bigger group to work with.” blend together and we have a unique That bigger group includes team. Everyone is always helping freshman Shameal Samuels who ran each other, either academically or in a 56.92 in the 400-meter dash last practice. No matter who is running or week at the New England Champion- doing a workout, we are always beships. Samuels teamed up with Nadia ing positive towards each other.” Jarvis and Stabile sisters, Rebecca With a freshman class of 13 and and Samantha to shatter the school’s the continued success from Stabile, 4 x 400 meter-relay record with a Martin says the Bobcats are poised to time of 3:51.08 -- five seconds faster take their dominance in cross counthan the previous school record. try and bring it to the track. “It really only takes a few ath“Sometimes all it takes is a little letes who are willing to work hard pressure or an expectation of winto build a good program,” Belanger ning to help push the athletes to that said. “We don’t have the top recruits next level to perform at their best.” By Brian Farrell
Photos by Matt Eisenberg
Seniors Sarah Viebrock (left) and Rachel Cantor (right) lead the Quinnipiac women’s tennis team in their final seasons. The two work together on the doubles court.
By Rebecca Castagna The tennis world is a small one. Each of the seniors on the Quinnipiac women’s tennis team grew up playing in the same section of USTA junior tennis before college. Senior co-captains Sarah Viebrock and Rachel Cantor have played in the same tournaments since high school. When they came to Quinnipiac, they decided to try doubles together. “We came in knowing we wanted to try it out, I think because we were so comfortable with one another and we had a very established friendship,” Cantor said. “It works that way kind of, you have a good friend you play with and you have that bond.” It didn’t initially work out as planned. They ended their first season with an 11-6 record, so Viebrock and Cantor split ways sophomore year. But after a year apart, they gave it another shot. “When my doubles partner graduated, Sarah and I said, ‘Screw it. Let’s try it out,’” Cantor said. “I think we both needed to mature, grow as people on the court and off the court and that we did.” Cantor and Viebrock went on to secure a record of 15-3 for their junior year, a feat Cantor describes as “unbelievable.” “We had huge wins against huge schools … and it’s been amazing to play with my best friend and to be by The Bobcat Bulletin 8
her side,” Cantor said. By each other’s sides, they have grown from learning their place on the team as freshmen to serving as co-captains their junior and senior years. “It’s cool because we can be constructive with each other,” Viebrock said. “I can let her know what she’s doing wrong and she can do the same for me.” Just as Viebrock and Cantor found a balance working together on their own game, they had to bring what they learned as leaders to help their teammates improve theirs. “We’re just like these other girls,” Cantor said. “It’s hard to differentiate between friendship and teammates because we don’t want to make enemies. We don’t want to be mean to the girls, but we’re hard on them at times because we feel like there’s no one else that will be hard on them.” Viebrock likes to have fun and develop relationships with her team, but get serious when it’s match time. “We try to work with them more so than talk at them,” Viebrock said. “Then when we need to get serious we get tougher on them and make sure they’re working to their full potential so at the end of the season we get to where we want to be.” They also work hard to foster a family atmosphere among teammates, past and present. “We can pick up where we left off with the captains who graduated two years ago,” Cantor said. “We’re
always in contact with them, just asking for help and advice.” Both Viebrock and Cantor give credit to head coach Mike Quitko. The men’s and women’s tennis programs host an alumni day each spring, and with Quitko’s 22 years of experience, more than 100 former players come back to visit. “You feel [the family aspect] when you have the parents here, the alumni here,” Cantor said. “It’s just incredible.” The team also makes time for family dinners when they go on the road. “There are reasons why you want to get together and eat together and be a family,” Quitko said. “I like to eat, I mean there’s no question about it ... but I did it out of instinct. I started listening to the kids and they weren’t talking about the Springfield game or the game we played against Bentley. They were talking about, ‘Remember that spaghetti we had in Springfield?’” In their final season, Viebrock and Cantor want to be back at the NCAAs, where they lost to UCLA in the first round their sophomore year. The team lost to Fairleigh Dickinson in the Northeast Conference finals in 2012. “Last year our leadership and the coaching and everything came together at the right time and that was something I thought we should be proud of at the end of the season, even though we lost,” Viebrock said. “I think that this year we’re going to
see the same type of thing, but hopefully it will be in our favor this time.” As Viebrock and Cantor lead the team through the spring season to the NEC championships, they are on their way to finishing out their college careers either close to or in the top-10 on the all-time wins list. Viebrock is tied for 11th place in alltime wins with 119, and Cantor sits close behind in 13th with 112. Their legacies may not only be immortalized on various all-time win lists, but perhaps also in the way the women’s tennis team continues to improve in future years. “I hope that my leadership and what I’ve done with the girls passes down to the next captains and then from there to the next captains,” Viebrock said. “I hope that if I come back 10 years from now I’m still seeing some of the same qualities in the girls on the team that I left behind.” Their season may even be remembered with other successful Quinnipiac seasons, Cantor said. “I would hope to think that we could push each other as a team, separate teams push one another to lead this conference and make a mark overall as the Quinnipiac University Bobcats,” Cantor said. “I would love to see more fans and support from teams so we can leave on the best note possible.” The team heads into the spring with a conference championship in clear sight. “Look out for us,” Viebrock said, smiling. “NEC champs, 2013.”
Photo courtesy of QuinnipiacBobcats.com
Sophomore Becca Stabile paces the field with freshman Shameal Samuels at the 2013 University of Rhode Island Invitational.