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Sports

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February 14, 2014

Inside the Bison: Sports News in the Bubble Squash impresses as 2nd best club sports team in country Emily Evancho Sports Editor

In Bison athletics, our main focus remains on the Division I sports we provide. We avidly follow our basketball teams as they bring attention to the school for numerous reasons. We sometimes forget the vast amount of club sports that also bear the Orange and Blue pride. The men’s squash team is one example of a club

sport that has refused to remain in the background of Bison sports. Why you ask? Although limited to a club sport, the team has performed with the same ability and perseverance as any Orange and Blue team. For the fun facts, they are ranked higher nationally than eight other Bison varsity teams. They are also the second best club team in the country, not to mention they have been acclaimed as the best club team without a coach

in the nation. Led solely by student captains, Chris Santoro ’14, Henry Gadsden ’15, and Hayden Radovich ’15, the team has constantly improved, jumping from No. 56 in the country to No. 27. After finishing last year’s season with a strong performance at Nationals, which were held in Yale, the team seized the 27 rank in the nation. This season, they resumed play with confidence, returning all of their nine starters to dominate the

2013-2014 season. “With no graduating seniors from last year, the team returns every player in the top nine,” Santoro said. “The team has also been lucky to receive five new freshmen this year who are already contributing to the team.” As far as records go, the team has had a winning season for the past four years, only succumbing to defeat in 13 matches while sealing victory in 43. Their 20122013 season inspires awe,

boasting a 15-2 record. This year they continued the success, currently holding a 10-2 record after their most recent 9-0 victory against University of Virginia on Feb. 8. Determined to improve not only their team’s ability but also their squash facilities, a million dollar campaign was begun in the fall of 2012. In six months, the team achieved their monetary goal, using the campaign to push the squash

CHRIS SANTORO | The Bucknellian After a six-month campaign starting in Fall 2012, the men’s squash team was able to build regulation-approved show courts in order to improve their standing as an official team when compared to their competitors.

program closer to the same level as their competition. Most significantly, money was allotted to the building of new squash courts that are now regulation approved “show courts.” In the team’s opinion, their proudest accomplishment of the year has been their success in the Patriot League Round Robin which they were able to host after the building of their show courts. Not only were they successful in the tournament, taking home the championship for the second time, the event also drew a crowd of tremendous student support. The team doesn’t plan to stop swinging toward greatness anytime soon. Plans for the future include hiring an official coach and continuing to raise enough money that will someday allow the team to become a full-fledged varsity team. “Our biggest overall goal is to continue to grow as a team and grow in the Bucknell University community,” Santoro said. “We have worked hard to develop the program and every year we receive more and more support from the school and the Bucknell community. We want to continue to grow that relationship in addition to our team.” The Bison squash team will return to the courts for their final effort in Nationals in Boston tomorrow. With their dedication to the sport and talent, they will surely continue to impress for years to come.

Women’s softball struggles offensively in first tournament of the season

Katherine Harris Senior Writer

The softball team came back strong on its second day of competition during a Feb. 8-9 road trip but were unable to overcome some tough competition, finishing the Cleveland State Dome Tournament with a 1-3 record. “We are definitely looking to score one or two more runs per game, but coming out of the first weekend only losing by one run is never a bad place to start.

This weekend was only a small glimpse of how great I think our offense can be,” Amanda Fazio ’16 said. The Bison started off their weekend with a match against the home team Cleveland State. Fazio took the mound for the team in the defensive battle, recording six strikeouts while allowing only six hits and only one unearned run in her first start of the season. However, her teammates struggled to convert on the offensive end. Courtney Conover ’14 had a double,

and both Erin Cox ’15 and Cydnee Sanders ’15 had singles, but it was not enough for the Orange and Blue in the 1-0 loss. The Bison turned on their offense in the second match of the day but couldn’t overcome Canisius in the 11-10 loss. Jacee Almond ’17 and Kristen Zahn ’15 led the offensive explosion, each contributing tworun homers along with the rest of their offensive production. The defense was not able to hold out against a strong opponent, even

though reliever Lara Bean ’17 pitched over six innings with just three hits and one run earned. “I was overall very happy with how I played. I am coming back from an injury that ended my season last year so it was a great feeling being back on the field,” Zahn said. The Orange and Blue came into their second day of competition swinging, ready to take on Bowling Green in the morning. Bean contributed to the shutout with a start on the mound

for the team, earning her first career win, while Dana Nielson ’16 earned a save by pitching two innings with three strikeouts and only one hit. Many Bison contributed on offense, with Sanders and Zahn leading the way with doubles in the sixth to seal the deal with the second run in the 2-0 victory. The Bison were unable to finish out the day with a win when they dropped their final game of the tournament to Robert Morris 4-3. Almond and Zahn both continued their strong weekends

with homers, while Fazio and Nielsen both contributed strong performances on the mound. The team was unable to tie up the contest and ended the weekend on a disappointing note. “What held us back in a few of the games was a slow start to our offense but eventually we were able to make the adjustment–it was just a little late in a few of the games,” Zahn said. The Bison will compete in the Longwood Spring Classic starting tomorrow in Farmville, Va.

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