2018-19 Winter Sports Preview

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Men’s Ice Hockey

Men’s ice hockey finished 14-11-1 (9-8-1 in the NESCAC) and lost to Trinity in the NESCAC Semifinals, the third trip to the semifinals in the last six seasons. Head Coach Bill Kangas returns after taking a sabbatical last year. “I’m excited to be back,” Kangas said. “We have a good team this year and we are hitting the ground running, polishing our physical, mental and emotional games.” While it will be tough to replace two seniors who scored more than 100 points in their Eph careers, the team welcomes eight first-years, returns goaltender Michael Pinios ’19 and is led by captain Keanu Hilaire ’19. “We are focused on getting better every day,” Kangas said. “We have good determination and energy on the team. We always say that it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon and that speaks to the leaders on our team.”

Women’s Ice Hockey

Women’s ice hockey finished 10-8-7 (4-6-6 in the NESCAC) and while graduating five seniors, still return top scorers Meghan Halloran ’21, Abby Brustad ’19, Annie Rush ’19 and Brynn Puppe ’21. Rush, last year’s MVP, and Claire Mancheski ’19 will serve as captains this year with assistant captains Brustad and Eliza Quigley ’19. The women look to make a deeper playoff run after losing to Amherst in the first round of NESCACs last winter. “Our goals are always to be competitive in the NESCAC, finish top four and host a quarterfinal game, but at the same time we’re staying focused on the day-to-day process to make that happen,” head coach Meghan Gillis said. 

Men’s Basketball

Last winter, men’s basketball won the NESCAC Championship and advanced to the NCAA Round of 32, posting a record of 23-6 (7-3 in the NESCAC).  The team graduated four seniors but welcomes three first-years. For this season, the men enter with high expectations and return a healthy Kyle Scadlock ’19 alongside All-American James Heskett ’19 and Bobby Casey ’19.  “The expectations are high this year, and the team has embraced them,” head coach Kevin App said about this team’s goals. “The hope is the combination of experience, youth and talent on this team will allow us to be a loose group and enjoy the season.” The Ephs will face tough completion as nine of their 14 non-conference opponents either won their conference or their conference tournament last season.

Women’s Basketball

Women’s basketball is going into their 29th year being coached by Pat Manning, finishing 12-13 (4-6 in the NESCAC) last winter. The team lost three seniors, including its top two leading scorers, and welcomes two first-years, Maddy Mandyck ’22 and Mia Holtze ’22. This year, the Ephs aim to compete against high level opponents every game. “It’s tough to play in our conference because everybody brings it every game,” Manning said. “Those 10 games are incredibly meaningful, so we try to play the toughest non-league schedule we can, so when it comes time for conference play, we’re ready.”

Men’s Squash

Men’s squash finished 11-17 last season and lost in the NESCAC third-place match. The Ephs graduated four seniors and welcomes two first-years. Last season, the team finished No. 21 in the nation due to losing many players from the top half of their lineup. The men are looking forward to this season and improving from the last. “I am very excited for the upcoming season,” head coach Zafi Levy ’01 said. “We have a lot of talented players and our goal is to fulfill our potential and stay healthy. If we do, we can expect to have an extremely successful season.” If the Ephs do stay healthy, this will be one of their deepest and strongest teams in years.”

Women’s Squash

The women’s squash team finished 14-11 last season and fell to Trinity in the NESCAC Championship round. The team lost five seniors but welcomes, Kathryn Wright’22, Alexandra Pear’22 and Cassie Deshong ’21. Last season, the women placed No. 12 in the nation. Despite losing seniors who were in the top half of the ladder, with a strong sophomore class, the team hopes to grow from their prior season. “I am excited about helping our players grow,” head coach Zafi Levy’01 said. “We have a talented team with lots of potential.”

Men’s and Women’s Ski

Women’s ski returns captain Hannah Hunsaker ’19 and Men’s ski returns Nordic Skier Braden Becker ’19, who finished 11th in the NCAA Championship. “We have a really strong group of first-years this year,” Anna Bruce ’21 said. “I’m excited to see what we can bring to our races. We have tough compeitition, and I’m hopeful we can improve our results from last season!” The team looks forward to building great team chemistry. “We are expecially excited for our upcoming training camp in Craftsbury, Vt. over Thanksgiving providing the first opportunity to get on snow. We look forward to refining technique, eating delicious food and enjoying each other’s company.”

Men’s Swimming and Diving

Men’s swim and dive, coached by Steve Kuster, lost five seniors and welcome 10 first-years. Last year, the men placed second at the NESCAC Championships, winning 32 All-NESCAC Honors. In the NCAA tournament, the men placed tenth.“I expect that the men have a lot to swim for this year coming off of our first NESCAC conference loss in over 15 years last year,” Kuster said. “The departure of our senior class will particularly hurt on the leadership front, but I am excited to see new leaders emerge and step up this year. Tufts and Amherst remain very strong teams, so if the men’s team is able to accomplish its goals this year it will take a very focused team effort from the start to the finish of the season.”

Women’s Swimming and Diving

Women’s swim and dive, coached by Steve Kuster, lost six seniors and welcomes five first-years. The women come off of their fifth consecutive NESCAC Championship and placed third in the NCAA tournament. The team retains much of the same roster that featured 14 All-NESCAC selections and NESCAC Rookie of the Year Laura Westphal ’21. “The women’s team graduated another deep and impactful class both in the water and out,” Kuster said. “Amherst continues to be a very strong team and Tufts added a monster first year class, so the women will need to be on alert and ready to defend their title with vigor.  Staying healthy and putting in consistent training this year will be one of the keys to success for the women’s team this year.”

Wrestling

Wrestling heads into its seventh season with head coach Scott Honecker. Last season the men went 7-10. Despite graduating five seniors, the men hope to improve from the prior season and to simply enjoy wrestling. “This is an exciting time for Williams Wrestling,” Honecker said. “We have a mix of old and new faces but the dedication and effort level have been consistent across the board.  We will certainly develop as we go this year, so it will be very interesting to see how far we are able to come through the season.  If we do what we are capable of in the practice room, we should be in position to surprise when we approach the postseason.”