Swimming and Diving teams look to bounce back

Written by gavanguard on . Posted in Men's Sports, Sports, Swimming & Diving, Swimming & Diving, Women's Sports

swimming

By Christopher Mella

The Bentley men and women’s swimming and diving teams will look to bounce back in their next match against UMass-Dartmouth after suffering their third loss of the season to Northeast-10 Conference rival Saint Rose.

Throughout the month of November, both the men and women’s teams have posted 1-2 records, with the men’s sole victory coming at Roger Williams University and the women’s over Le Moyne College. In the Falcons’ November 7 matchup against non-conference opponent RWU, the men’s team routed the Hawks by a score of 151-90, while the women’s team conversely suffered an embarrassing defeat by a score of 148-86.

Three athletes from the men’s team, juniors Sebastian Bury and Colton Bridge, and freshman Aiden Karam, showed impressive skills in the RWU match as they each won two events, ultimately pushing the Falcons over the Hawks. Bury, a freestyler, captured victories in both the 50 yard and 100 yard events, while Karam, a long distance freestyler, brought home wins in the 200 and 500 yard events.

Perhaps most impressive, was Colton Bridge’s victory in diving, in which he claimed wins for the Falcons in both the one-meter and three-meter events. Furthermore, Bridge was named diving athlete of the week in the NE-10 Conference.

When asked for his thoughts about the achievement, Bridge said, “Being named the diving athlete of the week means a lot to me from a mental standpoint, as it shows recognition of the strides I have made thus far in the season as well as letting me know I am competing at a level that would put me in contention to win the conference come championships in February.”

Although the women’s team fell to Saint Rose in the following match, senior standout diver Paige Wilde was also named the NE-10 Diver of the week, as she posted two dominant victories with 40-point victory margins for her events.

Wilde found the achievement to be a huge motivation for the rest of the season, saying, “It helps to motivate and push me in order to keep the title for weeks to come.”

The Falcons will see action once again on November 19, as they prepare to take on the Corsairs of UMass-Dartmouth. The intensity for the matchup is steadily rising; according to Wilde, “If the team enters UMass-Dartmouth with full energy and intensity, there is no doubt we will come out on top.”

Following this match, the Falcons have meets on the November 21 and 22 at Brandeis and Norwich, respectively.

Volleyball loses bid for North East-10 Championship

Written by gavanguard on . Posted in Sports, Volleyball, Women's Sports

volleyball

By Austin Miller

The Bentley volleyball team has managed to put together a very successful season throughout 2014. Sitting at 16-10 at the end of the regular season and 11-3 in the conference, the team earned the third seed in the NE-10 playoffs and faced off against sixth-seeded Merrimack College in the quarterfinals last Friday.

In their final home match of the season, the Falcons achieved a hard fought, five-set victory over a Merrimack team that had held tough at 9-5 in conference play and battled all year long. The win ended Merrimack’s seven-match winning streak and propelled Bentley to the final four.

However, there would be no time for rest, as the Falcons had to take on second-seed and conference rival Stonehill College.

After losing to the Skyhawks back in September by a score of 3-1, the Falcons knew they would be in for a very difficult game.

Despite the struggles earlier in the season, Bentley was able to come out on top by sweeping Stonehill 3-0. Leading the charge in this match was junior Jaci Buscher, with her ninth double-double of the season and Alex Tator, who came away with a huge 31 assists on the night. Beating the number two seed in the conference was a huge step for this program and launched the team to the NE-10 Championships, seeking its first conference title since 2006.

Waiting for the Falcons in the championship game was fifth-ranked Adelphi. Earlier this month, when Bentley played Adelphi on the road, the Falcons were able to pull off a huge come-from-behind win, rebounding from a 2-0 deficit to sweep the last three sets.

Unfortunately, the Falcons did not achieve the same outcome in the NE-10 finals. After taking the first set, Bentley dropped the next two and was unable to recover. Although Bentley was able to split the final two sets, they fell to Adelphi by a score of 3-2. Bentley showed incredible resistance throughout the night in battling back from deficits and twice was within just one point of a victory. Ultimately, the difficult matchup of Adelphi proved to be too much to overcome.

Despite the tough loss in the NE-10 Championship game, the Volleyball team has the ultimate opportunity for redemption. For the third time this season, the Falcon’s will face off against conference opponent Adelphi, this time on Thursday in the NCAA Division II East Regional tournament. It will be Bentley’s first NCAA Tournament bid since 2009.

With the season series currently standing at 1-1, the fourth-seeded Falcons will look to keep their season alive by topping Adelphi in the rubber match, achieving the ultimate revenge for the loss in the finals.

Falcons win over Merrimack

Written by gavanguard on . Posted in Football, Men's Sports, Sports

football

By Kunaal Murthy

You could not have written a better script for the Bentley Falcons in their final game last Saturday against Merrimack. With the team looking to celebrate the incredible careers of the outgoing seniors, the Falcons put together their most complete performance of the season. The Falcons dominated in all three phases of the game, smothered Merrimack 30-7 and sent their outgoing seniors out on a victorious note. Under first-year head coach Bill Kavanaugh, the Falcons recorded four wins in their last five games to finish the season with a 5-6 overall record.

In his final game as Bentley’s starting quarterback; graduate student Danny Guadagnoli threw for 4 touchdown passes. Two went to senior receiver Jeff Hill, who passed the 1,000 receiving yard mark during the game. Guadagnoli finished with 299 passing yards while also leading the team in rushing yards with 33. Hill led the team in receiving yards with 163, proving once again to be one of Guadagnoli’s favorite targets this season.

The Falcons’ defense clearly grasped the magnitude of the game, as they unleashed an absolutely relentless effort to generate 4 turnovers—2 interceptions and 2 fumbles. The star on defense was sophomore linebacker Bryan Hardy, who finished with a whopping 19 tackles. The performance by Hardy was the most tackles by any Bentley player in more than two decades. In addition, Hardy tied for the most tackles by any player in the NE-10 this year. Hardy’s outstanding play clearly rubbed off on his fellow teammates. The entire defense unit was tough to play against all day, as evidenced by the scoreboard at the end of the game.

It did not take long for the Falcons to get on the scoreboard. On the first play from scrimmage, Guadagnoli hit Hill for a 54-yard touchdown reception, but the extra point was blocked. After a 30-yard field goal by junior Michael Baron later in the quarter, Bentley got the ball back on the very next play after Junior Chery recovered a fumble on the kickoff. Shortly thereafter, Guadagnoli hit senior running back Jet Kollie on a 23-yard pass to extend the lead to 16-0.

Both teams were halted on multiple possessions in the beginning of the second quarter, but Merrimack finally broke through and cut the lead to 16-7 after running back Armond McRae scored from two yards out. However, Bentley’s aerial attack proved to be too much, as Hill hauled in a 62-yard pass from Guadagnoli about two minutes later.

Bentley’s defense held strong, refusing to allow a single point the rest of the game. Bentley recorded the only other score halfway through the 4th quarter when Guadagnoli connected with Sean Myers on a 25-yard pass for a touchdown to put the Falcons up 30-7.

For Merrimack, QB Nick LaSpada finished with 242 yards on the day and also added a 55-yard scamper on the ground to lead the Warriors with 68 rushing yards. The top receiver was Jere Brown, with 76 yards. The Warriors went for it on 4th down six separate times throughout the game but only converted once, proving the effectiveness of Bentley’s defense all day long.

With the win, Bentley finished at 5-6 for the season, winning four of their last five games. Guadagnoli and the seniors were elated to finish the season with a “W.” Reflecting on his career, the star quarterback for Bentley cherished all the great moments he had as a member of the football team:

“It was a pleasure to play for so many great coaches and alongside the best teammates in the world. I’m still shocked that my career at Bentley is over. It felt like yesterday when I was competing to win the starting QB competition.”

Guadagnoli led the Falcons to numerous wins during his career, breaking multiple passing and touchdown records in the process. Humble even just a day removed from leading the Falcons to yet another win, Guadagnoli reminisced about all the great moments he has had on the team and on campus as a whole:

“It is so gratifying to see how far I’ve come and how much our team has grown together. The great people at Bentley are what make this place so special for me and what I will remember the most. I am blessed to leave my playing career here with a wealth of lifelong relationships. I am most thankful for that.”

Other players on Bentley playing the final game of their careers included linebacker Blaine Hopwood, wide receiver Jeff Hill, center Jack Donavan and strong safety Nick McCarthy. Hill ended his career with another outstanding game with the two touchdowns he hauled in from Guadagnoli. Hopwood registered three total tackles and McCarthy had a fumble recovery in the game. McCarthy did his part on the offensive line as Guadagnoli was well-protected for the majority of the game.

The Falcons will have a busy offseason preparing for next year and will surely miss the overwhelming contributions of the outgoing senior class.

 

Bentley Basketball opens season with strong showing

Written by gavanguard on . Posted in Basketball, Basketball, Men's Sports, Sports, Women's Sports

basketball

By Cameron Estelle

The Bentley Men and Women’s Basketball teams opened the 2014-2015 season with a bang, winning three out of four games and proving why the Falcons are a force to be reckoned with once again in the NE-10.

On Friday night, the men’s team took to the Dana Center for the Tip-Off Classic to kick off their 2014-2015 campaign against 14-ranked Philadelphia University. The Falcons got off to a very slow start with erratic shooting in the first half. The team shot only 29% from the floor and started the night 0 for 8. They were only 3 for 17 from the three point line, while Philadelphia shot 56% and dropped 4 of their 6 threes.

Bentley managed to chip away at the 13-point deficit at the end of the first half thanks to a 3 pointer from junior forward Tyler McFarland with 58 seconds left and a last second steal by sophomore guard Ferguson Duke to bring the Falcons to within 8.

The second half was all Bentley. A 13-2 run evened up the score at 46 with 10:17 left to play, thanks in part to a pair of threes from Duke. Philly took the lead again with a 10-5 run, but an 8 point outburst by the Falcons gave Bentley a lead they would not relinquish for the rest of the game. The Rams came to within four with 2:47 remaining, but an 8 point storm from Bentley, keyed by a sizzling three-pointer from junior Shaq Phelps, ended the comeback effort and sealed the win.

Tearing up the stat sheet for Bentley was senior guard JP Koury, who finished with 18 points, nine rebounds, five steals and three assists. McFarland also finished with 18 points, with senior guard Keegan Hyland and Duke hitting double digits in points. Bentley was outrebounded 40-31, but finished with a stunning 22-2 advantage in points off turnovers
Saturday night was not as sweet for the Bentley men, as a last second layup by Holy Family University snatched victory away from the Falcons. Bentley had an 11 point lead with 9 minutes left, but only managed two free throws over the next four and a half minutes, as the Tigers took advantage of multiple turnovers in a 14-2 run.

The Falcons sparked an 8-0 run to end the dry spell and take a lead, but with under 30 seconds left, two turnovers led to a Tiger lead. Keegan Hyland put Bentley back in front briefly, but Holy Family guard Reggie Charles would have the last laugh with his last-second layup.

Compared to Friday night, Bentley had a much better start on Saturday from the field, knocking down six of their first 9.

The Falcons had a 3% advantage in shooting percentage over the Tigers (42-39), but were outshot from beyond the arc.

Holy Family went 13 of 35 and Bentley went 7 of 20. Bentley led in rebounds and free throws, 42-32 and 20-3, respectively.

Not to be forgotten was senior guard Keegan Hyland, who put up a career night, dropping 31 points and 10 rebounds. The Bentley men look to get back in the win column Wednesday as they travel to Assumption College to open the Northeast-10 Conference schedule.

In news that shocks nobody, the Bentley Women’s basketball team is still winning. The defending NCAA Division II national champions swept their pair of games this weekend to extend their winning streak to 37.

On Friday night, the women traveled to Merrimack College to take on the Goldey-Beacom Lightning in the Northeast-10/CACC Challenge. 5-ranked Bentley never trailed in a game that ended 62-52, but did struggle to put away the pesky Lightning, who remained within single digits for most of the game.

Bentley was strong from the start, going on a 13-4 run in the first five minutes. However, Goldey-Beacom hung on and pulled within one with 10:15 remaining in the game. The Falcons responded with a 9 point outburst and although the Lightning would come as close as five, they could not close the gap and fell short of the upset.

Leading the way for Bentley was freshman Trevena Bennett. In her collegiate debut, Bennett put up a game-high 18 points.

Also coming out strong in the opener was sophomore post Jen Gemma, who added 17 points and a game-high 12 rebounds.

The Bentley starters are very young, with only one combined start between them, but clearly that was not an issue. The Falcons also dominated rebounds 51-34, which helped produce a 20-4 advantage in second-chance points.

The women extended their streak to 37 games on Saturday night, using a dominating first half to cruise to a victory against Post University. Again leading the way for the Falcons were Bennett and Gemma. Each starting in just their second games of their careers, they combined for 29 points. Bennett hit five three-pointers and Gemma picked up 13 rebounds to give her a second straight double-double.

The Falcons took care of business in the first half with an explosive 20-2 run to give them a 35-13 lead going into the second half. Post did not even manage to make a field goal for the final ten and a half minutes. The scoring was split between nine different Falcons, with Bennett leading the way with 8 points.

Bentley hit a bit of a rough patch during the game, when a five and a half minute stretch saw Post go on a 16-0 run. Post managed to cut a 33-point lead down to 11, but the Falcons help on to win a convincing matchup. Bentley outshot and out-rebounded their opponent, shooting 50% to Post’s 34% and picking up 53 of the 76 total rebounds.

“Trevena had a good weekend for sure. She and our other freshman will be called upon to contribute quite a bit this season” said Coach Stevens. The wealth of young talent that this team has shown says that this program will continue to be strong for a long time.

The women are at Assumption College on Wednesday to open Northeast-10 action and to hunt for their thirty-eighth straight win and will raise the national championship banner before Saturday’s home-opener against Stonehill College at 1:30 PM.