Women’s Tennis aims to impress

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

women's tennis

By Kunaal Murthy

Whenever a team can win two important matches in a row, it greatly boosts the confidence of everyone on the roster. That is just what happened with the women’s tennis team after they won a hard-fought match, 5-4, against Merrimack and then carried that hot streak into the next match, overwhelming Saint Anslem 7-2.

The win over Merrimack was crucial, as it was a conference match and put the Falcons at a 5-4 record in the NE-10. The three doubles matches at the start of the day proved to be very important. Bentley won two out of the three matches, taking a 2-1 lead going into the singles matches. Catherine Gianino and Brittani Hetyei won their match 8-6. The pair of juniors overcame a slow start as they went down early 5-2. However, their resilience was shown on a grand stage as they battled back to defeat Rachel Muller and Mackenzie Blair of Merrimack.

Bentley’s number three doubles won with relative ease, as Melanie Scott and Lexi Hinrichs won 8-3. The 6 singles matches were as close as they could have possibly been. Bentley and Merrimack split the 6 matches, with Bentley’s No.3, No.4 and No.6 seeds winning. None of the 6 matches were forced to go to a deciding third set, with Bentley’s Susan Stowe not even allowing her opponent to win a single game as she won 6-0, 6-0. Hetyei was the day’s biggest winner as she won not only her doubles match, but also her singles match in the No. 4 spot 6-3, 6-0, defeating Danielle Dunn.

A couple days later in their final home match of the year, Bentley cruised past Saint Anslem 7-2, improving to 6-4 in the NE-10 conference. This match saw a couple different players on Bentley participate, as sophomore Kayla Anghinetti was paired with Susan Stowe in the No.3 doubles match, winning 8-4.

Additionally, in the No.6 singles match Jill Kamphaus of Bentley beat Saint Anslem’s April Regan 6-1, 6-2. Gianino and Hetyei were paired up again the No.2 doubles match and their chemistry showed as they won 8-2. Not only did they win the doubles match, both of them won their singles matches as well. Gianno won her match easily by a score of 6-2, 6-0, while Hetyei won her match 6-0, 6-1. All in all, it was a dominating performance by the team.

Unfortunately, the team ended the year on a rough note with two straight losses to Southern New Hampshire and Stonehill, losing 9-0 and 8-1 respectively. In the six singles matches against SNHU, Bentley had little success as all of the players went down in straight sets. In doubles, the #3 pair of Lexie Hinrichs and Melanie Scott found the most success, as they were able to win 3 games in the 8-game pro set. Against Stonehill, Bentley’s lone point came from the No.2 singles match from Catherine Gianino.

Stonehill finished with a 10-2 record and will face Assumption in the first round of the Northeast-10 playoffs. For the Falcons, they finished with a 6-6 record for the year.

The Falcons will try to regroup after such a disappointing ending to the fall season. The spring season begins in March as the team will travel down south to Florida to play against Florida Tech and then Eckerd a few days later. After that 2-game stretch, the team will return home for good with three home matches in a row to finish out the spring season. The team will be facing a familiar foe in Brandeis on March 20.

In April, Bentley will be matched up against two other schools from Massachusetts. They first play Endicott College on April 12 and then five days later they close the season with a match against Simmons College. With such a promising team, the Falcons are poised for a playoff run!

Men’s Hockey seeks to avenge last year’s season exit

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

hockey

By Christopher Mella

The Bentley Falcons take the ice this year with aspirations for improvement, coming off of a 19-win regular season record and a quarterfinal post-season elimination to the Canisius Golden Griffins last year. This year’s 26-man roster is managed by head coach Ryan Soderquist (‘00), his 13th season behind the bench, and is captained by senior forward Alex Grieve.

Bentley will see many new additions to its roster this year, as seven freshman players have joined the team hoping to avenge Bentley’s early post-season exit the previous year. Senior captains, Alex Grieve, Alex Kubiak, Brett Switzer and Steve Weinstein, lead the Falcons into the 2014-2015 season through a schedule that includes games between all division opponents, as well as a handful of out-of-conference matchups. Bentley, a member of the Atlantic Hockey Division, will square off against conference teams Air Force, American International, Army, Canisius, Holy Cross, Mercyhurst, Niagara, Robert Morris, RIT and Sacred Heart, as well as out of conference teams Rensselaer, Penn State and Harvard.

When asked about his expectations for the upcoming season, Coach Soderquist said the following:

“We return a great group of leaders from last year’s team and expect that we will continue to build off of last year,” referring to last season when Bentley made it to the Quarterfinals round but fell short against Canisius, losing the best of three series, 2-1.

Team captain Alex Grieve expects nothing less than superb this season, stating, “I expect us to be at the top of the standings by the end of the year.”

The Falcons opened up the 2015 season on the road October 11 vs. No. 15 ranked Quinnipiac, a team that nearly went all the way two years ago, before losing to Yale in the NCAA National Championship Game. In spite of some impressive individual performances, Bentley suffered a difficult 5-3 loss to the Bobcats. The Falcons saw great play from sophomore forward Max French, who netted two goals and an assist in Bentley’s season opener.

The Falcons then visited Sacred Heart in the opener of a home-and-home series on October 17. The first divisional matchup of the season saw Bentley achieve its first win of the year by a score of 4-1. Goals were scored by four different players, three of them coming in a dominant second period for the Falcons. Alex Grieve was effusive with praise when describing the offensive skill on the team, he said, “We have some very smart and talented players that can score at will.”

The Falcons then returned home to the JAR (John A. Ryan Arena) the following evening on October 18, hosting Sacred Heart in the second game of the home-and-home. Although backed by a massive turnout of Bentley student-fans for the home-opener, a combination of numerous turnovers and sloppy defensive play led to a 6-3 Bentley defeat. The Falcons showed all-around good play in the first half of the first period until Sacred Heart freshman forward Zach Sabatini broke the silence, scoring off a bang-bang passing play at 4:45. Down 1-0 late in the first period, the Falcons were looking to even the score after going on the power play, but the man-advantage took a turn for the worse, when a neutral-ice zone turnover led to a shorthanded breakaway goal for sophomore Justin Danforth with just 42 seconds to go.

The second period saw no improvement for the Falcons, as the Pioneers lit the lamp three more times within the opening six minutes. Starting junior goalie Gabe Antoni was pulled early in the second after letting up four goals, including a shot that rang off the crossbar, only to find the back of the net seconds later after being redirected off his right leg pad as he was trying to cover the puck.

“We decided to pull Gabe to help swing the momentum in the game. It was not his play, but our team just needed to try to get a spark,” said Head Coach Ryan Soderquist regarding his decision to pull Antoni.

Soderquist called timeout after Sacred Heart took a commanding 4-0 lead, but another goal from the Pioneers’ relentless offensive pressure brought the Falcons to a debilitating 5-0 deficit just moments later. The Falcons did show some life, however, as the team pulled to within three by the end of the second. Two power play goals for junior Andrew Gladiuk and the first career goal for New Jersey native Vincent Russo gave Bentley hope as they headed into the third period.

Bentley did not get the results they wanted in the final twenty minutes of play, as Sacred Heart’s brick-wall defense, led by red-shirt goalie Alex Vazzano, who denied any additional goals from a hungry Bentley offense. Despite numerous opportunities, the Falcons could not seem to break through, as Vazzano gave a stone-cold third period performance, stopping ten shots in the third, and an overall 31 of 34 total faced shots. The latter half of the final period became a scrappy dogfight, in which Bentley’s brutal physicality hammered down on Sacred Heart, yet could not convert into the goals they needed. Bentley’s heavy net presence after every shot from the point led to consistent after-the-whistle action, ultimately culminating in a 10-minute misconduct, a game misconduct and a match disqualification for three different Bentley players, the last of which will result in a one-game suspension for senior assistant captain Alex Kubiak.

“Playing physical and taking bad penalties are two different things,” Soderquist said. “For 55 minutes we played physical and created plenty of scoring chances, but I was not happy with the last five minutes of play and you won’t see that from our team again.”

The Bentley fan-base left the JAR Saturday night disappointed in the team’s performance, yet optimistic about the team’s future. The Falcons will return to the JAR on November 7th when they take on the Niagara University Purple Eagles in a back-to-back matchup on Friday and Saturday night.

Soderquist talked about his team’s position thus far three games into the season, stating, “We are working to get better every day.” He further explained, “We don’t look at our record in terms of wins and losses this early in the season, but want to maintain focus on the process.”

Following Saturday night’s loss, Grieve said, “The season is still young and we have many things to work on.” He added, “We have several aspects that we need to improve on if we want to win every night.”

The Falcons finish up the month of October on the road for the next four games, where they will take on the last place RIT Tigers twice as well as two out-of-conference matchups against the Penn State Nittany Lions.

As Bentley looks to the future, Soderquist said, “We know that all areas of our game have room for improvement in October.”

 

Men’s Tennis begin the season with two straight wins

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

tennis

By Austin Miller

After a strong 2013 season that saw the men’s tennis team finish at 11-8 and 8-2 in conference play, the 2014 squad is looking to build off of their past success with an even more impressive array of talent.

Early into the 2014 schedule, the team has experienced incredible success and a level of dominance that is undeniable. While dealing with an interrupted schedule due to inclement weather, the team has managed to go 2-0, beating both a conference opponent in Saint Anselm as well as Salve Regina, both by a score of 9-0.

In the match against Salve Regina, the Falcons proved to be too much to handle, beating Salve Regina in both singles and doubles matches. The four players leading the way were Brendan McCarthy, Chase Rosa, Evan Comka and Jerry Liang. The dominance in the singles matches was staggering, as Bentley lost only two games out of the five total singles matches. The team’s incredible combination of youth and experience was on full display, with freshman Brendan McCarthy winning his match 6-0 and veteran leader Evan Chomka winning his match by the same score.

The two doubles matches were played by Brendan McCarthy, who was paired with freshman George Samander and Alex DeMuth in the second match.

McCarthy has experienced great success thus far in his young career as a Bentley tennis player. He has contributed to the early victories of the team and has been recognized on a personal level. He was named the NE-10 Rookie of the Week at the end of September, because of his stellar play during the UConn Invitational. The team looks to be primed for a strong season and a bright future with players like McCarthy.

Coaches Edelmann and Kopelman have managed to put together a solid roster over the past two seasons, finding a balanced attack of youth and veteran experience. Overall, the 2014 roster is young, with Alex DeMuth and Peter Koopman the only two players representing the senior class. The leadership ability of the upper classmen, combined with the talent of young players like McCarthy, point to positive signs for the Falcons.

The men’s team will be back on the court soon to complete against Wentworth, a match that was postponed last week due to weather. After that, the team will have some time off to rest and recharge for what is bound to be a promising year for Bentley tennis.

Football suffers against Merrimack, wins vs. So. Conn.

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

football

By Thomas Day

As everyone else headed home for the fall break over Columbus Day Weekend, the Bentley Falcons hosted the Warriors of Merrimack College on Saturday afternoon. Bentley came into the game with a record of 1-4, but had only lost their previous contests by a combined 17 points. On the other hand, the Merrimack Warriors came to town with a 2-3 record looking to upend the Falcons.

Neither team was able to score in the first quarter, with each team stonewalling each other’s attempts. Bentley struck first in the second quarter thanks to a 23-yard field goal by junior kicker Michael Baron. Following the field goal, Bentley and Merrimack traded touchdowns, with sophomore Martin Bannerman punching one in for the Falcons from 5 yards out.

Heading into the third quarter with the Falcons up by a field goal, Merrimack quickly responded with a touchdown of their own. However, Danny Guadagnoli would find Matt Guay on an 11-yard reception for a touchdown to put Bentley back on top, 17-14.

As the teams continued to trade touchdowns, Merrimack was able to get ahead thanks to two quick scores that pushed their lead to 28-17. Bentley was not going down without a fight, however, as Guadagnoli connected with senior wide-out Jeff Hill on a beautiful 66-yard touchdown to bring the Falcons within three after a successful two-point conversion.

However, the final drive of the day for the Falcons resulted in a heart-breaking interception that sealed the victory for the Warriors.

Guadagnoli, who moved up to third all-time in Bentley passing yards, lamented the Falcons’ latest crushing defeat:

“It was another devastating loss no doubt. We just didn’t play well enough to win. Another one that came to the wire and again the ball didn’t bounce in our favor. In prior weeks we had played well enough to win, but this weekend we just made too many mistakes and didn’t deserve to win.”

The Falcons then traveled to Southern Connecticut State last weekend looking to avenge the last-minute lost versus Merrimack. When asked about the outlook of the game, Captain Danny Guadagnoli said:

“We are confident that we match up well against them and we expect to go down there and get a win. We are all ready to make a run down the stretch of the season.”

This positive outlook was clearly displayed in the game on Sunday, as Bentley scored 24 first-half points in dominating fashion en route to a 38-7 win over Southern Connecticut. Guadagnoli threw for four touchdowns, two of which went to senior wide-out Jeff Hill and the others to Sean Myers and Matt Guay. With his touchdown reception, Hill became the sixth player in Bentley history to reach 200 career points. Senior running back Jet Kollie was also recognized for his efforts, as he was named the NE-10 Special Teams Player of the Week after recording 229 all-purpose return yards.

All in all, Bentley came out firing on offense and their stout defense propelled them to a blowout conference victory to end their current losing skid. At 2-5 the team knows how important it is to build upon this momentum heading into its home game versus Pace University this Saturday.