The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College since 1873

Day: December 11, 2017 (Page 2 of 2)

Squash Teams Are off to a Strong Start

For the men’s squash team, the season couldn’t be off to a better start.  In four matches, they have gone 4-0, winning three by margins of 9-0 and the last 7-2.  These matches have come against Bowdoin, Connecticut College, Vassar, and Haverford.  As of right now, the team is nationally ranked at number eighteen.

  The first match of the season came at Bowdoin, who, at the time, was nationally ranked at number twenty-seven.  In that match, they won every game except for two in the 9-0 win.  Up and down the lineup the team performed well, with Mahmoud Yousry ’20 and Graham Bonnell ’20 holding down the top two positions with 3-0 wins. Captains Anirudh Nambiar ’18 and McLeod Abbot ’19 also won their games at the fourth and fifth spots. On the beginning of the season, Abbot says, “So far I’m incredibly happy with the season. We’ve inserted three freshmen into the lineup and they’ve all performed better than expected. With the loss of several seniors last year we definitely needed some of the younger guys to step up.”  He also made a point to shout out Bonnell, who has improved greatly so far this season. “The MVP of the season so far is without a doubt Graham Bonnell. He trained harder than anybody this summer and moved from playing seven last year to firmly playing number two, knocking on the door of the number one spot. I’m excited to see his game progress over the rest of the season,” Abbot states.

After this match, the Bobcats moved on to defeat Connecticut College. Next on the slate was matchups with Haverford and Vassar on Saturday, December 2.  Bates won both of these matches as well and now sit at 4-0, maintaining their national ranking of eighteenth. On Saturday, Bates outplayed Vassar, with every player on the Bates team winning their games 3-0.  In the afternoon matchup with Haverford, it was a little tougher but still a dominant win. Despite dropping two of the games, they still managed to win 7-2.  As of right now, the Bobcats’ men’s team is off to their best start in seven years, in which they also began 4-0. Their next match is on January 12 against Middlebury. Looking forward to the season ahead, Nambiar says, “I fully believe that this team has the ability to be one of the twelve best teams in the country. We have a lot of quality on this team and with the right push, this team will be able to go very far this season.”

The women’s team has also started their season and although it has not gone as perfectly, they are still in a good position. They are 2-2 thus far, with wins over Bowdoin and Haverford and losses to Connecticut College and Vassar. Although 2-2 is not the ideal record at this point, both losses have been only by one game scores of 5-4.

On Saturday, December 2, Bates played well at the top of their lineups, going undefeated through their first four positions in both matches. The first match, against Vassar, was a 5-4 defeat.  The four athletes in these top positions were, in order of one to four, Luca Polgar ’20, Vicky Arjoon ’19, Maeve O’Brien ’21, and Katie Manternach ’21. The Bobcats were unable to finish in this match against Vassar, who was ranked number twenty-nine nationally, dropping the later games and losing overall 5-4.  However, in the afternoon match with Haverford, ranked number thirty nationally, the Bobcats had a better showing. They swept positions one through four and then won 3-0 at positions five and six. Positions one through four were won by the same athletes as the morning match, mentioned previously. Five and six were won by Hannah Conner ’18 and Cata Robert ’18, both by scores of 3-0. With these six wins at the top of the slate, they were able to hold on to the lead and win 6-3.

“There is definitely a space for improvement since we have a huge range of experience across the team,” Arjoon says. “Each player, international or not, brings something new to the table. Regardless of where you play on the ladder, you always have the ability to learn something new, or even teach something to another teammate.”

Although the women’s team is only .500 right now, their losses have been closely contested, and the rest of their season looks bright. Their next match is on January 12 against Middlebury.

“Like years past, there has always been a visible jump in skill from the beginning of the year towards the end when we go to NESCACs and Nationals because we are constantly exposed to a variety of skilled teams,” Arjoon says. “The College Squash Circuit has become increasingly competitive over the years, so we’re looking to crack the Top 12 at Nationals and show them what Bates has to offer!”

“There is an amazing team dynamic present on the team this year, considering we have four of our teammates who aren’t at Bates right now,” Arjoon continues. “They will contribute a lot of depth to the roster in January when they return, so this addition will certainly make the group much more competitive than we already are.”

Take a Splash Into the 2017-2018 Swim and Dive Team

I spoke with swimmers Samuel Montenegro ’21 of Wynnewood, Pennsylvania and Elizabeth Cullen ’21 of Newburyport, Massachusetts about their experiences with Bates’ swim and dive team thus far.

Kerry Manuel (KM): Tell me about the Bates Swim and Dive team.

Sam Montenegro (SM): “We are the best team in the country!” That is what our coach, Peter Casares, always says.

Elizabeth Cullen (EC): Yes! I love it. That’s how he signs the end of all his emails, and he is a full believer that we are the best team in the country, which I love. It’s just a really good atmosphere, a very positive environment, and we definitely lead the country in high fives. There is also a lot of friendly competition.

SM: And we always win in warm ups. We are the first team in the water and the last team out.

EC: Yeah, we definitely put in the work.

SM: Even when no one else wants to.

KM: How has your experience been different from prior years swimming?

SM: College swimming is definitely a bigger commitment. For club swimming, it was do what you want to do and what you think is right but here, you go to practice specifically for the benefit of the team. If you don’t go to practice and work hard you are not only hurting yourself but also you are hurting the team.

EC: It is more goal oriented, not for yourself, but for the team.

KM: What are some of your goals for this year?

SM: My goals are to get faster so I can score more points for the team.

EC: Yeah, I would also much rather score points than anything else because it helps the team.

KM: What are your strokes?

EC: Distance free.

SM: Back and IM (individual medley).

KM: Does your coach ever need you to swim a different event?

SM: At the Maine State Meet this past weekend we did different things we don’t normally do.

EC: I did the 200 butterfly which is not something I usually do.

SM: Everyone was cheering for her which was awesome.

EC: It was fun to swim a different event. More people are willing to do it because we have such a small team now as opposed to in high school. People will just have to step up and swim different events. This weekend we were exploring what people can do.

KM: What was it like being at your first meet of the year against Trinity and Wesleyan?

EC: I was nervous.

SM: So nervous.

KM: How did the captains help calm your nerves?

SM: They were not trying to calm us down but actually trying to hype us up.

EC: We do a cheer at the beginning of the meet that hypes everyone up.

SM: We have the best cheer in the NESCAC.

EC: Our team gets very into it.

KM: What is the leadership like on the team?

EC: I think the captains, Sara Daher ’18 and Emma Jarczyk ’18 definitely lead by example, train hard and swim fast.

SM: They do a really good job but they are more there to help guide you along.

KM: What have you learned?

EC: If you commit to the program you will see results.

SM: Hard work pays off.

KM: What are you most looking forward to?


SM: Definitely NESCACs. That’s the biggest meet. I would love to go to nationals but first we need to get to NESCACs.

KM: What’s something the Bates community doesn’t know about the Swim and Dive Team?

SM: We are a quirky bunch.

EC: In a good way though.
    SM: We are all really different people…

EC: But we mesh really well together.

SM: The fact that we swim together brings us together and it’s great.

EC: You really form a bond when you have to swim at 5:30 a.m. in the morning together.

KM: If you could give your pre-college self some advice, what would it be?

EC: It’s not that hard. I was stressed coming in to it that it would be really hard.

SM: I would definitely say it’s not as hard as everyone says it is, but at the end of the day you still need to know how to buckle down and do the work.

KM: What does it mean to represent Bates?

SM: It’s awesome. When you are at a meet and see Bates on top you feel like you are a part of something bigger.

EC: It’s special we get to do that. When you score points it’s awesome knowing its going towards something and when we win, it’s cool knowing you contributed to it.

SM: When you win a meet, it’s not you who won but Bates who did.

KM: What has been the best moment so far?
     SM: I’d say the best moments aren’t even swimming but rather standing on the side of pool cheering people on and watching them work hard.

EC: It’s fun being so supportive to my teammates and then receiving that when it is my turn.

KM: Tell me a fun fact about your experience so far.

SM: I have two donuts after every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday morning practices.

EC: After every morning practice, I question my choice of 8:00 a.m. class, but then I always end up going.

SM: Yes, it’s funny but true!

KM: What would you like to tell Bates?

SM: Everyone come cheer us on at Tarbell!

EC: I agree. Having people there cheering us on makes it a lot easier to swim faster.

SM: And the more the merrier!

Women’s Basketball Overcomes Maine-Augusta; Davenport ’18 Scores 1000th Career Point

On December 2, the women’s basketball team won an exciting home game against the Moose from the University of Maine at Augusta (Maine-Augusta) 67-58. During this game, Nina Davenport ’18 became the 20th person in Bates women’s basketball history to score 1,000 points during her career at Bates.

“It was awesome to see Nina get her thousandth point at home,” says Lyse Henshaw ’18. “I know how hard she works, so it was nice to see her get some recognition for her outstanding career at Bates.”

Davenport is currently ranked 17th at Bates for the most career points scored with 1,022 points. However, with much of the 2017-18 season still in front of her, it is almost certain that she will continue to climb further up the ranks.

I think I’ve been able to have success in college due to my passion for the game,” Davenport says. “Through the ups and downs throughout my college career, I can lean on my love for the game. Basketball has taught me to be a very disciplined and hardworking person outside of the game which can translate after my athletic career is over.”

Also notable, Davenport broke Bates’ previous record of 31 field goal attempts, set by Shirley Averill in 1979, shooting 32 during the game against Maine-Augusta. Lexie Nason ’18 also posted a career-high 12 rebounds and five assists.

While Bates had a lower accuracy in field goals (30.5%), three point field goals (24.0%) and free throws (73.3%), in comparison to Maine Augusta’s 38.8%, 35.3%, and 82.4% respectively, they were able to outshoot the Moose and earn more points.

“I think a lot of our success yesterday stemmed from our hustle and energy,” says Davenport. “Even though our shots weren’t falling, we were able to get offensive rebounds and steals. I think Lyse Henshaw was able to bring a strong spark to our offense and defense that definitely led to the team’s success.”

Maine-Augusta took the lead early in the first quarter of the game and continued to hold it until seven minutes in, when Henshaw shot a field goal that put Bates in an early lead, 11-10. By the end of the quarter, Bates was ahead 17-13.

However, the second period was tough for the Bobcats. Maine-Augusta quickly caught up to Bates two minutes into the quarter and continued to play an aggressive game. The lead shifted seven times by the end of the second quarter with Maine-Augusta coming out ahead, 36-33.

A marked shift in the game took place during the third quarter. Bates caught up to Maine-Augusta 38-38 with 4:39 on the clock after a three point jump shot from Melanie Binkhorst ’20. Less than a minute later, Bates took the lead after a strong display of teamwork. The ball was passed along the three point line, making its way to the far left of the basket. There, Nason saw an opening across the court and passed the ball to Emily Freedland ’18. Moments later, Freedland sunk a well-shot three pointer, putting Bates in the lead.

Bates continued to hold their lead over Maine-Augusta for the rest of the game. The Bobcats earned more points in the fourth quarter (22) than in any other quarter, ending the game with a nine point lead.

Davenport scored the most points (25) for Bates, followed by Carly Christofi ’20 (12), Binkhorst (11), and Henshaw (10). Backing these players were Julia Middlebrook ’21 and Nason, recording six and five assists respectively.

“I think it was a good game to kick off our home stretch in Alumni after having five away games to start the season,” Henshaw said. “We had a lot of good moments in the game whether it was our defensive energy or fast break points.”

Bates has won two games thus far this season against the University of Southern Maine and Maine-Augusta, and has lost four, cumulating in a season overall record of 2-4 as of December 11.

“Our team’s main goal this season is to be competitive in every game that we play,” says Davenport. “Our team is really focused on doing the little things, like grabbing offensive rebounds, taking charges and being really gritty on defense.”

The women’s team will play against Bowdoin this Saturday, December 16 at home held in Alumni Gymnasium at 3 p.m. This game will mark their second NESCAC game of the season.

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