The College’s baseball team will be heading into the NJAC playoffs riding an 11-game win streak. Currently ranked No. 9 in Division III baseball, the Lions are 28-8 overall and 14-4 in the NJAC.
During the season, head coach Rick Dell earned his 700th career victory with the Lions. At the end of the regular season his record stands at 702-328-10. In the last decade, Dell has coached the Lions to 10 straight 20-plus win seasons.
Seeking their third straight NJAC Championship, the Lions will be looking to seniors to continue their offensive output into the postseason. Senior catcher Gerard Haran is the Lions’ all-time home run hitter with 47. He is also the College’s all-time leader in RBIs with 208.
Senior first baseman Blake Bullis set the College’s mark for career hits, which now stands at 224. Senior outfielder Jeff Botti has also been a consistent hitter in the lineup, batting .381 for the regular season.
Look for senior pitchers Dave Waseleski and Blake Ortiz to anchor the Lions’ rotation in the playoffs. Combined, the duo is 10-1 on the year and sports 1.47 and 2.19 ERAs, respectively.
The College’s softball team battled through a tough season, earning 15 victories and ending the regular season with a record at .500.
The Lions came on strong toward the beginning of the season, winning six of their first seven games. The team hit a rough patch toward the end of March, dropping five games in a row and winning only two in a 10-game stretch.
“We came out with one aspect of our game missing, whether it be hitting, defense or pitching,” senior Tara Harrigan said.
Freshman Danielle Hagel batted .395 with a .579 slugging percentage. Hagel hit two home runs and was second on the team with 13 RBIs. Harrigan batted .373 with two home runs and a .602 slugging percentage.
The pitching staff had a solid year as senior Julianne Lajiness led the Lions with a 1.97 ERA and 78 strikeouts in 89 innings. Freshman Ashley Minervini and senior Heather Hoffman provided solid pitching behind Lajiness. Minervini had a 2.15 ERA with 47 strikeouts, while Hoffman had a 2.68 ERA with 35 strikeouts.
Despite having 10 returning seniors from the previous successful 2006 year, the team did not meet expectations for the ’07 season. The team was not able to bounce back from the losses and failed to qualify for the upcoming NJAC tournament.
This year’s College track team was successful throughout the season. The team earned several ECAC qualifying times and broke a host of school records.
Sophomore Brian Kopnicki earned All-America honors this year. He qualified for the honor twice by taking seventh in both the one-mile run and the distance medley relay team event at the NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field Championships. The distance medley relay team also consisted of senior Matt Randal and sophomores Rob McGowan and Chris Guerriero.
In addition to the NCAA Championships, the Lions enjoyed success at the ECAC Championships. The women’s 4×400 team, comprised of senior Angela Tecco, junior Jessica Bonelli, freshmen Kirsten Tricocci and Jianna Spadaccini, took first for the impressive victory.
The men took first while the women placed second overall at the New Jersey Invitational.
In Toms River, both teams took the top spot at the NJAC Championships. Extremely strong performances by award-winners Bonelli and sophomore Stephanie Herrick contributed to these team accomplishments.
The men’s tennis team had an impressive 2006-2007 season, culminating in an 11-2 overall record. The team is ranked No. 10 in the Northeast Region and is looking to push far into the postseason.
“We had a really good season,” junior Michael Klimchak said. “We came up a little short of where we wanted to be, but we still made Nationals and have a shot in making it pretty far, assuming everyone stays healthy.”
The team began the season strong with a 9-0 victory over St. Lawrence University. From there, the Lions went on to win their next five matches before eventually surrendering a 6-3 loss to the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Va.
The Lions added three more shutout victories to their record before their first loss.
The College, however, would not let one loss ruin its season. Upon returning home from Virginia, the team reawakened by crushing Hobart College 9-0 at the end of March. Three additional wins over Swarthmore, Haverford and Bates colleges followed, bringing the team’s record to 10-1.
The Lions suffered another 6-3 loss when they traveled to Baltimore to face Johns Hopkins University. Again, the team rebounded the very next match for a 9-0 victory over Drew University in Madison, N.J., to wrap up the 2006-2007 regular season.
The women’s tennis team continued its dominance this season, compiling a 14-1 overall record and obtaining a No. 23 national ranking and No. 7 regional ranking.
“I think the team is really getting stronger by the second and TCNJ tennis is going to start making some really big dents in Division III tennis,” freshman Jackie Shtemberg said.
The team was dominant as the women recorded eight shutout victories over the course of the season, including those to rivals such as New York University and Ithaca College.
Rival Swarthmore College gave the Lions their tightest match of the season on April 20. The Lions managed to keep focused, however, pulling out a 5-4 win in the end.
The team’s only loss came in Fredericksburg, Va., against the University of Mary Washington, giving up six points while only tallying three.
The College’s lacrosse team will enter its final game of the season with an 11-2 record and a perfect 6-0 record at home. Junior midfielder Karen Doane leads the team in goals this season with 42 and junior midfielder Toni-Anne Cavallo leads the team in assists with 15. Doane has 132 goals in only 48 career games.
Junior goalkeeper Caitlin Gregory dominated in net this season with 85 saves and a .497 save percentage. The Lions outscored their opponents by an average of about six goals per game.
The Lions’ two losses of the season were both on the road and by only one goal: 9-8 in overtime to No. 5 Gettysburg College and 13-12 to No. 22 Salisbury University.
Head coach Sharon Pfluger is proud of the team and looks forward to the postseason.
“The team has worked very hard and has grown in many ways,” Pfluger said. “We have two games remaining before postseason and I hope to see the team continue to rise to the next level.”
– Justin Jez, Kristen Lord, Michael O’Donnell, Kevin Gilligan, Allison Singer