WPI Wire, Vol. 10, No. 2 - Summer 1996

Spring Sports

By Geoff Hassard

Men's Tennis (1-7) The men's tennis team continues to build with younger players as coach Marc Young tries to re-establish a consistently winning unit. The newest members of the team got a tremendous amount of experience this season, culminating in their participation in the New England Championships. The final record doesn't reflect the quality of the players because most played out of their spots. The match season ended on a high note with a victory over Worcester State. Juniors Nathan Hendrix and Ranjit Kher, sophomores Mike Lamoureux and Slavik Zilberman, and freshman Stephen Minka show promise for next year and beyond.

Baseball (9-18) Though the baseball team did not meet the high expectations everyone had going into the season, the bright spot is that all the top players will return next year. WPI was in every game; with a hit here or there, the season record would have been a lot better. The team began the season with a trip to Cocoa, Fla., where they won only one game and lost three others by a total of four runs. Coming back up north did not bring relief--one of the worst early springs in recent New England history cancelled or postponed many games and, when the weather was sunny, it was cold. In late March, the men came through with a 2-5 record to end the month 3-11 overall. The team began April with a 1-0 and a 6-4 doubleheader vs. Clark, followed by a four-game losing streak that ended with a 3-0 win over Springfield. WPI ended the regular season by winning two of the next three games and entered the Constitution Athletic Conference Tournament as the third seed in the East Division. Despite a late rally, the team dropped a close game (5-4) against first-round opponent MIT.

The season was not without some outstanding individual performances. Two that stand out were by senior Len Macrina and sophomore Alex Bartkin. In a regular-season game against MIT, Macrina went 4-4 with two home runs and three RBIs to lead the team to a 10-5 win. Bartkin scored against Anna Maria, when he went 4-4 with two home runs and six RBIs to give WPI the win, 15-6.

Overall, senior Tom Michalowski led WPI with a .307 batting average, 27 hits and 23 runs scored. Bartkin led the team with five home runs and 22 RBIs while sporting a .536 slugging percentage. Guy Miller was the team's best pitcher. His 1-5 record is no reflection on the dominance he had. His ERA was 1.90 and he struck out a team-high 46 batters.

Golf (2-3) If you're a golfer, you can appreciate the frustration of trying to play during one of the worst springs we've ever had around here. In his last season as golf coach, Mel Massucco wondered if WPI would ever get out and play. But the golfers played well when they finally got on the course because Massucco had put together a solid group of players who were able to make the competitions--enabling the group to come through with some strong team performances.

The team opened the season with a four-stroke loss to Rhode Island College, showing some of their rust. After a two-week hiatus caused by the weather, WPI competed in the Massachusetts Open at Stow Acres, where the team tied for 11th (out of 17). Top-place finisher was sophomore Mike Willock, who shot an 83 to tie for 13th. WPI then lost two at a tri-match with MIT and Tufts on the road. The men regrouped and finished the season strong with wins over Anna Maria and Wesleyan, then took third behind Williams and Bentley in the Worcester State Open. The season ended with the annual Engineers Cup at New Seabury, where WPI finished second to Carnegie Mellon, edging out MIT by one stroke.

In addition to Willock, the regular lineup included senior captain Jeff Peterson, seniors Brian Klauber and Steve Frechette, and freshmen Haig Altoonian and James Carlson.

Softball (7-13) Second-year coach Barbara Quinn entered the season with a young, inexperienced squad as she continued to build the program from the ground up with only two seniors and one junior. The season opened on March 30 with a game against Worcester State. The women dropped the first game 8-4, lost the next four games, then got into the win column by sweeping a doubleheader against Mount Holyoke. Then bad weather came and the team didn't play for nearly two weeks. When the action finally resumed, the women were able to follow a single game over Babson with a win over Anna Maria to bring their record to 4-5. Because of all the postponements, the regular season ended with eight games in five days. The team went 2-6 during that period and finished ahead of Babson in a first-round conference tournament game at home in which they came from behind in the last two innings to win 6-5 to advance to the semifinals. The women then played No. 1 seed Wheaton, a team they hadn't beat in some time. The game was tied 5-5 through the first three innings, but Wheaton went on to win 10-5. The team then went to the MAIAW Tournament, where the season ended with a loss to Regis College in the first game.

Senior tri-captain Tracy Langis led WPI in hitting with a .424 average, led the team in hits (25) and slugging percentage (.508), and tied with senior captain Teresa Lintzenich with a team-leading 10 RBIs. Sophomore Lyn Dubois, who started every game at second base, led the team in runs scored (18) and fielding percentage (.978).

The year's biggest story was the emergence of freshman pitcher Carrie Seigars, who had a tremendous impact on this year's squad--starting eight games and finishing with a record of 4-7 with an ERA of 3.06 and an even lower league ERA. Seigars and Langis were rewarded for their efforts by being selected to the All-Conference Team. With all the young players getting a lot of playing time and continuing to improve throughout the season, the future looks promising.

Men's Track & Field (6-4) The men's track team, under the direction of second-year coach Jim Smith, looked to upperclassmen to do the bulk of the scoring, while a group of talented freshmen and sophomores were counted on to pick up extra points along the way. As the season unfolded, the younger members of the squad were able to do more than just pick up points.

Many of the meets were at home this season, so traveling was an obstacle the team did not have to overcome each Saturday. WPI got the season going with wins over Eastern Connecticut, Worcester State and Clark, then hosted the annual City Meet, where they finished second to Division I Holy Cross. The following week, the men hosted the annual Engineers Meet with MIT and RPI, where they finished third but made definite strides to move closer to the two other squads. The next Saturday, they entertained Trinity at another home meet. Not gracious hosts, they beat the Bantams 98-65. The last dual meet of the season saw WPI on the road at Springfield. The team could not overcome the strong showing by the Pride in the throwing events and dropped the meet 95-70. The season ended with the annual WPI Invitational, in which the men scorched the competition by more than 100 points.

Throughout the season WPI received outstanding performances from many individuals. Tri-captains Steve LaBranche, Rich Person and Stan Farrell all led by example, scoring valuable points in their events week in and week out. The three were among eight team members who qualified for the New England Championships. LaBranche and Person, along with junior Tim Caldwell and sophomore Rick Crispo, finished 18th in the 3,200-meter relay at the prestigious Penn Relays--the first WPI athletes to compete in the relays since 1918. Senior Marc LeFebvre set a new school record in the high jump at 6'-7 1/4. Freshmen who had a big impact this spring were Jeff Coleman, Bill Freed, Dave LaFleur, Dan Nashold and Mike Pockoski.

Women's Track & Field (6-3) This spring, the women's track team was under the direction of Bill Cotter '87, a varsity track athlete during his WPI years. Cotter's motivation is to rebuild the once-powerful women's squad that has lacked numbers in recent years. The women do well in the small meets, but don't have enough athletes to make an impact at the bigger meets. Despite this, the team enjoyed a winning season and has a nucleus of young talent.

The season opened at home vs. Eastern Connecticut, Worcester State and Clark. WPI scored 78 points to easily take the meet. The following Saturday, the team won the City Championship over Worcester State, Clark and Holy Cross at Alumni Field. Over the next two weeks the women faltered--finishing third in the Engineers Meet and losing to Trinity. They then had a strong showing at the Tri-States, where they finished fifth out of 10 schools. They also finished fifth at the New England Women's 8 Conference Championships at Smith--the last meet of the season. At the New Englands, the team was not able to score any points and tied for 24th. In the ECAC Championships the squad finished 22nd after scoring 9.5 points.

Women who consistently scored for WPI this season were seniors Heather Cleary, Elaine Mongeon and Patty Panlilio and juniors Sunny Hwang and Rachel Kupcinskas. Hwang was the team's leading scorer in the 100-meter dash, the 100-meter hurdles and the shot put. WPI's promising sophomore contingent consisted of Liz Kieronski, Janel Lanphere, Heather Mazzaccaro, Ellen Roach and Jody Terranova. The team also has a strong core of freshmen in Vicky Dulac, Melanie Heck, Alison Keach and Sue Shorrock, all of whom turned in strong first seasons.

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