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The Hoot takes a look at Fall Sports

Published: September 1, 2006
Section: Sports


Mens Tennis Preview:
Head Coach: Ben Lamana (2nd year)
Key returns: Sam Jonas '07, Michael Vulfovich '07, Cliff Silverman '07, Jordan Beiber '07, Scott Schulman '09. Vulfovich, last years number 2 player, suffered a tear in his shoulder and, at this point, can barely serve.
Impact First Year's: With 19 kids trying out and 6 returning seniors on the team, Coach Lamanna will have his pick as he whittles it down to a team of 10-12 players. This will hopefully fulfill Coach Lamannas desire to improve the depth on the team, which was problematic late in the year as the squad was debilitated by injury and illness. One freshman that has the coachs eye is Alex Neystat '10 of Long Island.
Departure impact: Moderate. The departures of Rob Friedman '06, Hart Comess-Daniels '06 and Chris Hershel '06 (now an assistant for Coach Lamanna) leave gaps in doubles play. It is not known who is expected to replace them on the court, but Lamanna has been excited about his core group.
Needs to step it up: Jonas had a shaky year last year, recovering from a torn labrum he received in his sophomore year. This time around, he is reportedly 100% healthy and in possibly the best shape the coach has seen. Generally, doubles play is expected to improve with Lamanna planning on practicing intensely on doubles.
Opening Date: at Bentley Sept. 13, 3 pm
Important Match: The ITA Championships Sept. 29-Oct. 1, 9 a.m. – Also a good chance to gauge themselves and measure improvements from last season.

Mens Soccer Preview:
Coach: Mike Coven (33rd year)
Key Returns: Yuval Ezar 07 will be back soon after missing all of last year with a hip injury. Coach Coven calls him a potential All-American. Ben Premo '09 hopes to build on his fantastic rookie year, finishing All-UAA.
Impact First-Years: Out of 29 players trying out for the team, 13 of them are first-years. At the very least, either Taylor Bracker '10 or Josh Bellet '10 will be the starting goalkeeper (GK) with Jake Knoll '08 recovering from a broken leg. No word as to who will start as they have different styles: one relying on his size and strength, the other relying on quickness.
Departure Impact: Moderate. The key departures are GK Matt Kaplan '06 and defenseman Shelton Stewart '06. Without Kaplan the team has inexperienced depth at net and Stewart, the second leading scorer last year with 14 points, was their best all-around player. Coach Coven thinks that Stewarts departure may be the step needed to move forward, explaining that the team relied too much on Stewart and, as a result, played poorly when he did as well.
Needs to Step Up: The three captains, David Weinstein '08, Scott Zackaroff '07 and Ezar, are expected to keep the team on an even keel. One players improvement that Coach Coven is excited over is Evan Duval '08, calling him his most improved player. In general, it needs to be seen how the team rebounds following an injury-plagued year that grew demoralizing in the end.
Opening Date: at Endicott Sept. 2, 6 p.m.
Interesting Match: at Wheaton Sept. 20, 4 p.m.Coach Coven is good friends with Wheaton Head Coach Matt Cushing, Wheaton assistant Matt Murphy is a Brandeis alum and Brandeis assistant Gabe Margolis faces his alma mater.

Cross Country Preview:
Head Coach: John Evans (3rd year)
Key returns: For the men, Coach Evans holds high hopes for the quintet of Tim Condon '08, Joel Sunshine '07, John Guilinger '08, Matt Jennings '09, and Dan Suher '08. For the women, Coach Evans said to look for Megan Bisceglia '07, Mary Schillinger '07, Camille Stevens-Rumann '07, Emily Terrin '08 and Katy Agule '09.
Impact First-Years: Due to the nature of cross country racing, the first year is a development year aimed at improving endurance for the future years. This doesnt stop Coach John Evans, though, from being excited about the prospects of rookie Brian McDonald '10 for the men and Ally Connally '10 and Jen Davenport '10 for the women. McDonald finished 4th in the Massachusetts State Championships.
Departure Impact: Minimal. With not a lot of seniors on the team last year and the current members a year older, this provides Coach Evans with an attractive amount of depth.
Needs to Step Up: For the men, Sunshine needs to demonstrate his leadership. For the women, all the senior members are expected to provide strong leadership.
Opening Date: v. Bentley College at Weston, MA (Weston H.S.) Sept. 1, 3 p.m.

Womens Soccer Preview:
Coach: Denise Dallamora (27th year)
Key Returns: Jenna Lipawsky '09 is described as being very skilled but is recovering from injuries. Meredith Millstein 09 is expected to provide a bigger impact this year with one year under her belt.
Impact First-Years: With 2 defenders set to graduate after this season, Coach Dallamora explained that she plans to give some of the freshman significant playing time as the season goes on. Players expected to get a look at defense are Abby Shields '10, Nicole Starman '10 and Brittany Cavallo '10. One rookie to keep an eye on is Melissa Gorenkoff '10. She is described as the complete package: Very skilled, has size (510) and good soccer sense. Shell be starting this year in an attacking position.
Departure Impact: Moderate. Lauren Gregor '06, the captain and leading scorer of last years squad, will be the biggest hole to plug. Veterans like Lisa Kaplin 07 will be expected to fill the void.
Needs to Step Up: This team is talented but they need to push over the hump to break .500 and advance to an NCAA tournament.
Opening date: at MIT Sept. 2, 1 p.m.
Interesting Match: at Clark Sept. 16, 2:30 p.m.grudge match as Clark ended Brandeis's season at the ECAC.

Womens Volleyball Preview:
Coach: Michelle Kim (3rd Year)
Key Returning Players: Lorraine Wingenbach '09 returns, hoping to build on a terrific first year. Violette Ruggiero '09 will also build on her rookie year as a setter and Shannon Trees '08 will look to fill the leadership role left by Jenna Polinsky '06.
Impact First-Years: Coach Kim is not afraid to throw rookies into the fire. Piera Carfagno '10 and Bridget McAllister '10 are both expected to take on starting roles in the mid-court.
Departure Impact: Moderate. Jenna Polinsky, the lone senior last year, was a solid figure on and off the court and provided leadership to the young team. Trees and the rest of the juniors will pick up the slack. A bigger hole, however, left by Jenny Sandler, who transferred over the summer. A tough all-around player who routinely filled up the defensive stat sheet, she is going to be hard to replace. There are a few players competing for her spot, but Coach Kim says that it is too close to call right now.
Needs to Step Up: The juniors on the team are expected to take on the leadership of the team. Team performance in conference play also needs to step up after notching only two wins in three years.
Opening Date: v. Rhode Island College at HOME Sept. 5, 7 p.m.
Important Matches: UAA Round Robins, first in Atlanta on Sept. 29-30, second in Chicago Oct. 14-15.

Womens Tennis Preview:
Coach: Ben Lamanna (2nd year)
Key Returns: Colleen Donnelly '08, Jen Levine '08, Gabrielle Helfgott '09 and Ana Katz '08. Donnelly and Levine are both abroad and will not return until the spring season. Helfgott is described as having learned the ropes and gained valuable experience last year. The key for her is to maintain her confidence.
Impact First-Years: No names for certain. With the womens team having only one graduating senior, there will be a talented group of 4-5 rookies to provide depth on the squad.
Departure Impact: Slight. Shani Reich '06s departure leaves a hole at the number 3 position and in leadership. Because this is a young team, the freshman are going to face new situations that will hopefully prep them for spring tournament play.
Needs to Step Up: Doubles play. Getting swept in the doubles at the tournament doomed them to a seventh place finish last spring. Also, Coach Lamanna expressed desire to improve the work ethic on both the mens and womens side.
Opening Date: v. Simmons College at HOME Sept. 9, 12 p.m.
Important Match: at Trinity (Conn) College Sept. 16, 11 a.m.A good chance to gauge themselves against a tough opponent in Trinity before going into the ITA Championships at Cambridge the week after.