By Jerry Reilly, Sports Information Director
Phil Seymore takes over as head coach after previous coaching stops at NCAA Division I schools. His team tips off Nov. 15 against Union in the first round of the Nazareth Tournament. The home opener is Dec. 3 vs. New Paltz, and Feb. 1 is the annual alumni game. Senior Day festivities are tentatively planned for the final regular-season weekend: Feb. 21 or 22.
Senior guard Becky Hebert (Hilton) begins her quest to become the program’s all-time leading scorer. She enters the season – which begins Nov. 15 at the Allegheny Tournament – with 1,064 points. All-time leader Cheryl Kindzia scored 1,370 points from 2004-08. Also, senior forward Jaimie Warren (Lakeview) enters the season with 773 points – in line to become the eighth Blue Devil woman to reach 1,000 points. Hebert and Warren were both All-SUNYAC choices last winter. The alumnae game is set for Oct. 12 during Homecoming Weekend.
The top returning men’s runner is junior Zakk Hess (Clyde), a 2012 NCAA Division III qualifier. He was 12th in last year’s Atlantic Regional race. Other top returners are senior Steve Whittemore (Penfield) and sophomores Collin Mulcahy (Batavia) and Kyle Collins (Suffern). For the women, senior Kim Foltz (Elbridge) emerged as the top runner in 2012. Alongside will be seniors Alissa Conti (Fredonia), Anna Hourihan (Buffalo), and Becca List (Hilton), and junior Amanda Cocchiara (Hilton). The season begins Sept. 7 with the Fredonia State Invitational at Lake Erie State Park.
Graduation claimed 10 players, so there will be plenty of new faces when the season opens Nov. 1 at Oswego. Among the returnees are senior captain Alex Perkins (St. Albert, Alberta), and senior assistant captains Andrew Christ (Spokane, Wash.) and Ryan Edens (Sherwood Park, Alberta). The most experienced face remains Head Coach Jeff Meredith, who’s entering his 26th season behind the bench — most among SUNYAC hockey coaches. Two important home dates: Feb. 1 vs. Morrisville State (Pink the Rink) and Feb. 14 vs. Buffalo State (Senior Day). The alumni game is Jan. 25 at 2 p.m.
Senior midfielder Luke Tylutki (Pittsford) is the top returning player. He repeated as an All-SUNYAC selection last fall. Three seniors will share the captainship – Josh Best (Farmington), Jay Dry (Lockport), and Jake Persons (Albany). Head Coach P.J. Gondek will wear multiple hats this fall, having transitioned to NCAA Division III national chairman after spending the previous five seasons on the national committee. The season kicks off Aug. 30 vs. Baldwin-Wallace at the Penn State Behrend Tournament. The Clarion Inn Blue Devil Classic is Sept. 6-7. The Homecoming alumni game is Oct. 12 at 9 a.m., with Senior Day tentatively set for Oct. 26.
Senior Katie Kleine (Cazenovia) sustained an injury during the spring lacrosse season which will keep her out for the entire fall. Some of the scoring load will fall upon senior forward Kristi Putzig (Williamsville), third on the team last year with 7 goals and 17 points. Putzig and senior defender Shannon Letina (Clarence) were Third Team All-SUNYAC choices last fall. The Blue Devils open their season Aug. 31 vs. Christopher Newport at the Virginia Wesleyan Tournament before co-hosting the Clarion Inn Blue Devil Classic on Sept. 6-7. Tentative Senior Day is Oct. 19.
Swimming and Diving
Seven-time All-American springboard diver Sarah Ficarro has graduated, as has fourtime SUNYAC men’s champ Ryan Fuller, yet the cupboard is still stocked. Leading the way is senior Ashley Keller (Lockport), the 2013 SUNYAC Women’s Diver of the Meet and an NCAA D-III honorable mention All-American. She is joined by two other returning All-SUNYAC divers, senior Katelyn Haley (Canandaigua), and sophomore Rafael Santiago (Middletown). Returning All-SUNYAC swimmers are senior John Estanislau (East Longmeadow, Mass.) and sophomore Natalia Wilkins (Merrick). The season opens Oct. 22 with a home meet vs. Edinboro. The Blue Devil Invitational is Dec. 6-8.
All six of the 2012 SUNYAC Tournament participants were underclassmen: seniors Miller Barmasse (Lockport), Jess Johnston (Fredonia), Alison Phillips (Orchard Park), and Molly Zanetti (Saratoga Springs); and juniors Sara DiFulvio (Rochester) and Stephanie Thompson (Verona). Their 2013 season begins Sept. 4 at home vs. Penn State Behrend.
Track and Field
The indoor season begins Dec. 6 at Kent State, the only meet of the fall semester. There are no scheduled home meets during the 2013-14 academic year.
Three All-SUNYAC players are back. Senior outside hitter Hannah Manning (Apalachin) was named 2012 Western Division All-SUNYAC, and later added the SUNYAC Chancellor’s Award for achieving the highest GPA among volleyball’s conference members. Two sophomores, setter Kelly Edinger (Rochester) and libero Lauren Hokaj (Lancaster), were Western Division Second Team picks as freshmen. They lead the Blue Devils into action Aug. 30 at the Cortland Tournament. The fall home slate includes the Blue Devil Invitational (Oct. 4-5), and matches vs. Medaille (Oct. 15) and Penn State Behrend (Oct. 29).
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