Sports update: Highlighting basketball, track and field and baseball

Photo from Fisher Athletics
Photo from Fisher Athletics

By Nicholas Klein and Sammy Robinson, Staff Writers 

Women’s basketball falls to Stevens in championship

The St. John Fisher College women’s basketball team lost a heartbreaker in the Empire 8 Championship game, 52-47, to Stevens Institute of Technology on Feb. 24.  After previously winning 14 straight games, it’s the Cardinals’ first loss since Jan. 12.

Previously, the Ducks had a miracle run as they defeated #2 seed Sage on Feb. 23 and captured the title on Feb. 24. As they improved to 15-12 on the season, they earned Empire 8’s automatic bid into the NCAA Division III Women’s Basketball Championship. The championship will be held on March 2 and 3, following the selection show on Feb. 26 at 2:30 p.m.

After struggling to score in the first half, Fisher found themselves in a hole at the break, down 13. The Ducks couldn’t be stopped as they were as up as much as 15 in the third quarter. Senior Caroline Robertson ignited an 8-2 run along with a crucial 3-pointer from Chelsea Repard as the Cardinals cut the deficit to nine points with 6:27 left in the game.

The Ducks would remain on top, leading 44-31 with a little under five minutes but Fisher fought their way back into the game with a 7-0 burst, including five points from Nicole Robinson to get within six, 44-38.

Erin Hulbert began a string of six straight points as Fisher forced Stevens into a timeout to try and get back the momentum. With the Ducks leading by just one with under a minute to go, 48-47, Stevens senior Megan Brown, who was named the Championship’s most valuable player, drove the ball down the paint and got a foul call before stepping to the charity stripe in front of a packed gymnasium and sank both.

With Fisher only trailing by three with time winding down, head coach Melissa Kuberka called a timeout to try and get her team the play they needed to win. Fisher came out and worked its offense and came away with three shots including two 3-pointers, but the Cardinals magic run wasn’t enough as all three shots went in and out before fouling again. The Ducks sank two more free throws on the way to the conference title.

Robinson and Robertson each finished with 13 points and seven rebounds in the contest.  Robinson also added three blocked shots while Robertson had four assists. Junior guard Erin Hulbert added 10 points of her own along with eight boards and three assists in the full 40 minutes. Sophomore Liga Astra Kalnina had five points and six rebounds. As a team, Fisher would struggle on converting 18 of 67 (.269) from the floor and only had 11 assists in all.

Women’s track and field

The women’s track and field team finished in third place at the Empire 8 Indoor Women’s Track and Field Championships this weekend.

Tayler Dence took first in the 60-meter hurdles and dash and her 60-meter dash time of 7.90 seconds set a new school record and helped her qualify for the Atlantic Regional Meet.

Brenna Lyons and Juliette Miller took seventh and ninth in the mile, and Miller also placed eighth in the 800-meter dash.

Freshman Sydney Swan finished eighth in the 400-meter dash with a time of 1:05.65.

The 4X400 relay team of Swan, Norah Arnold, Emily Dyson and Gabriella Dunkelberg finished third with a time of 13:35.66.

Leah Hulbert placed second place in the shot put and the weighted throw events. Hulbert’s 12.8 meter throw in the shot put qualified her for the Atlantic Regional Meet and good for 42nd in the nation.  

Haley Brust finished third in the high jump with a jump of 1.58 meters. This qualified Brust for the Regional Competition.

Kaytlin Kelly took the fourth place finish in the pole vault event.

Men’s track and field

The men’s track and field team celebrated as it took first and earned 161 total points at the Empire 8 Men’s Indoor Track and Field Championship. The last time Fisher took the Empire 8 crown was in 2014-15 season.

Senior Peter Girardi was named the Empire 8 Track Athlete of the Meet and also took first in the 400-meter dash with a time of 49.02 seconds. Girardi took first place in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of  8.11 seconds. This time set a new facility, meet and Fisher record.

Ryan McQuillen set a new school record in the preliminary round of the 60-meter dash but Daniel Norris would go on to break that record, crossing the finish line in 7.07 seconds, good for second overall.

James Felice had a second place finish in the one mile run, with a time of 4:19.40 that qualified him for the Atlantic Regionals.

In the field events of the day, Mark VanMarter took over and earned the Empire 8 Field Athlete of the Meet. VanMarter posted a top mark of 7.09 meters in the long jump event. Rollins finished second in the event with a best mark of 6.79 meters.

VanMarter also took home two second place spots in the triple jump and high jump events. The high jump event gave VanMarter a new personal record as well as a 26th ranking in the nation.

Rollins took first place in the high jump as well as the triple jump. The freshman jumped an impressive 2.08 meters in the high jump which set a new meet and facility record. Rollins also held the slight edge over his teammate VanMarter in the triple jump with a 14.45 meter leap, good for a new meet, facility and school record. He now ranks 14th nationally in the triple jump event.

Freshman Gregory Lenegar finished in third place and matched his personal best with a 4.10 meter jump in the pole vault.

Ross Mathewson posted a performance in the throwing events for the Cardinals, qualifying for the Atlantic Regional Meet in both the shot put as well as the weighted throw event, with tosses of 14.16 and 15.59 meters.

Leyton Miner took fifth place in the shot put event, while Ian Ballard took fourth in the weighted throw.


The No. 24 St. John Fisher College baseball team opened the 2018 season on Feb. 24 with a split at No. 8 Johns Hopkins, as the Cardinals produced 11 runs in all.  

In the first game of the double header, Fisher was led by Anthony Brophy on the mound through the first five innings. Kyle Chambers was given the loss after surrendering four runs in two-thirds of an inning.

Thomas Pasquale was 2-for-4 at the dish with a run scored while Allen Murphy had two hits in five at-bats. Ryan Fahy and Stephen Edgett recorded one hit each.

In total, Fisher left seven runners on base and was unable to take advantage of the Blue Jays’ six errors in a game in which they lost 7-1.

In the second game of the day, Fisher came out on top behind Junior transfer Jake Hewitt. He earned his first win of the season behind 5.0 scoreless innings in which he allowed just four hits and two walks.  

The Cardinals blew the game wide open in the top of the sixth with four more runs to hold a 7-0 lead.

Fisher had 10 hits in all, including three extra base hits. Scott Eisenmenger was 2-for-5 at the plate with three runs batted in (RBI) and a run scored while Jack Vivinetto was 2-for-3 with two RBI and three runs scored.  

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