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Conn College winter previews

Published November 17. 2012 4:00AM

Men's basketball

Coach: Tom Satran (11th year)

Key returnees: Jr. G-F Matt Vadas, Jr. F John Bullitt, So. G Bryan Gross, Jr. G Jethro Anilus, Jr. F Mason Lopez, So. F Patrick Deegan, Jr. G Tyrone Turner, Sr. F Dylan Henry, So. F Michael Clougher.

Outlook: Conn, which has made the NESCAC tournament in four of the last seven seasons, will try to bounce back from a disappointing 8-16 season a year ago. They are led by the talented Vadas, who has scored 814 points over his first two seasons and also led the Camels in rebounding (5.6 per game) a year ago. Bullitt gives Conn some strength inside and Gross is coming off a solid freshman season in the backcourt. Satran will also rely on the talents of Anilu and Lopez once they return in December after spending the first semester studying abroad.

Women's basketball

Coach: Brian Wilson (4th year)

Key returnees: Jr. F Tara Gabelman, So. G Carlee Smith, Jr. F-C Caitlin Cimino, So. G Jocelyn Summers, Sr. G Kacie Quick, Jr. G Dana Albalancy, Jr. G Aly Boyle.

Outlook: The Camels have high hopes this season after finishing 16-7 a year ago, including 5-5 in the NESCAC. They return three key players in Gabelman, a second-team All-NESCAC pick who averaged 14.9 points and 9.4 rebounds per game, Smith, a point guard who stepped in as a freshman and averaged 7.6 points and 4.7 assists per game, and Cimino, an inside-outside threat and a strong defender who can player either forward or center. Summers and Quick also provide experience in the backcourt. Conn must replace guard Jenn Shinal, who finished with 1,216 career points and is playing professionally in Germany.

Men's hockey

Coach: Jim Ward (10th year)

Key returnees: Jr. G Mike Petchonka, Jr. D Kevin Reich, So. D Marc Roper, So. D Mike Doyle, Sr. D Dawson Luke, Jr. F Keith Vernonesi, Jr. F Mike Sinsigali, So. F J.C. Cangelosi, Sr. F Sean Murray.

Outlook: Conn went 6-15-3 last year and just missed out on making the NESCAC playoffs. The Camels did graduate four experienced forwards, but return a talented group led by Vernonesi (10 goals, 6 assists) and Sinsigali (10 goals, 5 assists). Roper provides a physical presence on defense and Petchonka (3.77 goals against average) is healthy again after having his sophomore season cut shot by a mid-season injury. "We're really excited about the season," Ward said. "We are confident that we need to have a great start. The guys have held each other to high standards on and off the ice."

Women's hockey

Coach: Kristin Steele (12th year)

Key returnees: Jr. F Courtney Dumont, Jr. F Olivia Farrell, Sr. F Ariel DiPasquale, Sr. F Samantha Shuffenecker, Sr. F Caroline Corbett, Sr. D Molly Murphy, So. D Amelia Dineen, So. D Leigh Getz, Sr. D Andrea McRae, Sr. G Amy Leichliter.

Outlook: Don't be surprised if Conn makes a move to the upper-echelon of the NESCAC. Coming off an 11-12-2 season and earning a spot in the NESCAC tournament, Steele has one of her deepest and most talented teams in her 12 seasons. Dumont (12 goals, 9 assists) is a dangerous threat up front and was second team All-NESCAC a year ago, Farrell (5 goals, 13 assists) is strong at either end of the ice and DiPasquale (10 goals, 5 assists) is a dependable scorer. Murphy, McRae and Dineen will anchor the defense, and Conn welcomes back Getz, woh missed the entire 2011-12 season. Leichliter (2.50 goals against average in 43 games) is reliable in net.

Swimming

Coach: Marc Benvenuti (10th year)

Key men's returnees: Jr. Sam Gill, So. Patrick McGinnis, So. Kirk Czelewicz, So. Bo Martin, So. Sean Paquette.

Key women's returnees: Sr. Julia Pielock, Sr. Katie Karlson, So. Esther Mehesz, Sr. Jessica Schanzer.

Outlook: Conn teams have cracked the top 20 in three of the past four years, 12 Camels have qualified for nationals in the past two seasons and 21 All-America swims have been attained in the past two years. Six of those national qualifiers return, including Gill, one of the nation's top sprinters. Pielock (freestyle) and Karlson (breaststroke) are experienced and talented swimmers who will lead the women.

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