The women’s team defeated Gettysburg for its 12th conference title and carried the momentum into the NCAA Tournament, where the Diplomats advanced to the Final Four for the first time since 2010. After a trio of dominating wins, the team’s memorable season came to a close with a loss to Trinity College in the national semifinals and a 20-3 overall record. Ten players received postseason honors, including three who earned All-America status: CC Defensive Player of the Year Vanessa Budd ’17 (first team), Samantha Blicht ’16 (second team) and Grace Saliba ’16 (second team).
The men posted a 7-9 record against one of the most difficult schedules in the nation, narrowly missing the conference playoffs. Michael Bossidy ’15 placed ninth in the CC with 43 points (22 goals, 21 assists), while Chad Gamble ’15 earned honorable mention All-America honors from the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association.
The Diplomats went 28-13, their highest win total since 2006. The team made its 10th trip to the CC playoffs, where it beat McDaniel and Haverford in comeback fashion before falling twice to Johns Hopkins on championship Sunday. The Diplomats upset Frostburg State—the nation’s No. 2 team—the following week. Closer Andrew Mascis ’18 set the program's single-season record with nine saves. Second-year head coach Ryan Horning was the CC Coach of the Year and Dan Marano ’18 was the Rookie of the Year, while several Diplomats earned all-region and all-conference honors.
Track & Field
On the women’s side, Rebecca Swisher ’16 earned All-America honors at the NCAA Championships by finishing seventh in the pole vault—the fourth All-America honor of her career. Alyssa Ward ’18 won Rookie-of-the-Year honors at the CC Championships, finishing second in the high jump and third in the long jump. At the Delaware Open, Livia Meneghin ’15 set the school record in the shot put (41'-5").
The men finished third at the CC Championships, tying their best finish since 1996. Even Friend ’16 won the 100- and 200-meter dashes, while Logan Lewis ’18 took gold in the shot put. In March, the Diplomats captured their first Little Three title since 2005 by edging Gettysburg. Luk Olenginski ’15 broke his own school record in the 800-meter run (1:53.25) at Swarthmore’s Last Chance Meet.
The men grabbed second place at the Middle Atlantic Rowing Conference (MARC) Championships as multiple Diplomats earned All-MARC recognition. Tim Smith ’15 and James Nelson ’17 landed on the varsity all-conference list, while Craig Fanto ’18 earned novice all-conference honors. The Diplomats competed at the Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta, with the varsity 4+ boat advancing to the quarterfinals on the Schuylkill River.
The women placed fourth at the MARC Championships as Amalia Hack ’15 and Katherine Cousart ’16 earned varsity all-conference honors, while Jamie Davidow ’17 garnered Novice All-MARC honors. The team competed in the Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta for the first time since 1988. The varsity 4+ boat advanced to the grand finals after being the only Division III school in a field that included seven nationally ranked competitors from Division II.
The Diplomats posted at least 20 wins for the third time in five seasons, finishing 23-11. Isabel Schaefer ’18, one of 10 first-year players on the team, went 11-8 with a 1.91 earned run average and set the team record for strikeouts in a season (113). Melissa Bollmeyer ’18 led the team in batting average (.373), hits (38), triples (3), walks (19), stolen bases (14), runs (31) and on-base percentage (.475).
The women’s team registered a 12-5 overall mark and reached the CC semifinals. Nicole Russo ’17 went 12-5 at the No. 1 position—including an 8-2 mark in CC play—and was ranked as high as No. 17 in the region. Caitlin Rummelsburg ’17 led the team with a 13-4 record (9-1 in CC play) and teamed with Sara Haas ’18 to post a 9-5 record at the No. 1 spot in doubles.
The Diplomats also advanced to the CC semifinals on the men’s side, finishing 8-9 overall. Leading the team was Doug Kaplan ’16, who went 11-5 in singles. Nolan Bacchieri ’15 went 10-5 in singles and paired with Vasant Rajamanickam ’18 to post a 10-3 overall mark in doubles, including a perfect 9-0 in CC action.
The men’s golf team won nine tournaments—which led the nation among all NCAA divisions—and captured its sixth Centennial Conference (CC) title in eight years. Robert Svigals ’15 earned medalist honors for the second time in his career with a record score of 219 in the CC championship. Brad Lankler ’17 led the conference in stroke average (74.0) and earned honorable mention All-America honors. Christopher Gabriele ’18 was named CC Rookie of the Year, while Andy Tompos nabbed Coach-of-the-Year honors. The Diplomats finished 17th in their 10th NCAA appearance.
The women’s team secured a fourth-place finish at the CC Championship as Kathleen Smith ’16 placed second, the highest finish for a Diplomat since 2010. Smith finished in the top 10 in all seven events in which she participated, taking the individual title at the Lebanon Valley Invite in April.
Diplomat Swimmer Wins ESPY Award
It was quite a July for F&M swimmer Becca Meyers ’17, a history major from Timonium, Md. Meyers was competing in the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland, when she received word that she won an ESPY Award from sports network ESPN for Best Female Athlete with a Disability.
“It was such an honor being nominated, and it hasn’t really hit me yet,” Meyers said from Glasgow. “I know I still have so much to accomplish, so I look at this as just the beginning.”
ESPN presents the ESPY Awards (Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly) to recognize athletic achievement and other sports-related performance. Meyers, who beat four other nominees in the nationwide vote, was born deaf and diagnosed with Usher syndrome, a genetic disorder that causes gradual hearing, balance and vision loss.
Meyers already had a summer to remember after winning gold and breaking her world record in the women’s 200-meter individual medley SM13 in a time of 2:24.60 at the IPC World Championships. She followed that with another world-record performance in the 400-meter freestyle, taking gold in a time of 4:21.66.
The victories were the most recent in a string of winning performances over the past several years, as Meyers set two world records and earned six medals at the 2014 Pan Pacific Para-Swimming Championships. She also captured a pair of medals at the 2012 London Paralympic Games.