The men’s and women’s basketball teams kicked off their season Tuesday night in Geneva, NY against Hobart William Smith College. Although the men’s team suffered a loss to Hobart 87-70, the women’s team started off opening night strong, dominating William Smith 80-62 and earning their first victory of the season. There is a lot of excitement surrounding these two teams, as each are very hopeful for a bright and successful season.
Last year, the men’s basketball team went 10-15 overall and 6-8 in conference play. Although the team did not make the Division III NCAA tournament, they were extremely young, having only four seniors and two juniors.
The key seniors who are no longer on the team are guards Kevin Sheehy, who was second on the team in assists (2.0) and minutes (28.2) per game, and Tyler Seidman, who was fifth on the team in points (6.4) and second in made three-pointers (1.6) per game.
Because these two accomplished veteran players graduated, junior guards Sam Borst-Smith and Mack Montague will step into even bigger roles this year in leading the backcourt.
Borst-Smith led the team in points (15.1), assists (2.8) and steals (1.9) per game last season. He will look to continue to increase his role as a prominent two-way player in the league. Montague led the team in minutes (28.4) and three-pointers (2.2) per game and also finished the season third in points-per-game, averaging 11.2. Senior forward Dylan Peretz looks to lead the team’s frontcourt this year after averaging 8.8 rebounds and 0.7 blocks per game last year, both team-highs.
In the loss to Hobart, Borst-Smith led the team with nineteen points, five steals and three assists, while junior Zack Ayers added twelve points and eight rebounds. In his inaugural game with the ‘Jackets, freshman Michael Mangan contributed fourteen points, six rebounds and one assist .
The women’s basketball team hopes to build on last year’s success after finishing 15-10 and 7-7 in conference play. The team was very young last year, and graduated only two seniors—Ally Zywicki and Blair Landolfi.
Both girls made up the starting backcourt, and Zywicki led the team in assists (2.7) and was second in points (8.2) per game last year. Although two girls were lost, there is a wealth of young talent on the team, including sophomore team leader Alexandra Leslie. Last season, Leslie was awarded Honorable Mention All-American and led the team in points (15.2), rebounds (9.2) and minutes (27.2) per game.
In addition, junior point guard Brynn Lauer, described by head coach Jim Scheible as “quick, tough and definitely not afraid to make the big play,” will lead the team alongside sophomore forward Laura Deming, who Scheible is confident will be “ready for a great year.”
The team started off their season on a solid note, blowing out William Smith in an 18 point victory, leading 72-42 going into the fourth quarter. The team played strong defense, forcing an incredible 38 turnovers in the game.
Sophomore Kayla Kibling led the way with 13 points and five assists, while junior Brynn Lauer and senior Kelsey Hurley efficiently contributed 12 points apiece.
Both teams will compete in UR’s Chuck Resler Tournament on Nov. 20 in hopes of earning their first home victories. The women will see Stevenson University at 6 p.m., and the men will follow at 8 p.m. when they face off against Keystone College.
Sehnert is a member of the class of 2019.