Fall sports season nearing end of competition

As the winter months start to approach the campus of NVU-Johnson, we say goodbye to many of the fall sports seasons and hello to the playoffs for the women’s volleyball team.

Women’s volleyball will be running as the third seed in Head Coach Keven John’s second year with the program. This North Atlantic Conference (NAC) playoff appearance is the first in school history.

The team finished 4-2 in conference play with good wins against Husson, UMaine-Presque Isle, NVU-Lyndon, and SUNY Delhi. They had a nice balance of veteran returners and incoming freshmen and transfers. Seniors Nika Knapova and Brooke Scheier had a nice year, with each contributing to the team’s success. It was the incoming players that really took over and got the program over the hump, including PJ Johnson and Ashley Emery, who were each named NAC Rookie of the Week throughout the season.

This weekend, the team travels to Maine Maritime, the hosts of the playoffs, to take on number two seed SUNY Canton. The winner of that game will face the winner between SUNY Delhi and Maine Maritime in the championship.

The men’s soccer team experienced a mixed bag of non-conference wins, losses, and a tie to start the season. Their first conference game came against SUNY Delhi, where a couple of big mistakes was the difference in a close 3-2 loss. After hosting Anna Maria, they traveled to conference opponent SUNY Canton. This game was a rematch of the first round of the playoffs last year in which the Badgers lost 5-0. In the rematch, the Badgers battled tough but lost 2-0. They got back on their winning ways against UMaine-Presque Isle and NVU-Lyndon, but then fell on the road against Husson, Thomas, and Maine Maritime.

Despite a record of 2-5 in conference games, the team was able to put themselves in a position to make the NAC playoffs heading into their final game against the Maine-Farmington Beavers. The season prior, the Badgers were able to pull off an improbable comeback win against the Beavers, which helped clinch a playoff spot. Despite the opportunity to repeat that magic this year, the team fell 1-0.

The team loses two seniors after the season is over, Daniel Arriola and Robert Buonanno. The two were key pieces to the team. Arriola ended up with three goals and one assist, and Buonanno had seven goals and four assists. They should have their core group returning, including players Arthur Clayton, Tyler Cirillo, Elliot Hanna, and Wyatt Moberg. With that group, they should be able to make a strong run to the postseason.

The women’s soccer team had a tough season this year, going winless in 14 games played. They had some chances to grab wins, as they lost by one goal to Vermont Tech, SUNY Canton, and UMaine-Presque Isle.
With their season ending, they lose six seniors who played impact roles during their time at Johnson.

courtesy of NVU Athletics
Aleesia Smith

The team has a nice foundation with the players they have returning, so it’s up to Coach Andrew Lafrenz to build off that foundation with recruiting in hopes to return to the playoffs.
Men’s golf had an up and down season. They finished eighth at the NAC Championship, with their top finisher being senior Austin Walters, shooting an 84 and 81 during the two-day tournament. Sophomore Kaden Swett improved from his 89 on day one, to an 83 on day two.

The team’s best finish was at the Lou Jarvis Memorial, where a good team effort carried them to a win. Swett earned medalist honors with a score of 82 and Walters shot an 84. The team loses four seniors, so the team should look to bring in new faces next year.

The women’s tennis team barely missed the playoffs this season. They were competitive in conference play, as they earned wins against Thomas and SUNY-Delhi, but weren’t able to get over the hump. Senior Grace Page was able to have a great year and it earned her NAC All-Conference First Team Singles. With her and Samantha Kershner graduating, the team is hoping some of their returners can step it up in their absence and work towards making playoffs next year.