Tali Twomey (Cotuit, Mass.) claimed a national championship in the floor exercise, as the sophomore broke the Springfield College women’s gymnastics program record with a score of 9.900 at the 2018 National Collegiate Gymnastics Association (NCGA) National Championships on March 24 in Blake Arena. Twomey, a rehabilitation and disability studies major at Springfield College, became the eighth student-athlete dating back to 1971 to earn a national championship in the individual event finals on the national stage. Additionally, Twomey is only the second-ever national champion in the floor exercise, as the only other Springfield College women’s gymnast to win a national title in the event was Sarah Bryson in 1996. Twomey was joined by two other teammates who earned All-America honors during the week as first-year Ali Rushlow (Worcester, Mass.) took home the honor in the all-around and Jess Clemens (South Setauket, N.Y.) garnered the national recognition on both the balance beam and uneven bars.
For the second-consecutive season, the men’s volleyball team won the NCAA Division III National Championship after cruising past Stevens Institute of Technology in straight sets on April 28 at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wis. Under the direction of AVCA Division III National Coach of the Year, Charlie Sullivan ’91, G’97, and behind the standout play of AVCA Division III National Player of the Year, Sergio Figueroa Velez (San Juan, Puerto Rico), the Pride won by the scores of 25-20, 25-14, 25-9.
Playing in a Division III National Championship for the ninth-consecutive season, Springfield wrapped up the year with a 31-2 record, including a perfect 29-0 mark against Division III opponents. Winning the rematch of the 2015 NCAA Division III Championship, the Pride has now captured 11 Division III national championships, including winning five NCAA Division III Championships after claiming the crown in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2017.
Mike Neary (Ventura, Calif.) was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Championship as he handed out 38 assists in leading the Pride to a .351 hitting percentage in the title match. Eli Irizarry Pares (San Juan, Puerto Rico) and Sean Zuvich (San Pedro, Calif.) were also named to the All-Championship Team, as Irizarry Pares collected 13 digs in leading the Springfield defense, while Zuvich concluded a remarkable tournament with 10 digs and five kills.
A Great Start on Archie Allen Field
The Springfield College baseball team had an impressive first season on its brand-new Archie Allen Field. For the first time in head coach Mark Simeone’s tenure, Springfield played games on their home field before their spring break trip, including a 4-0 win over Western New England in the first game ever played on the field on Sunday, March 4. In addition to having four all-conference honorees and the conference’s pitcher of the year, the Pride was able to participate in 39 games this year, the most played by Springfield in 20 years. With the unpredictable spring weather that comes with playing baseball in New England, the turf complex allowed for a number of games that would have been normally cancelled to be played, as well as several away games to be moved to Alden Street as the Pride finished the year 23-14-2.
Track Athletes Shine in Alabama
Springfield College’s Courtney Luscier (Pittsfield, Mass.) and Jack Pinho (Prospect, Conn.) represented Springfield College on the national stage when they raced at the NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships in Birmingham, Ala. Racing for the first time on the national stage, Pinho earned All-America honors in the one mile race, taking fourth overall with a time of 4:12.19. On her third-consecutive trip to the indoor national championships, Luscier earned the third All-America honor of her career in the 60 meter dash, as the senior took fourth overall with a time of 7.67 seconds. Luscier established herself among the Springfield College women’s indoor track and field greats, as she joined Barbara Swallow, Nikki Hay, and Beth Bowler as the only student-athletes to earn three All-America honors throughout their careers at Springfield College. Additionally, Pinho had a record-setting indoor season, taking down 108 years worth of records as he set new program marks in the mile (4:07.89), 1,000 meters (2:25.09), and 800 meters (1:52.11).
Swimmers and Divers Bring All-America Honors Back to Alden Street
Springfield College’s Connor Pennington (Monson, Mass.) was outstanding in his first trip to the NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championships in Indianapolis as he placed fifth on the one-meter board and eighth on the three-meter board. The computer graphics major became just the fifth Springfield College men’s diver in program history to finish in the top eight on both boards at the NCAA Championships in the same year. Additionally, Sierra Skaza (Belchertown, Mass.) took 16th on the three-meter board for Honorable Mention All-America honors in her first trip to the national stage, and graduate student Delany Dyjak (Ludlow, Mass.) swam the fastest 100 butterfly time by any woman ever to race at Springfield College as she clocked in at 55.56 to finish 10th and garner Honorable Mention All-America accolades.