All posts by corey_pollnow

Men’s Basketball Drops Home Opener To Rider

By Corey Pollnow

The Central Men’s basketball team (1-5) continues to struggle defensively as they dropped their home opener on Nov. 23 versus Rider 89-73.

Malcolm McMillan scored six points in the span of 25 minutes seconds to give Central a 10-3 lead five minutes into the game. Rider (2-4) would subsequently go on a 9-0 run. With nine minutes remaining in the first half, Khalil Alford made a three point shot, and the Broncs never looked back from that point on.

“I don’t have any answers as to why we’re not defending the ball,” said Central’s head coach, Howie Dickenman.

Despite practicing a defensive drill called “challenge the shot” to close out on shooter’s, the Blue Devils still allowed Rider to make seven of their 12 three point attempts in the first half and shoot 57 percent in the first half. “When we’re making baskets our defense is pretty good but when we go cold it’s a mental letdown for each of the players,” said Dickenman.

The Broncs headed into the locker room with a 16 point lead on the backs of Zedric Salder and Alford who respectively scored 15 and 10 points in the first 20 minutes. Central came out in the second half and closed the deficit to nine points on a layup by Khalen Cumberlander, but that was the closest the Blue Devils would get. “When the ball didn’t fall for us our energy appeared to be affected,” said Dickenman.

Central shot 35 percent from behind the arc last season, but versus Rider the team could only make four of their 18 three pointers which was. “I think when things don’t go well for us we don’t react very well to adversity,” said Dickenman.

CCSU ranks 344th out 345 teams in points given up per game, but the Blue Devils will have over 4 weeks to fix their defensive woes before conference play starts on Jan. 9 versus Wagner

Matt Hunter (concussion) and Terrell Allen were unable to play due to injuries, but Dickenman didn’t use that as an excuse for the Blue Devils loss.

Junior Kyle Vinales led Central in scoring with 16 points on three of 15 shooting. Forwards Faronte Drakeford and Juwan Newman combined to score 26 points and grab 18 rebounds.

Zedric led the Broncs offensively with 21 points, five rebounds, and five assists.

Central’s next game is tonight at Detrick Gym versus New Hampshire at 7 p.m.

Volleyball Falls In NEC Championship Match

by Sean Begin
Brooklyn, New York –
For the Central Connecticut volleyball team, a successful season ended with a difficult defeat at the hands of Long Island University-Brooklyn last Sunday in the Northeast Conference Championship game at Long Island.

The Blue Devils (21-9) fell in straight sets to the Blackbirds (23-7) by scores of 25-12, 25-19 and 25-14, who finished an unbeaten season in the NEC. It was Central’s third loss to LIU this season.

“We knew we were the underdog coming in here but we weren’t thinking that way,” said Coach Linda Sagnelli. “I told my athletes not to hang their heads because the work that they put in… nothing should take away everything that they’ve done this season.”
The loss ends what was otherwise a successful season for Central women’s volleyball. After opening the season losing five of the first seven games, the Blue Devils ran off a string of seven wins.
Following losses to LIU and Saint Francis Brooklyn, Central would go on another winning streak, this time of ten games, which was ended with the teams’ second loss of the season to Long Island.

“When you reflect back on the season that we had, we’ve done a lot of things right,” said Sagnelli. “They come in day in and day out and they’re ready to learn, they’re ready to give 100 percent effort all the time.”

The team was led in the match by senior Veronika Ban, who had nine kills and three service aces in the final game of her college career. Freshman Cassidy Stankowski added seven kills of her own to go along with seven digs, a team high. Sophomore Makenna Lommori assisted in 23 Blue Devil kills.

Central could not anything going offensively against the Blackbirds, who stifled the Blue Devil attack all game, blocking 10 shots as a team. The Blue Devils pushed Long Island in the second set with three straight aces on Ban’s serve but it proved to not be enough. Central held the lead only three times in the match.

“We got outplayed,” said Sagnelli following the loss. “We simply met a Long Island team today that was just playing a better version of volleyball. They executed better than we did today.”
Central came into the game feeling “phenomenal,” according to Sagnelli. A three set sweep of Sacred Heart University in the semi-final match seemed to boost the confidence of the team heading into Sunday’s championship match.

“I don’t want this [loss] to detract from what we did in the semi-final match,” said Sagnelli. “It’s always kind of dangerous when you’re playing a team you’ve beaten twice. I thought we executed and outplayed Sacred Heart.”
Despite the bitterness of the loss, the team is young, only fielding two upper classmen in the starting rotation for most of the season, and has much to take away from the championship loss.

“You have to remember today but you can’t let it consumer you,” Sagnelli said of her message to her team. “You’ve got to remember the good you’ve done. We just take this as a learning experience, as a day that can make us a little tougher as we go forward.”
Central seems poised to compete in the NEC for the next several years. They were ranked third in the NEC polls prior to this season in which many of the starters were freshman or sophomores and should see a similar ranking next season.

“Being in this environment is only going to add to the experience of a young team,” said Sagnelli. “Hopefully, we’ll have the chance next year to have another shot at claiming a conference championship.”

Sophomore Set to Step Up

by Sean Begin
When the regular starting center for the women’s basketball team – senior Johnna Fisher – went down with an injury, it would become necessary for someone from the bench to step in and fill that role for the team.
Coach Beryl Piper turned to sophomore Amanda Harrington, who is now in her third season with the Blue Devils after redshirting her freshman year and coming off the bench for the team last season.
“Amanda definitely has to pick up the slack in the post spot,” said Piper before the start of the season. “She’s been doing a really good job so far in practice and in our scrimmage games. We’re excited about how she’s going to play.”
So far this season, Harrington has played well and seen action in all six of the Blue Devils’ games, getting the start in three of them while playing at least nineteen minutes in five of them.
In those five games, Harrington has averaged 24.7 minutes per game while putting up 7.6 points and 7.0 rebounds per game as well.
Despite the increased role she’s been getting, Harrington remains focused on the team and what she needs to do to improve the chances of a team win.
“It’s nice to play, everyone wants to play,” she said. “But even when I don’t play, I don’t get down on myself. Whoever’s out on the court, I try to encourage them, keep them going.”
Harrington notes that she needs to focus on rebounding, saying “That’s what I have to do. Offensive, defensive. Rebound, get [the ball] out and run. And that’s because of my foot speed. I have to get out so we can get transition points.”
So far this season, Harrington is third on the team in rebounding behind starting seniors Jessica Babe and Lauren Arbogast and has shown she can play effective minutes for Central.
Harrington comes from a basketball family. Her father played college ball and picked up the sport again after Harrington showed an interest in it and began playing with AAU club teams at the age of nine. Harrington’s younger sister, like herself, played basketball and volleyball in high school while her brother played high school hoops as well.
Listed as both a power forward and center, Harrington says she prefers to play more towards the center position, but finds herself having to play it differently. Rather than backing down an opponent in the post, Harrington has to rely on her speed.
“Because I’m not the biggest I don’t have the strength as much,” she said. “But I have the foot speed so I have to learn to get around more, to use my quickness against someone else’s size.”
Even though Harrington doesn’t have the size as other centers, she used the opportunity provided for her during her redshirt season to build up her strength.
“Redshirting helped me because I still got to practice; I still got to do extra workouts. So it helped me strengthen who I am. I got used to handling the workload of school and basketball,’ said Harrington.
The gradual adjustment to Division I basketball has helped Harrington settle into her increased role easily.
“Sometimes it’s still a little nerve wracking for me to get into the game because I get overexcited,” she said. “But I think because I redshirted, I got to sit and watch and still got to practice and get better, it’s actually helped me transition into it pretty easily.”
Harrington has had the help of the injured Fisher during practice, getting advice and pointers from the senior, who will give Harrington specific goals in practice to work towards to help improve her game.
“She’ll pull me aside at practice and say ‘Hey, you have to offensive rebound this next play, you have to do this the next play.’ It’s given me things to work for and work harder at. She’s been that voice in the back of my head,” said Harrington.
Harrington says that the help she’s gotten from Fisher has helped her see and play the game better. It’s a treatment she got when she came to New Britain for a visit before agreeing to play ball for Central.
“When I came for my official [visit] the girls were very family-oriented. They were really nice and open to me. It just felt right here,” she said.
Central not only offered Harrington a place to play college basketball, but also a place to earn a degree in her chosen field of graphic design. For Harrington, playing for Central fit both academically, as well as athletically, by helping to make a positive change to her game.
“I’ve definitely gotten more confident coming here. I’m not the biggest center but I’ve been able to learn what I’m good at, what I’m not good at and be able to adjust to how to play.”
Harrington and the Blue Devils next hit the court on Sunday on the road against Vermont.

Andrew Hurd Hears What CCSU Thinks About His Game

By Aundrea Murray

Known as the “walk-on” player, sophomore Andrew Hurd walked onto one of the most competitive basketball teams in the state and walked right into a community of supporters, admirers and die-hard fans.

Hurd’s name has made its way around campus one way or another. Students are wondering who he is, what he represents and what his purpose on an already strong team may be. Yet, whether he is being underestimated or questioned, he remains the topic of discussion of multiple conversations.

During Hurd’s freshman year, it was as if the bench did not exist. He earned himself more game time then most of his previous high school peers. No one can expect to hear him boast, however. His humble attitude stands out more than his star quality–especially since CCSU was not his first choice.

“Growing up, I always wanted to go to Syracuse but that school is really expensive.”, Hurd said.

Though the joy of his acceptance to Syracuse was short lived, Central was more than another option for Hurd. It was an opportunity to be apart of an institution that gave him a place to fit in rather than struggle to find his own placement, like most teenagers do.

“There’s a lot of negative connotation [to being a walk-on] because you’re on the team, you get all the gear, you’re at all of the games, but you don’t get paid to go here”, Hurd admitted.

“I’d like to think of myself as just another player. I’d like to bring my leadership qualities to the team. I feel like I know the game very well.. I’m just trying to compete for positions just like everybody else”.

It is still an early season for our men’s basketball team but Coach Howie Dickenman made sure to kick off November full throttle. At their opening game against Yale, all 11 players were prepared to either start or assist on what they hoped to be a great premiere game. Hurd remembers the enthusiasm Coach Dickenman instilled in his teammates.

“He’s really supportive and encourages everyone”, Hurd said. “He’s used to working with UCONN so his coaching is intense—he really expects the best from us”.

Hurd’s coach is not his only source of motivation. As the smallest player on the team, standing proudly at 5’10 while his teammates surrounding him are well over six feet, he finds himself more inspired by his peers than intimidated. Player Kyle Vinales encourages Hurd effortlessly simply by being himself.

“His work ethic is second to none. [Coach Dickenman] used to work with (basketball player) Ray Allen and compared Kyle’s work ethic to his”.

That is one heck of a comparison.

“Just being in the gym with him and seeing how hard he works, he really shows you what it takes to be great”.

It is no assumption that discipline and ambition are two of Hurd’s most prominent qualities. Before there were college sports, he remained well-involved in his academics at Windsor High. Balancing advanced placement courses with his extra-curricular activities took more skill than it did luck. All of which paid off when he was faced with challenges that college students experience everyday.

“I’m still not sure what I’m majoring in yet”, Hurd confessed. “There’s two routes I’m willing to take: I’m studying business. But I kind of want to stick with basketball and get into coaching”.

It is that kind of genuineness that is causing Hurd to stand out whether he is on or off of the court. His modest attitude towards his potential is a trait many of Central’s male basketball players share. It is a trait most can admire and it is a trait that the Hurd family has known all along.

“I’ll watch him on the bench during a game and he’ll be the first one up to congratulate somebody coming off of the court”, Hurd’s mother revealed.

“Even if [Hurd] is not in the game, he is keeping everybody up, that is playing in the game”.

Whether or not Hurd is given the chance during a game to put his love for basketball to use, his consistent positive attitude is nearly contagious. He steadily motivates himself and those surrounding him to work hard while celebrating every good moment.

“When I scored my first point [at CCSU] it was versus the number one team in the country–Indiana”, Hurd reminisced. “That whole experience was great”.

Hurd also has high hopes for the future.

“I’d like for the team to win a NAC (North American Cup) championship. I definitely think we have what it takes to do it”.

Women’s Basketball Steals One On Last Second Free Throw

By Sean Begin
Controversy clung to the final seconds of Central Connecticut women’s basketball’s 53-52 home victory against the University of New Hampshire.
Central (2-2) had won their last four meetings against the Wildcats (2-2) coming into the game, but needed every second to pull out the win.
New Hampshire’s Corinne Coia went for a layup with three seconds left on the clock and the game tied at 52. Central’s Lauren Arbogast, a senior, came down with the rebound and drew a foul call from the referee with just one second remaining.
The call brought cries of outrage from the UNH bench, whole felt Coia had been hit hard and fouled in her attempt to go for the layup. Instead, Arbogast went to the line needing to hit just one of her free throws to give Central the game. She missed the first.
“I asked her if she wanted me to call another timeout,” said Coach Beryl Piper. “She said no. She was confident. She wanted to shoot them. I think in those instances you’re probably going to make one.”
Luckily, Arbogast hit the second free throw; enough to give Central the win over New Hampshire for the fifth straight meeting.
“Arbo hitting that free throw was huge. That just shows composure, mental toughness,” said senior Jessica Babe. “She always seems to come around at the right time. It show’s a little bit of toughness.”
New Hampshire went on a 16-3 run during the last eight minutes of play to set up the tie game scenario at the end. The three came from Arbogast, who had been cold all night from the floor, and stopped a 12-0 run by the Wildcats to give Central a 52-48 lead at the time.
“I honestly feel like we should have not been in that situation at all. It shouldn’t have been there,” said Babe of fending off the comeback. “When we’re up 10, that’s when you have to close it out. We just got too comfortable, start making defensive mistakes.”
Babe led the Blue Devils, posting 16 points and 11 rebounds for the double-double, to go along with four assists and a steal. Sophomore TeJahne Malone was the only other Blue Devil player to break double digit points, putting up 11 to go with five rebounds.
“For us, we’re really lucky tonight that TeJahne played as well as TeJahne played,” said Piper after the game. “She made some big buckets and got some great offensive rebounds to get us some second shots when we needed them.”
The Blue Devils went on a 12-2 run in the middle of the second before giving up the 12 unanswered points to New Hampshire. The first half was a back and forth tug of war match between the two teams with the game tied at 25 headed to the locker room.
Central went down by six to start the game but clawed back and exchanged leads all half with the Wildcats, twice tying the game before the break on baskets from Malone.

Coach And Seniors Say Farewell At Final Game

By Navindra Persaud

It was a beautiful, windy and brisk day at Arute field as the CCSU Blue Devils hosted the Bryant Bulldogs for Senior day, the final game of the season and the final game for Jeff McInerney as head coach of the Blue Devils.McInerney announced his resignation last Monday.

Both the Blue Devils and Bulldogs were coming into their 12th game of the season 4-7 in an even match-up for a chance at a part of fourth place in the North Eastern Conference. Central has had a 4-1 advantage in the five times the teams have met since 2008.

The 15 seniors, including team captain #24, Antwione Reese, were honored at the start of the game. Each senior was accompanied out to center field by their families while one senior was accompanied by his teammates. Players were greeted by McInerney who came into the game with a win-loss record of 48-40 in his eight seasons as head coach.

“After eight seasons as head coach of the Blue Devils, I believe this is a good time to move onward in my career. So I want to announce today that I will be leaving CCSU at the end of December. I am sad to be leaving a place I have come to love and people I deeply admire,” said McInerney in a statement Monday.

McInerney has posted a winning record in each of his first five seasons as head coach being the first to do so in 70 years for Blue Devil football, the most recent coming in 2010 as the Blue Devils went 5-0 at home.

“Whether we have won championships or not, these young men have always impressed me with their desire to excel, and they will all hold a special place in my heart,” McInerney added in his statement.

He also thanks President Miller, CCSU Athletics Offices, assistant coaches, trainers and all others that he has worked with in his time as head coach.

CCSU junior Rob Holloman was just one touchdown shy of the CCSU record for most touchdowns in a single-season and two shy of tying the record for most rushing touchdowns as he entered the game with 18. Holloman failed to score in the first half as the Bulldogs were able to post many stops. Nick Bacarella was instrumental in the offensive gains in the first half, recording 79 receiving yards and finishing with 84 receiving yards and 8 rushing yards in the game.

Sophomore quarterback Nick SanGiacomo went 16-29 for 218 passing yards in the first half and finished 26-50 with 295 passing yards for the Blue Devils whose only scoring came off of two field goals by junior Steven Calitri.

Holloman, who finished with 109 rushing yards, found in hard to gain runs as Bryants’ defense was exceptional in the first half, but he was able to gain momentum with a few great rushes to end the first half. Despite the heavy defense he was still able to surpass 2,500 rushing yards but fell short of 4,000 career all-purpose yards.

Although Central out-gained Bryant by 110 total yards they were still down 8 at the half. The Blue Devils began marching right back into the game as senior Chris Linares came up with two crucial interceptions in the second half with a total of 11 in his career. Sophomore Nick SanGiacomo led a beautiful drive that ended with a nine-yard touchdown pass to senior Denzell Jones putting the Blue Devils up 16-14 at the end of the third quarter.

The Bulldogs came storming back in the fourth quarter as Tyriq DeShields made an 82 yard reception off a pass from Bryant quarterback Mike Westerhaus. Westerhaus finished 10-21 with 174 yards as the Bulldogs led 22-14 after a two point conversion by Chad Ward with 11:50 left in the final quarter.

The Bulldogs final dagger came in the final three minutes of the fourth quarter as running back Michael Perry scored the final touchdown putting the Bulldogs up 29-16 which the Blue Devils could not answer. SanGiacomo also finished with two very untimely interceptions in the fourth quarter the latter of the two coming with just 1:13 left in the final quarter leaving Central with no time for a rebuttal ending their season at 4-8.

Kareem and the Black Mamba’s Return

Sean Begin
On Saturday, reports from Yahoo! Sport and ESPN, among others, were published indicating that Kobe Bryant returned to the Lakers’ practice court for the first time since rupturing his Achilles tendon almost seven months ago.
When I heard this, I became unreasonably excited.

It’s not like Kobe is coming back tomorrow. It’s not even like he’ll be back in a couple weeks. According to ESPN’s report, sources say Bryant still has “a ways to go” before even considering a return date.

But the thought that the Black Mamba has returned to practicing drills with his teammates is incredibly exciting. I don’t really have any investment in a successful Lakers season. Being a Celtics fan, I have a natural inclination to enjoy seeing the Lakers fail.
But Kobe back on the court just seems right. I can’t remember watching a basketball season without him. Plus, it’s still not out of the question that Kobe can make a run for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s scoring title.
And really that’s what has me most excited.

Kobe is 6,770 points behind Kareem’s record. Kareem retired at the age of 42 after 20 NBA seasons. Kobe is 35 and this season would be his 17th in the Association. If Bryant were to match Kareem’s total career years, he’d have to average 2,257 points per season (including this injury shortened one) to beat Kareem. That’s pretty much impossible, since Kobe’s average points per year is 1,860. However, if Kobe plays until he’s 42 as well, that would give him seven more seasons to catch Kareem, including this 2013-14 season. That’s an average of 967 points per year, well below Bryant’s average.

Kobe has said before he’s got more in the tank. Does that mean seven years’ worth of play time? Probably not. But if Kobe played even four more seasons in the NBA, a per year average that’s still less than his career. (Of course, this assumes he’d have played a full season this year.) Regardless of how long Kobe will play, the fact remains that the record is within his site. Bryant has said before the scoring title isn’t as important as a sixth title. He would rather match Michael Jordan than beat Kareem.
But with the Lakers having no contracts except Steve Nash on the books for 2014, it’s still uncertain if the team can compete for championships in Kobe’s twilight years. Speculation is the Lakers want to make a push for LeBron James, who becomes a free agent once again after this season.

But what if the Lakers don’t sign LeBron? In the past, the Lakers not signing the big free agent they wanted is akin to the Yankees missing out on one. But with Dwight Howard rejecting a max offer in favor of Houston, it’s not inconceivable LeBron says no to LA. And where would that leave Kobe? Still a team short of a championship with no obstacles in his way to take 40-50 shots a game in order to chase down Kareem. And a Kobe shooting wildly and scoring 40 a night would be a very entertaining sight to watch.

Recruiting For Central Athletics A Long And Involved Process

by Sean Begin
Four of Central Connecticut’s fall sports are starting to, or have already, wrapped up their season. Football has one game remaining: a home contest against Bryant University on Saturday. The volleyball team has finished the regular season and will compete in the NEC Championships this weekend. And both the men’s and women’s soccer teams’ season finished with semifinal losses in the NEC Tournament.
For the coaches of these teams, however, the end of the playing season means the beginning of an equally important time: recruiting season.
Unlike professional sports, which fill their teams through the draft, free agency or trades, college sports replenish the ranks by recruiting players from high school, junior colleges or even other universities to come play for their team. And while each team has it’s own recruiting nuances, the general rules are the same.
The recruiting process can be complex and is broken up into four “periods” by the NCAA. Each period – named contact, evaluation, quiet and dead – has its own specific set of rules that determine how and when a prospective student-athlete can be contacted by a coach or the coach’s representatives. Violation of these rules can result in penalties and punishment against the school.
For Central’s athletic programs, recruiting is technically a year round process. “I don’t think it ever ends,” said Linda Sagnelli, head coach of the volleyball team. Coaches are always in contact with players whether by phone or email, within the boundaries laid down by the NCAA.
But when the season ends, the time comes for coaches to begin traveling to watch the players they’ve been evaluating takes place.
“For us,” said Sagnelli, “our heavy recruiting time is January through nationals [in July] with March being a quiet period for us. The month of March we can’t go off-campus to recruit.”
March is what the NCAA terms a “quiet period” for the volleyball team, where Sagnelli and her assistant coach Greg Shell, are not allowed to make visits off-campus to recruits, but are allowed to meet with recruits on campus.
For Sagnelli and Shell, recruiting players for volleyball involves long-term vision. According to Sagnelli, the team has already signed a player 2014, and within the next couple of months will finish with the class of 2015 recruiting.
“When we go recruiting in January and February we’re looking at sophomores,” said Sagnelli. “They’ll come on an unofficial visit. We try to look for, on a timeline, a commitment their junior year.”
Women’s soccer coach Mick D’Arcy describes a similar scenario for his team.
“Our process starts earlier than most people,” said D’Arcy. “Women’s soccer identifies recruits their sophomore year in high school, and then starts the communication with them their junior year. And then usually by Christmas of their junior year, we’re getting commitments.”
The process of finding players to recruit also varies between sports. While all teams and coaches make trips to scout and recruit players, the path to those trips vary from team to team.
For the soccer teams, D’Arcy and men’s head coach Shaun Green, both of whom hail from the United Kingdom, a large network of contacts within the soccer world helps keep them informed of talent outside the United States.
“For the most part it’s our own network that we use,” said D’Arcy. “We have a network of connections around the world. When we’re looking for players we’ll call our connections and see if they have any recommendations for us.”
“We have our own network established of former alumni and high school coaches and club team coaches that we’ve known throughout the years. Word of mouth is really good for your program,” said Green.
Head football coach Jeff McInerney fields Central’s largest roster, with around 80 players, and echoes Green’s sentiment.
“Word of mouth is key, I don’t care who you are. Word of mouth and people having a good experience,” McInerney said of how people hear about Central athletics.
Word of mouth is how junior running back Rob Hollomon arrived at CCSU, after a relative of his, who played football at Central under McInerney, told Hollomon about the program.
“Chris Williams [Hollomon’s cousin] had a great experience here. He [Hollomon] was a 1-A transfer which you get,” said McInerney. “When you have a student-athlete that had a positive experience and they so ‘Oh, that’s cool,’ that’s how you get those [transfers].”
While McInerney and his assistants make recruiting trips to Florida and California, they generally try and produce a roster that features mostly kids from Connecticut, something McInerney attributes to meeting “the fiscal needs of the area.”
“Usually we stay in New England. Connecticut we go inside-out first. Fiscally, it’s more reasonable to meet the [team’s] needs in-state,” said McInerney, adding that “It’s way easier to recruit somebody whose support system is right here.”
The football team will get to see a large amount of local Connecticut players through the football camp they host every year, and through that camp McInerney will find prospective athletes, like current junior wide receiver Tyrell Holmes, to recruit.
Holmes, who went to high school at Bristol Eastern in Bristol, Connecticut, attended Central’s football camp all four of his high school years and was recruited by McInerney because of the relationship the two formed during that time.
Similarly, Green and D’Arcy field teams that are comprised mostly of Connecticut players, with a few regional kids and strong international contingents rounding out their squads. The international players are found through the coaches’ contacts overseas, while the local players are found by visiting regional high schools or by receiving interest from a player directly.
“It [used to be] hand written letters delivered daily to us and the old school VHS tapes. Now it’s different,” said Green of player’s contacting coaches. “You have one mass email you can send out to 300 Division I teams in the country and stick [the tape] on YouTube one time. It’s become much more efficient.”
Green and D’Arcy will take recruiting trips only to places where they have interest in the player, with Green citing budgetary and fiscal concerns limiting the trips they can take, similar to McInerney and football.
Volleyball faces a similar budgetary concern when planning recruiting trips. “The only thing that would limit recruiting is funds, depending on how much of your budget you can allocate towards being on the road,” said Sagnelli.
She is, however, almost required to travel in order to find players to recruit. According to Sagnelli, the Northeast is one of the weaker regions in the country in terms of competitive club and high school volleyball play. Therefore, recruiting trips to what Sagnelli calls “volleyball hot beds” are required.
These trips usually center around qualifying tournaments for nationals for USA Volleyball’s club circuit. They allow Sagnelli and Shell the chance to view hundreds and thousands of players on one trip. An app provided by USA Volleyball helps streamline the process and provide information on every player at any given tournament.
Despite the differences in the style of recruiting, one thing remains consistent between the three sports: the recruit. Or, more specifically, the type of recruit the team is looking for.
All the coaches value academics just as much as athletics, and seek student-athletes that can fit with Central beyond the field and into the classroom and the community.
“When you bring somebody in to a program they have to fit how you coach, how you teach,” said McInerney. “School comes first. It’s what I say all the time. They’ll all tell you that.”
“Are they a good person, someone’s who’s going to come in and be a good citizen on campus. And then, obviously, academically. Will they be a good fit for our profile here?” said D’Arcy.
Combined with NCAA rules and other concerns, such as budget, that limit recruiting, it becomes a difficult process to find someone who can fit both the athlete and the student role successfully.
“I liken it to crab hunting,” said Green. “You lift a rock up and there’s nothing, maybe a little tiny crab. And you lift another rock up, there’s nothing. Another rock and there’s nothing. Until eventually you lift one rock up and there’s a big crab under there, the prize. And that’s what it’s like recruiting.”
Despite the difficulty in recruiting, Green and the other coaches have all managed to learn the process well enough to field successful teams, more or less, year after year by finding the best players that fit Central athletically and academically.

Late Game Push Gives Women’s Basketball Win Over Rhode Island

By Sean Begin

The Central Connecticut women’s basketball team needed the help of a late second half rally to beat Rhode Island 65-58 in their home opener last Wednesday night.
Rhode Island (0-2, 0-0 A-10), down by seven with 10:14 to play, mounted a furious comeback, and tied the game at 53 with just under three minutes to play on a layup from sophomore guard Tayra Melendez, who led all scorers with 20 points.
“I think these kids just believe in themselves. I didn’t see a lot of panic with them,” said Coach Beryl Piper of her team’s ability to withstand the Rams. “They kept their composure where in the past we started to panic, started yapping at each other a little bit. I didn’t see any of that today.”
Central (1-2, 0-0 NEC) responded to Rhode Island’s comeback with back-to-back three pointers from freshman guard Lauren Wolosik and senior guard Jessica Babe.
“Those are big baskets, really big baskets,” said Piper. “For Lauren to step up… and hit that, it loosened us up a little bit. And then we came down and Jess hit one back-to-back, game over. That was awesome.”
Babe led Central in the stat sheet, scoring a team-high 17 points to go along with three rebounds, four assists and four steals. Babe’s fellow senior, forward Lauren Arbogast, finished second in scoring with 14 points.
“My shot hasn’t been falling recently,” said Arbogast. “I knew once I made the first few that my confidence was up a little more. I just kept shooting and they kept going in.”
Central shot 50 percent from the field but lost to the Rams on the offensive glass, giving up 16 offensive rebounds. The Blue Devils, however, only gave up eight second chance points to Rhode Island.
In the first half, Central shot better than 54 percent but went into the locker room only up by three, in part because of those offensive rebounds, as well as turnovers, which led to 10 Rhode Island points.
Said Piper: “The turnovers hurt us. They had a bunch of offensive rebounds in the first half. We fouled them. They got to the free throw line a lot more than us. They were in the 1-and-1 with like eight minutes to go in the first half”
The Rams stepped to the free throw line 17 times in the first half, connecting on 13 of them which helped keep them within range of Central. The momentum switched following the break, however.
“The second half it was vice-versa. We switched around where we attacked them and that was a big difference in the game, too,” said Piper.
The Blue Devils cleaned up their game and sent Rhode Island to the line just once in the second half, while themselves connecting on 13 of 18 free throw shots.
The Blue Devils also had good minutes from the younger players, like Wolosik, on their bench. Sophomore center Amanda Harrington, who is filling in for injured junior center Johnna Fisher, led the team with seven rebounds and two blocks.
“Amanda played phenomenal. She did a lot of really good things for us,” said Piper. “With her and [Arbogast] in there together it makes us real big. It makes us very long.”
Central managed to pull off the win, despite not having one single player take complete control of the game from start to finish.
“That’s what our team is about this year,” said Piper. “A lot of different people scoring, a lot of different people rebounding the basketball. Hopefully, we can continue to do that.”
Central’s next game is tonight at7 p.m. in Detrick Gym against New Hampshire.

Thou Shalt Not Hand Check

By Corey Pollnow
Last season NCAA Men’s Basketball team’s averaged 67.5 points per game, the lowest since 1951-1952.
Free throw attempts also hit an all-time low last season. Team’s averaged 19.76 free throws per game, the lowest since 1976.
In the offseason, the NCAA Basketball Rules Committee discussed “opening up the game up” in response to those statistics. The committee agreed that hand checking – defenders putting their forearm or hand on the offensive player – is hurting the flow of the games, or in other words, the game has become too physical.
The committee has finagled with the block/charge rule so offensive players have more of an advantage when attacking the hoop. When an offensive player begins the upward motion of jumping to shoot or pass, the defender must be in legal guarding position, otherwise it’s a blocking foul.
However, last Tuesday when I watched Duke versus Kansas, I was disgusted with the flow of the game and powered off the television with three minutes remaining in the second half. I felt the game was being called too tightly. I went to bed frustrated.
What I had forgotten was that the season was young – not even one full week of games.
The players, coaches, and officials need time to adjust to the new style of officiating and once players get a feel for what is hand checking and what constitutes a charge or block under the new
The rule change is no different than when the NFL established new rules in regards to hitting the opponent with the helmet. NFL defenders had to learn to not lead with their head when tackling and instead lead with their shoulder pads. The majority of football players – minus a few morons like Brandon Meriweather and James Harrison – have adapted to the new helmet collision rules. College basketball players will do the same.
For the meantime, fans need to be patient with the current state of the game. College basketball will evolve and will be aesthetically pleasing for viewers to watch.