By Liam Sample
Plattsburgh’s men’s rugby team fall season came to an end over the weekend, as it lost to SUNY Geneseo’s men’s warthog rugby team at Letchworth Fields Nov. 5. The game had huge implications as the Warthog’s advanced to the Boston Regional, which gives it a chance to advance to the Collegiate Rugby Championship in Houston.
The final score of the game was 45-5. While the score appeared a blowout, senior scrum half Mike Barbagallo said it was a close game in the first half and Geneseo brought strong defense. Barbagallo said the team had around 21 penalties throughout the game, making it a tough game for Plattsburgh.
“We actually took a pretty bad loss. It was very close in the first half, we actually dominated possession,” Barbagallo said. “[Geneseo] played very well, [it’s] great defense paired with our kind of inexperienced penalties really just made it difficult to win.”
This was the final collegiate game for captains Luke Ovadias and Jack Beirne. Barbagallo said that they have been “tremendous assets” to the team and it will “suck to see them go.”
The team will now shift its focus to the spring season. In the fall, the game is played with 15 players on the field for each team, while in the spring it is seven. Plattsburgh had tremendous success in this format of play, placing third in the Division I club bracket at the National Tournament in New Orleans last season.
“Last year we went to New Orleans, we did very well. This year, I think we’re going to be a lot better honestly. We got some very good young talent,” Barbagallo said. “I’m not sure how many are going to start on the sevens team, but they’ve been actively learning from all of us and we all just can’t wait.”
If you are interested in joining Plattsburgh Rugby, email email@example.com or reach out to the team’s Instagram, @plattsburghrugby.
By Collin Bolebruch
The Plattsburgh Cardinals’ women’s volleyball season was a step down from last year on paper, but the players walked away with something more important than temporary victories. Through the hardships of the season, the Cards walked away with a stronger bond.
The Cardinals finished its season with a 7-16 overall record and a 0-9 conference record. Three of its wins came from the Plattsburgh State Classic, beating the Northern Vermont University-Johnson Beavers, the SUNY Poly Wildcats and the Elmira Soaring Eagles by a combined score of 9-2.
The team faced its biggest setback this year when it lost outside hitter Payton Zophy to injury. Zophy was held out of eight games. Despite missing time, she ended the season leading the team in digs with 236.
The loss of Zophy hurt the team, but the Cardinals didn’t submit to its circumstances. Earlier this season, right side Jenn Braun said the injury wasn’t an “excuse” to lose and there was still “faith” in the team. Middle hitter Jeannette Ashong said earlier in the season the team would “win for [Zophy.]”
Braun highlighted the need for the players to push themselves “physically” and “mentally” to win. Ashong said building “trust” and “connections” makes each player better.
“The chemistry had its highs and lows, but it eventually turned out for the better. We’re all best friends,” middle hitter Alicia Fisher said. “Our chemistry off the court helped us build chemistry on the court.”
An outside perspective could write this season off as a failure, but the players don’t think so. Braun said the team’s “mental strength” is “much stronger” through difficult sets the team faced.
Setter/right side Kyleigh Ganz, in September, said the team needs to continue to “work hard” and understand that “things take time.” Fisher said that winning after a tough loss felt “amazing” as a team.
“There were some games that we lost that we still felt good about,” Fisher said. “We lost with dignity.”
By Liam Sample
The Plattsburgh men’s and women’s cross country teams both finished sixth at the SUNYAC Championships in Oswego. The men were led by junior Micheal Brockway, sophomore Noah Bonesteel and first-year Ethan Kahl, who all finished inside the top 50.
The women also had three finishes in the top 50, graduate student Aislyn McDonough, who was the highest finisher among any Cardinal at 23rd, first-year Marissa Colvin and sophomore Sarah Smith.
“It was a tough course but I’m definitely happy where we finished,” Head Coach Jordyn Naylon said. “There’s definitely more in the tank that we have I think moving forward.”
The next step is the NCAA Mideast Regional Championship in St. Lawrence Nov. 12, where the top seven runners on each team compete.
The women have eight runners currently, all of which will attend with one being an alternate. The men were picked based on times, Naylon said she wrote all the runner’s times out on the bus home from the SUNYAC Championships to help her make the selections.
The top team in Regionals will automatically qualify for the National Championships, while a committee will pick the other teams to go from across the country. Some of the top individual runners will qualify on their own for the National Championship, Naylon said there is a chance individual runners on the team could qualify. She pointed at Brockway and Bonesteel as potential candidates as long as they “get after it” and “put themselves in the right spot.”
“[The team’s] have been working really hard,” Naylon said. “They’re fit, They just have to believe it in the race, which is the hardest part of running.”