Athletics Week in Review: Week of 5-10 to 5-16

Catch up on this week’s happenings in for Deerfield teams!

Varsity Baseball:
@ Loomis: Deerfield lost to a good hitting Loomis team 13-5.  Loomis connected on 3 home runs and had 15 hits in the game.  2B Kevin Griffin was 1-2 with 2 RBI and got on base 3 times.  CF Tyler Mudd and C Trey Bourque both scored 2 runs each.  Mudd also picked up a stolen base.  RP Pete Shea saw his first varsity action and struck out 3 batters in the 1 inning he pitched.

@ Cushing: Deerfield shut out Cushing by a score of 5-0.  Tyler Mudd was dominant on the mound; he struck out 15 batters and only allowed 2 hits.  1B Sam Mackenzie, CF Geoff Jamiel, and LF Tynan Creagh and got a hit and an RBI for Deerfield.

vs. Cushing: Deerfield bats came alive in a 13-0 win over Cushing.  C Trey Bourque hit a Grand Slam in the bottom of the 4th inning.  1B Caleb Kirkpatrick, OF Nile Kamil, and OF Kiernan Keller all had their first multi hit game of the season.  4 different Deerfield pitchers contributed to the shut out effort on the mound.

Boys JV Lacrosse:
@ Loomis: Today was another easy win for our team who absolutely demolished Loomis with a score of 15-4. Max Abene ‘22 showed off a little bit of his footwork on his way to an incredible goal, which earned him the game ball. This was also a game of firsts, with Sam Parker ‘23 and Nando Travesari ‘22 making their first goals of the season today. Thomas Moreau ‘23 made his first two goals as well.

vs. Cushing: For our last home game of the season, we welcomed Cushing Academy’s varsity team on our field. After a series of 5 wins, we finally lost our winning streak, losing 7-11. Despite being down 8 members, our team still played great. We were joined once again by goalie Alex Rolfe ‘24, who earned the game ball today for his admirable team effort.

@ Cushing: Much respect goes out to the team, who maintained their composure in a highly competitive game. Although we lost 3-11 , this game proved to be a test both physically and mentally. Fortunately on our part we were able to play a clean game. Game ball today went to Declan Cullinane ‘21 who joined the team  last week and has proved to be an essential player on the team. Shout out to Brady Read ‘24 and Alex Fontecchio ‘24 for persisting to keep the team together and putting their heart out on the field today.

Girls JV Tennis:
Today was our final match of the season and it was a rematch from yesterday, this time at Cushing Academy’s campus. Deerfield was again victorious. We brought only 8 players to match Cushing’s squad and played only single sets because court space was limited. It was senior day for Cushing and we honored two of their players before we began, but once the play started, our players shined. Of note, Nainika Lebaka and Ainslie Kell did, in fact, bounce back to beat the doubles team which defeated them yesterday. We won handily at every position under bright sunshine and enjoyed ice cream on the way home. Great day!

1S Kate MacKenzie won 6-0
2S Girogia Santore won 6-2
1D Ainslie Kell//Nainika Lebaka won 6-4
2D Coco De Vink//Juliet Amadeo won 6-2
3D Lauren Mitchell//Summer Zhou won 6-1 (and then again 6-0 in an exhibition match)

The JV Girls Tennis season is now complete! We built wonderful camaraderie in our time together with lots of sunshine, smiles, and improvement on the courts. This team has been a lot of fun for all involved and served as a great outlet for competition, friendship, and fitness. In yesterday’s final practice, we played some games and then each player had been assigned a partner about whom they were to recall something fun or nice about them. While these remarks were goofy, several players took a more serious route, remarking that they found support in the other whether as a doubles partner, friend, or competitive teammate. With so few interscholastic matches (we finished 4-1), we relied on each other for competition, which we had to balance with being supportive teammates too. The pandemic has definitely isolated us, but with team experiences like this, our kids managed to build bonds which I hope last many years to come. Thanks to our co-captains Kylie Kittredge, Coco De Vink, and Anslie Kell for their steady leadership. Thanks to Sophia Hamlen for being our manager. Thanks to the Athletics Dept staff, training staff, and the other tennis coaches. We couldn’t have enjoyed this time together without all your help!

Girls Varsity Tennis
Varsity Girls Tennis Earns Gritty 5-4 Win

Deerfield’s varsity tennis girls traveled to Windsor, CT on Tuesday for a blustery match with Loomis-Chaffee. The sun was shining, but unpredictable winds added a complicating element to the proceedings.

Soon after the players spun their racquets, it was clear that this would be a competitive match-up. While new doubles pairing, Olivia Waterfall and Kiki Brainard, won a comfortable match (8-1) at third doubles, things were decidedly different on the other courts. Senior pair, Emma Weech and Evan Burkett, made adjustments throughout their set to find rhythm and opportunities for winners. After a closely contested first half, Deerfield’s second doubles team pulled away, winning 8-3.

On the first doubles courts, Isha Rao and Hunter Pulliam found themselves in a 1-4 hole. The team amended their approach and began to dominate the match with driving baseline play and aggressive volleys. Six straight games went for Deerfield. Credit goes to Loomis’s top doubles tandem for battling back to force a tiebreaker. Loomis ultimately took the tie break 7-3. This was the most competitive doubles match we’ve seen this season.

With the score leaning toward Deerfield at 2-1, the singles play began. Isha Rao’s first singles dominance rolled on with a decisive 8-1 victory. Evan Burkett hung in during a back and forth marathon of a match, but eventually opened up a lead to seal the win 8-4. Evan’s strong approach shots and overhead winners are a winning formula without question. Olivia Waterfall’s fourth singles match was a rollercoaster. She overcame some early setbacks and never gave up on her style of play. With her Loomis opponent pushing back at every turn, Olivia managed to close the match out with some booming forehand winners, clinching the win for Deerfield!

The team will have the opportunity to repeat this great afternoon of tennis on Saturday for the team’s final home match with Loomis making the trip north. Please come out and support the team and congratulate our graduating seniors, Emma, Evan, and Emily.

Individual Results:

  1. Isha Rao, W 8-1
  2. Hunter Pulliam, L 4-8
  3. Emma Weech, L 4-8
  4. Olivia Waterfall, W 8-6
  5. Evan Burkett, W 8-4
  6. Emily Pajak, L 5-8

Order of finish: 1, 6, 3, 5, 2, 4

  1. Rao/ Pulliam, L 7-7 (3-7)
  2. Weech/ Burkett, W 8-3
  3. Waterfall/ Kiki Brainard, W 8-1

Order of finish: 3, 2, 1
Singles Exhibition Play:
Linnea Dreslin: W 8-2
Alex Kelsey: W 8-2
Emily Pajak: W 8-2

Deerfield Varsity Girls Defeat Loomis 7-2
Just four days after their last tilt, Deerfield and Loomis faced off again on Saturday. This meeting took place on Deerfield’s courts on a hot and sunny afternoon. Deerfield’s varsity girls team was determined to make this a more decisive victory after eking out a tight win on Tuesday.

The doubles play was competitive again with many deuce games on every court. A week of focused work during practice paid off as Deerfield swept the doubles contests. Congratulations to Isha Rao and Hunter Pulliam who managed to reverse the outcome of Tuesday’s meeting and add a win to Deerfield’s slate.

Nearly all of the singles matches were tight affairs. Emma Weech, Emily Pajak, and Evan Burkett all battled through back and forth contests. Evan managed to deliver her second win at five singles against her Loomis opponent.

Isha Rao continued to roll at first singles, extending her unbeaten streak on the season. Hunter Pulliam dug in and won a steady, patient match at two singles. Credit goes to Hunter for taking the win from an opponent who bested her a few days prior.

Olivia Waterfall’s win at four singles was a marathon of a match. Waterfall won the first set in a 7-1 tie break. Loomis battled hard to win a 6-3 second set. It was no surprise to see this contest require a third set to determine a winner. After a few lead changes, Olivia pulled away to secure the 10-7 super tie break win for Deerfield.

The team sits at 5-1 and looks forward to an away match with Taft on Wednesday to close out the season.

Individual Results:

  1. Isha Rao, W 6-1, 6-0
  2. Hunter Pulliam, W 6-2, 6-2
  3. Emma Weech, L 3-6, 3-6
  4. Olivia Waterfall, W 6-6 (7-1), 3-6, 10-7
  5. Evan Burket, W 6-2, 6-3
  6. Emily Pajak, L 4-6, 4-6

Order of finish: 1, 3, 2, 6, 5, 4

  1. Rao/ Pulliam, W 8-3
  2. Weech/ Burkett, 8-3
  3. Waterfall/ Devon L’Esperance, 8-3

Exhibition Play:
Linnea Dreslin/ Alex Kelsey, W 8-2
Alex Kelsey, W 6-4, 6-4
Linnea Dreslin, W 6-6 (7-4),  6-2
Kiki Brainard, W 8-1

Girls Varsity Water Polo:
As the team prepares for its final Green vs. White game on Wednesday, the players also eagerly await the opportunity to celebrate the friendship and leadership the seniors have provided throughout their playing days. Though Senior Day may look a little different as the pandemic winds down, the emotion will be the same as the younger girls bid farewell to three-year player Maddie Poole and four-year players Ruby Chase and Sydney Bluestein, who also served as co-captains this season.

Varsity Ultimate:
On Saturday, the Ultimate team had its final game of the season against Williston.  The seniors led the team, with quick cuts and give-and-gos up the field.  Both teams were playing their final game of the season and played with intensity and speed.  Alex Yuk ’21 earned the “Best Score” award when he ran down a floating pass between Williston players in their own endzone, catching the disc for a turnover and score at the same time!  Williston gained a strong lead in the first half, but a surprise visit from a friendly dog on the field around halftime helped ground our team and settle into a rhythm.

Anne Brown ’21 fought off Williston’s first game point and boosted the team’s energy late in the game with a long catch from Ben Chen ‘21.  This momentum led to a second score on game point when Ellie Shilling ’21 intercepted a Williston pass, causing a turnover, and Chen scored off of an assist from Shane McCarthy ’21.  The Wildcats managed to maintain possession the next point, ending the game with an 8-15 win for Williston.

We look forward to wrapping up our season with some fun Disc Golf, scrimmaging, and celebration this week!

Boys Varsity Rowing:
The spring of 2021 saw the largest turnout ever for the boys rowing team.  53 athletes returned to campus in April and began training together.  Our early weeks had us working hard on campus, using the ergs and rowing tanks to develop our technique while we mixed in cross training sessions that focused on strength.  By late April, we were able to begin spending some of our sessions on the water and it was outstanding to return to the Connecticut River after so many months away from it.  The focus, drive, and positive attitude of the athletes ensured that each practice was productive and good speed was evident in boats at all levels.  The end of April and start of May provided opportunities to scrimmage with Northfield Mount Herman and Berkshire – experiences that proved extremely beneficial in the lead up to our first race against Belmont Hill.

On May 15, 36 athletes traveled to Boston for a regatta with Belmont Hill, the 2019 New England Team Champions. As has been the case in recent years, the racing between the two programs was exceptionally competitive and all crews showed impressive ability and toughness.

The afternoon began with the 4V8, a crew composed entirely of novice rowers who took their first strokes this spring.  In their race, this group showed just how far they’ve come in a few short weeks as they matched Belmont Hill stroke for stroke down the course with neither boat gaining more than a couple feet of advantage at any point.  With about 200 meters to go, charging for the finish line, the Deerfield crew caught a crab, which allowed the Belmont Hill boat to slide into the lead.  A quick recovery allow Deerfield to get back into the race and close the gap, before ultimately finishing 5.5 seconds behind.  Despite the result, this was an outstanding effort from the entire boat and a truly exciting race to watch.

Next up was the 3V8, which was, again, a boat made up almost entirely of novices.  Similar to their teammates, they weren’t intimidated by their first race, instead, they thrived in the competitive environment.  From the first stroke to the last, both the Belmont Hill and Deerfield crews traded the lead with neither boat gaining more than a few feet on the other.  A strong charge in the closing meters saw Belmont Hill sneak by to secure the victory by the narrowest of margins – .3 seconds!  It was another impressive effort and one that certainly bodes well for the future!

The final 8s race of the day was up next as the 2V8s faced off.  An aggressive start launched Deerfield to an early lead and they maintained the advantage all the way to the finish.  They rowed with poise and power, attacking each stroke.  By the time they hit the finish line, Deerfield had edged Belmont Hill by 3.5 seconds.

The Deerfield 2V4 took a page out of their teammates’ playbook and blasted off the starting line with their opening strokes.  Their strong start allowed them to establish a good lead over Belmont Hill, which they continue to expand all the way down the course.  When they crossed the finish line, the Deerfield crew had pulled ahead by 6.4 seconds – a hard fought win over a strong group from Belmont Hill.

The final race of the day saw the top Deerfield four match up with Belmont Hill’s top crew.  The opening strokes saw both boats working hard to get to top speed.  By the time they had shifted to their base rhythm, Belmont Hill had edged out to a slight lead.  Throughout the body of the race, they continue to ease away from Deerfield, ultimately hitting the finish with a 5.6 second advantage.

Thanks for for providing complete results, which can be found here:

The Deerfield boats will return to racing on Saturday, May 22, against Salisbury School on Lake Washinee.

Girls Varsity Lacrosse:
The Deerfield Girls Varsity lacrosse team faced the Loomis Chaffee Pelicans in back to back contests this week.  The first matchup occurred at Deerfield and served as our team’s Senior Day and last opportunity to compete at home. Our girls offered a strong performance in that contest and connected well all over the field.  In the final minutes of the game, however, the play swayed back and forth and as the clock ran out, the final score fell in Loomis’ favor by one tally.  Unfortunately, Deerfield’s play was flatter in the second game, and draw control possessions emerged as a challenge. The group is looking forward to one final opportunity to play against Taft on Wednesday the 19th.

Girls Varsity Rowing:
The Deerfield Girls Varsity lacrosse team faced the Loomis Chaffee Pelicans in back to back contests this week.  The first matchup occurred at Deerfield and served as our team’s Senior Day and last opportunity to compete at home. Our girls offered a strong performance in that contest and connected well all over the field.  In the final minutes of the game, however, the play swayed back and forth and as the clock ran out, the final score fell in Loomis’ favor by one tally.  Unfortunately, Deerfield’s play was flatter in the second game, and draw control possessions emerged as a challenge. The group is looking forward to one final opportunity to play against Taft on Wednesday the 19th.

Boys Varsity Tennis:
Despite fighting long and hard all afternoon in a rematch of Tuesday’s contest, Deerfield fell again 4-3 to Loomis on a beautiful day in Windsor, CT.

Doubles was so tight on all three and once again the Big Green came out victorious with securing the doubles point. In all six dual matches this year Deerfield has always won the doubles point! After winning at #1 8-6, Loomis tied things up with a tough 9-7 win at #2; it all came down to #3 Max Peh and Yongjin Park, who bested their opponents 9-7 to give Deerfield the first point of the match.

Knowing singles would be extremely tough, the team came out ready to fight in singles. Though the first to fall was #3 Peh, he forced his opponent to raise his level of play. #2 Jimmy Ueland then gave Deerfield a 2-1 lead beating his opponent in straight sets 6-2, 6-4. Yongjin Park played solid tennis at #6 and his big forehand gave the Green a 3-1 lead with a 6-4, 6-3 victory.

With just one more match needed to give Deerfield the win, courts #1, #4, and #5 were all incredibly close. #1 Sarachek and #5 Salz were both into their third set super tiebreakers when #4 Noah Depp fell 7-6(7-5), 6-2 to his opponent; within minutes of each other, both Sarachek and Salz lost their superbreakers 10-8. Though the end result didn’t go our way, the team competed so hard and brought out the best in each other.

With only one more week left to go, Deerfield will take on Taft on Wednesday, 5/19 and Suffield on Saturday, 5/22. Both matches being played at home.

Results (doubles):
#1. Sarachek/Ueland (DA) def. Woody/Anderson 8-6
#2. Cao/Howley def. N. Depp/O. Depp (DA) 9-7
#3. Peh/Park (DA) def. Struthers/Tan 9-7

Results (singles):
#1. Woody def. Sarachek (DA) 6-4, 3-6, 10-8
#2. Ueland (DA) def. Anderson 6-2, 6-4
#3. Cao def. Peh (DA) 6-4, 6-1
#4. Howley def. N. Depp (DA) 7-6(5), 6-2
#5. Katz def. Salz (DA) 6-3, 4-6, 10-8
#6. Park (DA) def. Tan 6-4, 6-3
Order of finish (doubles): 1,2,3  Order of finish (singles): 3,2,6,1,5,6

Boys Varsity Track & Field:
In the last meet of the abbreviated 2021 season, Deerfield’s Boys Track & Field team hosted Cushing Academy on Saturday, May 15. Conditions were calm and warm, ideal for season-ending peak performances, and Deerfield’s athletes delivered.

Deerfield had a season-high 35 athletes (90% of the team roster!) compete in the meet, with most competing in multiple events. Three performances from first-time competitors brought to 39/40 the number of athletes on the roster who competed for Deerfield at least once during the season. The coaching staff and the team alike are proud of that number, and it is an achievement that speaks to the commitment of our athletes.

Cushing Academy arrived with a dozen athletes — a small but dedicated group who gave strong competition in the events which they entered. Nevertheless, the outsized advantage in depth allowed Deerfield to put together a 120-13 final score. Sportsmanship on both sides was a strength, and each team cheered the other off the infield a the conclusion of the meet.

Standout performances included a new school record time of 22.106 in the 200 Meters, run by Elic Ayomanor ’22, a personal best 4:24 from Thomas Lyons ’21 in the 1500 Meters, and a Deerfield All-Time Top 5 8:58.57 from Quinn Hampson ’22 in the 3000 Meters. Deerfield athletes won the majority or totality of points fourteen of sixteen contested events, including both relay events.

Deerfield also honored the announcing career of Nils Ahbel, and bid farewell to eleven senior athletes: Nikhil Barnes, Nasir Barnes, Herman Bikoko, Chip Coffin, Donnie Gray, Grant Jones, Daniel Kang, Sultan Lawal, Charlie Lewis, Thomas Lyons, and Quinton Stevens. We wish them all further Track & Field meets in their future lives!

We look forward to carrying this year’s momentum forward into the 2022 season, where the promise of a NEPSTA Championship Meet awaits, following two uncontested seasons.

Girls Varsity Track & Field:
To close out our short but unforgettable season, Cushing came to Deerfield’s campus this past Saturday. Although they did not have many athletes, Cushing pushed our team and many of our DA’s athletes PRed to finish their season.

On the track, we saw true commitment from our athletes and a passion to compete. We were able to compete with three 4×100 relay teams and two 4×400 relay teams, which shows how many students want to compete with their teammates. It was an exciting finish in the 100-meter race as Simi Lawal eked past the first place Cushing athlete and won by 4 hundredths of a second. Grace Rusell PRed and placed first in the 800m race. Ali Thomas also PRed and made the top 20 for Deerfield Academy in the 3000m race with a time of 11:10. On the field, Jazz Baker and Janie Doyle had some of their best throws in the discus and shotput to help put points on the board for Deerfield. It was the last meet for our seniors, Georgia Barnes, Khalyse Benjamin, Janie Doyle, Annie Gouchee, Jaxon Palmer, Grace Russell, Ali Thomas, and Eleanor Wenners.

With a score of 121 to 11, Deerfield finished the season with a victory. Deerfield and Cushing both shined with wonderful comradery and sportsmanship. It was a great way to end the season and we now look on to the 2022 season next year!

Go Big Green!