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Weight Room Renovation Completed

weight room72_7464.jpg

weight_room72x_7440.jpgThe Eastern Connecticut State University Sports Center weight room underwent a facelift this past summer. The room, which is located on the bottom floor of the building and services the entire Eastern community, includes new rubberized flooring, new stereo system, signage, expanded mirror coverage, "Eastern Warrior" platform/power racks, new polyurethane dumbells, kettle bells, barbells, bands, free weights, assisted dip and pull-up machine, two fixed glute/hamstring machines, TRX suspension training packs, medicine balls, leather jump ropes, plyo boxes, bosu balls and jammer machines. Weight room hours are Monday-Thursday 7 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Friday 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Golf Outing is Set for Sunday, Sept. 22


Eastern Connecticut State University is sponsoring a golf outing on Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013 at Blackledge Country Club in Hebron. Cost of the scramble tournament is $135 per golfer in advance and $150 per golf after Aug. 22 registsration. Registration deadline is Sept. 13. Entry fee and includes greens fees, cart, dinner, prizes and gift. Cost of the dinner only is $30. There will be a noon shotgun start, with the dinner and awards to follow at 5 p.m. The outing benefits the Eastern women's swimming, basketball and softball programs. For registration forms and more information, contact head women's basketball coach Denise Bierly at or at 860-465-4586, head softball coach Diana Pepin at or at 860-465-5182 or log onto

Coleman is E-Club Hall of Fame Pick

Four-time All-America basketball player to be enshrined Oct. 19

Coleman Head_72_USEShot 11_12_7968.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. --   The most acclaimed player in the 27-year history of the women's basketball program, Allison Coleman has been selected for induction into the Eastern Connecticut State University E-Club Hall of Fame, it has been announced by Hall of Fame chairman Scott Smith.

The 5-foot-10 inch Jewett City native is the only four-time WBCA Division III All-America in history (just one ten-player team is selected each year) and concluded her four-year career in 2004 as the program's all-time leader in virtually every career category. The Warriors won just under 85 percent of their games with Coleman, qualified for four post-season tournaments and recording 20-win seasons each season, and capturing a program-record 28 games in 2002/03 en route to a berth in the national championship game.

The 20th E-Club Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Reception is scheduled for Saturday, October 19  at the Betty R. Tipton Room in the Student Center. A reception will follow the 5 p.m. ceremony. Tickets are priced at $50 and must be reserved in advance by contacting Scott Smith at 860-465-4326 or at

In her 117-game career, Coleman averaged 17.0 points, 9.7 rebounds, 4.9 assists, and 3.2 steals and totaled 131 blocked shots and 152 three-point field goals.  With Coleman, the team won 101 of 119 games  - its winningest four-year stretch ever -- one Little East Conference regular-season title and shared another and claimed eight of 12 post-season tournament games in NCAA and ECAC tournament play.46_Coleman31_004_72dpi6x4.jpg

"There was no greater competitor than Allison," praised 20th-year head coach Denise Bierly. "She did have immense talent and a great work ethic, but the desire for winning is not something that can be taught. Allison had immense pressure to perform at an All-America level every day for four years, but she handled this pressure extremely well."

In Coleman's junior year, Eastern won five consecutive NCAA tournament games - four of them on the road - before dropping a two-point decision to Trinity University (TX) in the 2003 NCAA Division III national title game. In those games, Coleman averaged 20.2 points, 12.2 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 3.0 steals with 13 three-point field goals and eight blocked shots. In the tournament opener against Farmingdale State, Coleman totaled 26 points and 19 rebounds and shot 52.6 percent from the floor. That year, Coleman was a finalist for the national Player-of-the-Year Award.

As a senior, Coleman was voted State Farm Player-of-the-Year by the Women's Basketball Coaches' Association (WBCA) and was women's basketball's nomination as the Division III Collegiate Woman Athlete-of-the-Year. That year, Eastern opened the season ranked No. 1 nationally  and remained in the Top 25 into post-season play. In addition that year, she was

Division III's representative to the WBCA College All-Star Team, which competed against the USA Women's Senior National Team at the NCAA Division I women's basketball Final Four at New Orleans.

In her career, Coleman posted seven triple-doubles and 60 double-doubles, registering registered career-highs of 35 points, 22 rebounds, 14 assists, 11 steals and five blocked shots. She scored 30 or more points six times in a game and her assist and steal bests represent program game records, with her point total one shy of the game record.

As the only four-time Player-of-the-Year in the Little East Conference, Coleman was named to the LEC's basketball 25th Anniversary Team in 2011 and was inducted as one of the first two female athletes into the LEC Hall of Fame last October. In 2010, she was enshrined into the  Connecticut Women's Basketball Hall of Fame.

Coleman joins two-sport athlete Kris Mach of Southington and lacrosse All-America John Rubano of Bethpage, NY as previously-announced  members of the E-Club Hall of Fame Class of 2013.



Eastern Announces Pet Policy


Kris Mach is 2013 Eastern Hall of Famer

All-America and national champ helped all of her teams into NCAAs

HallofFame_logo72.jpgMach head_72dpi Potrait 1 copy.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. -  One of only two Eastern Connecticut State University female athletes in school history to play key roles in advancing two sports to the final stop of NCAA Division III tournaments, Kristine Mach has been selected for induction into the Eastern Connecticut State University E-Club Hall of Fame, it has been announced by selection committee chairman Scott Smith.

Unrecruited out of Southington High School, Mach was a first baseman on four straight NCAA Division III regional tournament championship teams at Eastern between 1988 and 1991 and a post player in her two seasons (1989/90 and 1990/91) with the basketball team. She was a starter on the program's last national softball championship team as a junior in 1990, and on the first women's basketball team to advance to the NCAA Division III Final Four as a senior.

The 20th E-Club Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Reception is scheduled for Saturday, October 19  at the Betty R. Tipton Room in the Student Center. A reception will follow the 5 p.m. ceremony. Tickets are priced at $50 and must be reserved in advance by contacting Scott Smith at 860-465-4326 or at

final four 3rd place72dpi.jpgIn her 120-game softball career, the two-sport captain batted .356 with a .984 fielding percentage on teams which won 139 of 173 games (.803). In 53 career basketball games (47 starts), Mach averaged 8.5 points and 8.0 rebounds and nearly 2.0 steals per game.

With all of 18 at-bats to her credit through her first two seasons, the Southington native stepped into a starting role on the 1990 national softball championship team, batting .348 with a .984 fielding percentage on a team-high 190 chances.  In her final at-bat of the season in the national championship game against Trenton State College (the team's third game of the day), Dawn Walmsley was doubled to third base by Mach in the fifth inning, and eventually scored the only run of the game on a sacrifice fly. With two out in the seventh, Mach then gloved the clinching final out on a throw from shortstop Brigitte Raczkowski.

Moving into the No. 3 spot in the order as a senior in 1991, Mach batted a team-high .377 and also led the club in slugging and on-base percentage, runs, hits, doubles and total bases on the way to second-team NFCA All-America and first-team All-Northeast Region and All-England recognition.

The right-handed hitter hit safely in 28 of the team's final 32 games and in ten of 11 post-season games as a senior. In post-season play, she handled 94 defensive chances without an error and recorded a .369 average. In six games of the national tournament which was hosted at Eastern's Howard Spector Field, Mach batted .389   and fielded 46 chances en route to all-tournament honors as the Warriors reached the national championship round for the third straight year.


Mach tried out for the Eastern basketball team during the Christmas holidays as a freshman, but was derailed by stress fractures. As a junior, the 5-foot-10 inch Mach tried again, and immediately stepped into a regular role in the post beside All-America and Eastern Hall of Famer Robin Gaby. The Warriors reached the Little East Conference tournament title game (losing in overtime), but qualified for the NCAA tournament and concluded the season with a win in the consolation game of the NCAA Northeast Regional Tournament.

With a year under her belt, Mach was an integral part of perhaps the finest starting five in program history as a senior in 1990/91 (she becomes the fourth E-Club Hall of Famer from that starting unit). She started every game - averaging 33.8 minutes per game - and helped the program to its first berth in the NCAA Final Four. In the Northeast Sectional Tournament at home, Mach totaled 30 points, 23 rebounds (14 of them offensive), four assists and four steals in 75 minutes, shot .565 from the floor, and was named to the all-tournament team.

As she did with her clutch double in the national softball title game the previous spring and in her high school team's state title victory in her senior year (when she returned an offensive rebound at the buzzer for the winning points), Mach again made her biggest contribution when it mattered most - in the final seconds of the one-point sectional basketball championship game win over Southern Maine. After USM missed the front end of a potential game-winning one-and-one free throw situation with eight seconds left, Eastern rebounded. The wayward outlet pass sailed untouched over midcourt, but Mach chased it down, lunging to keep the ball inbounds, where  Hall of Fame teammate Missy Kowolenko gathered it in, then hoisted it toward the rafters as the final horn sounded to preserve the team's first trip to the Final Four.

Mach holds a B.S. Degree in Communication and resides in her hometown. She is employed as a Communications Director by MedServe of Connecticut, Inc.



M-Soccer: Goal-A-Thon Saturday

Charity to benefit Be The Match is combined with Team IMPACT

Eshield72dpi.jpgdecasanovashirtIMG951083.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. - The Eastern Connecticut State University men's soccer team and alumni will sponsor a Goal-a-Thon to benefit the Be The Match National Marrow Donor Program Saturday, April 20 at 9 a.m. at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.

All proceeds from the Goal-a-Thon will benefit the Be The Match program in the name of Eastern soccer senior Jon DeCasanova, who was diagnosed with aplastic anemia this past fall and has spent most of the past eight months in the hospital.

The Goal-a-Thon involves Eastern players and alumni divided into teams of 4-6 and will play timed, small-sided games until a combined total of 100 goals are scored.The minimum sponsorship is 5 cents per goal.

Prior to the Goal-a-Thon,  15-year-old Tyler Belfleur of Canterbury will be outfitted in a team uniform and will join team members during official introductions as part of the Team IMPACT! Program.  In June of 2012, Tyler was involved in an ATV accident and sustained brain injury. Since then, he has advanced from a wheelchair to a walk and now needs only a crutch. Prior to the injury, Tyler was active in soccer and basketball, among other sports.

Team IMPACT is a non-profit organization chartered to improve the quality of life for children facing life-threatening illnesses. The goal of the organization is to harness the power of teamwork by matching those courageous kids with college athletic teams. Team IMPACT children are "drafted" onto local college athletic teams and to the greatest extent possible, become "official" members of the team for the duration of their treatment, and beyond.

Tyler will be "drafted" by the Eastern soccer team prior to the Goal-a-Thon.

To support the Goal-a-Thon through a financial contribution, contact Eastern head men's soccer coach Greg DeVito at  860-465-4334 or at



 By Jonathan Mizger/Sports Information Staff




The National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA) has designated the month of March as National Athletic Training Month.

The theme of the second annual NATA month is Every Body Needs an Athletic Trainer. From the NATA  toolkit, the goal  is "to continue to reach those individuals and organizations that can help make a difference for athletic trainers when it comes to legislation, employment and public health."

At right: Athletic trainer Julie Alexander works recently with baseball catcher Ben Richards, who is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery. (Daniela Marchitto photo)

Promoting the awareness of athletic training to people who do not know what athletic trainers do is a key goal that the NATA looks to achieve. Educating people of the importance of athletic trainers and establishing relationships between student-athletes and athletic trainers are things to consider in promoting the awareness.

Eastern Connecticut State University has athletic trainers who work hard without needing any recognition or high praise. The athletic trainers at Eastern are people who are helpful to the student-athletes and make sure each are cleared to play based on the guidelines on handling a specific injury.

Below (from left): Eastern athletic trainers Julie Alexander, Stevie Clines, Tom Holton, Jarrett Sorge.

alexanderhead72dpi.jpgclines_head_72_0583USE.jpgholton_head72.jpgsorge_722012_0573_USE.jpgAthletic trainer Julie Alexander, who graduated from Eastern with a B.S. in Psychology and went on to earn a M.S. in Athletic Training at Old Dominion University, expressed her feelings on the importance of this month and beyond.

"I think that we will carry out our day-to-day functions the same way we always have," said Alexander. "Any athlete that comes in with an illness or an injury that's athletically-related, we care for the same way regardless of whether it's March, April, May, August or September.  I think this month of March is more to promote the field of athletic training to people who don't understand what it is that we do. A lot of people think athletic trainer, they think personal trainer, a strength coach, and while we do have some function in teaching strength and conditioning and techniques, we're also on the field emergency care, injury evaluation, treatment rehabilitation, returning to play concussion management, the list goes on and on."

Alexander, who was hired at her alma mater this past summer after many years at Division I Sacred Heart University, has been proud of helping out the people she has met in her field.

"After 20 plus years, I can tell you that anytime we have an injured athlete, the best day is the day that they return to their field of play," said Alexander.  "That is probably the most exciting thing about what we do, especially if it's an athlete that's been injured, had surgical interventions, has gone through post surgical rehabilitation in our room; returning to play is those days I look forward to. I enjoy every day but those are the days that are special."

As there are upsides, there are downsides for being an athletic trainer. Athletic trainer Tom Holton, who earned a B.S. in Physical Education from Eastern and an M.S.S. in Sports Medicine from the U.S. Sports Academy, noted that he loves his job but dislikes when he lets the student-athlete know the bad news.

"I love doing my job it's just part of the job you hate saying 'you can't play'," said Holton. "I really wish I could come into work every day and not have to do that.. The reality of the fact is that  there's people we have to hold out and tell them 'you're season's over, you got to have surgery' and deal with the emotions of that athlete and how they're going to handle 'my career is over'."

Holton, a staff member since 1999, noted how being able to get the student-athlete to get back in his or her field of play and watching him or her succeed is one of his proudest moments as an athletic trainer.

Eastern director of athletics  Dr. Jeff Konin, another Eastern alum,  has been an athletic trainer and a physical therapist. Konin mentioned how the importance of athletic trainers is not just for the collegiate level, but for all levels of competition.

"The purpose is to bring awareness to the general public, to bring awareness to the public of the importance of athletic trainers and the injury prevention care of the numerous student-athletes that participate in sports in all levels," said Konin. "At the high school level, less than 50 percent of high schools have an athletic trainer, and when every high school has programs but less than half of them have proper ways to care for the kids, that's why an awareness month is there to inform people of what they should be doing to provide appropriate programs. You wouldn't put them out there if you didn't have the fields, you wouldn't put them out there if you didn't have the coaches and you really shouldn't put them out there if you don't have the appropriate medical care for them."

As the spring season is starting to get into full-swing, so are the athletic trainers at Eastern working hard to make sure every student-athlete is evaluated and cleared to play. The month of March will be busy at Eastern with lacrosse, baseball, softball, and track & field. The Eastern athletic trainers will be the unsung heroes in helping our student-athletes,  not only during national NATA month, but every month of the academic year.

"I have the best job in the world," said Alexander. "In this job, you don't sit behind a desk or do the same thing every day . Every day is different , and you get to work with amazing people who you want to see get better when they get injured.. What's better than that?"

M-Basketball Dominates All-LEC Voting

Warriors honored with program-best four players; Preston is top rookie
Two freshmen players from young women's team are named All-Rookie


Clockwise from far left: Garrow, Robitaille, Preston, Salzillo

NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. --  The Eastern Connecticut State University men's basketball team set program bests when four players - two of them first-teamers - were named to the 2012/13 All-Little East Conference team, as voted upon by the eight conference head coaches.

Senior forward Chris Robitaille (Canton) and junior forward Mike Garrow (Terrvyville) were both selected to the six-player first team, while junior guard Brian Salzillo (North Haven) and freshman guard Trachone Preston (Enfield) were among five second-team picks.

In addition, Preston became the program's fourth Rookie-of-the-Year in seven years, following Edwin Ortiz (2006/07), salzillo2x372dpi_4237.jpgpreston2x372pdi_4229.jpgCourtney Simmons (2007/08) and program scoring leader Nick Nedwick (2008/09).

Eastern's four overall men's selections and two first-teamers led all conference schools in the balloting. It marked the first time in 26 years of conference play that as many as four Eastern players were recognized with the honor. Eastern had two first-team picks last year for the first time in Nedwick and Hamilton Levy.

Picked to finish third in the conference this year after losing four starters from the 2011/12 LEC regular-season and playoff championship squad, Eastern  rode to a second-place finish with a program-high 12 LEC regular-season triumphs against two losses. After losing two starters late in the season to injury, the second-seeded Warriors were eliminated in the LEC semifinals, but third-seeded Eastern rebounded to capture three straight games and hoist its first ECAC New England Division III championship trophy nine days later to post their fourth straight 20-win season (22-8).

A rebuilding Eastern women's team - whose starting lineup usually featured three sophomores and a freshmen - place two freshmen on the five-person All-Rookie Team in guard Brianna Leonard (Amherst, MA) and forward Jill Ritrosky (Pittsfield, MA), give the Warriors seven such selections in seven years.

The 6-foot-5 inch Robitaille led the conference in field goal percentage (.570) for the second straight year and was first in minutes (33.0), third in rebounding (8.4), fourth in scoring (14.6) and tied for ninth in assists (2.3).  He had 12 double-doubles (27th nationally), with five of them coming in the final seven games, and reached the 1,000-point mark in the final game of his career in the ECAC title game. Robitaille was the only Eastern player to receive LEC Player-of-the-Week honors this year, when he shared the honor in the second report of the season on Nov. 26.

Below: Leonard (left) and Ritrosky

leonard2x372dpi_9213.jpgritrosky2x372dpi.jpgThe MVP of the ECAC tournament after averaging 19.0 points and 7.3 assists with a .676 field goal percentage, Garrow was fifth in the LEC in scoring (14.6) and field goal percentage (.505) and 12th in rebounding (5.5). In the ECAC title game, he had 25 points and a career-high 14 rebounds and was 10-for-15 from the floor, including 4-for-5 from three-point range. After appearing in only the first five games of last year and earning a medical redshirt, Garrow was the only Eastern player this year to start all 30 games and was second only to Robitaille by averaging 32.7 minutes per game.

Salzillo led a balanced Eastern attack with a 15.0 scoring average - second in the conference -- with 67.3 percent of his points coming from three-point range. He led the conference with an Eastern season-record of 94 three-pointers - 35 more than his nearest LEC competitor - and is rated sixth nationally with 3.36 makes per game. He canned at least one three-pointer in all 28 games in which he appeared, extending his streak to 35 over a two-year span. Salzillo was second on the team in free throw percentage (.849) but did not have enough attempts to qualify in the LEC.

No rookie was recognized more often than Preston, who was named the conference's outstanding rookie three times over the course of the season. Preston, who started the final 24 games of the season, ranked second in the conference among freshmen with a 10.8 scoring average, was second overall in three-point field goal percentage (.459), tied for seventh in assists (2.5) and seventh in free throw percentage (.787). He led all LEC rookies in each of the latter three categories.

Leonard  and Ritrosky ranked 2-4 on the team in minutes played, combining for 44 starts. Leonard was third on the team in scoring (9.7) and third in rebounds and Ritrosky was first in free throw percentage (.742), second in rebounding (7.9) and fourth in scoring (9.5). The pair helped the Warriors to a share of third place in the conference, with their 8-6 LEC mark bettering the 4-10 showing of the previous year. Eastern finished 10-16, winning seven of 11 at one point after a 2-9 start.

Leonard was named both LEC Player and Rookie-of-the-Week Feb. 11 and was also the top rookie on Feb. 4. She scored a season-high 28 points Feb. 5 in a 70-55 conference home win over Western Connecticut Feb. 5 and recorded both of her season's double-doubles against the Colonials.

Ritrosky collected double figures in points in ten of the team's final 11 games, scoring nine in the other game in that stretch. In the season-ending  66-54 LEC tournament home loss to Rhode Island College, she had 16 points and 13 rebounds.










W-Basketball: Warriors Fall in LEC

Eastern's starters play all but one minute in 65-54 loss to RIC


WILLIMANTIC, Conn. - A lack of depth has hindered the Eastern Connecticut State University women's basketball season all year long.

Tuesday night in the opening round of the 2013 Little East Conference tournament, it crippled the Warriors... and ended their season.

At right: Jill Ritrosky drives to the basket in the first half of Tuesday's season-ending loss in the first round of the Little East tournament. (Photo by Courtney Weber).

Playing without freshman post player Erin Brooks (Billerica, MA) - who injured her thumb in Saturday's regular-season finale against UMass Boston - the fourth-seeded Warriors could not match the deep bench of No. 5 Rhode Island College and ended their season with a 66-54 loss to the defending conference champions at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.

While Rhode Island (16-10) got productivity from nine players, Eastern's (10-16) starters played - incredibly - all but one minute of the game as the Warriors could not repeat their two-point upset of the Anchorwomen of  three weeks ago.

Rhode Island's bench produced 30 points, 21 of them coming from senior forward Ashley O'Dell. O'Dell connected on all five of her three-point field goals and seven of eight shots from the floor in all en route to a game-high 21 points in 30 minutes off the bench.

Eastern dug an early hole in the game, and without re-enforcements, was ill-equipped to stage any sort of comeback. The Warriors missed 18 of their first 20 shots and turned the ball over six times in the first 14 minutes of the game and limped into the half on the short end of a 41-25 score.

 Eastern was unable to cut the gap to single figures in the second half, but twice were within a point of doing that in the final three-plus minutes. A driving layup by sophomore guard Taylor McBride (Willimantic) with 3:26 left made it 62-52, but after a steal by freshman forward Jill Ritrosky (Pittsfield, MA), Eastern missed two free throws. Moments later, sophomore forward Shannon McCourt (New Fairfield) drained a jumper to again make it a ten-point game, and the Warriors re-gained possession after an RIC miss, but couldn't convert on two inside chances.

Attempting to score its points inside, the Warriors attempted only one three-pointer in the game and were outscored by 21 points from behind the arc.

Ritrosky (16 points, 13 rebounds) and McCourt (16 points, 14 rebounds, 10-for-12 from the foul line) both had double-doubles for Eastern, with freshman guard Brianna Leonard (Amherst, MA) adding ten points and six rebounds and McBride a season-high ten points with five assists, four rebounds and three steals.

Eastern Athletics Weekly Tuesday/12:30


This week's edition of Eastern Athletics Weekly will air Tuesday, Feb. 19 between 12:30 and 1:30 p.m. on, originating from the Sports Center's Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium. Hosts Nick Aconfora, Sean Harrison and Nick Minutelli will preview Tuesday night's Little East Conference women's and men's basketball first-round home games against Rhode Island College and Western Connecticut, respectively. The Eastern women split the regular-season series against Rhode Island College while the men swept the Colonials. Joining the broadcast team will be representatives from the women's and men's coaching staffs. The show will also preview the 2013 Eastern men's lacrosse season, which gets underway Wednesday against Castleton State College at 4 p.m. at Castleton, VT. Joining the broadcast team will be Eastern senior defenseman John DiPietro. The show is archived immediately upon its completion in the "Recent Archives" section of

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