by Drew Kingsley, Assistant Director of Athletic Communications
The Chargers’ volleyball program, led this past fall by Head Coach Robin Salters ’91, captured its second consecutive Northeast-10 Conference Championship and qualified for the NCAA postseason for the eighth straight season — advancing to the NCAA Div. II East Region Championship Match. Amber Cannady ’14 led the Chargers on the court with two All-America honors, including First Team recognition by Daktronics, Inc.
On the gridiron this fall, a win over Assumption as a part of Northeast-10 Championship Weekend staked New Haven football to an 8-3 final record; the Chargers have won eight or more contests in each of the last four seasons. Mike DeCaro ’14 and Michael Flacco ’16 each collected All-America nods and Najae Brown ’17 was named the Don Hansen Football Gazette National Freshman of the Year in addition to Northeast-10 Rookie of the Year honors.
New Haven women’s soccer completed its most successful season as a member of the Northeast-10 Conference, finishing with a record of 11-5-3. The 2013 Chargers began the fall with a program-record eight-match unbeaten streak and won the first NE-10 postseason match in team history with a 5-1 triumph at Merrimack in the quarterfinal round. Monica Yanez ’14 and Amber Simms ’15 each garnered First Team All-Northeast-10 laurels as the team’s high-scoring starting forwards. Simms added Daktronics Honorable Mention All-America honors and Yanez collected an Academic All-America selection for her performance in the classroom.
Fielding a lineup that included 10 freshmen and five sophomores, New Haven men’s soccer laid the foundation for success with second-year head coach Roy Fink at the helm. The Chargers concluded 2013 with a last-second goal to defeat Bentley and end the season on a high note.
The women’s tennis team went 5-2 overall with a 3-2 Northeast-10 mark in the fall portion of its schedule. Eva Rybka ’16 was twice named Northeast-10 Player of the Week for the Chargers, who begin their spring slate on March 23 at Merrimack. Rounding out the fall were the men’s and women’s cross country teams. Both squads competed at the Northeast-10, New England, and NCAA Div. II East Region Championships.
On the track, six-time All-America sprinter Ada Udaya ’15 has already confirmed her return to the NCAA Championships for New Haven’s women’s indoor track and field team. She ran a blazing 7.41 seconds in the 60-meter dash to automatically qualify for the national meet and has posted a provisional qualifying time in the 200-meter dash. Ivy Watts ’15 (400-meter dash) and the duo of Briana Conyers ’15 and Tiara Mitchell ’15 (triple jump) have all met provisional qualifying standards for the NCAA Championship in their respective events. For the Charger men’s track and field team, Matthew Jeune ’15 has returned from an injury that sidelined him for all of last season to meet the NCAA provisional qualifying mark in the high jump.
A pair of career milestones highlights a successful start to the season for New Haven men’s basketball. With a 21-point effort on January 8, Jeffery Adkins ’14 became the 33rd member of the Chargers’ 1,000-Point Club and has since risen into the top-25 all-time at New Haven. Eric Anderson ’15 is among the nation’s leaders in rebounds, blocked shots, and double-doubles, and the Chargers are collectively one of the top defensive teams in Division II.
First-year head coach Ty Grace ’99 led New Haven women’s basketball to its best start since 2006–07 as the Chargers look to repeat and improve upon last winter’s return to the NE-10 postseason. With only one senior in the starting lineup, New Haven began the campaign at 4-0 and has established its place near the top of the Northeast-10 Southwest Division. Both Briana Bradford ’16 and Aquillin Hayes ’15 guided the offense with several 20-point performances apiece this season.