Men’s swimming team wins third straight title


Courtesy of Baruch Athletics

Isaiah Hinton

In the realm of swimming and diving, the CUNY Athletic Conference finals saw the Bearcats dominate, as the men won their third consecutive conference championship and the women finished second in the conference. 

Although the women fell just short in their title defense, their finish marks the continuation of what can only be described as a dynasty. This year marks the 13th consecutive year in which the women finished in the top two of the conference standings. 

Captain Nicole Ousmanova led the charge for the Bearcats, as she broke multiple school records in the 100-yard and 50-yard backstrokes. In addition, she was part of the relay team that not only won the 200-yard and 400-yard freestyle relays, but she also helped Baruch qualify for the opens of the ECAC later this month. 

Another swimmer who dominated for the Bearcats was junior Amanda Lee. The co-captain took home first place in the 200-yard individual medley and the 100-yard freestyle. She was also part of both 200-yard freestyle and 200-yard medley relay teams who clinched a berth in the ECAC opens in Annapolis, Maryland. 

As for the seniors on the team, Andrea Gasic won her meet in the 50-yard freestyle medley and will be joining Ousmanova and Lee in Annapolis. 

In addition, Asimina Hamakiotes will round out the 200-yard medley team going to the
ECAC opens and received the 2019-2020 Dr. Jane Katz Academic, Athletics and Community Service Award.

The men saw outstanding performances from the entire team, as the Bearcats took control of the meets early and refused to take their foot off the gas pedal, outscoring second place Brooklyn College by more than 100 points. 

Junior Evan Nikolic won the CUNYAC Most Valuable Swimmer award after his monster weekend. Nikolic won the 100- and 200-yard butterfly and was a member of the relay teams that won the 200-yard freestyle and medley relays, as well as the 400-yard freestyle and medley relays. 

Senior captain Matthew Greenfield picked up 21 valuable points for the Bearcats, including first place in the 400-yard individual medley. 

Junior Dayan Ordabayev picked up gold in the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle. He also contributed to victory in the 200-yard freestyle, 400-yard medley, 400-yard freestyle and the 200-yard medley relays. Another member of the medley relay winning teams was senior Erik Kantar, who also picked
up first place in the 200-yard individual relay. 

Junior David Matskovsky proved vital to the title defense, as he was a member the relay teams that picked up maximum points for the Bearcats, as well
as all 9 points in the 200-yard backstroke. 

 “To win the CUNYAC championship for the third year in a row is amazing. We worked hard as a team to get to this point and everyone swam well in the championship,” Matskovsky remarked on Baruch’s title defense. 

“Lots of people earned medals and dropped a good amount of time. We even had Nikolic win MVP which he rightfully deserved. The pressure was definitely there, especially during the events I swam. However, we got the job done and brought the
title back to Baruch for the third time.”

From the pool to the hardwood, both Baruch basketball teams fell victim to the Bloodhounds of John Jay College of Criminal Justice. The women started the game
extremely slow, only making two shots from the field in the first quarter. 

In the second half, the Bearcats started to show more fight, knocking down some shots from downtown and outscoring John Jay to end the game. However, they could not overcome their first half woes, and lost 79-50. 

Nia Dawson led the Bearcats in scoring with 18 points, while also adding five rebounds, two steals and two assists in a solid all-around game. 

Junior forwards Melinda Spahiu and Daniela Zirpolo crashed the glass, collecting nine and eight rebounds respectively. Frances Snyder also contributed nine points in the losing effort. 

However, the women found that their next game against the Medgar Evers College Cougars was just what the doctor ordered,
as the Bearcats found their groove again. 

Snapping a two-game losing streak, the ladies dominated from start to finish, defeating Medgar Evers 70-39. Their suffocating defense, which included some full-court presses, generated 31 turnovers and limited the Cougars to less than 30% shooting. 

Three starters ended the game in double figures, while Snyder also contributed 10 points off the bench. Zirpolo had an impressive outing, leading the team in scoring with 17 points while adding five steals and five rebounds. 

Milly Ye scored 14 points in a solidly efficient night and Sameera Ahmed led the team in rebounds with seven while also scoring 10 points. 

The Bearcats took one step closer to clinching a CUNYAC quarterfinal home game.

The men did not fare much better against John Jay, losing 67-51. Like the women, the men came out cold to start in the first half, only making seven of their first 27 shot attempts. 

In the second half, the Bearcats stared the barrel of defeat and fought back, shooting more efficiently to end the game. 

Baruch was able to cut John Jay’s lead to 12 points in the second half before succumbing to the hole they dug for themselves in the first half. Off the bench, Ryan Graziano led the Bearcats with 11 points and Emil Purisic added nine points along with four rebounds. 

Dominating the boards for the Bearcats was senior Benjamin Boateng, who collected 12 rebounds and added eight points in the losing effort. The men dropped to a record of 12 wins and seven losses.

While the women rediscovered their mojo against Medgar Evers, the Cougars proved to be a tougher opponent for the men, as the Bearcats were defeated in heartbreaking fashion 59-56. 

Medgar Evers led for most of the matchup, as the players’ willingness to shoot the three-pointer gave them a slim three-point lead heading into halftime. 

The Bearcats were more efficient in the first half and established a presence in the paint, led by eight rebounds from Boateng and seven each from Graziano and George Smyth Jr. 

However, the second half saw Baruch attack its deficit through shooting from downtown. An aggressive approach to be sure, but a futile one as the men were cold, only making two threes in the latter half. 

Purisic led the Bearcats in scoring with 13 points in the losing effort, while Smyth Jr. recorded his first double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 rebounds. 

Transitioning from the world of bounce passes to the world of bump passes, the men’s volleyball team saw its two-match winning run snapped in emphatic fashion, losing in straight sets to the Violets of New York University. 

Held to a hitting percentage just above ten, the Bearcats looked mismatched from the first set, which saw NYU register 15 kills and only two errors. 

Meni Musheyev’s performance was a mere consolation in a forgettable night for the men, registering seven aces and two blocks. Justin Iloulian also registered six kills to aid the attack. 

The loss dropped Baruch below .500 but offered the opportunity for redemption in a doubleheader against Raptors of Bard College and the Pride of Regis College.

Editor’s Note: Erik Kantar and Julian Tineo are the Photography Editor and a production assistant of The Ticker.