DWC women save best for last

NASHUA – They know there’s only about a month left in not only their season, but their existence.

Thus, the Daniel Webster College women’s basketball team may be saving its best for last after a horrendous start to the 2016-17 season. The Eagles beat New England Collegiate Conference foe Lesley on Thursday and despite a loss at Regis, DWC sits at 6-12 overall, 4-7 NECC, but that’s a strong turnaround considering the Eagles started the year 0-8.

"Yes, we’re kind of getting going here over the second semester," Eagles coach Andrea Woodbury said. "It’s all about finally coming together, getting to know each other, getting 100 percent into the plan and the system.

"With the school, this is it. They’re disappointed, but some of them know they’re moving on (to perhaps play elsewhere next season). They’re going out there to play with pride and play together."

The Eagles have been relying on their one-two punch of Kayla Free, averaging 17.6 points a game, and Escarlin Reynoso, who is scoring at a 13.4 ppg clip. But a local, former Souhegan player Amanda Gendron, is contributing five points and three reounds a game as well.

Free is a senior, Reynoso is a junior, and that experience is something Woodbury has tried to take advantage of. Most of these players have been together for a while.

"That’s the biggest thing," she said. "For most of these players, they’ve been together three or four years. That gives us some chemistry that really helps."

The Eagles try to push the ball up the floor. They struggled early in the season in their non-conference schedule, losing their first eight games from mid-November to early December.

Then things clicked. They beat Thomas College, 84-79, for their first win and then enjoyed a stretch of victories in four out of five. They beat conference foes Southern Vermont, Newbury and Bay Path.

"They’ve all been together," Woodbury said. "It’s a matter of growing up, going to their strengths. Just playing the game the way they have."

Perhaps their best win was a 77-70 triumph over Dean College, as Free had 24 points while Reynoso added 20. That’s the forumula that works for this team.

The Eagles certainly aren’t among the NECC elite, but they’ll host third-place Elms (10-8 overall, 8-3 conference) Tuesday. Regis is 12-0 in conference play, while Becker is second at 9-2.

"In our conference, you never know," Woodbury said. "But we’ve got an opportunity here."

Local impact

Here’s a look at what other locals are doing recently for their respective schools:

? Nashua’s Kayla Farren finished third recently in the 3,000 meter run for the University of New Hampshire against Dartmouth College.

? On the men’s side at UNH, Amherst’s Nathan Kittredge was a member of the winning 4×400 relay team for the Wildcats vs. Dartmouth.

? Campbell alum Nicole Kordingley is currently skiing for St. Michael’s College in Burlington, Vt. A fifth-year member of the program, she competed in six carnivals last year and scored in two events. The season opened up last week and Kordingley was one of five Purple Knights finishing in the top 40 in a win at St. Lawrence University, finishing 36th.

? Freshman Alanna Murphy is having a good start to her career for the Southern New Hampshire University women’s track team. She helped SNHU capture the recent Panther Invitational at Plymouth State, taking the 60-meter hurdles and the triple jump. She beat out a field of eight finalists in the hurdles, and in the triple jump she soared 10.82 meters (35 feet, 6 inches).

But she’s not the only freshman contributing to the Penmen cause. Litchfield’s Savannah Reinitzer finished 10th in the 200-meter dash in 30.56 seconds, one of five Penmen in the top 10.

? Still at SNHU, Amherst’s Devin Gilligan is having quite a basketball season for the Penmen. The other night he pumped in 21 points while grabbing five rebounds in a 78-73 win over LeMoyne.

Former Merrimack standout Dimitri Floras had 10 points and two boards. At last look, the senior Gilligan is averaging 21.3 points a game, while the junior Floras is at 12.2.

Rivier rewarded

That didn’t take long. After one weekend of play, the Rivier University men’s volleyball team took two Great Northeast Athletic Conference awards.

The Raiders lost 3-0 to Division III’s top-ranked team in the nation, Springfield, but also beat Endicott 3-0, splitting the tri-match. Junior Garrett Bucklin (Jamestown, R.I.) was named the GNAC Corvias Defensive Player of the Week with 3.50 digs per set (21 in the two matches).

Meanwhile, Coventry, R.I., freshman Cam Roth was selected as the GNAC Corvais Rookie of the Week. He had 10 kills and nine digs in the Endicott win, his first as a Raider.