Posted on Jun 5, 2001

Dan Cole, a junior at Scotia-Glenville High School, welcomed the Class of '01 on the bag pipes.

The athletic department ended a successful 2000-01 athletic season on May 29 by saluting the 78 senior student-athletes who have given so much of your time and talents to Union College and especially to Union athletics these past four years at a banquet at the Edison Club.

Bob McNamara, the “dean” of local television sports news was the event's emcee while Rich Romer, Class of 1988, was the night's guest speaker. Union College President Roger Hull presented the “President's Award” to the women's volleyball team, the men's ice hockey team and the crew team as the programs with the highest grade point average and Val Belmonte, Union's Director of Athletics presented the “Director's Award” to Melissa Matusewicz as the year's “Outstanding Athlete” and to the women's soccer coach, Brian Speck, as the College's “Coach of the Year.

Union enjoyed a great deal of success during the 2000-01 season, both collectively and individually. Women's soccer and football got things rolling last fall with invitations to the NCAA championship tournament. Additionally, the women's soccer team won their second Upstate Collegiate Athletic Association championship in the last three years and captured their second consecutive New York State Women's Collegiate Athletic Association Crown. The women's volleyball team was also invited to the state's postseason tournament, completing a very successful campaign.

The winter season was highlighted by the women's basketball team, which won a college-record 18 games and earned its first postseason invitation in the sport's 26-year history. The men's swim team qualified four of its members for the NCAA championship meet.

Softball dominated the spring success as the Dutch-
women captured their first state championship by winning a rare triple header against New York's top two rated teams. The Dutchwomen finished with their third-straight 20-win campaign.

Individually, Matusewicz headed a field of nine All-Americans as she was named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America team. During the year Union had 26 players named to the UCAA All-Conference First-Team in their respective sports with 12 others named to the second team and six honorable mention selections. A total of 44 men and women were selected to the UCAA as “Player or Rookie of the Week.”

Senior baseball standout Jay Warzala and Matusewicz were among the Union players selected as “Players of the Year” by the UCAA coaches in their respective sports.

Most importantly, there were 59 student-athletes, not including freshmen, who generated a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 or better and were selected to represent Union College as members of the UCAA “All-Academic Team.”

Also recognized for their accomplishments this year were
the winners of the annual “Prize Day” awards, which honored the male and female “Athlete of the Year” in each class. They are as follows:
senior Bryan Slekes (football and baseball);
senior Melissa Matusewicz (soccer);
junior Yvonne Turchetti (field hockey and lacrosse);
junior Brandon Snee (ice hockey);
sophomore Ridgley Harrison (crew and swimming);
sophomore Jill Ring (basketball and softball);
freshman Victoria Kuzman (soccer and basketball);
freshman Adam Retersdorf (swimming and crew).

Also recognized were senior Julie Cardettino (soccer and softball) as the winner of the Women's Commission Senior Athlete of the Year and Kuzman, who won the Women's Commission “Athletic Promise” award.Among the highlights of the evening were the awards presentation in which all 78 seniors had their pictures presented on screen while they came up to receive their senior gift. Those who earned a Block U Watch for earning a varsity letter throughout their respective careers were also recognized at this time.

The athletic department would like to thank the following sponsors who helped make the night possible. They are:
Hudson River Bank & Trust Company, who donated the senior gifts.
Dinner Table Sponsors:
Anaconda Sports, Boathouse Sports, Brown Coach; DC Sports, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Jim Gross ('63), Marty's True Value, Mark Richter ('91), Stadium Systems, Stoney Lane & Pizzeria and William R. Grant ('49).
Athlete Sponsors included:

Lynn Bateman Pulliman ('78), Howard Blum, Jr. ('70), George & Janice Caraberis, The Collin Group, D&D Automotive, Dental Offices, LLP, Kevin & Diane Eberly ('80), Geppetto's, Eric & Wendy Goidel ('79), Robert & Susan Krickovich, Kenneth & Anne Kroell, Joe & Elizabeth Milano ('36), John Parillo, MD ('57), Richard Roberts ('50), Dorothy Scarpinato ('80), David & Linda Slekes, Richard Swan ('70), Evan & Betsy Anne Vinton ('86), Stan & Barbara White ('73), Lawrence Withington, MD ('32).

Union College athletics wishes to sincerely thank and congratulate the 78 members of the Class of '01 who have left a legacy for future classes to follow.