What to Watch For in NYU Sports This Fall

Michael Thompson, Staff Writer

In a flash, the NYU fall sports schedule is upon us, with a slew of teams and athletes ready to retake the field for another season. From cross country to volleyball, take a look at WSN’s comprehensive preview for the upcoming sports year.

Cross Country

Season Opener: Ron Stonitsch Invitational, hosted by Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY (Sept. 10)

Graduated Seniors: Five

Athletes to watch: Senior Jorge Maldonado and junior Emily Dethlefs

The cross country team will return this season with new faces and new leadership. Former assistant coach Erison Hurtault has been promoted to the head position and hopes to lead the Violets to another successful season. The Violets will be without Lily Corsaro, who finished her collegiate last season with an appearance in the NCAA Championship. Meanwhile, Emily Dethlefs, who finished behind Corsaro in the UAA championship, will anchor the women’s squad.

On the men’s side, Maldonado will look to carry his momentum from last season into 2016. In six appearances, Maldonado posted three top-three finishes last year.


Season Opener: Lawrence Invitational in Canton, NY (Sept. 3-4)

Graduated Seniors: Two (one for both men’s and women’s squads)

Athletes to Watch: Sophomores Derrek Drozdyk and Jenni Bluetling

Following in the trend of new coaching, after a three-year detour to coach at Millsaps College, Brad Johnson is returning as the Violets’ head coach, previously serving in the assistant position where in 2012-2013 he helped lead the women’s squad to a strong season, earning accolades for him and his fellow coaches.

While Julius Oppenheimer and Savannah Graham have moved on to the next stage of their lives, each side has plenty of talent to compensate. The women, who finished last season with UAA and Liberty League Championships, have a wealth of talent, most notably Jenni Bluetling.

Derrek Drozdyk, who also had a coming out party in his first season, earned All-UAA honors last season and will be returning for his second season with the chance to post even lower scores.

Men’s Soccer

Season Opener: Home against Brooklyn College at Gaelic Park in Riverdale, NY

Graduated Seniors: Three

Athlete to Watch: Junior Malcolm Montilus

After a highly inconsistent season, the Violets return to the pitch with a solid core of returning players, include juniors Nicolas Notaro and Montilus, who led the team in points last season. The team was plagued with low scoring and weak defending, leading to a 5-11 record and a winless conference record. However, the Violets hope to turn things around in 2016.

Women’s Soccer

Season Opener: Away against St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue, NY

Graduated Seniors: Five

Athlete to Watch: Senior Lexi Clarke

While the men struggled last season, the women’s squad put together a quality campaign, going 15-5-1, with a stellar 9-2 record at their home field of Gaelic Park. Though the Violets are losing five seniors, including their captain Sofi Toohey, Lexi Clarke—who led the team with 15 points last season—and new head coach Scott Waddell have all of the tools to put together another compelling year.


Season Opener: The College of New Jersey Invitational in Ewing, NJ (Sept. 9-10)

Graduated Seniors: Four (One for the men’s team, and three for the women)

Athlete to Watch: Senior Matt DeMichiel

The tennis season was a tale of two teams last year, as the men struggled and the women dominated. With a 5-10 record, but with several standouts along the way, the men limped to the finish. However, Matt DeMichiel finished 14-5 last year, and was named to the All-UAA Second team.

With a 9-4 record, the women’s squad was nationally ranked for the first time in team history, with outstanding seasons from players like sophomore Fleura Shiyanova, sophomore Vanessa Scott and senior Laila El Dessouki posting stellar records. They will all rejoin a team that boasts the seventh best recruiting class in Division III, according to tennisrecruiting.net.

Women’s Volleyball

Season Opener: NYU Labor Day Invitational at the Hunter Sportsplex (Sept. 2-3)

Graduated Seniors: One

Athlete to Watch: Junior Alexis Jackson

Plagued by inconsistency, the Violets struggled to a 13-16 record, with a difficult 1-6 conference mark. Though the team is losing captain Nicole Frias, coach Jolie Ward’s bunch is filled with young talent, especially junior outside hitter Alexis Jackson, who led the team in kills, averaging 2.39 per set.

Email Michael Thompson at [email protected].