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The fall sports teams look forward to a new season, new players and new challenges

Eastern’s fall sports teams are looking forward to big competitions and new challenges as the 2005 season rolls around.

Last year’s men’s soccer, women’s soccer, tennis, volleyball and field hockey teams are back with the addition of a new cross country team to the fall lineup.

The new co-ed cross country team is coached by Eric Mundy. The women’s team is led by senior Stephanie Scott, anthropology major, and the men are led by junior Brendon Krout, biokinetics major.

“We hope to build a strong foundation for the future of running at Eastern University. Using early long distance training for most of the season and then a speed taper toward the end, the team hopes to be in peak performance by the PAC championship,” Coach Mundy said.

Eastern’s volleyball team is looking to capture its ninth consecutive PAC championship this season.

Led by head coach Mark Birtwistle and assistant coach Abby VanMater, the team consists of an even mixture of returning players and new additions to Eastern’s community.

The captains for this season’s team are Erin Meredith and Jacey Bray, both of whom are seniors.

The team is looking forward to competing in a total of three national tournaments this fall, including one in Chicago.

“There are lots of big games for us this year; however we are looking forward to Homecoming when we will play Cabrini. They will probably be our best competition,” VanMater said.

The women’s tennis team welcomes new leadership this season from two recent EU graduates, head coach Ang Sprock (’04) and assistant coach Nate Stutzman (’05), both of whom played tennis here as students.

“Some of the bigger matches to watch for this season are Marywood, Cabrini and Gwynedd-Mercy, who we will play for Homecoming,” Sprock said.

“Our team is really focusing on team unity and being a family that supports one another. We also want to provide a feeling of safety, and to have fun,” senior captain Krista Sirois said.

This will be the women’s soccer team’s fourth year under the leadership of Coach Dan Mouw.

Also leading the team this season are senior captain Stefani Bodrog and junior captains Elaine Wagner and Molly Carr.

With 13 first-year players and only six returners, Coach Mouw still holds big expectations and hopes for this season.

“We want to win the league and get back into the Mid-Atlantic rankings,” Mouw said, “I am thrilled with the freshman class. They’re good. We needed quality players this season, and we got them. The returners also came fit. This team has been a great team to coach this pre-season.”

The men’s soccer team is another team which is fairly young this upcoming season, with two first-year players as potential starters.

Under the leadership of head coach Mark Wagner and senior captains Shane Rineer and Brandon Ziegler, the men are looking forward to the competition.

“We always start off the season wanting to win the Conference championship,” said senior Jon Ruiz, forward.

The women’s field hockey team anticipates another successful season this fall, led by their new head coach, Camrin Azzarano.

“We are working hard to build a strong team that will continue in our competitive tradition in our conference,” Azzarano stated.

Captains Hope Roush and Christy Miller will also help lead the team of 17 ladies, eight of whom are new additions to the team.

Becky Hewes, a transfer student, commented on the team’s dynamic: “The older girls on the team are like big sisters to us.”

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