Get the latest
Coach Keith Cieplicki looks to make another run at the America
East championship this year. Winning the regular season title
last year was a big step for the program, and our focus this year
will be to maintain that level of excellence, says Cieplicki.
Our goal is to be playing our best basketball at the end of the
With seven of last seasons top players returning, Vermont is
ready to make another run for the top of the very competitive
America East. The quality of the conference is the best it has
ever been, says Coach Tom Brennan, entering his 13th season at
UVM. Six or seven teams are legitimate contenders and I believe
we are one of them.
Last years team exceeded all expectations by finishing the season
in third-place for the conference and posting a school record
eleven wins in conference play. Last season we flirted with the
top which has motivated the kids to improve in the offseason,
Brennan says. Our success, and earning the respect that comes
with it, has given great visibility to the program. Now the players
and the community believe we can be champions.
Key returning players trying to make that happen are Jared Steele,
Craig Peper, Matt Chotkowski, Tony Orciari, David Roach, and Tobe
The UVM mens hockey team enters the 1998-99 season with a roster full of experienced players and a strong incoming class. The Catamounts, 10-20-4 overall and 7-11-4 in ECAC play last season, showed strong character through the year in dealing with some adversity. Vermont returns the top six scorers and all six defensemen from the 1997-98 team, as well as one of the top young goaltenders in the league. Combine that with seven newcomers and Coach Mike Gilligans Catamounts appear to be in position to battle for the league title this year.
Coach Roy Pattons team, which finished 12-5-2 last season, is
looking for more good things in 1998. Patton returns seven starters
from last years team, and adds three impact freshmen as the Cats
try to qualify for the AMERICA EAST tournament, which will be
held at UVM in November. The top returning players for Vermont
include co-captains Phil Signoroni and Chris Rose, and seniors
Mark deCastro and Brian Kurtz. Signoroni, one of the top defenders
in New England, was a first-team All-Conference pick last season,
while Rose was one of the regions top goalies. deCastro was second
on the team in scoring in 1997 with six goals and two assists,
and Kurtz has been a defensive mainstay for three years.
The Catamounts return 16 letterwinners and more than 70 percent
of the teams scoring in 1998 after a 9-7-1 campaign in 1997.
Second-year head coach Jodi Kenyon also has a slew of highly touted
recruits coming in, and looks forward to a top finish in the conference.
Top returners include All-Conference standouts Megan Mattes and
Corinne Imperatore and sophomore standout Carolyn Nedderman. Add
to them second-team All-Conference sweeper Stacey Williams, top
defender Michelle Savoie, and veteran goalie Eileen Narcotta,
and the Catamounts have the nucleus of an NCAA qualifier.
Coach Jen Niebling 93: Keeping the Tradition
It was comfortable being a UVM womens basketball fan when Jen
Niebling 93 joined the Catamount team in 1989. Even with just
one side of the bleachers open, her parents had plenty of room
to stretch out and watch the games after driving up from their
home in Randolph, Vt. They liked it that way, Niebling remembers
with a smile. When they yelled, they knew that their daughter
would hear them out on the court.
Things got louder and fans started to lose their leg room during
Nieblings sophomore year. Over the next three years, the womens
basketball team, under the leadership of former coach Cathy Inglese,
put together an NCAA record winning streak, made two appearances
in the NCAA Tournament, and attracted full houses to Patrick Gymnasium.
Niebling shakes her head when she looks back on those years, Everything
was so fast paced. It really took over our lives for a while.
Niebling was a key part of that success, a true floor leader with
a hard-nosed style that set the tone for her teammates. While
excelling on the basketball court, Niebling also distinguished
herself in the classroom. A political science major, she was named
second-team Academic All-American her senior year.
For the past year, Niebling has been at home again in Patrick
Gym, where she is an assistant coach for womens basketball. Keith
Cieplicki, assistant during Nieblings playing days, is now the
head coach, leading a program that continues to excel.
Interaction with the players, seeing them accomplish things they
might not have thought were possible, is the best part of her
job, Niebling says. She realized that sports would be a part of
her future while spending 1994-95 in law school at George Washington
University. Niebling says she came to realize that I need to
be in the athletic world. Its where my heart is.