Spartan standouts

The start of the winter sports seasons has been rough for almost all of the Castleton teams. The men’s hockey team stumbled out of the gates and is 1-5-1, while the women’s hockey team posted its first win in over a month on Dec. 12, and is now 3-7-1. The men’s basketball team started at 0-7 going into last year’s holiday break, but this season the team enters break 4-4, already showing vast improvements under Paul Culpo’s watch. The women’s basketball team won the North Atlantic Conference last year, but lost some key players coming into this season. The team is off to a 4-5 start. On a good note, though, the team may have found two young answers to bring it back to a NAC title.After graduating 1,000-point scorers Mary Nienow and Jessica Banks, the Spartans had big shoes to fill. Freshman guard Tarryn Bolognani and sophomore guard/forward Vanessa Powers have begun providing the Spartans with a young offensive surge.

Bolognani was named the NAC rookie of the week on Nov. 30. She earned the honors with her 16-point performance in Castleton’s loss to Plymouth.

Powers has been a hot hand for the Spartans lately also, scoring 16 points and grabbing eight rebounds in Castleton’s win at Elms College on Dec. 12.

The combination of Bolognani and Powers on the boards has been a difference maker for this year’s team as well. Powers leads the team with 49 rebounds, but Bolognani sits close behind with 48. Both players are averaging just over five rebounds a game. Their efforts on the rebounding front have been a shock, considering they both lead the team in scoring as well.

Powers leads all Spartans on the season with 84 points, averaging about nine points a game. Bolognani has slowed down in the scoring column, but has still totaled 77 points on the year so far. Bolognani only scored four points against Elms, but racked up eight assists and seven rebounds in the Spartans’ win.

Powers and Bolognani may not turn out to be 1,000-point scorers for Castleton, but they bring a more balanced game to the court. The Spartans graduated two historic players and, in the season following their leave, have now found two worthy candidates to step up and carry the program back to a national platform.

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