Every sports fan knows the term offseason shouldn’t be taken loosely. While competition ceases, off-field action ramps up. Here are the top signings, releases and other developments across GW sports that you may have missed this summer:
Baseball made additions to both its roster and its coaching staff. A 13-player recruiting class with standout players, like freshman utility player Joe Biancone, will join the Colonials next season. The squad hopes to return to the postseason after falling short for the first time in five years.
The Colonials are also adding new names to their coaching staff this offseason. Recent Hofstra graduate Tim Dold will serve as the director of baseball operations, and 2019 Virginia Military Institute graduate Ryan Smoot was tapped as a volunteer assistant coach.
Head coach Jennifer Rizzotti added two graduate student transfers – guard Ariel Stephenson and forward Alexandra Maund, who both have three seasons of collegiate play under their belt – to the roster this season. Freshman forward Faith Blethen and freshman guard Essence Brown will also join GW on the hardwood this season.
Recently graduated point guard Mei-Lyn Bautista was nominated for the NCAA Woman of the Year Award. The former leading scorer for the Colonials also announced this summer that she will continue her professional basketball career as a member of the Gilas Pilipinas women’s team.
Outside of GW, Rizzotti was named an assistant coach in June for the USA Basketball Women’s National Team for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
Last season, junior midfielder and forward Oscar Haynes Brown had a breakout offensive performance, becoming the first Colonial to score double-digit goals in a single season since 2011. His contributions paid off this summer with a nomination for the Atlantic 10 Preseason All-Conference team.
On the women’s side, redshirt senior defender Megan McCormick earned a place on the A-10 Preseason All-Conference team. She helped shut out five opponents last season and turned in her best offensive showing of the season against Delaware, logging one goal, two assists and six shots on frame.
The team also added five new players to its roster in June, including three transfers and two freshmen.
The Colonials added Greg Pieczynski to their coaching staff as an assistant coach. Pieczynski started his career as a player at Penn State University and won 25 tournaments throughout his career. Head coach Chuck Scheinost cited Pieczynski’s years of playing experience as one of the strengths he will bring to the program.
Men’s water polo
The reigning Mid-Atlantic Water Polo Conference champions were selected as the preseason co-favorites in the annual preseason poll. The Colonials also checked in at No. 15 in the Collegiate Water Polo National Poll. GW is looking to nab its third straight conference title this season.
Junior Cole Dorsey was selected as a member of the U.S. Rowing Under 23 National Team, joining the 10 other GW rowing alumni who have been selected for national competition.
The Varsity 8 boat also made GW history at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championship, earning a program-best No. 13 national overall ranking.
The Colonials nabbed second at the A-10 Championship with their highest score in program history. The squad’s 48 points was the largest score earned by any GW team at the championship to date.
The A-10 released the men’s basketball schedule pairings in July for the upcoming season. Every team will face each conference foe once and five teams in home-and-away series. At home, GW will face Davidson, La Salle, Rhode Island and Saint Joseph’s, leaving Dayton, Massachusetts, Saint Louis and VCU for the road.
The Smith Center
Athletic department officials announced the Smith Center will undergo several enhancements, including a new court design and a new high-definition video display system, before the start of the basketball season. The Smith Center scoreboard fell onto the court last year.