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Athletic Team News
Baseball Advances to Final; Lax Falls Just Short
On Friday, Varsity Baseball will seek its 4th straight New England title when they square off against Dexter School from Boston. The championship game will take place at Bentley College in Waltham, Mass. at 4:30. The Hornets earned another trip to the final as a result of a solid 11-1 victory over Master's School of West Simsbury. The Lions, the Hudson Valley League champions, entered the game with a 16-3 record and had reached the semifinals with an upset win over FAA foe King School. But any hopes of pulling another upset were quickly dashed by the relentless Hornets bats. HH scored one run in the 1st inning, two in the 2nd, and four in the 4th, to create a comfortable 7-1 cushion for Ronnie LoRicco on the mound. Unfortunately, LoRicco had to leave the game with an injury. Will Rhone cleaned up with three strong innings in relief. The Hornets added four more in the 6th in a 10 hit barrage to cement their trip to Boston. The Hornets will have quite a battle on their hands with Dexter, seeded #1 in the east bracket. Both LoRicco and Ian Fagan will be unavailable to pitch, so the Hornets will need a clutch game from everyone if they hope to hoist the trophy yet again.

        The Boys Lacrosse team was ever so close to joining baseball in a trip to the championship, but they fell just short 8-7 at #1 seed St. Luke's of New Canaan. The Hornets kept it a low scoring and tight affair with tenacious defense and plenty of heart in the sweltering heat. Unfortunately, they had lost high scoring Corey Millhouse in the semifinal against Cheshire Academy. Though the team still played very well as a unit, Millhouse's stick may have made the difference. The Hornets remained within a goal of The Storm throughout the second half, and in the dying seconds had a chance to tie the score, but were denied. Nevertheless, congratulations to Coach Warnock and the entire program for a great comeback year.

Baseball & Boys Lax Advance to New England Semifinals
The defending New England champion baseball squad got off to a strong start on Monday with a 10-0 win over Christian Heritage School of Trumbull. Anthony Capasso (3-1) dominated the visiting Kingsmen, while the Hornet bats rang out loud and often. The game was called in the bottom of the fifth inning when the Hornets scored their tenth run, invoking the "mercy" rule. Heritage finishes with a record of 12-5, while Hamden Hall, seeded #1 in the west bracket, is currently 17-4 and will host #2 Master's School of West Simsbury on Wednesday at 4:30.
        The boys lax team may not have a recent history of New England tournament success like baseball's; nonetheless, they have established themselves as a force to be reckoned with, both in the Fairchester league as well as in the circle of New England small schools. After a shaky 0-4 start to the season, the Hornets began to gel and went 8-3 before falling 14-13 to Rye Country Day in the FAA tournament.
        On Monday the Hornets, seeded #2 in the west bracket, matched up against local rival Cheshire Academy in the New England quarterfinals. The hotly contested game remained close throughout the first half, with the Hornets going into the break with a 4-3 lead. The third quarter saw a balanced attack by the Hornets score 4 goals, while the defense held the visiting Cats to only 2. Cheshire would not go away, however, and closed the gap to 9-7 late in the fourth quarter before the Hornets secured the 10-8 win.
        Cam Kranich, Matt Peel, Matt Stapleton, Corey Millhouse, and Luke Tomak all found the back of the net for the Hornets. NuKwan Fair, Nick Neumeister, Miles Cogdell, Sal Rosa, as well as Kranich and Tomack dished out assists, while Justice Antrum held Cheshire's main scoring threat to 1 goal in the game.  Matt Pantalon continued his excellent netminding skills, coming up with 19 saves in the game. Jackson Lalonde was an unsung hero in winning 65% of the faceoffs in the game. The Hornets will now play at #1 seed St. Lukes School in the semifinal 
on Wednesday at 4:30 pm in New Canaan.  

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Baseball Enjoys Senior Day
The Hornets are gearing up for the Fairchester Tournament, in which they are the #2 seed with a 10-2 record. However, they still made sure to maintain the tradition of honoring the team's seniors and their parents on Senior Day last week. This year's crop of seven seniors is again a key to the Hornet's success, providing positive leadership, clutch hitting and fielding, as well as strong arms on the mound. The seniors include: Zack Balabon, Austin DeFilippo, Marco Fontana, Ryan Handelman, Andy Natale, Ronnie LoRicco, and Will Rhone. Congratulations to the seniors and their folks, and good luck in the tournament.
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Softball Tops the Hop and Gears up for FAA Tournament
        Many of us (and hopefully that includes our students) are familiar with the Greek mythological creature, the Phoenix, a bird that dies and then is reborn. In a similar vein, the Hamden Hall softball program had gone into decline and disappeared, only to be resurrected over the last four years under the guidance of Coach Monica Lyons, herself a standout player for HH in bygone years. 
        On Thursday, the full turn around in the program was highlighted by a stunning 7-6 win at crosstown rival Hopkins. The host Hilltoppers jumped out to an early 5-0 lead by the bottom of the third before the Hornets began to mount their comeback, scoring 3 in the top of the fourth. But Hopkins got one back and held a 6-3 lead going into the final frame only to see the Hornets explode for four runs in the top of the seventh. Trailing by one, Josie Bentlage tripled, driving in Shannon Rhone and Emily Valin. Valin had two RBIs on the day, with Rhone and Deanna Heine also driving in a run each.
        Though Hopkins had scored six runs in total they got just one hit and two earned runs off of winning pitcher, Priscilla Kozdroy, who walked six and struck out three. 
        With that victory, the Hornets improve to 7-4 on the season. They are the #2 seed in the upcoming Fairchester Tournament, which begins Monday when they face the King School of Stamford at home at 4:00. Hopefully the spirit of the phoenix will keep burning and the Hornets keep buzzing.

Field Hockey Still a Passion for Alum Diana Nunez
        While George Washington University does not presently field an intercollegiate field hockey team, that has not stopped Hornet 2015 alum, Diana Nunez, from continuing her passion for the sport.  Playing with an incredibly active field hockey club squad, Nunez and her teammates won games against club teams from the likes of Georgetown, University of Virginia, and William and Mary.  The squad was invited to compete in the Club Field Hockey Nationals, one of twenty four university level teams invited to the event.  They defeated both the University of Tampa and East Carolina University; however the GW women did not advance due to total goals.  But looking back on her year, Nunez noted: "I have loved being able to continue playing after high school. While the dynamic is very different from my experience at Hamden Hall, I'm lucky that I can choose to be as involved as I want, both in the sport and the social aspect. With this flexibility, I don't have to compromise my schoolwork in order to attend the daily practices. It's a really great group of girls who love to play field hockey as much as we love spending time together off the field."

        Congratulations to Diana and her club, and we hope to hear of further success next year.

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Former Hornet Standout Recognized in Sophomore Year
Christian Montano, Class of 2014, was honored at the Brown University Football banquet with an award.
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Bennett and Millhouse Key Contributors to Cardinal Programs
Sara Bennett and Dylan Millhouse, HH CLass of 2015 may have changed their wings from HH Hornets to Wesleyan University Cardinals, but they are both still flying high. Bennett has established herself as a starter on the women's lacrosse squad. The feisty midfielder has won 23 ground balls and 11 draw controls, and she has scored a goal and an assist thus far this season. Millhouse has made frequent appearances on the mound for Wesleyan this spring. Last weekend, he pitched three strong innings in relief in a 13-6 win over Williams.
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DiMartino Qualifies for Track Championships
        Earlier in the year, Austin DiMartino, HH Class of 2016, was featured on this page for his newly developed interest in track as a freshman at Connecticut College, and had been cited as having plenty of potential. Last week at the Silfen Invitational, hosted by the Camels, Austin finished 3rd in the decathalon with 4841 points, which qualified him for the upcoming ECAC (Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference) Championships. He also qualified for the NESCAC (New England Small College Athletic Conference) Championships in the 100 yard dash, with a qualifying time was 11.80. 

Click here to view the Conn College track site.
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LoRicco Tosses One Hitter to Blank Rye
Senior standout Ronnie LoRicco threw a monster game on Friday at home, as the Hornets topped FAA foe Rye Country Day 2-0. LoRicco kept the Wildcats off balance and off the bases for 6 innings, throwing a one hitter!. Ian Fagan finished out the game in the seventh. Fagan also hit a clutch double. Anthony Capasso was solid behind the plate and added an RBI with his bat. Mike Gulia also knocked in a run in a game that was short of offense but had plenty of drama. In fact the game was knotted at 0-0 going into the bottom of the fifth when the Hornets finally plated a run and then doubled their lead in the sixth. LoRicco is now 2-0 on the season and the Hornets are 5-1 overall.

Play Ball! Baseball Seeks a New England Fourpeat
        The baseball team returned from a successful trip to sunny Florida over spring break to begin their 2016 season and the quest to capture a fourth straight New England championship. They spent spring training at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports and practiced at the Atlanta Braves' spring training facility. They also played 6 games against teams from Chicago, Niagara, NY, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. 

        However, long before spring training, Coach Fontana and the squad knew it would face quite a battle, as they are denied the services of two outstanding senior players. Both pitching ace Zack Balabon and all round standout Andy Natale suffered injuries during football season that will keep them out of the lineup this spring. Both are rehabilitating and hope to be ready for their collegiate careers, but their impact in the field and at the plate will be sorely missed.

        The program did, however, add a very valuable component in the form of Vin Texiera, a standout player from the class of 2011, who has joined the Hornet coaching staff. As a Hornet, Vinny holds the record for career home runs - 14 - and was captain of the team for two years. He and his teammates won the FAA regular season and tournament in 2010 and the New Englands in 2009. Additionally, the team Vinny played on holds the record for the most team wins in a season - 23. Vinny went on to Manhattan College after Hamden Hall and played all four years with the Jaspers as the team's designated hitter and first baseman.

        It's early in the season, but the Hornets are looking like contenders again. They have started 4-0, but fell to Fairchester League favorite Brunswick School of Greenwich 6-2 earlier in the week. There is plenty of experience on the team, including Ronnie LoRicco, Will Rhone, Marco Fontana, Austin DeFilippo, Ian Fagan, and Anthony Capasso, as well as younger talent like Safi Wazaz, CJ Kuselias, and Ryan Doherty.
Expect the Hornets to remain in contention throughout the spring season.

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More News
Team Photos
2016 Varsity Baseball & Senior Pics
9 Images
Published: 5/9/2016
Field Hockey in Action
2 Images
Published: 11/8/2015
Girls Varsity Lax in Action
15 Images
Published: 4/27/2015
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