Once again itís time for the Rhode Island College athletic program to get underway for yet another exciting season of competition. Each of RICís six varsity sports took important steps a year ago and those teams are poised to take it to the next level in 2002.

When looking at Little East Conference Championships, you donít have to look further than the womenís tennis program. With four titles in eight seasons, including taking home the championship in 1999 and 2001, the Anchorwomen will once again challenge for the crown. The team will be under the direction of first-year head coach Kelly Lange.

Junior Samantha Hedden and sophomore Meghan Mooney are returning LEC champions. Senior Donna Vongratsavay paired with Mooney to win the LEC at number two doubles in í01.

Head coach Kevin Jacksonís menís and womenís cross country teams will look to move up in the standings this season. The menís team is anchored by senior Tim Rudd and sophomore Joe Parenteau, who are coming off outstanding indoor and outdoor track campaigns. The womenís team will be led by juniors Michelle Boudreau and Michele Dunphy.

RICís womenís soccer team is under new leadership this season with head coach Ryan Angel and assistant coach Jessica Robitaille. The Anchorwomen finished fourth in the Little East and hosted their first-ever LEC playoff game last fall.

The team will be co-captained by senior midfielder Allison Vales and junior back Kim Wood. Vales earned Second Team All-LEC honors a year ago. Sophomore forward Alexis Bouchard, who had ten goals and three assists for 23 points in 17 games last season, will be the squadís offensive catalyst. Returning goalkeeper sophomore Melissa Carpentier logged a 1.51 goals against average and posted six shutouts in her rookie campaign.

The menís soccer team is also coming off a fourth place finish in the LEC a year ago as well as a heartbreaking loss in the opening round of the playoffs. Head Coach Len Mercurio has brought in a talented class of recruits who he hopes will fill the void left by several key players.

Junior Paul Sousa is a returning All-LEC midfielder who is among the best at his position in the conference. Junior midfielder Johan Calderon and sophomore back Mike Maciel are also outstanding players.

Freshman forwards Kyle Teixeira and Cory Lopes and midfielder Matt Borges all come in as highly touted rookies. Junior midfielder Jorge Pemberthy is a transfer from CCRI who should also make a difference.

The womenís volleyball team, under first-year head coach Craig Letourneau, will try to recover from the loss of three seniors who were the backbone of the team last year. Senior Stephanie Callaghan along with junior Vicky Bilalyan and sophomore Tracy Lopes are the foundation of a young squad.

Head coach John Fittaís menís golf team, which sees action in both the fall and spring, will start their season as well. Junior Ken Ferrara is the squadís top competitor.

Come out and see the Anchormen and Anchorwomen in action this year!

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