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Division III athletics

In a Division III environment that emphasizes athletics as part of an entire college experience, one athlete, Francesca Testa, a star on the university swim team and president of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee, came up with an idea designed to guarantee success at the university’s games — Superfan.

Each of 12 teams that play throughout the year has one designated game per season that is dedicated to Superfan. Fans are given Superfan T-shirts to wear during the games and are encouraged to cheer loudly and often. The three most enthusiastic Superfans are rewarded with a gift certificate to the university bookstore.

The idea, Testa said, was a product of her involvement with the university’s Hancock Student Leadership Program. “I’ve been looking for a way to market our athletics and promote school spirit among students and faculty, too.”

Perhaps because of this support, Western athletes put up great numbers across several sports.

  • Women’s Tennis won its first-ever LEC Championship and participated in the NCAA Tournament. Coach Stacy Slater was named the Little East Conference Coach of the Year.
  • Women’s Basketball captured the LEC title and got to round two of the NCAA tournament. Center Melissa Teel earned the LEC Player of the Year award and was chosen for the USA D-3 Basketball All Star Team. Coach Kimberly Rybczyk was named Little East Conference Coach of the Year.
  • In men’s basketball, guard DaQuan Brooks was chosen as the LEC Player of the Year.
  • Men’s tennis won its first-ever LEC championship and a bid to the NCAA tournament. Troy Pandolfi was selected as LEC Player of the Year.
  • Women’s softball shortstop Danielle Basciano was chosen LEC Player of the Year. Coach Heather Stone celebrated her 200th career win and her 100th win at WCSU.
  • Greg Poole, Women’s Volleyball coach, reached his 200th career win.

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Clockwise from top:
The Women's Basketball Team captured the LEC title and advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament; Women's Tennis won its first-ever LEC championship and participated in the NCAA Tournament; Men's Tennis won its first-ever LEC championship, a bid to the NCAA tournament, and Troy Pandolfi was named LEC Player of the Year.