Lacrosse Magazine has ranked the Commodores No. 11 in the nation in a preseason pick. Last year’s team had a 10–7 season and advanced to the NCAA tournament for the third consecutive year. Eleven of 12 starters return.
Senior Megan Forester, junior Molly Kinsella and freshman Chelsea Stewart were named to the All-Southeastern Conference team as voted by the league’s coaches. Forester, a four-year starter, earned first-team honors as a defender. It was her first league recognition during her collegiate career. Kinsella earned her third honor in the three years she has started for the Commodores. The midfielder was named second-team All-SEC and led the team in scoring and assists. Stewart was named to the SEC All-Freshman team. She started in 17 of the team’s 19 regular-season games. The Commodores finished with an 11–8–1 record.
The Smyrna Bowling Center, home lanes for the Commodores, suffered extensive damage when the roof collapsed under the weight of snow and ice in late January, just days before the team was to leave for a major tournament in St. Louis. The team was able to schedule practice times at lanes in nearby Columbia and Antioch. Vanderbilt went on to dominate the field at the McKendree Baker Challenge and won its third championship of the spring season. The Smyrna facility was expected to be repaired and ready for the Music City Classic, an annual collegiate event hosted by the Commodores in mid-March.
Sophomore right-handed pitchers Sonny Gray and Jack Armstrong were named to Baseball America’s preseason All-America teams. Gray was named to the second team, and Armstrong was a third-team selection. Gray finished last season with a 5–1 record, 4.3 ERA, logging 72 strikeouts in 58.2 innings en route to All-American honors. Armstrong performed well last summer with the Cape Cod Baseball League’s Wareham Gatemen with a 4–1 record and 2.57 ERA. He was named to the Cape Cod All-Star team and received the Wareham Albert Bigelow Award for most outstanding pitcher.
The Commodores ran to a fifth-place finish at the NCAA South Regional Championships in November, equaling the team’s best finish in the program’s 27-year existence. Vanderbilt defeated four SEC teams in the competition, including host Alabama, Auburn, Mississippi State and Ole Miss. “This season has been about the team,” said Coach Steve Keith, “and how we can position ourselves to move the program forward.”
© 2015 Vanderbilt University | Photography: STEVE GREEN
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