The turn of the century ushered in an era of success for Elizabethtown College athletics. Matt Jones took over the baseball team in 2000, leading the team to back-to-back conference titles and NCAA tournament appearances in 2000 and 2001.
In 2002, the softball team broke the program record for wins, finishing 30-12 and earning a post-season for the first time in almost a decade. Softball player Michelle Morris, ‘04, proved to be one of the program’s best pitchers, striking out a record 177 batters and setting season records for the most appearances and innings pitched.
The men’s cross country team started the new decade by finishing 14th in the nation at the 2001 NCAA championships. That year, Dave Berdan, ‘04, became Etown’s first individual cross country MAC champion and Dustin Scott became the team’s first All-American. Melissa St. Clair, ‘05, became the women’s first All-American. Also in the 2000s, the women began an 11-year title run that still stands today.
In 2001, for the first time in the history of the program, the wrestling team had two members, Art Mattes, ‘01 and Bill Van Winkle, ‘01, earn 100-career wins. Also in 2001, the women’s basketball team won their conference championship and made it to the NCAA Division III Sweet Sixteen. The next year, the men’s team was runner-up in the national championship game, finishing the season 29-3.
In 2002, the women’s tennis team and the volleyball team both earned their best records since 1996, finishing their seasons 9-4 and 18-9, respectively. Also in women’s volleyball, Emily Morris, ‘04, broke the volleyball program’s record for highest number of career digs with 1,895.
The men’s track and field team won its first MAC indoor championship in 2003 in its fourth year as part of Etown’s athletic program. This is the shortest amount of time it has taken a team to win a conference championship since being added to the program.
Men’s and women’s lacrosse were the only sports to be added to the Etown athletic program in the 2000s. Both teams got off to a strong start in the spring of 2002. Head coach Chuck Malloy led the men’s team to a 7-7 finish in 2003. Head coach Aimee Seward led the women’s team and, in 2003, Liz Fretz, ‘05, earned 100 career goals before the end of her sophomore year.
After a successful first 10 years of the new century, Etown athletics had a lot to look forward to in the upcoming years.