Volleyball still has eye on the prize


Tim MacLean ’16

For the women that proudly make up the Merrimack College volleyball team, the road to an NE-10 Championship is a tough one, but it’s not impossible. Through the first sixteen games of the 2014 season, the Warriors find themselves sitting at 10-6 with a 4-4 record in conference play. To say that this is where the team envisioned it would be at this point before the year began would be quite the overstatement.

Luckily, seniors Corinne Gosselin and Aliya Rakhmetova understand that success isn’t something that can be achieved overnight. Sometimes, despite having the reputation for being one of the tougher teams in the NE-10, you have to go back to the drawing board.

“In the beginning of the year we were playing really well,” Gosselin, a middle hitter, said. “We have had some upsets this year that we are learning from. As a team, we came together and figured out what needs to change to better the rest of the season. We are taking it one game at a time and still have the confidence that we will continue to play well.”

Confidence is one thing that this team certainly doesn’t lack. Both Gosselin and Rahkmetova agree that the team’s number one goal entering the season was to finish in first place in the conference. Although they are currently sitting in seventh, the Warriors still have a good portion of their season still to be played.

“We still have eight games [left],” Rahkmetova, also a middle hitter, told The Beacon. “So that goal (finishing first in the NE-10) can’t be accomplished … yet.

The fact that last year’s team remains largely in tact this season also inspires confidence, as that squad finished the 2013 campaign with a 9-5 conference record.

“Last year we graduated one senior,” explained Rahkmetova. “With three new members on the team we still have the ability to make it to and win the championship – and potentially make it to NCAA’s.” Rahkmetova was also quick to point out that the team has sped up their offense this year while working on getting consistent play from every position; both adjustments being key factors in their possible run to bigger and better things this season.

But, while it’s true that having confidence in both your game and game plan are vital to winning a championship, Gosselin and Rahkmetova realize that no matter how well everyone plays as individuals, it’s all about the team at the end of the day. “Volleyball isn’t an individual sport,” Gosselin stated. “We all need to be on our game in order to play well.” Rahkmetova echoed that sentiment in saying, “Each player has worked hard. We all have heart for the game and a common goal to win.”

It’s clear that this team sort of follows the belief that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Individual success and accolades are nice, but championships aren’t won by individuals. A cohesive unit – a team – wins them. That’s why, despite not being exactly where they’d like to be in the standings, Gosselin and Rahkmetova know that a first place finish in the conference and a trip to the NCAA’s are still within reach. They just have to remain confident. They have to remain selfless. Everything else will take care of itself.

London Over March Break!

Students travel to London, England to “read” the city as a simultaneous locus of history, art and literature, commerce, cultures, religions, science, engineering and education. Join Dr. Wians as student led project teams take the class across this great city, with plenty of time built in for individual sight seeing.

For more information contact:

Dr. William Wians wiansw@merrimack.edu

Kathy Vaillancourt vaillancourtk@merrimack.edu

Office of International Programs

Trip Details:

Maximum students: 15

Trip departs: Friday, March 6th returns Sunday March 15th

Cost: $2,975/pp includes airfare, 8 nights hotel, meals, local transportation, and three special events while in London

Class meets: (4) times prior to departure and (2) upon return

Application deadline: November 14th

Warrior Spotlight: Rasmus Tirronen

RT 2

Photo Credit: Merrimack Athletics

Tom Conley ’15 

Merrimack hockey is off to a promising 3-0 start in large thanks to senior goaltender, Rasmus Tirronen.  His freshman year Tirronen came all the way over from Espoo, Finland, in hopes of climbing the goalie depth chart, which ultimately became a success for the determined goaltender. In his sophomore year he logged significant time in net splitting the duties during the first half of the season. As a junior he split time in the first half of the year with senior, Sam Marotta. Finally, in the second half of his junior year Tirronen established himself as the full time starter between the pipes. That year he received awards such as Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week along with being a four-time Hockey East Top Performer. After his hot start the sky is the limit for the senior, and the Warriors should be feeling poised about this young season.

Q: How was the transition from living in Finland to coming to school in the Greater Boston Area?

A: The transition from Finland to Boston was not as bad as one might think. Finnish people learn English in school so there wasn’t really a language barrier and my previous year playing in Kansas helped my English a lot. Having been out of school for almost 3 years was the only real transition I had to make, but thankfully it didn’t take me too long to figure out.

Q: How did Merrimack catch your attention?

A: Merrimack invited me for a fly down where I got to see the school, meet the coaching staff and see the facilities. What appealed to me immediately was the size of the school, which gave me a sort of security in that I would not fall through the cracks if I needed help with anything. The main thing though that I eventually based my decision on to attend Merrimack college was coach Dennehy, he felt genuine in what he said and his passion for the school was infectious.

Q: When you were growing up in Finland did you have any sports heroes?

A:  Growing up back home my biggest sports hero was, and still is, Teemu Selanne. The man is a living legend within the Finnish ice hockey culture, unrivaled by anyone else.

Q: What age were you when you first got on skates?

A: I think I laced them up for the first time when I was 5, I switched between forward and goalie for a while but I always knew I wanted to play in goal.

Q: If you could play another sport other than hockey, what would it be would it be?

A: Golf, I love playing Golf during the summer as do a bunch of guys on the team

Q: Was your plan always to come overseas to the United States to play Hockey?

A: No, I didn’t even think about it until after my military service was done. After that I started looking into my options and decided to venture over here and try my luck with the Topeka Roadrunners who play in North American Hockey League (NAHL), and I haven’t looked back since.

Q: What do you major in?

A: Sports Management

Q: How far do you believe your team can go with after starting 3-0?

A: All the way.

Q: Who is your favorite goalie of all time?

A: Ari Sulander, Finnish goaltending legend.

Q: What does your mindset have to be like going into a shootout?

A: I don’t remember, I haven’t been in a shootout since my last junior season in 2010-2011 so I forget.

Q: What is your proudest moment as a goalie?

A: Hard to say, I would probably have to go with earning my first Collegiate Shutout against Clarkson last season.

You Can’t Park With Us

Courtney Aznavoorian ‘16

Staff Writer

As a lot of you may know, this campus has some issues when it comes to parking. One parking lot that has been causing some frustration for a lot of residents is Lot I, which is located near Hamel Health. This parking lot is for commuter students, visitors, and faculty. The issue? It is close to empty a majority of the time, and the residents are not allowed to park there despite this.

The resident students living in that area feel as though they do not have enough places to park and they want to be able to use this parking lot since it is not being used by anyone else. From a commuter’s point of view, this parking lot is not a convenient location for commuter students because it is too far from the main part of campus especially when time is an issue.

According to Jim Chiavelli, Associate Vice President of Communications, this parking lot will not be this empty next year. With the construction of the new dorms that will be happening next year, a few of the parking lots that we currently have will be gone. In the meantime, residents have lots J and K to park in, and Jim Chiavelli insists that “there is enough parking for every single student that applied for a parking sticker”. He also said that there were fewer residential stickers sold this year, so there should be enough parking for residential students.

A lot more people will be using lot I in the future. But for now? It looks like it will remain how it is. For commuters: if you are driving around campus for an absurd amount of time trying to find a space, lot I will have plenty.


What New Residential Village?

John Cerrotti ‘17

Staff Writer

Is the new residential village on Austin Field still happening? So far, students have been kept out of the loop on the status of the new residential halls. We have all heard that there are plans to build, but other than that, we know nothing. During the beginning month of school, there were wooden stakes in the ground for zoning purposes that have since been removed. Besides the one email we received from President Hopey at the start of the academic year, there has been no word on whether or not the project is still happening. In the email, the community was told that the college still planned on going through with the additions to campus which would feature a residential village with 350 beds, new student commons with dining availabilities, student activities and game space and offices for student involvement staff. However, none of that has happened.

The expansions to campus have a lot of students talking and when traveling through campus, there are a lot of mixed opinions on the new space. A majority of students are excited about the new residential village and other options that are being added. Sophomore Kaitlyn Magnano is excited about the new additions to campus. “By adding more residential halls, more students can be accepted into the school which would make the community grow. Also, there would not be the need to force triples all over campus and overpopulate existing residential halls.” However, there are those who think that the new residential halls are not a good idea. Senior Kelianna Bonn chose Merrimack College because of the small feel that it offered. “I really do not believe we should add new residential buildings. A lot of people chose this school for the small community feel. Building more dorms means accepting more students which ultimately means a bigger community.” Bonn believes that the issue is a bigger one, and the answer to fixing problems within is not bringing more students on campus. Regardless of the differing of opinions, no one really knows what is happening. All we have now is the one email and rumors circulating including the current townhouses being knocked down and replaced by new residential halls, and new academic buildings on Austin Field.

Stay tuned to The Beacon for more information regarding this story.


The Fall of Oil Prices

Paul Buckley ’17

Staff Writer

Oil is not cheap to produce and with constant geopolitical issues in the Middle East and Ukraine driving up prices, there’s always a chance that the $3.10 a consumer is currently spending for a gallon of gas can be thirty cents more expensive in just two weeks.

While traditionally, when one thinks of oil they think of the Middle Eastern countries of Iran, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates along with South American nation Venezuela and myriad of others, in recent years a push for US based fracking has led to exponential growth in US field production of crude oil. The US has experienced a nearly 1.5% increase from a 60 year low in 2008 of 5 million barrels per day to 7.4 million in 2013. Thanks to this increase in production, the US is on par production wise with Russia and Saudi Arabia and is poised to pass them in the foreseeable future.

What does this all mean though; why does it matter that the US has ramped up production and is on pace to exceed the traditional powers? Supply and demand is one of, if not the main concept in economics and when it comes to oil these increases in production have driven supply through the roof. Unfortunately for some oil producers, supply has moved at such a rate that global demand cannot keep up with the high rates of production leading to a surplus. Typically the economic benefits of a drop in oil prices would be seen as a boost for domestic and global growth, however in this case there are a number of factors to be wary about.

For the US, lower oil prices can be seen as a positive boost for consumers, especially lower income households who are on a tight budget. According to Merrill Lynch, consumers are likely respond to the dip in prices in a positive manner as it will free up cash which in turn is expected to be redirected towards other parts of the economy. On the other end of the spectrum for the US, decreasing oil prices can spell disaster for producing states such as Texas. The US has experienced a huge boom in oil production over the past 20 years and Texas has seen their GDP rise dramatically as a result of that. If demand doesn’t rise back up and prices continue to drop, producers could face the possibility of cutbacks, which includes lower production, and due to lower production, fewer jobs. However, this is a worst case scenario and whether or not US producers will pull back on production any time soon is still up for debate.

In the mean time, as prices dip into the lower 80s, expect the continued drop of gas prices too. The average national price for a gallon of gas has already dropped almost 35 cents over the course of the past month and as the supply function keeps shifting to the right with further increased production, expect to keep racking up the savings.




Hamel Health’s Thoughts on Ebola

Liam Killeen ’15

Staff Writer

With the discovery of Ebola entering the United States, many people are fearful of the disease. Suzanne Slattery, the Director of Hamel Health and Counseling Center, gave some insight on how to stay healthy with such a disease in the United States.

“Always wash your hands, we also recommend the flu shot just to stay safe and healthy as well,” Slattery stated. Some of her recommendations were normal safety tips as well as some solid safety precautions to take in order to remain healthy.

Slattery also explained ways in which one could receive or catch Ebola. “The person would need to be actively sick with it and it is exchanged through bodily fluids. Symptoms include temperatures upwards of 105, vomiting, as well as diarrhea. You would have to be with someone who is actively sick to get it” she explained. She then stated that here at Merrimack we do not have anyone who is at risk.

For more questions about students’ health safety, please visit the Hamel Health and Counseling Center located in front of St. Thomas Apartments.


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