Kiara Oliver is following up her historic career at NKHS by anchoring the UMass pitching staff. Photo Courtesy UMass Athletics. 


Contributing Writer

Junior Kiara Oliver continues to be the top pitcher with the University of Massachusetts softball team, the Minutewomen 3-3 to start the season.

The 5-foot-7 right-hander from North Kingstown and a North Kingstown High graduate, is 2-0 with a 0.76 earned run average with three complete games. In 18.1 innings, she has given up nine hits and two runs, both earned, with four walks and 21 strikeouts.

Oliver had a standout effort in a 2-1 victory over Pittsburgh on Feb. 22 in Greenville, N.C. She pitched a seven-inning complete game and gave up three hits and an earned run with one walk and seven strikeouts.

“Even though we’ve only played six games, Kiara’s start has been terrific,” coach Kristi Stefanoni said. “She has come out much stronger mentally and physically from a year ago and we think she can only get better from this point on.”

Oliver had a big freshman season posting an 18-4 record and a 1.76 earned run average. In 159.1 innings, she had 173 strikeouts. The performance earned her Atlantic 10 Pitcher of the Year honors as well as earning her a spot on the all-league and all-rookie teams. Last season, she was just 9-13 with a 2.12 earned run average with 116 strikeouts in 142 innings. She was a second-team A-10 pick.

“Kiara’s pitching has improved tremendously since last season,” Stefanoni said. “Our new pitching coach (Laura Messina) has worked hard with Kiara on perfecting what she has for pitches, but also throwing some new stuff that will hopefully throw off opponents. Their coach-player relationship is amazing and I think it has had a lot to do with Kiara’s success so far this season.”

Keda Song (East Greenwich)

The junior will be one of 32 members of the University of Chicago swim team to advance to the NCAA Division III Championship March 18-21 in Greensboro, N.C. The Classical graduate will be competing in four events – the 200 IM and the 200 backstroke along with the 400 and 800 free relays. Song earned All-American honors last year when the 800 free relay finished 10th. He also finished 14th in both the 200 IM and 200 backstroke.

Keegan Records (South Kingstown)

The 6-foot-8, 235-pound freshman forward was named to the Patriot League All-Rookie team last Monday for his play with the Colgate men’s basketball team. The St. Andrews School graduate came off the bench in 30 games (13.3 minutes a game) and averaged 4.4 points and 3.7 rebounds and was second on the team in blocked shots with 21. The Raiders will be the No. 1 seed and take a 23-8 record into this weekend’s league tournament on their home court in Hamilton, N.Y.

Max Miranda (East Greenwich)

The sophomore helped the Notre Dame men’s swim team finish sixth out of 12 teams at the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship last weekend in Greensboro, N.C. The Suffield Academy graduate finished 10th in the 400 IM with a time of 3:46.58 which stands fifth in the Fighting Irish record book. Miranda also finished 11th in the 200 butterfly with a time of 1:44.37 and was 17th in the 500 free relay with a NCAA B cut time of 4:18.51 

Tommy Wrzesien (Hope Valley)

The sophomore will represent the Johnson & Wales wrestling team at the NCAA Division III Championship next weekend in Cedar Rapids, IA. The Chariho Regional graduate finished second in the 197 pound class to help the Wildcats capture their fourth straight Northeast Regional title last weekend in Providence. He just missed the title with a 5-4 loss in the finals. Wrzesien will take a 23-9 record with 10 pins to the Nationals.

Celia Tomlinson (South Kingstown)

The 6-foot senior forward was named Defensive Player of the Year in the Liberty League after a standout regular season with the Rensselaer Poly women’s basketball team. The South Kingstown High graduate is averaging 15.1 points and 11.4 rebounds a game with 61 assists and 27 steals. She led the league in blocked shots with 62 and her rebounds stand second. She has 189 defensive rebounds for the Engineers, who will play in the ECAC Tournament starting today and is 17-10 overall and was 12-6 in league play.

Alexandra Miko-Rydaj (Narragansett)

The freshman helped the Fairfield women’s swim team capture its third straight Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship Feb. 12-15 in Buffalo, N.Y. The Prout School graduate helped the 400 medley relay finish first in 3:48.36 and the 200 medley relay finish second with a time of 1:43.03. Miko-Rydaj also picked up points by finishing fifth in the 100 backstroke in 57.38 and finishing 10th in the 200 backstroke in 2:07.45.

Eric D’Aguanno (Saunderstown)

The 6-foot-4 senior became the 33rd player to better 1,000 points in his career for the Brandeis men’s basketball team. The St. Andrews School graduate scored 15 points to top the century mark in a 101-95 double overtime victory over Chicago on Feb. 23 in Waltham, Mass. He finished his career with 1,015 points. D’Aguanno averaged 11.0 points a game and hit 53 of 160 3-point attempts (33.1 percent). Coming off the bench, he also averaged 3.4 rebounds a game and had 31 assists.

Emily Slusarczyk (Charlestown)

The junior earned All-New England honors after helping the Roger Williams women’s swim team finish first out of 21 teams at the New England Championship Feb. 13-16 in Kingston. The Prout School graduate helped the 200 free relay finish second (1:39.45) and the 400 free relay finish second (3:40.93). Senior Kindra Scheer (South Kingstown High) also earned All-New England honors for finishing seventh in the 50 breaststroke (32.61). The top eight finishers in each event earned the honor.

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