UMass rising stars: Five underclassmen athletes to watch 

These athletes look to make a big impact on UMass athletics next season

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(Mehroz Kapadia/Daily Collegian)

By James DiLuca, Collegian Correspondent

Tre Mitchell: Men’s Basketball

Coming off an outstanding freshman campaign, Tre Mitchell is poised for a big sophomore year. The standout center averaged 17.7 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game on 48.1 percent shooting this past season. Not to mention, Mitchell also averaged a block and a steal per game. Mitchell’s performance over the course of his freshman season earned him the Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year Award. In Massachusetts’ final game against Rhode Island last season, Mitchell had a monster performance scoring 34 points, while hauling in 12 rebounds. With Mitchell’s outside shot and ability to score in the post, combined with what he can do on the defensive end, it should be fun watching Mitchell continue to improve on both sides of the floor.

 

Linden Alger: Men’s Hockey

One of newest acquisitions to UMass Hockey, Linden Alger brings some much needed size to the team. Alger is a six-foot-three, 194-pound defenseman who has experience playing in the United States Hockey League for the Youngstown Phantoms. In 48 games with the Phantoms, Alger tallied two goals and four assists during the 2019-2020 season. Before playing in the USHL, Alger played three seasons for the Boston Junior Bandits. In the 2018-2019 season, Alger racked up 15 assists, four goals and was a National Collegiate Development Conference All-Star. Head coach Greg Carvel says Alger is a player whose impact may not show up on the stat sheet but will still be very important to the team.

“Linden is a big body defenseman who we will rely on to be solid at both ends of the ice,” Carvel said. “He will be a great compliment to some of the smaller defensemen on our roster. Linden is the type of player who won’t put up big stats but will be critical in our team’s success.”

Be on the lookout for Alger to be a key contributor for the Minutemen this season.

 

Maeve Donnelly: Women’s Basketball

After becoming the first freshman to start every game since the 2014-2015 season, Maeve Donnelly is certainly a player to keep an eye on this upcoming season. Donnelly averaged 5.4 points per game, 5.8 rebounds per game and an impressive 2.45 blocks a game which led all A-10 freshmen. Donnelly had 76 total blocks last season which broke the school record and was the third highest total in the A-10. Additionally, Donnelly set the single game record for blocks with 10 against Holy Cross. This 10-block performance was the first of its kind in the A-10 since 2007. Donnelly is an elite rim protector with great size at six-foot-five and is a capable scorer on the low block. Definitely look for Donnelly to continue making a major impact on the defensive end.

 

Lily Robinson: Women’s Cross Country/Track 

During her freshman season Lily Robinson turned in numerous impressive performances. On the track, Robinson was able to showcase her talent in the mile run and the 5K. Robinson had a fourth-place finish in the mile at the Dartmouth Indoor Invitational with a time of five minutes,18.49 seconds. Additionally, Robinson has turned in great performances in the 5K with a sixth-place finish (17:32.01) at the New England Championships and a second-place finish (17:59.95) at the Sorlien Invitational. Robinson was also able to contribute during the cross country season as UMass’ fifth-place scorer at the A-10 Championships and the New England Championships. Keep an eye out for Robinson to build off of an already stellar freshman season.

 

Zach Hochman: Men’s Lacrosse 

Although the lacrosse season was cut short, it still allowed for freshman Zach Hochman to make a significant impact on the field. Hochman was able to win 99 out of his 169 faceoffs, putting his faceoff percentage at .586 which ranked second in the Colonial Athletic Association and 26th nationally. Hochman also picked up 52 total ground balls and ranked 19th nationally in ground balls per game. One of Hochman’s best performances came against Albany where he went 26 for 33 on faceoffs and scooped up 13 ground balls. Hochman’s terrific freshman season earned him a spot on the College Crosse All-Freshmen Second Team. Expect Hochman to continue his superb play next season.

James DiLuca is a Collegian Correspondent and can be reached at [email protected] or followed on Twitter @DiLucaJames.