Wednesday, August 6, 2014

PAC football preseason poll

Results of the Presidents' Athletic Conference preseason football poll of coaches, sports information directors and media:

1. Thomas More (29 first place votes), 367 points

2. W&J (2 first place votes), 330 points

3. Waynesburg (1 first place vote), 293 points

4. Case Western Reserve (1 first place vote), 246 points

5. Bethany (1 first place vote), 202 points

6. Geneva, 200 points

7. Carnegie Mellon, 157 points

8. Grove City, 154 points

9. Thiel, 149 points

10. Westminster, 96 points
11. Saint Vincent, 46 points

Monday, June 16, 2014

PAC to play soccer finals at Highmark Stadium

Highmark Stadium
The Presidents’ Athletic Conference will be play its men’s and women’s soccer championship matches at Highmark Stadium in Pittsburgh next season.

Highmark Stadium is the 3,500-seat soccer-specific stadium in Station Square and home to the Pittsburgh Riverhounds of the United Soccer League.

“The PAC is thrilled to be hosting its 2014 soccer championships at the Pittsburgh Riverhounds’ Highmark Stadium, a state-of-the-art soccer facility that is the crown jewel of the Station Square area,” said PAC commissioner Joe Onderko.

“We see this as a true showcase for PAC soccer, an event that will bring fans together for a great celebration of PAC soccer, and believe the central proximity will allow our fans and membership to attend and create a festival-like atmosphere. We hope providing this conference championship environment will deliver a student-athlete experience that is unequalled in NCAA Division III.”
The title matches are scheduled for Nov. 8. Tentative start times are noon and 3 p.m.

“We are very excited to be bringing the Presidents’ Athletic Conference into the mix and hope that we can provide a great new venue, and experience, for the all of the participating teams and student-athletes,” said Sara Guffey, event manager for Highmark Stadium.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Ex-Waynesburg wrestler to train in Europe

Former Waynesburg University wrestler Anthony Bonaventura left today to take part in the Cultural Exchange program. The event, which is coordinated Tim Fader, the head wrestling coach at Wisconsin-Whitewater, will take a group of Division III wrestlers through Istanbul, Turkey; Bucharest, Romania; Paris, France and throughout Bulgaria, before returning to the United States June 9.
Bonaventura was the runner-up at 174 pounds at the NCAA Division III Championships this year.
“I heard about the event through,” Bonaventura said. “While I was training at the Naval Academy, I became close with some guys from Wisconsin Whitewater and my father talked with their head coach about my desire to continue competing as a wrestler.”
During the trip, Bonaventura and the other American wrestlers will go to each country’s Olympic training center. Following training, they wrestle in tournament-style competition.
“I was super excited to hear that I was going on the trip. I’ve never been out of North America,” Bonaventura said “It’s an expensive trip, but my parents are paying my way as a graduation present. I am interested to see how some of these countries are staying head of the game in terms of international competition.”
After returning to the U.S., Bonaventura will travel to Fargo, N.D., to compete in the 2014 USA Wrestling Greco-Roman World Team Trials. The top-three finishers at each weight in the NCAA Division III championships earned automatic spots in the event, which is being held June 13-14 and July 22. Because he is entered in the 80 kg (176 pounds) weight class, Bonaventura will compete in July.
“The thought of actually qualifying for the World Team Trials just put me in a state of disbelief. I really didn’t think I could jump into the next level of my competition career,” Bonaventura said. “I would have rather jumped into freestyle, but I’m not going to pass this opportunity up. I’m just excited to go on to the senior level of competition.”

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Bittel pitches Seton Hill to World Series

Mike Bittel
The Seton Hill University baseball team will be playing in the NCAA Division II World Series that begins Sunday in Cary, N.C.
Two local players, sophomore Mike Bittel and freshman Don McWreath, are members of the Griffins’ pitching staff.
A Peters Township graduate, Bittel has had an excellent season as a starting pitcher. He has an 8-2 record, 1.82 ERA and one save in 15 games (11 starts). He has allowed only 49 hits in 69 1/3 innings.
Bittel gave up only one hit and one run over six innings in Seton Hill’s 4-1 win over Mercyhurst in the opening round of last weekend’s Atlantic Regional. He also started Seton Hill’s first game in the PSAC tournament, a 2-1 loss to Mercyhurst in 12 innings. In that game, Bittel threw eight shutout innings, allowing just five hits.
Bittel was a first team selection on the All-PSAC West Division and American Baseball Coaches Association All-Atlantic Regional teams. He also was a second team pick on the National College Baseball Writers Association’s All-Atlantic Region squad.
He will start the Griffins opening game in the World Series.
A Trinity graduate, McWreath has pitched in five games during his first season with the Griffins, allowing only one run over 6 2/3 innings.
Seton Hill (40-15) will play Minnesota State-Mankato (45-9) in the first round of the World Series.
In track & field
Taylor Slaney, a junior from Canonsburg, set the University of Pittsburgh record in the women’s javelin when she threw 165-0 ½ at the Virginia Challenge earlier this month.
Slaney broke the school record by more than five feet. The previous record had stood since 2006.
• Westminster sophomore Marissa Kalsey placed third in the women’s pole vault at the NCAA Division III Championships Thursday at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio.

A Waynesburg native, Kalsey cleared 12-7½. She was one of three Westminster athletes to qualify for the national meet in the pole vault. Kalsey entered nationals as the No. 3 seed with a season-best vault of 13-1¾.
Jessica Zimak, a senior at Wheeling Jesuit, won the women’s 10,000-meter run at the Mountain East Conference Championships held at Glenville State College.
A former standout at Trinity High School, Zimak won the race in 39:18. She also competed in the 5,000 meters, finishing as the MEC runner-up in 19:03.
• Wake Forest sophomore Jessie Merckle won her third javelin title of the season when she finished in first place at the Georgia Tech Invitational. A Fort Cherry graduate, Merckle threw 170-11, which is the second-longest throw of her career.
In baseball
Former McGuffey standout Connor Semple has had a busy and productive season pitching out of the bullpen for Penn State Behrend.
A junior, Semple had a 5-1 record, two saves and a 1.01 ERA in 19 appearances for Behrend, which was 30-14 and won the ECAC South tournament championship.
John Hlavinka, a sophomore outfielder for Behrend, was named to the Allegheny Mountain Conference second team for the second consecutive year.

A Venetia native and Peters Township graduate, Hlavinka batted .384 with nine stolen bases. He was second on the team with 51 hits and 36 runs.
• California University sophomore Jack Dennis was the recipient of the Bruce Dal Canton Pitching Award, given annually to the Vulcans pitcher who exemplifies greatness of character. The award is named in honor of Dal Canton, a former Cal standout who pitched in the major leagues. He died in October 2008 from esophageal cancer.

Dennis, a native of Toronto, Ontario, tied for the team lead with five wins and ranked third on the pitching staff with a 2.68 ERA. Dennis also was selected to the All-PSAC West Division second team after setting career highs in wins, ERA, innings pitched, starts and complete games. He also threw the Vulcans’ first no-hitter since 2008.

In softball
Ashley Morran, a senior shortstop for Point Park, was named to the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference first team.
A Washington native and Trinity graduate, Morran was in contention for getting the KIAC Player of the Year award for the second season in a row. She had another outstanding season, batting .364 and leading the KIAC with 14 doubles, 11 home runs and 47 RBI in 43 games. She was fourth in the conference in hits (52) and slugging percentage at .706. More than half of Morran’s hits went for extra bases.

A four-year starter, Morran is a two-time NAIA All-American who hit 40 career home runs and drove in 174 runs in 166 games.
• California shortstop Breanna Morris, a junior from Waynesburg, was one of five Vulcans named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association first team all-region squad.
Morris set a career high and ranked third in the PSAC with a .430 batting average and .490 on-base percentage. Morris started every game and produced 12 doubles, five home runs, 32 RBI and 36 runs. She was a second team selection by the NFCA last year.
Morgan Matetic, a graduate of Peters Township, made a big impact for George Washington. Matetic, a sophomore third baseman, finished the season leading the Colonials in several offensive categories, including slugging percentage (.639), on-base percentage (.472) and walks (18). She also tied for the team lead with six home runs and ended the season with a .313 batting average.
In tennis
Otterbein’s Julie Stroyne, a senior from Venetia and a Peters Township graduate, was named the Ohio Athletic Conference Player of the Year for the fourth time in her career, becoming the first tennis player, male or female, to achieve that honor.
Stroyne was perfect in conference play, posting 8-0 records at both first singles and with partner Sammi Kruger in first doubles. Over the course of her career, Stroyne had a 33-0 record in conference matches.
Stroyne also received the Clyde Lamb Award at the OAC Awards dinner in Columbus. The award is given to the top male and female student-athletes from each of the 10 OAC schools. The recipient must have participated in at least two years in an OAC-sponsored sport, be a senior, have a minimum grade-point average of 3.00 and display sportsmanlike conduct in a manner that has brought credit to the athlete’s institution.
A nursing major, Stroyne finished her career with a 141-18 overall record, going 73-8 in singles and 68-10 in doubles. She led the Cardinals to their first NCAA Division III tournament appearance this spring.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Cal's Dinzeo shatters PSAC, Cal records

California University Aaron Dinzeo, a junior from Sidney, Ohio, broke the record in the 10,000-meter run and recorded the fourth-fastest time in all NCAA divisions this year while competing at the Stanford Invitational late Friday night.

Dinzeo finished fourth overall while running in a field of 40 runners. He crossed the finish line in 28:40.88 and automatically qualified for the NCAA Championships. He also qualified for the USA Track & Field Outdoor Championships from June 26-29 in Sacramento, Calif.

Dinzeo broke the school and conference record, which was set by former All-American Christopher Clark in 2009, by more than 22 seconds.

A four-time NCAA All-American, Dinzeo completed the opening 5,000 meters in 14:27 before running the last half in 14:13. He took the lead with about one mile remaining and ran 4:25 in his last mile.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Big water polo weekend at W&J

Washington & Jefferson started its home weekend of women’s water polo action with Friday morning victories over Grove City, 10-6, and Monmouth (Ill.), 14-8, at the Henry Memorial Center Natatorium.

Over the next three days, W&J will host 28 water polo matches will featuring teams from Pennsylvania, Illinois, Connecticut, New York, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

The Presidents and Grove City opened the league play weekend at at 9 a.m. The match was tied 5-5 after three quarters, but W&J scored five goals over the final eight minutes.

Rachel Clauss led the Presidents with four goals, including three in the fourth quarter, and one assist.
In the win over Monmouth, W&J goalkeeper Julia Nadovich made 14 saves as the Presidents forged a 10-3 lead by halftime and improved its record to 10-7.

Gabriele Rodriguez had four goals, three steals and one assist for W&J, and Allison Rocha and Brittany Hopkins each contributed three goals.

In addition to 27 matches this weekend, 2012 Olympic gold medalist Brenda Villa will be on campus Saturday at 6 p.m. (Burnett Center Room 114) for a discussion about her life and development into one of the world's top water polo players.

The schedule for Saturday is as follows:
9 a.m. - Monmouth College vs. Connecticut College       
10:20 a.m. - Penn State Behrend vs. Utica
11:40 a.m. - Grove City vs. Macalester
1 p.m. - Washington & Jefferson College vs. Carthage
2:20 - Monmouth College vs. Penn State Behrend       
3:40 - Connecticut College vs. Utica
5:00 - Grove City vs. Carthage
6:20 - Washington & Jefferson College vs. Macalester
7:40 - Monmouth College vs. Utica
9:00 - Penn State Behrend vs. Connecticut College

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Blasts from the past

If you are or were a fan of Waynesburg basketball, then you might want to check out the Waynesburg College Vintage Basketball channel on YouTube.

There are 15 radio broadcasts of games from the 1986-87 season, when the Yellow Jackets advanced to the NAIA national tournament in Kansas City, along with complete game video of contests in the NAIA tournament against Atlantic Christian (1986-87) and Kearney State (1985-86) and an NAIA District 18 championship game against Westminster (1985-86).

The radio calls are done by John Loeper and Frank Vucic, who were calling the games for WANB Radio. The Waynesburg-Westminster telecast is from WCYJ-TV.

It's a neat trip down memory lane during what was the best period for basketball in Washington and Greene counties.