Monday, September 4, 2017

Penn College Sports Update No. 4

Two more Penn College fall sports teams opening

Two more Pennsylvania College of Technology fall sports teams are scheduled to open their seasons over the next week as the men’s tennis team hosts Susquehanna University at noon on Saturday and the women’s tennis team travels to Misericordia University at 3 p.m. next Monday, Sept. 11.

Men’s tennis

“I’m very excited to start. We haven’t lost anyone and (the players) have been working hard over the summer, taking lessons, hitting a lot. The guys at the bottom of our lineup have gotten a lot better,” coach John Machak said entering his second season.

Sophomore Blake Whitmire, of Shickshinny, returns at No. 1 singles with sophomore Nico Pascual, of Doylestown, at No. 2. Expected to open at No. 3 singles is freshman Garrett Bennett, of Selinsgrove, with junior Ethan Rosler, of Bloomsburg, at No. 4; and seniors Andrew Francisco, of Bronx, New York; Austin Adams, of Center Valley; and Stephen Helminiak, of Williamsport, in the mix.

“We’re really deep, really good on the men’s side, so we’re really excited about that,” the coach said.

“We have to improve on the consistency, which I think we are going to take a big step this year on. … Consistency isn’t the most important thing when you’re just starting out, but now these guys have improved drastically with that so you’re going to see a lot better game from them,” Machak said.

A year ago the Wildcats had an 0-4 fall season and went 2-7 in the spring.

Women’s tennis

Despite coming into the season with an all-new lineup from last year’s 2-12 (0-7 fall) team that finished fifth in the North Eastern Athletic Conference in the spring, second-year coach John Machak is hopeful of improvement.

“The good news is a lot of our players have taken private lessons from the local club pro. They’ve played a lot of high school tennis and had success. It’s going to be a new squad, but I’m very happy with what I think is going to be a good, successful season,” Machak said.

Top players are expected to be seniors Sammie Via, of Loyalsock Township; Meghan Herman, of Jersey Shore; and freshmen Cassie Shook, of Renovo; and Amber Janelli, of Denver, Pa.

“The seniors haven’t played since high school, but (have played) recreationally and it’s really just going to be kind of getting the rust off and getting their strokes out again, which shouldn’t take long. I expect them to be pretty competitive right away,” Machak said. “For the other two (underclassmen), it’s just taking them to the next level.”

The spring season, which begins in April, also will see the return of junior Jane Herman, of Greencastle, to the team. Last spring, Herman, who is on the women’s soccer team this fall, finished third at No. 3 singles in the NEAC and was an All-NEAC Third Team member.

The key for both the men and women, the coach said, will be a quick start each time out.

“We have to start fast with our doubles matches. We play three doubles matches and then you play the singles matches and last year we often put ourselves behind the eight-ball with the doubles matches. This year the whole key is going to be to start fast, win the doubles matches and then that way we’re up early and we’ve got the advantage and we’re putting pressure on our opponents,” Machak said.


Women’s soccer

Hosting King’s College in their season opener on Friday, the Wildcats lost, 3-1, with Dominique Brown, of Benton, scoring for Penn College at the 28:21-minute mark. King’s led in shots, 13-4 (7-2 on goal), and corner kicks, 11-1.

In the NEAC preseason coaches’ poll announced last week, Penn College was picked to finish third among 14 teams. Four-time champion Penn State Berks topped the poll.

Men’s soccer

At Geneva College on Friday in its season opener, Penn College lost, 3-0. After a closely-contested first half that saw Geneva lead 1-0, the home team outshot the Wildcats 13-1 during the second half and added two more goals. Overall, Geneva led in shots, 20-6 (14-2 on goal).

On Saturday, Matt Hibbs, of Loyalsock Township, a first-year Penn College player, put the Wildcats on the board first with an assist from Seth Bilbie, of Shrewsbury, in the first half at Grove City College. But the home team came back late in the second half to win, 3-1, and drop Penn College to 0-2 overall. Grove City led in shots, 14-10 (8-3 on goal).

In the NEAC preseason coaches’ poll announced last week, Penn College was picked to finish 11th among 14 teams. Three-time champion Morrisville State College topped the poll.

Women’s volleyball

Competing on Saturday in the Lycoming College Classic, Penn College lost to the host team, 3-0 (25-13, 25-17, 25-15), before topping Summit University, 3-1 (29-27, 19-25, 25-23, 25-14). In the first match, Sophie Coldsmith, of Gettysburg, led Penn College with 11 assists while Jordyn Smeltzer, of Manchester, had nine digs. In squaring its overall record at 1-1 against Summit, Smeltzer led with Penn College with 13 kills, 19 digs and four aces while Coldsmith had 27 assists and a block.

In the NEAC preseason coaches’ poll announced last week, Penn College was picked to finish 12th among 14 teams. Seven-time defending champion Gallaudet University topped the poll.

In North Eastern Athletic Conference action this week: Host Morrisville State College (2-0 overall, 0-0 NEAC), noon Saturday.

Last meeting vs. Morrisville State College: Lost 3-0 last Oct. 1.

Men’s cross-country

The Wildcats finished fourth among nine teams on Friday at the Misericordia University Invitational. Individually, Josh Velez, of Lewistown, placed seventh in an 80-runner field over the 5K course in 16:47.

In the NEAC preseason coaches’ poll announced last week, Penn College was picked to finish fifth among 13 teams. SUNY Cobleskill topped the poll.

Women’s cross-country

Freshman Sidney Trunzo, of Williamsport, made her collegiate debut memorable with a fourth-place finish in 15:58 among 92 individuals over a 4K course at the Misericordia University Invitational on Friday. Penn College placed sixth among nine teams.

In the NEAC preseason coaches’ poll announced last week, Penn College was picked to finish 12th among 13 teams. SUNY Cobleskill topped the poll.

Men’s soccer
Overall: 0-2    
NEAC: 0-0
Friday, Sept. 1 – at Geneva College, L, 3-0
Saturday, Sept. 2 – at Grove City College, L, 3-1
Wednesday, Sept. 6—host Keystone College, 6 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 8 – at Delaware Valley University, 7 p.m.
Monday, Sept. 11 – at Pitt-Greensburg, 7 p.m.

Women’s soccer
Overall: 0-1
NEAC: 0-0
Friday, Sept. 1 – host King’s College, L, 3-1
Thursday, Sept. 7 – at Keystone College, 4 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 13 – host Lycoming College, 7 p.m.

Men’s cross-country
Friday, Sept. 1 – at Misericordia University Invitational, finished fourth in a nine-team field.
Saturday, Sept. 9 – at Morrisville Invitational, noon
Saturday, Sept. 23 – at Lock Haven Invitational, 10:30 a.m.

Women’s cross-country
Friday, Sept. 1 – at Misericordia University Invitational, finished sixth in a nine-team field.
Saturday, Sept. 9 – at Morrisville Invitational, 11 a.m.
Saturday, Sept. 16 – at Abington Invitational, 8:30 a.m.

Men’s golf
Wednesday, Sept. 13 – at Keuka College Invitational, 10 a.m.

Men’s tennis
Overall: 0-0
Saturday, Sept. 9 – host Susquehanna University, noon
Monday, Sept. 11 – at Misericordia University, 3 p.m.

Women’s tennis
Overall: 0-0
Monday, Sept. 11 – at Misericordia University, 3 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 14 – host Susquehanna University, 4 p.m.

Women’s volleyball
Overall: 1-1
NEAC: 0-0
Saturday, Sept. 2 – at Lycoming College Classic vs. Lycoming College, L, 3-0 (25-13, 25-17, 25-15); vs. Summit University, W, 3-1 (29-27, 19-25, 25-23, 25-14)
Saturday, Sept. 9 – host triangular with Morrisville State (NEAC), noon; and Misericordia University, 4 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 13 – host Penn State Abington (NEAC), 7 p.m.

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