Wrestling Season Set to Begin for Penn College
Third-year coach Schuyler Frey believes his team has a good nucleus returning from a squad that won last season’s PSUAC championship, finished third in the USCAA and placed 17th in the National Collegiate Wrestling Association championships.
Returning are Austin Clark, of Elysburg, at 165 pounds; Paul Crutchlow, of Morris Plains, N.J., at 174; Logan Gresock, of Copley, Ohio, at 184; Tyler Myers, of Centre Hall, at 157; Jasper Ocker III, of Burnham, at 197; and Kyle Sunseri, of Athens, at 141.
“Tyler and Logan pulled the guys together in preseason, before I was able to start working with them, doing workouts and getting them in shape. Even though we’re into the season, they’re still leading,” Frey said. Last season, Myers and now-graduated Derek Leiby, of Troy, became the college’s first-ever wrestling All-Americans for their top 10 finishes at NCWA nationals. Gresock was a PSUAC champ.
“If we can stay healthy, it’s going to be a good season. With our returning guys, certainly, they’ve set the tone, but the new guys coming in are buying into it and everyone is working hard. ... I’m really excited for the season to get started,” Frey said.
Penn College opens at 6 p.m. Friday hosting The Apprentice School, of Newport News, Va., and Frey knows his team has its work cut out.
“They’re consistently one of the better teams in the country in the NCWA. ... It’s going to be a tough match. Coming out of the blocks, we’re going to need to be getting after it. It’s going to be a hard one,” the coach said.
“I‘ve tried to make our schedule tougher. We’re trying to wrestle the best teams that we can. If we have a good dual-meet season, that’s good, but it’s the nationals that we’re looking to compete for,” Frey stressed.
Coach Mike Paulhamus has realistic expectations as he takes his PSUAC-championship men’s cross-country team to Lake Placid, N.Y., where it will compete Friday at noon in the USCAA national championships.
“Lake Placid has a very difficult course. It is run on the 1980 Olympic biathlon course and there is a major hill that the guys will have to run twice,” Paulhamus said. “They say there are going to be 26 men’s teams this year and I’m hoping to be in the top half of that. We don’t have the team to compete against some of the bigger schools that are going, but, if we can be in the top 10, it would be a successful trip.
“It’s just going to be a reward for an excellent season. We’ll see where we stand among the other USCAA competitors,” said the coach, in his 13th season.
In its USCAA national championship pool play opener on Friday in Canton, N.Y., Penn College fell to Daemen College, 0-2 (13-25, 10-25). Later Friday, Penn College fell to the University of Cincinnati-Clermont, 0-2 (16-25, 18-25).
On Saturday at the USCAA event, the Wildcats fell to Carlow University, 0-2 (18-25, 11-25), and SUNY Canton, 0-2 (12-25, 12-25).
“We made some mental mistakes and didn’t correct them,” coach Bambi Hawkins said. “There were some sparks that looked to change the momentum, but the team just couldn’t put it together.”
During the tournament, it was announced that senior Tara Powell, of Burgettstown, was awarded all-USCAA Honorable Mention recognition.
Penn College now awaits word on when it will square off against Penn State Fayette for the Penn State University Athletic Conference championship. Their match originally had been scheduled for Oct. 29, but was postponed due to Superstorm Sandy.
In its first-round match on Thursday at the United States Collegiate Athletic Association championships in Asheville, N.C., seventh-seeded Penn College was blanked by No. 2 seed West Virginia Institute of Technology, 10-0, being held to no shots on goal.
Facing No. 3 seed Concordia, Ala., College in the consolation round on Friday, the Wildcats lost, 3-1. Blayne Allen, of Trumbull, Conn., scored the team’s lone goal as it concluded a 15-4-1 season.
In seven seasons under coach Enrique Castillo, Penn College is 102-24-6.
Earlier in the week, it was announced that junior Chris Brennan, of New Hope, had been named the PSUAC Player of the Year, and that three Wildcats – Brennan; senior Ben Shade, of Fleetwood; and junior Phil Bair, of Harrisburg – had been named to the All-Conference First Team. Brennan led the team with 15 goals. Also, Brennan and Shade were named to the USCAA Second Team and Bair was named an USCAA Honorable Mention.
In their opening match at the USCAA national tournament, also in Asheville, N.C., the third-seeded Wildcats lost to No. 6 seed Daemen College, 2-0, despite 17 saves by freshman goalie Reda Vermilya, of Turbotville.
“The pace of the game was something we struggled with since it was on turf, something that we’re not used to playing on consistently,” coach Markus Rybak said.
On Friday against No. 7 seeded University of Maine-Machias, Penn College fell, 3-2, to end its season at 8-6-2. Scoring goals for the Wildcats were Madilyn Walters, of Lewistown, and Kaileen Delaney, of Lancaster.
In three seasons, Rybak’s teams have gone 17-20-4.
It was announced during the national tournament that sophomore Valeria Passalacqua, of McAlisterville, and Vermilya were named to the USCAA Second Team. As goalie, Vermilya had an .885 save percentage, ranking second among all keepers in the USCAA.
Friday, Nov. 9 – USCAA Championships at Lake Placid, N.Y., noon
Overall record: 23-11
PSUAC record: 17-1
Monday, Oct. 29 – vs. Penn State Fayette in PSUAC championship at Rec Hall, ppd.
Friday, Nov. 2 – vs. Daemen College, L, 0-2 (13-25, 10-25) and vs. UC Clermont, L, 0-2 (16-25, 18-25) in USCAA National Championships at Canton, N.Y.
Saturday, Nov. 3 – vs. Carlow University, L, 0-2 (18-25, 11-25), and SUNY Canton, L, 0-2 (12-25, 12-25) in USCAA National Championships at Canton, N.Y.
PSUAC championship vs. Penn State Fayette, TBA
Final overall record: 15-4-1
Thursday, Nov. 1 – vs. West Virginia University Institute of Technology at USCAA national championships at Asheville, N.C., L, 10-0
Friday, Nov. 2 – vs. Concordia (Ala.) College at USCAA national championships at Asheville, N.C., L, 3-1
Final overall record: 8-6-2
Thursday, Nov. 1 – vs. Daemen College in USCAA national championships at Asheville, N.C., L, 2-0
Friday, Nov. 2 – vs. University of Maine-Machias in USCAA national championships at Asheville, N.C., L, 3-2
Friday, Nov. 9 – host The Apprentice School of Newport News, Va., 6 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 10 – at Electric City Duals, Scranton University, 10 a.m.
Wednesday, Nov. 14 – at UMBC, 7 p.m.
Monday, Nov. 12 – host Pitt-Titusville, 8 p.m.
Monday, Nov. 12 – host Pitt-Titusville, 6 p.m.