Three Seasons Underway, Three More Opening
ON THE HORIZON
With four key returning players in Alex Howe and Corey Teeple, both of Lake Ariel; Nick Krupka, of Allentown; and Bryce Petersheim, of Birdsboro, coach Matt Haile is optimistic about his fifth edition.
Joining those four are Sam Bubb, of Williamsport; Calvin Foust, of Palmyra; Andrew Davies, of Lititz; and Dan Honovic, of Brooklyn, N.Y., all of whom Haile said are “very capable of playing in our top six.”
“I'm excited for the season and I think they are going to do great things this year. Their work ethic is everything a coach looks for – hardworking, dedicated to the team and always striving to do their best. It's going to be an exciting season and I can't wait to watch it unfold,” the coach said.
“We have four returnees who are hungry for a championship. Our new guys are no strangers to competition either; Sam comes from playing some good local high school golf, Calvin comes from Division III golf at Penn State Harrisburg, and Andrew and Dan have a lot of talent they bring to the team,” Haile continued.
“(Our) team strength is going to be our depth from our No. 1 all the way through our roster. We have guys at the bottom of our lineup wanting a starting spot, which is going to keep everyone on the top of their games,” Haile said, noting that, “Weakness this year will continue to be our players avoiding the big numbers on their scorecards. If they can play smart golf and keep the big numbers on their card to a minimum, we will do great. I’ll continue to stress course management and focus hard on their short games.
“(The) key to our success this season will come from each and every one of our players staying focused and putting the bad holes behind them. They are out there on the course for almost five hours, so it’s important they be focused and don’t give up on themselves even when they may not be playing their best.
“(The) outlook for this season is high. This is our last season in the Penn State University Athletic Conference and our veteran players, along with myself, are itching for a championship. We've been close the past couple of years, so it would be nice to get it done this year to conclude our time in the PSUAC and a nice sendoff for our lone senior on the team, Alex Howe. Alex has been a great leader on the team the last four seasons and will be greatly missed. It's been a pleasure watching him develop as a golfer.
“I believe this year’s team has the ability to place high in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association with the caliber of players we have. From our No. 1 to No. 8, they are all capable of shooting in the 70s; it will just be a matter of putting two rounds together at our championships,” Haile concluded.
Last season, Penn College finished second in the PSUAC and eighth in the USCAA. Haile was named the Coach of the Year in the PSUAC.
To get aligned with the National Collegiate Athletic Association, Penn College and the PSUAC have gone from a co-ed team tennis concept to separate women’s and men’s programs, with the men playing in the spring. Robert Kemrer returns for his third season as coach and predicts of his women: “We should have a solid team this year. I am happy with where my team is at during our first few weeks of the practice.”
Key players include seniors Jenna Walmer, of Lebanon, and Taylor Lapointe, of Pelham, N.H.; junior Taylor Pompili, of Renovo; sophomore Melanie Haydak, of Vineland, N.J.; and freshmen Melissa Stabley, of Cogan Station; and Brooke Reed, of Hamburg.
“I am working with a new squad, I only have two returners from our co-ed team last year; everyone else is new. I am hoping to see my team be competitive in all of our matches,” Kemrer said. “My team is extremely dedicated to improving this season. I feel that this is my team’s biggest strength since they are looking forward to the challenge and can’t wait to show that they are a solid team.
“I feel the biggest weakness for my team this season is lack of experience. Since I have a whole new team of girls, it is going to take time for some of the new players to adjust and begin to improve throughout the season,” the coach continued. “The key to our success this season is for us to stay consistent on the court and for all of our players to stay healthy.”
Looking ahead, Kemrer said, “We should be among the top teams in the PSUAC and I am hoping we can be competitive in our out-of-conference matches.
“This season is a big step for our team going from co-ed to all women. I feel that this will be the toughest schedule the team has had in a long time, especially adding a lot of schools outside the PSUAC,” the coach stated.
A year ago the Wildcats finished 7-1 and won the PSUAC championship.
Daniel Flynn, of Blairstown, N.J., and Ed Knyff, of Ocean Grove, N.J., are the lone returning runners for Penn College, but first-year coach David Mendez believes his team will be strong and has “a lot of potential.”
Also running for the Wildcats will be Bill Cox, of Ebensburg; Nathan Mashack, of Bloomsburg; Tyler Pecoria, of Drums; and Dan Rose, of Albrightsville. Flynn, a sophomore, placed third individually in the PSUAC Championships last season when the team won its 10th consecutive conference championship, eighth straight in the PSUAC. The Wildcats finished 12th in the USCAA National Championships last fall.
“This team’s strength is its commitment and dedication,” Mendez said. “Not having additional runners puts us in a disadvantage should any of our current runners suffer injuries. They work great as a team and I have a lot of confidence in their reaching their personal and team goals.
“I have stressed to the team that their "core" is very important to their being better runners. I believe that if they work hard, listen to their bodies and keep their personal and team goals ahead of them, they will succeed,” the coach added.
“As this is my first year at (Penn College), I am still recruiting runners and hope to build an even stronger team,” said Mendez, who previously served as the head coach of Our Lady of Mercy Academy track team in Newfield, N.J. He is a graduate of Southern Illinois and Monmouth universities.
The Wildcats traveled to Alfred, N.Y., for their season opener Friday and came away with a 3-1 win over the NCAA Division III university. Scoring goals for Penn College were Christian Dressler, of McAlisterville; Chris Brennan, of New Hope; and Tarik Laroche, of Milton. Freshman goalkeeper Malcolm Kane, of Glenside, had 10 saves in helping give Adam Matter a victory in his Penn College coaching debut.
In a closely contested match, Rosemont College edged Penn College, 2-1, in the Wildcats’ opener on Saturday. Robyn Beddow, of Lancaster, scored the lone Penn College goal despite the team’s 19-shot effort. Rosemont got the game-winner on a penalty kick in the 79th minute.
Despite seven kills by Courtney Gernert, of Palmyra, Penn College dropped its opener on Friday at Keystone College, 25-17, 25-18, 25-22. Also for Penn College, Ashlee Dick, of Petersburg, and Kaitlyn Bailey, of Millerton, each recorded five digs and freshman Cathleen Aviles, of Robesonia, had 11 assists.
Overall record: 1-0
Friday, Aug. 30 – at Alfred (N.Y.) University, W, 3-1
Saturday, Sept. 7 – host Penn State Brandywine, 1 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 10 – host Baptist Bible College, 7 p.m.
Overall record: 0-1
Saturday, Aug. 31 – at Rosemont College, L, 2-1
Saturday, Sept. 7 – at Baptist Bible College, 1 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 14 – at Alfred (N.Y.) University, 7 p.m.
Overall record: 0-1
Friday, Aug. 30 – at Keystone College, L, 17-25, 18-25, 22-25
Saturday, Sept. 7 – at Penn State Harrisburg, 10 a.m.
Saturday, Sept. 7 – vs. King’s College at Penn State Harrisburg, 2 p.m.
Monday, Sept. 9 – at Mt. Aloysius College, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 4 – at Penn State Mont Alto, 11 a.m.
Monday, Sept. 9 – Penn College Invitational at White Deer, 11 a.m.
Thursday, Sept. 5 – host Baptist Bible College, 4 p.m.
Saturday, Sept 7 – at Penn State Brandywine, noon
Tuesday, Sept. 10 – at Susquehanna University, 4 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 7 – Dutchmen Invitational at Lebanon Valley College, 10 a.m.
Saturday, Sept. 14 – Cougar Classic at Misericordia University, 10:30 a.m.