Penn College Wrestlers Ready for Stretch Run
“I think, overall, everyone is progressing nicely,” coach Schuyler Frey said of the season thus far. “I think, at the last competition we had (Dec. 7 at the Nittany Lion Open), that the intensity has picked up and some of the guys are really starting to put some things together and it’s starting to flow a little bit better than they had at the beginning of the season.”
A long holiday and semester layoff could be a major problem, but Frey isn’t overly concerned.
“I’ve always worried about that long break just because, in wrestling, conditioning is a key and we’re definitely at a disadvantage to other schools that we’re going to be wrestling, but I was really happy when the guys came back, how well their conditioning still was,” he said.
“We are just finishing up this week with two-a-days and every day everyone was putting it on the line, going all out, and I think the conditioning is where we need it. Also, they all got back home and wrestled with their high school (teams) and you could see there wasn’t a lot of rust and everyone is pretty much hitting the road running where we left off.”
Looking to the remainder of the season for the now 1-7 Wildcats, which starts Saturday with a triangular at Gettysburg College that includes Southern Virginia University, Frey said, “With us not really having a postseason, we looked at the Nittany Lion Open and the Shorty Hitchcock Open (Jan. 18) as our nationals; we’re trying to get to the guys to that level.
“We want them to wrestle tough, wrestle hard. We’re going to fill a majority of the weights this semester, so maybe we can pull out a couple of dual-meet wins.”
Facing North Eastern Athletic Conference South Division-leading Lancaster Bible College on the road Wednesday, the Wildcats fell, 77-57. Nathaniel Brown, of Philadelphia, led Penn College scorers with 14 points. Lancaster led 43-30 at the half and was ahead by as many as 28 in the second half. The Wildcats were outrebounded 44-26, gave up 20 points on turnovers and were outscored 42-22 in the paint.
At home against Gallaudet University on Saturday, Penn College fell behind 40-19 at the half and trailed by as many as 29 points in the second half before losing, 68-49. Kevin Laurence-El, of Milton, led the Wildcats with 10 points and eight rebounds as they dropped to 1-4 in the conference and 2-9 overall. Gallaudet also held a 50-30 rebounding advantage.
Returning to action Wednesday at NEAC South Division co-leading Lancaster Bible College, Penn College dropped an 87-54 decision. Alicia Ross, of Williamsport, scored 18 points for the Wildcats and Jamie Steer, of South Williamsport, added 12 points and a team-high 13 rebounds. The home team opened a 41-26 halftime lead and pulled away from there. Lancaster Bible won the war on the boards, 48-30, scored 22 points off Penn College turnovers and scored 46 points in the paint to 28 for the Wildcats.
Back in action at home Saturday, Ross scored 18 points and Charese Bova, of Beech Creek, scored 12 points and pulled down 14 rebounds in a 57-48 win over Gallaudet University to improve to 3-2 in the NEAC and 4-5 overall. The victory avenged a 69-61 Wildcats loss in their season opener at Gallaudet on Nov. 19. Penn College led 11-4 early and was up 24-23 at the intermission. The Wildcats' largest lead of 10 points came after a 12-2 run with 3:15 left in the game.
PENN COLLEGE SCHEDULES/RECORDS
Overall record: 2-9
NEAC record: 1-4
Wednesday, Jan. 7 – at Lancaster Bible College, L, 77-57
Saturday, Jan. 10 – host Gallaudet University, L, 68-49
Sunday, Jan. 11 – at Wilson College, 2 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 13 – host Penn State Abington, 8 p.m.
Monday, Jan. 19 – at Alfred State College, 7 p.m.
Overall record: 4-5
NEAC record: 3-2
Wednesday, Jan. 7 -- at Lancaster Bible College, L, 87-54
Saturday, Jan. 10 – host Gallaudet University, W, 57-48
Sunday, Jan. 11 – at Wilson College, noon
Tuesday, Jan. 13 – host Penn State Abington, 6 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 17 – host College of St. Elizabeth, 1 p.m.
Overall dual record: 1-7
Saturday, Jan. 17 – triangular at Gettysburg College with Gettysburg, 1 p.m., and Southern Virginia University, 3 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 18 – at Millersville University Shorty Hitchcock Open, TBA
Friday, Jan. 30 – at York College, 7 p.m.