Men's Golf, Tennis Teams Seek Championships

Published 04.22.2018

Wildcat Weekly

End-of-the-season North Eastern Athletic Conference championships are on the line later this week for Pennsylvania College of Technology men’s golf and men’s tennis teams.

“It’s been a whirlwind.”

That’s how Pennsylvania College of Technology golf coach Matt Haile described his team’s spring season thus far that has consisted of just five competitive outings, four of them a week ago, heading into this weekend’s North Eastern Athletic Conference Championship.

And not only is the conference title on the line, but with it comes an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championships – the first time Penn College is eligible to compete in them – and it has one distinct advantage: as tournament host, it will play on its home course at the Williamsport Country Club.

A practice round is scheduled for Friday with 18 holes of championship play taking place on the par 71, 6,583-yard course both Saturday and Sunday. Tee times begin at 9 a.m. each day.

In a preseason poll of NEAC coaches in August, Penn College was picked to finish fifth in the nine-team field, behind five-time defending champ Rutgers-Camden, Penn State Berks, Penn State Abington and SUNY Cobleskill and ahead of Keuka College, Morrisville State College, Bryn Athyn College and Wilson College. But Haile thinks a poll taken that early is unreal.

“The preseason poll is kind of skewed. … It is what it is. … With golf, to an extent, when you have some talent, it’s anyone’s. It’s a matter of putting two days together, and having it (championship) at our home course certainly is an advantage (for us),” Haile said.

“That’s (poll) not a true reflection of what’s to come,” continued the coach, in his ninth year. “Right now, Penn State Berks is probably a little stronger in my mind, based on what I’ve seen. But, certainly, having the past history that Rutgers has, they’re definitely going to put up a fight. We’re looking to put up a fight, as well.”

Assessing what he has seen from his team thus far, Haile said, “It’s tough to go out and find any rhythm when it’s snowing, it’s raining, it’s cold. You can’t get those reps in. Golf is all about repetition and grooving your swing. It’s been difficult to work on that with the weather that we’ve had.”

Each of the nine teams will bring five players, with the top four scores from each day determining the team champ.

“We have some work to do to get the guys ready … We have 11 guys on the roster and, at this point, they’re still qualifying for the five spots in the lineup,” the coach said, noting tha,t based on play thus far, the Wildcats’ top players will come from junior Ned Baumbach, of Elizabethtown; freshman Brian Whelan, of Cresco; freshman Eli Dyer, of Wallingford, Connecticut; freshman Dan Pivirotto, of State College; sophomore Austin Moscariello, of New Columbia; freshman Jordan Wise, of Mclure; and sophomore Ben Fails, of Hummelstown.

“(Looking at the extended forecast) … it looks good. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we have good weather,” the coach said.

“We’ve talked about that (going to the NCAA tournament) opportunity as a team. It’s definitely within reach. We’re trying to keep things level-headed with expectations, but they know what’s at stake and they’re excited. They’re on home turf and it would be awesome, it would be great for our program,” Haile said.

“I think these guys are hungry and I’m excited to see how we do,” Haile said.

Men's, Women's Tennis
With the regular season behind it, the Penn College men’s tennis team now turns its attention to this week’s NEAC Championships at Birchwood Tennis Club in Clarks Summit. Team action is scheduled for Friday and Saturday while individual competition takes place on Sunday. Although the college women’s team didn’t make the playoffs, three individuals did and they will compete on Friday.

Wrapping up the conference regular season last week, both Penn College teams fell to Penn State Berks on Friday, the men 8-1 and the women 9-0. The lone men’s win came at No. 1 doubles where Luke Whitenight, of Berwick, and Blake Whitmire, of Shickshinny, were victorious.

Playing twice on Saturday, the men topped Lancaster Bible College, 6-3, and Penn State Abington, 5-4, to end 7-6 overall and 4-1 in the NEAC while the women lost to Lancaster Bible College, 9-0, and Penn State Abington, 8-1, to finish 1-12 overall and 1-4 in the NEAC. Penn College men winning in both their singles and doubles matches against Lancaster Bible College were Will DeMarco, of Glen Mills, at No. 3 singles and No. 2 doubles; Ethan Rosler, of Bloomsburg, at No. 5 singles and No. 3 doubles; and Stephen Helminiak, of Williamsport, at No. 6 singles and No. 3 doubles. Men winning both of their matches against PS Abington were DeMarco at No. 4 singles and No. 2 doubles and Rosler at No. 6 singles and No. 3 doubles. The lone Penn College women’s winner on the day was Emily Bell, of Jersey Shore, at No. 4 singles against Abington.

On the men’s side, the Wildcats ended second in the conference and were short-handed in their lone loss to defending champion Penn State Berks, which makes coach John Machak looking for big things in the tournament. Penn College opens tourney play against Penn State Abington with the winner to face the winner of a match between Penn State Berks and Lancaster Bible College.

“Really, our goal is to capture the first-place prize,” Machak said.

In team competition, Whitenight, a sophomore, will go at No. 1 singles with Whitmire, a sophomore, at No. 2 singles (they also are the No. 1 doubles team); Benner, a freshman, is at No. 3 singles; sophomore Nicholas Pascual, of Doylestown, is at No. 4 singles; freshman Joe Morrin, of Morrisville, is at No. 5 singles; and Helminiak, a senior, is at No. 6. Pascual and Morrin will play at No. 3 doubles.

Individually for the men, Whitmire will go at No. 2, Benner at No. 3, DeMarco at No. 4, Morrin at No. 5 and Helminiak at No. 6 in singles while Whitenight and Whitmire qualified at No. 1 doubles, DeMarco and Garrett at No. 2 doubles (where they are the top seeds), and Helminiak and Rosler at No. 3 doubles.

Penn College women who qualified for the individual portion of the tournament are freshman Amber Janell, of Denver, at No. 3 singles; junior Bell at No. 4 singles; and Bell and senior Hanna Williams, of Marion, New York, at No. 2 doubles.

“We’re looking forward to having practice on Monday instead of not being involved in tennis any more for the season. We’re excited. We’re going to go and practice hard for a week and come out, hopefully, with a lot of victories,” the second-year coach said.

Despite the women’s team record, Machak said he saw individual improvement that should pay dividends down the road.

“They hit better over the course of the year. The best player easily was Emily Bell; she has become a really consistent tennis player,” the coach said, noting that the team will lose its No. 1 singles player Jane Herman, of Greencastle, who finished third in the tournament a year ago and earned Third Team all-conference honors.

“We do have some good recruits coming in for (next) season, so we’re optimistic,” the coach added.

Men’s final NEAC West Division regular season standings: Penn State Berks 5-0, Penn College 4-1, Penn State Abington 3-2, Lancaster Bible College 2-3, Bryn Athyn College 1-4, St. Elizabeth 0-5.

Women’s final NEAC regular season standings: Penn State Berks 5-0, Penn State Abington 4-1, Lancaster Bible College 3-2, Bryn Athyn College 2-3, Penn College 1-4, St. Elizabeth 0-5.

On Wednesday in nonconference play at Juniata College, the Wildcats lost by scores of 7-4 and 8-3. In the first game, Cody Cline, of Waynesboro, went 4-for-4 at the plate and drove in a run, but a seven-run third Juniata could not be overcome. In the second game, Cline again had the hot bat for Penn College as he went 2-for-3 and drove in two runs with a double.

In NEAC play on Saturday at Lancaster Bible College, Penn College won 6-2 and 22-7. In the opener, Brittan Kittle, of Millville, went 3-for-3 with three runs batted in and a run scored while Colton Riley, of Danville, and Ben Flicker, of Topton, each hit home runs. On the mound, Nathan Holt, of Shippensburg, went the seven-inning distance and improved to 3-1 with a three-hit performance. In the nightcap, the Wildcats pounded out 18 hits with Flicker, Riley and Nick Perna, of Frenchtown, New Jersey, all homering. Perna’s was a grand slam in a seven-run ninth inning and Riley had solo shots in the second, fifth and eighth innings. Flicker ended the game going 4-for-6 at the plate with five RBIs.

On Sunday at Gallaudet University, Penn College won the opener 7-6 in eight innings and took the second game, 12-2, to improve to 9-1 in the NEAC and 15-10 overall. In the first game, Noah Esposito, of Williamsport, doubled in what proved to be the winning run in the top of the eighth. Brandon Barnyak, of Karthaus, picked up the win with three scoreless and hitless innings of relief pitching. In the second game, Flicker had three hits, scored twice and drove in two runs, Kittle had two hits, plated two runs and scored once and Nathaniel Lowe, of East New Market, Maryland, had a two-run triple.

In North Eastern Athletic Conference action this week: At SUNY Cobleskill (2-17 overall, 1-3 NEAC through Sunday), 1 p.m. Saturday; at SUNY Poly (8-14 overall, 2-4 NEAC through Sunday), noon Sunday.

Last meeting vs. SUNY Cobleskill: First-time opponent.

Last meeting vs. SUNY Poly: Won 8-3 on May 6.

Statistically speaking: Riley is tied for second in the NEAC with eight home runs; Flicker is 11th in the NEAC with a .389 batting average; Max Bair, of Centre Hall, is fifth in the NEAC with a 2.87 earned run average.

NEAC standings through Sunday: Penn State Berks 12-0, Penn State Abington 11-0, Penn College 9-1, Keuka College 3-3, Lancaster Bible College 4-5, SUNY Poly 2-4, SUNY Cobleskill 1-3, Cazenovia College 1-7, Wells College 0-8, Gallaudet University 0-10.

Hosting St. Elizabeth on Saturday after two postponements and a cancellation earlier in the week, Penn College lost by scores of 4-3 and 2-1. In the opener, three Wildcats had two hits each and Penn College outhit St. Elizabeth, 10-6, but it couldn’t get the timely hit when it was needed. In the second game, the Wildcats again were stymied at the plate, stranding nine base runners.

At Cazenovia College on Sunday, Penn College split, losing 9-0 and winning 8-0 to go to 5-7 in the conference and 11-17 overall. In the first game, Penn College was limited to five hits, two by Kylie Shreiner, of East Petersburg. In the second game, Penn College pitcher Morgan Heritage, of New Castle, Delaware, threw a three-hit shutout, striking out nine and walking one. On offense, Shreiner added two more hits, including a double, while Taylor Brooks, of Cogan Station, scored three times and four Penn College players drove in two runs each.

In North Eastern Athletic Conference action this week: Host Wells College (7-12 overall, 6-4 NEAC through Sunday), 3 p.m. Wednesday; at SUNY Poly (4-12 overall, 2-4 NEAC through Sunday), 1 p.m. Saturday; at Wilson College (10-10 overall, 8-2 NEAC through Sunday), 1 p.m. Sunday.

Last meeting vs. Wells College: Won 14-3 and 3-1 on April 11, 2017.

Last meeting vs. SUNY Poly: Won 3-1 and 5-2 on April 29.

Last meeting vs. Wilson College: First-time opponent.

Statistically speaking: Heritage is  second in the NEAC with 79 strikeouts, Taylor Krow, of Mechanicsburg, is eighth in the NEAC with a .393 batting average.

NEAC North Division standings through Sunday: Keuka College 6-0, Penn College 5-3, Cazenovia College 3-1, Wells College 2-4, SUNY Cobleskill 1-3, Morrisville State College 1-5, SUNY Poly 0-2.

NEAC South Division standings through Sunday: Penn State Berks 6-0, St. Elizabeth College 6-0, Wilson College 4-2, Penn State Abington 2-4, Gallaudet University 0-6, Lancaster Bible College 0-6.

Competing April 14-15 at the Adam Wheatcroft Memorial in Harrisonburg, Virginia, Penn College archers took six first-place finishes, two in individual and four in team events.

Recording individual firsts were Markus Weber, of La Plata, Maryland, in the men’s compound division, and Nathaniel Haefka, of Wyalusing, in male bowhunter.

Taking individual seconds were Tyler Schoonover, of Bradford, in men’s compound, and Sabrina Toplovich, of Spring Creek, in women’s compound, while finishing third individually were Tim Lamont, of Eldred, in men’s compound; Justin Rinehimer, of Mountain Top, in men’s bowhunter; and Rylee Butler, of Bellefonte, in women’s bowhunter.

Finishing first in team events were: Weber, Schoonover and Lamont in men’s compound; Heafka, Rinehimer and John Kleinfelter, of Lebanon, in men’s bowhunter; Weber and Toplovich in mixed compound; and Haefka and Butler in mixed bowhunter.

Also in team competition, Toplovich; Sapphire Naugle, of Jersey Shore; and Chelsea Douglass, of East Greenville, placed second in women’s compound.

“We finally had a nice weekend for shooting, the temperature was nice, but the wind was kind of rough. The scores across the board showed this all weekend for all teams,” coach Chad Karstetter said.

“(Assistant coach) Dustin (Bartron) and I are very proud of the way the whole team shot and it showed in the results,” he continued. “It is tough enough shooting under all the pressures of an event and then add the wind into play. Just to put it into perspective, normally you have very few misses on the whole field. This weekend, I believe everyone had at least one.

“I can see a big improvement throughout the whole team with the amount of time we are putting in on the practice range. With Eastern Regionals (April 21-22 on the Penn College campus), and nationals only a few weeks out (May 18-21 in Newberry, Florida), Dustin and I are feeling pretty confident we will bring home some medals.”

Overall: 15-10
NEAC: 9-1
Sunday, April 15 – at Penn State Altoona (2), ppd. TBA
Tuesday, April 17 – host Mt. Aloysius at Bowman Field (2), ppd. to Monday, April 23
Wednesday, April 18 – at Juniata College (2), L, 7-4; L, 8-3
Saturday, April 21 – at Lancaster Bible College (NEAC, 2), W, 6-2; W, 22-7
Sunday, April 22 – at Gallaudet University (NEAC, 2), W, 7-6 in 8 innings; W, 12-2
Monday, April 23 – at Mt. Aloysius College, 4 p.m.
Tuesday, April 24 – host Mansfield University at Bowman Field (2), 4 p.m.
Saturday, April 28 – at SUNY Cobleskill (NEAC, 2), 1 p.m.
Sunday, April 29 – at SUNY Poly (NEAC, 2), noon
Wednesday, May 2 – at Elmira College, 6 p.m.
Saturday, May 5 – host Penn State Berks at Bowman Field (NEAC, 2), 1 p.m.
Sunday, May 6 – host Penn State Abington at Bowman Field (NEAC, 2), noon
Friday-Sunday, May 11-13 – NEAC Championships, TBA
(End of regular season)

Overall: 11-17
NEAC: 5-7
Sunday, April 15 – at Cazenovia College (NEAC, 2), ppd. to April 22
Monday, April 16 – at Elmira College (2), ppd.
Thursday, April 19 – at Wilkes University (2), canceled
Saturday, April 21 – host St. Elizabeth at Elm Park (NEAC, 2), L, 4-3; L, 2-1
Sunday, April 22 – at Cazenovia College (NEAC, 2), L, 9-0; W, 8-0
Wednesday, April 25 – host Wells College at Elm Park (NEAC, 2), 3 p.m.
Thursday, April 26 – at Lycoming College (2), 3:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 28 – at SUNY Poly (NEAC, 2), 1 p.m.
Sunday, April 29 – at Wilson College (NEAC, 2), 1 p.m.
Friday-Sunday, May 4-6 – NEAC Championships, TBA
(End of regular season)

Men’s Golf
Overall: 2-0
Saturday-Sunday, April 28-29 – host NEAC Championship at Williamsport Country Club, 9 a.m.
(End of regular season)

Men’s Tennis
Overall: 7-6 (1-5 fall)
NEAC: 4-1
Sunday, April 15 – at Penn State Abington (NEAC), ppd. to April 21
Friday, April 20 – host Penn State Berks (NEAC), L, 8-1
Saturday, April 21 – host Lancaster Bible College (NEAC), W, 6-3
Saturday, April 21 – at Penn State Abington (NEAC), W, 5-4
Friday-Sunday, April 27-29 – NEAC Championships at Birchwood Tennis Club, Clarks Summit
(End of season)

Women’s Tennis
Overall: 1-12 (0-7 fall)
NEAC: 1-4
Sunday, April 15 – at Penn State Abington (NEAC), ppd. to April 21
Friday, April 20 – host Penn State Berks (NEAC), L, 9-0
Saturday, April 21 – host Lancaster Bible College (NEAC), L, 9-0
Saturday, April 21 – at Penn State Abington (NEAC), L, 8-1
Friday, April 27 – NEAC Individual Championships at Birchwood Tennis Club, Clarks Summit
(End of season)

Saturday-Sunday, April 21-22 – host East Region Outdoor Collegiate Championships
May 18-21 – Collegiate Outdoor Nationals at Newberry, Fla.
(End of season)

For more about NEAC, visit the conference website.

For more information, visit the Wildcat Athletics website.

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