Penn College wrestler fifth at regionals

Published 02.27.2022

Wildcat Weekly

A fifth-place individual finish at the NCAA Division III Mideast Regional Wrestling Championships highlighted a busy weekend for Pennsylvania College of Technology athletes.

Competing in his first NCAA tournament, 141-pound sophomore Noah Hunt, of Muncy, became the fifth Wildcat in school history to place among the top eight at regionals when he went 3-2 over the weekend at Elizabethtown College.

Hunt won both of his matches on Saturday – with a decision and fall – to reach the semifinals. In his first bout on Sunday, Hunt lost a decision. He then was pinned in his second bout – a rematch against SUNY Cortland’s Ryan Burgbacher whom he had decisioned in his first match the day before – before he rebounded with a pin of his own in his final match to close out a 16-12 season.

Hunt’s three victories accounted for 13 of Penn College’s 18.5 team points – Patrick Snoke (2.5 points), Jesse Walker (2.5 points) and Garrett Storch (.5 point) went 1-2 in their Saturday bouts – as the Wildcats ended 18th in a 20-team field.

The College of New Jersey claimed the team crown with 163.5 points.

Hunt joins Jared Mooney, of Palmerton; Dylan Otis, of Wyalusing; Dylan Gettys, of Etters; and Dan Bergeron, of Jackson, New Jersey, in the elite circle of Penn College grapplers. Mooney placed fourth at 197 in both 2017-18 and 2018-19, Otis was fourth at 285 in 2018-19, Gettys was sixth at 174 in 2018-19 and eighth at 165 in 2019-20, and Bergeron was sixth at 165 in 2018-19.

Mideast Region results for Penn College wrestlers (final season records in parentheses):

125 – Ryan Berstler, of Middletown (15-14)
Championship Round 1 – Matt Caccamise (Brockport) won by major decision over Ryan Berstler (Penn College), 16-6
Consolation Round 1 – Alex DuFour (McDaniel College) won by major decision over Ryan Berstler (Penn College), 13-2

133 – Patrick Snoke, of Northampton (12-10)
Championship Round 1 – Luis Hernandez (Ithaca College) won by major decision over Patrick Snoke (Penn College), 13-3
Consolation Round 1 – Patrick Snoke (Penn College) won by fall over Chris Dean (Rochester Institute of Technology), 6:31
Consolation Round 2 – Andre Ruiz (New Jersey City University) won by decision over Patrick Snoke (Penn College), 7-4

141 – Noah Hunt, of Muncy (16-12)
Championship Round 1 – Noah Hunt (Penn College) won by decision over Ryan Burgbacher (SUNY Cortland), 12-10
Quarterfinal – Noah Hunt (Penn College) won by fall over Chris Horton (Rochester Institute of Technology), 2:46
Semifinal – Domenic Difrancescantonio (The College of New Jersey) won by decision over Noah Hunt (Penn College), 7-0
Consolation Semi – Ryan Burgbacher (SUNY Cortland) won by fall over Noah Hunt (Penn College), 1:06
5th Place Match – Noah Hunt (Penn College) won by fall over Michael Blando (Oneonta State), 3:39)

149 – Colin Jens, of Centreville, Maryland (15-16)
Championship Round 1 – Mike Glynn (Rochester Institute of Technology) won by decision over Colin Jens (Penn College), 7-2
Consolation Round 1 – Shane Strausser (Elizabethtown College) won by decision over Colin Jens (Penn College), 5-0

157 – Logan Ledebohm, of Mechanicsburg (4-9)
Championship Round 1 – Tyler Newton (University Pittsburg-Bradford) won by decision over Logan Ledebohm (Penn College), 8-5
Consolation Round 1 – Perry Maio (Centenary University (New Jersey) won by tech fall over Logan Ledebohm (Penn College), 5:25, 19-2

165 – Jesse Walker, of Ridgefield, Connecticut (9-9)
Championship Round 1 – Brian Schneider (Elizabethtown College) won by tech fall over Jesse Walker (Penn College), 5:38, 16-0
Consolation Round 1 – Jesse Walker (Penn College) won by fall over Timothy Pawlicki (Centenary University New Jersey), 2:16)
Consolation Round 2 – Matt Armamento (New Jersey City University) won by medical forfeit over Jesse Walker (Penn College)

174 – Andy Muzika, of Chalfont (4-8)
Preliminaries – Victor Elias (University Pittsburgh-Bradford) won by major decision over Andy Muzika (Penn College), 10-1
Preliminaries – Tyler Bailey (New Jersey City University) won by fall over Andy Muzika (Penn College), 0:57

184 – Garrett Storch, of Canton (8-9)
Preliminaries – Garrett Storch (Penn College) won by decision over Shane Lallkissoon (New Jersey City University), 7-3
Championship Round 1 – Christopher Eames (Brockport) won by decision over Garrett Storch (Penn College), 6-1
Consolation Round 1 – Fletcher Goodman (Muhlenberg College) 11-13 won by decision over Garrett Storch (Penn College), 3-0

197 – Gabriel Kennedy-Citeroni, of Blairsville (3-19)
Preliminaries – Kyle Hillermeier (New Jersey City University) won by fall over Gabriel Kennedy-Citeroni (Penn College), 1:28
Preliminaries – Jaedyn Harris (McDaniel College) won by fall over Gabriel Kennedy-Citeroni (Penn College), 3:46.

“We did not get out of the gate very strong on Saturday, which left very little room for error throughout the rest of the tournament,” coach Jamie Miller said.

“Berstler wrestled two tough matches against the eventual champ in the first round and the eventual sixth-place finisher in the first consolation round,” Miller continued. “Snoke also wrestled an eventual finalist right off the bat and lost a hard-fought decision. He wrestled his best match of the year in the first consolation round beating a tough kid from RIT, before losing another hard-fought match against the eventual sixth-place finisher.

“Walker bounced back nicely with a fall after a loss to the three seed and eventual fifth-place finisher. He, unfortunately, had to injury default out of the tournament. Storch wrestled well in his three matches, earning a nice win between his losses.

“The story of the weekend was Hunt. After trailing 7-0 heading into the third period in the opening round, he ripped off a string of takedowns and near-fall to win the match 12-10. In his second-round match against the fourth seed, he gave up an early takedown but took advantage of a scramble from the bottom and ended up pinning Horton from RIT at the end of the first period to put him in the semifinals against the tournament’s top seed and eventual champion. The 7-0 decision he lost was the closest match the TCNJ guy saw the whole tournament.

“Hunt wrestled great in his final match, picking up a fall and earning a fifth-place finish – the highest individual finish we’ve had since joining the Mideast Region (in 2019-20).

“Noah earned every bit of his success. If you were ever in the mat room an hour before practice you’d know what I mean. He’s hitting the bike for 20 minutes, running sprints and stretching long before anyone else even has their shoes on.

“His teammates couldn’t have been happier for him – they know how hard he worked for it. There were four other guys with Noah and me at the gym Sunday morning at 7:30 making sure he was ready to go and keeping his energy high.

“We had a corner full of 15 guys every match that no doubt gave him an added boost. It was awesome how his humble success galvanized our team. There is a ton of potential here and the guys are starting to see the amount of work that it takes to be successful at this level – and now that they’ve seen in it in one of their teammates they are hungry to get after it next year.”

Assessing the overall season, which included a 5-13 record in dual meets, Miller said, “Despite some significant setbacks, this has been a really exciting year for us. Berstler has wrestled great all year and really hit his stride late. Snoke improves every week and is incredibly fun to watch. We have some young, talented guys right behind them at 125 and 133 as well.

“We’ve gotten a lot of production this year from Hunt, Jens and Semon. Unfortunately, we just haven’t had the horsepower at the end of our lineup – mainly due to injuries. We wrestled without our starting 157, 165, 174 and 184 for most of the season.

“Despite the circumstances, we’ve had young guys like Anton Esterbrook, of Wyomissing; Ledebohm; Mason Saeler, of St. Mary’s, Ohio; Muzika; and Dylan Toback, of Kinnelon, New Jersey, step in and make an immediate impact. The toughness of these guys is really impressive. I wish we could have put it all together at the same time because this team would have been fun to watch, but that just wasn’t the way things panned out this year for us.

“Our returners made some big leaps this year – Berstler, Jens, Hunt, Semon and Ledebohm. Colin is the only one of that group graduating so we are very much looking forward to watching the rest continue to improve. We saw a lot of potential from young guys like CJ Trimber, of Moon Township; Esterbrook, Saeler, Toback and Cullen van Rooyen, of Dresden, Ohio – all are going to be guys to watch moving forward.”

In four competitive seasons under Miller, Penn College is 30-69.

“I’m not sure how many times I heard this season, ‘coach, this is by far the closest team I’ve ever been on.’ Unfortunately, that comradery didn’t lead to more dual meet wins, but we put together some really good tournaments, culminating in a nice regional effort by Hunt. These guys are all warriors and the vast majority of them will be back next year with some really high expectations. The future is bright for our program because of the guys on our roster,” Miller said.

Opening its season on Sunday at Stockton University in nonconference play, Penn College lost 5-4 in 11 innings and 1-0 in a five-inning darkness-shortened game.

In the first game, the Wildcats saw a 4-0 lead slip away when Stockton scored once in the eighth and three times in the ninth to tie the score, and then pull out a win in the second extra inning after a one-out walk, wild pitch, stolen base and single. Penn College had taken its early lead by scoring two runs in both the fifth and sixth innings. Both runs were unearned in the fifth and Jake Wagner, of Palmyra, who went 3 for 5, plated both runs in the sixth with a single. Zac Weaver, of Pottstown, the Wildcats’ fourth pitcher, took the loss.

After pounding out nine hits in its opener, Penn College was held to two second-inning singles in the nightcap. Stockton got its run in the third after a leadoff triple and sacrifice fly. Starting Wildcat pitcher Chance Webb, of Hughesville, took the loss. Stockton starting pitcher Mike Schiattarella recorded 13 strikeouts and walked one.

Men’s lacrosse
Leading by two goals early in the fourth quarter on Saturday, the Wildcats allowed two late Albright College scores that forced overtime and then another with 2:30 left in the extra period as Penn College dropped an 11-10 nonconference decision on the road. Quinn Caviola, of Ridgefield, Connecticut, scored three goals for the Wildcats, while James Thatcher, of Bala Cynwyd, and Sam Hills, of Maynard, Massachusetts, each tallied twice. Thatcher also had two assists as Penn College fell to 1-3 overall. Albright led in shots, 52-39, and shots on goal, 25-22.

In action last week, Penn College lost 2-1 in CS:GO, teams in Overwatch and Rocket League both lost, 3-0, while the Wildcats dropped a 2-0 decision in League of Legends and finished 14 of 36 in iRacing CIL Road Watkins Glen International.

After their seasons ended a week ago, Penn College’s two basketball coaches took some time in recent days to reflect:

Although the wins and losses (5-18 overall and 5-11 in the UE) may not have been what he was looking for, fourth-year coach Geoff Hensley said, “This was a great season that will pay off exponentially the next four years.

“I think it was typical for an extremely young team as it had its highs and lows, with some great wins and some tough losses, which is expected when a team lacks experience. In a typical game, we played 10 players, seven of whom were all first-year players. And with only losing one senior to graduation this year (Jesse White, of Harrisburg), we return a very experienced core group of players who will use the experience gained this season to build off and only get better the next three years.”

Commenting on his team’s growth, Hensley, whose career record with the Wildcats is 15-59 in three competitive seasons, said, “The first half of the season was a huge adjustment period as they had to learn how to play with each other and compete against some very good teams. Then, once we returned from the semester break for the second half of the season, the main focus was bringing everything together and playing some very good basketball.

“We added three key players at the break, Rees Watkins and James Ross, of Loyalsock Township, and Nouhamadou Diallo, of Stafford, Virginia, who really gave our team a big boost. Once we beat Penn State Abington on the road, there was a noticeable change with our team that they could see their potential and compete with any team in our conference.

“We beat Morrisville State for the first time in our program history and we also battled the top two teams in our conference – Lancaster Bible College and Penn State Harrisburg – where they both had to grind out wins in the last few minutes of the games. In both of those games

we fell just short in the final minutes, and with this experience we are hoping to have different outcomes the next few years.

“The most important stride our program made this year was gaining this great experience and learning what it takes to compete with the best teams in our conference. Individually, the change was most noticeable with our starting freshmen point guard, Gavin Barrett, of Roselle, New Jersey, and center, Chris Coyne, of Glen Mills.

“Gavin has an extremely high basketball IQ and he really took over being our ‘floor general’ in the second half of the season as he grew and developed into one of the best point guards in our conference. He recorded two triple-doubles, which is extremely difficult and virtually unheard of a point guard doing his first season. He finished the season on a high note leading our team in points (258), assists (132), steals (43) and having a great assist-to-turnover ratio.

“Coyne was another freshman who didn’t start right away, but kept working hard with a great attitude, then eventually became a starter midway through the first half of the season, and then became our leading rebounder (122, tied with White) and second-leading scorer (191 points) by the time the season was over.

“These are two are great examples of the level of growth that can be achieved when players just work hard, with a great attitude and are willing to be coachable.”

Looking ahead, Hensley said, “I am extremely optimistic and excited about the future of Penn College basketball. We established a great foundation for our program this year with all of our new players that we will only build on and improve each year moving forward.

“Our core group of players gained valuable experience playing and competing against the top teams in our conference that gives me many reasons to celebrate and be hopeful for the seasons to come. We return four starters and five bench players who all saw significant minutes this year, which is a ton of great experience, combined with a productive offseason this summer, should make for an exciting future.”

Addressing the loss of White, Hensley said, “We will miss him and, as we do every year, look to our returners to fill his void and add some key new players to help elevate our program to the next level. The reins will fall to Will Sulesky, of Huntingdon, and Barrett, to step up and lead our team the right way to new heights.”

In coach Britni Mohney’s third season (second competitive), the Wildcats continued to see on-court improvement as they finished 7-16 overall and 6-10 in the UE, the first time since 2014-15 they have posted six conference wins in a season and the second time since that same season they had seven overall wins.

“If you look at our record of seven wins, it is the same that we finished with in my first season here. However, if you look at the box score, we had about eight games where we were leading going into the fourth quarter and losing by less than nine points. We competed at a higher degree than we did our first year together as a program. We also had a harder nonconference schedule than our first year, so it only prepares us for our future,” Mohney said, adding, “We had a lot of first-year collegiate players get experience, and that builds for a promising future for Penn College basketball.

“Towards the end of conference play, senior Maci Ilgen, of Spring Mills, finally hit her stride. She was out-hustling everyone on the defensive end and was capitalizing offensively like she hasn't in past seasons. To see her game come together at the end was the exact way she should go out.

“Add in the addition of Kayleigh Miller, of Sayre, who is an extreme outside threat that we have missed in the past to help free up our forward, and Rachel Teats, of Middleburg, who is a combo guard that cannot be stopped in any situation. I am impressed with their performances in their first year.”

Teats led the team in scoring with 292 points (12.7 average), was the leader in assists with 69 and was second with 128 rebounds. Ilgen was third in scoring with 162 points.

“As a team, we showed how well we worked as a unit defensively. (We were) third in the conference, holding teams to 57.7 points per game; and third in the conference in defensive rebounding, pulling down 28.0 boards per game. We strived to force a lot of turnovers and get deflections on passes,” Mohney said. “We had a lot of different weapons individually and as a team. Defensively it would make it hard to scout us. In the end, we have to work this offseason to have confidence in putting the ball in the hoop so we can score more than the average we are holding teams to.

“We have a great core group returning for our program, leading us are key starting returners Ja'Quela Dyer, of Dover, Delaware; Teats; and Allie Troup, of Huntingdon. You look at our roster and all but three had collegiate experience prior to competing this season. Then you add in the freshmen and sophomores who got experience not many other newcomers get right away, and we are going to be in good standing for next year. It is securing our 2022 recruiting class and committing to the offseason so that we can pick up in October where we left off in February.”

Statistically, Dyer topped the Wildcats with 212 rebounds (10.1 average) and was second in scoring with 169 points.

Another of the team’s seniors, Cassie Kuhns, of Loyalsock Township, was fourth in scoring with 159 points and ended her career with 828 points.

In two competitive seasons under Mohney, Penn College is 14-33.

Final overall duals: 5-13
Saturday-Sunday, Feb. 26-27 – NCAA Division III Mideast Regional at Elizabethtown College, 18 of 20

Overall: 0-2
UE: 0-0
Saturday, Feb. 26 – at Stockton University (2), ppd.
Sunday, Feb. 27 – at Stockton University (2), L, 5-4, 11 innings; L, 1-0, 5 innings
Spring Break at North Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Sunday, March 6 – vs. Hilbert College (2), 3 p.m.
Monday, March 7 – vs. Bridgewater State University, 9 a.m.
Monday, March 7 – vs. Manhattanville College, 12:30 p.m.
Tuesday, March 8 – vs. Clarks Summit University, 10 a.m.
Wednesday, March 9 – vs. Rivier University (2), 2:30 p.m.
Thursday, March 10 – vs. Catholic University, 10 a.m.

Overall: 0-0
UW: 0-0
Spring Break at North Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Monday, March 7 – vs. Clarks Summit University, 9:30 a.m.
Monday, March 7 – vs. North Carolina Wesleyan College, 1:30 p.m.
Tuesday, March 8 – vs. King’s College (2), 1:30 and 5:30 p.m.
Wednesday, March 9 – vs. Montclair State University, 1:30 p.m.
Wednesday, March 9 – vs. Penn State Beaver, 5:30 p.m.
Friday, March 11 – vs. Lebanon Valley College, 9:30 a.m.
Friday, March 11 – vs. Cairn University, 11:30 a.m.

Men’s lacrosse
Overall: 1-3
UE: 0-0
Saturday, Feb. 26 – at Albright College, L, 11-10, OT
Saturday, March 5 – at Immaculata University, 1 p.m.
Wednesday, March 9 – at Alfred University, 5 p.m.
Saturday, March 12 – at Bryn Athyn College, 1 p.m.

Saturday-Sunday, Feb. 26-27 – USA Indoor Nationals at Harrisonburg, Va.
Saturday-Sunday, April 23-24 – USA Eastern Regional Collegiate Championships at Harrisonburg, Va.

Tuesday, Feb. 22 – CIL ROAD Watkins Glen International, 14 of 36
Tuesday, March 1 – CIL NASCAR Auto Club Speedway, 8 p.m.
Tuesday, March 8 – CIL ROAD - Autodromo International Ferrari, 8 p.m.
Tuesday, March 15 – CIL NASCAR – Las Vegas Motor Speedway, 8 p.m.
Tuesday, March 22 – CIL ROAD – Circuit De Spa-Francorchamps, 8 p.m.
Tuesday, March 29 – CIL NASCAR – Charlotte Motor Speedway, 8 p.m.
Tuesday, April 5 – CIL ROAD – Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace, 8 p.m.
Tuesday, April 12 – CIL NASCAR – Phoenix Raceway, 8 p.m.

Record: 0-5
Monday, Feb. 21 – vs. Harrisburg University, L, 3-0
Monday, Feb. 28 – vs. Messiah University, 8 p.m.
Monday, March 7 – vs. New York University, 8 p.m.
Monday, March 14 – vs. Lebanon Valley College, 8 p.m.
Monday, March 21 – vs. Lackawanna College, 8 p.m.

Rocket League
Record: 0-5
Monday, Feb. 21 – vs. Stockton University, L, 3-0
Monday, Feb. 28 – vs. New Jersey Institute of Technology, 7 p.m.
Monday, March 7 – vs. Culver University, 7 p.m.
Monday, March 14 – vs. Camden County College, 7 p.m.
Monday, March 21 – vs. Drexel University, 7 p.m.

League of Legends
Record: 1-4
Tuesday, Feb. 22 – vs. Southern Virginia University, L, 2-0

Record: 1-3
Friday, Feb. 25 – vs. Columbia University, L, 2-1

For more about the United East, visit the conference website.

For additional information, visit the Wildcat Athletics website.

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