Penn College tennis, esports teams set

Published 09.04.2022

Wildcat Weekly

Five Pennsylvania College of Technology fall sports teams are underway and three more will join their ranks this week when men’s and women’s tennis and esports seasons begin.

Men’s/women’s tennis
Five returning players – three men and two women – form the nucleus of coach Jessica Bower’s teams that open Friday at Misericordia University.

Last season, the men went 6-7 overall and 1-4 in the United East, while the women were 3-11 overall and also finished 1-4 in the conference.

“We are going to be a very young team this year so we will really need to turn to the leadership of the returners. Sophomore Paul Langbein, of Carnegie; and seniors Jesse Kight, of Williamsport; and Zack Burkhart, of Milton, on the men’s team are returning. Junior Georgia Macensky, of Wellsboro, and senior Hannah Burnett, of Middlebury Center, are the only returners on the women’s team,” Bower said of her fifth edition.

Langbein was 9-4 at No. 2 singles last season and he teamed with now-graduated Tucker Phillippe-Johansson, of Mattituck, New York, for an 11-3 doubles record.

Freshmen on the men’s team include two who played at the No. 1 singles position on their high school teams: Kyle Shuler, of Williamsport, and Logan Ogden, of South Williamsport, Bower said. Also on the squad are freshman Ian Dayhoff, of Muncy; sophomore Frankie Gagliardi, of Pottstown; and freshman Ethan Hileman, of Altoona.

“On the women’s team, we have freshman Ellen Buckley, of Binghamton, New York, who is a transfer from SUNY Broome Community College and will contribute significantly to the top of the women’s lineup,” Bower said.

Penn College Wildcats“Overall, we will be young,” Bower reiterated. “That is not a weakness, we will be able to develop as a team and become a strength in our conference over time. We are learning each other’s style of play and testing different combinations for doubles teams, and we will all grow and develop as a team. That will help us to trust each other and work together.

“Our key to success is to just hang tough. We may not be the most experienced, but I have seen so much energy and momentum on the practice court and I think that will serve us well. We have a young group with a lot of energy and enthusiasm. That is natural, you can’t teach that and it is wonderful to see that in your players.

“Our conference matches are in the spring, so we are going to use the fall to gain experience and just improve each time we play. Each day we want to do one thing better than we did the day before. If that happens, then I will be happy, and the players will continue to build confidence. With more confidence, comes more wins.”

While Bower has enough men to fill all six singles and three doubles positions, she has just three women and is seeking more, saying, “We offer a great team atmosphere, and we can help develop tennis talent. One doesn’t need to be a great tennis player to contribute to our team. We can help develop that. If one is somewhat athletic and has some hand/eye coordination, they are well on their way to learning a sport for a lifetime – tennis.

“We just had two female athletes who graduated and never played tennis prior to coming to Penn College. One of them ended up being a conference Player of the Week and she earned second-team all-conference honors her junior year.”

“I am looking forward to growing the program from the foundations we created last year,” coach Joshua Young said as his players prepped for their seasons.

“National Association of Collegiate Esports has developed a three-tier conference and we will be competing in the NACE Starleague Varsity Plus League in Overwatch, Rocket League, Valorant and CS: Go in the fall. We will have one driver, Austin Delong, of Pittsburgh, competing in the ENASCAR iRacing Collegiate Series and the Collegiate iRacing League in the NASCAR Premier Series, GT 3 Challenge, and Formula Four Championship (also in the fall, and) we are looking to build a League of Legends and Apex Legends team to participate in the spring,” Young said.

Delong will lead the Wildcats into action Monday and Tuesday.

In addition to Delong on the team, competing in Rocket League will be senior Clinton Leberknight, of Pleasant Hall; freshman Joey LaCerra, of Loyalsock Township; sophomore James Sickles, of Mckean; and sophomore Alex Nazarchuk, of Lebanon; competing in Valorant will be senior Drew Thomas, of State College; junior Blaine Mann, of Jersey Shore; junior Samuel Rowcliffe, of York; freshman Cody Beverage, of Taylor; and sophomore Tyler Trigg, of Lititz; and in Overwatch will be junior Jared Patten, of South Abington Township; sophomore Nathan Cunningham, of Altoona; sophomore Ryan Hess, of Orangeville; sophomore Luke Palchak, of Lock Haven; junior Theodore Hernandez, of Pottstown; freshman Hunter Calhoun, of Pittsburgh, and sophomore Wyatt Coble, of West Lawn.

Patten returns as the Overwatch team manager and Thomas as the Valorant manager, while LaCerra steps up to manage the Rocket League team.

Rocket League/CIL Formula Four events will take place on Mondays, Overwatch/CIL iRacing Premier/CIL GT3 Challenge will take place on Tuesdays and Valorant competition will be on Thursdays. The NACE schedule will be set on Sept. 16.

Also this season, an expanded schedule of matches will be streamed on Twitch.

Sunset segues into dusky blue, matching the evening's chromatic theme.A solid blue line of supportMidfielder Matt Neeson, a returnee from last season, moves the ball against Keystone College. Neeson, of Chadds Ford, is majoring in automation engineering technology: robotics & automation.Students stand for the national anthem before the 7 p.m. start of the men's game at UPMC Field.Mason T. Kostick (33), a first-year midfielder from Souderton, acknowledges the crowd when introduced alongside his teammates at Thursday's home opener for Wildcat soccer. Kostick is enrolled in the residential construction technology & management major. In the campus's first-ever "Royal Rush" event, fans were encouraged to wear blue Penn College gear in support of student-athletes and for an opportunity to score prizes.FLASHBACK
Men’s soccer
In season-opening losses to Keystone College, 3-1, and McDaniel University, 2-0, on Thursday and Saturday, respectively, both opponents scored twice in the second half for their wins. They also dominated in shots on goal with a combined 21-3, including 10-0 by McDaniel. Tyler Weimert, of Feasterville-Trevose, scored the lone Penn College goal.
"Royal Rush" photos by Frank T. Kocsis III, student photographer

Women’s soccer
Cassie Johnson, of Richland, and Teagan Willey, of Towanda, scored goals in the Wildcats’ 3-2 loss to King’s College on Thursday and Riley Reed, of Elysburg, got the lone goal in Saturday’s 6-1 loss to Wilkes University. Penn College found scoring opportunities tough as their opponents combined for 29 shots on goal to 10 for the Wildcats.

Women’s volleyball
Penn College individual leaders in losses to Lycoming College, 3-0 (25-12, 25-19, 25-22), on Thursday and to Cairn University, 3-0 (25-21, 25-12, 25-15), on Saturday were Coryn Oswald, of Langhorne, with 31 digs; Cheyenne Stein, of Orwigsburg, with 31 assists; and Christine Limbert, of Curwensville, and Oswald, with 14 and 13 kills, respectively.

Men’s cross-country
In his collegiate debut on Saturday at the Mansfield University Short Course 6,000-meter run, freshman Mitch Campbell, of Riegelsville, finished fifth in a 25-runner field in 20:20.2.

Men’s soccer
UE: 0-0
Overall: 0-2
Thursday, Sept. 1 – host Keystone College, L, 3-1
Saturday, Sept. 3 – host McDaniel College, L, 2-0
Wednesday, Sept. 7 – at Alfred State College, 4 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 10 – host Shenandoah University, 2 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 13 – host Albright College, 7 p.m.

Women’s soccer
UE: 0-0
Overall: 0-2
Thursday, Sept. 1 – host King’s College, L, 3-2
Saturday, Sept. 3 – at Wilkes University, L, 6-1
Monday, Sept. 5 – at Geneva College, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 7 – at Keuka College, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 10 – host Penn State Schuylkill, 5 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 17 –at Lancaster Bible College (UE), 1 p.m.

Women’s volleyball
UE: 0-0
Overall: 0-2
Thursday, Sept. 1 – at Lycoming College, L, 3-0 (25-12, 25-19, 25-22)
Saturday, Sept. 3 – at Cairn University, L, 3-0 (25-21, 25-12, 25-15)
Tuesday, Sept. 6 – at Clarks Summit University, 7 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 9 – host Penn State Altoona, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 10 – Host Delaware Valley University, 1 p.m.
Monday, Sept. 12 – host King’s College, 6 p.m.

Men’s cross-country
Saturday, Sept. 3 – at Mansfield Short Course, Mitch Campbell finished 5th of 25
Saturday, Sept. 10 – at Lebanon Valley College Dutchmen Invitational, 10:15 a.m.
Saturday, Sept. 17 – at Misericordia University, 10:15 a.m.

Men’s/women’s tennis
Friday, Sept. 9 – at Misericordia University, 3 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 11 – host Susquehanna University, 11 a.m.
Friday, Sept. 16 – at Lock Haven University, 4 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 14 – at Elizabethtown College, TBA
Friday, Sept. 16 – Mountain Valley Classic Day 1 at Sinking Valley Country Club (Altoona), 10:30 a.m.
Saturday, Sept. 16 – Mountain Valley Classic Day 2 at Summit Country Club (Cresson), noon

Formula Four Championship
Monday, Sept. 5 – Okayama, 9 p.m.
Monday, Sept. 19 – Interlagos, 9 p.m.

Collegiate iRacing League GT3 Challenge
Tuesday, Sept. 6 – Long Beach, 9 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 20 – Twin Riing Motegi, 9 p.m.

Collegiate iRacing League Premier Series
Tuesday, Sept. 13 – Kansas, 9 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 27 – Texas, 9 p.m.

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

For additional information, visit the Wildcat Athletics website.

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