Transition time for Penn College athletes

Published 10.23.2022

Wildcat Weekly

Golf season is over, cross-country championships and the start of the men’s basketball season are on the horizon, and regular seasons are winding down for the men’s and women’s soccer and women’s volleyball teams. It is a time of transition for Pennsylvania College of Technology athletes.

“Our men’s team has been training well and preparing for the United East meet,” first-year coach Tom Leeser said. “We ran well on the challenging course at PSU Abington a few weeks ago and look forward to returning there for the conference meet (Saturday).

“Mitchell Campbell, of Riegelsville, has been among the top UE runners this season and aims to be among the leaders. Matt Woolcock, of Oil City, is returning from an injury and is growing stronger. Alec Rees, of Centerport, New York, is recovering from an illness but should be in full strength.

“The remainder of the team has turned hard work and effort into steady growth and improvement. Our goal is a top five – maybe top three – finish as a team at the UE meet.”

Campbell’s best time in an 8K run this season is 26:49. He also is a two-time UE Runner of the Week.

Commenting on the women’s squad, Leeser said, “with very little experience, we have been focused on growth. Our meet at Mansfield produced season-best efforts by nearly all team members. Skyelar Splain, of Liverpool, has been leading the group; while Rosey Thomas, of Port Allegany; Emily Witherow, of Perkasie; and Isabella Telford, of Greensburg, have improved significantly.”

Splain’s top time in a 6K race so far this season has been 29:29.

Assessing Lorimer Park for Saturday, Leeser said, “The course at PSU Abington is challenging. There are several hills and some difficult footing. Our runners seem to do best when they maintain a consistent pace throughout the race.

“As we prepare for our conference championship and the NCAA Regional meet, we are hoping for peak performances. The top three or four teams in the conference are pretty strong, but we hope to compete well with the remainder of the teams.”

Men’s basketball
Coming off a season in which the Wildcats finished 5-18 overall and 5-11 in the United East, coach Geoff Hensley hopes that the experience gained will pay dividends this year.

Penn College opens its 27-game schedule Saturday at noon at Corning (N.Y.) Community College.

“We return a ton of experience from last year’s team and the players have really stepped up. They are excited and eager to continue to build our program and take it to the next level,” the fourth-year coach said.

The key returning players include 6-foot, 1-inch sophomore point guard Gavin Barrett, of Roselle, New Jersey, who led last year’s team in scoring (258 points), assists (132), steals (43) and was named to the UE All-Sportsmanship Team; 6-2 junior shooting guard Max Jackowsky, of Garnet Valley; 6-2 sophomore guard Rees Watkins, of Loyalsock Township; 6-3 senior forward Will Sulesky, of Huntingdon; and 6-9 sophomore center Michael Woodridge, of Hollidaysburg.

Freshmen who are expected to contribute are 6-1 guard Alec Cooper, of Huntingdon; 6-2 guard Adam McGinley, of Bloomsburg; 6-foot guard Jadis Brevitt, of Emmaus; and 6-2 guard Liam McGrath, of Keymar, Maryland.

“We will still be rather young as most of the contributors will only have one season of significant experience, but we have a ton of potential if we can put it all together,” the coach said.

“This team is very versatile compared to some of the teams we have had in the past. We have multiple players who can play multiple positions due to skill sets and basketball IQ. We are hoping to use that to create some mismatches for our opponents and create advantages for us,” Hensley, who is assisted by Mark Kruczek, said.

“We are not the biggest or most athletic team by any means. We have players that will have to play out of position in order to help put the team in the best position to win. Thankfully, we have a very unselfish team and our players are hungry and will do what it takes to win,” Hensley said.

“Since we are not the biggest or most athletic, a lot of our success will be dependent on our ability to rebound and defend around the paint. We will have to be disciplined on our defensive rotations and our boxouts to limit the bigger and more athletic teams to one shot and done,” Hensley said.

Commenting on his season outlook, Hensley said, “It is too early to tell. The top teams in our conference are really good, but most of them lost some good seniors to graduation. It will be interesting to see how our young core can compete against these very tough opponents.

“I have a good feeling about this squad, but we need to put in the necessary work in order to achieve the results we want. All college basketball is extremely competitive and our young squad will definitely be ready for the test.”

Women’s soccer
Kaelynn Sheetz, of Elizabethtown, scored four goals – giving her a modern (since 2014) school-record 16 for the season – and Olivia Casella, of Williamsport, added three scores to lift Penn College to an 11-0 home UE win over Penn State Abington on Saturday and in doing so clinched a postseason berth as the Wildcats improved to 5-2 in the UE and 7-8-1 overall. Nicole Lichtinger, of Erie, was perfect in goal, making five saves, as Penn College gave first-year coach Ian Scheller the win that will send the team to the playoffs for the first time since 2019. It also marked the third time this season that the Wildcats have earned a double-digit victory and was their fifth shutout win.

United East standings through Saturday: Penn State Berks, 6-0-1; Penn State Harrisburg, 6-0-1; Penn College, 5-2; St. Mary’s (Md.), 5-2; Lancaster Bible College, 4-4; Penn State Abington, 2-5; SUNY Morrisville, 2-5; Wells College 1-6; Gallaudet University, 0-7.

Men’s soccer
Penn College’s men’s soccer team dropped a 2-1 home United East decision to Penn State Abington on Saturday during Wildcat Weekend. Penn College now is 2-4-1 in the UE and 3-10-3 overall. Nathan Schwartz, of Lancaster, put Penn College on the board first with a goal in the 33rd minute, assisted by Cooper Smith. It was Schwartz’s first goal of the season. Abington then struck twice in the second half for its win. The Wildcats led in shots, 9-8, although PS Abington led in shots on goal, 6-5, and in corner kicks, 8-5.

United East standings through Saturday: St. Mary’s (Md.), 7-0; Penn State Harrisburg, 5-0-2; Lancaster Bible College, 6-1-1; Penn State Abington, 4-3; Penn State Berks, 3-4; Penn College, 2-4-1; SUNY Morrisville, 2-5; Gallaudet University, 1-6; Wells College, 0-7.

In fall season-ending nonconference action on Monday at the Lebanon Valley College Invitational, Penn College placed second in a 12-team field and Peyton Mussina, of Montoursville, tied for medalist honors with Marymount University’s Jackson Newton after they both shot four-over 76 on the par 72, 6,562-yard Lebanon Country Club course. Newton then was awarded first place based on a better score on the second handicapped hole.

“The boys worked really hard,” coach Rob Lytle said of his squad.

“I wanted to get the boys on some really good golf courses, some long golf courses. I wanted to get them into tournaments with some Division II schools, just some better competition, and at the end of the fall I am extremely pleased,” Lytle continued of the season that saw one first- and two second-place team finishes in six outings.

Individually, Mussina, a sophomore transfer, led the Wildcats with a scoring average of 75 over eight rounds; while sophomore Will Orwig, of Mifflintown, averaged 81; junior Trevor Keaton, of Worcester, averaged 82.4 over seven rounds; sophomore Gavin Baer, of Bainbridge, averaged 83.8 over six rounds; and freshman Gunner Redmond, of Lock Haven, averaged 86.3 over eight rounds. In addition to his second-place at LVC, Mussina finished first in the UE Preview after a round of 71, was third once and tied for fourth once.

“Peyton’s been great. Peyton’s been a great addition. He raised the bar for the rest of the team … and the whole team stepped up,” the coach said.

Lytle said he looks to keep things going over the winter with indoor speed training to add distance to their games so that when the spring season rolls around they are ready to go.

“I am looking to schedule an aggressive spring tournament season to get us ready for the conference championship,” Lytle added.

Women’s volleyball
In a United East women’s volleyball tri-match at Wells College on Saturday, Penn College lost to SUNY Morrisville, 3-0, and to Wells, 3-1. Penn College now is 0-6 UE, 2-16 overall. Morrisville led in kills, 36-20, and in aces, 18-8, while Wells led in aces, 19-4, and in kills, 40-36.

Against Morrisville, individual leaders for Penn College included Cheyenne Stein, of Orwigsburg, with 15 assists and four aces; Maggie Mangene, of Boalsburg, with six kills; and Coryn Oswald, of Langhorne; Brooke Simmons, of Waterford; and Mangene with four digs each. Wildcat leaders against Wells were Mangene with 12 kills and Oswald with 11 kills, Simmons with 17 digs and Oswald 16 digs, and Stein with 28 assists.

United East standings through Saturday: SUNY Morrisville, 6-0; Gallaudet University, 5-1; Penn State Berks, 5-1; Lancaster Bible College, 3-3; Penn State Harrisburg, 3-3; Penn State Abington, 2-4; St. Mary’s (Md.), 1-5; Wells College, 2-4; Penn College, 0-6.

From left: Alicia Ross, Mark Shaffer and Jordan (Courter) Rutledge celebrate their Hall of Fame induction.WILDCAT WEEKEND
Three inducted into ‘hall’
Three former student-athletes were inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame in a ceremony Saturday evening. The 10th Hall of Fame class featured Mark Shaffer (baseball, 2006-10), Jordan (Courter) Rutledge (women’s soccer, 2013-16) and Alicia Ross (women’s basketball, 2013-17).

Men’s soccer
UE: 2-4-1
Overall: 3-10-3
Saturday, Oct. 22 – host Penn State Abington (UE), L, 2-1
Tuesday, Oct. 25 – host Keuka College, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 29 – at Wells College (UE), 3:30 p.m.
End of regular season

Women’s soccer
UE: 5-2
Overall: 7-8-1
Saturday, Oct. 22 – host Penn State Abington (UE), W, 11-0
Tuesday, Oct. 25 – at Penn State Beaver, canceled
Wednesday, Oct. 26 – host Marywood University, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 29 – at Wells College, 1 p.m.
End of regular season

Women’s volleyball
UE: 0-6
Overall: 2-16
Saturday, Oct. 22 – tri-match at Wells College vs. Wells (UE), L, 1-3 (25-22, 15-25, 16-25, 13-25); vs. SUNY Morrisville (UE), L, 3-0 (25-12, 25-11, 25-21)
Tuesday, Oct. 25 – at Dickinson College, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 29 – host Penn State Harrisburg (UE), noon; host Lancaster Bible College (UE), 4 p.m.
End of season

Men’s/women’s cross-country
Saturday, Oct. 29 – United East Conference Championship at Penn State Abington, 10 a.m.
Saturday, Nov. 12 – NCAA Division III Mid-Atlantic Region Championships at Lock Haven University, 11 a.m.

Monday, Oct. 17 – Lebanon Valley College Invitational at Lebanon Country Club, 2 of 12
End of fall season

Men’s basketball
Saturday, Oct. 29 – at Corning Community College, noon
Friday, Nov. 4 – host Mansfield University, 7 p.m.

Women’s basketball
Tuesday, Nov. 8 – host Elmira College, 5 p.m.
Wednesday, Nov. 9 – at Marywood University, 6 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 5 – Ned McGinley Invitational at King’s College, 9:30 a.m.

Formula Four Championship
Monday, Oct. 17 – Lime Rock Park, 9 of 35
Monday, Oct. 31 – Circuit de Spa, 9 p.m.

Collegiate iRacing League GT3 Challenge
Tuesday, Oct. 18 – Barcelona, 10 of 30
Tuesday, Nov. 1 – COTA, 9 p.m.

Collegiate iRacing League Premier Series
Tuesday, Oct. 25 – Darlington, 9 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 8 – Phoenix, 9 p.m.

Rocket League
Record: 2-2
Monday, Oct. 17 – vs. Central Missouri, L, 3-2
Monday, Oct. 24 – vs. Virginia Wesleyan, 7 p.m.
Monday, Oct. 31 – Ontario Tech and RIT, 7 p.m.

Record: 1-3
Wednesday, Oct. 26 – vs. Principia College, 7 p.m.

Record: 0-4
Friday, Oct. 21 – vs. Central Florida, ppd.
Sunday, Oct. 23 – vs. Central Florida, 7 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 28 – Clemson, 7 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 4 – Northwestern, 7 p.m.

Overwatch 2
Record: 2-2
Tuesday, Oct. 18 – vs. Drexel University, L, 3-1
Thursday, Oct. 20 – vs. Jamestown University, W, 3-0
Tuesday, Oct. 25 – vs. Oklahoma City University, 7 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 27 – vs. Central Michigan University, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 1 – vs. Michigan Technological University, 7 p.m.

League of Legends
Record: 0-2
Tuesday, Oct. 18 – vs. Cornell College, L, 2-0
Tuesday, Oct. 25 – vs. Florida Southern College, 7 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 27 – vs. Keiser University-Sarasota, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 1 – vs. vs. Keiser University, 7 p.m.

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

For additional information, visit the Wildcat Athletics website.

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