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Fall Sports Teams in Playoff Action This Weekend

Pennsylvania College of Technology women’s volleyball and coed tennis teams had great fall regular seasons, and they both look to continue that in playoff action this weekend.

The women’s volleyball squad that went 16-1 overall and was 15-0 in Penn State University Athletic Conference matches, hosts Penn State Hazleton at 1 p.m. Saturday in a best-of-five match at Bardo Gymnasium on West Third Street with the conference’s North Division championship on the line.

In team tennis, the Wildcats, who went 7-2 during the regular season, will send six players into competition at noon Saturday and 10 a.m. Sunday at the PSUAC championships on the Penn State main campus at University Park.

Women’s Volleyball“It would be an upset if we lose. We are the strong favorite,” Penn College coach Bambi Hawkins said with confidence as her team prepared to face Hazleton. During the regular season, the Lady Wildcats beat Hazleton twice, winning all five games.

“We have experience and numbers,” Hawkins said of her team’s strength. “We’ve got a substitute for every position, but we’ve also got many players who are seniors. We’ve got experience.”

Three division champs and a wild-card team will advance to the conference championships at 10 a.m. Nov. 5 at Rec Hall on the Penn State main campus at University Park.

“They (Penn College players) don’t realize how good they are. (But) they don’t want to hear it from me. They want to play the teams and find out for sure,” Hawkins said.

Team TennisLast season, Penn College went 3-7 overall and finished fifth among six teams in the season-ending PSUAC tournament. This time, Davis Santucci, in his second year as coach, expects more, although he’s got to juggle his lineup to do so.

Individual titles will be decided in four men’s and two women’s singles and two men’s and one women’s doubles. Results from that will determine the team finishes.

Due to a class-related workshop, Mathias Back, the Wildcats’ No. 1 men’s player from Wuerzberg, Germany, will not be able to play this weekend; his spot will be filled by Craig Collier (East Stroudsburg). At midweek, Santucci still was deciding his Nos. 2-3-4 men’s singles players with eliminations going on between Brandon Stoner (Denver), Andrew Shaffer (South Williamsport) and Jonathan Hurr (Franklin).

Those four also will be paired for men’s doubles.

In women’s singles, Sarah Bastian (Mansfield), who went undefeated during the regular season, is the top seed and has a good shot at winning a conference title, according to Santucci, while Angela Charcas (Deltona, Fla.) lost only once during the season and also has a good shot at the No. 2 crown. They also will team in doubles, in which they are unbeaten.

“I’m ecstatic (about what we did during the regular season), but I still feel like there’s a lot of room for improvement,” Santucci said.

“They’re going to have a tough time,” the coach said of his men going into the weekend, and added of the women, “I expect good things out of them.”

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