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Penn College golfers, esports teams returning to action

While Pennsylvania College of Technology golf and esports teams are about to get their fall seasons in full swing, the soccer, women’s volleyball and cross-country squads all saw action last week.

Last spring, the Wildcats enjoyed a breakout season when they captured the North Eastern Athletic Conference (now United East Conference) title and became the first Penn College team to compete in the NCAA Division III Championship.

Although this fall’s team is without Kohltin Bartlow, of Montgomery, last year’s conference co-medalist, co-Golfer of the Year and an all-conference first-teamer who tied for 71st at nationals before his graduation, it returns senior Sean McNamara, of Lancaster, an all-conference first-team member, and junior Alex Acree, of Brookville, an all-conference second-team honoree.

They will be joined by sophomores Nathan Hoyer, of Windsor, and Karson Felty, of Pine Grove, when the Wildcats open on Tuesday in the Elizabethtown Fall Invitational at Hershey Country Club East.

“It’s great to be back in season after the great championship season we had in the spring. It’s great to see the progress our returners made over the summer working on their games and great to see the new recruits and how their games will fit into our roster of players,” coach Matt Haile said.

Based on what he’s seen thus far, Haile said the four returnees, along with freshmen Will Orwig, of Mifflintown; Trevor Keaton, of Lansdale; and Gavin Baer, of Bainbridge, will vie for starting positions.

“It’s a veteran team, based on only losing one starter from our championship season last year. There are big shoes to fill with losing Kohltin, but I’m confident our returning starters, after having a taste of NCAAs, will continue to work hard on their games in the fall to get prepared for the spring,” Haile said.

“We also have some new faces, notably Orwig, Keaton and Baer, who have shown great fundamentals of the game and swings that produce consistent shots throughout the course. We need to continue to work on our short game and shots from 150 yards or less. If they continue to work on these parts of their games like they have, this will help produce the low, consistent scores to be competitive and have a chance at the title,” he continued.

“Areas of improvement include proximity to hole and the ability to hole more putts. We don’t make a lot of birdies as a team, but if we continue to work on our approach shots and feel around the greens, the birdies will follow suit. We aren’t going to hit every fairway and every green, but if our guys can scramble and minimize the big mistakes, we will be competitive this season,” said the coach, who is in his 13th season.

The key to success, Haile said, “will be to stay focused and stay hungry. They got a taste of what NCAAs were like and they’d love to make a trip back. They can’t get ahead of themselves and will need to really focus on the parts of their games that need tuned up and put the time in to understand what it takes to fix it.

“(Our) outlook for the season is to continue to work hard, take one match at a time and build upon the success we’ve had thus far as a program. Confidence breeds success, and it’s my hope that our conversations as a team and the experience we shared last year will continue to move us forward to achieving the goals we set for ourselves each and every time we step on the course.”

This school year, Penn College is competing in the National Association of College Esports Starleague, which is a partnership with CSL Esports; Nerd Street, North America’s largest esports infrastructure company; and Mainline, the leading software company in collegiate esports. According to its website, NACE Starleague is the largest collegiate esports league in North America with more than 14,500 students from 600 colleges and universities.

During the fall season, the Wildcats will compete in Overwatch, Rocket League, League of Legends, Valorant and iRacing.

“With the increase of participation this year, it will be interesting to see how we stack up against the competition. New this year is iRacing, which our drivers will be competing in the Collegiate iRacing League racing in the NASCAR Cup Series events on the game platform,” coach Joshua Young said.

Action in Overwatch and Rocket League got underway Tuesday with both teams losing, 3-0. Other teams start play this week and next.

Competing for Penn College are:

Overwatch — senior Perri Leslie Wheat, of Millheim; sophomore Jared Patten, of South Abington Township; and freshmen Leika Bauer, of Williamsport; Theodore Hernandez, of Pottsgrove; Nathan Cunningham, of Altoona; Jonah Cunningham, of Altoona; Justyn McClusick, of Bellefonte; Trey McMichael, of Warren; and Ryan Hess, of Orangeville.

Rocket League — senior Logan Readinger, of Oley; juniors Clinton Leberknight, of Pleasant Hall, and Benjamin Weaver, of Williamsport; sophomore Joey LaCerra, of Williamsport; and freshmen Samuel Torres, of Port Matilda, and Alex Nazarchuk, of Lebanon.

League of Legends — seniors Michael Ord, of Landisville; Matt Rinaldi, of Easton; Shawn Radigan, of Shinglehouse; Adam Solecki, of Birdsboro; Jack Yengo, of Hummelstown; and Tyler James, of Effort; juniors Aden Rodkey, of Honey Brook, and Ian McCann, of Montoursville; sophomores Joshua Burke, of Williamsport, and Zachary Thompson, of Hustontown; and freshman Nikolis Ratjavong, of Breinigsville.

Valorant — junior Drew Thomas, of State College; sophomores Samuel Rowcliffe, of York; Dakota Hart, of Shamokin; Blaine Mann, of Jersey Shore; and Carl Kapuschinsky, of Hazleton; freshmen Aiden Yuncher, of New Cumberland; Colby Williamson, of Sinking Spring; Caleb Kavcic, of Williamsport; and Alex Baruffi, of Troy.

iRacing — junior Jacob Kovalick, of Frenchville, and freshman Austin DeLong, of Pittsburgh.

Men’s soccer
In their home opener on Tuesday, Kyle Ruhl, of Selinsgrove, found the back of the net at the 100:37-minute mark as the Wildcats pulled out a 1-0 double-overtime win that leveled their record at 1-1-1. Statistically, Penn College led in shots, 13-4 (8-2 on goal) and in corner kicks, 17-2. Goalie Braeden Eckard, of Danville, recorded the shutout.

On Saturday at Shenandoah University, Penn College lost, 1-0, to fall to 1-2-1 overall. Shenandoah led in shots, 11-10, and in shots on goal, 5-4. The Wildcats led in corner kicks, 8-4.

Women’s soccer
Playing outstanding team defense and getting a penalty-kick goal from Cassie Johnson, of Richland, in the 23rd minute, Penn College opened its season Wednesday with a 1-0 home win against Keuka College. Keuka led in shots, 16-7, and shots on goal, 12-3, while the Wildcats led in corner kicks, 7-5. In the goal, Taylor Gonzales, of Lititz, picked up her 28th career win while recording the shutout.

On Friday hosting Keystone College, Teagan Willey, of Towanda, scored three goals and Billiegean Hennessey, of Holtsville, New York, and Kristina Mease, of Richlandtown, each added two goals in a 9-0 rout that gave Penn College its first 2-0 start since 2018. The Wildcats led in shots, 31-6; shots on goal, 20-6; and in corner kicks, 9-1. Gonzales and Arica Jones, of Waldorf, Maryland, split halves in goal with Gonzales stopping four shots in the first half and Jones two.

Penn College is at crosstown rival Lycoming College on Wednesday in the Battle for the Lumber. Lycoming leads the series, 4-3.

Women’s volleyball
Hosting Lycoming College on Tuesday, Penn College lost, 25-14, 25-13, 25-17 to drop to 0-3 overall. Lycoming led in kills, 25-20; aces, 13-3; and blocks, 7-2. Individually for the Wildcats, Cheyenne Stein, of Orwigsburg, had 12 assists while Hannah Burnett, of Middlebury Center, was tops with 16 digs and Sierra Yaggie, of Troy, had 15 digs.

Men’s/women’s cross-country
At the Lebanon Valley College Invitational on Saturday, the Penn College men finished 13th and the women last among 16 teams.

For the men, Alec Rees, of Centerport, New York, finished the 8,000-meter course in 30:09.60 while Dean Fulton, of Palmyra, was 134th in 31:41.90; Noah Bowers, of Burnham, was 143rd in 32:14.30; Nick Snow, of York, was 170th in 34:00.90; and AJ Wiles, of Glenville, was 177th in 34:59.40.

Messiah College won the 17-team men’s race. Brody Beiler, of S.W.I.F.T. Racing, took top individual honors in 26:09.20.

For the women, Avery Baker, of Lock Haven, finished the 5,000-meter course in 25:40 while Cinnamon Digan, of Mifflinburg, was 135th in 25:55.70; Taylor Schon, of Selinsgrove, was 136th in 26:03.80; Kayleigh Miller, of Sayre, was 144th in 27:32.20; and Aubrey Stetts, of Jersey Shore, was 155th in 29:32.90.

Messiah took top honors among 16 women’s teams and Lebanon Valley’s Lauran Wick placed first among 161 women in 18:42.50.

Men’s/women’s tennis
Rain on Thursday pushed back the season opener, which now is scheduled for Wednesday at home with Misericordia University.

Men’s soccer
Overall: 1-2-1
Tuesday, Sept. 7 – host Alfred State College, W, 1-0 (2 OT)
Saturday, Sept. 11 – at Shenandoah University, L, 1-0
Tuesday, Sept. 14 – at Albright College, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 18 – host Lancaster Bible College (UEC), 1 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 19 – at Penn State Harrisburg (UEC), 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 21 – at Keuka College, 4 p.m.

Women’s soccer
Overall: 2-0
Wednesday, Sept. 8 – host Keuka College, W, 1-0
Friday, Sept. 10 – host Keystone College, W, 9-0
Wednesday, Sept. 15 – at Lycoming College, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 18 – host Lancaster Bible College (UEC), 3 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 19 – at Penn State Harrisburg (UEC), 5 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 22 – Alfred State College, 7 p.m.

Women’s volleyball
Overall: 0-3
Tuesday, Sept. 7 – host Lycoming College, L, 25-14, 25-13, 25-17.
Monday, Sept. 13 – at Keystone College, 7 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 17 – host Alfred State College, 7 p.m.
Monday, Sept. 20 – at Alfred State College, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 28 – at Penn State Altoona, 7 p.m.

Men’s cross-country
Saturday, Sept. 11 – at Lebanon Valley College Dutchmen Invitational, finished 13th of 17
Saturday, Sept. 25 – at Dickinson Long/Short Invitational, 10:30 a.m.

Women’s cross-country
Saturday, Sept. 11 – at Lebanon Valley College Dutchmen Invitational, finished 16th of 16
Saturday, Sept. 25 – at Dickinson Long/Short Invitational, 10:30 a.m.

Men’s tennis
Thursday, Sept. 9 – vs. Lycoming College at Brandon Park, ppd. to Sept. 23
Wednesday, Sept. 15 – host Misericordia, 3 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 18 – at Susquehanna University, 1 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 23 – vs. Lycoming College at Brandon Park, 3 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 26 – host Juniata College, 1 p.m.

Women’s tennis
Thursday, Sept. 9 – vs. Lycoming College at Brandon Park, ppd. to Sept. 23
Wednesday, Sept. 15 – host Misericordia, 3 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 18 – at Susquehanna University, 1 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 23 – vs. Lycoming College at Brandon Park, 3 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 28 – host Juniata College, 1 p.m.

Tuesday, Sept. 14 – Elizabethtown Fall Invitational at Hershey Country Club East, 1 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 23 – vs. Penn State Hazleton and Scranton University at Wyoming Valley Country Club, noon
Monday, Oct. 18 – at Lebanon Valley Fall Invitational at Lebanon Valley Country Club, 12:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Sept. 7 – vs. Bryant & Stratton College, L, 3-0
Monday, Sept. 13 – vs. Messiah University; Rocket League vs. Lebanon Valley College
Monday, Sept. 20 – vs. Rutgers University; Rocket League vs. Tufts University
Monday, Sept. 27 – vs. Widener University; Rocket League vs. Rochester Institute of Technology

Rocket League
Tuesday, Sept. 7 – vs. Oakland University, L, 3-0
Monday, Sept. 13 – vs. Lebanon Valley College
Monday, Sept. 20 – vs. Tufts University
Monday, Sept. 27 – vs. Rochester Institute of Technology

League of Legends
Wednesday-Tuesday, Sept. 15-21 – Round One
Wednesday-Tuesday, Sept. 22-28 – Round Two
Wednesday-Tuesday, Sept. 29-Oct. 5 – Round Three
Wednesday-Tuesday, Oct. 6-12 – Round Four
Wednesday-Tuesday, Oct. 13-19 – Round Five
Wednesday-Tuesday, Oct. 20-26 – Round Five

Sunday-Thursday, Sept. 19-23 – East/West Open Qualifier 1
Sunday-Thursday, Sept. 26-30 – East/West Open Qualifier 2
Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 2-3 – East/West Regional Finals
Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 9-10 – Finals

Tuesday, Sept. 14 – Red Bull Ring
Tuesday, Sept. 28 – Hockenheim
Tuesday, Oct. 12 – Road Atlanta
Tuesday, Oct. 16 – Watkins Glen
Tuesday, Nov. 9 – Spa Francorchamps

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

For additional information, visit the Wildcat Athletics website.

No. 4

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