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Penn College tennis teams continue to build

While competition resumed last week for four Pennsylvania College of Technology fall sports teams for the first time in nearly two years, the men’s and women’s tennis teams look to continue building this week on the progress they made last spring.

Men’s/women’s tennis
“We were fortunate to play our conference matches last spring, although it was a challenge having enough players due to COVID quarantines,” coach Jessica Bower said. “We were also not allowed any spectators, (but now) we are excited to welcome back our families and fellow students to cheer us on.”

The Wildcats open Thursday, facing crosstown rival Lycoming College on the Brandon Park courts.

During the spring campaign, the women ended 2-3 (2-2 during the regular season) and the men 1-4, although Tucker Phillippe-Johansson, of Mattituck, New York, became the first Penn College men’s No. 1 player to complete a perfect 5-0 season.

Phillippe-Johansson was named the conference Player of the Year, and was named to the conference’s All-Sportsmanship Team and to the all-conference first team. Among those earning second-team honors were Tommy Cavanagh, of New Hope, at No. 3 doubles for the men; and Georgia Macensky, of Wellsboro, at No. 3 women’s singles, and Marcie Harman, of Nescopeck, at No. 6 singles for the women. Harman also was named to the conference’s All-Sportsmanship Team.

In her two and a half seasons, Bower’s men’s teams have gone 7-11 and her women’s teams 4-14.

This fall for the men, Phillippe-Johansson and Cavanaugh return for the start of their senior seasons (which includes next spring’s conference campaign). They will be joined by returning juniors Jesse Kight, of Williamsport, and Zack Burkhart, of Milton; sophomore Wade Woolley, of Monson, Massachusetts; and freshmen Alex Norris, of Williamsport; Paul Langbein, of Carnegie; and Jamir Wilt, of Milton.

Macensky, a sophomore, and Harman, a senior, return for the women along with senior Alexis Youse, of Pottstown, and sophomores Amber Leitzel, of Mifflinburg, and Shelby Lanyon, of Quakertown. Joining them is freshman Mary Kathryn Hillman, of Quakertown. Also on the roster, but not expected to see action until the spring season because they also compete on the women’s volleyball team, are juniors Coryn Oswald, of King of Prussia, and Hannah Burnett, of Middlebury Center; and freshman Kathryn Burnett, of Middlebury Center.

“I feel that our men’s team is extremely strong and the two newcomers – Alex and Paul – provide a lot of depth in the lineup. We also have strong returners in the other four guys,” Bower said.

For the women, “Mary Kathryn will bring some good experience to the top of the lineup,” Bower said.

“The returners have been good mentors for the freshmen so far. They will be able to work with the freshmen so that they can handle the pressure of competing at the collegiate level,” the coach said.

“Our strength is that our players love the sport. They love playing tennis and they have a passion for it. That will translate into a passion for competing and bringing their best on match day. They practice hard and will be ready for competition. They have been playing all summer in their hometowns and they are back together again showing the skills that they have gained through the summer,” Bower said.

“We need to work on getting stronger, especially the women. We will work on strength more this year during the offseason,” Bower continued.

The key to the fall season, the coach said, will be “keeping everyone healthy with COVID still circulating. Also, we need to be lifting each other up and encouraging each other during our matches. Promoting a positive team approach to our matches … that we bring our best game and we will get the best outcome.

“The fall is our nontraditional season, so we play nonconference matches, but it will give us a good idea of where we stand competitively. I believe that we have the best teams – men and women – that we have had in years. I am looking forward to a great season.

“Everyone is extremely excited to be getting back to a little more of a ‘normal’ routine with matches and spectators. We are thankful that we are able to play again!”

NONCONFERENCE ACTION
Men’s soccer
Looking for its first season-opening win since 2014, the Wildcats battled Thursday at Keystone College through 110 minutes and two overtimes only to come away with a scoreless tie, despite holding an edge in most key statistics. Penn College led in shots, 20-7, and shots on goal, 11-4, but couldn’t find the back of the net. Keystone led in corner kicks, 4-3.

Returning to action on Saturday, Penn College dropped a 3-2 decision at Hood College to fall to 0-1-1 overall. Again, the Wildcats led in shots, 17-10, although the home team led in shots on goal, 6-5. Each team had five corner kicks. Scoring goals for Penn College were Tyler Weimert, of Feasterville-Trevose, and Colton Wartman, of Ellicott City, Maryland.

Men’s/women’s cross-country
In their first outing of the season on Friday, the Penn College men finished ninth at the Misericordia University Invitational. Noah Bowers, of Burnham, led the Wildcats with a 57th-place finish in 15:38.80. Susquehanna University won the 10-team men’s event with Jack Warehime topping the 98-runner field in 12:55.80.

In women’s competition, Penn College didn’t have enough runners to field a team, but Taylor Schon, of Selinsgrove, led the way with a 74th-place finish in 20:20.60. Misericordia took top honors among six teams and Susquehanna University’s Kallan Carter finished first among 91 runners in 15:22.80.

Women’s volleyball
Opening on Saturday at Albright College, the Wildcats fell to Albright, 25-10, 25-14, 25-9, and to Gwynedd Mercy University, 25-14, 25-21, 25-18. Against Albright, Cheyenne Stine, of Orwigsburg, led Penn College in kills and assists with four and eight, respectively, while Kathryn Burnett, of Middlebury Center, had six digs. Teamwise, Albright led in kills, 30-12; aces, 15-3; blocks, 4-1; assists, 26-9; and digs, 35-29. Individually against Gwynedd Mercy, Hannah Burnett, of Middlebury Center, had 15 digs while Hailey DeBrody, of Cogan Station, had 10 kills and Stine 17 assists. Teamwise, GM led in kills, 31-23; blocks, 3-2; assists, 30-18; and digs, 69-61. Each team had 11 aces.

UEC announces leadership changes
Gallaudet University President Roberta Cordano has assumed the role as the United East Conference Presidents’ Council chairwoman following the completion of a two-year term by Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour. Cordano served as the Presidents’ Council vice chair since June 2019.

Joining Cordano on the committee is Tommy Kiedis, of Lancaster Bible College, who will serve as the Presidents’ Council vice chair. Kiedis will hold the position for two years before being elevated to the role of chairman.

Penn State Harrisburg’s Rahsaan Carlton is the new chairman of the Board of Athletic Directors after spending the last two years in a vice chair capacity. Carlton steps in for Pete Beers, of Lancaster Bible College. Carlton will be joined by Wells College Director of Athletics and Physical Education Mike Lindberg, who assumed the vice chair position.

“We are truly grateful to Dr. Davie Gilmour and Pete Beers for their service to the conference the last two years, as both played a pivotal role in the evolution of the United East,” Commissioner Stephanie Dutton said.

The UEC executive committee also includes Conference Faculty Athletics Representative Tom Zimmerman, of Penn College, and Conference Athletics Direct Report Cindy Speaker, of Wells College.

SCHEDULES/RECORDS/RESULTS
Men’s soccer
Overall: 0-1-1
Wednesday, Sept. 1 – at Keystone College, ppd.
Thursday, Sept. 2 – at Keystone College, 0-0 tie, 2 OT
Saturday, Sept. 4 – vs. Wilson College at Frederick, Md., canceled
Saturday, Sept. 4 – vs. Hood College at Frederick, Md., L, 3-2
Tuesday, Sept. 7 – host Alfred State College, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 11 – at Shenandoah University, 2 p.m.
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
Wednesday, Sept. 1 – at King’s College, canceled
Wednesday, Sept. 8 – host Keuka College, 7 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 10 – host Keystone College, 7 p.m.
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.

Men’s cross-country
Wednesday, Sept. 1 – at Misericordia Invitational, ppd.
Friday, Sept. 3 – at Misericordia Invitational, men 9th in 10 teams
Saturday, Sept. 11 – at Lebanon Valley College Dutchmen Invitational, 9 a.m.
Saturday, Sept. 25 – at Dickinson Long/Short Invitational, 10:30 a.m.

Women’s cross-country
Wednesday, Sept. 1 – at Misericordia Invitational, ppd.
Friday, Sept. 3 – at Misericordia Invitational, no team
Saturday, Sept. 11 – at Lebanon Valley College Dutchmen Invitational, 9 a.m.
Saturday, Sept. 25 – at Dickinson Long/Short Invitational, 10:30 a.m.

Women’s volleyball
Overall: 0-2
Saturday, Sept. 4 – at Albright College tri-match vs. Albright College, L, 3-0 (25-10, 25-14, 25-9); vs. Gwynedd Mercy University, L, 3-0 (25-14, 25-21, 25-18)
Tuesday, Sept. 7 – host Lycoming College, 7 p.m.
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 tennis
Thursday, Sept. 9 – vs. Lycoming College at Brandon Park, 3 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 15 – host Misericordia, 3 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 18 – at Susquehanna University, 1 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 26 – host Juniata College, 1 p.m.

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

Golf
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.

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

For additional information, visit the Wildcat Athletics website.

No. 3

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