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Wildcats’ First Year of NCAA Affiliation Seen as ‘Smashing Success’

Highlighted by its baseball championship team, Pennsylvania College of Technology’s first year as a member of the North Eastern Athletic Conference as a provisional member of NCAA Division III was a smashing success.

“I am extremely pleased on how our athletics program transitioned to the NCAA Division III level,” said Scott Kennell, college director of athletics. “As a first-year provisional member, our programs remained competitive throughout the entire year and we captured our first-ever NEAC championship. We are looking to make an even bigger splash within the conference this up and coming year.”

“It’s a great atmosphere we have right now. It has catapulted the whole program into something bigger than we had even hoped,” baseball coach Chris Howard said after winning the title. “I think, first and foremost, I learned that we certainly belong at the DIII level. We can play with anybody.”

The college has three more years as a provisional NCAA member before becoming a full member.

A sport-by-sport review of the year (alphabetically) for Penn College teams that competed in NCAA Division III:

Baseball – In their ninth season under Howard as coach, the Wildcats finished 18-18 overall, 7-7 during regular-season NEAC games, and beat all three higher seeds in the conference championships to claim the crown. During the season they also handed Howard his 200th career coaching win and his record now stands at 212-115.

Basketball (men) – Penn College went 3-22 overall, 2-16 in the NEAC, during coach Chris Lemasters’ third season. At the end of the campaign, he resigned and ended with a three-year record of 11-64.

Basketball (women) – With a team that was loaded and saw the program’s second player reach the coveted 1,000-point career scoring mark in junior Jamie Steer, of South Williamsport, coach Matt Wilt’s fifth edition finished 13-12 overall and 12-8 in the NEAC, just missing the playoffs. Wilt’s career record is 43-79.

Cross-Country (men-women) – Under interim coach Mike Paulhamus, who was no newcomer to the program as he coached the team for 13 seasons previously, the men placed ninth in the NEAC and the women 10th. The women also finished 16th in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association National Championships.

Golf – During coach Matt Haile’s sixth season, the Wildcats placed eighth in the fall USCAA National Tournament and sixth in the NEAC spring championships.

Soccer (men) – Penn College posted an 8-8-1 overall record, 4-5-1 in the NEAC, during Rafael Morais’ first year as coach. Later during the school year, Morais resigned; this spring, Muncy native Tyler Mensch was hired to succeed him.

Soccer (women) – In their first season under coach John McNichol, the Wildcats finished 5-12 overall and 4-7 in the NEAC.

Softball – Another strong finish gave Penn College a 10-10 NEAC record and it just missed making the playoffs while finishing 12-24 overall during coach Roger Harris’ 14th season. Harris’ record with the program is 177-174.

Tennis (men) – Under fourth-year coach Robert Kemrer, Penn College ended 7-5 overall and 3-2 in the NEAC, where they lost in the conference semifinals. Kemrer’s career record with the men’s team is 12-10.

Tennis (women) – Kemrer’s women’s team finished 2-11 overall and 2-5 in the NEAC. His career record with the women is 4-19.

Volleyball (women) – In their second season under coach Monica Brown, the Wildcats finished 11-16 overall and 5-7 in the NEAC. In two years, her teams have gone 24-36.

Wrestling – Facing all-NCAA Division III (or higher) opponents, Penn College finished 2-11 overall. In five years, coach Schuyler Frey’s teams have gone 22-30 in dual meets.

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