A new dawn arrives for Penn College athletics
An expanded, 17-team United East Conference. A new hall of fame class. Individual and program postseason achievements. Team and individual academic honors. A new staff hire. It was an active summer for Pennsylvania College of Technology athletics — and further proves there is no offseason as a new academic year begins.
FALL OPENERS SET
Getting underway on Monday, Aug. 28:
Esports Collegiate iRacing League (The Clash-Atlanta Motor Speedway) at Wildcat Den, 9 p.m. (Other esports openers include Rocket League on Sept. 25, Overwatch 2 on Sept. 26, Valorant on Sept. 27, GS:GO on Sept. 29 and League of Legends on Oct. 10. All National Association of Collegiate Esports matches will be streamed on twitch.tv/penncollegeesports).
Getting their seasons underway in nonconference action on Friday, Sept. 1:
- Men’s soccer at Keystone College, 7 p.m. (Home contests will be streamed live at pctwildcats.com/live)
- Women’s soccer at Mt. Aloysius, 6 p.m. (Home contests will be streamed live at pctwildcats.com/live)
- Women’s volleyball at King’s College, 6 p.m. (Home contests will be streamed live at pctwildcats.com/live)
- Men’s/women’s cross-country at Misericordia University, 6 p.m.
Getting underway in nonconference action on Saturday, Sept. 9:
- Women’s tennis at Lock Haven University, 10 a.m.
Getting underway in nonconference action on Saturday, Sept. 16:
- Men’s golf at Penn State Altoona with Mt. Aloysius, 11 a.m.
- Men’s tennis at King’s College Invitational, 9 a.m.
CONFERENCE MERGER CULMINATED
On July 1, the United East Conference and Colonial States Athletic Conference merged and began operating under the UEC name and brand “as a forward-thinking solution to the ongoing membership shuffle in NCAA Division III as well as a proactive step to address the challenges anticipated for institutions and conferences in the coming years,” according to the June announcement.
Stephanie Dutton, who has served as the United East commissioner since August 2019, leads the new conference, while assistant commissioners Jake Ayers, Sam Carges and Tone Cockrell round out the office staff.
The United East Presidents’ Council is led by Dr. Todd Williams, of Cairn University, who began serving as chairman on July 1 for a two-year term. He is joined by Dr. Tommy Kiedis, of Lancaster Bible College, as vice chairman. For the board of athletic directors, Crystal Gibson, of St. Mary’s College of Maryland, is the chair, and Ashley Hodges, of Notre Dame of Maryland, is the vice chair.
The conference now has 17 full-member institutions, including seven from the former UE: Penn College, Gallaudet University, Lancaster Bible College, Penn State Abington, Penn State Berks, Penn State Harrisburg and St. Mary’s (Md.) College), which will compete in the newly named Volt Division; and 10 from the former CSAC: Bryn Athyn College, Cairn University, Cedar Crest College, Clarks Summit University, Keystone College, Notre Dame (Md.) University, Rosemont College, St. Elizabeth University, University of Valley Forge and Wilson College, which will compete in the recently named Skye Division.
The new divisional names come from the colors in the United East logo. Volt Green and Skye Blue (along with Northeast Blue) make up the three primary colors of the United East mark created during a conference rebrand in the summer of 2021.
Former UE member SUNY Morrisville left to join the North Atlantic Conference, while Wells College left the UE to join the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference.
The new United East will sponsor 20 sports this academic year, which will serve as a transition while the former conferences work toward full integration.
Teams in men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s soccer, baseball, softball, women’s volleyball and women’s tennis will vie for playoff spots in their respective Volt and Skye divisions. The division champions will meet in a crossover championship to determine the recipient of the conference’s automatic qualifier for NCAA tournaments.
Men’s lacrosse, men’s tennis, field hockey, men’s volleyball and women’s lacrosse teams will compete in a unified structure, playing all institutions that sponsor the sport during the regular season en route to a postseason tournament that determines the conference champion. Of those sports, Penn College only fields teams in men’s lacrosse and men’s tennis.
Men’s and women’s cross-country, men’s and women’s track and field, and men’s golf will participate in a conferencewide championship at the end of their seasons. Of those sports, Penn College only fields teams in golf and cross-country.
2023 HALL OF FAME
The addition of two former women’s soccer players will bring the Athletic Hall of Fame total to 48 when they are inducted in a 6:30 p.m. ceremony on Sept. 22 during Wildcat Weekend.
This year’s inductees are:
Robyn Beddow (women’s soccer, 2012-15)
A forward who started 15 matches as a freshman in 2012, Beddow, of Lancaster, had a breakout sophomore season in 2013 when she scored 14 goals, had four assists and was named to the United States Collegiate Athletic Association second team. The Wildcats reached the USCAA Small College National Championships during both of those seasons.
As a junior in 2014, Beddow was awarded North Eastern Athletic Conference and USCAA All-Academic honors, and she capped her career with nine goals and five assists as a senior in 2015 when she was named to the NEAC second team and USCAA honorable mention along with NEAC and USCAA All-Academic honors.
Starting in 67 matches as the Wildcats went 31-34-8 during the four seasons she played, Beddow scored 31 career goals, had 11 assists and had 73 points.
Hailee Hartman (women’s soccer, 2014-17)
During her four-year career, Hartman played in 78 of the Wildcats’ 81 matches, starting 77, and finished her career with 35 goals, 22 assists and 92 points, with all three totals NCAA era program records.
As a junior in 2016, Hartman, of Lampeter, had a breakout season and led the team with 15 goals — connecting on .784% of her shots on goal, seven assists, and at the time a NCAA era program-record 37 points, while earning North Eastern Athletic Conference second-team honors.
She was awarded NEAC third-team accolades during both her sophomore and senior seasons and was a NEAC All-Academic honoree in 2015.
During her team’s 9-8-5 senior campaign, Penn College finished second in the NEAC Championships after reaching the semifinals in 2016 and quarterfinals in 2015.
MOHNEY ON ACADEMY STAFF
Women’s basketball coach Britni Mohney was a member of the 2023 NCAA College Basketball Academy coaching staff in Memphis, Tenn., in late July.
“Being a part of the first NCAA Women’s Basketball Individual Pathway Program was a surreal experience. I was honored to be chosen to such a program that shows the growth and the support of women’s basketball,” Mohney said.
“To be able to coach up-and-coming Division 1-caliber talent, to watch the greats of our game recruiting, and to network with fellow Division 2 and Division 3 coaches across the nation was an experience I won’t forget,” she said.
“I am grateful that my career has brought me to a place where I’m not only making an impact on my local community and college, but to young aspiring women’s basketball student-athletes across the nation,” Mohney added.
Penn College finished fifth among nine United East institutions for the Presidents’ Cup, which annually recognizes the athletic achievements of its members. The winner is determined by a scoring system that rewards success during regular and postseason competitions. A year ago, the college was sixth.
St. Mary’s (Md.) College took top honors and was followed by SUNY Morrisville, Penn State Harrisburg (last year’s winner), Lancaster Bible College, Penn College, Penn State Berks, Penn State Abington, Gallaudet University and Wells College.
LEARFIELD DIRECTORS’ CUP
Penn College, with 53 points, was ranked No. 234 in the final 2022-23 standings for the Learfield Directors’ Cup presented by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA).
The Learfield Directors’ Cup is determined by a scoring system that rewards a school for success during the NCAA Division III Championships.
The Wildcats earned 32 points with a 37th-place finish in the Men’s Golf Championship and another 21 points in men’s wrestling.
Other UE schools on the list were St. Mary’s (Md.) College, 113th with 151 points; Gallaudet University 163rd with 105.5 points; Penn State Berks, 219th with 62.5 points; and Penn State Harrisburg, SUNY Morrisville and Lancaster Bible College tied for 238th with 50 points.
LACROSSE PLAYER HONORED
In early June, junior attack Quinn Caviola, of Ridgefield, Connecticut, became the first Wildcat to receive Division III Region 2 honorable mention recognition from the Intercollegiate Men’s Lacrosse Coaches Association.
During the team’s 11-7 spring season that ended with a top-four finish in the United East Conference, Caviola started 11 of 17 matches, scoring 24 goals and 23 assists for 47 points. He also had 44 ground balls and 11 caused turnovers.
According to Penn College coach Jordan Williams, Region 2 includes teams from the United East, Liberty League, SUNYAC, Empire 8 and Skyline conferences.
2023 UE SCHOLAR-ATHLETES
For the second year in a row, a school-record 100 student-athletes were selected as United East Scholar-Athletes as Penn College finished third among the conference’s full-time members. Lancaster Bible led with 115 and Penn State Harrisburg had 102.
To be selected, a student-athlete competing in a conference-sponsored sport must achieve a combined GPA of 3.4 or higher for the fall and spring semesters and have been in good standing on their team. Twenty-three Penn College students were among the conference’s 94 who achieved perfect 4.0 GPAs.
Men’s soccer (20)
Cole Catherman (4.0), sophomore, Selinsgrove; Jack Lenosky (4.0), sophomore Moon Township; Gabriel McKeon (4.0), senior, Williamsport; Nathan Schwartz (4.0), freshman, Lancaster; Mason Kostick, freshman, Souderton; Zach Foskey, freshman, Gilbertsville; William Watson, junior, Springfield; Mitchell Lesh, freshman, Pine Grove; Matt Neeson, sophomore, Chadds Ford; Jacob Everhart, freshman, Huntingdon; Rowen Gibson, senior, Abington; Thomas DeGeyter Jr., sophomore, Long Valley, New Jersey; Will Gallagher, sophomore, Mechanicsburg; Evan Pickering, freshman, Selinsgrove; Brandon Ratjavong, junior, Gordonville; Tyler Hendershot, junior, New Columbia; Tad Shellenberger, junior, Port Royal; Kegan Foster, freshman, Gilbertsville; Logan Confer, sophomore, Watsontown; Tyler Weimert, junior Feasterville Trevose.
Men’s lacrosse (17)
Elliott Gmiter (4.0), sophomore, Gibsonia; Walter Heiser (4.0), sophomore, Milford, New Jersey; Colten Hajicek, freshman, Redmond, Washington; Corbin Moore, sophomore, Manheim; Isaac Hernandez, senior, Monroe Township, New Jersey; Devin Page, sophomore, Pine City, New York; Charles Jones, sophomore, Glenolden; Alexander Dotson, freshman, Wilmington, Delaware; Kevin Ronayne III, sophomore, Havertown; Harrison Schlachta, freshman, Collegeville; Alex Feeman, senior, Lebanon; Andrew Osterman, sophomore, Laurel, Maryland; Brody Borkowski, freshman, Eagleville; Angelo Varcadipane, junior, Boonton, New Jersey; Emmett Kepniss, freshman, Maple Glen; Cory Johnson, sophomore, Irwin; Guerin San Agustin, sophomore, Old Bridge, New Jersey.
Women’s soccer (13)
Olivia Casella (4.0), freshman, Williamsport; Cici Miller (4.0), freshman, Dover; Shannon O’Day (4.0), sophomore, Honesdale; Kaelynn Sheetz (4.0), junior, Elizabethtown; Nicole Lichtinger, sophomore, Erie; Brooke Klinger, freshman, Rough and Ready; Nadia Zimmerman, freshman, Auburn; Morgan Solano, freshman, Shavertown; BillieGene Hennessy, sophomore, Holtsville, New York; Megan Nye, freshman, Trevorton; Wiley Egan, freshman, Northumberland; Kayla Scampone, freshman, Loyalsock Township; Teagan Willey, junior Towanda.
Ben Bretzman, senior, Bendersville (4.0); Jacob Wagner, senior, Palmyra (4.0); Chance Webb, junior, Hughesville; Tristan Current, sophomore, Reinholds; Keegan Nytz, senior, Allentown; Andrew Snyder, senior, Whitehall; Benny Hornburg, freshman, Pittsburgh; Charlie Hornburg, freshman, Pittsburgh; Parker White, freshman, West Decatur; Ian Gagliano, junior, Hughesville; Cole Culver, senior, Titusville; Zac Weaver, sophomore, Pottstown.
Alyssa Rusnock (4.0), senior, Ovid, New York; Jordan Specht (4.0), senior, Frederick, Maryland; Kassidy Chase, freshman, Bernville; Lexi Snyder, freshman, Hegins; Maddie Hurst, senior, Mechanicsburg; Jesse Brumbaugh, freshman, McClure; Madison Shaffer, senior, Trout Run; Maggie Mangene, junior, Boalsburg; Hailey DeBrody, sophomore, Cogan Station.
Gavin Baer (4.0), sophomore, Bainbridge; Peyton Mussina (4.0), sophomore, Montoursville; Brandon Vaughn (4.0), freshman, Chambersburg; Gunner Redmond, freshman, Lock Haven; Trevor Keaton, junior, Worcester.
Women’s basketball (5)
Kayleigh Miller (4.0), sophomore, Sayre; Emily Pardee, junior, Williamsport; Shelby Pyatt, junior, Frenchtown, New Jersey; Allison Troup, junior, Huntingdon; Alexis Troup, freshman, Huntingdon.
Women’s volleyball (5)
Christine Limbert, senior, Curwensville; Joanna Hess, sophomore, Jersey Shore; Hannah Scalia, freshman, Huntingdon; Cheyenne Stein, junior, Orwigsburg; Emily Russell, freshman, Lancaster.
Men’s cross-country (4)
Spencer Doughty (4.0), senior, Mechanicsburg; Alec Rees (4.0), sophomore, Centerport, New York; Matthew Woolcock (4.0), freshman, Oil City; Mitchell Campbell, freshman, Riegelsville.
Men’s basketball (3)
Alec Cooper, freshman, Huntingdon; Livingston Cross, freshman, Union, New Jersey; Cade Cavanaugh, sophomore, Greensburg.
Men’s tennis (3)
Grayson Tanner (4.0), senior, St. Matthews, South Carolina; Zackary Burkhart, senior, Milton; Kyle Shuler, freshman, Williamsport.
Women’s tennis (2)
Lauren Peck (4.0), freshman, South Williamsport; Georgia Macensky, junior, Wellsboro.
Women’s cross-country (2)
Rosey Thomas, senior, Port Allegany; Isabella Telford, freshman, Greensburg.
OTHER ACADEMIC HONORS
- Eight Wildcat squads were among those earning the first United East Team Academic Awards as a result of achieving a combined 3.25 or higher GPA during the 2022-23 academic year, making Penn College No. 1 in the conference. Honored were men’s golf (3.49), women’s basketball (3.45), women’s soccer (3.43), softball (3.43), women’s volleyball (3.39), men’s cross-country (3.33), women’s cross-country (3.32) and women’s tennis (3.26).
- Men’s basketball players Will Sulesky, a senior from Huntingdon, and Max Jackowsky, a junior from Garnet Valley, were named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches Honors Court, which includes junior, senior and graduate student men’s basketball players who finished the 2022-23 year with a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher. This was Sulesky’s second such honor.
- For the second consecutive year, the women’s basketball team was recognized by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association for performance in the classroom and listed on the Team Honor Roll Special Mention. Penn College posted a 3.316 team GPA, with 11 student-athletes attaining a GPA above 3.0 during 2022-23, and it was first among three UE teams cited as Gallaudet University had a 3.307 team GPA and St. Mary’s (Md.) a 3.248 team GPA.
- Ten softball players earned Easton/National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-America Scholar-Athlete honors for the 2022-23 academic year. Cited were Kyla Benner, of Bethlehem; Mackenzie Houck, of Petersburg; Brumbaugh; Chase; DeBrody; Hurst; Rusnock; Shaffer; Snyder; and Specht. For an individual to be tabbed All-America Scholar-Athlete, the player must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher for the season.
- The men’s and women’s soccer teams were honored as United Soccer Coaches (USC) Team Academic Award winners with GPAs of 3.32 and 3.43, respectively — the men’s soccer team earned similar honors in 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022, while the women’s team did so in 2017, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022.
COMMUNICATIONS STAFF ADDITION
Eric Hunt, a Muncy native and graduate of Warrior Run High School and Lycoming College, was hired as the coordinator of athletic communications and club sports, effective Aug. 28.
A wrestler in both high school and college, Hunt spent the past two years as the assistant director of communications for Division I ASUN Conference, headquartered in Atlanta, and before that, was a media relations graduate assistant at Division I University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas.
An NCAA Ethnic Minorities and Women’s Internship Grant made the two-year full-time, entry-level position possible.
For more about the United East, visit the conference website.
For additional information, visit the Wildcats Athletics website.