A Page -- April 6, 2011

Parma's Jake Cepis (17)

Parma’s Jake Cepis will be in street 

clothes for this year’s Frozen Four in 

Minneapolis-St. Paul, but still after a fine 

season during which he led the Golden 

Gophers in scoring

April 6, 2011

By Norm Weber
Student/Athlete-Cleveland Editor
TWIN CITIES, MINN -- While the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities will be hosting the second biggest college hockey festival in the world (Boston’s Beanpot Tourney is the first biggest) tomorrow in the NCAA Division I Frozen Four (national championship), perhaps one of the most successful Student/Athletes to come out of Ohio in decades will be sitting on the sidelines in street clothes for this one.

However, Parma native Jacob Cepis, while not being in uniform for these last three games of the college hockey season for all Americans, could at least take solace in the fact that he was the leading scorer in 2010-11 on a Minnesota Golden Gopher team that had yet another successful and winning hockey season.

The Gophers did not make it to the Frozen Four this season but nonetheless will still be hosting it as one of the premier, if not the most accomplished, college hockey programs in the land.

Cepis is an anomaly in that he is the first Student/Athlete from Ohio to ever play hockey for the University of Minnesota, which has won five national championships since 1949 and won nearly 600 games between 1979 and 1999. Minnesota is one of the top two hockey states in the country.
The aftermath of the greatest athletics victory in the history
of the greatest country on God's green earth

When the late Gophers coach Herb Brooks assembled the Olympic Gold Medal Champion team in 1980 that included a semis victory over the vaunted Russians that thrust former Cincinnati Reds play-by-play man Al Michaels’ sports casting career into orbit among other things, on the roster Brooks had 15 S/As from the state of Minnesota although not all of them from UofM. Among the remaining Student/Athletes on the team, four came out of Boston University (including integral contributors such as Jim Craig, Mike Eruzione and Jack O’Callahan) and two from Michigan.
(l to r) -- O'Callahan, Craig, Eruzione

Minnesota is so hockey-centered that on the 2009-10 Gophers’ hockey roster, Cepis was the only one of 20 S/As listed who was not from Minnesota, making him both the only Ohioan and the only one from the other 48 states absent on the roster, establishing him as a gem found in the rough eventually polished both in Ohio and in the Twin Cities to huge “precious rarity” status.

The Gophers did have one other non-Minnesotan on the team this season in Tom Serretore, who hails from Colorado but ironically played juniors hockey for the Mahoning Valley Phantoms in Youngstown.

To say northeast Ohio is making its way into the upper crust of college hockey would be a gross understatement. In fact, Eruzione did play some pro hockey in Toledo after the 1980 Olympics and his Yeoman-like effort (remember he was the one in the movie Miracle who enabled the custodian to finally shut down the arena lights in the wee hours of the morning after Eruzione got down on his knees and shouted, “I am a member of the USA Hockey Team and represent my country,” which is what Brooks wanted to hear to end a long, physically draining  “overtime” discipline practice session, getting the point across that neither hockey nor being an American should have any “me” element in it whatsoever.
Statue of the late Herb Brooks, who in today's PC social climate might, due to his
disciplined style, get arrested for "insensitivity" and his players might get put on Prozac

Perhaps Minnesota hockey is also now looking outside itself to find hockey talent since the school has not won a national title since its back-to-back title years in 2002 and ’03, thus looking here to the Buckeye State for good all around S/As. 

To place a greater perspective on how ice hockey is ingrained in the very fabric of the state of Minnesota, college hockey is not limited to one team (as is often the case with football in Ohio, evidenced by how state residents are expected be Ohio State Buckeye fans even if they never attended the school and for no other reason other than they live in Ohio). While the Golden Gophers are No. 1 to many fans, they are not the only team in the state. 
In fact, this year’s Frozen Four does have a U. of Minnesota team among its field in UofM-Duluth, which will play Notre Dame in tomorrow’s first round while nine-time national champ Michigan meets seven-time NCCA titlist North Dakota in the other game. Also of note, Duluth has only five non-Minnesotans on the roster – four Canadians and one from Pittsburgh (again this Rust Belt here providing legs with hockey blades hardly made of rust). 

Remember, former Mankato State (Minnesota State) S/A’s Shane Joseph and Grant Stevenson played pro hockey for the Cleveland Barons in the early ‘00s here.

In 36 games this season, Cepis had 12 goals and 17 assists for 29 points. His 17 assists were second-best for the Gophers, as were his dozen goals. 
Jake Cepis

Cepis had two game-winning goals and a +/- of +7. He led the team in shots and had a shot percentage of .098.

He had one goal and three assists (first four-point game of his Gopher career) and was a +4 at Colorado College in October.

Also in October, Cepis recorded his second multiple-point game of this year (seventh as a Gopher) with one goal and one assist in a 2-1 win versus St. Cloud State.

Against Frozen Four teams this season, Cepis took a team-high five shots in both games at North Dakota (1/14-1/15) and had one assist on Jan. 14, which came about a month after he had one assist (12/10) and one goal (12/12) against No. 2 Minnesota-Duluth. It ended a slump as the goal was his first in six games.

Westlake begins quest to defend SWC 

title with sound win over the ‘Herst

By Norm Weber
Student/Athlete-Cleveland Editor

Westlake’s Boys’ Varsity slapped .Amherst, 5-0, Tuesday.
Westlake moved to 2-0 overall and made the firs step toward defending its SWC championship, upping its league record to 1-0.

Defending state singles runner up Colton Buffington and Demons No. 2 man Jason Wissman spanked their Comet challengers, both winning in straight sets in giving up only one point in the four sets between them.

At No. 3 singles, J.T Rapaport creamed his Comet in straight sets.

In doubles it as more of the same dominance, Abhi Ramachandran and Kent Dinchman lowed down their “challengers” in straight sets, and then Steve Fleischer and Kevin Wang flattened their Comets guys in a coast, giving up only one point in two sets.

Westlake JVs blank Amherst 

In junior varsity tennis, Westlake blasted Amherst, 5-0.
Aakash Shah:and Krish Shah won at first and second singles, respectively, while Pranay Arora shut out his opponents in both sets at third singles.

In doubles Rahil Desai/Harrison Keppler won 6-4, 6-2 and Anthony Raiff/Brian Anstead won, 6-2 7-

Oberlin Men's Lacrosse Falls to No. 7 


Story Reported by Mike Mancini

4/5/2011 10:09:53 PM
Box Score 

Oberlin, Ohio – Playing in their first true home game of the season, the Oberlin College men’s lacrosse team played inspired and put up a good fight against No. 7 Denison, but in the end the Big Red proved why they are one of the top-ranked teams in the country as they came away with a 13-2 win against the Yeomen. 

The Yeomen held their own in slowing down the Big Red attack in the early going, but the visitors broke through midway through the first quarter and led 5-0 after one. 

Oberlin Men's Lacrosse Falls to No. 7 Denison

Story Reported by Mike Mancini

4/5/2011 10:09:53 PM
Box Score 

Oberlin, Ohio – Playing in their first true home game of the season, the Oberlin College men’s lacrosse team played inspired and put up a good fight against No. 7 Denison, but in the end the Big Red proved why they are one of the top-ranked teams in the country as they came away with a 13-2 win against the Yeomen. 

The Yeomen held their own in slowing down the Big Red attack in the early going, but the visitors broke through midway through the first quarter and led 5-0 after one. 

Connor Jackson got OC on the board at the 5:38 mark of the second and the Yeomen defense held the Big Red in check in the frame as it was just a 7-1 game at the break. 

However, Denison came out in a flurry with three quick goals to start the third period, to effectively end threat of a possible Oberlin comeback. 

Senior Rob Bond would add the second Yeomen goal in the fourth with an assist coming from Jackson. 

The Yeomen (2-5, 0-2 NCAC) won the hustle stats as they claimed 10 of the game’s 18 face-offs. Bond had all 10 victories inside the circle. OC also had a 29-23 edge in groundballs. However, Denison (7-1, 3-0 NCAC) did out-shoot Oberlin 49-16. 



After brief home stint, CSU returns to the 

road with three-game series at 

Butler;Vikings are 18-12 after going 5-2 

last week

By Brian McCann

The Viking softball team continues the northern portion of its 2011 schedule when the Vikings play five games this week.  CSU closes out a stretch that has had them play five of the last seven games at home when the Vikings host Eastern Michigan for a 3:00 p.m. doubleheader on Wednesday (April 6) at Viking Field.  CSU will then continue Horizon League play with a three-game series at Butler, playing two games against the Bulldogs on Saturday (April 9) at 1:00 p.m. and a 12:00 noon single game on Sunday (April 10).

The Vikings went 5-2 last week, sweeping non-conference doubleheaders against IUPUI and Toledo before dropping two of the three games they played against Greeen Bay.  CSU is now 18-12 on the year but just 3-3 in league play after having its streak of 25 consecutive series wins dating back to midway through the 2007 season snapped against the Phoenix.

"We have everything that we need to suceed in the Horizon League this year, but we have to get out of the habit of waiting several innings each game to get our offense started," head coach Angie Nicholson said.  "We lost the two games against Green Bay because we didn't have the aggressive, quality at-bats early in the game that we needed and by the time we started to get going, we were down several runs and weren't able to come back.
Tess SitoJessica Burt
Elyria's Sito(L), LaGrange's Burt (R)

The offense put up some tremendous numbers, hitting 11 homers during the week, including a school-record tying four home runs in the second game against both Toledo and Green Bay.  Senior Jessica Burt led the long ball barrage with five homers and 10 RBI while sophomore Tess Sito hit .522 (12-23) with eight RBI and five runs scored.

Sito was also impressive in the circle, earning Horizon League Pitcher of the Week honors for the second time this season, going 4-1 with a 0.68 ERA in the five games through Sunday.  She struck out 37 batters and walked just five.

CSU tennis continues league play at 

Wright State, Butler; Westlake 

native/Mags alum Chelsea Girgash

reaches double-digit wins for Raiders

The women's tennis team hits the road for its final two Horizon League contests away from home this weekend, playing at Wright State on Saturday (April 9) and at Butler on Sunday (April 10). Both matches will begin at 2:00 p.m.

CSU enters the week at 8-11 overall and 3-1 in league play.

An S/A at Wright State, Magnificat alumna Chelsea Girgash is coming off a singles victory that put her at the 10-win mark for the season. The freshman from Westlake has been shuffling around among various doubles partners.
Chelsea Girgash won 6-1, 6-0 in sixth singles and teamed with Kayla Tuscany to win 8-5 in third doubles

"With just two weekends of league play left this season, these are going to be two big matches for us this weekend if we want to maintain our goal of finishing as one of the top two teams in the Horizon League," head coach Brian Etzkin said. "We have to continue to do a good job of closing out matches that we are ahead in and keep fighting when we are behind."

CSU split a pair of matches at home over the weekend, winning 7-0 over Valparaiso on Saturday (April 2) and falling to UIC, 6-1, on Sunday (April 3). The Vikings swept the three doubles matches and lost just eight games in singles against Valparaiso, while Maria Lazaris gave CSU its lone point against UIC, winning 6-3, 6-1 at No. 5 singles.

Freshman Alex Bush won at No. 2 singles against Valpo, her team-leading 19th victory of the season, which is tied for the seventh most in a season in school history.

CSU Baseball Begins Nine-Game Home Stand

Vikings Host Pittsburgh & Valparaiso This Week

After spending most of the first seven weeks of the season on the road, the Cleveland State baseball team will be home for four of its five games this week, beginning with a 5:00 p.m. contest against Pittsburgh on Tuesday (April 5). After a short road trip to Toledo for a 3:00 p.m. game on Wednesday (April 6), the Vikings will begin a nine-game home stand this weekend, starting with a single game vs. Valparaiso on Friday (April 8) at 5:00 p.m. followed by a double header with the Crusaders on Saturday (April 9) beginning at 12:00 noon.

The Vikings are coming off a tough series in Dayton, Ohio, where Cleveland State dropped three contests to Horizon League opponent Wright State. CSU lost by scores of 10-2, 13-3 and 11-5 in the weekend series (April 1-2) to fall to 6-17 on the year and 0-6 in the conference.

"The Valparaiso series is going to be huge," Kocks said. "It will be a major point in our season. We can't afford to fall to 0-9 or 1-8 in the league, we need to get some wins, and that will start this weekend."

Last week began on a more positive note for CSU, as the Vikings defeated Eastern Michigan, 2-1, in 10 innings on Tuesday (March 29). Quality pitching was the key to the win, as Nate Blankemeyer struck out four batters and allowed just the one run in 8.1 innings on the mound while his reliever, Brandon Cooper, gave up only one hit and struck out the final two batters of the game.
Alex Gnezda
Holy Name alum Alex Gnezda

Tom Carter scored the winning run on an Alex Gnezda bunt. Carter reached third on the play and then scored on an EMU error, the only one of the contest for either team.

CSU Men's Tennis Heads To Wright State & Butler

The first place Cleveland State men's tennis team hits the road for two matches this weekend, playing at Wright State on Saturday, April 9, and at Butler on Sunday, April 10. Both matches will begin at 10:00 a.m.

The Vikings enter the week at 10-7 overall and in first place in the Horizon League at 4-0 after knocking off Valparaiso (7-0) and UIC (6-1) at home last weekend to run their win streak over league foes to 29 straight.

"The streak we have going is great, but we are not really focused on that," head coach Brian Etzkin said. "We just want to go out and play focused tennis and control every match that we play from start to finish. Our doubles has improved throughout the season and I expect that to continue to be the case as the season winds down."
Robert Fox

Senior Rob Fox won both of his singles matches at the No. 2 position over the weekend to raise his team-leading win total to 19. Fox, who ranks second all-time in school history with 93 career wins, is also just one win shy of joining Phil Orno as the only players in program history with at least 20 singles wins in four straight seasons. Junior Yannick Goossens and senior John Haley are close behind Fox with 18 wins, while freshman Matt Kuelker has won 17 times.

In addition, the No. 1 doubles squad of Fox and Haley have gone 24-9 this year, tied for the second most doubles wins in a season in CSU history. The duo is just three wins shy of breaking the school record of 26 doubles wins in a season.

McAninch named OAC Pitcher of the Week

AUSTINTOWN, Ohio -- Mount Union sophomore Rachel McAninch (West Jefferson/West Jefferson) was named Ohio Athletic Conference Softball Pitcher of the Week on Monday.
McAninch had a 2-1 record last week, including three complete games, and a 3.33 ERA. In 21 innings pitched, she allowed 11 runs -- 10 earned -- on 20 hits.

McAninch also recorded 19 strikeouts, two walks and a .244 opponents' batting average.

In a 2-1 extra-inning win over Heidelberg, McAninch worked eight innings and finished with six strikeouts and no walks. She followed it up with an eight-strikeout, no-walk performance in the Purple Raiders' 6-1 victory against Wilmington.

In 2011, McAninch has a 4-3 record with a 2.06 ERA

Yeomen Top Scots in First NCAC Action

Story Reported by Wes Davis

4/5/2011 8:56:40 PM

Oberlin, Ohio - The Oberlin College men's tennis squad defeated the visiting College of Wooster Fighting Scots on the courts of John W. Heisman Field House tonight 8-1 to start the North Coast Athletic Conference season unbeaten.

The Yeomen held a 3-0 advantage following doubles action after starting the match with strong, aggressive play.

Senior Leo Sprinzen and first-year partner Charlie Marks were 8-4 winners over the Scots' Paul Thomas and Nick Biniker in the top spot.
Hawken alum Charlie Marks

Following their lead juniors Joe Leffler and Sam Towne defeated Landon Moore and John Schulz 8-5.

The third Oberlin pairing of Eliot Heaton and Logan Chun found themselves involved in the easiest match earning an 8-2 win to remain unbeaten in the No. 3 position at 5-0.

"We played really well tonight.  It was good for us to start conference matches off on the right foot and we've put ourselves in good positioning for a better seed in the tournament by winning our first conference match," said head coach Adam Shoemaker following the match.

Oberlin would continue to dominate up and down the line up as they were too much for the Fighting Scots to handle.  Shoemaker commented, "The guys came to play and there was an intensity from start to finish that can carry us a long way if we bring it to every match."

In the top spot Chun was a 6-2, 6-1 winner over Moore earning his tenth win of the season.

Wooster's Biniker put up a stronger effort in the second set but the Yeomen's Marks was good enough to preserve a 6-2, 6-4 straight set win at No. 2.

Towne notched his eigth win of the year defeating Zach Rotter in the third position 6-1, 6-2.

Hitting in the fourth and sixth spots Leffler and Heaton were each winners defeating their Scots opponents 6-3, 6-2 and 6-2, 6-3 respectively.

The College of Wooster picked up their only win in the match when first-year Alex Koeberle had to retire from the first set due to injury.  Wooster's Thomas was leading four games to three.