A Page -- Feb. 16, 2012

Case Reserve softball enters second season of Josie Henry era

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Now in the second year of the Josie Henry era, the Case Western Reserve University softball team will look to build on last season's hot finish as it hopes to take another step forward during the spring of 2012.

During Henry's first season as head coach, the Spartans finished at 19-25 overall with a 13-5 mark over the final 18 games. The 19 victories were a 10-win improvement versus Case's total from 2010.

2012 Spartan Softball Preview

"We definitely feel that last year's momentum will carry over into this season," said Henry. "There is a major difference in the mindset of our returning players. They had to start believing they could win, and once that came to fruition, that mentality caught fire and spread throughout the club."

Henry will once again enter the 2012 season with a young roster. But different from last season, that roster will be much deeper with established players in the lineup and a revamped pitching staff consisting of three newcomers. The roster Henry inherited last season did not include a pitcher.

"Our pitching was inexperienced early last spring, and I really feel like that contributed to our slow start," noted Henry. "Once we fought through that, our confidence as both individuals and as a team began to improve. Our returnees really dedicated themselves this offseason, especially knowing we have a true pitching staff."

Overall, Henry's 16-player roster consists of five starters and seven letterwinners.

Headlining the group is 2011 National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-American first baseman/designated player Lauren Wolz(Ashburn, Va./Stone Bridge).

The first All-American in program history, Wolz hit .408 with school-record totals of 10 homeruns and 49 runs batted-in last spring. She also doubled 11 times, scored 25 runs and struck out only five times in 130 official at-bats. Wolz was tabbed first-team All-University Athletic Association and first-team NFCA All-Central Region – also a program first. In just three seasons, she ranks first on the CWRU career leader board with a .390 (128-of-328) batting average, 20 homeruns and 89 RBI.

"Lauren (Wolz) is a vital part of our offense and really poses a threat to anyone we face," said Henry. "She possesses a ton of power and has the ability to consistently put the ball in play. I feel like anytime we can get our top-of-the-order batters on base, Lauren will find a way to drive them home."

Also back from the senior class is third baseman Kaeleen Boden (Strongsville, Ohio/Holy Name) and catcher/designated playerIanna Wasser (Warwick, R.I./Toll Gate).

Boden, a Capital One Academic All-District IV selection, finished third on the team and 15th in the UAA with a .350 batting average while totaling two homeruns, 14 RBI and a team-high tying 12 walks. In 125 career games, she has batted .322 with 50 RBI.

Wasser, a two-year starter behind the plate, batted .299 with three homeruns and 13 RBI. She will likely see significant at-bats from the designated player spot as a career .258 hitter with nine homers and 44 RBI.

"Having experienced players like Kaeleen (Boden) and Ianna (Wasser) provides excellent protection for Lauren when opponents intentionally walk her," said Henry. "Our senior trio will provide a strong core that we can build around."

Outfielder Chelsea Lasky (Erie, Pa./Villa Maria Academy), who has played in 29 games during the past two seasons, returns as the club's lone junior.

Back for their second seasons are sophomores Makenzie Lein (Petersburg, Mich./Ida) and Katherine Seo (Salt Lake City, Utah/Olympus), who each moved from their traditional positions to split time between the field and the pitcher's mound in 2011.

Lein, who pitched for the first time since her early high school years, led the team with a 13-8 record, 132.1 innings pitched, 15 complete games and 42 strikeouts. She will move back to the middle infield full-time this season after hitting .329 with six homeruns and 25 RBI.

Seo, who was 6-10 in 105 innings pitched last season, will move back to the outfield full-time. She hit .240 with two homers and 14 RBI, while stealing eight bases in nine attempts.

"I don't feel like Makenzie (Lein) and Katherine (Seo) will be impacted much from moving back to the field," noted Henry. "However, I do feel that having a year of swinging the bat at the collegiate level along with growing maturity at the plate will help them be even more productive. Pitching for an entire season will also make them better hitters, knowing how to create and read spin out of the pitcher's hand."

Sophomore catcher Amy Taylor (Brier, Wash./Inglemoor) is also back after playing in 28 games with 25 starts as a freshman. She batted .293 with three homers and 12 RBI.

As previously mentioned, the 2011 roster did not include a true pitcher. This year will be much different with three freshmen arms in camp all vying for time on the mound. Rebecca Taylor (Greensburg, Pa./Greater Latrobe) is the front-runner to be the Spartans' ace, while Christina Hunger (Aurora, Ill./West Aurora) and Hillary Bunnelle (Mundelein, Ill./Mundelein) are also expected to compete for significant innings.

"I have high expectations for our pitching staff," said the head coach. "Although they are young, they have been very consistent in their preseason work, and I look for them to flourish in game situations."

In addition to the pitching trio, Henry is also expecting significant contributions from the rest of her freshman class with several of the rookies expected to start at open positions.

Molly O'Brien (Northbrook, Ill./Loyola) will rotate the middle infield positions along with Lein, while Lizzy Kolar (Morgantown, W. Va./University), Shruthi Srinivas (Clemsford, Mass./Clemsford), Gena Roberts (Miami, Fla./Palmer-Trinity) and Ashley Parello(Venetia, Pa./Peters Township) will likely complete the outfield rotation. Catcher Janis Cava (Menomonee Falls, Wis./Dominican) will be counted on to add depth behind the plate.

The 2012 schedule will once again be challenging with the annual University Athletic Association Championship in Florida in early March and a number of top regional opponents throughout the northern portion of the schedule.

The Spartans open the season on Saturday, February 25 with a pair of games versus Alabama A&M University and Centre College (Pa.) at 12:00 and 4:00 p.m., respectively, at the Birmingham Southern College Invitational in Birmingham, Alabama.

After four more games down south in Alabama and Florida, the Spartans head to Altamonte Springs, Fla. for the UAA Championship from March 13-17.

The team then opens its northern slate at home versus Westminster College (Pa.) on Wednesday, March 21 at Mather Park.

"I feel like there is a lot of unfinished business, especially for our senior class," said Henry. "This group has worked really hard and has played in a challenging conference. It will be great for them to come out and show that all of that work has paid off. We are excited to keep the program moving in the right direction."

Oberlin Swimming & Diving Set for NCAC Championships 
2/14/2012 1:13:00 PM
Official NCAC Championship Homepage l Jebran Haddad Video Preview (Facebook) l Jane McIntyre Video Preview (Facebook)

Oberlin, Ohio – The Oberlin College swimming and diving teams are ready to compete at the four-day NCAC Championship Meet, starting on Wednesday night at the C.T. Branin Natatorium in Canton, Ohio.

The Yeomen and Yeowomen will be facing some of the toughest competition in the country as they go up against perennial national powers Kenyon and Denison, as well as the rest of the NCAC.

On the women’s side, Senior Kate Melanson also hopes to end her career on a high note by producing multiple points in the freestyle events. Her marks of 2:01.22 in the 200 and 5:25.93 in the 500 are Oberlin bests. Melanson also leads the butterfly unit with a top time of 1:00.97 in the 100.

First-year Ellen Drake spearheads the Yeowomen’s distance core. A native of nearby Cleveland Heights, Ohio, Drake has had an impressive rookie season. She has posted team-best times in the 1,000-yard free (11:16) and 1,650-yard free (18:59.73).

Fellow first-year Aubrey Pongluelert is the team’s top breaststroker with timestamps of 1:10.27 in the 100 and 2:31.70 in the 200. She also posted the best mark in the 400-yard IM at 4:54.84.

First-year Adrian Ziaggi and sophomore Lauren Branson control the diving for the Yeowomen.

Freshman diver Chris McLauchlan leads the Yeomen into the event and has a great opportunity to receive All-NCAC honors. McLaughlin, who has provisionally qualified for the NCAA Championship Meet, is yet to lose this season in both dual meet and championship style formats.

Another Yeomen to watch out for is sophomore Chris Pickens. The Monterey, California, native has team top times in the 200-yard free (1:46.99), 500-yard free (4:49.30), 1,000-yard free (10:27.38) and 1,650-yard free (17:04.31).

Freshman Chris Ayoub is the leader of the backstroke core, registering top times in the 100 (59.54) and 200-yard (2:07.67) events. Ayoub also has the best time in the 400-yard IM at 4:25.79.

Senior Jebran Haddad is the team’s top breaststroker. Earlier this season he set the school record in the 100 at 59.17. Additionally he has the second fastest time in the 200 at 2:15.16.

Sophomore Luke Harrison is another swimmer to watch out for. The Oshkosh, Wisconsin, product has touched in with top times in the 100 (54.35) and 200-yard fly (2:01.42) events.

For complete Championship information, visit the official webpage here. Live video coverage of the entire meet will also be offered free of charge on the championship page.

Lake Erie hosts Northern Michigan for Breast Cancer Awareness

NCAA Division II - Men's Basketball
Lake Erie College (8-14, 3-12 GLIAC) vs Northern Michigan University (8-14, 4-11 GLIAC)
When: Thursday February 16
Tip Off: 8:00 p.m.
Venue: Jerome T. Osborne Family Athletic and Wellness Center – Painesville, Ohio
Video & Audio Broadcast: www.lakeeriestorm.com
Up Next for LEC:  February 18 vs. Michigan Tech, 3:00 p.m.

LAKE ERIE HOSTS TAKING BREAST CANCER BY STORM WEEKEND: The Lake Erie College men’s basketball team (8-14, 3-12 GLIAC) faces a pair GLIAC North foes this weekend at it hosts Northern Michigan University Thursday (Feb. 16) and Michigan Tech University Saturday (Feb. 18). The Storm is coming off a 64-57 loss at Grand Valley State University Saturday.  Lake Erie will host its annual basketball “Taking Breast Cancer by Storm” event, as part of the GLIAC Pink Wave initiative, throughout the weekend. Fans are admitted free on both dates and will have a chance to purchase limited edition pink Storm gear to support the Kay Yow Cancer Fund.

LAST TIME OUT: For the second straight game, Lake Erie trailed by just a bucket at halftime against a tough GLIAC North foe and this time it stayed in the game until the final minute in a 64-57 loss to Grand Valley State University.  The Storm was led by the sophomore duo of forward Rich Austin (Cleveland, Ohio/St. Ignatius) and guard Riley Thomas (Cardington, Ohio/Cardington-Lincoln), as each player scored a game-high 19 points.  The effort, which included four three-pointers, was a season-high for Thomas and one off his career-high.  Austin did much of his work at the foul line going nine-of-10 with the Storm going 15-of-17 (88.2%) as a team from the charity stripe.

SERIES NOTES: Lake Erie and Northern Michigan met for the first time last season with the Storm coming out on top, 66-50, in Marquette, Mich. on Feb. 17.

CLOSING IN ON 100: With eight victories already this season, Lake Erie Head Coach Cliff Hunt is just three wins away from the 100-win plateau with a 97-89 career record in his seventh season with the Storm. He is already the all-time winningest coach in school history.

AUSTIN ALL-IN: Sophomore Rich Austin has made a huge leap after a solid freshman season. Austin is averaging 11.6 ppg. and 6.3 rpg., leading the team in both categories. He has reached double figure scoring in 14-of-22 games this season and recorded his second double-double Feb. 4 vs. ODU with 17 points and 14 rebounds. Over the last three games he is averaging 17.7 ppg. and 9.0 rpg. The Cleveland St. Ignatius grad averaged 6.0 ppg. as a freshman.

THOMAS’ TERRIFIC TWOS: Sophomore Riley Thomas has backed up a solid freshman campaign as the team’s second leading scorer at 10.1 ppg.  He currently has 445 points and could be well on his way to becoming Lake Erie’s next 1,000 point scorer. 

OPPOSITION POSITION: Northern Michigan (8-14, 4-11 GLIAC) is currently at the bottom of the GLIAC North standings.  The Wildcats have lost six straights contests and are led by guard Haki Stampley with 14.5 ppg.

A LOOK AHEAD: Lake Erie’s “Taking Breast Cancer by Storm” weekend continues Saturday with a 3:00 p.m. contest against Michigan Tech University. 

CSU cross country team earns USTFCCCA All Academic Award

CLEVELAND, Ohio- Following their most successful season in school history, the Cleveland State cross country team has been honored with a recognition on the 2011 NCAA Division I USTFCCCA Women’s Cross Country All-Academic Team.

The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association recently made the announcement.

“I’m very proud of this team and what they have accomplished this season both academically and athletically,” head coach Joe Jaketic said. “To be one of the top academic teams in the country is a great honor for this team and for Cleveland State University. They have all done a great job in the classroom and they are all very deserving of this award.”

Normandy High alumna Allison Craine

The cross country team has a cumulative grade point average of 3.55, which is the highest in the Horizon League. For the fourth straight year the Vikings also rank in the top-35 in the country, as they came in ranked 34th.

To qualify as a USTFCCCA All-Academic Cross Country Team, the team must have had a cumulative team GPA of 3.00 or better and have started at least five runners at their respective NCAA regional championship.

Gilmour's Polak Listed Among Nation's Best on Prepvolleyball.com

Prepvolleyball.com just released its FROSH 59 - a list of the nation's most outstanding varsity-playing volleyball freshmen for the 2011 fall season and Gilmour Academy freshman setter Megan Polak (Kirtland, Ohio) made the list. Polak helped guide Division III Gilmour to a state runner-up finish after compiling a record of 26-3. She totaled 894 assists, allowing three of her teammates to rack up 200 or more kills. "I have seen a lot of setters in my 22 years of coaching and she is, by far, the best freshman setter I have ever seen," said Gilmour first-year head coach Kelly Coughlin, "At nearly 5-11, she is close to elbows over the net when she blocks and is very core-strong, winning almost every joust she is involved with."
Prior to arriving at Gilmour this past fall, Polak led Cleveland Volleyball Company to a 14 Open club title.
To be considered for this list, the student-athlete needed to be a varsity starter as a freshman and one of the top talents in her area. Players were recommended for the list by high school and club coaches across the country and then selected based exclusively on accomplishment at the varsity prep level. Polak was the only player from Ohio to be among the top 59, however, a total of four other players from the state were recognized, including  Allison Baird (North Royalton), Maddie Bazelak (Archbishop Alter), Jenna Holly (Upper Sandusky) and Katie Puisis (Mason) at highest honorable mention.

Kent sectional hockey opens with Hoover blanking West G., 12-0

KENT, OHIO—The Ohio High School Athletic Association tournament started last night at the Kent State University Ice Arena and North Canton Hoover beat West Geauga, 12-0.

1 2 3 OT F
Hoover: 7 5 0 0 12
West Geauga: 0 0 0 0 0
Hoover: Goals: Brad Harcourt (2), Shane Saba (2), Spencer Mackert (2), Preston Mackert (2), John Desrosiers, Daniel Murphy, Zach Lawson, Chaz Gordish
Assists: Shane Saba (2), Cole Bukowy (2), Chaz Gordish, Zach Lawson, Preston Mackert, Daniel Murphy, Brad Harcourt, Matt Smith
West Geauga: Goals:
Hoover: Kirk Greenho (3) Shots, (3) Saves
West Geauga: Seth Martin (22) Shots, (10) Saves

Cleveland Heights wins battle of Cedar Road in sectional hockey over Mayfield

KENT, OHIO—The Ohio High School Athletic Association tournament started Tuesday night at the Kent State University Ice Arena and Cleveland Heights beat Mayfield, 10-4, behind a hat trick by Ben Urbas and playmaker by Ian Krays.

                                                1          2          3          OT       F

Cleveland Heights:                4          3          3          0          10       

Mayfield:                                0          2          2          0          4                     

            Scoring:  Cleveland Heights:     Goals: Ben Urbus (3), Trey Hopkins (2), Tyler Rudy (2), Dominic DiTirro, Constantin Blashke, Isaac Brown

           Assists: Ian Krays (3), Tyler Rudy (2), Dominic DiTirro, Jake Deet, Isaac Brown, Peter Century

Mayfield:                    Goals: Hunter Maggs, Mitch Ford, Jacob Snow, Tom Glassman

Assists: Hunter Maggs (2), Paul Jablonski, Nick Gaeta, Chris Sentle, Dominic Horvath 


Cleveland Heights: Aidan Hall (27) Shots, (23) Saves

Mayfield: Danny Wilson (33) Shots, (23) Saves

Trey Harmon scores 27 but Vikings lose third straight

MILWAUKEE, Wis. - Trey Harmon scored a career-high 27 points, but Milwaukee's Tony Meier hit a pair of free throws with 1.1 seconds left after CSU was whistled for a foul on a three-point attempt and the Vikings fell at Milwaukee, 86-84, on Tuesday night.

The loss drops CSU to 20-7 overall and 10-5 in league play, while UWM improved to 16-12 overall and 9-7 in the Horizon League.


Harmon hit 8-of-14 from the field, besting his old career-high of 24 points. Jeremy Montgomery added 15 points, while Charlie Lee scored 14, making all five of his shots from the floor in his first game in his hometown. Anton Grady added 10 points and five rebounds.

The Vikings battled back from a 15 point deficit (76-61) with 7:51 to play, knotting the contest at 84-84 on Montgomery's floater in the lane after a Grady steal. 

Baldwin-Wallace Wrestling Falls to Heidelberg, 44-3, In OAC 

Dual Match

TIFFIN, OHIO --  The Baldwin-Wallace College wrestling team was defeated by Heidelberg University, 44-3, tonight (Tuesday, February 14, 2012) in anOhio Athletic Conference dual match in the Seiberling Gymnasium.

With the loss, the Yellow Jackets fell to 1-5 overall and 0-4 in the OAC while the Student Princes improved to 4-7
overall and 2-2 in the OAC.

B-W was led by freshman 184-pounder Tyler Blaine (Worthington/Kilbourne) who won by decision over his opponent with a score of 5-3. Blaine is now 8-4 on the season.

For Heidelberg, sophomore Ian Gillespie (Cincinnati/Elder) recorded a pin in less than a minute and senior Jerry Knapp (Columbia Station/Olmsted Falls) scored a fall of his own to lead the Heidelberg Universitywrestling team to a 44-3 victory over Baldwin-Wallace College tonight in an Ohio Athletic Conference dual match at Seiberling Gymnasium in Tiffin, Ohio.

Heidelberg (4-7, 2-2 OAC) raced out to a 19-0 lead, with sophomore Delian Schneider (Tiffin/Columbian) and senior Jake Weisman (Bexley) scoring a decision and major decision at 125 and 133 pounds, respectively, and the Berg receiving an additional 12 points via forfeit.

After Gillespie extended the Student Prince lead to 25-0 with a 40-second pin in the 157-pound bout, freshman Brennan Kelly (Clinton Township, Mich./De La Salle) scored a major decision of his own at 165 pounds. A Yellow Jacket forfeit at 174 pounds put the Berg ahead, 35-0.

B-W (1-4, 0-4 OAC) its lone victory of the evening as Tyler Blaine took a 5-3 decision from sophomore Jake Cochran (West Jefferson) at 184 pounds.

Heidelberg closed the match with a pair of victories by junior Andy Lovins (Clinton Township, Mich./Lake Shore) and Knapp at 197 pounds and 285 pounds, respectively. Knapp’s pin came in 3:58

The Berg will close its 2011-12 regular season with a home dual against Ohio Northern University on Friday, Feb. 17 on Senior Night before hosting the 2012 OAC Wrestling Championship on Saturday, Feb. 25.

B-W, Mount Union close out regular season tonight on the mats

No. 16 ranked Mount Union wrestling team finishes the regular season with an Ohio Athletic Conference dual Tuesday, Feb. 16 at 7:30 pm at Baldwin-Wallace in Berea.

The Purple Raiders have won five-straight duals and are 3-4 overall and second in the OAC at 3-1.  a Mount Union win and Ohio Northern loss in its final dual versus Heidelberg for the Raiders to get a share of the OAC regular season title.

Baldwin-Wallace, under first-year head coach Jamie Gibbs, is 1-5 overall and 0-4 in the OAC.

Follow all the action with live scoring and on Mount Union's official athletics twitter feed @purpleraiders


125 - Riki Reynolds (8-2, 1-0 OAC)  

133 - Bryant Roby (10-11, 1-1 OAC)

141 - #7 Josh Malave (27-4, 4-0 OAC)

149 - Kevin Shadrach (32-6, 4-0 OAC)

157 - Joe Spooner (7-7, 1-0 OAC)

165 - John Piechuta (13-11, 2-1 OAC)

174 - Brent Kirk (4-8, 0-0 OAC)

184 - Andy Jenkins (22-9, 4-0 OAC)

197 - Chad Teague (1-2, 1-0 OAC)

285 - #2 Derick Hesson (33-1, 4-0 OAC)


Mount Union stayed at No. 16 as a team in the NWCA/Brute/Adidas Top-30 rankings. Individually, All-American senior Derick Hesson stayed at No. 2 at 285 while fellow senior Josh Malave moved up two spots to No. 7.


Derick Hesson is only the third Mount Union wrestler ever to win over 100 matches.  Hesson enters the match with a 102-32 career record which ties him with Andy Lamancusa for second all-time at Mount Union.  Four current Raiders are among the top-15 in school history in wins.