A Page -- Feb. 8, 2012

Cleveland State has big ten days lying ahead with Valpo, Butler, Bracket Buster

One of the first teams in the country to reach 20 wins, Cleveland State’s men’s basketball will get its biggest tests over the next 10 days when it hosts Valparaiso and Butler in league games this weekend and its Bracket Buster next weekend against Drexel.

Vikings Coach Gary Waters was eager to talk about tomorrow’s Valpo game, which he stresses will be very crucial to the Vikings’ fortunes this season. Earlier this season, the first-place Vikings lost to Valpo in Indiana and currently hold a one-game lead on the Crusaders in the Horizon League standings.

Watch videos of Coach Waters discussing Valpo by clicking and downloading:



At his weekly Media Gathering Tuesday, Waters said the key to beating Valpo will be to stop the Crusaders’ No. 4 guy Ryan Broekhoff because he is all over the place and has the history of hurting opponents both from the outside and the inside.

Broekhoff, the man from Down Under, was a force to be reckoned with in the first contest against CSU, his rebounding and inside defense serving as a thorn in that Viking loss.

Waters said it is vital to win this one because he believes that Valpo will not lose another game at home this year due to a certain moxie it has on its own floor that makes it difficult to outdo psychologically.

At this point, the Vikings might be the most underrated team in the country. They are not ranked in the top 25 in the USA Today (essentially a TV in print form) poll that came out Tuesday.

Of the 25 teams ranked in the top 25, only 12 have reached the 20-win mark as of Tuesday. CSU (20-4) at least was among the “other” teams receiving votes and at least could lay claim to a top 50 spot at this juncture.

Defensively, the Vikings might behind the eight ball if D’Aundray Brown is not able to play tomorrow. The team’s best defensive forward and possibly its best defensive player overall has been slowed by injury.

Listen to audios of Coach Waters discussing Valpo by clicking and downloading:



If he does not play, he will be replaced by freshman Anton Grady, the Cleveland Central Catholic product.

If Grady does not play, look for Strongsville’s Tim Kamczyc to move to a No. 3 or No. 2 guard slot. Waters said he is very comfortable with moving the former Mustang around like that.

Mount Union basketball returns to the MAC Center

The Mount Union men's basketball team returns to the McPherson Academic and Athletic Complex in Alliance when they host the Pioneers of Marietta College Wednesday evening at 7:30 pm. After playing nine of 11 games on the road, the Purple Raiders will play the next three games in front of their home crowd.

The Purple Raiders (8-13, 4-10) look to snap a four-game losing streak as they enter the final two weeks of the regular season in position to qualify for the Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament. The Raiders have won just once since a hard-fought 80-78 overtime loss at Marietta on January 8th. Four players fouled out as the Raiders committed a season-high 33 fouls and 

Marietta attempted 45 free throws and just 42 field goals.

Mount Union boasts the conference's top defense, holding opponents to a conference-low 66.0 points per game and just 42.7-percent shooting from the field. The Raiders also average 66.0 points per game, which is tied in the conference, and have not reached that average since playing Marietta a few weeks ago.

Senior Jimmy Wood (Wintersville/Indian Creek) tops the conference in scoring at 17.9 points per game. He is also the leader in three-pointers (51) and is third in free-throw shooting (.800). Freshmen Nate Jacubec(Struthers/Struthers) and Stevie Griffin (Canton/Massillon Jackson) are among the conference's top newcomers in terms of scoring. Jacubec averages 11.2 points per game while Griffin averages 9.4 points per game for the Raiders.

Marietta (14-7, 9-5) lost 70-63 to Ohio Northern on Saturday, ending a five-game win streak. The Pioneers feature the conference's second-highest scoring offense at 74.2 points per game and are seventh in points allowed at 71.1 points per game on the season. They have struggled scoring of late, however, and have not surpassed 64 points over the past four games.

Senior Kevin Knab lead the conference in free throws (107), is second in field goal percentage (.596), and is third in scoring (16.9) this season. He scored 24 points and was 14-of-16 from the charity stripe against Mount Union earlier this season. The Pioneers have a balanced attack with no player averaging more than 9.0 points per game, but 10 others averaging at least 4.0 points per game. All-American Trevor Halter has played in just seven games this season and returned to play against Ohio 

Northern on Saturday for his first action in almost a month.

Riverside alumnus Kevin DeGroot wins 3,000 

meter race, Cloverleaf alumna Paige Lloyd 

takes poll vault at Wooster Invite

In last week’s Wooster Invitational, Fighting Scots junior Kevin DeGroot (Concord, OH/Riverside) was Wooster’s only individual winner on the men’s side, crossing first in the 3,000-meter run (9:15.77).

NCAC Weekly roundup

In the same event, Wittenberg junior Paige Lloyd (Medina, OH/Cloverleaf) claimed the top spot in the pole vault after setting a school record with a launch of 10’06.00”, besting the previous mark of 10’01.00” held by Kaitlyn Wesseler.

DeGroot and Lloyd


HIRAM started the week off with a 96-79 victory over Kenyon, but suffered a defeat on the road at Denison, 81-74, on Saturday. Sophomore guard Aaron Stefanov (Stow/Stow-Munore Falls) and Jamaal Watkins (South Euclid/Brush) scored a combined 56 points, with Stefanov posting a career-high 30 points in the lone victory.

Durichko (L), Watson (R)

HIRAM opened up the week with a 65-58 victory over Oberlin at home before going on the road and falling against Wittenberg, 66-41, and DePauw, 85-43. Senior guard Kelsey Durichko (Brunswick, OH/Brunswick) scored a career-high 20 points in the victory over Oberlin and averaged 10 points, 3.4 assists, 2.7 rebounds and 2.3 steals on the week ...

WITTENBERG built some momentum last week with wins over Ohio Wesleyan, 85-59, Hiram, 66-41, and Allegheny, 87-76. After starting the week one game under .500 both overall and in the NCAC standings, the Tigers now stand two games over .500 in both categories. Senior post Sarah Watson (Hudson, OH/Hudson) brought herself within seven points of 1,000 for her career by averaging 17.0 for the week, in addition to 5.7 rebounds, three assists and two steals



Vikings happy to be on the road; look to turn things around in the Windy City

Cleveland State women’s basketball is one team that is happy to be going on the road.

After four straight losses at home in an 11-day stretch, the Vikings will go to the Windy City this weekend to face Illinois Chicago and Loyola of Chicago.

In all, the Vikings have lost five straight, but Coach Kate Peterson Abiad said this team is much more talented than the teams that suffered double-digit loss seasons when she first came here eight years ago.

Watch videos of Coach Peterson Abiad discussing Loyola by clicking and downloading:




The Vikings were a 20-game winner last year and were picked in the pre-season polls to finish second in the Horizon League but currently reside in eighth place at 3-7 and are 8-14 overall.

In last week’s loss to Valparaiso, Peterson Abiad did concede that the Crusaders were daring the Vikings to take the long shot, they did, they weren’t falling and they were not getting the offensive rebounds. Valpo was also clogging up the middle.

The Coach said those things need to change in Chicago in order for the Vikes to come home with a win or two. She said the Vikings have the shooters but not many of which have been consistent.

Listen to audios of Coach Peterson Abiad discussing Loyola by clicking and downloading:




One bright spot has been Shay Winton, who is leading the league in scoring and rebounding (for league games only)  at 21.0 and 10.3, respectively.

In all the Vikings have lost five straight going back to their last road game against Green Bay three weeks ago.

No. 16 Mount Union hosts Heidelberg

No. 16 in the nation Mount Union will host Heidelberg in an Ohio Athletic Conference wrestling dual Tuesday, Feb. 7 at 7:30 pm at the McPherson Academic & Athletic Complex in Alliance.

It will be the final home dual of the 2011-12 season and also the final home match for nine seniors.

The nine seniors -- TJ Arnone (Willoughby/Willoughby South), Josh Malave (Rocky River/Lutheran West), Kevin Shadrach (Parma/Parma), Joe Spooner (Willoughby/Willoughby South), John Piechuta (Alliance/Marlington),Andy Jenkins (Stow/Woodridge), Chris Hahn (Minerva/Minerva), Chad Teague (Cambridge/Cambridge) andDerick Hesson (Dexter City/Caldwell) will all be honored before the start of the match.

The Purple Raiders are 8-4 overall and 2-1 in the OAC, while Heidelberg is 3-6 overall and 1-1 in the OAC.

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

Nationally ranked Raiders start road stretch

Nationally ranked Mount Union (#7 in D3hoops.com and #8 in ESPN/USA TODAY Coaches polls) play the first of three-straight road games starting Wednesday at 7:30 pm at Marietta. 

The game will be broadcast on the radio on WDPN AM 1310 and simulcast online with LIVE STATS right here.

Mount Union (20-1, 13-1 OAC) is in first place in the conference with a school-record 15 consecutive wins including a 65-41 victory this past Saturday against Wilmington.  

Junior point guard Rosa LaMattina (Westlake/Westlake) scored a game-high 13 points with 6 assists and 5 steals to lead the Purple Raiders.

LaMattina leads the team and is fifth in the OAC in scoring at 14.9 points per game, while leading the conference in steals (3.8 per game) and third in assists (4.1 per game).

Seniors in guard Kori Wiedt (North Olmsted/North Olmsted) and forward Amanda Rose (Green/Green) are right behind LaMattina averaging 14.2 and 10.7 points per game respectively.

Wiedt, who is eighth on the school's all-time list with 1,137 points, is also third in the nation and OAC in three-point percentage (.477) as she has made a conference-best 59 from beyond the arc. 

Rose is the team's top rebounder at 5.2 per game and is 9 points from being the 13th player in school history with over 1,000 career points.

Mount Union leads the conference in scoring offense at 73.2 points per game and is the top defensive team allowing just 54.5 points per game.  The Raiders help that defense by leading the OAC in steals at 12.3 per game.

Marietta (9-12, 4-10 OAC) has lost five-straight games including an 83-73 loss to Ohio Northern this past Saturday.

The Pioneers are third in the OAC in scoring (67.2 ppg) but allow the second most points in the conference as they are ninth in scoring defense at 71.1 points per game.

Junior forward Aleisha Guiler leads Marietta and is one of the top all-around players in the OAC.  Guiler is fourth in the OAC in scoring (15.0 ppg), fourth in blocks (1.0 per game), sixth in rebounds (7.2 rpg) and is the conference's top free throw shooter (.857).  

Aside from Guiler, sophomore Tori Dixon is second in the OAC in three-point percentage at .438

2012 NCAC Swimming & Diving Championships Set For February 15-18 in Canton

CLEVELAND -- The 28th annual North Coast Athletic Conference Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships will be held February 15-18 at C.T. Branin Natatorium, in Canton, Ohio. The 2012 meet, hosted by Hiram, is held at an off campus site to accommodate overwhelming spectator response to the top NCAA Division III swimming and diving conference championship.

The Denison men’s and women’s squads are the three-time defending champions. The Denison men are the only team to defeat Kenyon at the NCAC meet, claiming titles in 1997, 2009, 2010 and 2011. The Denison women snapped the Ladies’ 19-year hold on the crown in 2004 and have gone on to win three more titles in 2009, 2010 and 2011. 

Overall, Kenyon has won 23 of the 27 NCAC titles contested in both men’s and women’s competition. Note: The men’s 3-meter diving preliminaries and finals will be conducted on Wednesday, February 15th, at 7:00 p.m.

Founded in 1983, the North Coast Athletic Conference consists of 10 academically selective colleges and universities -Allegheny College, Denison University, DePauw University, Hiram College, Kenyon College, Oberlin College, Ohio Wesleyan University, Wabash College, Wittenberg University and the College of Wooster along with affiliate member Earlham College (field hockey). The NCAC sponsors 23 championship sports, 11 for men and 12 for women.

OBERLIN freshman Ellen Drake (Cleveland Hts., OH/Hawken) leads the Yeowomen into action this year as she

holds the school’s top times in the 1000 and 1650 freestyles. Freshman Aubrey Pongluelert (Fresno, CA/University)

owns the Yeowomen’s top times this season in the 100 and 200 breaststrokes and is a swimmer to watch this winter.

HIRAM is led by freshman Rachel Buckley (Amherst, OH/Elyria Catholic), the squad’s top sprinter. Senior Caitlin

McCurley (Apple Valley, OH/Granite Hills) garnered NCAC Swimmer of the Week honors this season and is a

swimmer to watch in distance and individual medley events for the Terriers

On the men's side,  KENYON is led by junior Ian Stewart-Bates (Moreland Hills, OH/University School), who looks to defend his titles in the 100 and 200 free. Sophomore Andrew Chevalier (Golden, CO/Home schooled) earned All-NCAC honors in 2011 for his runner-up finish in the 400 IM. Other returning runners-up for the Lords include junior Jimmy Chapman (Sandusky, OH/Perkins) in the 100 fly and senior Joey Pysnik (Murrysville, PA/Franklin Regional) in the 200 fly.