Griffins rally into midseason

Some of the Seton Hill University (SHU) Griffins are continuing through their fall seasons and preparing for their competitions while other teams complete their seasons.

The men’s cross country team concluded their regular season on Saturday, finishing eighth overall at the Carnegie Mellon Invitational. Finishing 17th overall and leading the Griffins was sophomore Stephen Lafferty with a 26:51 time.

Next, the men prepare for the Pennsylvania State Athletics Conference (PSAC) Championship on Oct. 26.

“This week we don’t have a race so we have some time to get some good miles and workouts in as well as rest up and deal with any minor injuries on the team”, said Lafferty.

The women’s cross country team also ended their season at the Carnegie Mellon Invitational finishing first overall. The women were tied neck and neck with nationally ranked Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP). SHU’s sixth place runner, Mary Janak, beat IUP’s sixth place runner.

“[Mary] is a junior who we can always count on to pull us through and run her best race,” said Jeannie Bujdos, who finished third overall with an 18:27 time.

The women are really looking forward to the Regional Championship November 9, hoping to be one of the top four teams. But before they get there, they will have to race IUP one more time in the PSAC Championship.

“We hope that next time we race against IUP we can form a closer knit pack and continue to improve our times. We haven’t peaked yet so there’s nowhere to go but up!” said Bujdos.

The women’s equestrian team began their season about four weeks ago. Oct. 6 was their first home show and first show of the season. The ladies recorded all firsts and seconds. This is the first year in 15 that the ladies have come out champions at their own home horse show.

Laekyn Sanders was named high point rider for the day with two firsts in her jumping and flat classes along with Julianna Caffrey as reserve high point rider, with a first in her flat class and second place in her jumping. Abby Burkhardt, Taylor Jansen and Laina Moorehead earned points for the team as well.

The women’s field hockey team stands at 4-7 overall. The women take the road to Erie next to play Mercyhurst.

The men’s football team continue to battle it out this season with their sixth loss, to Mercyhurst. Despite the Griffins’ share of growing pains moving into the PSAC, the total yardage in the game was closer than the score reflects. Mercyhurst racked up 22 first downs to the Griffins’ 21.

Denzell Jackson led the Griffins with 11 carries for 51 yards and two touchdowns. Also finding the end zone was Rafal Garcarz and Erik Kerns. The team stays at home for their next game against California University (Cal U) on Saturday.

The rain might have cut their match short, but the Griffin’s golf team prevailed through the weather to tie for first with Kutztown at the Sally Carroll Open. Morgan Miller placed second with a round of 81. The squad will travel to Hershey for the PSAC Championships Oct. 19. Because the squad just entered the PSAC, they have been seeded last for the championship; however, they stand fair ground as contenders for third or fourth place out of the nine, well-established teams.

“Our toughest competition is nearly all the competition – Mercyhurst, Millersville and Kutztown – but we have placed well against them in the past and look to do so again,” said senior Nina Gonzalez.

The men’s soccer team stands 8-3-1 overall. The men have battled into overtime three times, two of which went into double overtime. Defeating third ranked Slippery Rock and tying seventh ranked Cal U has the men currently ranked sixth after being ranked 11th in the preseason poll. However, captain Kevin Behar is not satisfied.

“To be honest, we’re not happy to be sixth”, said Behar. “Sixth place does not really reflect how well we have been playing and how hard we have been working. The poll ranked us 11th because we did not have the best of season last year, but this year we got a core of upper class men and then the younger guys and incoming guys have really stepped up, which is really good to see. I must say, if we finish 11th we will really be upset with ourselves and even finishing sixth would not be the best.”

The women’s soccer team are 2-9 in the PSAC, and 4-9 overall after a recent loss to Mercyhurst 2-1.

“We can’t worry about who we play but instead just focus on ourselves and on controlling what we can control,” said senior captain Madison Gourley. “Right now, we are working on attacking some of our weaknesses.”

The women’s tennis team opened their season on the road at Shippensburg with two conference matches against Shippensburg and East Stroudsburg. The ladies lost to East Stroudsburg 7-2 but junior Megan Hudak won her singles match by a 6-0, 6-2 score.

The next day the women were successful in defeating Shippensburg 6-3 by clinching two of the three doubles matches and four of the six singles matches to earn the win. The women begin the season 1-1 in the PSAC.

Finally, the women’s volleyball team advances on in their season, 17-5 overall, coming off a crucial weekend win.“This weekend was especially successful for us because we got two road wins at Slippery Rock and Edinboro,” said senior captain Kelsey Profio.

The girls will stay on the road until Oct. 22 when they come home to face Alderson-Broaddus University. The competition in PSAC remains close.

“Every match is important because most of the teams in the PSAC are evenly matched and all of our records are close”, said Profio.

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