Griffins strive for postseason success and prepare for annual sports awards

The SHU softball team is one of the spring sports teams that advanced to the postseason this year. Photo from SHU Athletics.

UPDATED May 4

Although the end of the semester is quickly approaching, many of the spring sports teams at Seton Hill University are attempting to extend their seasons for as long as possible.

After winning back-to-back G-MAC championships in 2017 and 2018, the men’s lacrosse team clinched the No. 1 seed in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference this season. The Griffins won their semifinal game against Walsh University on May 2, advancing to the championships to play Mercyhurst University on May 4 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Field.

Unfortunately, the Griffins were unable to win a third straight G-MAC championship, falling to Mercyhurst by a final score of 14-10.

The men’s lacrosse team finished the season with an overall record of 12-4, and went a perfect 5-0 in G-MAC play in the regular season. Multiple members of the team have received weekly G-MAC awards this season, including senior Brett Craig, redshirt juniors John Hofseth and Bennett Johnson and juniors Max Eismann and Jay Scerbo. The Griffins also recently took away five of the six major G-MAC awards.

Men’s lacrosse was not the only team attempting to go for a three-peat. Last year, the baseball team won the PSAC Championship for the second year in a row. The team’s success also earned them a spot in last year’s NCAA Division II Atlantic Regional Tournament.

As of May 2, the baseball team has an overall record of 27-19 and 16-10 in PSAC play. The Griffins clinched a spot in this year’s PSAC Tournament with two games remaining in the regular season.

Among the Griffins on the baseball team who have received weekly PSAC awards are senior Andrew Chuba, junior Tommy Pellis and sophomore George Coyle.

The women’s lacrosse team won the first game of the PSAC Tournament with a victory against Indiana University of Pennsylvania on April 30. The Griffins played the second game of the tournament against West Chester University, the No. 1 team in the PSAC, on May 3, but fell in overtime by a final score of 16-15.

The Griffins finished their season with an overall record of 11-8, going 8-4 in conference play. They were also recently awarded with five all conference players, and head coach Courtney Grove was named PSAC Lacrosse Coach of the Year.

The softball team also clinched a spot in the PSAC Tournament this year. After dropping the first game to West Chester University on May 1, the Griffins won their second game against Bloomsburg University the next day. However, their season ended with a loss against Gannon University on May 2.

Under first-year head coach Jessica Strong, the softball team finished the season with an overall record of 28-18 overall and a record of 13-7 in conference play. Among the weekly PSAC award-winners this season were sophomore Skyla Greco and freshman Morgan Toal.

The 2018 Griffin Sports Awards were hosted by student-athletes Miles Sexton and Katie Wenson. Photo from Westmoreland Sports Network.

The track and field teams have participated and emerged victorious in multiple competitions throughout the spring season. Among these competitions were the PSAC indoor championships in February. The women’s team finished in sixth place, and the men’s team finished in fifth place, tying their best-ever finish at indoor championships. Along with second place finishes by multiple members of teams, Ameriah Walters (200 meter dash) and Dontay Jacobs (400 meter dash) defended their titles by finishing first place in their respective events.

The track and field teams will be participating in the Mountaineer Open on May 4, followed by the PSAC Championships from May 9-11 and the NCAA DII National Championships from May 23-25.

The end of the semester also means it’s time for the annual Griffin Sports Awards on May 6 at 7 p.m. This year, the awards will take place at the Palace Theatre in Greensburg instead of SHU’s Performing Arts Center. The event is also open to the public for the first time at $10 per ticket.

SHU’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee hosted the first GSA’s in 2017. According to the SHU Athletics website, the GSA’s “commemorate the outstanding accomplishments” of SHU’s student-athletes.

Below are the nominations for this year’s awards, which are for the 2018 calendar year.

Male Scholar Athlete of the Year: Tommy Pellis (Baseball), Nathan Davis (Basketball), Jack Wardale (Soccer)

Female Scholar Athlete of the Year: Jessica Hanson (Volleyball), Madison Schwerzler (Soccer), Megan Smoulder (Golf), Kaitlyn Germanoski (Track & Field)

Comeback Athlete of the Year Award: Billy Bowlen (Wrestling), Michael Bryia (Baseball), Ardell Brown (Football), Alexis Dailey (Lacrosse)

Male Rookie of the Year: Malik McKinney (Basketball), Tormod Simonsen (Soccer), David St Clair (Lacrosse)
Female Rookie of the Year: Alyssa Neast (Soccer), Alexis Cunningham (Cross Country), Laken Ryen (Softball)

Coach of the Year: Rick Hall (Volleyball), Marc Marizzaldi (Baseball), Brian Novotny (Lacrosse)

Male Team of the Year: Baseball, Lacrosse, Track & Field

Female Team of the Year: Basketball, Equestrian, Softball, Volleyball

Male Athlete of the Year: Dontay Jacobs (Track & Field), Brett Craig (Lacrosse), Damon Greenwald (Wrestling)

Female Athlete of the Year: Viktoria Farian (Volleyball), Megan Marecic (Basketball), Skye Christian (Cross Country)

This article was updated after the publication of the Setonian’s May 2019 print magazine and contains new content. The article also contains corrections to the name of men’s lacrosse conference.

Published By:Stephen Dumnich

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