STEUBENVILLE - The Franciscan University of Steubenville women's tennis team swept the University of Pitt-Bradford, 9-0, Saturday at Belleview Park.
The match time was moved up due to possible imclement weather. The schedule change and the weather threw a number of curves at the Lady Baron squad including strong winds, an early start to the match, and rain the previous night. In fact, the entire team spent the pre-game on their hands and knees with, towels drying-off the rain soaked court
"They had to miss some warm up time to do that. So they went from cleaning water off the court to being able to focus on play," head coach Jenna Lynch said. "So I was happy with how they came out after that."
Jane Crosby SUCCESSFUL?SUNDAY — Franciscan University of Steubenville runner Bill Jones finished second in the St. Vincent College Invitational Saturday, covering the 8-kilometer race in 26:31.
Despite the distractions the Lady Barons did get off to a hot start, winning all three doubles matches with relative ease, including the undefeated doubles-team of Kristina Godnick and Alanna Murray.
The team followed up their solid doubles performances by winning all six singles matches. Lynch said that the No. 1 singles player Leann Roggensack played her best match of the year.
"Leann closed out every point she needed to close out. She just played a better strategy," Lynch said about Roggensack, who was two games away from winning with a clean sheet. "Today she played at her potential."
Playing to potential by staying mentally tough is something Lynch has been stressing to her team this season and the lessons have been paying off. The team struggled last year to finish close matches. This year it's a different story
"This year we haven't lost a tie-breaker or a third set," Lynch said. She added that the reason for the improvement is her players learning to keep their emotions in check.
"A lot of the girls are mental players. Whatever is going on in their head really affects how they play," Lynch said. "We've worked a lot on being able to manage our thought process for each point and being able to look at each point individually."
The Lady Barons visit Penn State-Altoon at 1 p.m. today.
Runners place fourth
LATROBE, Pa. - The FUS cross country teams both placed fourth in the St. Vincent College Invitational Saturday morning.
"Both teams looked stronger today even though they ran a difficult course," said head coach Dan Kuebler. "They competed better against the other teams particularly against St. Vincent than they did at Notre Dame last weekend."
Despite the challenging course senior Michael Gotta ran a personal record of 29:07 and placed 35th out of 120 runners in the 8-kilometer race. Kuebler said this shows him that Gotta has the potential to have a lot more drive in him for the rest of the season.
Senior John Kaiser also had an exceptional race placing a personal-best 13th with a time of 27:46.
The team's top runner Bill Jones continued his excellence, finishing second in 26:31.
"We have so much depth that although people are recovering from illness and injuries we are still relatively competitive and have not quite hit our potential yet," Kuebler said.
Senior Sara Mueller has improved greatly since last year and had an outstanding race placing seventh out of 129 runners in the women's 5-kilometer race with a time of 20:14. Even though sophomore Nicole Krajewski was recovering from a cold all week she placed eighth with a time of 20:21.
"The women's team looked a lot stronger in the last mile, which is great to see," Kuebler said. "Nobody went out too fast and everybody kept a good pace to stay strong throughout."
The top seven runners for the Barons will compete in the All Ohio Championships in Cedarville, Ohio on Saturday. The remaining members of both teams will run in the Mt. Aloysius Invite in Edensburg, Pa. on Sept. 30.
Volleyball loses twice
STEUBENVILLE - The Lady Barons dropped both of their Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference matches Saturday at home, to Medaille College (25-19, 16-25, 25-19, 25-17) and Penn State-Behrend (25-16, 21-25, 25-15, 25-16).
In the loss to Behrend, Anna Cain totaled 18 kills while Christina Lawrence added nine. Amy O'Keefe also helped the offense with 22 assists. Christina Lawrence had 26 digs, Sam Kelly and O'Keefe had 23 digs a piece.
"Sam and Christina are really tough players. Maria is also very impressive defensively. The addition of Sam and Christina defensively is a huge thing for our team. They are great. We are asking our freshman to do a lot and they are hanging tough," coach Kelly Herrmann said.
Against Medaille, Cain and O'Keefe had seven kills apiece. Lara Holley dished nine assists. Lawrence had 19 digs, Kelly had 12 digs and Maria Prezzia added 11 digs.
FUS hosts the University of Pitt-Greensburg Wednesday.
Women's socccer loses
STEUBENVILLE - The FUS women's soccer team dropped a 7-1 home decision Saturday to Penn State-Behrend in its first conference match of the season.
"This is probably the best team in the conference, and while we were happy to play them first to get a feel for where we need to be, we can humbly say that we were outplayed today," head coach Johann Marin said "The girls played to the end though and it was an honor to take them through."
The team was suffering from several injuries over the past few weeks, which has greatly affected the Lady Baron lineup.
"It is difficult to play against a team that's fully functioning when we're not 100 percent," Marin said.
The game did, however, mark the return of starting midfielder Julia Cocozza from and ankle injury that has kept her out all season.
"It was great to have Julia back," Marin said, "Calene Dougherty, Ashley Ruttencutter, and Katherine Roemer also played well, but really, the girls play as a team, with strong effort across the board."
One bright spot for the Lady Baron offense was the goal by Edison graduate Jordan Byrley early in the second half, which served to bring the team fresh hope and increase their efforts.
"That goal was the result of consistent hard work finally paying off," Marin said, "Jordan has been in position several times before but unable to convert, so it was great to see her score today."
Ultimately, Marin stated that he was proud of the girls for "sticking to the system" and continuing to keep their formation shape on the field, something the team has been focusing on throughout the season and which has paid off in the form of smooth offense to defense transitions and increased communication.
"Other teams recognize that they're playing an organized team when they play us," Marin said. "And that's important."
The Lady Barons visit the University of Pitt-Greensburg at 2 p.m. Tuesday.
Men shut out
STEUBENVILLE - The Barons men's soccer team dropped a 7-0 home decision to Penn State-Behrend Saturday in the conference opener.
Although several turnovers in the second half led to the defeat for the Barons, the first half showed solid offensive improvement in the form of increased passing accuracy, and on-field communication.
"We were playing better in that first half than we have played all season," head coach Ward Rogers said, "Now the formation is where it needs to be, but passing speed and accuracy still need to improve. We need four to five completed passes to be able to find the open shot."
In an attempt to gain offensive speed, Rogers moved defender Peter Herrmann to center forward, which helped Baron transitions but added pressure to the defense. Rogers noted that while defensive recovery needs to be faster, defender John Herrmann rose to the challenge aided by midfielders Jace Vansteenburg, Edwin de St. Aubin, and Jesse Saltarelli.
The men visit the University of Pitt-Greensburg at 4 p.m. Tuesday.