Students, staff, and faculty at Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus were still celebrating the Oct. 29 PSUAC championship victory of the men’s Cross Country team when, a few days later, on Nov. 2, the women’s Volleyball team beat all other Penn State campuses to win their tournament.
This was the first-ever PSUAC championship for the Fayette men, who also crowned their first individual champion, Cameron Coffey.
Lead by Coach Joe Carei, the Roaring Lions dominated with four all-conference runners and their top seven finishing in the top 15 of team scoring. The team finished with 27 points and was followed by Penn State Brandywine with 59 points and Penn State Dubois with 65 points to round out the top three teams.
Coffey crossed the line in 29:31. He was followed by Devin Pisarski in fourth at 31:00. Also finishing all-conference were Michael Elliott in 11th and Jesse Varndell in 14th. Pedro Tavarez Jr. was 17th and Anthony Berdine was 21st individually. Kyle Slavic and Ben Wilson were 24th and 25th, respectively, while Dalton Kirkpatrick rounded out the team in 30th place overall.
Reflecting on the past year, Carei said it has been both challenging and rewarding. “We had some significant injuries to our top runners, but we healed just in time for the championship,” he said. “I’m really proud of the team, especially those guys who had never run cross country before. They really made this a success.”
The victory also guaranteed the team an automatic berth at the upcoming USCAA National Cross Country meet. Carei is looking forward to the nationals and is hoping his team will finish in the top 10.
Also anticipating the USCAA national tournament is Penn State Fayette’s Head Volleyball Coach Nancy Wheeler, whose Lady Roaring Lions pummeled Penn State Mont Alto Oct. 2 for their eighth PSUAC championship in the last nine years.
The women of the Fayette campus came out hungry and fierce as they sought redemption for last year’s loss in the PSUAC championship game against PSU Brandywine. Fayette won the sets 3-0 with scores of (25-12, 25-18, 25-16), and capped off their regular season and PSUAC tournament record with a (24-4, 17-0).
Tori Helmantoler, Siteri Tale, Emma Lewis, and Caitlyn Williams led the box score for the Lady Lions in an emotional night surrounded by friends and family. In her final PSUAC competition, Helmantoler tallied 29 assists, seven digs, and two kills. Tale recorded 10 kills, six digs, and six blocks, Emma Lewis had 10 kills and 14 digs, and Williams recorded 14 digs.
With the Lady Roaring Lions winning the PSUAC Championship, they solidified their spot in the USCAA Championship tournament as the 9th seed.
According to Head Volleyball Coach Nancy Wheeler, “It has been an awesome season with a very dedicated group of athletes.” She said her team is looking forward to some great competition next week.
Both the Volleyball and Cross Country teams from the Fayette campus will be competing Nov. 10–12 in Virginia Beach, Va., as part of the USCAA Fall Championship Week event, which combines the conference’s Soccer, Volleyball, and Cross Country national championships.