Fall Sports Roundup

Newsnotes: Athletics

Fall was a season of champions as two Gannon University teams claimed Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) titles.

The women’s volleyball team won the 2016 PSAC Volleyball Tournament championship in a three-set showdown against Pitt-Johnstown in the Hammermill Center to conclude a 30-3 season. The PSAC Championship is the second in Gannon's nine-year history in the conference; the previous title came in 2012. Team accomplishments led to individual recognition as senior Hannah Kren was voted the PSAC Athlete of the Year, while head coach Matt Darling was named the Coach of the Year. With the win, the Lady Knights clinched a spot in the NCAA Division II Volleyball Tournament for the eighth consecutive year.

Gannon women's golf team captured its third PSAC championship on the Hershey Country Club East Course with a seven-stroke victory over runner-up California University of Pennsylvania. Senior Diana Muñoz capped a memorable season by shooting 74-73 as the 2016 PSAC Championships medalist. Her teammate, Manuela Quevedo, made it a one-two Gannon finish, finishing four strokes behind. It was the second time Gannon golfers finished in the top two spots. Amanda Teodorsson and Bhanisha Nagindas were the last Gannon golfers to do so at the 2011 PSAC Championships. The conference title was the team’s third, the previous two coming in 2011 and 2013.

Fall was also a season for turn-arounds, as two teams made dramatic gains on the way to winning campaigns.

The men’s soccer team improved on a 7-9 record in 2015 to finish 11-6-1 overall and 7-3-1 in conference play. The Golden Knights were ranked nationally and regionally throughout the season, compiling the program's most victories since the 2012 squad went 13-6. The Golden Knights returned to the postseason for the first time since 2012 behind Hamza Mourchid, NCAA Division II Conference Commissioner's Association (D2CCA) All-Atlantic Region first team selection.

The men’s water polo squad more than doubled its 2015 victory total, moving from a 6-10 season to 13-5 in 2016. The Knights concluded the season at home by taking third place in the Mid-Atlantic Water Polo Conference (MAWPC) Western Division Championships. Sean Morphy named MAWPC Western Division Coach of the Year, and junior Gilberto Millan, whose 50 goals this season were the eighth most in program history, was named MAWPC Western Division Player of the Year.

Gannon University has adopted Evolution Labs’ SA360 platform as a required part of its student-athlete experience. SA360 provides student-athletes with engaging mobile app and web-based content on topics ranging from health and wellness to avoiding risk behavior, to assessing and improving academic skills. Gannon joins other top intercollegiate athletic departments, including Louisiana State University, Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Maryland, that have integrated the platform into their core programming.

Taylor Lewis became the fourth women’s soccer player to be named PSAC Freshman of the Year since Gannon joined the conference in 2008, and landed a spot on the all-conference first team in the process. Lewis recorded 11 goals, two assists, 24 points and four game-winning goals in 19 matches as the Lady Knights advanced to the PSAC semifinals for the second consecutive season and third time in the last four years, reaching double digits in victories for the fourth time during the last five years and finishing 10-6-3 overall.

Senior defensive back Mike Zanders II became Gannon's all-time leader in tackles with 345 in the final game of the 2016 football campaign. He surpassed the previous record of 341 held by K.J. Heider (1989-92).