Thursday, December 19, 2019

Joining Forces

DECEMBER 19, 2019 | written by STEVE ULRICH
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1. Joining Forces

The Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference and the Empire 8 Athletic Conference are joining forces to create a swimming and diving championship in 2020.

Known as the Allegheny Empire Swimming and Diving Championship, the event will be hosted February, 19-22 at the Webster Aquatic Center in Webster, NY.

The AMCC will bring six teams - Penn State Behrend, Alfred State College, Pitt-Bradford, Penn State Altoona, Franciscan University and SUNY Delhi - while the E8 contingent will include Alfred, Hartwick, Nazareth, and Utica Colleges.

This is not the first time the AMCC and E8 have participated in joint championships.  Previously the AMCC had partnered with the Presidents Athletic Conference and the E8 with the Liberty League.  Both conferences have operated season-ending meets on a smaller scale the past several years with just their league members.  The coaches in both conferences lobbied for a return to an expanded field and the excitement it brings.  AMCC Commissioner Donna Ledwin and Empire 8 Commissioner Chuck Mitrano, frequent collaborators at the NCAA legislative and committee levels, brokered the agreement.

>> Quotable: “We are excited to partner with the AMCC to enhance the student-athlete experience,” said Mitrano. “There is a lot of enthusiasm about collaborating with a peer conference in the spirit of fierce competition and collegiality.”

>> Quotable II: “This is a wonderful opportunity to enhance the championship experience for the student-athletes in both conferences,” stated Ledwin.  “It will be a high quality competition that will push all of the swimmers and divers to achieve their potential in a first class aquatics facility.”

2. Preseason Baseball Poll 
Collegiate Baseball released its preseason Top 40.
  1. Chapman
  2. Webster
  3. Heidelberg
  4. Trinity (Texas)
  5. Kean
  6. Southern Maine
  7. Washington U.
  8. Cortland
  9. Denison
  10. Birmingham-Southern
11-20: Coe, Wooster, Salisbury. Adrian, UW-Whitewater, Trinity (Conn.), Texas Lutheran, Aurora, North Central (Ill.), Tufts.

21-30: Cal Lutheran, UMass Boston, Hendrix, Penn State Harrisburg, Saint John's, Farmingdale State, Misericordia, Johns Hopkins, Babson, Washington & Jefferson.

31-40: Concordia-Chicago, Christopher Newport, TCNJ, Shenandoah, Rowan, Ithaca, New England College, Randolph-Macon, Baldwin Wallace, Piedmont.

>> Complete Poll

3.  Best of the Decade 

We continue our "Best of the Decade" series with a look at the champions, runners-up and World Series participants in softball.

Champions: Tufts (3), Virginia Wesleyan (2), East Texas Baptist, Linfield, Pacific Lutheran, Texas Lutheran, UT-Tyler.

Runner-Up: Linfield (2), Christopher Newport, Cortland, Emory, Illinois Wesleyan, Messiah, Salisbury, St. John Fisher, UT-Tyler.

Final Four Appearances: UT-Tyler (6), Luther (5), Illinois Wesleyan (4), Linfield (4), Tufts (4), DePauw (3), Eastern Connecticut (3), Montclair State (3), St. Thomas (3), Trine (3), CNU (2), Cortland (2), East Texas Baptist (2), Emory (2), Ithaca (2), Messiah (2), MIT (2), Rowan (2), Salisbury (2), St. John Fisher (2), Virginia Wesleyan (2), Williams (2), Alfred, Alma, Amherst, Anderson, Case Western, Central, East Texas Baptist, Kean, Moravian, Ohio Northern, Pacific Lutheran, Plattsburgh State, Randolph-Macon, Roanoke, Rochester, St. Catherine, Texas Lutheran, UW-Whitewater.

>> Monday: football.


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4.   Polls  

Wrestling (Dual Meet) - NWCA
  1. Wartburg (3-0)
  2. Loras (4-0)
  3. Augsburg (2-0)
  4. Wabash (1-0)
  5. Johnson & Wales (5-1)
  6. Mount Union (6-0)
  7. Baldwin Wallace (5-1)
  8. Coe (4-0)
  9. UW-La Crosse (1-2)
  10. North Central (5-0)
11-15: Coast Guard, TCNJ, Ithaca, RIT, NYU.
16-20: Messiah, Millikin, UW-Whitewater, Central, Castleton.
21-25: John Carroll, Stevens, Brockport, Washington and Lee, Olivet.

Individual Rankings - NWCA
125-Mike Tortorice, UW-Whitewater
133-Levi Engleman, Ferrum
141-Brendan Ladd, Alma
149-Brett Kaliner, Stevens
157-Antwon Pugh, Mount Union
165-Ryan Epps, Augsburg
174-Darden Schurg, Wabash
184-Kyle Briggs, Wartburg
197-Taylor Mehmen, Cor
285-Drew Kasper, Otterbein

Individual Rankings -
125-Mike Tortorice, UW-Whitewater
133-Victor Gilva, Augsburg
141-Troy Stanich, Stevens
149-Brett Kaliner, Stevens
157-Antwon Pugh, Mount Union
165-Ryan Epps, Augsburg
174-Darden Schurg, Wabash
184-John Boyle, Western New England
197-Taylor Mehmen, Coe
285-Drew Kasper, Otterbein

>> Complete Rankings

5. About Last Night

  No. 6 Marietta (8-0) impressed with a 96-70 victory against Albion, handing the Brits just their second loss of the season. Jason Ellis led the Pioneers, who made 18 threes in the win, with 19 points.

  UW-Whitewater (4-5) needed 20 extra minutes to finally subdue Beloit (2-6), 95-94, in four overtimes. Riley Jensen provided the game-winner as the buzzer sounded. Tristan Shoup had 33 markers for the Buccaneers.

  No. 15 Transylvania (6-1) staged a furious 16-2 run in the final period to defeat Monmouth (6-2), 55-52. Ashton Woodard tallied a game-high 21 points and scored the game-winning basket with 7.4 left.

6. Comings and Goings
7.  1 Gymnastics Thing

The NCAA gymnastics season begins the first week of January and comes on the heels of a 2019 campaign shrouded in controversy over scoring bias, writes Axios Sports contributor Katherine Weaver.
Background: Over the same weekend, two gymnasts from D-I powerhouse Florida and D-III Wisconsin-Stout earned wildly different scores for similar vaults, causing a social media uproar that resulted in the NCAA sending a memo to judges warning them to "make sure scores are justifiable."
The state of play: This phenomenon — where scoring is influenced by the judges' perceived value of the gymnast or team for which she's competing — is called "leotard bias," explains Katie Norris in College Gym News.
The big picture: Concerns about fair scoring in gymnastics extend beyond just leotard bias. But unlike elite gymnastics, which is considering the adoption of robot judges, the NCAA hasn't made real moves to fix the problem.
  • Much of the oversight comes from the sport's fanbase, whose social media presence arguably brought awareness to the problem to begin with.

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