RENOVATED PRACTICE SPACE:
Recently, IUP Athletics opened a renovated indoor practice space within the Memorial Field House. An indoor-turf playing surface replaced what was formerly known as the auxiliary gym and measures at 35 yards long and 25 yards wide with a 12-foot wall surrounding the surface, totaling to nearly 7,900 square feet of space to be used by the athletic teams.
“This turf facility is a game-changer and will help prepare all of our student-athletes for competitive and personal excellence,” said IUP athletic director Todd Garzarelli, who is spearheading a project to make multiple renovations to the Memorial Field House.
Last month, a fueling station for athlete nutrition was added, and more upgrades are planned for the building’s interior.
The new surface will be important for a wide variety of Crimson Hawks’ athletic teams. IUP head baseball coach Anthony Rebyanski called the upgrade “very exciting.”
“It allows our indoor facility to be truer to the game of baseball, while allowing a new and modern look to the space that we utilize throughout the winter months,” Rebyanski said.
The benefit to the baseball team notably is clear, as adverse weather conditions in Indiana have in the past resulted in difficulties for that squad, including a 2018 season in which the team did not play a home game until April 13 and hosted just 12 of its 44 games that year.
The IUP men’s and women’s cross country teams competed in the Paul Short Run at Lehigh University in Bethlehem on Saturday. The women’s team took home a 13th place finish out of 44 total teams, while the men’s team finished 29th out of 45 teams.
The Crimson Hawks faced perhaps their stiffest competition of the season at the run, which is made up of teams from each of the NCAA’s three divisions, as well as other club teams and even high school teams.
The women finished as the second-best Division II school and second place among PSAC schools, placing behind Kutztown, while the men were the sixth-best Division II team, trailing only Edinboro among PSAC schools.
Paige Wess (freshman, nursing) was the top-ranked female IUP runner, finishing 41st. Brianna Herr (junior, food and nutrition) earned a 51st-place finish for the Crimson Hawks as their second-best runner.
On the men’s side, Sam Lenze (junior, chemistry) once again broke his personal best for an 8K, running at a pace of just more than five minutes per mile.
IUP’s next meet comes Saturday in Pittsburgh at Schenley Park.
The IUP field hockey team held its own taking on the country’s top-ranked team, but it wasn’t enough to upset No. 1 Millersville, as the Marauders walked out of Miller Stadium on Saturday with a 1–0 victory.
The lone goal in the game came in the fifth minute, as Millersville scored off a corner.
Blaise Cugini (freshman, education) was the lone Crimson Hawk to register a shot, accruing two total shots and one on goal.
The IUP defense did well to allow only one goal and keep the team in the game, as Millersville racked up 12 shots with nine on goal. Lexi Ciano (junior, exercise science) had a career-high eight saves in net.
The Crimson Hawks remain at home for a matchup against Mansfield on Tuesday.
IUP’s Division I club hockey team began its season with a 4–2 victory against Duquesne at S&T Bank Arena in Indiana.
Brendan George (communications media) scored a pair of goals, one each in the first and third periods.
Jake Casto (kinesiology) opened the scoring for IUP in the opening period, with Jared Conroy (kinesiology) adding a goal in the second period that was credited as the game-winning goal.
Goaltender Jared Stahel (management) had 26 saves in the victory, doing enough to prevent a late Duquesne comeback after they scored a pair of goals in the third period.
The team’s next scheduled game is at West Virginia University on Friday.
IUP soccer snapped a three-game losing streak Saturday with a 2–1 victory against Mercyhurst.
Mahogany Willis (sophomore, communications media) scored her PSAC-leading 10th goal of the season in the fourth minute to give the Crimson Hawks a lead they would not relinquish.
Alayna Ryan (freshman, criminology) scored the first goal of her career in the 15th minute to add insurance, which IUP needed after Mercyhurst got on the board in the 52nd minute.
Following a stretch of two home games in a row, the Crimson Hawks are on the road for the next pair of games, starting with a matchup in Clarion on Wednesday.
Joanna Stralka (freshman, psychology) took home the PSAC singles championship Monday afternoon. She defeated Slippery Rock’s Viola Lugmayr in two sets to win the title, placing her fall tournament record at 14–1, which includes a run of 11 consecutive victories.
Stralka’s victory is the second singles championship for a Crimson Hawk since 2004 and is the first victory in the PSAC Championships for IUP since 2016’s doubles title won by Luise Von Agris and Jarka Petercakova.
Katya Minchenkova (senior, management) and Idoia Huerta (sophomore, biology) placed second in the doubles tournament.
The PSAC East-West crossover Saturday will end the fall season for IUP, as the Crimson Hawks will host Millersville and Shippensburg.