Winter Sports Recap

Michael Conway, Columnists

Men and women’s basketball, men’s volleyball, men and women’s track and field, men and women’s swimming and baseball all saw action from Feb. 7-20.


The men’s basketball team went 1-3 over a four-game stretch between Feb. 8 and Feb. 18, beating King’s College while falling to Stevens Institute of Technology, Wilkes University and DeSales University.

A second-half comeback against Stevens at the Anderson Sports and Health Center on Feb. 8 fell short. Noah Rivera led the team with 15 points and also added 9 rebounds and four assists. Nate Kreitzer had 10 points and Joseph Baldachino added eight points off the bench for the Cougars. On Feb. 12 at Wilkes, the Cougars took the lead early, thanks to a pair of three-pointers from Tony Harding. But the Colonels took a 44-32 lead into halftime and held on for the win, 79-63. Rivera had 16 points and 12 rebounds while Diby Keita added 10 points.

The Cougars dropped their third straight contest, 70-62, on Feb. 15 to DeSales on Senior Day when Zach Brennan, Mario Delker, Bryce Mondorff, Harding and Rivera were honored prior to playing their final home game. Rivera led the team with 22 points and 16 rebounds and scored his 1,000th career point at Misericordia.

The Cougars had the lead up to four minutes remaining, but DeSales broke open a 58-58 tie and remained in the lead for the rest of the game.

The Cougars broke a five-game losing streak on the road at King’s on Feb. 18. A great shooting day helped as they shot 52% from the field and 48% from the 3-point line. Keita led the Cougars with a career-high 20 points, Kreitzer added 17 points with six boards and assists, Baldachino had 13 points and Patrick Douthit added 12 points.

The women’s basketball team went 2-2 over the same four-game stretch, beating Stevens and Wilkes, but losing to DeSales and King’s.

Against Stevens, the Lady Cougars were carried by Alyssa Bondi’s career-high 23 points, eight rebounds and two steals. Misericordia led for just two minutes in the first half and went into halftime down seven, but a 14-3 run in the second half helped it gain momentum, losing the lead only once in the second half. Jordan Barth had nine points and 11 rebounds while Morgan Haefele added seven points and six assists. Melina Santacroe also had seven points and six rebounds off the bench.

The Cougars won their fifth in a row at Wilkes on Feb. 12 with a 66-58 win. The game was back and forth down to the wire, but Bondi made four free throws to seal the win for the Cougars. Haefele had a game-high 17 points, Bondi and Tessa Zamolyi both had 14 points and Barth had 14 rebounds. The win clinched the Cougars’ fourth consecutive post-season appearance.

The women dropped their next game on Senior Day to DeSales, where Barth, the team’s only senior, was honored. The Cougars jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead, but it was all DeSales the rest of the way. Zamolyi led the Cougars with 18 points and six rebounds.

They dropped their next game, a 74-68 defeat to King’s. Zamolyi had 20 points and 13 boards. Barth had 12 points and seven rebounds, while Bondi added 13 points and Santacroce was perfect from the field to add 10 points.


Men’s volleyball went 5-3 over an eight-game stretch between Feb. 8 and Feb. 20, sweeping a tri-match at John Jay College, beating the host team and Nichols College, 3-1, in both matches.

In the opener, Ryan Miller had 17 kills, 10 digs and two blocks, while Billy Murphy added 13 kills and two aces. Matt Lavin had 12 kills and two blocks, while Dylan had 44 assists and seven digs. Against Nichols, the Cougars dropped the first game and won the next three. Miller had 11 kills, five blocks and five digs, while Brian Ross added 11 kills and nine digs. Connor Westerfield added 15 digs.

Misericordia dropped its next three matches against Elmira College, Rutgers-Newark University and Marymount University, then came back and won three in a row against Brooklyn College, Wilkes University and Widener University, sweeping each match, 3-0.

Miller had nine kills, nine digs and two aces and Austin Cervasio had seven kills and two blocks. Against Wilkes, Miller had eight kills and 10 digs, Murphy added seven kills, two aces, two blocks and 12 digs, Lavin had six kills and John Natiello had three aces. In their third sweep in a row against Widener, Miller had eight kills and 10 digs and Murphy added seven kills, two aces, two blocks and 12 digs. Lavin had six kills and Natiello had three aces.


At a meet at Alvernia University on Feb. 8, Jack Zardecki, Jack Malone and Conall Joyce all recorded sixth-place finishes to lead Misericordia.

Zardecki (9:02.7) placed at 3000m while Malone (16:15.99) placed at 5000m and Joyce (13.4m) placed in the shot put. Sonialys Badillo and Brenna Karnish both won twice to lead the Cougars women’s team at the Alvernia Plex Shootout in Reading. Badillo won at 400m (1:01.87) and teamed with Hailey Colabelli, Amber Hackenberg and Averi Rineto to win the 4x400m (4:14.38) while Karnish won the shot put (12.99m) and weight throw (15.45m).

Madison Swartout added a win in the pole vault (13.35m) and Olivia Visaggio won at 3000m (10:22.2) while teammates Alexa Thompson and Rowan Pepe were third and fourth, respectively. Le’June Berry and Hayley Engle tied for second in the high jump (1.52m) and Lindsey Graver (4.94m) and Alexis Baddick were third and fifth, respectively, in the long jump.

Jill Olewine (10.76m) was third in the triple jump while Baddick was fifth and Graver placed eighth. Shelbi Jones (2:26.16) was fourth at 800m and Kelsey Hadsall was seventh while Corinne Mulhearn was seventh at 5000m.

The team competed at the Seamus McElligott Invitational at Haverford College on Feb. 15 with Zach Davis finishing second at 5000m (15:51.29), Jack Zardecki and Stephen Kober coming in third and fourth, respectively, behind Davis. Bryce Steele (9.36) was third in the 60m hurdles and Joyce (13.55m) was third in the shot put.

Evans Jones and Sam Marcel finished sixth and seventh, respectively, in the shot put. Ty’Shawn Hopkins was fifth in the long jump (5.86m) and sixth in the triple jump (11.86m). Jarod Cipriano was eighth at 60m (7.39) and Cristian Breton was eighth in the pole vault (3.05m).

Karnish and Graver both recorded wins and Tatiana Dorner placed in three events to lead the Cougars. Karnish won the weight throw (15.79m) and Graver won the long jump (5.09m).  Karnish added a third-place finish in the weight throw. Dorner was second in the triple jump (10.2m), third at 200m and seventh in the long jump.

Badillo (27.46) was second at 200m while Colabelli and Rine were fifth and sixth, respectively. Lauren Fritzsch (60m hurdles), Thompson (mile) and Olewine (long jump) all placed fourth.  Rine (1:04.25) was fourth at 400m while Colabelli was eighth. Badillo (8.63) finished sixth at 60m and Graver was seventh. Karen Traub (2.75m) placed seventh in the pole vault.


The men and women’s swim teams finished their seasons, competing at the MAC Championships in York.

Aidan Bergan closed out his career with an eighth-place finish in the 100 free (48.03). Jonus Gurski was MU’s top finisher with a fifth-place showing in the 200 breaststroke (2:11.11) and D.J. Weiland was 12th in the 200 back (2:04.49) while Sheldon Kohl was 17th.

Chris Farrell finished 15th in the 100 free. Weiland, Gurski, Farrell and Bergan finished eighth in the 400 free relay (3:14.81) and teammates Jason Winters, Sheldon Kohl, Sean Burg and Danny Chlebove were 16th.

The men’s team finished with 589 points to finish sixth of 13 teams.

On the women’s side, Grace Nikolski led the Cougars to a second-place finish at the MAC Championships.

Nikolski won the 200 breaststroke in 2:22.76 after setting school and MAC records and hitting the NCAA-B qualifying mark with a 2:20.97 in the preliminaries. Camryn Hubric was less than .2 off the school record as she finished second in the 100 free (53.75).

Kate Bernauer was third and Mary-T Nikolski (9th), Kennedy Wheeler (10th), Hailey Gianoni (12th) and Victoria Wrobleski (17th) rounded out six place-winners for the Cougars. Sierra Schertler finished eighth in the 200 back (2:14.75) while Andrea Carlson was 12th.

Bernauer, Gianoni, Hubric and Kaitlyn Weatherby (3:39.00) finished second in the 400-free relay while Wrobleski, Wheeler, Carlson and Mary-T Nikolski (3:41.91) recorded the fourth-fastest overall time to win the B-Final and finish 14th.

The Cougars had 1,131 points to finish second to Stevens (1,178).


The baseball team had an early start to its season at Shenandoah University when the Cougars dropped both games of the doubleheader by one run each.

Tyler Holzapfel led the Cougars in game one, going 2-4 with three RBI while Austin Miles went 2-3 and scored a run. Ian McCole pitched six innings with eight strikeouts and three earned runs while Sean Boylan worked the seventh and was credited with the loss.

In game two, Boylan went 3-3 at the plate with one run scored and Garrett McIlhenny went 2-3 with a run scored. Alejandro Santiago started on the hill, going 4.1 innings with four strikeouts and allowing two earned runs. Taylor Price allowed two earned runs in 1.2 innings of relief to take the loss.