Misericordia Athletes Recognized Despite University Closure

Misericordia Athletes Recognized Despite University Closure

Michael Conway, Columnist

Spring athletics at Misericordia were about to kick into full swing when the COVID-19 pandemic caused university officials to close the school for the remainder of the semester.

Regular seasons for the baseball, softball, men’s and women’s lacrosse, outdoor track and field, men’s volleyball, men and women’s tennis, and eSports teams were all directly affected. Though every sport was affected by the pandemic, the spring sports were the ones hit the hardest.

Every one of these athletic teams had their regular seasons and post-seasons canceled by the NCAA and the Middle Atlantic Conference. Players from the softball and baseball teams shared how upset they were by the news.

Jessica McDonough
Senior Outfielder

“We put in so much hard work this preseason and it was truly shocking to get it taken away so quickly,” said Jessie McDonough, a senior outfielder on the softball team. “We had such a great team this year, being picked first in the preseason MAC polls. I was really looking forward to seeing how far we could go during my senior year.”


Tyler Holzapfel, senior first basemen on the Cougars baseball team, said it was hard for him to process the sudden change.

Tyler Holzapfel
Senior-First Baseman

“We were really looking forward to competing for our 10th straight conference championship,” he said.  “We got off to a slow start in Florida, but we thought we made the right adjustments once we got back to Dallas and I thought we had a good shot to repeat again. It’s just so surreal that it got taken away from us just like that.”

The cancellation has not stopped Misericordia’s athletes from being recognized for their talents.

Five members of the field hockey team were named Scholars of Distinction by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association and Zag Sports. Rebecca Kaschak, Kyleigh Knell, Brynn Lansenderfer, Maddison Ortwine, and Marissa Prince were among 321 student-athletes recognized nationwide for maintaining a GPA of 3.9 or higher.

The Misericordia Athletics Department also recognized 251 scholar-athletes who were cited for maintaining a GPA or 3.4 or higher while participating in a varsity sport.

“It is a pleasure to recognize our scholar-athletes,” said athletics director Chuck Edkins. “The academic success that has become a tradition at Misericordia is proof that student-athletes can be successful in the classroom and on the field.”

Zach Davis
Senior Distance

Zach Davis and Grace Nikolski have been named Misericordia Scholar-Athletes of the Year.

A fourth-year student in the physical therapy department, Davis earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology and is a four-year letterman on the cross country and track and field teams. He earned second-team All-MAC  in Cross Country and finished 54th at the NCAA Mideast Regional.

In addition, he finished seventh in the 5000M at the MAC Indoor Track & Field Championships. He was also named Academic All-Region by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association and was a member of the MAC Academic Honor Roll.

Nikolski, also in the physical therapy doctoral program, qualified for the 2020 NCAA Swim Championships after winning two titles at the MA

Grace Nikolski
Senior Breaststroke

C Swimming Championships. She set school and MAC records while winning the 100 breaststroke and the 200 breaststroke at the MAC Championships.

She was also named to the MAC Academic Honor Roll and the MAC All-Academic Swim Team.

Finally, Wendy’s Athletes of the Month for March are Tyler Holzapfel, Paul Hanrahan, Brooke Moyle, and Kaila Quinlivan.

A senior first baseman, Holzapfel hit .476 (10-21) with four doubles and five RBI.  He scored five runs while slugging .667% and compiling a .538 on-base%.

Hanrahan, a senior midfielder on the men’s lacrosse team, scored four goals and had 10 ground balls in two games.

Moyle, a senior pitcher on the softball team, was 4-0 with a 1.63 earned run average.  She struck out 43 batters in just 30 innings while holding opponents to a .211 batting average.

Quinlivan, a senior attack on the women’s lacrosse team, scored a team-high three goals in her only game of the month.