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RMU men's hockey using poll as motivation

Robert Morris men's hockey coach Derek Schooley understands why his team was picked sixth in the 12-team Atlantic Hockey Association preseason coaches' poll.

The Colonials graduated three of their top players in Chris Kushneriuk, Denny Urban and Nathan Longpre, the school's all-time leading scorer. But the team still returns has some players who can do damage, Schooley said.

"We've got a lot of depth returning," he said, "but we don't have guys in some certain roles. We need to see if they can score to replace the scoring that Nathan, Denny and Chris had."

Robert Morris is looking to build on last year's 18-12-5 season. The Colonials have high expectations, and being picked sixth provides extra motivation.

"Our players probably took recognition of where we were picked," he said. "If we use it as motivation, we'll find out when the season's over who was right and who was wrong."

Schooley said he expects forwards Trevor Lewis, Zach Hervato and Adam Brace to step into scoring roles. Each has shown the ability to score and create opportunities, but the key is consistency.

"They have to do it over a 34-game regular season college schedule and do it on a daily basis," Schooley said.

Robert Morris' opens its season with a home exhibition against York on Friday.

National recognition

Westmoreland County Community College baseball coach Mike Draghi, whose team qualified for the National Junior College Athletic Association Division III World Series this year, was named one of eight NJCAA Division III regional coaches of the year by the American Baseball Coaches Association. They will be honored Jan. 5-8 at the ABCA annual convention in Anaheim, Calif.

A grand stage

Penn State women's tennis junior Petra Januskova will compete in the 64-player, All-American Prequalifiers on Saturday in Los Angeles. This is the second year she'll be representing the Nittany Lions at the tournament. Januskova advanced to the All-American Championships last year before losing in the round of 32.

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