Campus clippings: Penn State Behrend has 5 Plum graduates

| Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014, 12:26 a.m.

When it comes to men's volleyball, Penn State Behrend clearly has opened a recruiting pipeline to Plum.

This year's team has five Plum graduates on the roster: Junior defensive specialist Derek Polishen, sophomore outside hitter Eric Theiss, and freshmen Matt Shepherd (OH), Zach Miller (DS) and Daniel Szurley (OH).

The Lions are off to a 3-1 start. In their latest victory, 3-0 over Cazenovia, Theiss managed a team-high nine kills and three aces and Shepherd chipped in four kills. Behrend allowed just 24 set points in the victory.

Men's volleyball


Freshman Thad Paunovich (Kiski Area), who played on the varsity girls team in high school because there was no boys' team, is fifth on the team with 18 kills. He had nine digs in a 3-2 victory over No. 13-ranked Elmira.

Teammate Charlie Tindall (Deer Lakes), a junior setter, has six kills so far. Another local member of the team is senior defensive specialist Cory Swarmer (Leechburg).

Men's indoor track

Penn-State Behrend

Senior Denis Lydon (Plum) took sixth place in the 3,000-meter run and freshman Matt Grafton (Kittanning) came in 14th in the 60-meter dash at the Kane Invitational and Cornell University. Lydon's time was 9:00.31, while Grafton sprinted home in 8.25 seconds.

Robert Morris

Senior Nick Gentile (Freeport) won the 800-meter run at the Penn State National Invitational in a time of 1:53.75, which qualified him for the IC4A Championships in March. The time is the fourth-fastest in school history.

Gentile also is gearing up for the upcoming Northeast Conference Championships.

Women's indoor track

Robert Morris

Freshman Sam Logan (Knoch) ran a leg of the Colonials' 3,200-meter relay team that shattered the school record by 23 seconds.

The team finished in 9:20.15 at the Penn State National Invitational. That mark surpassed the ECAC qualifying standard by five seconds and is the best time in the Northeast Conference this season. The Penn State meet marked the first time Logan ran the 800 at the college level.

Men's basketball


Sophomore guard Nolan Cressler (Plum) scored a career-high 29 points but Cornell (1-17) fell to Yale, 61-57. Cressler hit 8 of 16 shots, 10 of 10 free throws and three 3-pointers.

Women's basketball


Senior forward Jenny Papich (Fox Chapel) scored 21 points and pulled down 10 rebounds for her third double-double of the season and sixth of her career, as Gannon, ranked No. 4 in the nation in Division II, downed California (Pa.), 65-57. Gannon hadn't swept the season series from California since the 2009-10 season. Papich has scored 1,367 career points.


Senior guard Hannah Shaffer (Apollo-Ridge) scored a career-high 18 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead the Titans to a 85-74 upset of St. Vincent in PAC play.


Washington & Jefferson

Senior 184-pounder David Dibenedetto (Fox Chapel) picked up a pair of wins in the Wilkes Tri-Match.

The first was a 5-2 decision over Levi Veppert of Wilkes and he followed with a 78-second pin of Trinity's Joe Gerish.

Bill Beckner Jr. is the local sports editor of the Valley News Dispatch. Reach him at

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