Seton Hill coaches earn PSAC honors

| Thursday, May 15, 2014, 8:51 p.m.

A pair of Seton Hill coaches earned Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference honors late last month.

Women's lacrosse coach Courtney Grove and baseball coach Marc Marizzaldi led their respective teams to successful 2014 seasons on their way to earning Coach of the Year honors. Seton Hill is concluding its first season in the PSAC after seven years in the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

The women's lacrosse team won a school-record 13 games this season and finished fourth in the PSAC regular-season standings, just 14 months after a bus accident that claimed the life of coach Kristina Quigley.

Grove is quick to credit her players for their strength and resolve in the wake of the tragedy.

“We just needed to focus on us,” Grove said of her approach to coaching the team this season. “It's taken a lot of patience and being together a lot … being together as a team. These girls did everything I asked of them. They went above and beyond.

“They're the ones who should be thanked for me winning this award.”

The Griffins lost to West Chester, 9-8, in the quarterfinals of the PSAC tournament April 29.

Even in defeat, the team showed the desire of a champion, according to their coach.

“The girls were able to get a shot off with 30 seconds left that could have tied the game and sent it into overtime,” Grove said. “It shows the heart and dedication they have.”

Grove has lofty goals for the Seton Hill program in the years to come.

“We made the playoffs for the first time in school history, and this is just the start,” Grove said. “We have a lot of girls returning next year, and these girls are hungry.

“These girls are fighters. They'll get the job done any way they can.”

The Seton Hill baseball team registered another strong season under the guidance of Marizzaldi. The Griffins entered the week with a 36-15 record and earned an at-large bid in the upcoming NCAA Division II tournament for the fifth straight year.

“The players make me look good,” Marizzaldi said. “I'm very lucky and fortunate that these players have bought into our system, and it's shown through the results on the field.”

Seton Hill won the regular-season title in the PSAC West Division, then lost to Kutztown, 2-1, in 12 innings in the opening round of the PSAC tournament May 1.

“We played well,” Marizzaldi said. “It was a fantastic baseball game, but in the end it's just another loss.

“We have to continue to look forward.”

The Griffins won 36 games — including a 17-game winning streak from March 21 through April 13 — despite playing without three key players for some or all of the 2014 campaign.

Starting second baseman Pat McCarthy and pitcher Bob Carbaugh have missed the entire season, and catcher Josh Forbes has been out for most of the year.

Seton Hill returned from its early season trip to Florida with a 9-8 record and a number of question marks about its lineup, but the team settled down and started playing good baseball upon returning home.

“This season, we've had to deal with a lot of unexpected things,” Marizzaldi said. “We've had to rely on a lot of younger guys, but the team really came together.”

Kevin Ritchart is a freelance writer.

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