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Two sibling pairs find right fit at Point Park

| Tuesday, June 23, 2009

From Baldwin High School to Point Park University, the distance is short.

It is a big reason why two brother-sister tandems decided to make the move.

Despite their age differences, the reasons for attending Point Park are the same for Jesse and Lindsey Pesanka and Dan and Julie Campbell: athletics, academics and location.

They say having the opportunity to get an education and play the sports they love offered the most appeal.

This past season, Jesse Pesanka finished up his junior year as a first baseman/outfielder on the Point Park baseball team, while his younger sister, Lindsey, completed her sophomore year as the Pioneers' softball shortstop.

Dan Campbell, a catcher, also was a junior on the Pioneers' baseball team, while his sister, Julie, just completed her freshman year as a utility player on the softball team.

Both sets of siblings are supportive of each other, and there is some competition involved to help increase the intensity level. The Pesankas particularly enjoy comparing stats and involve themselves in a home run competition.

"Every season, we always see who had the best stats," Jesse Pesanka said. "This helps us play at a higher level."

And while Jesse Pesanka and Dan Campbell had no major influence on their sisters' decisions to attend Point Park, Lindsey Pesanka and Julie Campbell enjoy having the support of their older brothers at school.

"At first, it was kind of weird, but now we are kind of growing up and are used to each other," Lindsey Pesanka said of her brother. "I love having him around."


• The Mercyhurst men's crew team will travel across the Atlantic Ocean to London for the 2009 Henley Royal Regatta from July 1-5 and will compete in the Visitors' Challenge Cup against teams from Ireland, Czech Republic, Germany and Australia.

The Henley, first held in 1839, holds a unique place in the rowing community, as it subscribes to its own set of rules because it was formed long before national and international rowing federations were developed.

Another unique distinction to the Henley is its use of knockout draw, with just two boats racing in each heat, in comparison to traditional multi-lane qualifier regattas.

• In baseball, Penn State and West Virginia again will compete in the Big Ten/Big East Challenge next season. Pitt again will not participate because the Panthers are scheduled to play in the Armed Forces Classic at Memphis to open the season.

The second Big Ten/Big East Challenge will be held Feb. 26-28 in St. Petersburg, Fla., and Clearwater, Fla. Nearly 17,000 fans attended games in the initial tournament over a three-day period last season.

All 10 Big Ten programs and 10 Big East members will participate.

• The Penn State and West Virginia gymnastics teams will play host to NCAA regionals in 2010. The Nittany Lions will serve as hosts of the Northeast Regional at Jordan Center and the Mountaineers will provide the site for the Southeast Regional at WVU Coliseum on April 10.

• The Robert Morris women's hockey team will play five teams ranked in the top 10 last season, including No. 1 Wisconsin, No. 3 Mercyhurst and No. 5 Minnesota-Duluth. The schedule also includes a second consecutive appearance in the Pittsburgh College Showcase at Mellon Arena against Connecticut on Jan. 8.

• Washington & Jefferson will induct five new members into its Athletic Hall of Fame on Oct. 30. They are Tom Coughlin, swimming; Jack McElravy, track and field; Jim Pareso, wrestling; Ryan Silvis, football, track and field; and Kelly (Wiltz) Williams, volleyball.

Shooting star

West Virginia senior Bryant Wallizer captured the air rifle title at the 2009 USA Shooting National Championships. Wallizer posted a two-day winning score of 1288.4 at Ft. Benning's International Shooting Complex in Columbus, Ga., to qualify for the U.S. National Development team.

On the run

Penn State-Fayette increased its number of varsity sports to eight with the addition of men's and women's cross country. Uniontown native Matt Girod has been named coach of the teams, both of which will begin competition in the fall in the independent United States Collegiate Athletic Association. Girod has been an assistant track and field coach at Uniontown High School.

Coaching carousel

Former Shippensburg baseball coach Bruce Peddie earned his first Division I head coaching job by being named to the post at New Orleans, following the resignation of former coach Tom Walter, who left for Wake Forest.

Peddie, who has been a New Orleans assistant for three years, led Division II Shippensburg to five NCAA Tournament appearances, including a trip to the World Series in 1996, during an 11-year run.

• Gannon men's assistant basketball coach Ryan Price has resigned to accept an assistant's position at Arkansas-Fort Smith, a first-year NCAA Division II school. Price spent two seasons at Gannon, which advanced to the Division II Elite Eight last season.

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