MIDDLETOWN, Pa. – These are unprecedented times. But as our student-athletes, coaches and staff have proven time and again, we will respond with unprecedented resolve. Over the next few weeks, we'll look back and move forward with feature stories and retrospectives that highlight Penn State Harrisburg's success over the past year, while honoring the people who made it all possible. Be well and get ready to celebrate some truly memorable moments with us.
(APRIL 3) After years of success in the Capital Athletic Conference (CAC), Penn State Harrisburg's track & field program competed as a member of the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) for the first time in 2019-20. New home, same result, as Alex White shined at the conference's indoor championship event, winning gold before earning athlete of the year recognition.
White was named the NJAC Indoor Men's Outstanding Field Athlete of the Year after winning the conference title in the long jump and earning first-team all-conference honors in the process, setting a new program record in the event with a top leap of 7.01 meters. The senior also won bronze in the high jump and secured third-team all-conference recognition in the event. Individually, the Mifflintown, Pa. native racked up 20 total points at the NJAC Championships.
For White, his latest conference title was the fourth of his career. The jumper has also won a pair of ECAC Division III Titles and is a two-time NCAA Division III Outdoor Championships qualifier. White holds program records in all three indoor and outdoor jump events.
(APRIL 1) After a promising start to her career as a freshman, Kendis Butler took on an even larger role during her sophomore campaign this winter. In doing so, the sharpshooter put together an historic season, breaking five program records and earning first-team all-conference honors for her efforts.
Butler netted a program-record 424 points this season and became Penn State Harrisburg's all-time 3-point leader with 157 triples for her career. The York, Pa. native poured in a single-game record 33 points against Gwynedd Mercy in early January and buried 10 3-balls in the contest; another number that stands as a single-game program record. On the year, she knocked down a single-season record 95 3-pointers; a total good enough to rank her second in the nation.
Thanks to her 16.3 points-per-game average and her impressive shooting numbers, Butler was named to the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) All-Conference First Team.
(MARCH 31) A new era began for Penn State Harrisburg's men's golf this fall, as head coach Jason Badecki took the reins of the program. Improvement across the board followed almost immediately.
The Lions got in 10 days of competition during their fall campaign and the outings included a season-low team total of +36, 320 at the Frederick W. Anton III Memorial Invitational hosted by Swarthmore at the Rock Manor Golf Club on Sept. 15; a mark strong enough to earn the group a fourth-place finish.
Individually, Andrew Fink posted a top-five finish at the Mountain Valley Collegiate Classic hosted by Penn State Altoona on Sept. 21, while Josh Swartz carded a career-low +7, 78 at Swarthmore's event one week earlier. Luke Ehler and Montana Gleason also provided consistency, while Chad Yoder, Garrett Kensky and Alberto Carmona each got chances to contribute throughout the fall.
(MARCH 28) Kristen Stark returned to Penn State Harrisburg's women's soccer program this past fall and put an exclamation point on her stellar career by becoming the Lions' all-time scoring leader. In doing so, the senior also set the program record for career points.
Stark tallied four goals and two assists to record 10 total points during her senior campaign, with the Lancaster, Pa. native breaking the program's scoring mark when she netted the game winner in a shutout victory over Cazenovia in mid-October. For her career, the forward racked up 37 goals, 85 points and 12 game-winning strikes, with all three totals standing as program records.
In addition to her place atop the record books, Stark also moves on from the program as one of the most decorated players in Penn State Harrisburg history. Following her sensational freshman season, she was named the Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) Rookie of the Year. She secured CAC All-Conference First-Team recognition in 2015 and was named second-team all-conference after the 2017 season.
(MARCH 26) This past fall, a trio of women's volleyball seniors led Penn State Harrisburg to its first winning record in nine years. For their efforts, Brittany Ebaugh, Alexis Imler and Katelyn Kreider were recognized with North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) All-Conference accolades.
Ebaugh capped her impressive career by being named the NEAC Defensive Player of the Year and earning first-team all-conference honors. In addition to leading all of NCAA Division III in block solos (70), the Stewartstown, Pa. native also ranked fifth in the nation in total blocks (145) and blocks per set (1.25). She led the league with a .364 hitting percentage, ranked sixth among conference players with 416.5 total points and finished seventh in the league with 305 kills. The middle blocker is the program's all-time leader in kills and blocks and she became the first player in school history to surpass 1,000 points for her career. Ebaugh also picked NEAC Player of the Week and NEAC Defensive Player of the Week awards this season.
Imler proved her versatility throughout the season, serving as both a primary setter and hitter. She led the Lions with 408 assists and was named to the NEAC All-Conference Second Team for her efforts. The Bedford, Pa. native added 236 digs, 168 total points, 120 kills, 44 total blocks and 21 service aces on the season. She also secured NEAC Defensive Player of the Week honors this past fall.
Kreider also provided steady production across a number of statistical categories en route to earning all-conference third-team honors. The defensive specialist racked up 317 digs on the year and added 20 total blocks. When switching to her hitting position, the Lebanon, Pa. native tallied 215 kills to go along with 44 service aces and 24 assists. This past fall, she was responsible for 272 points.
(MARCH 25) Let's head back to last spring when Penn State Harrisburg softball's Allison Hartman earned all-conference recognition from the Capital Athletic Conference (CAC). She was named to the CAC All-Conference Second Team following an impressive 2019 campaign. It proved the first all-conference accolade of her stellar career.
The senior was the team's top pitcher last season, racking up eight victories and 104 strikeouts inside the circle. She also started 22 outings and posted a team-best 2.64 ERA. Her 19 complete games were tops in the CAC, while her 25 total appearances and strikeout total ranked second among conference hurlers. At the Plate, Hartman led the Lions with 17 runs batted in and seven doubles. She added a triple and 11 runs scored.
The Harrisburg, Pa. native also left her mark across the program's record book. Hartman's 371 innings pitched, 49 complete games and eight career shutouts stand as program records, while her 2.95 career ERA and 24 wins rank second all-time. She also racked up 239 career strikeouts; a number that ranks her third on the all-time list.
(MARCH 24) We continue with an interview with Penn State Harrisburg men's basketball player Clinton Asalu, conducted by men's soccer player Oscar Cartagena Jr. The senior recounts the program's historic campaign that included a conference title, NCAA Tournament appearance and one of the most memorable NCAA Tournament upsets in recent memory, when the Lions knew they could compete on the national stage, what it was like to compete in the big dance without fans and much more.
Asalu, the team's lone senior, served as a team captain this season and proved a valuable rotational player in the post. The Willingboro, N.J. native rejoined the program this year and earned more playing time in key situations as the season progressed. The big man eventually recorded a season-high 11 points in a Senior Day victory over Keuka and finished 2019-20 as one of the Blue & White's top defensive players, particularly in the paint. For the year, Asalu averaged 2.2 points per game on 44.9 percent shooting from the field to go along with 2.6 rebounds per contest.
In 2019-20, Asalu helped lead the Lions to a program-record 21 wins, the program's first-ever North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) Championship, its first NCAA Tournament berth and the program's first-ever NCAA Tournament victory.
(MARCH 23) In the spring of 2019, Penn State Harrisburg's men's and women's track & field teams had a coming out party at the Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) Indoor Championships at Christopher Newport. It was the program's final season as a member of the CAC and the Lions went out with a bang.
In total, the Blue & White earned three major awards, won four conference championships and racked up 12 all-conference honors over two days of competition. Rae Rae Taylor won titles in the long jump and triple jump, Jalil Clayton won gold in the 60m hurdles and Alex White secured the conference title in the high jump. Sarah Lehman took silver in the long jump, high jump and 4x400m relay events, while Taylor, Sephora Senestant and Neeyah Turner joined her in earning a runner-up finish in the relay. Clayton secured silver in the 200m dash, as did Shammah Gahomera did the same in the 60m hurdles. As an individual, Taylor racked up an incredible 45 points on the weekend, while Clayton racked up 36 individual points of his own.
For their efforts, Taylor was named the CAC Women's Athlete of the Year, Clayton earned CAC Men's Athlete of the Year honors and head coach Danielle Lynch was voted the CAC Women's Coach of the Year by her peers.
(MARCH 21) We all remember Penn State Harrisburg men's soccer's thrilling overtime victory in the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) Championship Game but let's not overlook the previous day's contest – a riveting win over Lancaster Bible in penalty kicks in the conference tournament's semifinal round.
After playing 110 minutes of scoreless soccer, the Lions and Chargers had to settle things with PKs. LBC's first attempt was high and goalkeeper Nicholas Guglielmetti made a great save on the visitors' second attempt. Haydyn Zagorski got things started for Penn State Harrisburg by converting his PK and Luke Myers and Darion Ferreira followed suit. With a chance to end it, Jacob Krantweiss buried the deciding penalty kick to send the Blue & White to the title game the following day.
Each team failed to convert penalty shot opportunities during regulation, with Lancaster Bible being denied by a stellar diving save from Guglielmetti early in the second half. The goalkeeper made another outstanding diving stop on an LBC scoring chance in the 69th minute.
(MARCH 20) After she recently etched her name alongside the elite players in program history, it's only fitting that we continue our series by recognizing women's tennis senior Sydney Nye.
Nye recently matched the program's all-time singles victories mark with 25 solo wins for her career; a number she was on pace to surpass in the coming weeks. During her stellar career, the Schaefferstown, Pa. native also racked up 22 doubles victories, all of which came from the No. 1 position. Her 47 total wins rank her second all-time in program history and had her senior season continued, she almost certainly would have reset the career mark. The team captain earned North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) Player of the Week honors in October and looked poised to secure all-conference recognition this spring. Nye picked up Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) Player of the Week accolades during her junior campaign last April and she has also impressed in the classroom, as she was twice named to the CAC All-Academic Team during her career.
After helping lead Penn State Harrisburg to a 7-3 record this season, Nye and her teammates were well on their way to earning a NEAC Tournament berth and contending for both a regular season title and a conference championship this spring.
(MARCH 19) We kick things off with an interview with Penn State Harrisburg baseball player Zachary Koroneos, conducted by men's soccer player Oscar Cartagena Jr. Koroneos recounts the shock he and his teammates felt when the news of the NCAA canceling its winter and spring championships was announced, the work that went into preparing for the 2020 campaign, the growing feeling that the Lions were poised for another special season this spring and much more.
Koroneos, a senior first baseman who provided power from the left side of the plate, was named to the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper Division III Players to Watch List prior to the season. The Toronto, Ontario, Canada native turned in a breakout junior campaign that saw him rank eighth in the nation and second among Penn State Harrisburg players with 13 home runs last spring. He slashed .260/.359/.525 with 46 hits, including eight doubles to go along with his impressive home run total. He drove in 52 runs, scored 35 more, walked 17 times and tallied 93 total bases. He also led all infielders with a fielding percentage of .982. Through 12 games this season, Koroneos ranked second among Blue & White players with 11 RBI and five doubles. He's also excelled in the classroom and was named to the Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) All-Academic Team following his junior year.
In 2019, Koroneos helped lead the Lions to a program-record 33 wins, a second consecutive CAC Championship Series appearance, an NCAA Tournament berth and the program's first-ever NCAA Tournament victory.