Thursday, October 28, 2010

Riverhawks Look Forward to New Season

by Abbie Sweeney

Fourteen basketball players will be on the traveling team for WVU Parkersburg this season. Out of 39 students who tried out, 22 are official Riverhawk players. Seven of them are returning players from last year. "We have an excellent team this year," said returning Coach Louis Roy.

To raise money for the season's expenses, the basketball team held a concession stand at the West Virginia Interstate Fair along with the soccer and volleyball teams. Also, the team has sold candy bars at a dollar a piece. The fair generously donated to equipment and location for the concession stand.

Just like last season, the Riverhawks are a club team and are not in a official conference yet. Coach Roy hopes that next year they will be able to participate in a conference.

The junior varsity teams of colleges is mostly who the Riverhawks will be playing . However, there are some colleges, such as West Virginia Wesleyan, that the Riverhawks will play the varsity team.

For the first time, the Riverhawks are being paid to go on the road to play another team. Oakland City University is paying the team $1,500 to travel to the Indiana school for two games. The team's room expenses and food will be paid in full for two nights. For next year's season, Ashburn Kentucky has invited the Riverhawks to do the same.

On top of having better games scheduled, the team also had better practice before their first game. Last year, they only had about four practices. While this year they had at least a month before their first practice game against Washington State Community College. "We gel together better as a team," said Coach Roy.

With a score of 100-73, the Riverhawks won the game against Washington State on Oct. 25 at WVU Parkersburg. “We still have a lot to work on, but we played a good game,” said Roy.

The next game is against Washington State again on Nov. 10 at 6 p.m. at WVU Parkersburg. The first road game is Nov. 14th against Rio Grande University at Rio Grande.

WVU Parkersburg Riverhawks Defeat Washington State Convincingly, 100-73

First game of the season. The Riverhawks basketball team played a pre-season game on Oct. 25 at WVU Parkersburg against Washington State. A score of 100-73, led the Riverhawks to their first win this season. “We still have a lot to work on but we played a good game,” said Coach Louis Roy.

Almost every seat was full for the first game. “I can’t believe the turnout for just a practice game,” said official Tom Yencha.

While this is the Riverhawks second season, it is the first year for the Washington State players. They don’t even have a coach yet. So for coaching themselves, Yencha said that they played a very good game.

When the Riverhawks were winning 31 -13, Coach Roy put in a whole new set of players. After halftime Coach Roy again put in a whole new set of players. However, with 12 minutes left of the game, #25 Daniel Palmer received a foot injury and was replaced by starter and captain #23 Rodney Shaver. About two minutes later, Roy put all of his starters back in the game to conclude the win with the exception of #40 Alex Tracewell who played towards the end of the game. “We came prepared, played good defense, worked well together, and had good control,” said #21 Anthony Caplinger who is also a captain on the team.

Along with Palmer’s injury, #10 from Washington State said he was hit by a WVU Parkersburg player. He was then bleeding from the mouth and was taken out of the game. The game was stopped for a few seconds to see if #10 needed any help because he kept explaining to his players and the score keeper that he was bleeding. But, he went finally said it was no big deal and the game went on.

The next game is against Washington State again on Nov. 10 at 6 p.m. at WVU Parkersburg. Originally scheduled as a pre-season game, this is now a regular season game. The first away game is Nov. 14th against Rio Grande University in Rio Grande, OH.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Volleyball On the Road at Wheeling Jesuit

Number 22 Emry Shears and #13 Susie Gunnels had spikes that were so powerful that the blocks by the Wheeling Jesuit players were not enough to keep the Riverhawks from scoring. “It always feels good to get to hit because I’m usually a setter on our team, so I was especially pumped that I killed it,” said Shears about the Oct. 18th volleyball game against Wheeling Jesuit.

All the girls agreed that their first match is normally their worst. However, this time the first match turned out to be their best even though Wheeling Jesuit won 25-16. Number 16, Laura Bibbie, had four consecutive serves while the last one hit the top of the net and fell over, something for which Wheeling Jesuit was not prepared.

During the second match the girls were “drifting off,” said coach Phil. Wheeling Jesuit’s first server scored the first point of the match without a Riverhawk player even touching the ball. Number four, Bethany Maze, received a straight shot to the throat, but continued to play in the match. The final score for the match was 25-5 Wheeling Jesuit.

The last match had the score of 25-14 Wheeling Jesuit. The players had an extra distraction for the first time during this match as the Wheeling Jesuit fans were chanting, trying to affect the Riverhawks.

At the end of this game Coach Phil McClung felt that that next year there should not be just one head coach, but just a total of five coaches overall. Coach McClug said that by having more coaches, it will be easier to deal with issues on the team then just having one coach be in charge of everything. The plan is for the coaches to take turns next season on taking the girls to away games to play the role of “head coach.”

The last game, a tri, for the Riverhawks will be played on Oct. 24th at WVU Parkersburg at 1:30 p.m. Two separate teams consisting of WVU Parkersburg players will be included in the Tri-game. The club team, Net Ninjas, will be the third team playing. This game will provide an opportunity for volleyball players who have not played much in the season this year.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Profile of WVU Parkersburg Volleyball Player Janet Lee

by Abbie Sweeney

Freshman Janet Lee felt like someone had died when she realized volleyball season was almost over. She originally started the season off to get exercise and have fun, but the season turned into something more serious than “just a club team”. “It wasn’t as big as what it is now,” said Janet.

Her life outside volleyball consists of being a LPN. She worked at Eagle Point until she decided in October 2009 that taking care of the kids, going to school and work was just too much at one time. “It’s challenging and fast pace,” said Janet. At the end of this semester she will have completed all of her pre-requisites including English 102 and Psychology 101. However, Janet can not apply for the RN program until next fall.

St. Mary’s High School is where Janet first realized she wanted to be in the medical field. Her first two years of playing volleyball on a team started there as well. She was a hitter there, just like she still is on the WVU Parkersburg team. Also, Janet's experience included cheerleading and playing the clarinet in the school band.

Education had to be put on hold, though, when Janet became pregnant with her first child, Niki Taylor.

Niki is now 13 years old, and Janet also has three other children: Matthew Tayler, Brianna Dennise and Morgan Lee. The family goes to home volleyball games to watch their mother play.

“The kids love that I play volleyball because they get to come to some of the practices and hit with us,” said Lee.

Janet's husband, John Lee, doesn’t mind that Janet is on the team. After all, he works long hours as a fireman for the city of Parkersburg.

Being part of the first WVU Parkersburg volleyball team means a lot to Janet. She was so proud that she posted it on her Facebook. “At my age you don’t really have opportunities like this,” said Janet. A $500 scholarship was awarded to Janet to play volleyball this season.

During the season her opportunity became enhanced as she became a captain on the team along with Susie Gunnels. Janet is also considered the vice president of the team due to the original club aspect of the team. As a captain she participates in the coin toss and helps with making decisions such as choosing uniforms.

Because of Janet's leadership action, she associates with all the girls very well. “We haven’t really had any major problems,” said Janet. She believes that conflict always emerges with a bunch of girls in one group, but notes the team has minimal. When conflict does arise, the girls work it out and move on quickly.

While the team had its own goal of having fun, Janet’s goal was to improve her passing. “I felt like I have reached my goal,” said Janet. She hopes to be able to set another goal next year on the team. “If Coach Phil will have me, I will play,” said Janet.

WVU Parkersburg Scores on Two Direct Kicks in Loss to WVWC

by Abbie Sweeney

Finishing strong. The Riverhawks soccer team played against West Virginia Wesleyan on Oct. 17th. If the Oct. 17th game turns out to be the last home game, then the team ended well - even though the final score of the match was 7-2 Wesleyan. The two points scored by captain Matt Smith were an addition to the two points scored out of the whole season so far. “I felt splendid and spectacular,” said Smith.
The goals were made on a direct kick because of a fouls made on Josh Arnold who is also a captain on the team. “Matt had a beautiful kick,” said coach Abigail Bowers.

Smith also made one more goal at another game out of the four total points so far. Number 14, Tim Fritto, scored the fourth point at the Wheeling Jesuit game.

Also making himself stand out was goalie Kodi Sells, with a total of 30 goalie saves. “I didn’t do enough,” said Sells because of the points scored on him. However, most of the game was played on the Riverhawks side of the field.

Even though the Riverhawks lost the game, their sportsmanship seemed to be better since #15 from Wesleyan was yellow carded in the second half. The Riverhawks also had an advantage in the field because the field at WVU Parkersburg is smaller than what the Wesleyan players were used to. As a result, every corner kick made by them was kicked too far.

Being off sides was also an issue for Wesleyan. They were off sides seven times during the game, while the Riverhawks were never penalized for being off sides the entire game.

During the first half of the game, a slight accident happened when #18, Andrew Harpold, took a soccer ball to the throat by his team player #11, Korie Morgan. “I couldn’t breath,” said Harpold. The boys joked about the incident after the game with Morgan saying Harpold wouldn’t have been kicked if he weren’t in his way.

The Wesleyan game was their second and last home game of the season. More home games were planned, but they were canceled by the other teams. However, the last game that will be on Oct. 23rd, at 1 p.m., might be moved to a home game instead of the current schedule which has the Riverhawks traveling to Ashland.

WVU Parkersburg Volleyball Defeats the "Net Ninjas"

The volleyball season is ending in “record” fashion. At the volleyball game on Oct. 11 against the club team, Net Ninjas, Senior Susie Gunnels broke Freshman Laura Bibbee’s record for the most consecutive serves while Bibbee setsthe record of 17 for the most scored points in a match.

The Net Ninjas won the first match with a score of 25-20 but the Riverhawks won the last three matches with the scores of 25-15, 25-16 and 25-18. “After the first game we played smooth,” said Coach Phil McClung.

During timeouts of the first game and sideline coaching, McClung told the girls that it was like they were not focusing. The players had a hard time receiving the ball from a serve. However, the second match turned out better for the girls because they were “playing pretty,” according to McClung. In the second match Sophomore Beth Maze felt sick and had to run to the restroom when the score was tied at 13-13. Ruby Treadway had to go in for Maze until she felt well enough to return towards the end of the match. “I thought we were sloppy at first, but then we brought it back to our normal level,” said Sophomore Kyla Collins, who is an outside hitter for the team.

In the third match, when the score was 15-5, coach McClung told the girls to “not let up.” Their goal was to hit into an empty space. They didn’t have to kill the ball, but just take it deep. The last match was won with the rush of trying to get Maze done before her evening college class started.

The Riverhawks next game is at West Liberty on Oct. 18th. If the team cannot get Ashland University to reschedule the game that was supposed to be played on Oct. 17th, than the West Liberty game will be the last game of the season.