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Local college sports roundup: York County trio wins NCAA title with Juniata volleyball

McKenna Walker, Sydney Ohl and Lexy Bloss are NCAA Division III champions with the Eagles.

Thomas Kendziora
York Dispatch

Juniata women’s volleyball is an NCAA Division III national champion for the third time, and three York County products were along for the ride.

The Eagles capped a 34-1 season and a 27-match winning streak with a straight-set victory over Trinity (Texas) in the national final on Saturday night in Pittsburgh. Juniata was in control all evening, winning 25-17, 25-11, 25-23 to set off the celebration.

McKenna Walker (11) and her Juniata volleyball teammates celebrate during their NCAA Division III championship victory over Trinity (Texas) on Saturday night in Pittsburgh.

Sophomore defensive specialist Sydney Ohl (Dallastown) tallied 19 digs, three service aces and an assist in the match, while senior defensive specialist McKenna Walker (York Catholic) added 10 digs. Sophomore middle hitter Lexy Bloss (Dallastown) did not appear in the championship match but made 18 appearances for the national champions this season.

Juniata’s only loss all year came against Trinity on Sept. 16; after that weekend, the Eagles were never even pushed to a fifth set, even in the NCAA Tournament.

Walker, who played for her uncle Phil Autrey at York Catholic, finished her senior season with 294 digs and a championship ring. Ohl added 285 digs, third on the team behind Walker and libero Kiona Sky Rousset-Hernandez (602). Bloss, who teamed with Ohl at Dallastown, will be a big part of Juniata’s quest to repeat its championship. The Eagles have made 41 straight NCAA Tournaments, including 27 trips to the national semifinals.

LIONS ROARING EARLY

Led by local talent, Penn State York men’s basketball is off to an 8-1 start in the 2022-23 season. The Lions’ only loss came on the road against Division I UMBC, and six of the eight victories have been by double digits. They’re off to a 3-0 start in the Penn State University Athletic Conference (PSUAC).

At the center of it all is Deriq Brown, a 6-foot-5 junior from New Oxford. Brown has averaged 17.1 points and 6.6 rebounds per game while shooting 46.5 percent from the field and 46.2 percent from 3-point range. Senior D’Andre Davis (York Catholic) has chipped in 12.3 points per contest, third on the team behind Brown and Lancaster Mennonite’s John John Gillespie.

Penn State York is set to visit Division II Millersville on Tuesday evening, then has a week off before its next game on Nov. 29.

The Lion women’s team is 4-2 after splitting weekend home games against Penn State New Kensington and Penn State Shenango. The group visits Christendom on Tuesday before its Thanksgiving break. Jayla Brown (New Oxford), Jillian Foster (West York) and Jordyn Foster (Red Lion) are second, third and fourth on the team in scoring, respectively.

YORK COLLEGE NOTES

The Spartan women’s basketball team earned its first win of the season last Wednesday against McDaniel, 55-47, and is set to host Lancaster Bible on Tuesday night. York College’s men’s team (2-2) lost 82-63 at No. 10 Johns Hopkins last week and doesn’t play again until its MAC Commonwealth opener at Messiah on Nov. 30.

Field hockey’s Mya Gerena was selected to play in Saturday's NFHCA Senior All-Star game in Glassboro, New Jersey, the site of the NCAA Division III championship round. She became the third Spartan to appear in the game in head coach Katie Fost’s tenure, joining Ali Posey in 2017 and Lindsay Nye in 2018.

The Spartan swimming teams both finished last among participants at the Franklin & Marshall Invitational over the weekend. Freshman Isabella Klemm took eighth place in both the 100 and 200 breaststroke on the women’s side, while freshman James Lyon placed 11th in the 100 and 200 free for the men.

Wrestling lost its dual opener last Wednesday against TCNJ, 31-12, and will next compete when it hosts the New Standard Invitational on Dec. 2.

LOCAL IMPACTS

The Division II Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) announced its all-conference football teams last week, and two York County natives were among honorees in the West division. IUP running back Dayjure Stewart (York High) was a first-team selection, with Edinboro offensive tackle Gabe Hulslander (Kennard-Dale) on the second team. Stewart ran for 794 yards and seven touchdowns on a 9-1 Indiana team that claimed the league title earlier this month. Hulslander enjoyed a breakout sophomore season and will look to build on it with the Fighting Scots.

New Oxford graduate Abdul Janneh, who caught 43 passes for 579 yards and nine touchdowns as a sophomore at Duquesne this fall, has entered the transfer portal and received offers from a slew of FBS teams. The 6-foot-3 wideout has even received Power 5 interest from Virginia Tech and NC State, in addition to several mid-majors. His recruitment remains open.

Alex McClellan (West York) notched 10 points and three steals in Penn State Altoona’s 85-74 loss to Neumann University last Friday. The Lions picked up their first win of the season Saturday, beating Pratt Institute 84-66. McClellan, a 6-foot-2 senior, has started the first four games of the campaign.

Shippensburg men’s cross country finished fifth at the NCAA Atlantic Region Championships, and freshman Garrett Quinan (Kennard-Dale) was among four Raiders to earn All-Region honors in the 10K race on Saturday. He placed 23rd, with teammates finishing 22nd through 25th.

Cody Willoughby (York Suburban) was one of three Shippensburg men’s soccer players to earn Academic All-District honors last week. The sophomore goalkeeper maintains a 3.72 GPA and started the first nine games this season before suffering an injury.