McKeesport, Pa. – While families get ready to send their kids off to school and the students embark upon a brand new journey, the Penn State Greater Allegheny Athletic Department anxiously awaits their 2016-17 athletes to settle in at campus.
Starting her second new school year at the helm of the GA Athletic Department is Korie Morton-Rozier, Athletic Director. "Things are really looking up for Greater Allegheny Athletics in the 16-17 school year. Although we lost our head women's basketball coach, Taylor Fulton, to NCAA Division II University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, we have welcomed a phenomenal men's soccer coach, Walt Sullinger."
"Fall sports will be here before you know it, as women's and men's soccer, women's and men's cross country and women's volleyball all get ready to begin their competitive seasons. With the help of Walt, I am positive the men's soccer team will make great strides to back up their Penn State University Athletic Conference (PSUAC) 2nd place finish. Women's soccer continues to build each day as the ladies look forward to competing in a four-game playoff series in the PSUAC this season with third-year head coach Amanda (Baldinger) Voelker. The men's cross country team returns to campus as PSUAC Champions with Mark Bacco while Tracy Gibbs and the women's volleyball team continues their competitive drive to try and make a PSUAC Playoff appearance, after taking a season hiatus after three consecutive showings."
Greater Allegheny is one of the few Penn State branch campus' with a full-time Athletic Trainer. Anna Zigmond returns for her third year assisting the blue-and-white. "I am eager to see how the athletes perform after their hard-work over the off-season," said Zigmond. "As a vital member of the department, we are hoping for a smooth, injury-free school year that brings success to all." Anna works closely with a team doctor within the Allegheny Health Network, also eager to help our student-athletes.
Morton-Rozier began to go in-depth about a newly founded program, driven by men's basketball head coach Tyler Care. Tyler explained, "The GAIN program is in place to reinforce how important the student is in student-athlete. It is in place to assist student-athletes in maintaining a good grade point average while participating in athletics. All of the coaches are in accordance to how well this product could work for our student-athletes and we are all very excited to see the outcome."
Tyler comes off of a record-breaking season at the helm of the men's basketball team, as they return 13 players. "We made excellent strides as a team last year as the team finished third place in the PSUAC. We look to continue to build off the success from last season and aim our sights on the conference title as well as competing in the National Tournament," concluded Care.
As fall is upon us, that means winter and spring sports are not all that far off. "GA men's basketball continues to stack their roster, the women's team builds together as the head coach role is now vacant, said Morton-Rozier. "Baseball continues to build their roster and their numbers as they look to make it back to the PSUAC Championship run after taking a year off under second-year head coach Dean Pope. The softball team looks better and stronger than ever, as fellow second-year coach Victoria Blosser recruited very well to build some great talent," ended Morton-Rozier.
The Athletic Department as a whole is extremely positive and upbeat as they look forward to making Greater Allegheny better than the year previous. All hands are on deck here as scrimmages are set to begin this week.
The men's soccer team welcomes Pitt-Greensburg on Thursday, August 25th in a pre-season scrimmage at 4 p.m. at Francis McClure Intermediate in White Oak. The women's volleyball team is right behind them, as Penn State Beaver hosts a volleyball weekend, as they play in a trio of contests. The first week of September is quiet, as the next official match is not until the 8th, as Westmoreland County Community College comes to Francis McClure in a women's and men's soccer double-header, slated for a 3 p.m. DH start time.