McKeesport, PA. – The 2018-2019 athletic season brought some big changes to the PSUGA Athletics Department. Two sports participated in their inaugural season, five of the nine varsity sports made the playoffs, and two new coaches made their marks on their specific programs. Overall the nine varsity sports teams combined to go 62-71-2 overall and 39-45-2 in conference play.
The year started with two promotions as Tyler Care was named the new Assistant Athletic Director and Zack Zeigler was named the full-time Sports Information Director. Alongside Athletic Director Korie Morton-Rozier, they would help to lead the PSUGA Athletics department managing all aspects of the nine PSUGA varsity sports that competed in the 2018-2019 athletic year.
The fall semester would kick off with Soccer, Volleyball, and Golf all starting their seasons in late August. Golf competed in their first season since the 2011 year and competed in three invitationals over the course of the year with their best performance coming at the White Invitational when they finished seventh out of nine teams. Soccer and Volleyball each found themselves in the thick of the Penn State University Athletic Conference playoff races into the last week of the regular season. Volleyball missed the playoffs by just two games, but Soccer would be the first playoff team for PSUGA getting the #4 seed with a record of 8-5-2.
Soccer would go on to pick-up a first-round playoff win over PSU-York 4-1 before they fell to PSU-Brandywine 4-0 in the PSUAC Semifinals. It was the fourth year in a row that Soccer has made the playoffs and came one half away from making the PSUAC Championship game for the first time since the 2015 season.
The winter season saw both basketball teams compete throughout the season. It was a career year for the PSUGA Women’s Basketball team as they broke the program record for wins in a season going 15-11 and 11-4 in PSUAC play. The Men’s Basketball team had to battle through some early season struggles before taking the #3 seed in the PSUAC West Division finishing the year 16-9 and 13-6 in conference play.
Both teams would be eliminated in the first round of the playoffs ending their big seasons. The women’s basketball team hosted PSU-Fayette and fell in the final seconds 77-70 and the Men’s Basketball team wen ton the road and dropped a heartbreaker to PSU-Shenango 64-61. It was the first time that Women’s Basketball made the playoffs since 2014 and the fourth year in a row that Men’s Basketball made the trip.
The spring season was the biggest of the year with both Baseball and Track & Field going on runs. The PSUGA Track & Field team had nine athletes going to the United States Collegiate Athletic Association National Championships in their first season as they brought home nine total medals. They also had the first two USCAA National Champions in school history as Eladia Kennedy (Pittsburgh, PA./Imani Christian Academy) and Makis Rivera (Pittsburgh, PA./Imani Christian Academy) each brought home the gold.
PSUGA Baseball rounded out the year making the PSUAC playoffs for the sixth time in the last ten seasons going 13-13 and 8-7 in conference play. They would have a first round PSUAC Matchup with Penn State Mont Alto and fell 9-1 ending their season. PSUGA athletics featured exciting action throughout the season and with many of their athletes returning in 2019-2020 that good play is set to continue.
The PSUGA athletic department received many recognitions both on the national and conference level. They had 12 USCAA Athletes of the Week and 11 PSUAC Athletes of the Week throughout the season. They also had nine PSUAC All-Conference players and six USCAA All-Americans rounding out their yearly award winners.
The 2019-2020 PSUGA Athletic Season is just under 100 days away with another big year set to get underway. It all kicks off when the PSUGA Volleyball team heads to the USCAA Tip-off Tournament on August 30th and 31st.