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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Pitt-Bradford Wednesday Athletic News

Kirsten Platz
Kirsten Platz Named AMCC Volleyball Player of the Year

BRADFORD, Pa. - Pitt-Bradford’s Kirsten Platz has been named the AMCC Volleyball Player of the Year, and Christina Rauh, Mandy Finch and Rose Thacker were also honored on the all-conference team. Head coach Tom Roof was tabbed Coach of the Year after leading the Panthers to the 2016 AMCC championship.

Pitt-Bradford headlined the league’s all-conference team with the most selections, and Platz becomes the fifth Panther in program history to win the AMCC’s top individual award.

Rauh joined Platz on the first-team, and Finch and Thacker were third-team selections. For Rauh, Finch and Thacker, it marks the first time in their careers they were honored on the all-conference squad.

Platz played a big role in leading the Panthers to their second-ever league championship and a school-record 25 wins. The sophomore middle hitter led the AMCC in hitting percentage (.400), blocks per set (1.02), total blocks (106) and solo blocks (49) and ranked near the top in several other categories.

It caps a dominating season in which Platz also ranked second in the AMCC in total kills (328), kills per set (3.15), total service aces (46) and block assists (57). She posted double-digit kills in 20 matches and had five or more blocks in 11 different contests. Against AMCC opponents, Platz hit a blistering .420 while registering 3.67 kills per set.

The Erie, Pa., native was a three-time AMCC Player of the Week and named to the league’s all-tournament team. She was a second-team pick a year ago.

Rauh, a senior setter, led the AMCC in assists per set (8.67), total assists (884), service aces per set (0.65), and total aces (66), and she is one of just 10 players nationally who have four or more triple-doubles. Her .305 hitting percentage trailed only Platz and Thacker, and she averaged 1.30 kills per set. Defensively, Rauh averaged better than three digs per set, third-most on the team.

In the team’s two AMCC tournament wins, she totaled 63 assists, 25 digs, 11 kills, four aces and a block.

The Panama, N.Y., native was a three-time AMCC Player of the Week and named to the conference’s all-tournament team.

Finch, a senior outside hitter, appeared on the all-conference team despite missing five matches to an injury. One of the league’s most versatile hitters, Finch led the Panthers with 3.33 digs per set and was among the team leaders in kills per set (1.81) and service aces per set (0.35).

The Randolph, N.Y., native registered double-digit digs in 16 matches and posted a pair of double-doubles.

Thacker, a senior middle hitter, ranked second only to Platz in the conference with a .321 hitting percentage and averaged 1.84 kills per set. She was among the league leaders in blocks per set (0.56), solo blocks (16) and total blocks (52).

The Grove City, Ohio, native totaled six or more kills in 15 matches and hit .380 against AMCC opponents.

Roof received Coach of the Year honors for the first time in his career after guiding the Panthers to a record 25 wins. Predicted to finish seventh in the AMCC preseason poll, Pitt-Bradford went 9-0 against conference opponents and swept D’Youville and Penn State Altoona in the postseason tournament to capture the program’s second league championship.

Pitt-Bradford will face No. 1 Calvin College Thursday in the first round of the NCAA Division III tournament in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Evan Greening Tabbed AMCC Preseason Player of the Year

BRADFORD, Pa. - Pitt-Bradford men’s basketball player Evan Greening was named the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference Preseason Player of the Year, the league office announced Wednesday.

The Panthers as a team were picked to finish fifth in the coaches’ preseason poll. Penn State Behrend was predicted to win the league, followed by La Roche, Hilbert and Medaille.

Greening led the AMCC in scoring (20.5) and rebounding (11.6) a year ago as a junior and ranked third in NCAA Division III with 18 double-doubles. He was one of only four players in the conference to average a double-double last season.

Greening and senior Manny Welch are the only two starters back from a team that finished fifth in the AMCC in 2015-16 and advanced to the conference tournament semifinals.

It will be head coach Britt Moore’s sixth season at the helm. The Panthers have appeared in the conference postseason tournament each year under Moore, advancing to the semifinals twice.

Pitt-Bradford officially tips off the season next Tuesday at home against Buffalo State.

Panther Women Picked Second in AMCC Preseason Coaches' Poll

BRADFORD, Pa. - The Pitt-Bradford women’s basketball team was picked second in the AMCC preseason coaches’ poll, which was released Wednesday.

La Roche was predicted to repeat as conference champs, and Penn State Behrend was tabbed third behind Pitt-Bradford. Pitt-Greensburg and Mt. Aloysius rounded out the top five.

The Panthers return four starters from last year’s squad that advanced to the AMCC championship game for the first time since 2009-10, including all-conference selections Ali Rinfrette and Kaserra Owens.

Rinfrette led the league in scoring with 22 points a game, and Owens averaged 11 points and six rebounds per contest.

It will be head coach Sean Brown Sr.’s second season leading the program. The Panthers won 18 games a year ago, second-most in school history, and finished third in the AMCC standings before knocking off Behrend in the semifinals of the conference tournament.

Pitt-Bradford opens the season Friday, Nov. 18, versus Rutgers-Camden in the Jim Crawley Tournament in Frostburg, Md.

By Scott Elliott

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