Royal Review: January 23-29

Royal Review: January 23-29

Wrestling (14-1)

The University of Scranton wrestling team won twice during the week to improve to 14-1 and set the program's single-season record for victories. The previous record of 13 was set in the 1980-81 season when the Royals went 13-4.

Scranton tied the record with a 30-13 win over Muhlenberg on Senior Night in the Long Center on Tuesday, Jan. 24. Scranton won six of the 10 matches, including back-to-back pins to start the match from junior Nicholas DePierro (Manalapan, N.J./Freehold) and Nicholas Ciaccia (Freehold, N.J./Howell). Senior Ian Evans (Laurys Station, Pa./Parkland), who was honored before the match, earned a 9-0 major decision at 157 pounds, junior Zachary D'Apolito (Wayne, N.J./Wayne Valley Senior) had an 11-0 major decision at 174 pounds, and senior Salvatore Montuori (Clark, N.J./Arthur L. Johnson) picked up an 11-3 major decision at 285 pounds.

The Royals set the record on Sunday, Jan. 29, with a 38-12 win at Penn College of Technology in Williamsport, Pa. DePierro opened the match with his 12th pin of the season, freshman Nathaniel Cohen (Port Jervis, N.Y./Port Jervis) had a pin at 157, and sophomore Daniel D'Agostini (Allentown, Pa./Allentown Central Catholic) had a pin at 184. Freshman Brandon Altieri (West Newton, Mass./Newton North) also had a decision at 141 pounds, and the Royals were the beneficiaries of three forfeits.

Scranton will look to add to its school record for wins when it competes in the Wilkes Duals on Sunday, Feb. 5, at 11 a.m. in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

Men's Basketball (14-5, 6-2 Landmark)

The men's basketball team went 2-0 during the week and is in a three-way tie for first place in the Landmark Conference with six games remaining.

On Wednesday, Jan. 25, head coach Carl Danzig earned the 300th victory of his career as the Royals dominated Drew, 64-39, on the road. The 39 points allowed were the least allowed by Scranton this season and the fourth-lowest total by an opponent in Danzig's 16 seasons as head coach.

Senior center John Vitkus (Mahopac, N.Y./Mahopac) led the way with 20 points and seven rebounds in the win at Drew. Junior guard Mitch Cross (Marriottsville, Md./Loyola-Blakefield) added 12 points on four 3-pointers.

On Saturday, Jan. 28, the Royals rolled to their third straight win, 81-48, over Elizabethtown in the Long Center. Vitkus again led the way, scoring 18 points, pulling down six rebounds and handing out five assists. Junior guard Ethan Danzig (Clarks Green, Pa./Abington Heights) hit five 3-pointers on his way to 15 points, and junior forward Drew Schankweiler (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Mechanicsburg) and freshman guard Kyle DeVerna (Rockville Centre, N.Y./Kellenberg Memorial) had 10 points each.

The Royals will be back in action on Wednesday, Feb. 1, when they go on the road for a Landmark Conference game against Moravian at 7 p.m. in Bethlehem, Pa.

Women's Basketball (17-2, 6-2 Landmark)

The University of Scranton women's basketball team – ranked seventh in the and eighth in the WBCA Coaches' Top 25 polls – went 1-1 on the week, knocking off Drew on Wednesday night (71-45), while falling to Elizabethtown (61-55) on Saturday in a pair of Landmark Conference games inside the John Long Center.

On Wednesday night, the Lady Royals used to a strong second quarter to pull away from the visiting Rangers, as a 20-8 run in the frame gave Scranton a 35-19 lead at halftime. Sophomore guard Bridgette Mann (Canadensis, Pa./Wallenpaupack) and senior forward Sarah Payonk (Schwenksville, Pa./Spring-Ford) led the Lady Royals in the victory, scoring 14 points apiece. Payonk posted a double-double with 12 rebounds, to go with six assists while shooting 5-of-6 from the floor. Mann, meanwhile, had five rebounds and dished out four assists in the victory.

Elsewhere, freshman Sofia Recupero (Whitestone, N.Y./Saint Francis Prep) had nine points off the bench (on 3-of-3 shooting from the floor), while senior forward Alexix Roman (Hawley, Pa./Wallenpaupack) chipped in with eight points and pulled down seven rebounds. Junior guard Katie O'Reilly (Montville, N.J./Montville) ended the game with seven points, all of which came in the first half.

On Saturday against Elizabethtown, the visiting Blue Jays came out on top, as they held off a late Scranton rally in the fourth quarter to notch a six-point victory. Payonk led the Lady Royals, scoring 17 points and adding down nine rebounds and six assists. Fellow senior forward Alexix Roman (Hawley, Pa./Wallenpaupack) had 10 points and pulled down seven rebounds, while senior Denise Rizzo (Paramus, N.J./Holy Angels) chipped in with 10 points off the bench.

The University of Scranton women's basketball team returns to action on Wednesday, hosting Moravian in a Landmark Conference match-up inside the John Long Center. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.

Women's Swimming & Diving (8-2)

The University of Scranton women's swimming & diving team finished the dual meet portion of its 2016-17 schedule on Saturday at Susquehanna, as the host Riverhawks were able to defeat the Royals, 170.5-107.5.

On the day, junior Raquel Wasserman (Pound Ridge, N.Y./The Fox Lane) finished off a banner regular season with a victory in the 100-backstroke, taking the event over teammate sophomore Susan Neggia (Fair Lawn, N.J./Immaculata Heart Academy) by almost a full second at 1:02.68.

In the lone diving event of the day, senior Katelyn Green (Sellersville, Pa./Pennridge) was victorious, finishing with 161.48 points in the one-meter dive.

The final event of the afternoon was the 400-medley relay, and Scranton's team of senior Emma Sommers (Bridgewater, N.J./Bridgewater-Raritan), sophomores Emma Ilseman (Naperville, Ill./Naperville Central) and Susannah Ilseman (Naperville, Ill./Naperville Central), and freshman Riva Kelly (Bogota, N.J./Teaneck) was victorious, hitting the wall in 3:48.29 to win the event by almost eight seconds.

The University of Scranton women's swimming & diving team will now take the next two weeks off in preparation for the Landmark Conference Championships in Germantown, Md. on Feb. 17-19.

Men's Swimming & Diving (4-5)

In their final dual meet of the 2016-17 season, The University of Scranton men's swimming & diving team fell to host Susquehanna, 162-109, on Saturday.

On the day, the host Riverhawks were able to win every individual swimming event, but Scranton was able to finish the swimming portion of the meet on a high note as the Royals 400-medley relay team of sophomore Daniel Muenkel (Hopewell Junction, N.Y./Arlington Senior), and freshmen Alexander Rigione (Fairfield, Conn./Saint Joseph), Timothy Quigley (Hatboro, Pa./Archbishop Wood), and Raymond Diorio (Warren, N.J./Watchung Hills) won the event in 3:26.54.

On the diving board, freshman Michael Diana (Somerset, N.J./Immaculata-Somerville) was also victorious on the day, taking the one-meter dive with a final score of 173.48.

The University of Scranton men's swimming & diving team will now take the next two weeks off in preparation for the 2017 Landmark Conference Championships in Germantown, Md., on Feb. 17-19. 

This Week in University of Scranton Athletics

Wednesday, Feb. 1
Men's basketball – at Moravian (7 p.m.)
Women's basketball – vs. Moravian (7 p.m.)

Saturday, Feb. 4
Women's basketball – at Juniata (2 p.m.)
Men's basketball – at Juniata (4 p.m.)

Sunday, Feb. 5
Wrestling – at Wilkes Duals (11 a.m.)


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