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Samarco fares well on Penn State Behrend volleyball team

Michael Love

Alyssa Samarco, a Plum graduate, had a strong sophomore season as an outside hitter for the Penn State-Behrend women’s volleyball team.

Samarco helped the Lions make it to the AMCC semifinals before the fifth-seed suffered a 3-2 loss to No. 1 Penn State-Altoona on Saturday.

In the semifinal match, she hit .312 with 19 kills on 48 attempts. She also added 10 digs, three aces and three blocks.

Samarco and her Behrend teammates were successful in the quarterfinals on Nov. 5 with a sweep of No. 4 Pitt-Bradford.

The Lions avenged a close 3-2 loss to the Panthers from earlier in the season.

Samarco posted her eighth straight double-double and 21st overall this season with 10 kills and 17 digs.

Behrend finished the 2014 season 19-12 and were 5-4 in the AMCC during the regular season.

Samarco earned AMCC Player of the Week honors for women’s volleyball three times.

She earned honors on Oct. 14 after putting up big numbers in five matches the previous week. She averaged 3.94 kills and 4.56 digs per set and recorded four double-doubles in the five matches.

Samarco also was named the conference POY for women’s volleyball on Sept. 30 after averaging 4.0 digs and 3.07 kills per set in a 3-1 week for the Lions.

She posted three double-doubles, including 22 digs and 17 kills in a 3-2 win over Mt. Aloysius on Sept. 27.

Samarco’s first conference honor came after an early-season stretch that saw her earn MVP recognition at the University of Rochester Invitational.

She had three double-doubles, averaging 3.71 kills and 3.0 digs per set. She only committed 10 errors in 14 sets played and added six aces and three blocks.

Samarco played in 116 sets over 31 matches and finished with a team-best 377 kills, an average of 3.25 per set.

She also was second on the team in digs with 455, an average of 3.92 per set, and had a team-high 51 aces.

Alan Yocca

Plum’s Alan Yocca, a freshman on the Penn State Behrend men’s cross country team, earned All-Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference honors after placing eighth at the conference championship meet Nov. 1 at Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio.

The team captured its fourth straight league title and eighth title overall. It recorded a perfect team score of 15, placing the top five runners.

All seven Behrend runners placed in the top 12, showing the team depth that has helped them to success all season.

Yocca’s time at the AMCC meet was 27:47, while another area graduate, Ian Griffith, a freshman from Franklin Regional, took 12th (28:06).

Yocca, Griffith and the rest of the Behrend men’s team will test their mettle at an NCAA Regional meet, hosted by Franciscan, on Nov. 15.

The Lions runners also hope to be in the mix at the NCAA championships, set for Nov. 22 in Mason, Ohio.

Dylan Kondis

The sophomore place kicker on the Mercyhurst football team was pretty busy in Saturday’s 59-49 victory over PSAC foe California University of Pennsylvania.

Kondis kicked a 29-yard field goal, connected on all eight of his extra points and kicked off 10 times with two touchbacks.

The Lakers improved to 6-4 overall and 6-3 in the PSAC.

Kondis saw action in all 10 games and successfully converted all 43 of his extra-point attempts. He has added four field goals in six attempts, with his long of 30 achieved twice — once at Gannon on Oct. 11 and another one against Slippery Rock in a 45-23� victory at Michigan Stadium on Oct. 18.

Kondis has accounted for 55 total points, ranking him first on the team in scoring by a 13-point margin.

He also got the opportunity to punt the football. He did that four times for a 37.8 average.

Kondis and the rest of the Mercyhurst squad close out the 2014 season at home Saturday at noon against Shippensburg.

Ronit Yurovsky

Plum graduate Ronit Yurovsky wrapped up her fall 2014 tennis season by representing Michigan at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association National Championships in Flushing, N.Y.

She dropped her first singles match in the main draw on Friday, but she came back to make a run to the semifinals of the consolation bracket.

Yurovsky, seeded No. 21, went 2-1 in the consolation draw, and the run was highlighted by a three-set win (6-2, 5-7, 6-4) over No. 15 Zoe Scandalis from Southern California University.

Her tournament run ended Saturday with a 7-5, 7-5 loss to Florida’s Josie Kuhlman.

Yurovsky punched her ticket to nationals with a runner-up finish at the ITA Midwest Regional Championships on Oct. 21 in Champaign, Ill.

Her teammate, senior Emina Bektas, got the better of Yurovsky, 4-6, 6-1, 6-1, in the championship match.

It was a rematch of last year’s championship match won by Yurovsky in three sets.

Yurovsky compiled a 9-6 overall singles record this fall, and she was 5-3 in doubles matches.

Yurovsky and her Michigan teammates return to competition in January at the annual Michigan Invitational from Jan. 17 to 19.

Michael Love is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-388-5825 or at [email protected].


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