21 Student-Athletes make their college choices official

21 Mechanicsburg student-athletes made their college choices official on Wednesday, February 13 during the annual Signing Day.  See below for the complete list.  Congratulations!

Last NameFirst NameSportSchool
LukerKarliSoccerPenn State Berks
MorefieldAnnieField HockeyHarvard


Coons opens D3 Tournament with 2 Wins, Advances to Semifinals

Article by Jeff Dewees, The Patriot-News/Photo by Chris Knight, The Patriot-News

For the full article, click here.

Saturday proved to be an afternoon of redemption for Mechanicsburg tennis ace Nicole Coons at the District 3 tournament in Hershey.

Five days after losing the Mid-Penn Conference singles title to Hershey’s Libby Nolan, Coons won both her matches at the D-3 Class AAA singles tournament at Hershey Racquet Club to reach Monday’s semifinals, where she’ll play top-seeded Katie Wagner of Susquehannock.

Coons handily beat Mid-Penn Keystone rival Morgan Asmrud of Northern 6-2, 6-1 in the first round Saturday before dispatching upstart freshman Ali Snyder of Exeter 6-3, 7-5.

Coons was a different player than the one who took the court at CD East last Tuesday. It may have been as simple as laying down some early winners, and thereby regaining some of the confidence that was shaken a bit last week. Her forehand was sharp, with bite, and balls that were flying long against Nolan at East found their mark with sink on HRC’s indoor surface. She also mixed up her shots and placements, something that was largely missing from her game last Tuesday.

In any event, Coons is playing Monday, with a shot. That’s all you can ask for.

“Today, I decided to be aggressive but patient,” Coons said. “I decided to mix up pace. I didn’t want to hit every ball hard, because I noticed a lot of players were standing behind the baseline against me. So I was throwing in drop shots, mixing pace, slicing some, and that really made a difference.”

Exeter’s Snyder dumped the fourth-seeded Nolan from the field in the first round with surprisingly one-sided 6-1, 6-2 verdict. Afterwards, Nolan admitted it was mentally tough to gear back up for districts after accomplishing her preseason goal of winning Mid-Penns.

“My match with Nicole, I was very ready; I knew what I had to do,” Nolan said. “I was focused. … The MPCs were my goal. But I don’t really get upset about too much. … Today, Ali did really well. I just wasn’t ready.”

Nolan’s season is not over, as she will spearhead top-ranked Hershey’s effort in the AAA team semifinals on Tuesday.

Girls Tennis downs Lower Dauphin

Article by Jeff Dewees, The Patriot-News

For the full article, click here.

Lower Dauphin’s Romayne Sharp gave it every last ounce she had. But Mechanicsburg’s Nicole Coons showed the determination of a champion.

Coons, the defending Mid-Penn Conference singles champ, battled back from a first-set loss to overcome Sharp 5-7, 6-3, 6-1 in a 2-hour, 48-minute marathon at No. 1 singles.

The match provided the deciding point in Mechanicsburg’s 3-2 win over Lower Dauphin in a Keystone Division contest Monday afternoon.

Coons hadn’t played in week due to a pulled stomach muscle. Trying the shed the rustiness, she couldn’t have come upon a worse matchup than Sharp, who clung to the baseline and proved to be a human backboard by getting nearly everything back no matter the spin, placement or velocity.

“That’s my game, that’s what I tried,” Sharp said. “I wanted this more than anything. She just started making really good shots and she just took it.”

Down 4-5 in the first set, Sharp won an epic game that last nearly 15 minutes to tie it at 5, then quickly closed out a frustrated Coons — who admittedly got caught up in her opponent’s game — to win the opener.

Sharp held serve to open the second set, then broke Coons to go up 2-0. It was then that Coons shed the frustration and began to show the resolve.

“I told myself that if I was going to be in a losing match, that I was going to go down playing my game and not get sucked into hers,” Coons said. “I just stuck with it and thought that as long as I kept hitting it, things were going to go my way. Every day you go out it’s not going to be perfect, but it’s learning how to deal with it on a given day. There’s a time and place to play defense, but today wasn’t that day.”

Coons finally overtook Sharp at 4-3 in the second, then swiftly rolled it downhill. She won eight of the next nine games to win her match, and the team’s.

“I knew Nicole could it, but coming off of her injury this was the first I’d seen her play,” Mechanicsburg coach Linda Till said. “You have to give credit to Romayne. She is one heck of a fighter. … It’s a typical match with LD. Always a tough match.”

The Falcons tied the team score at 2-2 — setting the focus on top singles — when Ariana Iantosca and Emmalee Reese beat Doha Taguoma and Fiona Sweeney 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 at second doubles.

Mechanicsburg’s Katy Pritsch beat Heather Grove 6-2, 6-4 at No. 3 singles, while promising LD freshman Jordan Schaefer knocked off veteran Brooke Keefer 6-4, 6-4 at second singles.

No. 1 doubles went Mechanicsburg’s way, with Lauren Bell and Annie Lefever topping Cassidy Fletcher and Bryana Melnic 6-2, 6-3.

2012 – 2013 Athletic Physical Information

Girls Tennis: Mechanicsburg’s Nicole Coons wins Mid-Penn AAA title

Article by Jeff Dewees, The Patriot-News

For the full article, click here.

GETTYSBURG – Hershey senior Alex Oggero had the experience, but Nicole Coons brought the fortitude.

Mechanicsburg’s junior ace — in only her third full season of competitive tennis — rallied from a set down Monday to capture the Mid-Penn Conference Class AAA No. 1 singles title 3-6, 6-2 -6-2 at Gettysburg College.

It was the first conference title match appearance for both. Coons is Mechanicsburg’s first singles champ since Slovakian exchange student Jarmila Petercakova won Mid-Penn and District 3 crowns in 2008.

The contest was a streaky affair full of long baseline rallies that tested the stamina of both players. Coons jumped out to a 3-0 first set lead before Oggero rallied to win six straight and the set. Coons responded to that by winning the first five games of the second set before clamping down to even it up at 1 set apiece.

The final set featured even more long, tense baseline rallies with little net play. But Coons broke Oggero three times, including the final service game, to capture gold.

“I just never gave up the whole match, because I wanted it more than anything, and I wasn’t going to let it slip away that easy,” said Coons, no stranger to endurance — she plays soccer for the Wildcats in the spring. “I just kept the intensity up and didn’t get caught up in her game. I made her play mine.”

Oggero entered the AAA final with a 14-0 record and the No. 1 seed in the bracket. Coons was right behind her, seeded second with a 13-1 mark.

The level of quality was evident from the start Monday.

“That was one of the longest finals since I’ve been coaching,” Mechanicsburg coach Linda Till said, who has been in charge of the program for nine years. “Nicole had it in her mind, even early on in the season, that this is what she wanted. She worked hard for it. She practiced hard for it. And she deserved it.

“Alex is a wonderful player. Maybe even a bit more consistent than Nicole. Nicole is more of an aggressive player. She needed to play her aggressive game and stay with it, stay confident in it.”

Northern’s Lauren Berry captured No. 2 singles gold with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Libby Nolan of Hershey, while Chambersburg’s Mandy Bell defeated the Trojans’ Adriana von Rago 6-4, 7-5 at No. 3.

Lower Dauphin had a spectacular day in doubles competition. The Falcons swept all three brackets: the new doubles district qualifier(an offshoot of the 3-2 no-repeats format in Mid-Penn, where top double teams compete for spots in the District 3 bracket), first doubles and second doubles.

Kailynn Dunkle and Shelby Jones beat Chambersburg’s Abby Jacobs and Mandy Bell 6-1, 6-2 in the district bracket; Meredith Endy and Allison Lobell won No. 1 doubles, and Romayne Sharp and Heather Grove captured second doubles.

“I’m very pleased,” LD coach Peggy Long said. “It was one of their goals. The teams worked hard, stayed with their goals and accomplished it. … It makes me proud of the time they put in. It’s a process, a several-years process, so winning that puts into place the puzzle pieces and finishes the puzzle for us.”

In a Class AA district qualifying playback at Harrisburg Academy, HA’s Claire Gianakas defeated Trinity’s Monica Hunter 6-2, 6-1 to clinch a berth in the upcoming D-3 tournament at Hershey Racquet Club.

Girls Tennis: Mechanicsburg trips Cumberland Valley 4-1

Article by Jeff Dewees, The Patriot-News

For the full article, click here.

Mechanicsburg swept singles and split doubles to claim a 4-1 win over Cumberland Valley on Monday in a Mid-Penn Conference divisional crossover match in girls’ tennis.

Host CV was without No. 1 singles player Sami Larsen, which forced coach Nick Mallos to move everyone up a slot. The Eagles acquitted themselves well on the fly, especially at top singles, where Sydney Banach was forced to go against Wildcats ace Nicole Coons. Coons emerged with a 6-2, 6-4 victory, but Banach made her work for it.

“I had never played her and had no idea what to expect,” Coons said. “She was really good and got everything back. I knew I would have to hit perfect shots to beat her.”

CV’s Chloe Gouse gave Brooke Keefer a tussle at No. 2 before succumbing 0-6, 6-4, 3-6. Paige Behr was forced into singles action for the first time all season. She fell to Mechanicsburg’s Lauren Bell at No. 3 by a 7-6, 6-3 score.

“The kids played well,” Mallos said. “I thought it was a good match. Mechanicsburg has a nice group of girls. I was pleased with it. [Banach] played real tough. I was pleased with the way she played, and she was pleased, and Chloe did a nice job coming back in three sets.”

Mechanicsburg’s squad depth was on full display Monday. That has coach Linda Till looking forward to the postseason, which gets underway Friday with the first day of the Mid-Penn tournament at Gettysburg College.

She expects to see Coons, and her No. 1 doubles squad of Katie Pritche and Audrey Runkle — who won 7-5, 6-0 over Arianna Freeman and Liza Musayelyan — draw favorable slots at the conference seedings meeting Thursday night.

“You know, there are a lot of tough players out there,” Till said. “Generally, I think the skill level has improved over the last couple years, which is nice to see.”

CV’s Avery Bowers and Jen Ushakov captured the Eagles’ only team point, at No. 2 doubles, with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Eve Allen and Alexis Hoffman.

Girls Tennis: Hershey trips Mechanicsburg 4-1

Article by Jeff Dewees, The Patriot-News

For the full article, click here.

The Hershey Trojans girls’ tennis squad keep rolling along. Even the flooded-out destruction of the squad’s home outdoor courts hasn’t dampened their on-court performance.

The defending Mid-Penn Conference and Keystone Division champions moved indoors Tuesday to host Mechanicsburg at Hershey Racquet Club in a pivotal Keystone clash, and the Trojans took all three singles courts to remain unbeaten with a 4-1 team match victory.

“I try not to put too much pressure on the girls,” Hershey head coach Cindy Wolfong said. “Every match is a tough match. I told them today was gonna be a tough one and not to take it too lightly. The match could have flipped.”

Hershey (5-0, 2-0 Keystone) got strong performances from Libby Nolan and Adriana von Rago at Nos. 2 and 3 singles, both winning in straight sets. Nolan defeated Brooke Keefer 6-4, 6-0, while von Rago topped Lauren Bell 6-4, 6-2.

“Libby played very well,” Wolfong said. “She ran the player around and her serve was very consistent. You could tell by her posture on the court. …Adriana did very well. She didn’t have her footing early but she found it. I’m very proud of all of them.”

When the Trojans picked up the win at No. 2 doubles — a 6-0, 6-2 win for Mackenzie Klinger and Alex Muscalus over Mechanicsburg’s Alexis Hoffman and Eve Allen — that clinched the match. It cleared the decks for what proved to be a riveting clash between Hershey’s Alex Oggero and Mechanicsburg’s Nicole Coons at top singles.

A scant 3 hours and 10 minutes after it began, Oggero emerged the winner by a 6-7 (5), 6-3, 7-5 score. It was a tenacious, grueling affair. Coons jumped out early in the first set 5-2, then held on in the tiebreak; lost the second set, then got out to a 4-1 third-set lead before Hershey’s senior leader roared back to take the match.

“I was really happy with the way I played,” Coons said in defeat. “It was a long match, but I played my game. I would rather go down playing my game and make her play my game. I’ll take the loss and work on it for next time.”

Mechanicsburg’s victory came at No. 1 doubles, where Katy Pritsch and Audrey Runkle outlasted Corrine Lippe and Julia Hennrikus 6-4, 1-6, 6-2.


Lift for Life Set for March 5

Lift for Life is the signature event of “Uplifting Athletes,” a nonprofit organization created by Penn State Football student-athletes.  Their mission is to align college football with rare diseases and recognize them as a national priority.  MASH students have joined the effort of the Penn State chapter to raise money and promote awareness for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of kidney cancer. This rare disease has directly affected several staff members at MASH in recent years.  Don Shirley, the inspiration behind the Lift for Life initiative, lost his decade long battle with kidney cancer in October, 2006.  His death has strengthened our resolve to continue his work. All proceeds raised by the Lift for Life event benefit the Kidney Cancer Association.  Since 2003, over $300,000 has been raised for this cause, and as a result, a number of new breakthroughs have been developed in the fight against this deady disease.  The Lift for Life competition consists of an eleven-event competition, wherefour-member male or female teams compete.  The exercises vary from traditional fitness and lifting activities such as the bench press, to more extreme challenges, such as the giant tire flip.  We are inviting you to join us in the fight against kidney cancer.

For more information, please contact Clay McAllister or Tony Lougee.