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College Athletics Report: Iafallo helps UMD hockey reach Top 20

RISING ROOKIE — Alex Iafallo is enjoying a big freshman season for Minnesota-Duluth.
The University of Minnesota Duluth continued its second-half surge Feb. 1, by turning back host Western Michigan University 3 – 1. Freshman left winger Alex Iafallo of Eden scored what turned out to be the game-winning goal. UMD, which has suffered just one loss in its last nine outings improved to 12 – 9 – 3 overall and 7 – 6 – 1 – 1 in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference. Iafallo shares the team lead in scoring (19 points) and goals (10). He already became the conference’s first three-time rookie of the week honoree. The team cracked the latest USCHO.com top 20 poll for the first time in two months, checking in at No. 17.

SUNYIT’s Rich earns NEAC weekly honor

SUNY Institute of Technology’s Justin Rich of Hamburg earned the NEAC men’s volleyball Defensive Player of the Week Award, after a strong season-opening week for the Wildcats. The junior libero guided SUNYIT to a 3 – 1 record, during the team’s own invitational, as he totaled 28 digs while committing just one reception error and one ball handling error through 12 sets. He’s now third in the conference in total digs and second in digs per set after the first week of play.

Fredonia gets even with SUNYAC foes

For the second straight night (Feb. 1), the Fredonia State women’s basketball team avenged an early-season conference loss, taking down Oswego 89 – 78, after defeating Cortland the night before. Jaimie Warren of Lakeview had 17 points in the win over Oswego. In a 76-66 win over visiting Cortland on Friday, Warren got her third double-double in four games with 19 points and 13 rebounds. It was the Frontier High School graduate’s fifth-straight game with 10-plus rebounds.

Juniata wins tourney in Rochester

The Juniata men’s volleyball team improved to 8 – 1 on the season by sweeping competition at the Golden Flyer Invitational in Rochester on Saturday and Sunday (Feb. 1 – 2). They defeated No. 5 UC Santa Cruz (3 – 1) Saturday morning before upsetting host No. 2 Nazareth College (3 – 2), after dropping the first two sets of the match. Juniata closed out the Invite, sweeping Hilbert College to win the championship title. Among the highlights, senior Alex McColgin of Hamburg, combined with teammate Paul Kuhn, to lead the team with 33 kills.

Ratajczak becomes digs leader at Hilbert

Ryan Ratajczak became Hilbert College’s career dig leader over the weekend after his 16 dig performance in the Hawks’ 3 – 1 loss in the first match Feb. 2 of the at the Golden Flyer Invitational in Rochester against Thiel College. Later in the afternoon, he added six more tallies to his total against Juniata (8 – 1) to notch 626 career digs which pushed him past 2012 graduate Dan Wolfe.

The Hawks went 0 – 4 during the weekend at the tournament, hosted by Nazareth College. Hilbert faced three of the six AVCA Top 15 ranked teams in Division III men’s volleyball. Also of note, senior Adam Weaver became the first Hilbert men’s volleyball player to notch his 1,000th career kill, and freshman setter Adam Heftka moved into fifth place in the Hawks’ career assist category after notching 87 assists for the weekend.

Hawks men’s basketball improves to 16-3

Forcing 24 turnovers and eight blocked shots powered the Hilbert College men’s basketball team to a 71 – 56 win against Penn State Altoona on Feb. 1. Jalen Smith and Sean Weisansal each contributed 15 points in the win. Trevor Stark added 11 points and 7 assists. Jerame Owens swatted four shots and led the Hawks with 10 rebounds. Those boards moved him up to eighth all-time in school history. CJ Hodge tacked on five steals. Smith also had his hand on four steals. Hilbert, which improved to 16 – 3 overall and 11 – 2 in the AMCC, travelsed to Cazenovia College on Feb. 5 for its final non-league game. The Hawks are on the road for three games until their senior game on Feb. 15 at 1 p.m.

Hilbert falls short of Penn State Altoona

Despite the efforts of Kylie Reinholz and Natalie Whitman, Hilbert College fell 86 – 62 to Penn State Altoona on Feb. 1 in women’s basketball. Whitman scored 16 points and added 14 rebounds. She sank 5 of 9 from the floor and went 6 for 10 from the charity stripe. Reinholz added 15 points and 8 rebounds, as did Kateland Ball, who had a strong game, also with 3 assists and 5 points. Emily Speidel added 10 points, hitting 50 percent of her shots from beyond the arc.


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