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College Athletics Report: Kolczynski helps Buffalo State breaks relay marks

Alison Kolczynski and her relay teammates focus in as they compete in a record-breaking season finale for Buffalo State.

Fred Sickau of Eden gets up high at the net during a volley for Hilbert in a recent match. The Hawks are 4-11 this season. (Photo courtesy of Ron Larson)

The Buffalo State women’s swimming and diving team broke five school records at the SUNYAC Championship meet held recently at ECC’s Flickinger Aquatic Center. Buffalo State just finished a challenging season with the school pool being closed for construction this year and next season, too, so the athletes have been practicing at a middle school near the campus and did not host any home meets.

Senior Kaitlin Mergler broke her own previously set record in the 200 free with a time of 1:55.12. Freshman Alison Kolczynski, a 2012 graduate of Frontier High School, teamed up with her, sophomore Jenny Strom and senior Caitlin Barber to set new school records in the 200 free relay (1:40.48), 400 free relay (4:42.32), and 800 free relay (8:03.58). Kolczynski, Mergler, Strom and freshman Sarah Exposito also broke the current Buffalo State record in the 400 medley relay (4:12.05). Kolczynski also posted personal best times in three individual events — the 200, 500 and 1650 freestyle events.

Kolczynski, who swam four years as a Falcon, noted the college swim season is more demanding than the high school level. Practice is much more rigorous and the season twice as long. Now that the 2012-2013 season is over she plans to continue training for July’s “Tough Mudder” obstacle course adventure challenge to help raise funds for the “Wounded Warrior Project.”

Evans swims to All-SUNYAC Second Team

Cortland State senior Jessica Evans of Hamburg earned 2013 SUNYAC women’s swimming and diving all-conference second team. The SUNYAC swimming and diving champions in each individual event earned a spot on the all-conference first team. The athletes who placed second and third in individual events are recognized on the All-SUNYAC Second Team.

ECC’s Mueller honored by Region III in hockey

Among the Erie County College hockey team members honored by Region III was sophomore forward Eric Mueller of Hamburg, who finished with 36 points (16 goals and 20 assists) in 19 contests and was named as a second team all-star. The Kats, the nation’s fourth-ranked team, saw their season end Feb. 23 with an 8-1 loss to top-ranked Monroe CC in the NJCAA semifinals held in Rochester. ECC finished the season 13-8.

Hilbert men’s basketball lands four major honors

Four major honors were bestowed upon the 2012-23 regular season conference champion Hilbert men’s basketball team when the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference gave out its awards on Feb. 26.

Hilbert head coach Rob deGrandpre was honored as the Coach of the Year, while senior Dan McFarland repeated as an All-AMCC First Team selection and was joined in that honor by fellow senior Anthony Hodge. Also, Jerame Owens earned the Co-Newcomer of the Year award, as well as a slot on the third team.

deGrandpre earned his first Coach of the Year Award after 11 seasons at the helm of Hilbert. The 2012-13 Hawks earned the program’s first 20-win season and the program’s first ever top seed in the AMCC Tournament. This marked the fifth season that deGrandpre led his Hawks to the championship weekend, having earned the four seed each previous year. Hilbert fell to Medaille in the tournament semifinal.

McFarland helped carry the Hawks with his all-around stellar play. The 6-foot-2 southpaw finished his senior year ranked in the Top 10 in nine of the AMCC basketball statistical categories. He was seventh with a 14-point average and 6.6 rebounds per game, fourth with a 3.3 assist average and eighth with 1.5 steals per game. Even though he was a guard, McFarland averaged 2.5 offensive rebounds a game, which ranked fourth. This marks the third time McFarland has been named to the all-conference team. He also was a second team selection in 2010-11.

Hodge, competing in his first full-season as a Hawk, turned heads all year with his quickness, tenacity and ability to elevate over defenders for good looks at the rim. Hodge and McFarland were the only players in the AMCC to rank in the Top 10 in both scoring and assists per game. Hodge averaged 16.7 points, which was third highest in the league, and his 2.8 assists per game placed him in the 10th spot. At 5-foot-8, he led the Hawks in scoring 15 times but it was his quick hands and feet that gained him recognition as he led the conference with 2.5 steals per game.

Owens didn’t take long to figure out he could hold his own in the paint even as a freshman. By early January, the 6-foot-7 rookie was inserted into the starting lineup and finished the season ranked second in the conference in rebounding with 8.9 per game and third in blocks averaging 1.6. He was also seventh in field goal percentage (.525) and 16th in scoring (11.4 points). Owens, who collected 10 double-doubles, becomes the second Hilbert player to be awarded the Newcomer plaque.

Whitman named to AMCC All-Conference team

Hilbert’s Natalie Whitman earned a spot on the All-Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference Third Team during the team’s three-win campaign. The junior forward averaged 13.6 points and 8.8 rebounds, which ranked her as one of the Top 10 conference performers. Whitman earned nine double-doubles this year and her most impressive game was in the Hawks’ road win over Cazenovia when she scored 21 points and grabbed 21 rebounds.

Warren named All-SUNYAC

Fredonia State junior Jaimie Warren of Lake View was recently named to the All-State University of New York Athletic Conference Third Team for women’s basketball. The Frontier High School graduate was second on the Devils and fourth in the SUNYAC in scoring at 13.2 points per game and led Fredonia with 7.8 rebounds per game, 55 assists, 54 steals, 13 blocks and 32 three pointers. She also led the conference in free-throw percentage and ranked 36th nationally, converting at an 83.5 percent success rate.

Alguire helps ECC women win NJCAA bowling title

The Erie Community College women’s bowling team won the program’s 28th NJCAA Bowling Invitational Championship on Saturday (March 2) at the Thruway Lanes. ECC topped runner-up Iowa Central CC by 469 pins. The Kats’ team of Liz Szpara and Alicia Alguire of Angola were second in doubles during Friday’s action.

Hilbert spikers ranked

Even with a 4-11 overall record, Hilbert continues to have individual success at the NCAA Division III men’s volleyball level. As of Feb. 26, junior Adam Weaver holds down the top spot for the second week in a row in kills per set, averaging 4.38 kills. The outside hitter is also ranked seventh in service aces per set (0.53) with 25; 20th in hitting percentage (0.327) and 48th in digs per set (2.06). Sophomore Ryan Ratajczak is fifth with 3.06 digs per set and sophomore David Mellerski sits at 26th with 7.89 assists per set.


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