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Football: Defending PAC Champions Westminster Picked First in PAC Preseason Poll

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

LATROBE, Pa. – The reigning Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) Champions Westminster College football team was picked to finish first in the PAC for the 2021 season. 

The league's preseason poll, as voted on by PAC head coaches, sports information directors, and media panel in attendance, was announced this afternoon at the PAC Football Media Day, hosted by Saint Vincent.
 
Westminster collected 21 first-place votes and totaled 316 points to headline the poll. 
 
"We are honored and humbled to be picked preseason number one. I believe that distinction is more of a reward for our spring season. Moving forward and preparing for the 2021 fall season is our team's main focus. We are eager to compete," said eighth-year head coach Scott Benzel.  
 
Joining Benzel at PAC Media Day Tuesday was Preseason All-American senior linebacker Ian Barr (State College, PA / State College).  
 
"I'm very excited (about being picked No. 1 in the preseason) and it shows that our work is being recognized. I can't wait to go out and prove why we got that ranking." 
 
Barr joined seniors defensive end Brayden Thimons (Natrona Heights, PA / Highlands), safety Bryce Thomas (Saint Marys, GA / Camden County), quarterback Cole Konieczka (Coraopolis, PA / Moon Area), and Frank Antuono (New Castle, PA / Neshannock), along with junior center Devin Little (Beaver Falls, PA / Beaver Falls) on the "PAC Players to Watch" list.  
 
Westminster, nationally ranked No. 12, will open its season hosting No. 1 Mount Union on Saturday, September 4 at 1 p.m. 

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Dr. Jean Hale shares why she chose Westminster

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Last month, Westminster College warmly welcomed Dr. Jean Hale to her new role as Vice President of Institutional Advancement. This month, she dove deeper in a Q&A session about why she chose Westminster, the "pivots" in her life that have shaped her, and what she likes to do when she's not hard at work in Old Main.

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Westminster to host COVID-19 vaccination clinic

Monday, August 2, 2021

Westminster College, in partnership with Primary Health Network (PHN), will hold a COVID-19 vaccination clinic from 9 to 11 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 24, at the Wellness Center, located in Shaw Hall on the College’s campus.

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Swimming and Diving: Titans earn CSCAA Scholar All-American Team honors

Thursday, July 22, 2021

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The Westminster College men's and women's swimming and diving teams both earned College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) Scholar All-America Team honors.
 
The Titan women earned a 3.41 GPA, while the Titan men had a 3.35 GPA. Westminster was under the guidance of fifth-year Head Coach Pat Smith. This marked the 58th time for the women and 36th for the men, respectively, earning this distinguished honor dating back to 1989. 
 
The CSCAA honors programs with the Scholar All-America Team award for achieving a team GPA of 3.0 or higher for the semester. Selections were made based on program's spring grade-point average (GPA). 

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Westminster College to host alumni, community pet show in August

Thursday, July 22, 2021

This summer, pet owners will have the “paw-fect” opportunity to show off their four-legged—or no-legged—friends at the Westminster College Pet Show at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 14, at the Anderson Amphitheater on Westminster’s campus.

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Ward and Mika named PAC Scholar-Athletes of the Year

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. – Seniors Erin Ward (Euclid, OH/Lake Catholic) and Cameron Mika (Apollo, PA/Kiski Area) represented Westminster College as 2020-21 Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) Scholar-Athletes of the Year. 
 
A four-year letter winner with both the Westminster track and field and cross country teams, Erin earned All-PAC First Team honors three times in indoor and twice in outdoor. In total, she was a nine-time PAC track and field champion – winning the 800-meter run three times and competing as a key member of championship relays four times. An Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) indoor Division III champion in the 800 in 2019, Erin was an integral part of three PAC team championships (2019 and 2020 indoor, 2021 outdoor). Additionally, she earned ECAC Division III Track Athlete of the Month as a junior. Erin holds three school records: indoor 800 (2:16.87), outdoor 800 (2:18.64), and outdoor 1500 (4:48.89). She was named cross country's Team MVP as a senior. An environmental science major, Erin boasted a cumulative grade-point average of 3.75. She was on the Dean's List multiple times and was a PAC Academic Honor Roll recipient. Erin was a Helen B. Ferguson Environmental Science Award recipient and a Pittcon Analytical Conference Research presenter.
 
Cameron was a three-time All-PAC offensive lineman selection, claiming First Team honors as a senior. A four-year starter with the Titan football team, Westminster compiled an overall record of 27-10 (.729) and a 22-7 (.758) PAC record during Cameron's career. He was a starter for the school's first PAC Championship team (2020-21) and the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Clayton Chapman Bowl champions. As a junior, Cameron helped Westminster set a new school record for points per game during an 11-game schedule (37.45) and helped command an offense that led the PAC in scoring (37.7 points per game) and total touchdowns (53). An accounting major, Cameron earned a cumulative grade-point average of 3.87. He recently earned College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Division III Academic All-America® Second Team honors. Cameron was named to Westminster's Dean's List multiple times and was a PAC Academic Honor Roll selection. He was a 2021 National Football Foundation (NFF) Hampshire Society member and earned the PICPA Outstanding Senior Accountant Award. Additionally, Cameron was a semifinalist for 2020 NFF William V. Campbell Trophy. He also represented Westminster on the 2020-21 PAC Sportsmanship Team.
 
The PAC launched Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2014 as another way to recognize the league's student-athletes for their athletic achievements, excellence in the classroom and outstanding efforts in and around their campus and home communities. 
 
For more Westminster Athletics news, go to westminster.edu/athletics

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Volleyball: Titans earn AVCA Team Academic Award for eighth-straight year

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Westminster College volleyball team earned the United States Marine Corps/American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Team Academic Award for the 2020-21 academic year, the Titans' eighth-straight year (ninth overall) of earning this distinguished honor. 

"Even though teams might not have played during their usual season or may not have competed at all during the past year, coaches still found ways to lead their players to academic excellence," said AVCA Executive Director Kathy DeBoer. "This is a testament to the important role volleyball coaches play in their players success both on and off the court." 
 
The award, initiated in the 1992-93 academic year, honors volleyball teams that maintain a year-long grade-point average of 3.30 on a 4.0 scale or 4.10 on a 5.0 scale. 
 
The Titans, led by 28th-year Head Coach and Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) Coach of the Year Tammy Swearingen, won their fifth PAC Championship – including their second-straight.

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Women’s Basketball: Titans earn national ranking in WBCA Academic Top 25, best in PAC

Thursday, July 15, 2021

ATLANTA, Ga. – The Westminster College women's basketball team were recognized by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) for being among the nation's top women's basketball teams in the classroom in the WBCA's Academic Team Top 25.
 
Under the guidance of 19th-year Head Coach Rosanne Scott, the Titans earned a final grade point average (GPA) of 3.654, ranking 24th in the nation among Division III counterparts and had the highest GPA in the Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC).
 
This marked the third time Westminster has earned a spot on the distinguished list since 2001-02, first since the 2014-15 season.
 
The WBCA Academic Top 25 recognizes NCAA Division I, II and III, NAIA and two-year college women's basketball teams across the nation that carry the highest combined GPAs inclusive of all student-athletes on their rosters for the entire season. The 2020-21 season is the 26th in which the WBCA has compiled the honor rolls.
 
"Congratulations to each of the teams recognized in the 2020-21 WBCA Academic Top 25," said WBCA Executive Director Danielle Donehew. "Their head coaches are to be commended for fostering an environment of excellence for their student-athletes both on the court and, more importantly, in the classroom; particularly with the additional stress this season caused by the uncertainty resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic."

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COVID-19 preparations for fall 2021

Thursday, July 15, 2021

July is halfway over, which is a signal that the academic year is quickly approaching. We hope you’ve been enjoying a fun, renewing, and productive summer. Westminster College will be returning to fully in-person instruction for the 2021-2022 academic year, and we are strongly encouraging vaccination. This position has not changed, and the policies you can expect for fall will reflect this position. Faculty and staff have spent the summer preparing for in-person classes and services, and we are not planning for remote or hybrid learning at the level you experienced last year. We are committed to providing you with a safe living and learning environment. In fact, nearly 70% of employees have been vaccinated and this number is increasing daily.

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Westminster announces newest inductees for Titan Sports Hall of Fame

Friday, July 9, 2021

Westminster College will induct eight new members into the Titan Sports Hall of Fame, four for the Class of 2020 and four for the Class of 2021, on Saturday, September 25.
 
The Class of 2020 is as follows: Ryan Bell '12, Men's Track & Field; Carolee Reed Corbett '03, Volleyball; Jennifer Emery Garella '10, Softball; Sterrett "Skip" Watt '70, Men's Golf.
 
The Class of 2021 is as follows: Alex Bailey '13, Women's Tennis; Emily Dolsak '12, Women's Track & Field and Basketball; John Izzo '09, Baseball; Caitlin Lehberger Smith '12, Women's Swimming & Diving.
 
The inductees will be recognized on the field during halftime of the Westminster-Grove City football game that is scheduled to kick off at 1 p.m. The formal induction ceremonies will take place at dinner. Please contact the Department of Athletics (724-946-7307) for more information or to make reservations for the Hall of Fame induction dinner.
 
Below are the bios for each inductee:
 
Class of 2020:
 
Ryan Bell '12, (Men's Track & Field) was the first Titan male to earn NCAA Division III All-America recognition. A two-time NCAA All-American in the javelin, Bell finished fourth at the 2011 NCAA Outdoor Championships (at the time the best finish in any event for the men's team at Nationals ever) and placed seventh at the 2012 NCAAs. Bell helped lead the Titans to back-to-back 2011 and 2012 Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) Outdoor Championships. He was the PAC Champion in the javelin in 2012. Bell currently holds the school javelin record with a throw of 66.48 m (218' 1") and the PAC Championship meet javelin record with a toss of 66.42 m (217' 1"). Bell was named to the 60th Anniversary All-PAC and the 2010s All-Decade Men's Track & Field Teams. In the classroom, Bell earned PAC Academic Honor Roll and earned a spot on the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division III All-Academic Team.
 
Carolee Reed Corbett '03, (Volleyball) was a key member of both the 2002 PAC Championship and 2001 Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division II Championship teams. The 2002 team finished undefeated in conference play. An All-PAC First Team recipient as a senior, Reed also earned PAC Coaches Honors as a sophomore and junior. Reed is Westminster's all-time career assists leader with 3,689. She was top-2 in the PAC in assists per game for three years, including a conference-best average of 9.92 as a sophomore. Reed also led the conference in total assists (1,249) as a junior. Her season-highs in assists per game (10.96, 2001) and total assists (1,275, 2002) were team-highs. A four-year letterwinner, Reed was a Team Co-Captain as a senior. Westminster went 85-35 during her career, including 70-15 in NCAA Division III play.
 
Jennifer Emery Garella '10, (Softball) was a four-time All-PAC honoree who earned First Team recognition on three separate occasions (2007, 2008, 2009) - she earned All-PAC Second Team in 2010. Emery was also named ECAC Division III South Region First Team in 2007. Emery holds the school record for most career home runs (20) and RBIs (128). She is also second all-time for season records in hits (55), doubles (15), runs batted in (37), and batting average (.455). Emery, a two-time Team MVP, was top-2 on the team in batting average in three out of her four seasons and batted over .300 in every season. Emery was named to 60th Anniversary All-PAC and the 2010s All-Decade Softball Teams.
 
Sterrett "Skip" Watt '70, (Golf), the mainstay no. 1 all four years of competition, earned medalist honors at the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) District 18 as he set a school record for all-time low round with a 67 and qualified for the NAIA National Tournament. Watt helped lead Westminster to three West Penn Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WPIAC) Championships, including an individual runner-up performance as a junior. A four-year letterwinner, Watt was named Team Captain as a senior. He boasted a career dual match record of 26-8-1, including a perfect 10-0 in his sophomore year. Watt's season and career averages rank at the top in program history. Additionally, Watt was a three-year letterwinner and two-year starter for the Westminster football team that compiled an 18-6-1 record during his playing career.
 
Class of 2021:
 
Alex Bailey Edwards '13, (Women's Tennis), the only Titan to ever go a full season without registering a singles loss, finished her career with a singles record of 69-7 (90.8%) and a career doubles record of 70-7 (90.9%) - both the best winning percentages in singles and doubles matches of anyone in program history. She compiled a 28-2 career record in the PAC in both singles and doubles play. Bailey is second all-time in school history in both total singles wins (69) and career doubles wins (70). Bailey, the Team MVP as a senior, was a key factor on Westminster's 2012 PAC Championship team that advanced to the NCAA Tournament – both program's firsts. Bailey was an eight-time All-PAC recipient at the PAC Tournament and received First Team twice (first place at the PAC Tournament). Bailey achieved the aforementioned undefeated singles feat in the 2011 season when she won a career-best 21-straight singles matches, finishing the season with a 21-0 record overall at No. 2 singles - the most singles victories in a season in program history. Her match winning streak extended to 38 wins from the 2011 through 2012. Also in 2011, Bailey was 20-1 overall at No. 1 doubles with Caitlin Hosler breaking the school record for doubles wins in a season. Bailey teamed up with Hosler again in 2012 and the duo became the school's first to go undefeated in doubles, while tying their school record for most doubles wins in a single season with a 20-0 record. Bailey was named to 60th Anniversary All-PAC and the 2010s All-Decade Women's Tennis Teams.
 
Emily Dolsak '12, (Women's Track & Field, Basketball) left her mark on both the women's track and field and basketball teams at Westminster. Dolsak dominated the PAC in the discus event for the entirety of her career as she won the PAC Outdoor title earning First Team All-PAC each of her four seasons. Dolsak was a key contributor on three PAC Championship teams (2009, 2010, and 2012) – Westminster finished runner-up in 2011. She qualified for the 2012 NCAA Division III Championship following a PAC Championship Meet-record throw of 136 feet, 10 inches. She was one centimeter away from an All-America citation at the NCAAs with a toss of 143'5" (43.72 meters) finishing ninth. She was the first female thrower to qualify for NCAAs. Dolsak holds the school record in the discus with a mark of 145'7" (44.38 meters). Dolsak was named to 60th Anniversary All-PAC and the 2010s All-Decade Women's Track and Field Teams. On the court, Dolsak ranks 12th all-time among leading scorers with 892 points, while her 59.2% field goal percentage in 2009 ranks best all-time. Dolsak also dominated the glass as she was top-2 in rebounds on the team all four years, including the team leader in her senior and sophomore seasons. Dolsak finished with 607 career rebounds. Dolsak did not miss one game for the Titans - including starting in every contest her last three years. She was also named on the 2010s All-Decade Women's Basketball Team. In the classroom, Dolsak was a multiple PAC Academic Honor Roll recipient and earned the distinguished Marjorie A. Walker Outstanding Senior Athlete honor.
 
John Izzo '09, (Baseball) earned All-PAC recognition all four years, including First Team as a senior. Additionally, Izzo was named on the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) All-Mideast Region and the ECAC Division III All-Region Teams. Izzo holds an impressive six career school records: home runs (26), runs batted in (124), doubles (39), runs scored (121), hits (185), and at bats (509). In his All-PAC First Team campaign, Izzo led the Titans in RBIs (33), home runs (6), and slugging percentage (.637), while tying a team-high in runs scored (34) and doubles (12) - to go along with a .415 batting average. As a junior, Izzo led Westminster in slugging percentage (.619), runs scored (44), doubles (12, tied a career-high), and total bases (96) – his 43 RBIs and 9 home runs that season were career-highs. In only his second year, Izzo led the Titans in slugging percentage (.622) and triples (4). A four-year letterwinner, Izzo was named Team Co-Captain as a senior.
 
Caitlin Lehberger Smith '12, (Women's Swimming & Diving) earned a total of 13 All-America honors (nine All-America and four Honorable Mention) - the most in NCAA Division III school-history women or men. Her nine All-America honors (top-8 finish at NCAAs) are tied for fourth most all-time in the enriched school history women or men (including NAIA and NCAA Division II). She was a two-time PAC Swimmer of the Year (2010, 2012) and a four-time All-PAC First Team selection. Lehberger, who qualified for NCAA Nationals every year, had her most memorable performance at the 2012 NCAA Division III Championships as she earned a school-record two runner-up finishes with school-record times in both the 100 breaststroke (1:02.57) and 200 breaststroke (2:15.86). Lehberger was the program's first female to score individual points at the NCAA Division III Championships, including a school-record (for women or men) 50 points as a senior. Lehberger capped off the 2012 NCAA Championships with a sixth-place finish in the 200 individual medley for All-America honors, marking the third-straight year she earned three top-8 All-America finishes at the NCAA Championships. Lehberger's 2010 All-America performance was the program's first-ever NCAA Division III honor (first since 1994 when Westminster was an NAIA school). She is one of only two Titan female swimmers to earn All-America since Westminster joined NCAA Division III. Lehberger finished her historic career as a school-record eleven-time PAC individual champion, while achieving an unprecedented feat for any female swimmer or diver of winning the same event (200 individual medley) all fours years. She holds nine school records (five individual and four relay) and four Westminster Natatorium records - both program bests for amount of records (she held 11 school records upon graduation). She also still holds three PAC Meet records. Lehberger was a two-time College Swimming & Diving Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) Academic All-American and a two-time Nicholson Swimmer Scholar-Athlete recipient. Lehberger was named to the 60th Anniversary All-PAC and the 2010s All-Decade Women's Swimming and Diving Teams.

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