Baldwin Wallace University is Having an Outstanding Winter Sports Season and
Hoping to Make Some National Noise
BEREA, OHIO -- The Baldwin Wallace University winter sport teams are having an excellent season and are hoping to "make some noise" at the national level in the coming weeks.
The men’s basketball team has a 17-2 overall record, leads the Ohio Athletic Conference with an 11-1 mark and was ranked eighth in Division III following a January 28 victory against OAC-rival Marietta. The Yellow Jackets are the defending OAC Tournament champions and participated in last year’s NCAA Division III National Tournament.
Among BW’s early highlights are tournament titles at Westminster (Pa.) and The College of Wooster. At Westminster, BW beat fifth-ranked St. John Fisher (N.Y.) in the first round and set a school scoring record with 133 points in the championship game. At Wooster, BW beat the second-ranked Fighting Scots, 113-108 in a double overtime thriller. In addition, BW has twice defeated cross-town rival John Carroll, 92-69, on Jan. 11 in University Heights and 78-56 in Berea on Jan. 25.
Junior preseason All-American Tori Davis (Elyria) was the Most Valuable Player at Wooster as he set a career-high and tournament-record with 44 points against the Scots. He leads the OAC in scoring and is closing in on a spot on the Top-10 all-time scoring list at the College. Sophomore guards Brendan Schuler (Fairview Park) and Tyler Sekerak (Corry, Pa.) also have been key. Schuler was the MVP at Westminster and set a school and OAC-record by making 13 straight three-point shots over a three-game span. Sekerak was the Most Valuable Defensive Player at Wooster. In addition, seniors Dan Gundert (Wellington) and Keith Aufmuth (Brooklyn) each have been named to an all-tournament team. Aufmuth will shortly become the 34th member of BW’s 1,000-Point Club”.
The women’s basketball team also has a 17-2 overall record,leads the OAC with a perfect 12-0 mark and was ranked eighth following its Jan. 28 win versus Marietta. The Yellow Jacket women are the defending OAC regular season co-champs and last year’s OAC Tournament champs and have made an appearance in the NCAA Div. III National Tournament eight of the past 10 years. The BW women enter February 15-0 against Great Lakes Region foes.
In addition, both the Yellow Jacket men and women each enter February with a two-game lead in the OAC Standings and each has a chance to host an OAC Championship Game the week of February 21-25.
Highlights so far include winning the season-opening Rochester (N.Y.) Tournament and beating both fifth-ranked and OAC-rival Capital in Columbus and 17th-ranked Bates (Maine) during a four-day span in December and a pair of wins versus John Carroll to stretch its winning streak versus its cross-town rival to 29 straight contests.
Leading the way so far are All-OAC and Academic All-OAC student-athletes Nikki Altenweg (Perry) and Michelle White (Hudson). Altenweg tops the team in scoring and is currently fourth all-time in school history in steals and sixth all-time in assists. Coach Cheri Harrer’s team has already won 17 or more games for the 11th straight season.
The men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams ended their dual meet seasons with winning records and each will contend for an OAC title from Feb. 10-12 at JCU. The men were 8-5 overall and undefeated in OAC dual meets at 4-0. The women, the defending OAC champs (two of the last four years), were 7-6 overall and 3-1 versus OAC teams.
Individually, juniors Alex de la Pena (Elyria), Luke Grilli (Londonderry, N.H.) and D.J. Mosiniak (Toledo) and sophomore Dave Fournier (Perrysburg) have led the way for the men. For the women, junior Sara Gombash (Perrysburg) and sophomore Ambica Iyengar (INDIA) have led the swimmers and junior Katie Krzwicki (Brook Park) is the top diver.
The wrestling team finally has a healthy lineup with the return of senior 197-pound All-American Devin Carman (Ashtabula) and junior 141-pound All-American Jared Selover (Wapakoneta). Look for this team to be a force when BW hosts the OAC Championship Tournament in Berea on Feb. 18.
Senior Bryan Kmetz (Brunswick), who competes in the 285-pound weight class, has led the way. He is 20-2 overall and ranked seventh individually in his weight class in the latest Brute-Adidas Division III rankings. He was the Most Valuable Wrestler at the RIT tourney. He has 10 pins or technical falls among his 20 victories. Other grapplers with impressive marks include sophomore 157-pounder Gino Russo (Northfield Center) at 23-2, freshman 149-pounder Muhamed Salem (Westlake) at 15-6 and senior Sterling Sebek (Columbus, Ga.) at 15-5 overall.
At the OAC Tournament, look for Selover, Russo, Sebek, Carman and Kmetz all to have legitimate shots at winning OAC titles and advancing to the Division III National Tournament.
The indoor track season began on Jan. 20. Look for both the women and men to be even better this year.
The Yellow Jacket women return a strong contingent of veterans from its OAC Championship squad of a year ago and are looking to win their second straight OAC indoor title and the 17th in the past 19 years. Leading the way with be All-American long jumper Kara Weaver (Myrtle Creek, Ore.) and 2005 All-OAC competitors in seniors Mary Griglak (Berea), Liz Redd (North Canton), Kim Lammers (Liberty Center) and Angela Gruss (Tiffin) and sophomores Jeanne Osborne (Oak Harbor) and Kristen Paulsen (Oberlin). The men will be led by returning All-OAC performers in senior Josh Svenson (Wadsworth), juniors Sean Johnson (Alliance), Ben Price (Cleveland) and Steve Johnson (Canton) and sophomores James Harris-Chappell (Jefferson), Aaron Apathy (Parma) and D.J. Hanigosky (North Royalton).
In addition, freshman Rebekah Paul (Gibsonburg) served notice right away that she’s a force for the future when she won the 300 and 400-meter dashes and led the 1600-meter relay team to victory in her first collegiate meet and then earned OAC Women’s Track Runner of the Week honors.
Stay tuned to this web site and the "noise" is getting louder.