Friday, January 30, 2009

Good-Bye to January

It's the last day of the first month of 2009 and do we have a weekend of sports action for you around the Centennial Conference! Whether you are a hoops aficionado, a swimming supporter, or a grappling groupie, there are big games, meets and bouts at a number of Conference venues.

Muhlenberg, Ursinus, Stevens at Merchant Marine (Wrestling)
There are four unbeaten teams in Conference dual-meet competition and three of them meet at Kings Point Saturday. The 12th ranked Mariners (3-0 CC, 10-6) have won 12 straight Centennial duals since losing to both the Mules (2-0, 2-3) and Bears (2-0, 4-2) on Jan. 27, 2007. Merchant Marine's James Beshada (17-3) is ranked seventh nationally at 141, while teammate Dan Twito (15-4) is sixth at 149. Muhlenberg's Rob Kein (149, 13-2) and Matt Horn (19-2, 184) are a combined 32-4 overall, while Ursinus' Steve Kingsland (133, 18-4) and Chris Springer (157, 25-9) are 43-13. Ryan Dormann (174, 21-7) leads the Ducks (2-1, 8-7).

Franklin & Marshall at Dickinson (Men's Swimming)
Two of the CC's three unbeatens meet in Carlisle as the annual rivalry between the Diplomats (3-0, 3-5) and the Red Devils (3-0, 6-0) is renewed. Keep an eye on the freestyle sprints between F&M's Peter Fishler and Dickinson's Doug Murray. Murray holds the top 50 free time (21.70) and is second in the 100 free (47.97). Fishler has the season's top time in the 100 (47.26) and 200 (1:45.01) and the No. 2 clocking in the 50 (21.87).

Franklin & Marshall at Dickinson (Women's Swimming)
The Diplomat (4-0, 5-4) and Devil (4-0, 7-0) women put spotless Centennial records on the line as well Saturday. The backstroke could be one of the deciding events, as F&M's Brittany McCabe - who has the year's best times in the 100 (59.25) and 200 (2:11.12) - will be challenged by Dickinson's Serena Gibney (100, 1:02.30) and Elizabeth Schroll (200, 2:14.28).

McDaniel at Muhlenberg (Men's Basketball)
It is the day's best doubleheader, as the Green Terror (8-3, 13-5) and Mules (6-5, 10-7) open an exciting day of hoops in Allentown. Memorial Hall is not kind to many visitors, especially McDaniel, who has won just once in its last 11 trips and twice since 1987. The Terror looks for its first season sweep of 'Berg since 1980-81 after a 70-64 triumph on Jan. 7, as Kevin Henry poured in a game-high 23 points. Peter Barnes led Muhlenberg with 20 points, 13 boards and three blocks.

McDaniel at Muhlenberg (Women's Basketball)
The 22nd ranked Mules (12-0, 15-3) and the Green Terror (8-4, 10-7) meet in a rematch of their thrilling Jan. 7 game in Westminster which 'Berg pulled out in overtime, 77-76. The trio of Alexandra Chili (22), Lauren Boyle (14) and Kelly McKeon (11, 8 asst) combined for 47 points for Muhlenberg, while Ali Moreland led the Green and Gold with 18 markers. The Mule victory evened the overall series at 14 apiece.

Franklin & Marshall at Swarthmore (Women's Basketball)
Five teams in the CC are tied for second place with four losses ... so a game between two of them does have playoff implications. The Diplomats (6-4, 9-8) look for their third straight season sweep and seventh straight win overall vs. the Garnet (7-4, 10-8) after a 74-57 triumph back on Jan. 7. F&M placed four players in double figures, led by Alison Menna's 14 points, while Kathryn Stockbower led Swarthmore with 23 points and 14 rebounds. The Dips must shut down Ceylan Bodur, who has posted consective double-doubles in wins against Ursinus and Haverford.

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