Athletics Update

Read brief recaps of the Winter and Spring sports seasons.

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Men’s Basketball (4-22; 2-16 CSAC)

The 2011-12 season for Men’s Basketball would widely be considered a rebuilding year. With first-year Head Coach, Jason Penley, taking over a program that had failed to win a single game last season, the team began to lay the foundation for the future and to build the program up from the bottom. This year’s squad had a mix of veteran leadership and youthful potential that saw the team win four more games than last year, including two wins in the Colonial States Athletic Conference. The team was led by the leadership of Jeremy Pearson and all-around play of Charles “Chuck” Kennedy. Adam Derus proved to be a huge threat from behind the 3-point arc, averaging 14.5 points per game and dropping 67 3-pointers on the season. The future looks bright for freshman forward Seth Heinicke, who averaged 14.2 in his rookie season.

Women’s Basketball (4-22, 1-15 CSAC)

Ed Howell had a very young team coming into the 2011-12 season. Having won only 2 games the pre­vious year, this year’s squad reached that number in just 4 games. A long season, however, seemed even longer when injuries starting taking their toll on the already small squad. In several games, the team was strong in the first half of games, including a contest against Centenary College where the University only trailed 44-42 at halftime to a very good CSAC opponent. Unfortunately, throughout the season the team found it difficult to keep up the pace against opponents with lots of speed and plenty of players. In the end, the players gained experience that may prove invaluable in the coming seasons.

Men’s Volleyball (12-22, 1-7 CVC)

It was a discovery year for the men’s volleyball team that were for the first time in 4 years without the likes of NCAA record holders Justin Brubaker and Drew Dillon. Playing in the toughest conference in the country, the Continental Volleyball Conference, which boasts three of the top four teams in the country, the team had its work cut out for them, but by mid-season they seemed to have found their groove. Another first-year Head Coach and former player, Ben Fuller had his team on a 7-game winning streak, which included two wins over ranked opponents Kean University and Elmira College. Some untimely injuries derailed any hopes of a late season push into the playoffs. The team will be returning all of its players for next season and look for Cairn to make some noise not only in the CVC, but also on the national stage.

Men’s Golf

First-year coach Dave Hill’s squad put up some of the lowest individual numbers in tournament after tournament this season. Every player in the squad turned in their career-best score at some point during the 2011-12 campaign. With only a few weeks remaining in the season and his career, Sam Wilcox put together his best round of 18 by shooting a 77 at the Alvernia Invitational, which was good enough to help the team to a fourth-place finish and placed Wilcox second in the individual standings. In his final tournament of his 4-year career, senior Garry North shot a career-best 74 on the second day of the Colonial States Athletic Conference Championships, helping him rebound from a first-day 84 and thirteenth position all the way up to fourth place and propelling the team to a fifth place finish. For his exploits, North earned First Team All-Conference.

Baseball (6-31, 1-17 CSAC)

The CSAC boasts some of the national power­houses in college baseball in Keystone College and Neumann University. Since joining the CSAC in 2009, the baseball program had failed to win a conference game…until March 31, 2012. Sophomore shortstop Austin Arseneau stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the eighth inning with the scored tied 4-4 and belted a walk-off homerun to give Cairn a 5-4 win, their first-ever within conference play. Later in the season against #3 nationally ranked Keystone College, Cairn was leading 3-1 after 5 and a half innings. Keystone eventually came back to win 10-3, but for a few innings, Cairn was only a few outs away from making headlines across the country. With Coach Jan Haas leading the way and a plethora of young talent, the team looks primed to make its climb up the CSAC standings.

Softball (5-35, 2-20 CSAC)

Ed Howell knows how it feels to pull double-duty. Howell jumped straight from his duties as Cairn’s Women’s Basketball Coach to coaching the Softball team with no break in between. Howell knows what his freshman pitcher Kelly Hendrick­son must have been feeling toward the end of the season, then. After an early season injury to Kiersten Waltz, one of only two pitchers, Hendrick­son was forced to pitch both games in 15 straight doubleheaders. She led the CSAC in innings pitched with 189. Senior shortstop Sara Poole led the team in almost every offensive category. The softball team, like so many other programs at Cairn, saw vast improvement in a group of young prospects. Those underclassmen will look to build on their 5-win season, an improvement of 4 wins from a year ago, and take Cairn Softball into the next chapter.