Football Sports Volleyball

WCU Sports Spotlight: WCU Football and Volleyball

Photos courtesy of www.wcupagoldenrams.com.

WCU Football

SHIPPENSBURG, Pa. – R-Fr., RB Ja’Den McKenzie (Morton, Pa./Springfield-DELCO) rushed for 125 yards and two touchdowns to lead 14th-ranked West Chester to a 29-21 victory over host Shippensburg Saturday afternoon at Seth Grove Stadium.

West Chester (5-0, 2-0 PSAC) remains in a three-way tie for first place in the Eastern Division of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference while Shippensburg (1-4, 1-1) falls into a tie for fourth.

McKenzie’s two TD runs were the final two scores of the game and sparked a come-from-behind win for the Golden Rams on the road. His 18-yard scamper with under two minutes left in the third quarter put West Chester in front for good, 22-21, while his 30-yard race to paydirt with under two minutes left in the game salted away the contest, 29-21.

West Chester had jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter on a 23-yard field goal by Andrew Chegia (Kennett, Pa./Unionville) and a 67-yard touchdown reception by Gabe Schappell (Reading, Pa./Exeter).

However, the hosts battled back on consecutive touchdown runs by Luke Durkin. The Shippensburg running back scored all three of the home team’s touchdowns Saturday.

Marcus Wilson (Reading, Pa./Berks Catholic) ran in from -yard out with 10 minutes left in the half to give West Chester a 16-14 lead it would take into the locker room. When Durkin busted in from the 1-yard line with five mintues to go in the third, Shippensburg was back on top, 21-16.

That is when the Golden Rams top-ranked defense came alive in the fourth quarter, forcing three punts, including two drives that were three-and-out.

Jalik Smith (Harrisburg, Pa./Susquehanna) led West Chester tacklers with seven stops while Ch’aim Smith (York, Pa./York Suburban) finished with six tackles, including four for a loss and one sack.

West Chester returns home next Saturday for another PSAC showdown with arch-rival Bloomsburg at Farrell Stadium. Kick is set for 12:06 p.m. The game will be broadcast live by SportsFever TV. The game will also be streamed on Facebook Live.

WCU Volleyball

WEST CHESTER, Pa. – West Chester University women’s volleyball went to five sets for the fourth straight match on Saturday and pulled out the 3-2 victory over Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference rival University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown.

The Golden Rams (13-4, 1-3 PSAC) had a 2-0 lead over UPJ (7-6, 0-4 PSAC) and nearly let the match slip away before winning the fifth set 18-16.

How it happened:

The Golden Rams jumped out to a 12-5 lead in the first set before Pitt-Johnstown climbed back to make it 24-23. Senior Rachel Robb (Blackwood, N.J. / Paul VI) sealed it with a kill.

The second set was the same story as West Chester led 10-5, and a kill from Robb ended it at 25-21. Senior Emily Ahern (Downingtown, Pa. / Downingtown West) assisted both set-clinching kills.

West Chester needed one point to win the match at four different spots in the third set. But they couldn’t put it away as UPJ battled to win it 29-27.

The fourth set was never close. The Mountain Cats took a 7-1 lead and never looked back, winning 25-18.

The lead changed five times in the fifth set. Freshman Ali Miller (Enola, Pa. / Cumberland Valley) had a remarkable kill to make it 17-16 that she bumped over the net while she was facing away from it. The Golden Rams took the victory on the next point as UPJ hit the ball into the net.

Inside the numbers:

Sophomores Sarah Polacek (Johnstown, Pa. / Westmont Hilltop), Julia Vreeswyk (Yardley, Pa. / Pennsbury) and Grace Whitney (Glenside, Pa. / Abington) all had double-digit kills with 14, 10 and 10, respectively.

Ahern totaled 43 assists with nine digs, three block assists and two kills.

Graduate student Shaye Whiteman (Gettysburg, Pa. / Gettysburg) recorded 26 digs. She’s had at least 19 digs in each of the last five matches.

Sophomore Katie McGonigal (Aston, Pa. / Padua Academy) had four service aces and 11 digs.

Up next:

West Chester is back on the road with matches at Gannon University, Mercyhurst University and Edinboro University of Pennsylvania on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

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