College Roundup: MCLA names softball coaches; Najimy, Richardson earn collegiate honors

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NORTH ADAMS — A pair of former Hoosac Valley High School softball standouts will share the coaching chores at MCLA this spring.

Ashley Ciepiela and Amanda Meczywor have been named interim co-head coaches. They replace Erica Li, who was named the head coach at Sage College in Albany, N.Y., last month.

Both Ciepiela and Meczywor had been hired to assist Li, who was due to start her first season as the head coach.

Li had been named full-time head coach after spending the 2018 season as the interim head coach. The Trailblazers went 6-22, and 2-12 in MASCAC.

Meczywor was a Berkshire Eagle softball MVP, and helped pitch the Hurricanes to a pair of Western Massachusetts Division II semifinal appearances.

As a member of the MCLA team, she helped lead the Trailblazers to a MASCAC tournament championship in 2015, and an appearance in the NCAA Division III tournament for the first time since 1995.

Ciepiela came to MCLA from Southern Vermont, where she was an assistant coach. She played at Division III Becker College after graduating from Hoosac Valley. She was the assistant director of a Nike softball camp in Amherst this past summer.

Pingelski gets hoop honor

WESTFIELD — MCLA women's basketball player Courtney Pingelski is the MASCAC player of the week.

The senior forward from Mechanicville, N.Y., averaged 17 points, 10.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists in a 2-0 week for coach Loren Stock's Trailblazers.

In a 65-46 win over SUNY Cobleskill, Pingelski scored 23 points, had nine rebounds and went 10 for 10 from the foul line for MCLA. Then, she had 11 points and 12 rebounds as the Trailblazers beat Keene State 67-59 on Saturday.

MCLA men's player Mike Demartinis was named to the weekly Honor Roll. The sophomore forward from Burlington averaged 22.5 points, 2.5 steals and three rebounds as the Trailblazers went 1-1 at the Ken Wright Invitational at Amherst College. He was the lone Trailblazer named to the All-Tournament team.

He had a career-high 24 points in MCLA's 75-73 loss to Kean (N.J.) in the first round of the Invitational, but bounced back to score 21 points and four rebounds in a 90-81 win over Framingham State.

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Ephs' Mollica earns hockey award

HADLEY — Williams men's hockey player Marcus Mollica is the NESCAC player of the week.

Mollica, a senior from Dove Canyon, Calif., scored five goals and added an assist as coach Bill Kangas' Ephs started its season off with a pair of conference wins in Maine.

Mollica had a hat trick in a 4-1 win at Bowdoin on Friday, and came back to score two goals in a 4-3 win over Colby on Saturday. His power-play goal with 11:05 left in the third period broke a 3-3 tie.

Najimy is cross-country top rookie

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WINTHROP — Former Lenox High School runner Alice Najimy is the Great Northeast Conference cross-country rookie of the year.

Najimy, a freshman from Pittsfield who runs at Simmons College, placed fifth at the GNAC championships. Her time of 20 minutes, 29 seconds on the five-kilometer course was the best time among any freshman runner.

Najimy has posted five, top-15 finishes, including four races where she was sixth or better.

She is the first runner in Simmons history to be the rookie of the year.

Richardson is MASCAC's top defensive player

WESTFIELD — MCLA goalkeeper Megan Richardson is the MASCAC women's soccer defensive player of the year.

Richardson, a junior from Adams, led a defense that gave up only 28 goals. She led MASCAC with 149 saves, was second with a .851 save percentage, third with a 1.53 goals-against average, and was tied for second with four shutouts. She faced 351 shots and 186 shots on goal.

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Kayla Baker was named to the MASCAC women's soccer first team and Cetera Moore the second team.

UMass' Isabella a Biletnikoff finalist

TALAHASSEE, Fla. — UMass wide receiver Andy Isabella is one of the three finalists for the 2018 Biletnikoff Award, given to the top receiver in FBS football.

The senior wide receiver from Mayfield, Ohio, had 102 catches for 1,698 yards and 13 touchdowns. He averaged 8.5 catches and 141.5 yards per game.

The other finalists are Jerry Jeudy of Alabama and Tylan Wallace from Oklahoma State.

The award will be given out on The Home Depot College Football Awards Show, which will air on Dec. 6, from 7 to 9 p.m. on ESPN. poll

The latest national Top 15 came out on Monday and for the first time, Williams earned votes.

The Ephs would be tied for 19th if there were a Top 20.

The No. 1 team this week is Wisconsin-Stevens Point. The Pointers had 15 of the 20 first-place votes. Adrian received the other five first-place votes and finished second. St. Norbert, SUNY Geneseo and Trinity round out the top five.

The Bantams are the only NESCAC school in the Top 15. Williams is the only other NESCAC team to get votes.

SUNY Geneseo will be in Williamstown on Sunday for Williams' home opener.


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