Hoopsters welcome Buff State to Steele Hall today

The Fredonia State women’s and men’s basketball teams welcome Buffalo State to Steele Hall today for a pair of SUNYAC contests.

The Fredonia State women (7-4 overall, 2-3 conference) will take on the Bengals (10-2, 5-0) at 6 p.m. followed by the men at 8 p.m.

The women look to build off a hard-fought 68-61 road win at Brockport on Tuesday night. With a 20-point effort, senior Becky Hebert continues to lead the SUNYAC in scoring at 24.2 ppg – second in Division III.

She is 40 points off the Fredonia State all-time record of 1,370 points scored by Cheryl Kindzia.

Two other Blue Devils are near the top of the SUNYAC charts. Senior Jaimie Warren is third in the SUNYAC in rebounding with 8.8 per game and Alexis Cheatham is averaging 5.2 assists, tops in the conference. Sophomore Sabrina Macaulay continues her solid play as she is averaging 9.7 rebounds over the last three conference contests. Her 8.1 boards per game is fifth in the SUNYAC.

At 933 career points, Warren is closing in on the 1,000-point milestone. She would be the eighth player in team history to reach that plateau.

Buffalo State comes in with the SUNYAC’s best record and the conference’s leading rebounder in Bianca Smiley at 11.0 boards per game. Staci McElroy is the leading Bengal point-getter and ninth in the conference at 14.5 per game.

Last year, the Fredonia State women dropped a pair against the Bengals, including an 88-84 overtime loss in Steele Hall.

The men enter the weekend at 3-9 and 0-5 in the SUNYAC. Buff State stands at 6-6 and 2-3.

For the Fredonia State men, senior guard Tyrone Clark comes in as the fifth-leading scorer in the SUNYAC dropping 19.4 ppg. He has turned in a pair of 30-point efforts this season, including a season-high 35 vs. Alfred. Sophomore John Kovach is averaging 7.2 rebounds per game and looks to make an impact on the boards.

On the Buff State side, senior Justin Mitchell is the third-leading scorer in the conference with 22.2 ppg. The Devils are hoping to take advantage of the home court and Buff State’s recent trend the Bengals have dropped their last three conference games.

Last season, the Bengals swept the series, which included an entertaining 87-85 contest at Buff State.

Men’s Hockey

Meredith coaching tree includes Curry coach

Jeff Meredith’s former assistant coaches dot the college hockey head coaching map.

Nick Carrierre at Buffalo State and Brian Dickinson at Brockport both tutored under Meredith, who’s in his 26th season as the Fredonia State bench boss. So did Greg Heffernan at Western New England and Erik Noack at Johnson & Wales.

Meredith’s latest assistant-turned-head coach is TJ Manastersky at Curry College in Milton, Mass. Manastersky will bring his Colonels to Western New York this weekend for a game against the Blue Devils this afternoon.

Game time is 3 p.m. at the Steele Hall Ice Arena.

“I am very proud of TJ and where his career has taken him,” Meredith said. “He is a first-class person and even better hockey coach, not to mention a very good friend.”

Friendships take a back seat when the puck is dropped, and Meredith expects Saturday to be no different. It’s been a posture he’s assumed many times before as he coaches at least twice a year against Carriere and Dickinson, and schedules Noack’s team from time to time.

“I am sure that TJ, like all of my former assistants who we play, want to beat Fredonia,” Meredith said. “Over the years our Blue Devil team has had some classic battles with other former assistants. … I know there are a lot of people from the community that will be happy to see TJ again, I just hope that they don’t wish him too much luck.”

Both teams could use some luck. Curry arrives in Western New York with a 3-8-2 record (1-4 in their conference, ECAC Northeast). The Blue Devils are 3-8-3 overall, including 1-0-1 in their eastern swing to New England College and Franklin Pierce earlier this week.

“From a hockey standpoint, we are excited to play again after a successful trip to the east,” Meredith said. “We have spent a lot of time this year in talking about ‘the process’ and not the end result. In other words, doing things a certain way, time after time, and at some point they pay dividends for you. I think we have started to see some of that.”

NOTES: In addition to the four former Blue Devil assistants now serving as head coaches, one other former assistant (Jim Fowler, Buffalo State) was a head coach and four recent graduates are current college hockey graduate assistants – former players Kody Van Rentergem (Robert Morris), Mat Hehr (SUNY Canton), and Brett Mueller (Franklin Pierce) and former team manager Jeff Marquardt (Canisius) … The Blue Devils are the sixth least penalized team in NCAA Division III, with an average of 10.4 minutes per games … Today marks Day 15 in the countdown to Pink The Rink 2014. A new twist this year: All four officials will wear pink and black striped shirts, donated by area supervisor of officials Jeff Fulton. Meredith said the shirts will either be sold or auctioned off and proceeds will benefit the pink game. Details will be announced within the next few days.

Men’s Swimming

and Diving

Matter breaks school 3-meter records, nearly sets SUNYAC marks

SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Fredonia State freshman Jeff Matter broke two school records and nearly broke the same two conference records during men’s collegiate diving Friday at the Trintiy University Invitational.

Matter won the 3-meter springboard competition with 573.85 points and had a 6-dive score of 352.50. Both marks eclipsed records held by 2013 graduate and NCAA participant Ryan Fuller. In addition, Matter nearly took down SUNYAC records set by Kevin Morgan of Oswego in 2008 – 576.35 points for 11 dives, 369.05 for 6 dives.

Three teammates finished right behind Matter. Blue Devil sophomore Rafael Santiago was second with 524.90, freshman Arron Carlson third with 503.15, and freshman Jacob Storms fourth with 424.45. All four men posted NCAA Zone qualifying scores in the event.

His win Friday completed a double for Matter, who won the 1-meter competition Thursday. He had a winning score of 521.75 points for 11 divers and became only the fourth Fredonia State men’s diver to exceed 500 points in the event.

Again, the Blue Devils took the next three spots. Carlson was runner-up with 494.00 points, Santiago third with 471.90, and Jacob Storms fourth with 423.95. The score by Storms was his personal best.

All four also qualified for the zone meet in the 1-meter. That competition is schedule for late February at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Women’s Swimming and Diving

Haley has best two days among Blue Devils at Trinity

SAN ANONIO, Texas. – Fredonia State senior diver Katelyn Haley was her team’s top performer over two days at the Trinity University Invitational.

Haley finished third in the 3-meter competition Thursday and fourth Friday in the 1-meter with scores of 470.35 points and 441.85 points, respectively.

Another Blue Devil senior, Breena Cogliandro, scored a personal-best 463.55 points to finish fourth in the 3-meter and was sixth in the 1-meter with 401.75 points.

Haley and Cogliandro qualified for the NCAA Zone championships in both events. The meet will be held at Rochester Institute of Technology at the end of February.

Fredonia State freshman Samantha Kowalewski also competed at Trinity. She had a personal-best score for both 6 and 11 dives in the 3-meter Thursday with scores of 221.35 and 385.55, respectively. She also had 393.50 points in the 1-meter Friday.