Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pa.
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Thursday, April 22, 2004
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Mules Host Nation’s Best This Weekend

Muhlenberg has a chance to make some noise on the national scene this weekend, when they host some of the top teams in Division III. Four Mule opponents come to town with top-five rankings, two of them sitting at the top of the polls.

The Muhlenberg baseball team will get two chances to hand top-ranked Johns Hopkins its first loss. The teams face off in a doubleheader Saturday at 1:00 at Cedarcreek Field. The Blue Jays enter with a 31-0 overall record and a 15-0 Centennial Conference mark. The games will be a rematch of last year’s CC championship series, which Hopkins swept, 9-2 and 6-4.

With the Matte Award wrapped up, the ’Berg softball team will set its sights on ending the No. 1 Moravian’s long win streak when the teams meet in a 1:00 doubleheader Sunday at Patriots Park.

If the Greyhounds win their four games before then, they will bring a 33-game winning streak and a 33-1 record to the diamond Sunday. Moravian opened the season with a loss to Christopher Newport, but has won 29 straight since then, including six victories on the way to the championship of the prestigious Leadoff Classic tournament.

The men’s lacrosse Mules will host second-ranked Washington (Md.) Saturday at 4:00 at Scotty Wood Stadium. The Shoremen are 13-0, 6-0 in the CC.

Before the men take the field, the Muhlenberg women’s lacrosse team will also face a challenge. The Mules welcome No. 5 Gettysburg and its 8-0 conference record. The Bullets are 13-2 overall and have already clinched the top seed in the CC playoffs.

For the Muhlenberg golf teams, this weekend’s Centennial Conference Championships provides a chance to wrap up the season with a strong team showing. The Mule tennis players, meanwhile, already have one CC team title and will go for individual honors in their CC tournaments.

Having won three CC championships and finished second in 2003, the Mule men’s golf squad is looking to once again challenge for the league title Friday through Sunday at the Eagles
Jesse Neider
Neider tied for second at last year’s CC tournament, two strokes ahead of Katz, who tied for fifth.
Landing Golf Club in Berlin, Md.

The Mules have the third-lowest combined average in this year’s action, about half a shot behind Gettysburg and less than three behind defending CC champion Franklin & Marshall.

Senior Matt Katz has had the Mules’ low score in five of the team’s 11 2003-04 tournaments and has the conference’s second-best stroke average (78.55).

Jesse Neider tied with Katz, his classmate and co-captain, for first at Moravian’s fall tournament scores of 73. Junior Matthew Schoenfeld shared Medalist honors at Lebanon Valley, and sophomore Brian Farrelly shot a 75 for fith at F&M in the fall.

Sophomore Chris Walach tied for sixth at Elizabethtown. He and Katz shot back-to-back rounds in the 70s at the Glenmaura National Collegiate Invitational.

Muhlenberg has had mixed results against the top CC teams this season, having beaten and lost to F&M, Gettysburg and McDaniel.

Muhlenberg will field a team in the women’s tournament Saturday and Sunday at Eagles Landing. The Mules did not compete as a team in last year’s tournament, but won the event in 2001. Freshman Kristen Amore had the team’s best score of the season when she missed the school record by four strokes with a 94 Tuesday at F&M.

Kraft is Men’s Favorite; Ross and Schmidt Seeded

Muhlenberg’s men’s and women’s tennis teams will compete at the conference individual championships at Swarthmore and Haverford Friday through Sunday.

Junior Jeff Kraft is the top seed in the men’s tournament. He has a 7-1 Centennial record and has won his last eight matches and hopes to keep rolling in the tournament.

“I think I have some momentum because I’ve beaten some of the best guys in my last three matches,” Kraft said. “I have to serve well and just be consistent.”

One of those wins came Saturday against the second seed from Gettysburg. The other was Monday against the third-seeded Haverford player who eliminated Kraft last year in the round of 16. He starts off the 2004 tournament with a bye.

“Last year I played doubles too and did really well, but I wasn’t really focused on singles,” said Kraft. “This year I’m fully concentrating on singles.”

The Muhlenberg women’s tennis team already claimed the CC team title and has some players capable of bringing individual honors back to Allentown.

Senior Gena Ross is seeded third as she tries to repeat as CC singles champion. Not far behind is sophomore Amy Schmidt, the fifth seed. Schmidt has not faced any of the other seeds this season. Ross is 0-2 against them, but lost a close match to the top seed from Swarthmore.

While they could face each other in singles, Ross and Schmidt will team up in doubles, as they have throughout the season. They are the fifth-ranked doubles team in the Atlantic South region, but four other pairs from the region’s top 15 will be in the draw as well. The second ’Berg doubles team of senior Mackenzie Parke and freshman Pam Kimmelman enters the championships with a 13-2 record and a 9-1 CC mark.

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Last updated April 22, 2004