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M? E BRE W
Biology student to begin brewing beer in fall
Read the story on page 2.
Tuition increases to keep college operating
Jazz FM offers unique work-study opportunity
‘Complexions’ presents dichotomy of dance
Pair of ‘Hurst students box in Golden Gloves matches
March 30, 2011
Biology student to begin brewing beer By Kelly Luoma Managing editor
Sophomore biology major Drew Spacht will begin brewing beer as part of an independent study in the fall. This project, which involves growing barley and hops on the Mercyhurst College west campus, serves as a learning experience that could potentially involve the entire campus. “The idea is to eventually, hopefully, sell it here on campus,” Spacht said. Spacht first heard of the idea of brewing beer on campus when biology professor Michael Campbell, Ph.D., mentioned the idea in Spacht’s freshman interdisciplinary course. Spacht then expressed interest to Campbell during the middle of winter term this year. Campbell is assisting Spacht in experimenting with the ingredients involved in beer making, and Campbell noted there is much to learn about brewing beer. Despite his idea to brew beer as part of a learning experience,
Jill Barrile photo
Sophomore Drew Spacht will be brewing beer as part of an independent study in the fall. Campbell said he does not endorse selling beer on campus. “The idea of selling alcohol is a whole other can of worms,” Camp-
bell said. “We can’t just distribute alcoholic beverages on campus without having a state license.” Campbell has not discussed
the idea with college administration because they are years away from being able to sell or market a beer on the Mercyhurst campus, he said. Despite needing to research Liquor Control Board laws before being able to sell alcohol on campus, Spacht discussed why he is interested in brewing beer and the prospect of selling it. “Beer has pretty much always been a part of my life in a positive way,” Spacht said. His grandfather owned Grape City Beer, and his father, who has done home brewing, refers to himself as a “beer snob.” “I came to love and appreciate different beer types and complexities of beer,” Spacht said. He said homemade beer tastes better than beer purchased from a distributor. “When you actually make something, it’s really good,” Spacht said. Gerard Tobin, Ph.D., vice president of student life, said the college would not be opposed to the marketing and distribution of any college-branded product, including alcoholic beverages.
The administration would, however, have to examine the legal and mission-related concerns involved. “It’s not unheard of for religious organizations to have distilleries,” said Tobin, citing groups like the Abbey Beverage Co. run by Benedictine monks in New Mexico. “We would just need to closely consider, ‘Is this something in line with the college’s mission?’ “We could sell tires if we wanted to, but would that be consistent with the mission?” Spacht’s goal of making a sustainable beer would fit in with part of the college’s mission. “We want it to be a sustainable, organic beer, if at all possible, which so far, it looks pretty good,” Spacht said. The barley seeds are organic, and both the hops and barley will be grown organically, he said. The beer will be produced locally. As of now, there are no name ideas for a beer produced at Mercyhurst, but the creators do have a slogan idea. “Carpe Brewem,” Spacht said. “Seize the beer.”
David Whyte shares poetry, wisdom By Christopher James Contributing writer
Jill Barrile photo
Poet David Whyte spoke at Mercyhurst College on Sunday, March 27, as part of the annual Literary Festival.
The first of three events for Mercyhurst’s ninth annual Literary Festival took place Sunday, when poet David Whyte not only recited poetry but also spoke words of wisdom to the audience. Whyte described his childhood and how he became a poet. He began writing poetry at age seven. “I was searching for a way of trying to be equal to the world. I would stare at the stars until I got a headache,” Whyte said. For 10 years, he studied marine life and spent two of those years doing research in the Galapagos Islands. “When I got there, none of the animals had read any of my biology books,” Whyte said. “When an animal would do something that it was not supposed to, I found myself turning away.”
After spending time in the Galapagos Islands, Whyte had a desire to describe the things that he had seen, but “scientific language was not precise enough to describe the world” he had experienced, he said. Freshman Tye Schreiber was impressed with the transition Whyte made. “It was pretty cool how he went from a marine zoologist to poet,” Schreiber said. At the event, Whyte recited his own works as well as works of other poets such as Dante and Shakespeare. Freshman Aaron Gomes enjoyed the variety of poems Whyte recited. “He was very good, and he had a lot to offer,” Gomes said. Whyte’s writings were on various topics, but the poems he recited stressed the self. He discussed undergoing hard times in life and gave advice about dealing with these tough times.
“I could hear echoes of great writers in his work,” chair of the English department Jeffrey Roessner, Ph.D., said. “He had a terrific emphasis on delivering lines of poetry so that the audience caught every word. He intently focused on connecting with the audience.” Whyte defined what being a poet means to him. He said a poet is someone who can see reality for how it truly is. “One of the difficult arts of both life and writing is meeting reality,” Whyte said. “The way we learn is by going through periods of visitation and absence… Knowing and not knowing.” At the end of the event, Whyte left his audience with a question. “Will you turn your face back to the next great step in life?” he asked. The next Literary Festival event takes place Thursday, April 7, when poet Gary Myers will read his works in Taylor Little Theatre at 8 p.m.
March 30, 2011
Career Fair shows Mercyhurst students are qualified, prepared
Tuition increases to keep Mercyhurst operating
By Kelly Luoma
By Mike Gallagher
Students met with employers, handed out their resumes and discussed career and internship opportunities at last week’s annual Career and Job Fair. From a total of 518 students who attended the event, 402 of them are from the Mercyhurst main campus, according to Executive Director of Experiential Learning Kyle Foust, Ph.D. This is an 11 percent increase over the number of students from Mercyhurst who attended last year’s career fair. “We are very pleased with that,” Foust said. Many students who attended the fair found it to be a helpful and positive experience. “I think it’s going great,” graduate student Jimmy Strand said. “I think they have a great selection of companies, they certainly tried to cover all their majors, and I think the school has done a good job of letting the students know about the fair.” Senior Kelton Macke went to the fair looking for a local internship. “It’s been very helpful actually,” she said.
Out of the 74 companies that were present, senior accounting and finance major Tyler Rowley said he couldn’t find any that appealed to him. “No one has anything to offer in my major,” he said. In order to cater to students who are undeclared, Academic Support from Mercyhurst was present at the fair. Retention Specialist from the Student Academic Support Office Justin Ross said the office was there because the fair was a great opportunity for undeclared students. He said the career fair was helpful for students to connect employers with skills they would need for the future. This could then help them decide on a major. Ross said he was pleased with the number of undeclared students who attended the fair. “We had a great turnout,” Ross said. “I wish all of them would show up.” The employers at the event told Foust the students were qualified and presented themselves well. The employers’ comments show that Mercyhurst has properly prepared its students, Foust said. Foust is working on surveying the representatives who came to the fair as well as students who attended in order to get feedback about the Career Fair.
As it does every year, Mercyhurst College’s tuition will increase for the 2011-12 academic year. According to the minutes from the Jan. 27 meeting, the Board of Trustees “approved an overall increase of 5.17 percent (blended rate), representing a $1,839 additional cost for a resident student to attend Mercyhurst College Erie campus during academic year 20112012.” The board minutes broke down this percentage into what each additional expense will be. This overall increase in tuition brings “tuition based on flat-rate billing to $25,860 (a 4.92 percent increase); mandatory fees to $1,782 (a 4.96 percent increase); room and board to $9,738 (a 5.91 percent increase); for a total cost of $37,380 for a full-time resident student to attend Mercyhurst College in Erie during academic year 2011-2012.” Mercyhurst Vice President for Finance and Treasurer Jane Kelsey said the total cost for a full-time resident student who attends Mercyhurst next year is $35,541. This cost, though, is only the standard cost, which
varies with housing and meal plan selections, she said. As large an increase as this may seem, “compared to last year’s total cost increase of 5.48 percent, this year’s increase is 5.17 percent. The increase is lower compared to last year,” Kelsey said. “Tuition only was increased by 4.92 percent compared to an increase of 5.00 percent last year, and an increase as high as 7.61 percent in 2007-2008.” Kelsey compared this increase to tuition increases in the past. “The total cost increase is an average of 6 percent over the past 21 years, so we are under our historical average with a total cost increase of 5.17 percent for next year,” Kelsey said. “The administration worked hard to keep it below the historical average due to the economy and financial struggles of our students and their families.” Tuition increases every year because it “costs money to run the college, and a lot of it goes towards student scholarships,” she said. The excess money gathered from the tuition increase goes toward “increased utility costs, a very modest salary increase for faculty and staff and other operating costs,” Kelsey said. “Running a campus of this size is almost like running a city.”
News Briefs Student threatened with knife
A female student was threatened with a knife on Sunday, March 27, at approximately 4 a.m. when she was walking toward Warde Hall. A dark green car approached her, and a white male asked if she had a cigarette. The male then showed the student a large kitchen knife and ordered her into the vehicle. The student ran into her residence hall, and the man drove away. This incident is similar to a report earlier this school year when a female student was threatened by a male with a kitchen knife. This incident occurred in the CVS parking lot.
Summer employment available for students Students interested in summer employment at Mercyhurst College can pick up applications at the HR Office in Weber Hall. Applications must be returned by Friday, April 15, to be considered for the first round of job assignments. Students who work at least 180 hours during the summer qualify for a 50 percent reduction in their summer housing.
The March 23 issue of The Merciad contained incorrect information about Mercyhurst’s Equestrian Club. While the Equestrian Team currently competes regionally against 16 schools with two members, the Equestrian Club has a 2010-11 membership of 17 students. Additionally, Chad Redmond, Ph.D., founded the club in 2004 with the help of students at the time. Current club adviser Mary Ann Owoc, Ph.D., succeeded him in 2005.
March 30, 2011
’Hurst to host second Relay for Life By Alicia Cagle Staff writer
The second Relay for Life at Mercyhurst College will take place outside the Hermann Student Union from 1 p.m. Saturday, April 30 to 1 a.m. Sunday, May 1. Students will walk in teams for the American Cancer Society for 12 hours, raising money for cancer awareness and research. In 2010, Relay for Life was the largest student-run philanthropy event at Mercyhurst. Junior Ethan Johns plays an important role as cochair of the event along with junior Katie Pieh. Pieh is planning events that represent Relay for Life and its new
affiliation, Colleges Against Cancer. Johns became involved in Relay for Life after he was diagnosed with cancer. “I was invited to Relay in the spring as a survivor and realized it was a great way to recognize all that the Mercyhurst and Erie communities do to support those with cancer, aim to prevent cancer, and ultimately fight for a cure,” he said. There is hope that Relay for Life will become an annual event for the Mercyhurst College community. As a graduate of Mercyhurst Prep, Johns would like to see more participation from the high school and also from the Sisters of Mercy. Sophomore Kaleigh Hubert is another student participating in
Relay for Life as a member and captain of the Honors Program team. “I participate in Relay for Life because I want to make a difference, and I find it to be a very fun and rewarding event,” Hubert said. “There are a number of students interested in walking and helping out, and because Relay for Life hits home for a lot of people, I truly expect that we will gain a great deal of support from our program.” Hubert participates because her grandmother is fighting liver cancer, and her grandfather overcame prostate cancer a few years ago. “I walk for the two of them and for everyone else who is and was affected by this awful disease in the hopes that someday, a cure will be found. I have been participating in
Relay for Life for the past few years, including last year when Mercyhurst hosted its first Relay for Life on campus,” Hubert said. This year, Johns and the committee, which in addition to Pieh also includes Lorraine Frownfelter, system/domain administrator and their American Cancer Society representative, are planning to raise at least $25,000 in order to beat last year’s amount. Johns said they also want to increase the number of teams and participants. There were 32 teams in 2010, and there are 32 teams signed up for this year’s Relay for Life with hope for more. For more information or to sign up for this year’s Relay for Life, go to relay.mercyhurst.edu.
Jazz FM provides entertainment, opportunity By Christopher James Contributing writer
Ethan Magoc photos
Freshman Ashley Ayers above, and senior Lisa MacDonald are two of the students who work at Mercyhurst’s Jazz FM.
Mercyhurst College offers plenty of options for students to have their voices heard by the college and the Erie community. Through shows produced in the television studio to stories in The Merciad, students can add their contributions and learn new skills that will help prepare them for life after college. At WMCE, Mercyhurst’s jazz station, students are finding more opportunities for their voices to be heard while honing important skills. “The students help with everything from public service announcements to CD categorizing,” said Mike Leal, Jazz FM director of broadcasting. Students are also given the opportunity to work on “Top Jazz” and “Jazz at the Hurst,” the station’s two shows, that air each week. “Jazz at the Hurst” plays each Wednesday at 3 p.m., and currently has three students take turns creating the show each week. “We try to rotate hosts because students don’t normally have the time to do it every week,” Leal said. Senior Lisa MacDonald and freshman Ashley Ayers are two of the hosts. Their work with WMCE has taught them skills that will help both in the future.
MacDonald is a biology major who has been working at the radio station since her freshman year. Since last winter, MacDonald has done about 20 shows of “Jazz at the Hurst.” Though MacDonald does not intend to pursue a career in radio, she recognizes the advantages it has given her. “I’ve become comfortable with the sound of my voice, and I communicate better,” MacDonald said. Ayers, a communication major, is also seeing the benefits of working at the radio station. “I love working here. Mike’s such a nice guy, and it’s nice to get familiar with the equipment,” Ayers said. She, too, feels more comfortable and confident with her voice.The radio station can be heard throughout the Erie area, but Ayers thinks more Mercyhurst students should tune into the station. “I wish that more students would listen, because a lot of people put hard work into this,” Ayers said. Leal plans to get a fourth host for “Jazz at the Hurst” next year, and “the door is always open for students who would like to be here as a work study or volunteer to help continue with the jazz format,” Leal said. “We would really be struggling without the help of our work-study students.” Any students interested in working at the radio station can contact Leal. For everyone else, don’t forget to tune into 88.5 Jazz FM.
What are you looking forward to this term?
“The fact that this is my last term before my senior year-this term is one of the last speedbumps before graduation.” -Tim McAndrew, junior
“The thing I’m looking forward to this year is �inishing and �inally showing this year’s Communiaction movie, “Diary of Sarah Lucas.” We have all worked so hard on it and I’m really excited to �inally share it with everyone on May 8 in Taylor little Theatre at 8 p.m. It’s going to be a blast.” -Leah Hubbard, senior
“I am looking forward to the warm weather and day-long ‘study’ sessions at the beach.” -Amanda Crago, freshman
March 30, 2011
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
‘Complexions’ presents the dichotomy of dance By Sarah Mastrocola Staff writer
The Complexions Contemporary Ballet performance on Sunday in the Performing Arts Center can really only be described as a visual fiesta of beauty and athleticism that left the audience very impressed. The dancers moved with sinuous grace and utter control while also incorporating raw ferocity and a degree of ruggedness in many of the pieces. Freshman Emily McAveney described the performances as “the perfect combination of pure athleticism and exceptional artistry.” The performance featured the choreography of Dwight Rhoden, a lauded dance figure and co-director of the company along with Desmond Richardson. The evening began with “Moon Over Jupiter,” a piece memorable for its lighting as well as the dancing.
The hazy lights created an atmosphere in which it seemed almost like the dancers were dancing on a moon. The choreography for this piece, with its many duets and solos intertwined with group dancing, successfully showcased the many talents of both the men and women of the company. Next came “Spill,” a pas de deux (dance for two) performed in tan costumes that made the dancers look almost nude. This shorter piece incorporated continuous motion that kept the eye busy to the very last second. Though less memorable than some of the other pieces on the program, “Spill” displayed the impressive partnering skills of the two who danced it. “On Holiday” gave some variety to the concert as it featured more jazzy movement elements and women in ballroom heels rather than pointe shoes. The piece included a series of pas de deuxs which ended with an especially raw, heated duet. Music included jazz pieces like
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Dancers from Complexions Contemporary Ballet dance a pas de deux titled “Spill.” “Come Rain or Come Shine” and “My Man.” Another portion of Act II, “Moody Booty Blues,” began with
a riveting trio of males jumping with great vigor that melded into vivacious dancing with two female members of the company.
This piece also had a bluesy, jazz influence. Finally, the performance ended with “Rise,” a high-energy and intensely riveting piece set to music by U2. The combination of rock concert-like lighting, red costuming, and the dynamic performance by the dancers ended the evening with a definite bang. One of the most visually appealing aspects of the whole performance was the way in which the choreography and lighting accentuated the exceptionally well sculpted bodies of the dancers in the company. “They utilized dynamics to emphasize their extreme lines and articulate bodies,” said freshman Eliza Davidson. All in all, the Complexions performance left many impressed and excited by the energy of the evening. “Their attack is so amazing but they still have perfect control over their movements,” said freshman Emily Reed. “They are fierce.”
Singers perform poetry in ‘Matchbook’ By Natalie Pertz Staff writer
This past Friday, the Erie community gathered for a collaborative performance of original poetry and classical music compositions. “Matchbook: An Evening of Poetry, Music, and Song” began at 8 p.m. in a well attended Walker Recital Hall to an eager audience. Sponsored by the Poet Laureate Initiative of Erie County, the concert featured the poetic work of Beth Gylys set to the musical compositions of Dan Welcher. Gylys, an award-winning author and English teacher at Georgia State University, formerly served on the faculty of the English Department at Mercyhurst. The concert began with a welcome and introduction of Gylys by her husband, Thomas Forsthoefel Ph.D., a Mercyhurst professor of religious studies and the 2010-11 Poet Laureate of Erie County. Gylys read a selection of her additional poetic work prior to the
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Sophomore Sara Maitland performed“Reubenesque.”
actual “Matchbook” performance commenced. The poetry in her chapbook “Matchbook” became the inspiration for Friday’s song sequence. Gylys says she “had always had a fascination for the concept of personal ads in which people would summarize themselves and what they were all about in a few, short sentences.” When making her “Matchbook,” Gylys thought of every individual’s personal ad as a character and wanted to bring that character to life in their poem or in this case, their poetic song. The poetic song came to life through the dynamic performances of singers from the D’Angelo Department of Music under the direction of Louisa Jonason. The student performers included Andrea Baker, Sara Maitland, Brittany Barko, Katie Wagner and Nathan Stern. After seeing her peers perform, freshman Kathleen Reveille said “it was nice to see my friends perform the songs of a well established poet.”
Although the performance was a delightful experience for the audience and performers alike, junior Katie Wagner, who sang “Luscious Latina” in a fun, feisty characterization, said, “the songs were difficult to learn, but we all (the performers) managed to have fun with our characters once we got the music down.” The concert was an enjoyable blend of original, witty personal ads such as “Filthy Rich, In Search of a French Maid,” “You Smell of Money,” and “In Search of Undertaker’s Daughter” and upbeat, cleverly composed music. The singers were able to bring Gylys’ characters to life through individual performances that brought smiles and laughter to those who attended. Sophomore Sara Maitland performed a piece titled “Reubenesque.” “It was a wonderfully refreshing opportunity to sing a such a modern original work like this,” she said. “It was difficult on a certain level because I wanted to give justice to the true essence of the poem.”
March3, 30, 2011 September 2008
The views expressed in the opinion section of The Merciad do not necessarily reflect the views of Mercyhurst College, the staff of The Merciad or the Catholic Church. Responses on any subject are always welcomed and can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Water crisis remains Why the situation should be addressed By Kathleen Vogtle Staff writer
Our planet is faced with various crises, many of which are far-reaching or long-lasting. It often feels as though new situations are springing up daily. Wars are waging; people are starving or have nowhere to live; the AIDS virus thrives in Africa; social injustices and prejudices affect the way we see the world. These challenges, among others, are what most people tend to think of when evaluating society’s situation. They are very bold, in one’s face and immediate. But the sheer weight they carry often causes a shift in focus away from other problems which might present equal, if not greater, issues
in the future. One of these is the water crisis. Water has been of great importance since before biblical times. It has been the basis of migrations and allowed for the building of civilizations. Crops are planted and harvested based on aquatic rhythms. Water is the world’s greatest creator and also one of its greatest destructive forces. The World Water Council reports that one billion people live without clean drinking water and many lack adequate sanitation. Nearly 4,000 children die every day from waterborne diseases. The daily per capita use of water in residential areas is 350 liters in North America and Japan and 200 liters in Europe, compared to 10 to 20 liters in sub-Saharan Africa. Additionally, more than 260 river basins are shared by two
or more countries, mostly without adequate legal or institutional arrangements. If allowed to continue unchecked, many scientists and historians believe that it could trigger a third world war. The obvious hope is that the issue can be adequately addressed before this point is reached. The question ultimately comes down to who has access to fresh water, who controls it, and how it is distributed. As one of the primary holders and consumers of fresh water, it falls on this nation to begin the movement of raising awareness of the water crisis and propel the attempts to rectify it. With World Water Day having just passed on March 22, we are presented with the perfect opportunity to begin this mission before
An online look at the FBI’s cover-ups Staff writer
This week, I’m going to take a break from politics and social issues and talk about something fun. I was recently on my favorite fan site for the “X-Files,” a show from the mid-1990s about a team of FBI special agents who investigated paranormal crimes and phenomena. The show revolved around two agents named Mulder and Scully. Mulder believed that the paranormal was real but Scully was a skeptic. By the time the show ended in 2002, it had a large and dedicated fan base. In the “X-Files,” the government was always covering up much of the work Mulder was doing in
Penn State Behrend will be hosting the region’s second career fair. All Mercyhurst students are welcome to attend. For Bad and Ugly, go online.
Mercyhurst men: Find Your Manners Lindsey Crosby reveals the lack of chivalry that exists on campus.
Battle over unions
For opinions on unions, read Thomas Snippert and Caitlin Handerhan’s columns. Both writers shed light on the current battle waging in the political realm.
If you don’t want it printed . . . don’t let it happen.
Uncovering the X-Files By Mike Lado
order to prevent the truth about the paranormal from getting out to the public. Besides the flying saucers and little green men, the “X-Files” was a humorous yet dark show that turned out to be one of the best scifi shows ever. What if I told you there really were “X-Files” in the FBI’s procession? In reality, there is no special team dedicated to investigating the paranormal. The FBI occasionally does, and has in the past, investigated paranormal phenomena. You, too, can view these case files. In 1998, the FBI declassified many of these files and has them available on its website courtesy of the Freedom of Information Act. There is a larger collection of files dealing with conspiracy topics such as UFOs, cattle muti-
lation, aliens, Roswell and Project Blue Book. While almost all the investigations were ruled to be inconclusive, it’s exciting to know there were a few lucky agents who delved into the world of conspiracy theories and paranormal phenomenon. The FBI also maintains interesting historical sections on an assortment of criminals such as Al Capone as well as various directors and agents such as J. Edgar Hoover. They even have a good section of frequently asked questions that exposes the truth about the FBI’s investigations into the paranormal. On a more serious note, why was taxpayers’ money used for this stuff ? If you want to view any of these files for yourself, visit the bureau’s website.
Editors Ethan Magoc Kelly Luoma Alaina Rydzewski Victoria Gricks Spencer Hunt Alex Stacey Kaitlin Badger Tyler Stauffer Ethan Johns Daniela Carcamo Bill Welch Brian Sheridan
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March 30 2011
March 30, 2011
Mercyhurst students step into Golden Gloves ring By Matt Cirell Staff writer
Two Mercyhurst students competed in their first Golden Gloves boxing matches Sunday at an Erie east side church social hall. Doug Kaluhiokalani, a welterweight (141 pounds), won his match against Keegan Lupori of South Park. He advanced to a fight in two weeks in Pittsburgh. Andrew Barninger, a light middleweight (152 pounds), was not as fortunate, as Bobby Osterrieder of Butler defeated him in the third round on an RSC (Referee Stopped Contest). Barninger competed and perservered but it was not quite enough in his first bout. “I felt like I won the first round because I had longer reach than he did—kept him away. I just kept jabbing and jabbing,” said Barninger, who then fell behind to Osterrieder’s second and third-round whirlwind attacks. “I just wasn’t ready for that. It’s hard to deal with.” Kaluhiokalani’s victory at Holy Trinity Catholic Church’s social hall, 2220 Reed St., was a storybook, come-from-behind win. Lupori
Ethan Magoc photos
Doug Kalukiokalani, left, and Andrew Barninger, right, competed in the Pennsylvania State Golden Gloves Competition Sunday in Erie. took control of the first round, firing lightning-quick punches and jabs left and right. In the second round, Kaluhiokalani became angry. “I was nervous, but when he
started punching me, I was like this (guy) is going down,” Kaluhiokalani said. “Technique won that fight.” He patiently waited for the right time to throw his punch and finally connected with a murderous right
hook which threw Lupori off his focus. In the third round, Kaluhiokalani’s victory became apparent, as he connected with quick punches until the official stopped the fight and named Kaluhiokalani the
Women’s water polo continues strong season By Spencer Hunt Sports editor
Water polo is somewhat of a forgotten sport at Mercyhurst. With no pool on campus, it fits the definition of out of sight, out of mind. If fans want to see the Lakers play, they have to travel to Gannon University, Mercyhurst North East or Penn State Behrend, to name a few recent sites of men’s and women’s water polo home games. This is the first challenge Mercyhurst water polo seeks to overcome each year. The next challenge is the division Mercyhurst plays in. The Lakers are in the Western Division of the Collegiate Water Polo Association, which is unlike the PSAC where most Mercyhurst teams call home. The PSAC is comprised of only
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Senior Rachel Griepsma leads an experienced Mercyhurst team this year. Division II schools and features schools of relatively similar size like Edinboro and Slippery Rock. In the Western Division, there are both Division I and Division II schools. Mercyhurst will have to face rival
Gannon as usual, but also Division I powerhouse Michigan. In the division, three teams are ranked nationally. In order to prepare for this level of competition, smart scheduling is key. Robinette does his best to mix the Division I powers with other Division II schools for non-conference games. “We start at a disadvantage in the division, so we need to skew our expectations a little bit,” Robinette said. Despite the challenges facing the Lakers, they have still competed well in the division this year. The men’s team posted a program-best 18 wins in the fall, while the women’s team holds a 9-7 overall record just past the halfway mark in the schedule. Since the team practices and has its home games at Gannon, the
Lakers have one advantage after all. This pool at Gannon is smaller than those at the larger schools, and with a smaller pool, teams cannot space out like they traditionally would. The Lakers can use that to their advantage. “Our practices mimic game situations to help prepare the mental side of the game,” Robinette explained. Rachel Griepsma is one of 10 upperclassmen on a team of 18. This type of experience is a major contributor to the team’s success. “You can’t teach maturity and experience,” Robinette said. The Lakers hope the experience and leadership from Griepsma and other upperclassmen pays off. Penn State Behrend is next up for Mercyhurst—this Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at Gannon.
victor. Nola Hessom, assistant director of Mercyhurst’s mixed martial arts program, enjoyed watching Kaluhiokalani’s first bout. “Doug did really well. He was very tactical and structured. We teach a tactical defensive technique called ‘Crazy Monkey,’ and he had his head in the fight and waited for the perfect time to strike,” she said. The two Mercyhurst fighters had been training hard for this event and will continue to hit the gym for fights in the future. Barninger has aspirations of fighting again and Kaluhiokalani has qualified for the Pittsburgh tournament. He will compete for the Western Pennsylvania Sub-Novice Championship. “They learned they have some things to still work on in the gym, but neither one embarrassed themselves,” said John Bruno, director of the college’s MMA program. “There aren’t too many people on the planet who know what it’s like to step through those ropes. “But I told these guys, ‘If you want to do it, do it. You’re still young. You don’t have to become a boxer, but you’ll know what it feels like.’”
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Junior Ally Keirn and the women’s lacrosse team are rolling through the first half of the season.