Archive for the ‘Other’ Category

YSU Women’s Tennis Drops Match To UIC


The Youngstown State women’s tennis team forced UIC to a final winner-take-all deciding set in the Horizon League Championship match, but came up short falling 4-3 to the Flames on Sunday afternoon at the West Indy Racquet Club.

YSU fell behind 1-0 dropping the doubles point. The Flames earned wins at No. 1 and No. 3 to earn a key point.

In singles, the Penguins tried to mount a comeback and took two leads – 2-1, 3-2.

At No. 1 Paula de Man won for the 16th consecutive time beating Haley Craig 6-1, 6-4. de Man finished the year with a 23-1 mark, all matches at No. 1 singles.

Then at No. 3, Marta Burak defeated Natasha Kuvankina 6-3, 6-3 to put the Guins ahead 2-1. For Burak, it was her 15th straight win and she ended the season with a school-record 28 wins (28-5).

UIC (16-5) tied the match with a 6-3, 6-4 win over the Penguins’ Tijana Raicevic at No. 6.

YSU went back on top when Margarita Sadovnikova defeated Mariana Palacios, 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 at No. 2. Sadovnikova won her final 11 matches and ended the year 23-11.

At No. 4, Lauren Hankle dropped a 6-3, 6-0 match to Jana Knoppe tying the dual at 3-all.

The lone remaining match saw Annina Brendel battle all the way until the end. After dropping her first set 6-1 to Kathryn Sharpels, she fended off two match points to win a second-set tiebreaker 9-7.

In the third set, Brendel trailed 4-1, but won the next three points and was on serve at 4-all. However, Sharpels broke her service and went on to serve out the final point for a 6-4 win.

It was the 17th consecutive conference championship win for UIC and the first time since 2008 it was pushed to a 4-3 decision.

The Penguins finished the year 15-10 while advancing to the Horizon League Championship match for just the second time in school history.

UIC 4, YSU 3

No. 1 – de Man (YSU) def. Haley Craig (UIC) – 6-1, 6-4
No. 2 – Sadovnikova (YSU) def. Mariana Palacios (UIC) – 6-3, 3-6, 6-2
No. 3 – Burak (YSU) def. Natasha Kuvakina (UIC) – 6-3, 6-3
No. 4 – Jana Knoppe (UIC) def. Hankle (YSU) – 6-3, 6-0
No. 5 – Kathryn Sharples (UIC) def. Brendel (YSU) – 6-1, 6-7 (7), 6-4
No. 6 – Keti Mebuke (UIC) def. Raicevic (YSU) – 6-3, 6-4

No. 1 – Craig/Palacios (UIC) def. Burak/Sadovnikova (YSU) – 8-6
No. 2 – Hankle/de Man (YSU) vs. Knoppe/Sharples (UIC) – Unfinished
No. 3 – Kuvakina/Sophie Hahn (UIC) def. Brendel/Raicevic (YSU) – 8-3

YSU Volleyball Nabs Conference Win


The Youngstown State volleyball team had four players reach double digits in kills and hit .273 as a unit to defeat Milwaukee in four sets (25-22, 20-25, 25-21, 25-23) in a Horizon League match on Saturday at Beeghly Center.

Missy Hundelt tied for match-high honors with 17 kills, and the junior from St. Louis added 13 digs for YSU, which responded from a tough five-set loss to Green Bay on Friday. Alexis Egler added 12 kills while Jenna Cavanaugh had 11 kills and Jackie Carlisle had 10. Hundelt hit .438, and Cavanaugh’s .474 attack percentage was the highest among any player with more than two kills. Erika West added a match-high 15 digs.

Elizabeth Egerer had 17 kills as one of three Panthers in double figures.

The win moves YSU into a three-way tie for fifth place with Milwaukee and Green Bay at 3-6.

“I’m very proud of how we fought this weekend,” YSU head coach Mark Hardaway said. “Last night was a very tough, emotional and physically-draining match. We were flat at times today but found a way to push through at the right times.”

“Our players off the bench continue to do a great job with Kelsey Wagy today and Nichele Johnson and Chelsea Guerrieri yesterday. Milwaukee has a very talented team, and I know this match could have gone either way.  We have been so competitive all year, and I’m very happy for the team. They deserved this win.”

There were 33 ties and 17 lead changes in the match, and the fourth set had 16 of those ties and nine of those lead changes.

YSU Volleyball Stays Hot With Seventh Consecutive Win


The Youngstown State volleyball team got three aces in the fifth set and a match-high 17 kills from Missy Hundelt to beat Binghamton 27-25, 21-25, 20-25, 25-18, 15-13 on Friday in the opening  match of the Akron Zips Invitational.

After being out-aced 10-4 through the first three sets, the Penguins had just one receiving error in the final two sets while posting four aces. In the fifth, Casey D’Ambrose had one at match point, Chelsea Guerrieri’s ace gave YSU a 13-11 lead, and Hundelt’s gave the Guins a 9-5 advantage.

The win was YSU’s seventh in a row, and the Penguins have now matched their win total from the previous two seasons combined. YSU is now 7-2, and Binghamton is 1-7.

Youngstown State overcame a 5-0 deficit in the first with a 7-1 run, and the Penguins eventually took a 19-13 lead on a blocking error. Binghamton scored seven of the next eight points to tie the set at 20, and the Bearcats later scored three straight points to go up 25-24. Hundelt’s kill tied the set at 25, and the Penguins scored the next two points on a Shannon Watson kill and an error by Partaleva.

Binghamton trailed 16-13 in the second before closing the set on a 12-5 run, and the Bearcats won the fourth set 25-20.

Youngstown State will try to push its winning streak to eight this evening when it plays SIU-Edwardsville at 5 p.m.

YSU Volleyball Picks Up First Win, Much Improved


The Youngstown State volleyball team hit .253 as a team and got double-doubles from Missy Hundelt and Jenna Cavanaugh to defeat McNeese State in five sets on Saturday at the Spartan Showcase.

The Penguins won the first two sets 25-17 and 25-22, and they had to rally in the fifth to win 15-13. The victory was the first for YSU in 2012 and the first for Mark Hardaway as the Penguins’ head coach.

Hundelt finished with 17 kills and 13 digs while hitting at a .359 clip, and the junior right-side hitter earned all-tournament team honors for her efforts. Cavanaugh posted a career high with 11 kills, and her 10 blocks were the most by a YSU player since Ruth Boscaljon had 10 at Pittsburgh in 2009.

“I’m very happy that we pulled out the win,” Hardaway said. “We played inconsistently, and McNeese State came after us hard and played very smart. We have a lot of work to do to get to where we need to be, but there were a lot of positives this weekend to build on.”


Lisa Neeld And The Next Step: The Annual Interview


When I first met Lisa Neeld in the Summer of 2009 at a Scrappers game, I was not sure what to think of her.  I knew she was in Playboy and she came off as ditzy and careless.  First impressions don’t always tell the tale, especially in this case.  Several interviews later, and a few appearances on her reality show, have made Lisa a close acquaintance who I now think very highly of.  How can anyone not respect a single mother who is business savvy and works out like a middleweight contender?

Neeld is busy again, very busy.  Her newest venture, Lisa Neeld’s VIP Fitness Studio reflects the type of person that Neeld is.  It is not the typical Zumba center because it is a bit more intense.  There are classes running now and Lisa Neeld is in top shape, she just ran a marathon in Denver earlier this year, a 26.2 k.  She toned it down last month with a modest 13.1k run.

“It was verified in Cleveland that I was officially the first cover model to ever finish a marathon”, said Neeld.  “To this day, I am the only one from Playboy to do that, I am the exception.”

She is also gearing up for season two of VIP Style, her reality show that will start filming within the month.  Don’t think she slacks off her duties of motherhood for selfish fulfillment either, her kids mean the world to her.  She is truly why people should not refer to Playboy models as dead weight in the real world.  Neeld is a contributor and now a friend.  I recently caught up with her to talk about the new gym and season two of the reality show.


Paneech:  Tell me what you have been into these days.

Neeld:  This [fitness center] is home base right now.  We are going into Season Two of VIP Style on September 6th and we are so excited to be doing all new episodes.  There are still reruns going on the CW right now, but we are thrilled about this upcoming season, it will be better than the first.  You’ll be in there!

Paneech:  How are the other things going, like your trademark brand barbecue sauce?

Neeld:  Guy of Guy’s Barbecue is a good friend and he was the mind behind that whole project when it started.  We are out of the food business now, it was fun while it lasted but it was not for me (laughs).  I have also left ‘The Wolf’, it was time and it ran its course.  The fact that I am a single mom makes it tough when you are only one person.  I love Fast Freddie and the gang over there.

Paneech:  So just how much preparation goes into the TV show?

Neeld:  We are already having meetings now to put together a shooting schedule and get things ready, like compiling footage to be edited.  We line all of that up, and I am going to be doing a lot more with the local boxing shows.


Paneech:  Nice gym you have here, what brand of clientele are you drawing?

Neeld:  Thanks!  It is a pretty diverse crowd.  I have a boxer who is coming in here to train.  I have Zumba, Cardio-Go-Go, and Hip Hop programs that are drawing mostly women.  But this ain’t no fluffy spot, we have the hardcore stuff too.  The only thing pink in here is the bathroom and it is a hard pink.  We are trying to cater to everyone.  We have a killer Insanity class on Tuesday’s.  We have a hardcore abs sculpting class.  Even the softer stuff is harder.

Paneech:  So my fat and out of shape self comes through your door, how am I sucked into the programs offered?

Neeld:  (laughs, maybe too loud)  There are different options.  If you are doing the classes like the drumming, kettle bell, kickboxing, or ab sculpting, they are offered in a $29 monthly package – and that is unlimited access, you can come five times a week if you want.  There are also ways to come in and pay for a single class, it is a better deal to get the month though.  I have a basketball player from Youngstown State named Steve who is coming now, he is really maximizing the programs offered here.  The good thing is that I have housewives that also come and get what they need too.

Paneech:  So is it all group work?

Neeld:  Well, we do personal training.  We utilize the Total Gym systems, which are all gravity-based.  We also use suspension training.  I guarantee we can do anything on the straps and Total Gym that any gym can offer.  It is a great concept of using your own body weight against itself.  I am personally involved with every class.  I have a male instructor, Gary Mink, who has 35 marathons under his belt, he is a trainer.  We also offer ‘buddy workouts’ where two people can work out at once.  I do the Zumba and drums class.


Paneech:  If it catches on, will you look for a bigger place?

Neeld:  You know me well enough to know that I go big.  Once we fill in and add time slots, we will look into expansion or open another.  I would like to use five years as a mark to expand.  We are right across the street from Wal-Mart in Cortland, so it is easy to find.  In an average day, I am doing three classes, doing a couple of personal training sessions, and still getting my running in.  We offer about 17 classes plus the personal training a week.  So far the people love it, I am proud that there is no competition here, everyone is comfortable and it is a friendly and productive environment.

Paneech:  How do you make someone challenge their limits to do more?

Neeld:  I have learned how to watch people.  When they are not talking, it is too hard and they are not having fun because it is too hard.  I push people within reason and I would never make a customer do something that I have not or could not do.

Paneech:  There is a whole shelf full of toys.  Drum sticks I know how to use.  What purpose do they serve here?

Neeld:  We flip over milk crates and use stability balls.  The workout consists of pounding away for 45 minutes.  It is the most intense arm-toning thing you can do.  Five minutes into it people are stunned at how tired they are already.  The ladies like it because they can take their aggression out.  It also sharpens the mind and hand-eye coordination.

The concepts are fresh, the hostess wants the customers to benefit, and she is there giving her all, every single day.  Lisa Neeld’s VIP Fitness Center is a very unique and fresh approach to fitness.  She is evolving beyond throwing pitches at Scrappers games and appearances to focus on her newest venture due to time constraints.  She claims there are not enough hours in the day, I claim there are not enough Lisa Neelds in the world.



Third-Seeded Penguins Fall to Butler 4-2 at HL Championships


The Youngstown State men’s tennis team was upset by sixth-seeded Butler on Friday during the first day of action at the Horizon League Championships at North Central High School. The Penguins lost 4-2 to the Bulldogs.

YSU was the third seed in the event and had knocked off Butler for the first time last Sunday in Youngstown.

The Bulldogs jumped on top 1-0 after victories at No. 1 and No. 3 singles. YSU won at No. 2 as Rodrigo Campos and Victor Theorin defeated Tommy Marx and Zach Ervin.

In singles play, the Penguins earned a stright set win at No. 3 at Dawoud Kabli (above) defeated Ervin 6-2, 6-0. At No. 5, Campos beat Billy Weldon 6-4, 2-6, 6-1 for the Guins’ other singles victory.

Butler won in three sets at No. 1 and No. 6 and won in straight sets at No. 4. At No. 4, Max Schmerin lost 6-3, 6-2 to Pulok Bhattacharya. At No. 1, senior Tariq Ismail split the first two sets with Austin Woldmoe before dropping the third. Ismail dropped the opening set 6-1 before rebounding to win the second 7-5. Woldmoe won the third and deciding set 6-1.

At No. 6, Zeeshan Ismail forced a third set against Stephen McLoughlin, but came up short. McLoughlin won the first set 6-4 before Ismail won the second set 6-4. Ismail lost 6-0 in the third set.

At No. 2, Silviu Mistrean was leading Marx 4-6, 6-4, 4-2 when the match was decided.

Butler 4, YSU 2

No. 1 – Austin Woldmoe (BU) def. T. Ismail (YSU) 6-1, 5-7, 6-1
No. 2 – Mistreanu (YSU) vs. Tommy Marx (BU) 4-6, 6-4, 4-2
No. 3 – Kabli (YSU) def. Zach Ervin (BU) 6-2, 6-0
No. 4 – Pulok Bhattacharya (BU) def. Schmerin (YSU) 6-3, 6-2
No. 5 – Campos (YSU) def. Billy Weldon (BU) 6-4, 2-6, 6-1
No. 6 – Stephen McLoughlin (BU) def. Z. Ismail (YSU) 6-4, 4-6, 6-0

No. 1 – Austin Woldmoe/Billy Weldon (BU) def. T. Ismail/Kabli (YSU), 8-4
No. 2 – Campos/Theorin (YSU) def. Tommy Marx/Zach Ervin (BU), 8-1
No. 3 – Stephen McLoughlin/Sam O’Neill (BU) def. Mistreanu/Z. Ismail (YSU), 8-5

YSU Mens Tennis Beats Butler For First Time Ever


The Youngstown State men’s tennis team picked up its first win over Butler since joining the Horizon League knocking off the Bulldogs 5-2 on a chilly Sunday afternoon at the YSU Tennis Courts.

The Penguins came out strong winning the doubles point by taking two of three matches. Butler won two of the first three singles matches, before YSU clinched the victory with strong three-set wins at No. 4, No. 5 and No. 6 singles.

At No. 2, Silviu Mistreanu (above) picked up a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Tommy Marx. At. No. 1, Tariq Ismail suffered a 6-1, 6-3 loss to Austin Woldmoe while Dawould Kabli dropped his match to Zach Ervin after winning the opening set. Kabli won the first set 6-3, but dropped the next two 7-5, 6-4.

Mistreanu finished Horizon League play with a 6-1 record. He carrys a five-game winning streak to the HL Championships 14-5 overall.

At No. 4, Rodrigo Campos battled back after losing a first-set tiebreaker to beat Pulok Bhattacharya 6-3, 6-3 in the final two sets.

Zeeshan Ismail picked up the clinching point for the Penguins at No. 5. Ismail dropped his first set 6-3, to Billy Weldon before battling back to win the next two 6-4, 6-4. At No. 6, a firery Felipe Rosa won 6-2, 6-7, 6-4 over Stephen McLoughlin.

With the win, the Penguins improve to 9-10 overall and 4-3 in the Horizon League. Butler falls to 3-19 and 2-4.

YSU returns to action on Friday in the first round of the Horizon League Tournament.

Youngstown State vs. Butler

No. 1 – Austin Woldmoe (BU) def. T. Ismail (YSU) 6-1, 6-3
No. 2 – Mistreanu (YSU) def. Tommy Marx (BU) 6-1, 6-2
No. 3 – Zach Ervin (BU) def. Kabli (YSU) 3-6, 7-5, 6-4
No. 4 – Campos (YSU) def. Pulok Bhattacharya (BU) 6-7, 6-3, 6-3
No. 5 – Z. Ismail (YSU) def. Billy Weldon (BU) 3-6, 6-4, 6-4
No. 6 – Rosa (YSU) def. Stephen McLoughlin (BU) 6-2, 6-7, 6-4

No. 1 – Woldmoe/Weldon (BU) def. T. Ismail/Kabli (YSU) 8-4
No. 2 – Campos/Theorin (YSU) def. Marx/Erwin (BU) 8-4
No. 3 – Mistreanu/Z. Ismail (YSU) def. McLoughlin/O’Neill (BU) 8-4

World’s Toughest Mudder Concludes, Good Cause Benefits From Competition

It is a test of man vs man, and also man vs nature, filled with athletes who bring different strengths and weaknesses to these games.  Some of the athletes are stronger, rugged weightlifter type guys, while other are speedy, slender, marathon running types.  Shapes and sizes are part of the beauty that form the “Tough Mudder” makeup.

The outcome even takes a backseat to the cause.  All of the proceeds generated at the “Tough Mudder” competition go toward the Wounded Warrior Project, which is a non-profit organization that raises money for service men and women who were severely injured.

The competition itself entails a 10-12 mile obstacle course that challenge strength, stamina, mental toughness, and camaraderie.  That criteria alone would make it unique.

To browse the Tough Mudder official webpage, I saw the three criteria statements that the organization posted and expounded on.

  1. Marathon Running Is Boring.
  2. Mudders Do Not Take Themselves Seriously.
  3. You Cannot Complete A Tough Mudder Course Alone.

So more importantly than winning to the founders, is helping fellow competitors complete the course.  It is not a contest to find the ultimate physical fitness specimen that the Cleveland Browns would pay decent money to clone, but rather an exhibition of sportsmanship where finishing the course is the goal – not necessarily finishing the course first.

The two-day weekend staged event is taking place at various locations around the world and only so many spots to participate are sold for each.

Want in?  Hone your skills on the monkey bars, carrying large chunks of wood for set distances, swim, climb, jump, help people swim, climb, and jump, and show up in shape – both mentally and physically.  Oh yeah, and bring a change of clothes, the ‘Mudder’ part of the title is also an adjective of a good part of the course.

YSU Women Claim 4-3 Road Win At Valpo


The Youngstown State women’s tennis team picked up their first win of the season defeating Valparaiso 4-3 on Saturday afternoon at the Northwest Athletic Club.

YSU earned the doubles point and picked up victories at No. 1, No. 2 and No.4 singles. The deciding match was Gimena Puppo‘s come-from-behind win at No. 4 singles.

The Penguins won the doubles point to get off on a good start. Marta Burak and Carolyn Jesko won 8-4 and No. 1 while Puppo and Laurent Hankle picked up an 8-6 victory at No. 2.

In singles play, Burak cruised to a 6-0, 6-0 win over Megan Barthels at No. 1 and Hankle took care of Stephanie York 6-1, 6-3 at No. 2.

Jesko dropped a 6-1, 6-4 decision at No. 3 to Kaitlyn Hamel while Jennifer Moore lost 6-0, 6-0 to Brittany O’Reilly.

The match came down to Puppo’s comeback. She lost the first set to Kristin Zakiewicz 5-7, but rallied to take the next two 6-4, 6-2 to give the Guins their first win of the season.

For the year, YSU improves to 1-14 overall and 1-4 in the Horizon League while Valpo is 4-13 and 0-6.

The Penguins play at UIC on Sunday. First serve is set for noon.

YSU 4, Valparaiso 3

No. 1 – Burak (YSU) def. Megan Barthels (VU) – 6-0, 6-0
No. 2 – Hankle (YSU) def. Stephanie York (VU) – 6-1, 6-3
No. 3 – Kaitlyn Hamel (VU) def. Jesko (YSU) – 6-1, 6-4
No. 4 – Puppo (YSU) def. Kristin Zakiewicz (VU) – 5-7, 6-4, 6-2
No. 5 – Brittany O’Reilly (VU) def. Moore (YSU) – 6-0, 6-0
No. 6 – Angelina Goheen (VU) won by default

No. 1 – Burak/Jesko (YSU) def. Zakiewicz/Barthels (VU) – 8-4
No. 2 – Hankle/Puppo (YSU) def. Hamel/York (VU) – 8-6
No. 3 – Goheen/O’Reilly (VU) won by default

*Story Courtesy YSU Sports Information

Seniors Honored At YSU Swim & Dive Meet


The Youngstown State swimming and diving team finished up their home season on Friday against UIC at Beeghly Natatorium. Freshman Ashley Dow broke two pool records and junior Casey Hill continued her dominance in the diving events.

The Penguins honored their seniors Nishani Cicilson, Audy Grubbs, Kirstin Walker and Katie Wolf prior to the meet (above).

On the night, YSU won six events in a 166-133 dual loss to the Flames.  Dow ecplished two pool records to earn first place in the 100- and 200-yard backstroke clocking a times of 58.61 seconds and 2:06.65 respectively.

Hill finished in first in the one- and three-meter dive with scores of 260.84 and 262.35. With those wins, she earned her 17 and 18 diving wins of the season.

Sophomore Megan Ciampa earned first in the 500- and 1000-yard freestyle with times of 5:20.25 and 10:49.71, respectively. Grubbs finished in second in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5:22.00.

Sophomores Laura Paz and Kim Kurtz took first and second in the 200-yard butterfly with times of 2:12.75 and 2:24.02, respectively.  In the 50-yard free, Cicilson was less than a second away from first, earning second place with a time of 25.03 seconds. She also took fourth in the 100 fly.  Junior Sam Roberts finished in second the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke with times of 1:08.48 and 2:26.72.

The Penguins finished in second place in the 200-yard medley relay with a time of 1:51.18. The squad was comprised of Dow, sophomore  Angela Diorio, sophomore Laura Paz and Cicilson. In the 200-yard freestyle relay, the team of Paz, Grubbs, junior Soriah Davis and Walker finished in second with a time of 1:41.70.  Diorio finished in second in the 200-yard IM with a time of 2:17.06.  Walker and Grubbs captured second and third place in the 200-yard free with times of 1:58.00 and 1:58.98, respectively. Walker also took third in the 100 free (54.66).

In the 1000 free, sophomores Brittany Vigar and Kim Kurtz took third and fourth with times of 11:06.09 and 11:25.03, respectively. Paz earned third place in the 100 fly.

YSU will host its annual Diving Invitational on Sunday at 11 a.m. The next full-team action will be at the Horizon League Championships on Feb. 22 in Brown Deer, Wis.