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College Volleyball:
Raptor of the Week: Marci Polite

Monday, October 2, 2006

By Mike Ballard
RutgersCamden Sports Correspondent

Marci Polite (Cherry Hill, NJ/Cherry Hill East)

The Rutgers-Camden volleyball team went 3-1 during the week and set a program single-season record for victories, with freshman Marci Polite playing a key role. The 6-0 middle hitter collected 50 kills, 19 blocks, 11 aces, 23 digs and four assists in the Lady Raptors' four matches. Included in her week was a 20-kill performance in a win at Bryn Athyn College of the New Church on Sept. 27.

MEN'S SOCCER (5-3-2 overall/3-1-1 NJAC)

Wed. 27* Rutgers-Camden 1, The College of New Jersey 0
Sat. 30* Montclair State University 2, Rutgers-Camden 1

Upcoming games

Mon. 2 Arcadia University 7 p.m.
Thurs. 5 Philadelphia Biblical University 7 p.m.
Sat. 7 Lincoln University 3 p.m.
Mon. 9 John Jay College of Criminal Justice 4 p.m.
Wed. 11 at Richard Stockton College 8 p.m.
Sat. 14 William Paterson University 6 p.m.
Wed. 18 at Franklin & Marshall College 4 p.m.
Sat. 21 at Ramapo College 1 p.m.
Wed. 25 at New Jersey City University 3 p.m.

The Rutgers-Camden men’s soccer team faced two of the elite programs in the New Jersey Athletic Conference and split a pair of games during the week. The Raptors posted a 1-0 home victory against defending NJAC champion The College of New Jersey, Sept. 27, before dropping a 2-1 decision at nationally-ranked Montclair State University Sept. 30.

Senior midfielder Michael Reed (Cherry Hill, NJ/Cherry Hill East) headed in the lone goal of the game off a corner kick by junior midfielder Rob Gambino (Marlton, NJ/Cherokee) to lift the Raptors over visiting TCNJ.

The contest was a rematch of last year’s NJAC championship game in Ewing, which was won by the Lions, 1-0, on November 5. The Lions also won the regular-season contest, 2-1, at TCNJ Oct. 1. Prior to Wednesday night, the last Rutgers-Camden win in the series was Oct. 2, 2004 in Camden (1-0 in the first overtime).

In a well-played game, the Raptors notched the lone goal at 76:24 when Reed headed in his third goal of the season.

TCNJ applied late pressure in an attempt to tie the game, but their best shot, a bullet by senior forward Matt Luber was batted clear of the goal on a leaping save by Raptor junior goalie Brent Grunow (Estell Manor, NJ/Buena Regional) with 2:10 remaining in regulation.

Grunow made seven saves for the Raptors, while TCNJ junior keeper Matt Kasperavicius didn’t need to make a save.

The Lions outshot the Raptors, 14-10, in the contest, with many of the shots coming in the last 15 minutes. TCNJ held a 6-4 advantage in corner kicks.

In their second NJAC battle of the week, the Raptors was senior midfielder Bill Anthes score both goals, including the game-winner off a header with 2:50 remaining to power Montclair State to a 2-1 victory.

The Red Hawks, ranked No. 11 in the latest NSCAA/adidas Division III Top 25 poll, improved to 11-0 on the season for their best start since 1969. They lead the NJAC with a 5-0 record.

Senior Todd Tumelty assisted on Anthes’ winning goal, which came on a header off of a corner kick. It was his 10th goal of the season and his second multi-goal game of the week.

Anthes scored the game’s first goal with an unassisted tally at 26:34, lofting a shot over Grunow, who was off the goal line following a punt. The Red Hawks held that lead until 68:11, when freshman midfielder Dom Crocetti (Marlton, NJ/Holy Cross) scored his first collegiate goal. He scored on a header, assisted by junior midfielder Rodney Guishard (Mays Landing, NJ/Oakcrest), who kept the ball alive in the box following a corner kick.

Grunow made six saves for the Raptors, while MSU netminder Nick Mele had two saves.

The Red Hawks held an 11-8 advantage in shots, while the Scarlet Raptors had an 8-6 edge in corner kicks.

WOMEN'S SOCCER (6-4 overall/2-3 NJAC)

Wed. 27* The College of New Jersey 3, Rutgers-Camden 0
Sat. 30* Montclair State University 3, Rutgers-Camden 0

Upcoming games

Tues. 3 Albright College 6 p.m.
Thurs. 5 Philadelphia Biblical University 5 p.m.
Sat. 7 College of St. Elizabeth 12:30 p.m.
Mon. 9 Arcadia University 6:15 p.m.
Wed. 11 Richard Stockton College 6 p.m.
Sat. 14 at William Paterson University 1 p.m.
Tues. 17 at Wesley College 7 p.m.
Sat. 21 Ramapo College 1 p.m.
Sun. 22 at St. Joseph’s College-Patchogue 1 p.m.
Wed. 25 New Jersey City University 6 p.m.

The Lady Raptors faced two of the top powers in the New Jersey Athletic Conference during the week and dropped a pair of 3-0 decisions. They lost at The College of New Jersey Sept. 27 and dropped a home game against Montclair State University Sept. 30.

TCNJ posted its sixth straight shutout as it defeated Rutgers-Camden. The Lions, ranked fourth in both the NSCAA/adidas Top 25 and the Top 25 polls, outshot Rutgers-Camden, 33-2. The Lions held a 9-2 advantage in corner kicks, including 8-0 in the first half.

TCNJ scored 8:36 into the game when junior midfielder Christine Mullin notched her first goal of the season on a feed from sophomore Jamie Kunkel.

In the second half, Dana DiBruno netted her fourth goal of the season on an assist from sophomore Laura Delaney and junior Courtney Krol off a throw in at 54:10. Rookie Kristina Shemming scored her fourth goal of the year at 71:40 on a feed from DiBruno.

Lions goalie Jessica Clarke finished with no saves in collecting her fifth shutout of the year. Clarke extended her scoreless streak to 622.12 minutes.

For Rutgers-Camden, sophomore goalie Jayme Gatti (Delran, NJ/Delran) made 16 saves on the night, setting a single-game program record. The old mark of 15 was set by Kristen Stewart against Lebanon Valley College on Oct. 12, 1999.

On Sept. 30 in Camden, MSU senior midfielder Kelly Dutko scored the game’s first goal and assisted on another to power the Red Hawks to the win. They improved to 8-2 overall and 3-1 in NJAC play.

After the two teams played to a scoreless deadlock in the first half, Montclair State earned a penalty kick 10 minutes into the second half following a trip in the box. Dutko’s kick was saved by Raptor junior goalie Kristen Cargen (Cherry Hill, NJ/Cherry Hill East), but Dutko followed up with the rebound at the right post to score her first goal of the season at 55:01.

Ten minutes later, Dutko’s corner kick was converted at the near post by sophomore midfielder Megan Brown. Brown’s first goal of the season came at 65:14.

The Red Hawks notched their final goal at 70:38 with senior midfielder Dara Nalven assisting on the third goal of the season by freshman midfielder Christina Della Fave.

Montclair State, which holds an 8-0-1 lead in the all-time series against Rutgers-Camden, held a 20-6 advantage in shots and a 5-3 margin in corner kicks. Cargen made eight saves for the Raptors, while MSU senior Kristin Kuhmann had three saves to register her seventh shutout of the season.

VOLLEYBALL (5-6 overall/1-2 NJAC)


Tues. 26* Rutgers-Camden 26-23-33-30-15, William Paterson University 30-30-31-25-12
Wed. 27 Rutgers-Camden 30-30-24-28-15, Bryn Athyn College of the New Church 21-27-30-30-10

Sat. 30 at Cabrini College tri-match
Cabrini College 3, Kean 0
Rutgers-Camden 30-31-30, Kean University 25-29-19
Cabrini College 30-30-25-30, Rutgers-Camden 16-21-30-12

Upcoming matches

Tues. 3 Rowan University 7 p.m.

Sun. 8 at Goucher College tri-match
College of Notre Dame vs. Goucher College 11 a.m.
Rutgers-Camden vs. College of Notre Dame 1 p.m.
Rutgers-Camden vs. Goucher College 3 p.m.

Tues. 10 at Kean University 7 p.m.
Thurs. 12 Ramapo College 7 p.m.

Sat. 14 Rutgers-Camden tri-match
Rutgers-Camden vs. Rutgers-Newark 1 p.m.
Rutgers-Newark vs. College of Notre Dame 3 p.m.
Rutgers-Camden vs. College of Notre Dame 5 p.m.

Tues. 17 at New Jersey City University 7 p.m.
Thurs. 19 Chestnut Hill College 7 p.m.

Sat. 21 at Widener University tri-match
Neumann College vs. Widener University 10 a.m.
Rutgers-Camden vs. Neumann College 12 p.m.
Rutgers-Camden vs. Widener University 2 p.m.

Tues. 24 DeSales University 7 p.m.
Fri. 27 at King’s College 7 p.m.

Rutgers-Camden made program history again during a 3-1 week which included the team’s first win ever in a New Jersey Athletic Conference match (a 3-2 victory at William Paterson Sept. 26) and another 3-2 win over Bryn Athyn College of the New Church (Sept. 27). The week ended with a tri-match split at Cabrini College (Sept. 30) which allowed the Raptors to set a single-season victory record and a mark for the team’s longest winning streak.

Rutgers-Camden rallied from a two-game deficit to make program history at Paterson, roaring back to win 26-30, 23-30, 33-31, 30-25, 15-12 to record its first NJAC victory in program history. The Scarlet Raptors entered the evening with a 0-32 all-time record in NJAC matches. All but three of those matches were three-game sweeps

The Raptors’ historical night started with a pair of losses before they outlasted the Pioneers, 33-31, in the third game. They evened the match at two games apiece with a 30-25 win, and then took the deciding contest, 15-12.

Rutgers-Camden was paced by junior Julie Grochowski (Williamstown, NJ/Williamstown), who collected 17 kills, seven digs, five blocks and three service aces. Freshman Marci Polite (Cherry Hill, NJ/Cherry Hill East) added 13 kills, two digs and four blocks. Grochowski and Polite helped the Raptors tie a program single five-game match team record with 58 kills. They tied the mark set against Chestnut Hill College Oct. 26, 2005.

Freshman Julie Lo (Cherry Hill, NJ/Cherry Hill West), meanwhile, set a single-match club record with 51 assists to pass the old mark of 43 by Karla Maisto in a four-game match against the College of St. Elizabeth (Oct. 15, 2005). Her output also helped the Raptors set a team mark with 56 assists, breaking their mark of 50 set against Chestnut Hill College in a five-game match Oct. 26, 2005.

Freshmen Natalie Powell (Williamstown, NJ/Williamstown) and Heather Pohorely (Lebanon, NJ/Hunterdon Central) added 10 and nine kills, respectively.

Rutgers-Camden continued to make program history with a five-game victory at Bryn Athyn College of the New Church. The Raptors outlasted Bryn Athyn, 30-21, 30-27, 24-30, 28-30, 15-10, to raise their record to 4-5. The four victories tied Rutgers-Camden’s single-season program mark, set during the Raptors’ 4-18 campaign in 2003. Coupled with the five-game win over William Paterson on Tuesday night, it also gave the Lady Raptors a two-match winning streak for the second time this season. Entering the year, Rutgers-Camden had won back-to-back matches only once in program history, on Oct. 20 and 22, 2005.

For the second consecutive day, Lo hit the 50-assist plateau, notching 50 exactly to finish one shy of the club record she set against William Paterson University.

Polite collected 20 kills, four aces, six digs and four blocks, while Grochowski collected 14 kills and a .393 hitting percentage.

Pohorely added 11 kills and four aces, while sophomore Nikki Cosico (Sewell, NJ/Washington Township) notched 10 digs.

As a team, the Lady Raptors set a program single-match record with 63 kills, five more than the total against Paterson Sept. 26.

In their final action of the week, the Lady Raptors set a school single-season record with their fifth win of the year as they split a pair of non-conference matches at Cabrini College Sept. 30 in Radnor, Penn.

The Raptors swept Kean University, 30-25, 31-29, 30-19, in a match which didn’t count toward the NJAC standings. In doing so, Rutgers-Camden won its fifth match of the year to break the program mark set by the 4-18 team of 2003. That win also gave the Raptors a school-record three-match winning streak.

Rutgers-Camden’s streak was broken in a 3-1 loss to host Cabrini later in the afternoon. Cabrini beat the Raptors by scores of 30-16, 30-21, 25-30, 30-12.

In the match against Kean, Polite notched 10 kills, five aces, nine digs and three blocks, while Lo had 18 assists, six aces and 15 digs. Powell added seven service aces and six digs.

In the match against Cabrini, Grochowski collected 13 kills and seven digs, while Polite had seven kills, eight blocks and six digs. Lo led the Raptors with nine digs and Cosico had eight digs and 24 assists. Pohorely notched five aces and five digs, while freshman Deanne Linen (Williamstown, NJ/Williamstown) and Powell each added four kills.


(at Lebanon Country Club, Lebanon, PA)

1. Keystone College, 302; 2. Franklin & Marshall College, 304; 3. Lebanon Valley College “White,” 307; 4. Albright College, 313; 5. Messiah College, 317; 6. York College, 319; 7. Delaware Valley College, 320; 8.(tie) Muhlenberg College, FDU-Florham and Alvernia College, 321; 11. Marymount University, 324; 12. Villa Julie College, 325; 13. Rutgers-Camden, 327; 14. (tie) Ursinus College and Cabrini College, 329; 16. Lebanon Valley College “Blue,” 331; 17. King’s College, 334; 18. Moravian College, 338; 19. Elizabethtown College, 339; 20. Dickinson College, 345; 21. Haverford College, 358; 22. Stevens Tech, 370; 23. Centenary College, 379; 24. Hood College, 400.

Individual Medalist: Nick Van Hook (Delaware Valley College), 73

Rutgers-Camden Medalist: Matt Tomasic, 73

Rutgers-Camden Scores: Tomasic 73, Rob Burgess 79, Mike Nauss 83, Neal Patel 92

(at Edgewood-in-the-Pines, Drums, PA)

1. Susquehanna A, 294; 2. York, 304; 3. Gettysburg, 306; 4. Moravian, 309; 5. Keystone, 310; 6. St. Peter’s, 312; 7. Muhlenberg, 316; 8. Lebanon Valley, 317; 9. Manhattan, 320; 10. Messiah, 322; 11. Scranton, 324; 12. Elizabethtown, 328; 13. Susquehanna B, 332; 14. King’s, 339; 15. Wilkes, 343; 16. Rutgers-Camden, 369.

Individual Medalist: Chris Merce (St. Peter’s), 69

Rutgers-Camden Medalists: Matt Tomasic and Michael Nauss, 87

Rutgers-Camden Scores: Tomasic 87, Nauss 87, Rob Burgess 97, Neal Patel 98

Upcoming matches


Mon. 9 Muhlenberg College Fall Invitational 12 p.m.
(Lehigh Country Club, Allentown, PA)

Fri. 27 RU-Camden Scarlet Raptors Fall Invitational 12:30 p.m.
(Town & Country Golf Links, Woodstown, NJ)

Rutgers University-Camden senior Matt Tomasic (Berlin, NJ/St. Augustine Prep) shot a career-best 73 to pace the Scarlet Raptors golf team to a 13th-place finish in the Lebanon Valley College Fall Golf Tournament Sept. 25 at the Par 72 Lebanon Country Club in Lebanon, Penn.

Tomasic finished in a six-way tie for first place with his round of 73, which is tied for the fifth-best round in Rutgers-Camden golf history. He finished third in the tournament after a series of tie-breakers, which allowed Nick Van Hook of Delaware Valley College to win the individual title and Ursinus College’s Bo Maguire to finish second. Mike Wilhelm of host Lebanon Valley College and the Keystone College duo of Mike McCunkey and Steve Gonzales also shot a round of 73 and finished fourth through sixth, respectively, based on tie-breakers.

Tomasic’s outstanding round, which featured a 36 on the front nine and a 37 on the back nine, was the best round at Rutgers-Camden since Chris Binder shot a program-record 71 at the Susquehanna Spring Invitational April 7, 2005. It also set a Scarlet Raptor personal best for Tomasic, whose previous top round was a 74 at the Moravian College Fall Invitational Sept. 22, 2005.

Keystone College won the team title with a 302. Rutgers-Camden carded a 327 to finish 13th out of 24 teams.

Senior Rob Burgess (Sewell, NJ/Gloucester Catholic) shot a 79 to record the best score of his Rutgers-Camden career. He finished second on the Raptors, followed by sophomore Michael Nauss (Blackwood, NJ/Paul VI), who carded an 83. Freshman Neal Patel (Princeton, NJ/Framingham, MA) shot a 92 in his collegiate debut.

The Scarlet Raptors also competed in the Susquehanna University Fall Golf Classic Sept. 29, where they shot a 369 to finish last out of 16 teams. The invitational was held at the Par 72 Edgewood-in-the-Pines course in Drums, Penn.

Chris Merce of St. Peter’s was the individual medalist, shooting a three-under par 69 in the event which featured 84 golfers. Susquehanna University’s A squad was the team champion with a 294.

Tomasic and Nauss each shot an 87 to tie for 70th place. Burgess shot a 97 and Patel shot a 98 for Rutgers-Camden.


Sept. 29 at Paul Short Open
(at Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA)

MEN (8K): 1. Ithaca, 88; 2. Muhlenberg, 94; 3. Dickinson, 124; 4. Kutztown, 170; 5. Mary Washington, 184; 6. Swarthmore, 197; 7. Rowan, 207; 8. Oneonta State, 232; 9. Washington and Lee, 259; 10. West Chester, 270; 11. Grove City, 286; 12. Millersville, 316; 13. Ramapo, 340; 14. Christopher Newport, 357; 15. Susquehanna, 358; 16. Franklin & Marshall, 443; 17. Lynchburg, 447; 18. Rutgers-Camden, 493; 19. New York Institute of Technology, 511; 20. King’s, 579; 21. Keystone, 607; 22. Goucher, 638; 23. Widener, 648; 24. Ursinus, 691; 25. Goldey Beacom, 737.

Leading runner: Tommy Pearson (West Chester University), 25:53.
Leading Rutgers-Camden runner: Travis Stewart, 26:58.

Sept. 30 at NJAIAW Championships
(at Richard Stockton College, Pomona, NJ)

WOMEN (6K): 1. Richard Stockton College, 15; 2. Caldwell College, 59; 3. New Jersey City University, 67. Incomplete Team: Rutgers-Camden

Leading runner: Jacqui Wojtaszek (Richard Stockton), 24:37.39
Leading Rutgers-Camden runner: Rachel McCormick, 33:05.39

Upcoming meets


Sat. 7 Goldey Beacom College Cross Country Fall Classic W: 10:30 a.m.
(at Carousel Park, Wilmington, DE) M: 11:30 a.m.

Sat. 14 Cabrini College Invitational Women only
(at Belmont Plateau, Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, PA)

Sat. 28 New Jersey Athletic Conference Championships
(at Richard Stockton College)

Sophomore Travis Stewart (Runnemede, NJ/Triton Regional) finished 31st out of 246 Division III runners to lead the Rutgers-Camden men’s cross country team at the Paul Short Run at Lehigh University Sept. 29 in Bethlehem, Penn.

Stewart ran the 8K course in a career-best 26:58, lowering his previous best time of 27:10.40 set at last season’s NJAC Championships. The top Division III runner was Tommy Pearson of West Chester University, who posted a 25:53 clocking. There were 246 Division III runners and 474 runners overall.

Ithaca College scored 88 points to win the Division III race, while Rutgers-Camden finished 18th with 493 points. There were 25 Division III teams participating.

In addition to Stewart, sophomore Jonathan Salamon (Bridgewater, NJ/St. Joseph-Metuchen) finished 83rd overall among Division III runners (27:47), while sophomore G. Brandon Gordon (Haddon Township, NJ/Haddon Township) and freshman Frank Iwanicki (Edgewater Park, NJ/Holy Cross) each posted a time of 29:00 and finished 149th and 150th, respectively. Freshman Akeem Lloyd (Atlantic City, NJ/Atlantic City) was 162nd (29:18).

Also competing for the Raptors was sophomore Darryl Mendillo (Galloway, NJ/Absegami), who finished 225th with a time of 32:34, and sophomore Stephon Coleman (Penns Grove, NJ/Penns Grove), who was 233rd in a time of 33:16.

Freshman Brandon Ransburgh (Riverside, NJ/Riverside) was 236th (34:04) and freshmen Patrick Eigbe Jr. (Galloway, NJ/Absegami) rounded out the Raptors’ team effort, finishing 246th with a 37:43 clocking.

The three members of the Rutgers-Camden women’s cross country team competed in the NJAIAW (New Jersey Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (NJAIAW) Championships Sept. 30 at Richard Stockton College.

Lady Raptors senior Rachel McCormick (Blue Anchor, NJ/Winslow Township) finished 22nd out of 33 runners in the 6K race, posting a time of 33:05.39. The event was run by Stockton’s Jacqui Wojtaszek with a 24:37.39 clocking, and Stockton had 15 points to take the team title over Caldwell College (59) and New Jersey City University (67).

In addition to McCormick on the women’s side, junior Jessica Hull (Sicklerville, NJ/Fairton Christian Center and Academy) finished 28th (37:17.06) and freshman Rebecca Taylor (Haddon Heights, NJ/Haddon Heights) was 33rd (41:50.65).


Upcoming meets


Sat. 14 Navy Day Regatta
(Schuylkill River, Philadelphia, PA)

Sat. 21-Sun. 22 Head of the Charles Regatta
(Charles River, Boston, MA)

Sat. 28 Head of the Schuylkill Regatta
(Schuylkill River, Philadelphia, PA)

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