Alban wins ECAC honor, third straight for gymnastics

Women’s gymnastics has now had gymnasts win Eastern Collegiate
Athletic Conference awards in every week of the young season. The
latest to receive a weekly honor is senior Jean Alban, who was awarded
the ECAC Gymnast of the Week, along with University of Pennsylvania
senior Dana Bonincontri.

Alban was not even in the vault line-up for coach Aaron Murphy to
start the day during the Owls most recent meet at University of New
Hampshire last Saturday. But when teammate Natali Ruzich had to be
pulled, Alban came in as an alternate and stepped up to the challenge,
posting a score of 9.425 on the apparatus.

With the entrance into vault, Alban ended up competing in four events
for the day. Marking the first time she has done so since her freshman
year, when she was the 2010 ECAC Rookie of the Year.

After vault, Alban nailed her routine on bars scoring a 9.475. Then,
Alban’s performances on beam (9.600) and in the floor exercise (9.650)
were crucial, as they helped the Owls secure second place in both
events. She ended the day with a career-high all-around score of
38.150, good enough for second place in the competition.

Alban and the Owls will look toward their only home meet of the
season, this Saturday at the main gymnasium of Pearson-McGonigle at 1

-Samuel Matthews

Covile dislocates knee

Freshman forward Erica Covile suffered a dislocated knee in practice last week and could be lost for the remainder of the season.

The injury occurred in the days leading up to Temple’s trip to Duquesne, when a teammate inadvertently fell on Covile in practice and twisted her knee.

Covile has started six games this season as a rookie, averaging five points and four rebounds per game on the year. She scored a career-high 13 points in a win over Western Michigan on Jan. 7.

Although coach Tonya Cardoza has not officially shut her down for good, Covile said a doctor told her the recovery time will be about two months. If that timetable proves accurate, she’ll be unable to play again this season.

Temple set to take on La Salle

When the Owls host La Salle on Sunday it will be their third Big 5 battle of the season.

Temple (8-10, 1-1 in the Big 5) and La Salle (5-13, 0-2 in the Big 5) have very little to play for in the quest to be crown Philadelphia’s best as Villanova (15-3, 4-0 in the Big 5) has already clinched the title.

Temple dropped their matchup against the Wildcats 55-44 in Villanova on Dec. 21.  All that the Owls can hope for at this point is a second-place finish. The current standings are as follows:

Villanova: 4-0
St. Joseph’s: 1-1
Temple: 1-1
Penn: 1-3
La Salle: 0-2

Only three games remain in the city series. After Sunday’s pairing Temple travels to face the Hawks in what will likely decide the runner-up on Feb. 17. Three days later the Hawks host the Explorers in the Big 5 finale.

If Temple wins Sunday they must defeat St. Joe’s to finish one game behind Villanova. While they won’t have a shot at the title again this year—Villanova won last year as well—coach Tonya Cardoza and company surely won’t want to finish worse than second.

The Owls will be without breakout freshman guard Erica Covile against La Salle, who Tyler Sablich reported has a dislocated knee and will be out for at least two months.

Fowards see more action

Freshman guard Erica Covile finally established herself as a mainstay in the Owls’ lineup, but an untimely knee injury ended that after just four games.

Now coach Tonya Cardoza is one more player down (sophomore guard Monaye Merritt has been out all season with a torn ACL) and has to make yet another lineup adjustment.

For now Cardoza seems to want a timeshare with freshman forwards Sally Kabengano and Jacquilyn Jackson. Kabengano has started most of the year at the three position. Jackson has only just begun to establish herself after a slow start adjusting to the college game.

So here’s what the Owls are losing from Covile in the last four games she played before missing Wednesday’s contest with Penn. Covile was a balanced and more physical three than Temple has been accustomed to, scoring 7.25 points while grabbing 7.25 rebounds per game. She also shot 38.7 percent from the field but is not a three point shooter, with zero connections from downtown.

On the flipside Cardoza gets 7.8 points per game (over the course of the season) and 4.6 rebounds per game from the Kabengano-Jackson combination. And while the duo shoots just 32 percent they also shoot 36 percent from three-point territory.

So the Owls will lack a more physical presence in Covile but get a little more multi-dimensional on offense with Kabengano and Jackson.

Women’s gymnastics ready for meet at New Hampshire

Women’s gymnastics will travel to Durham, N.H., this Saturday for its meet at the University of New Hampshire starting at 4 p.m.

The Owls will enter this weekend having had two gymnasts winning the ECAC Coaches’ Choice Award in consecutive weeks. Junior and team captain Heather Zaniewski is the current recipient of the award, and sophomore Taylor Rakus won it the week prior.

Regarding this weekend’s meet, coach Aaron Murphy wants his team to record less falls than last week.

“After coming off the University of Pittsburgh meet and only counting
two falls towards the team score, I want our Owls to try and better that by counting one or no falls for the team score,” Murphy said.

“We seem to have some good momentum going our way and I plan to keep them focused on staying positive and confident with their gymnastics,” he added.

Fencing to host Philadelphia Invitational

The women’s fencing team will is set to get back to action as they host the Philadelphia Invitational Saturday at the Student Pavilion. The invitational is hosted by Temple or Pennsylvania and will see the Owls compete against some of the best teams in the nation.

“It’s something that we host here in Philadelphia that started six or seven years ago,” Franke said. “We have Cornell coming down, North Carolina and Duke coming up so it’s a very good meet, we’ll have some real tough competition.”

The team will fence against six different squads in a team event where Franke says everyone has a little bit more emotion because they want to succeed not only for themselves, but for their teammates as opposed to an individual event.

“It’s much more fun, this is what college fencing is all about,” Franke said. “We use the individual tournaments really to prepare for the season, but now it’s all team competition which is really what we work for.”

Men’s tennis to play St. Francis tonight

The men’s tennis team takes on the St. Francis (NY) Terriers this evening at 7:30. This match will be played at the Upper Dublin Sports Club in Ambler, PA.

This is the first match of the spring season for both teams. Temple went 9-10 last season, and St. Francis went 6-14. The two teams played each other last season, when the Owls dominated in a 7-0 rout. Temple did not lose any of the 15 sets that were played, and the Terriers only won 15 games. For comparison, the Owls won 96.

Both teams are very different this year. Temple and St. Francis each only return three players from last year’s match.

Temple number one player will likely be senior captain Kacper Rams, who finished 3-3 in singles in the fall and 16-16 last season. Rams defeated then-senior Danhaldi Robinson 6-0, 6-0 last season.

The rest of the lineup is a toss up at this point, although the smart money is on sophomore Kristian Marquart to play at number two. Marquart played at number two in the fall, when he went 2-5 in singles. Marquart defeated then-senior James Brennan-Tsang last year 6-0 6-0.

The Terriers return their number one player from last year’s match, senior Tita Mba. Mba went 3-3 in singles in the fall. Last year, then-Temple senior Filip Rams defeated Mba 6-0, 6-1.

Marbach academically ineligible, out for season

Freshman forward Jayson Marbach will be sidelined for the remainder of the spring semester due to academic eligibility, coach Jerry Roberts confirmed Wednesday.

The American Collegiate Hockey Association requires each player to complete at least nine credits per academic year and to maintain a cumulative 2.0 GPA after each academic semester, Roberts said.

Roberts said Marbach fell one class short of meeting requirements.

“We try really hard to worry about the things we have control over and forget about the things we can’t control,” Roberts said. “We can’t do anything about it so we’re trying to not lose too much sleep about it. We’re trying to find some opportunity here. It forces other players to step up their game a bit without a player who scores goals like he does.”

Marbach was third on the team in scoring through the first semester with nine goals and 12 assists through 20 games played. He will be deemed eligible to play once again next fall.

-Andrew Parent

Track & field ready to run at Penn State

The men’s and women’s track & field teams will go to Penn State this weekend, competing at the same location for the first time since Jan. 5 at the Rutgers Invitational.

Both the men’s and women’s sides will feature 10 runners in various events over the course of Friday and Saturday. On Friday, running events will commence at 4:45 p.m. while field events will start at 5:45 p.m., with the final event taking place at 9:30 p.m. On Saturday, the meet will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Owls have about three weeks until the Atlantic 10 Conference Championships get underway on February 16.

Mark McHugh

Zaniewski is second Owl in two weeks to win ECAC Coach’s Choice Award

Junior Heather Zaniewski is the second gymnast in a row to win the
Eastern Collegiate Athetic Conference Coaches’ Choice Award for the Owls. The team captain followed her fellow teammate sophomore Taylor Rakus, who won the award the previous week.

In the team’s meet last Saturday at Pittsburgh, Zaniewski, competing
on the balance beam, smashed her foot during the routine. She was then
consequentially taken out of her next event (vault) because of the

Later, when Temple was in a desperate need for points, coach Aaron
Murphy sent Zaniewski out to compete in her routine on bars.

The team captain went out and nailed her routine on bars without any restraint from her nagging foot injury. She posted a team best score of 9.550 on the apparatus and was awarded with the ECAC coaches’ Choice Award for her performance through the pain.

Looking forward to the Owls’ next meet, Saturday at New Hampshire at 4
p.m., Murphy says that he expects Zaniewski to be in the lineup and
ready to compete.

-Samuel Matthews