Men’s Golf Wins Mountain Valley Classic, Places Second in MAC Invite

Photo by Chuck Meyers
Photo by Chuck Meyers

CRESSON, Pa. – Penn State Altoona men's golf capped off its weekend with a strong performance in Sunday afternoon's Mount Aloysius College Invitational at Summit Country Club, shooting 309 as a team to come in second place out of nine teams.

The Lions' score of 309 gave the team a combined two-day score of 617, earning Penn State Altoona its first-ever Mountain Valley Collegiate Classic championship. The Lions tied Pitt-Bradford for first place in the two-day challenge, which combined scores from Saturday's Penn State Altoona Invitational and Sunday's Mount Aloysius Invitational, but Penn State Altoona took first place on a tiebreaker that counted the combined drop scores from both days for each squad.

In Sunday's event alone, Pitt-Bradford placed first with a team score of 306, followed by Penn State Altoona's 309. La Roche College was third with 310.

"We got off to a nightmare start. On our back nine, which was our first nine of the day, we were 22-over par as a team," said Penn State Altoona head coach Tom Koehle. "We turned that around on our closing nine, only shooting 6-over. It speaks to the attitude this team is taking on, which is not giving up and finding a way to shoot a good score without our 'A' game."

Jimmy Gillespie (Glen Mills, PA/Garnet Valley) recorded the best score of his collegiate career to lead Penn State Altoona on Sunday, carding a 74 to place second out of 48 individuals. Gillespie was tied for first place with Pitt-Bradford's Matt Moonan, but Moonan prevailed in a one-hole tiebreak playoff.

Luke Hoffnagle (Spring Grove, PA/Spring Grove) shot a season-low 76 for the Lions to tie for fourth place, and Carter Fischer (Bellefonte, PA/Philipsburg-Osceola) fired a 79 to tie for 16th place.

"Jimmy keeps doing Jimmy things. He had a great weekend and nearly pulled off a great save in the playoff. He gets more out of his game than anyone I've ever coached," Koehle said. "Luke's game is coming around. A balky putter kept him from shooting a great score today, but his ball striking is coming along. Carter has shown potential, and I fully expect his good play to continue."

Ethan Yohe (Murrysville, PA/Franklin Regional) shot 80, and Payton Guelich (Philipsburg, PA/Philipsburg-Osceola) finished with 84 to round out Penn State Altoona's starting five.

On the Lions' 'B' team, Cole Mori (Annapolis, MD/Annapolis Area Christian School) shot 83, Jacob Mrvos (Pittsburgh, PA/Norwin) recorded a 90, Grant Molloy (Ambler, PA/Upper Dublin) carded a 91, and Frankie Guinan (Pottstown, PA/Owen J. Roberts) finished with 99.

Sunday's performance wraps up a successful weekend for the Penn State Altoona men's golf team. On Saturday, the Lions took first place in their home invitational. Sunday's round saw the team finish as the runners-up in the Mount Aloysius Invitational while placing first in the Mountain Valley Collegiate Classic.

"The total team effort this weekend shows that we have what it takes to win the AMCC," said Koehle. "As I've mentioned before, whoever wins it will earn it. It was great to earn a win yesterday and take the two-day event this weekend."

Next up for the men's golf team is the La Roche College Fall Invitational, slated to happen this Tuesday, September 18 at 1:30 p.m. at Wildwood Golf Club in Allison Park, Pa.


Mount Aloysius College Invitational Team Scores

1. Pitt-Bradford                     306

2. Penn State Altoona            309

3. La Roche College               310

4. Penn State Behrend           311

5. Mount Aloysius College       312

6. Pitt-Greensburg                 320

7. Juniata College                  351

8. Penn State Fayette             362

9. Penn State Altoona 'B'       363


Mountain Valley Collegiate Classic Combined Team Scores

1. Penn State Altoona            617

2. Pitt-Bradford                     617

3. Penn State Behrend           619

4. Mount Aloysius College      629

5. La Roche College              630

6. Pitt-Greensburg                643

7. Juniata College                 717


Top Mountain Valley Collegiate Classic Individuals

1. Matt Moonan (Bradford)               148

2. Jimmy Gillespie (Altoona)             149

3. JT Kuchnicki (Behrend)                150

T-4. Cary Ignazcik (Bradford)           151

T-4. Javon Trout (Greensburg)          151

6. Will Hoven (Mt. Aloysius)             153