Jesuit spikers off to strong start at 12-3

Three things are certain around these parts – death, taxes, and Wheeling Jesuit University will have a really good volleyball team.

The Cardinals are cruising once again, boasting a 12-3 record following victories against West Liberty and Pitt-Johnstown on Tuesday night inside the McDonough Center.

Coach Christy Benner’s squad has won 11 matches in a row and is tied for 27th in the latest NCAA Division II rankings released earlier this week.

The three losses all came at a season-opening event in Pensacola, Fla., where WJU participated in last fall’s NCAA Tournament.

The final of three straight defeats was against Southern Indiana, but the first two were against a pair of powers in five sets Minnesota-Duluth and West Florida.

Duluth is the top-ranked team in the nation, unbeaten at 11-0. West Florida is ranked 21st.

Bison Surging, Too

Bethany’s spikers are off to a good start, as well.

The Bison, winners of seven of their last eight, are 4-0 in the PAC and 12-4 overall heading into Saturday’s triangular at Waynesburg against the Yellow Jackets and Washington & Jefferson.

Bethany started the week a half-game behind Geneva for the stop spot in the conference.

Holubeck Starts Strong

Wheeling Jesuit’s Luke Holubeck’s senior season is off to a solid start.

The St. John Central graduate finished eighth overall last weekend at the Division II/III Challenge at Kutztown University with a time of 25:44.5

WJU is off until next Saturday when it will run at the Louisville Classic at the University of Louisville.

Ex-Steubenville Stars Shining

Coach Reno Saccoccia has always had a penchant for turning out some great college talent at Steubenville and currently a handful of former Big Red gridders dot college rosters.

Dwight Macon, a junior at Toledo, has seven catches this season for 90 yards for the Rockets.

Najee Murray, formerly at Ohio State, is on the roster at Kent State, but it sitting out because of a transfer, while Ryan Wood is playing for the Pioneers of Marietta, LeShawn Luke is playing at Mount Union and Alvin Taylor at Muskingum.

Other Locals

Marietta also has another Ohio Valley product on its roster in Harrison Central’s Colton Houston.

In Alliance, Mount Union boasts Indian Creek’s Michael Furda. … Steubenville Catholic’s Mickey Bednar is a senior at Washington & Jefferson.

At Waynesburg, Union Local’s Bernie Thompson and Amos Leach and Buckeye Local’s Caleb Agnew are on the roster, along with St. Clairsville’s Jay Gossett, Martins Ferry’s Jon Carlier and Bellaire’s Josh Tolliver and Kirk Ray.

Shenandoah’s Wes Rataiczak is playing at Muskingum.

At other Ohio Athletic Conference schools, River’s Evan Eggleston is at Capital and Linsly’s Adam Jones is attending John Carroll.

Collaros Earns Honor

Speaking of Steubenville, one of its most-heralded products, Zach Collaros, is making his name in the CFL.

Collaros, the former Cincinnati standout, was named the league’s Offensive Player of the Week after completing 25 of 36 passes for 330 yards and a career-high four touchdowns in Toronto’s 33-27 victory against Calgary.

The TDs, which went to four different receivers, went for 34, 28, 4 and 2 yards. Collaros also ran four times for 20 yards.

  • ? ?

If you know of a local athlete doing well on the college stage, let us know and we’ll get the word out about his or her success.