Vol.83,No.

20/4/21/10/Free

Serbs pull for Lakers
Read about the crew team’s success on page 8

News

Features

Sports
A school year of domination in GU-’Hurst rivalry
Page 7

Online Poll Results
There are trees on Lewis I like electricity. Cut Avenue? 12% em’ down. 18% We need power, Save the trees, no but now the trees matter what! 10% look awful. 19% They should plant more trees to replace them. 44%

Police and Safety College commemorates chief retires after 14-year career 40th Earth Day
Page 3 Page 4

What do you think of the Lewis Avenue tree-cutting?

Current poll: What do you think about the $500,000 Highland Square renovations?

Page 2

NEWS
percent of the college’s electricity will be derived from wind energy, making Mercyhurst one of just five colleges in Pennsylvania to go 100 percent wind. Freshman Sacha Chadwick spoke about her plans to celebrate Earth Week. “I plan to go to a program that will allow us to plant flowers and grow them,” Chadwick said. “I’m also gardening at a local garden near North East with my lab classes.” Though, like many other students, Chadwick didn’t know that any other Earth Week events are going on. Actually, there are plenty of events on campus to celebrate Earth Week. At 4:45 p.m., Wednesday, students can attend a jewelry and Tshirt recycling workshop as well as make homemade laundry detergent in the Mercyhurst Student Government Chambers. Also, key speaker Denis Hayes will visit Mercyhurst on Wednesday. Hayes, who organized the first Earth Day and whom Time Magazine has called a “Hero of the Planet,” will hold a discussion titled “Earth Day Legacies” at 3:30 p.m. in the Mercy Heritage Room. Then, at 7:30 p.m. in Taylor Little Theatre, Hayes will present the college’s 2010 Sister Maura Smith Earth Day Lecture. “Denis Hayes will address some of the lessons that can be learned from the historic achievements of the environmental movement of the 1960s and ’70s, as well as offer an assessment of some of the great challenges facing the nation and world today, particularly with respect to renewable energy and climate change,” Magoc said. On Thursday the Green Team will celebrate Earth Day’s 40th Birthday with a college community party in the Herrmann Student Union from 8-11 p.m. A Local Products Fair, where local vendors will showcase everything from buffalo burgers to farm goods, will take place at Garvey Park on Friday, April 23. The event, which will last from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., demonstrates the importance of re-localizing the food industry for a more sustainable future. There will be a Hike for Haiku in Wintergreen Gorge at 10 a.m. Saturday. Participants should bring a packed lunch and meet outside the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center for transportation to the Gorge. The guided hike will teach about wildflowers, edible plants and

April 21, 2010

College celebrates 40th anniversary of Earth Day
By Jennifer McCurdy
Staff writer
With Earth Week well under way, the students of Mercyhurst College have plenty of opportunities to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. “Chaired by Analida Braeger, the Earth Day Committee of the Green Team has worked hard to put together a fun and dynamic series of events that address a number of the environmental challenges that now confront us,” History Department chair and Green Team adviser Dr. Chris Magoc said. Among other things, the Green Team will celebrate the Class of 2010’s gift of the Green Roof. The Green Team is also announcing that beginning this summer, 100 haiku poetry. The Earth Week events end with the film “Earth Days” on Monday at 3:30 p.m. in Zurn Hall Room 314. The documentary follows the history of the modern environmental movement from its beginnings on April 22, 1970. All of the Earth Week events are free and open to the public. “I can’t think of another time of year when core values and the mission of the college are more clearly expressed,” Magoc said. “Earth Week activities will challenge us to think about the interconnections of our respective academic disciplines toward the natural world (and) to ponder our shared responsibility with the six and one-half billion people with whom we share this planet to pass on a more secure future to our children,” Magoc said.

Dawid captures crowd, opens 2010 Literary Festival
By Chrissy Mihalic
Contributing writer
Last Thursday Annie Dawid opened the 2010 Mercyhurst College Literary Festival with readings from her recently published book, “And Darkness Was Under His Feet.” Her readings, which are stories based on a loose interpretation of her family history, captured the audience with their emotional representation of her family’s past. Dawid began her reading with a story titled “The Solemn Brothers,” which centered on the troubles her family faced in France during World War II. While her first story captured the nervous emotions felt by her Jewish family during the intense time of war, students seemed to enjoy Dawid’s second reading the most. Her second story was based on Dawid’s parents and their first time meeting in America. Junior Leah Hubbard said, “I really enjoyed her second story the best because I feel that Dawid was able to capture the scene and personality of the characters well. The whole story was portrayed realistically and it was really effective.” Dawid finished her reading with a message to the audience about ancestry and keeping a record of family stories. “Ask your family members about their history while you can,” she said. “Get as much information from your relatives about your family history while you have the chance and if you can, write it all down.” Director of the Literary Festival Dr. Kenneth Schiff said that he enjoyed the reading immensely. “It is always a great experience to have the opportunity to hear the voice of the writer and get an understanding of the way in which the author wishes the stories to come across,” he said. The next morning, students from Dr. Greg Brown’s Intro to Creative Writing class had the opportunity of having Dawid teach a session on writing and the process of creating a fictional character. While lecturing the class on character development in fiction writing, Dawid kept the class entertained by incorporating her own life stories and writing experiences into the lesson. Andrew Hudgins will continue the festival with his poetry reading on Thursday in Taylor Little Theatre at 8:15 p.m. Hudgins, who has had many volumes of poetry published, including “Ecstatic in the Poison” and “After the Lost War,” will be reading selections from his works and will be holding a book signing after the event. The festival will close Thursday, April 29, at 8:15 in the Taylor Little Theatre with the unveiling of the 2010 edition of the Lumen, Mercyhurst College’s literary arts magazine. Both events are free and open to the public.

Tyler Stauffer photo

Annie Dawid opened the Mercyhurst College Literary Festival on Thursday, April 15.

Online

Green Team wants your electronic trash

Students see Invisible Children documentary

Merciad. Mercyhurst.edu/News

April 21, 2010

NEWS

Page 3

’Hurst Cadet attends ROTC Award Seminar
By Daniel Piechocki
Contributing writer
Cadet Kirk Shoemaker earned the opportunity to attend the George C. Marshall ROTC Award Seminar from April 13-16 at the Virginia Military Institute by being selected as the top senior Cadet in the “Pride of Pennsylvania Battalion.” The “Pride of Pennsylvania Battalion” is a partnership between Mercyhurst College, Gannon University and Penn State Erie. Shoemaker joined the ranks of other top cadets from across the nation to participate in the seminar, which focused on National Security. Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army George W. Casey Jr. and other highranking Army officers attended the seminar as keynote speakers. “I am very excited and honored to be able to represent the ‘Pride of Pennsylvania Battalion’ and Mercyhurst College,” Shoemaker said. He will be branching as an infantry officer upon his commissioning in May. Shoemaker, a senior Intelligence Studies major at Mercyhurst, is the Cadet Battalion Commander. This is the highest obtainable rank as a cadet. He is involved with both the Mercyhurst Honors and Ambassador programs. The Marshall ROTC Seminar, in its 33rd year of existence, is named

Trustees decide on apartments
The Board of Trustees authorized the college to spend half a million dollars on the Highland Square Apartments, the four buildings at the top of Briggs and Lewis Avenue. The money will be spent on replacing windows, replastering and painting walls and recarpeting. Items such as doors, kitchen cabinets, showers, furniture and appliances will be replaced as well. Spending the money to improve the apartments is a temporary solution which will allow the board to decide on a long-term solution over the next few years. The money will come from Mercyhurst’s capital project budget or the college’s margin, or profit.

News Briefs

Entranceway plans approved
The Board of Trustees accepted the preliminary landscape design for Phase 1 of the enhanced entranceway to the college on Thursday, April 15. The new design will enhance the appearance of the entrance and address safety issues. Landscaping will be added to the entranceway. The project will be completed in fall 2010.

Contributed photo

Cadet Kirk Shoemaker was chosen to attend the George C. Marshall ROTC Award Seminar.
in honor of George C. Marshall, who served as Army Chief of Staff during World War II and served as secretary of state. Marshall served as Secretary of State and later as Secretary of Defense during President Truman’s administration. His efforts to help the economies of Europe recover from World War II earned him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1953. The Marshall Award is given annually to the top Cadet from each of the 273 Army ROTC units around the nation. The event comprises the largest annual gathering of those about to be commissioned through the Army ROTC program. Within weeks of participating in this seminar, most of these young men and women will begin their duties as junior officers in the U.S. Army.

Director of Wellness chosen
After conducting a national search for the Executive Director of Wellness position at Mercyhurst College, Mercyhurst officials chose Dr. Judy Smith. She is the director of the Counseling Center at Mercyhurst. The Executive Director of Wellness is responsible for overseeing the Counseling Center and the Cohen Health Center.

Specials at the Laker Inn
Cantina De Laker East Street Deli Sequoia Grill

Fate of ‘Drunk Bus’ not yet decided
The Thursday, Friday and Saturday EMTA shuttle routes from Mercyhurst to downtown Erie ran this past weekend and will be canceled starting April 22-24. If student behavior drastically improved last weekend, MSG promised to work with the administration to bring the bus back for a trial period. There has not been an update on whether student behavior improved enough to bring the “drunk bus” back.

Wednesday Thursday Friday

Chicken Burrito Vegetable Quesadilla 2 for 1 Beef Tacos

Chicken Caesar Wrap Cuban Sandwich Buffalo Chicken Wrap

Macaroni and Cheese Southwest Chicken Sandwich Cajun Fish Sandwich

Tom Ridge to speak at ’Hurst
Tom Ridge, the former governor of Pennsylvania and first Secretary of Homeland Security, will speak at Mercyhurst on Friday, April 30. His speech will take place from 10 to 11 a.m. in Taylor Little Theatre. This event is free and open to the public.

Page 4

FEATURES
Senior Denise Wheelock will... be interning at the European Delegation in Washington D.C. “This internship will give me a step in the door of prestigious organizations that I would love to work for in the future.” Senior Jon Tirk will be... doing an intern program with Erie Congreswoman Kathy Dalhkemper. “I am really exited that I got this internship because hopefully it can open doors to further my political career.” Junior Ryan Perkins will... work for American Eagle Outfitters as an intern of web/graphics in Pittsburgh. “I’m exited about being able to learn more in the graphic design and retail business.” Senior Liz Maier will be an... intern writer at The Corry Journal. “I’m looking forward to it. It should be a good experience. I’m going to save the money I make for a trip to Europe.”

April 21, 2010

Chief of Police and safety:

‘An experience I wouldn’t trade’
By Liz Maier
Staff writer
One glance at Chief of Police and Safety Kenneth Sidun’s office and history unfolds. Police badges and black-and-white photographs of the first Erie Police Department hang proudly on his walls. “It is one of my hobbies,” said Sidun, who worked in the Erie Police Department for 30 years before accepting his current position at Mercyhurst College in 1996. “A friend and I researched the history of the Erie Police Department from 1851 to 1953,” Sidun said. “It is something that has never been done before.” In June 2010, Sidun will leave a piece of his own history as he retires from Mercyhurst after 14 years of dedication. “I will be saying goodbye along with the last senior class,” Sidun said with a smile. Originally from McKeesport, Pa., Sidun moved to Erie when he was five years old. “I guess you can call me an Erieite,” Sidun said. Sidun did not always live in Erie, though. He volunteered three years in the U.S. military and spent two and a half years in Puerto Rico working as a military police officer in the U.S. Army. “I was able to get out before the Vietnam War got hot,” Sidun said. When he returned to Erie, Sidun worked for General Electric Transportation but was unhappy with his job. “Since I did not like shop work, my friend suggested I take a police test,” Sidun said. He took his friend’s advice and in 1966 began working for the Erie Police Department. Sidun’s passion for the law enforcement field led him to receive a degree in Criminal Justice from Mercyhurst College in 1974. Even though Sidun dedicated 30 years of service to the Erie Police Department, he stayed connected to the Mercyhurst community by working Mercyhurst’s Fourth of July Firework Show, Graduation Day Ceremony and other special events. “There were many good times, bad times and scary times when I worked for the Erie Police Department,” Sidun said. After leaving the Erie Police Department in 1996, Bud Deaver, director of security services at Mercyhurst, recommended Sidun take his position. “At the time, we were just Security Services; we were not a department,” Sidun said. Under Sidun’s leadership, Mercyhurst’s Security Services grew into the Police and Safety Department it is today. “The biggest challenge I experienced when I first came to Mercyhurst was the adjustment of coming from a city to a college,” Sidun said. “You have to be mindful that the students are young, still growing up and need some direction.” While at Mercyhurst, Sidun dealt with a variety of students and challenging situations. For Sidun, the most difficult circumstance involved former student Teri Rhodes. In 2007, Rhodes suffocated her newborn baby shortly after giving birth in her on-campus apartment. “It was very sad,” Sidun, who was on duty the day of the incident, said. Sidun also remembers when student Matthew Milgate was struck and killed by two cars while crossing 38th Street on Saint Patrick’s Day in 2005, in addition to an anthrax scare in 2001. “A white powder substance was sent in a letter to Mercyhurst from Egypt. The FBI investigated the case and discovered it was not anthrax, but the case was never solved,” Sidun said.

Chief of Police and Safety Kenneth Sidun will retire after 14 years of duty.

Contributed photo

Junior Felicia Guerra is going to... be an assistant for International Affairs at the US Department of Agriculture. “I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to learn about the interactions between U.S. and Central America.”

If you have an internship or a job waiting for you this summer, send us your photo to featuremerciad@mercyhurst.edu

Despite these incidents, Sidun said he enjoyed his time at Mercyhurst and will miss his job, the students, administration and staff. “Seeing the college grow and change has been very memorable,” Sidun said. “It’s been a pleasure working with Ken,” Police and Safety clerk Christine Dedionisio said. “He is someone who always looked out for the people in his office.” Sidun plans to spend his retirement driving his 1934 replica Mercedes Convertible, golfing, researching the history of the Erie Police Department and relaxing in his winter home in Bellview, Fla. “It was a great 14-year experience. An experience I wouldn’t trade. I am glad I did it,” Sidun said.

Online

Teacher Features: Dr. Hosey & Dr. Meier

Your weekly report from Dungarvan, Ireland: Ashes in the sky

Video Game of the Week: Marble Lines

An Erieite Appetite: Under the Clock

Merciad. Mercyhurst. edu/Features

April 21, 2010

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Page 5

Classical guitarist Vidovic strums at ’Hurst
By Claire Hinde
Staff writer
Walker Recital Hall opens its doors to international sound this Friday as it welcomes classical guitarist and woldwide music phenom Ana Vidovic. The performance of soothing guitar music is sure to leave the audience breathless. The artist herself has such a varied and impressive background that there is little doubt she is one of the elite musicians of the world today. Vidovic hails from Karlovac, Croatia, and began her musical training at the age of five. By the age of 11, she was giving public concerts around Europe. At age 13, she became the youngest student to attend the National Musical Academy in Zagreb, Croatia, under the tutelage of Istvan Romer. Soon her outstanding reputation as an international artist in Europe led to an invitation to study at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore with Manuel Barrueco. Having graduated from this prestigious institution, Vidovic continues to be an international sensation, possessing an impressive number of musical prizes from competitions worldwide, among them the Albert Augustine International Competition in Bath, England, and the Fernando Sor competition in Rome, Italy. More than these honors, Vidovic has also appeared with the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as in Croatian films and television, and has recorded multiple CDs. Since taking the stage in 1988, Vidovic has received stunning reviews for her performances, of which there are over 1,000 in places ranging from Paris, London, Rome, Tel Aviv, Warsaw, Budapest, Vienna, Salzburg, Toronto and all over the United States. With her extensive training and revered public image, Vidovic’s repertoire is sure to include unique arrangements not only of great classical pieces but of more contemporary compositions as well. Her work features intricate and complex guitar techniques as well as beautiful melodic surprises. The performance is certain to leave a lasting impression on all those who attend. Vidovic will perform in Walker Recital Hall this Friday at 8 p.m. Tickets can be purchased by calling the PAC box office at (814) 824-3000.

Tickets for Ana Vidovic are $10 for Mercyhurst students with a valid I.D.

Contributed photo

‘Fresh’ depicts healthy ways to grow food
By Kathleen Vogtle
Staff writer
At one point or another, you have been introduced to a description of the Millennial generation: We are labeled as diverse, independent, comfortable-with-technology activists. Innumerable causes and studies have utilized this last trait, knowing that if they can garner our support, we will be invaluable allies. This is particularly evident in the food industry. First, there was “Super Size Me” in 2004, a radical experiment which shot down an American view that people could eat as much highly processed, fatty fast foods as they wanted without consequence. Then “Food, Inc.” came out in 2008, bringing to light the less visible but highly controversial world of meat and vegetable production. This week’s edition to the Guelcher Film Series, “Fresh,” exists in this same general vein, but presents its own unique spin; those who have seen “Food, Inc.” will notice the differences. “Fresh” takes on a distinctly more humanitarian spin, and lacks much of the “holier-than-thou” rhetoric which might exist in other exposé-type, call-to-action films. While the film does make jabs at industrial farming, calling attention to its toll on our soil, health and livestock, its primary focus is on farmers under contract to giant agribusinesses and on the work of ordinary men and women who are making different choices for the sustenance of our earth despite outside pressures. “Fresh” highlights upon various areas of the country where smaller-sized farms and the farmers who work them are trying different approaches other than contracting with huge agribusinesses. The first is the Growing Power urban farm in Milwaukee, where Will Allen is turning three acres of industrial wasteland into a nutritional utopia for his neighborhood. In Kansas City, David Ball strives to revitalize his community, providing his Good Natured Family Farm stores with produce grown by local farmers. In Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, Joel Salatin is setting an example by allowing cows, chickens, pigs and natural grasses to flourish and produce without any chemical fertilizer or industrial animal feed. Throughout the film, one common message exists: Each person, in his or her own way, has a responsibility to care for this world, and that there are viable ways of doing so. It just takes a little initiative. “Fresh” shows in the D’Angelo Performing Arts Center at 2:15 and 7:15 p.m. today. The Brew and View will begin in the art gallery at 6:30. Tickets are free for Mercyhurst students with their ID.

pac.mercyhurst.edu photo

‘Fresh’ is showing today at the PAC at 2:15 and 7:15 p.m.

Online

A&E

Panel discussion on Asperger’s reveals valuable insight

‘Sweeney Todd’ a slicing success

Civil Twilight presents South African sound

Merciad. Mercyhurst. edu

Page 6

OPINION

The views expressed in the opinion section of The Merciad do not necessarily reflect the views of Mercyhurst College, the staff of The Merciad or the Catholic Church. Responses on any subject are always welcomed and can be e-mailed to opinionmerciad@mercyhurst.edu.

April 2008 September 3, 21, 2010

Administrative zeal for ROTC questioned
By Devin Ruic
Staff writer
defensive situations in firefights. The abilities to think clearly, react quickly and efficiently work as teams are key points for the officers-intraining to understand and acquire in order to survive and protect their comrades on the battlefield. The men and women of the “Pride of PA” Battalion went about learning these strategies using Paintball markers – keeping the frenetic nature of battle while eliminating the likelihood of injury, obviously a plus for training. I have already admitted to being a civilian. More than that, I happen to be a mildly lazy civilian, and I am immensely grateful that there are men and women willing and able to fight on behalf of me and my fellow countrymen, many of whom are probably like me – unable to wake up at 0-Dark-Thirty to actually join the ROTC battalion on their FTX. However, there was a civilian at the FTX who was very different from me, and not just because this individual had the wherewithal to wake up and make it to the FTX. This individual distinguishes himself from me because he is Dr. Tim Downs, the Dean of Humanities from Gannon University. This demonstrates the depth of support our men and

Do you know what abseiling is? I did not either, until the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) of Mercyhurst College asked me to join them for their Field Training Exercise (FTX) on April 10. As it turns out, abseiling is the same thing as rappelling in American English. Now, as a civilian, it is highly unlikely I will have to rappel down the side of a building or out of a helicopter – but it is significantly more likely that our men and women in uniform on the battlefield will have to, for a host of military/ tactical reasons. It is very encouraging to know that our classmates at Mercyhurst College and at Gannon University who have dedicated themselves to serving in the U.S. military are being taught these skills now, so that they will be better prepared for when they leave us and join the fight overseas in the War on Terror. In addition to rappelling, the student members of the “Pride of PA” Battalion learn strategies regarding proper assault and

women in uniform receive from members of the administrative staff of Gannon University. Gannon is our rival in almost every regard. But they ought not to be our rival while we support our troops, officers in training or otherwise. It is for this reason that I am thoroughly discouraged by the administration of Mercyhurst College’s seeming indifference to the Pride of PA Battalion, as at this point it is questionable as to whether anyone from our own administration (that means you, Dr. Gamble and Dr. Tobin) will even attend the formal dining out ceremony put on by the ROTC battalion, much less participate in an FTX. I cannot thank enough the members of the “Pride of PA” Battalion not only for their service, but also for the opportunity to join them on their FTX, despite my inability to wake up in time. No matter what else, it is encouraging to see that the Dean of Humanities from Gannon University, dressed head-to-toe in his own personalized ACUs, was able to get out into the field with our ROTC students and participate in the Paintball and rappelling training, unlike some.

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Extreme upgrade needed at the REC
By Victoria Gricks
Staff writer
I went toward one of the treadmills, but I stopped when I noticed the paper with “Out of Order” written on it. Thankfully, there was another treadmill nearby, and I didn’t see any signs on this one. I hopped on and pressed quickstart, and guess what happened…nothing – this one was broken, too. Because I was having no luck, I decided to work on my legs first and then finish with a 20-minute run. Happy that I was finally about to start my workout, I practically skipped to the leg press. My good spirits were crushed, however, when I saw yet another piece of paper telling me that I couldn’t use the machine. Okay, is it just me, or does the Rec. Center really need upgraded? I mean, come on. It seems like stuff breaks easily and doesn’t get fixed for a while, and that’s not cool.A lot of money is going to be put into new changing areas, but what about the actual equipment? In all honesty, I think that should be the number one priority, because students don’t want to use faulty machines. Trust me. Recently, my friend has been letting me use his guest passes at the Y down the road, because I have gotten tired of all the problems at our gym. And let me tell you how much I love it there. Everything is brand new, there is a greater assortment of machines and there are enough so that people rarely have to wait. So can something please be done? I know I’m not the only one who would appreciate it.

After the girl at the desk swiped my card, I walked into the changing room and set my stuff down on one of the several benches. Then, I took off my Converse and sweatpants, placed them in a locker and put my running shoes on. And once my hair was in a ponytail and my iPod was strapped on my arm, it was time to work out. As soon as I got to the cardio area, I realized how busy it was. At first, I thought all of the machines were taken. After looking around a little more, though, I saw that there were a few open ones.

The Merciad is the official student-produced newspaper of Mercyhurst College. It is published throughout the school year, with the exception of finals weeks. Our office is in Hirt, Room 120B. Our telephone number is (814) 824-2376. The Merciad welcomes letters to the editor. All letters must be signed and names will be included with the letters. Although we will not edit the letters for content, we reserve the right to trim letters to fit. Letters are due Mondays. by noon and may not be more than 300 words. Submit letters to box PH 485 or via e-mail at opinionmerciad@mercyhurst.edu.

April 21, 2010

Sports
playing high school softball really prepared us for college softball and made the transition easier,” Redig said. “There were definitely players in the area, and there were a good deal of Division I players that were in the area, and playing against them made us better,” Schmitz said. The level of competition apparently prepared them well. Schmitz and Bower have combined for 20 home runs, four less than the team total last season. Redig has five home runs as well through the regular season. Schmitz, Bower and Redig’s 84 RBIs account for close to half the Lakers’ RBIs this season and have a combined .335 batting average for the season. Despite the high production, these Lakers just try to keep a simple mindset at the plate. “I just try and go out there and put the ball in play and make the other team make mistakes,” said Bower, who leads the team with 11 home runs.

Page 7

Cleveland-area trio leads softball to playoffs
By Nick Glasier
Sports Editor
For the first time since 1991, the women’s softball team has posted a regular season record over .500. The Lakers swept Edinboro University in a two-game series over the weekend and earned the second seed in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference West Division Tournament. The Lakers look to bring success to a program that has been relegated to years of pushing through season after season of disappointment. A major reason for the recent success comes from the surge in offense from the Lakers. Last year the Lakers were rather anemic on offense, struggling to produce runs in key situations. There are three big reasons for this resurgence in the Lakers offense and they are junior Michelle Schmitz, sophomore Jen Bower and sophomore Emily Redig. The three offensive dynamos All three worked hard in the offseason, playing on strong summer league teams and working on individual weaknesses. “Over the summer, I worked very hard on trying to improve how I hit the outside pitch, and now I can really focus on just hitting the ball where it is pitched to me,” Schmitz said. The hard work has shown, as Schmitz is leading the team in batting average with a .352 average with nine home runs and a teamleading 36 RBIs. Schmitz, Redig and Bower are all very excited about the success of the team this season but are convinced there is still room for improvement. “I think that we have a lot of potential and talent on this team. We have been really performing well, and we hope we can continue to carry it over into the playoffs,” Redig said. If the Lakers look to advance deep into the playoffs, they will need them to come up big.

Mercyhurst College junior Michelle Schmitz is leading the Lakers with her .356 batting average.
have one thing in common, as they are all from the Cleveland area. Redig went to Norte Dame Cathedral Latin in Chardon, Schmitz attended Westlake High School and Jen Bower attended Elyria High

Tyler Stauffer photo

School and twice played in the state championship game. The region’s competitive nature has made these players more prepared than most. “Being in such a competitive area

’Hurst dominates Gannon
By Billy Colton
Staff writer
There are some games that just mean a little bit more. You don’t get more points for winning them, but you do get the bragging rights. Nobody ever wants to lose, but some games you are desperate not to lose. Rivalries add an extra dimension to a game. Tackles are stronger, hits are harder and goals mean a little bit more. One of the first things anyone learns at Mercyhurst is about the intense rivalry with Gannon. There are always more fans attending these games, more noise at these games and more excitement leading up to them. This past year, Mercyhurst’s sports teams have dominated Gannon. Mercyhurst recorded a total of 17 wins over Gannon, and lost 10 times. Football, men’s soccer, women’s lacrosse, and women’s water polo all swept the Golden Knights. The football team retained the Niagara Cup for the fourth consecutive year, winning 27-17 in front of more than 1,000 fans. The men’s soccer team embarrassed Gannon on its senior day and homecoming by winning 5-1 to complete a season sweep. Women’s lacrosse edged two close encounters, winning by a single goal in both games. That was similar to women’s water polo, which also beat Gannon by one goal, winning 7-6. Men’s water polo and women’s softball both won three out of four games against their rivals. The men’s water polo team had beaten Gannon eight straight times, but Gannon would finally get revenge this year. Baseball, men’s basketball, women’s soccer and volleyball all split their respective series. The women’s soccer team had never lost to Gannon, going 26 games without a defeat. Twentytwo of the meetings were victories. That incredible record was broken this year. Gannon would only win two series against Mercyhurst. The Knights beat the women’s basketball team twice, and won the wrestling contest between the two schools. Mercyhurst will look to continue to add to this impressive record next year, when the rivalry resumes.

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Page 8

Sports

April 21, 2010

NHL playoff pairings a pleasant surprise
By Devon Swanson
Columnist
Raise your hand if you thought every series in the NHL Conference Quarterfinals would be split after two games. Me neither. I’ve got two points to make on this oddest of scenarios: I thought the matchups weren’t the best they could have been, and I didn’t think a few series would be close. With a week of the best postseason hockey I’ve ever seen under the NHL’s collective belt, I can definitively tell you I was dead wrong on both counts. Near the end of the regular season, only four teams’ seeds were decided in each conference, setting up many possible match-ups for the playoffs.In the East, the possible matchups worked out relatively well, with Buffalo-Boston and New Jersey-Philadelphia pitting division rivals against each other and Pittsburgh-Ottawa marking the third time in four years the two teams would meet in the first round of the postseason. Caps-Rangers would have been better than Caps-Montreal, but the Flyers wouldn’t be able to play the Devils if the Rangers made the second season. Out west, the playoff pairings could have been much better, if only as far as rivalries and geography were concerned. San Jose could have played Los Angeles, which put divisional hatred and distance into a bigtime matchup. Phoenix-Nashville could have happened, which really just allowed for better pairings elsewhere, like Detroit-Chicago and Vancouver-Calgary. That being said, the matchups that have come out of the regular season are absurdly competitive right now. All eight conference quarterfinals split the first two games of their respective seven-game series. Last year, only one series (Jersey-Carolina) split in the first two games. Not only were they split, but they were all extremely close. Empty net goals aside, every game has been decided by one or two goals, and many have gone into overtime. Matchups that weren’t even supposed to be close (Washington-Montreal and San Jose-Colorado as the two most blatant examples) have been immediately converted to tight series that could easily go the distance. With the series switching to the lower seeds’ rinks for two games, the tables have been turned for the higher seeds and home-ice advantage has been eliminated. Looks can be deceiving, and this postseason so far has been no exception. Last Friday was perhaps the best night of hockey I’ve ever seen, with five games decided with less than five minutes in the 3rd period or overtime. If you don’t have Versus (which you probably don’t considering it isn’t available on Mercyhurst cable), get your homework done early and get out to a restaurant or watering hole.

Freshman Ivan Palikuca (left) and junior captain Jovan Jovanovic (right) are key to the success of the Mercyhurst College rowing team.

Holly Ansaldi photo

Serbians pull for Lakers
By Matthew Cirell
Contributing writer
Mercyhurst’s men’s rowing team is doing well this season with the help of three outstanding athletes from Serbia. Stroking the boat is freshman sensation Ivan Palikuca, and right behind him in the number four seat is captain Jovan Jovanovic. Additionally, senior Stanislav Kostic has been recovering from a foot injury. The impact of the Serbians is impressive. “Jovan is a really well-rounded individual. He is one of our strongest rowers and will be our captain next year,” head coach Adrian Spracklen said. “Ivan is the lead stroker in our men’s boat and has broken all our rowing records as a freshman,” Spracklen said. Jovan and Stanislov have also been key members on the Lakers’ most successful boats in the Henley Royal Regatta, Dad Veil Regatta and the IRA National Championships. Jovan and Ivan are from the capital city of Belgrade, while Stan is from Smederevo. Growing up, they participated in many different sports, including basketball and soccer. Ivan said he even took Taekwondo classes. They did not, however, develop a passion for rowing until the sixth grade. But when they did pick it up, they took off. The Serbians’ trip to Mercyhurst would be one that was challenging for both the athletes and Mercyhurst. Serbia has no college placement tests so they had to take the SAT to qualify to attend a school in the United States. The foreign players also have to take a test to determine their command of the English language. Speaking little English, they found the test difficult, but they achieved high enough scores to be accepted by Mercyhurst. They also considered a few Ivy League colleges. Jovan’s interest in Mercyhurst was sparked by the possibility of rowing for Spracklen. “I found Mercyhurst online and when I learned that the head coach (Adrian Spracklen) was the son of Mike Spracklen, I immediately liked Mercyhurst,” Jovan said. Mike Spracklen is a successful rowing coach and has earned three Olympic medals. Jovan was essential in the recruitment of Ivan last year. “I remember Jovan would be talking to Ivan in Serbian on the phone all the time about Mercyhurst before Ivan came here,” Spracklen said. “It was a little harder for Ivan to get to Mercyhurst because of the language barrier for one, but also because there was some issue with his national team in terms of eligibility for the NCAA,” Spracklen said. Jovan and Ivan have been happy with their decision in terms of academics too. “As far as the college is concerned, I like the teacher-to-student ratio. I like the small school setting,” Jovan said. However, both Ivan and Jovan miss their fast-paced lives in Belgrade. “Yes, I like the college, but Erie is a dead place. We come from a fast-pace city, and there is just more to do there,” Ivan said. Overall, Spracklen has been very impressed with the Serbians’ adjustment due to the support system they have built. “It’s a big culture shock for the guys when they first get here, but it has been quite different for them than others since they had each other to kind of guide their way through it,” Spracklen said.

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