CRESSON, Pa. – Penn State Altoona men's golf showed a big improvement from Saturday's round in their home invitational, as the Lions shot a season-low 308 to come in second place in Sunday's Mount Aloysius College Invitational at Summit Country Club, which represented the second day of the Mountain Valley Collegiate Classic.
The Lions' 'A' team posted a 14-stroke improvement from Saturday to finish as the runners-up in the Mount Aloysius Invitational. Penn State Altoona finished ahead of fellow Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference opponents Penn State Behrend (third place, 317), Medaille College (sixth place, 333), La Roche University (ninth place, 339), Mount Aloysius College (10th place, 345), Hilbert College (12th place, 356), and Pitt-Greensburg (13th place, 387).
"It was nice to come down the stretch knowing we were in a position to contend. The guys locked down and really put a nice team round together," said Penn State Altoona head coach Tom Koehle. "There are still some rough edges, but I really feel that we are trending in the right direction."
Pitt-Bradford won the Mount Aloysius Invitational by shooting 306 as a team, and the Panthers took the two-day Mountain Valley Collegiate Classic title with a combined score of 616.
In the two-day Mountain Valley event, Penn State Altoona was the third place team with a combined score of 630.
Four Lions on the 'A' team shot in the 70s to help Penn State Altoona achieve runner-up status in Sunday's event.
Jimmy Gillespie (Glen Mills, PA/Garnet Valley) and Luke Hoffnagle (York, PA/Spring Grove) led Penn State Altoona by tying for third place out of 60 individuals on Sunday with scores of 76. For Hoffnagle, the 76 was his lowest score of the season.
Ethan Yohe (Murrysville, PA/Franklin Regional) shot 77 to come in sixth place in Sunday's round. With a two-day combined score of 153, he placed second individually out of the field of golfers who competed in both days of the Mountain Valley Collegiate Classic.
"Jimmy, Luke, and Ethan posted the numbers we expect of them, and it puts us in a position to win," said Koehle. "Despite finishing two shots back, it shows what we are capable of when we play the way we are supposed to play."
Ryan Marshall (Pittsburgh, PA/Peters Township) fired a season-low 79 to tie for ninth place individually on Sunday, and Jacob Mrvos (North Huntingdon, PA/Norwin) tied for 22nd place in Sunday's round by shooting 82.
"Ryan posted his first good collegiate round, and I feel like his best is ahead of him," Koehle asserted. "He is gaining confidence daily, and he has earned his spot in the lineup heading to next weekend."
Meanwhile, the Penn State Altoona 'B' team shot 334 on Sunday to place seventh out of all the competing squads.
Grant Molloy (Ambler, PA/Upper Dublin) had the lowest score on the 'B' squad, carding an 81 – the best score of his career to date – to tie for 15th place. Frankie Guinan (Pottstown, PA/Owen J. Roberts) tied his career-low by shooting an 82 to tie for 22nd place.
Cole Mori (Annapolis, MD/Annapolis Area Christian School) shot 85, Brian Snyder (Sunbury, PA/Shikellamy) finished with 86, and Aaron Horvat (North Huntingdon, PA/Norwin) scored a 96 to round out the 'B' team.
"The depth of our program shows through today. Our second squad, with players who have spent time in our lineup, finished fourth out of nine AMCC squads," said Koehle. "It helps when all of our team pushes each other at practice. Grant with 81 and Frankie at 82 both had rounds that show they're capable of being good college golfers."
Next up for the Penn State Altoona men's golf team is the two-day Mason-Dixon Collegiate Classic, held on Saturday, September 28 and Sunday, September 29 at The Bridges Golf Club in Abbottstown, Pa.
"No doubt that Pitt-Bradford is the clear-cut favorite less than three weeks before the AMCC Championships, but our round today showed that we have what it takes to be right with them," Koehle said. "It will take our best, but I feel our best is ahead of us."