Tech teams fighting to get games in

(Brad Davis/The Register-Herald) WVU Tech's Fletcher Caponecchia beats Madonna's Carlos Martinez Rodriguez to a header during their NAIA National Tournament game Nov. 23, 2019, at the YMCA Paul Cline Memorial Youth Sports Complex.

The fall season has taken on a don't-believe-it-till-you-see-it feel for high school sports thanks to the coronavirus. It has been just as unkind at the college level.

The pandemic has hit WVU Tech athletics hard. The men's soccer team seems to have taken the brunt of it, with five matches either canceled or postponed. The Golden Bears have played only five matches to date, but have made the most of them. Tech is 4-1, and all five have been conference games.

Sophomore Fletcher Caponecchia was named the River States Conference Offensive Player of the Week on Monday. He scored three goals and had an assist in Tech's 15-0 win at Carlow.

The women, meanwhile, have had more luck on the cancellation front. They have gotten all 10 games in and sit at 4-4-2. That includes a 3-4-2 conference mark.

Both teams are set to host inaugural RSC member Oakland City on Saturday at the YMCA Paul Cline Memorial Youth Sports Complex. The women will play at 1 p.m., followed by the men at 3 p.m.

The volleyball team has had five postponements, including Saturday's visit to Carlow, and is 4-4 — all conference matches — on the season. The Golden Bears will visit Point Park Friday at 6 p.m., then will play its last two scheduled regular season matches at home — Nov. 6 against Ohio Christian and Nov. 7 against Indiana East.

Tech is currently tied for second in the East Division with Rio Grande. Indiana East sits comfortably atop the division with a 10-0 record.

The cross country teams have been able to run just four races, including the Golden Bear Classic in Beckley to start the season. It's been a successful run for the women thus far, with victories at the Golden Bear Classic and last week's Country Roads Meet hosted by Bluefield College. They also finished runner-up at a pair of races at Rio Grande, which will be the site for the RSC Championships on Nov. 7.

The men also won their Beckley and Bluefield races and were second at the Rio Grande Classic, but were fourth at Rio Grande's second meet.

Six Tech runners set personal records at the Country Roads Meet, including women's winner Carmen Camino Falcon (19:22). Also setting PRs on the women's side were Kara Sandusky (19:31) and Kaeley Boyd (19:58).

On the men's side, it was winner Michael Ecker-Randolph (15:14), runner-up Steven Smith (16:21) and fifth-place Wesley Helmandollar (17:45). Aidan Hearne (16:35) and Gregory Panther (16:40) were third and fourth as the Golden Bears swept the top five.

The men's golf team has played four tournaments, including a third-place finish in the Golden Bear Classic on Oct. 16. They will finish the fall season Sunday and Monday at the Kentucky Wesleyan Invitational.

The coronavirus has already impacted the men's and women's basketball teams.

The men were supposed to open their season Friday and Saturday with games against Carolina University and Johnson University at Bluefield College. However, both of those games have been canceled.

The Golden Bears are now set to open their season Friday, Nov. 6, at NAIA preseason No. 1 Georgetown. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.

The women were scheduled to start the season Saturday and will do that, just not against the team or on the floor originally planned.

Tech was set to open at home against Milligan College, but instead will hit the road to play NAIA preseason No. 3 Marian at 2 p.m. The Golden Bears will make their home debut Tuesday against Bluefield College. Tip-off is set for 5:30 p.m.

No spectators will be permitted.

The men's and women's swim teams got their season started last weekend with meets against Salem, Lees-McRae and Shawnee State. It was a 1-2 weekend for the men, while the women dropped all three of their races.

First-place finishes on the weekend went to Andrea Segovia (200 freestyle and 100 breaststroke against Salem), Pau Eslava (200 intermediate and 100 backstroke against Salem), Refiloe Mashao (400 freestyle) and the 200 freestyle relay team of Segovia, Brenna Emery, Kamryn Grubb and Madison Udy.

The teams will be back in the pool Friday at VMI, then will host the Keydets Saturday, Nov. 7, at 1 p.m.

Email: gfauber@register-herald.com and follow on Twitter @GaryFauber

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