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Point Park awarded KIAC Commissioner’s Cup for second straight year

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Point Park awarded KIAC Commissioner’s Cup for second straight year

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Photo courtesy of Kevin Taylor, Point Park Athletics.Point Park University administrators were presented the KIAC Commissioner’s Cup by conference commissioner Scott McClure (far right). Pictured (L to R) are President, Dr. Paul Hennigan, Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students, Keith Paylo, and Director of Athletics, Dan Swalga.

Photo courtesy of Kevin Taylor, Point Park Athletics.Point Park University administrators were presented the KIAC Commissioner’s Cup by conference commissioner Scott McClure (far right). Pictured (L to R) are President, Dr. Paul Hennigan, Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students, Keith Paylo, and Director of Athletics, Dan Swalga.

For the second straight year, Point Park University has won the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (KIAC) Commissioner’s All-Sports Cup awarded to the top overall athletic department in the conference.

The KIAC Commissioner’s Cup standings are based on the regular-season standings in each of the 15 sports offered by the conference. Point Park is one of 13 schools in the KIAC and offers 13 sports.

Points are awarded based on the final regular season standings in each sport. The first place school in each sport receives 13 points, the second place school receives 12, and so on.

“On behalf of all of our 13 member schools, I’d like to congratulate Point Park University, Director of Athletics Dan Swalga and all of the Pioneers on defending their KIAC Commissioner’s Cup title this year,” said Scott McClure, KIAC Commissioner in a press release.  “Winning the Commissioner’s Cup competition requires a total team effort by the entire athletic department as well as institutional support, and Point Park University continues to be a model of consistency and excellence.”

Point Park tallied 147 total points for a first-place average of 11.31 points. Rio Grande (Oh.) finished as the runner-up to Point Park for the second year in a row with 120.5 points in its 11 sports, good for a 10.95-point average.

“The KIAC Commissioner’s Cup staying at Point Park is a credit to all of our student-athletes, coaches, teams, administrators and other support personnel on campus,” Swalga said in the release. “We are very proud to claim this award once again, and we truly could not do it without all those who play a role.”

Point Park saw two of its teams win regular season titles during the 2015-16 school year. Led by first-year head coach Kelly Parsley, Point Park’s men’s and women’s cross country teams won KIAC championships for the first time in school history, advancing the teams to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) National Championship meet in Charlote, N.C.

The women’s soccer team also made history by winning its first KIAC Championship, advancing to the opening round of the NAIA National Tournament. The Pioneers finished second in the regular season and fell to No. 1 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) in the National Tournament.

Point Park’s men’s golf team, and both the men’s and women’s track and field teams also contributed to Point Park’s Commissioner’s Cup average score with second place finishes.

Point Park’s volleyball team finished third in the regular season and qualified for the NAIA National Tournament with its second-place finish in the KIAC Tournament. Point Park was awarded a spot in nationals because KIAC regular season champion IU Kokomo also won the KIAC Tournament, defeating Point Park in four sets. The Pioneers fell in the NAIA Opening Round in three straight sets to No. 12 Georgetown (Ky.).

Men’s soccer, women’s golf, softball and baseball also finished third in the regular season standings.

Both Point Park basketball teams finished fifth overall in the KIAC in 2015-16 and third in the KIAC Colonial Division. The men’s basketball team fell to Alice Lloyd (Ky.) 89-88 in the KIAC Tournament Semifinals.

Point Park led in the Commissioner’s Cup standings after both the fall and winter seasons and held on to the top spot after the spring season concluded. Rio Grande moved from fourth in the standings after the winter season to second place at the end of the year. Rio Grande’s men’s soccer team won the NAIA National Championship in the fall.

Indiana University East finished third in the final Commissioner’s Cup standings after a year that saw its men’s basketball team play the role of Cinderella in the NAIA DII National Basketball Tournament. The Red Wolves finished atop the KIAC in the regular season, earning a No. 7 seed in the National Tournament. The Red Wolves advanced to the Final Four in the tournament after upsetting the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds in the Cramer bracket.

The KIAC will retain its current name that it has held for 100 years for a few more weeks before it changes to the Rivers States Conference.

Swalga and the rest of the athletic department will make the transition as the top school in the KIAC to the top school in the RSC during the 2016-17 school year.

“Retaining the cup in back to back years and three times in four years is a great source of pride for us,” Swalga said. “We are very happy and proud to be in this conference, one that will continue to grow and evolve as the River States Conference coming July 1.”

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