April 22 Brock sports report: Volleyball, wrestling and Zone ground breaking
Matt Ragogna has been named the interim head coach of Brock’s men’s volleyball team. SUPPLIED PHOTO.
PAN-AM MEDAL HAUL FOR BROCK WRESTLERS
Brock Wrestling Club members brought home five medals from the Senior Pan American Championships in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Nicholas Rowe, Jevon Balfour, Hannah Taylor won silver and Diana Weicker and Olivia Di Bacco mined bronze medals.
Rowe finished the 70-kilogram round robin with a pin of Brazil’s Hugo De Lima Viana De Souza in only 17 seconds to secure silver. He also beat Mitchel Taipe Duanama of Peru and Argentina’s Cristian Karlikowsk.
Balfour lost the 74-kilogram final to 2012 Olympic Champion Jordan Burroughs of the United States.
Taylor recorded wins over Venezuela’s Betzabeth Sarco Colmenarez and Peru’s Nes Rodriguez Tirado before getting defeated by Ecuador’s Lissette Alexandra Antes Castillo in the 57-kilogram final.
Weicker defeated Colombia’s Carolina Castillo Hidalgo 6-2 in the 53-kilogram bronze-medal match. She lost to eventual champion Sarah Hildebrandt of the United States in the semifinals.
Di Bacco captured her 68-kilogram bronze-medal match against Peru’s Yanet Sovero Nino by injury forfeit.
Brock wrestler Jessie MacDonald had to withdraw from the tournament because of an injury.
RAGOGNA NEW VOLLEYBALL COACH
The Brock men’s volleyball team will have the youngest head coach in Ontario University Athletics when play begins this fall.
The St. Catharines university has named Matt Ragogna as the interim head coach to replace Doug Hanes, the head coach for the past three seasons.
Ragogna, who has been an assistant with Brock the last two seasons, has coached with the Niagara Rapids travel volleyball program for the past seven years and has served as its technical director for the last two seasons.
“Since beginning university, volleyball has been the No. 1 passion and drive that keeps me busy day in and day out,” the Schomberg native said. “The opportunity to represent Brock as a player and now as a head coach has come full circle of what volleyball has done for me in my life both on and off the court.”
The former club ball player with the Aurora Storm was captain of the Badgers in 2015 and was an Academic All-Canadian. He also earned the Dale Iwanoczko Award from the OUA for excellence in community work, athletics and academics.
The sport management grad was an assistant coach with the Brock women’s volleyball team for three years and has a masters’ degree in coaching in youth sport completed at Brock.
“Matt has an exceptional level of experience this early on in his career. He has ingrained himself in the local and provincial volleyball community, and as a former assistant coach of our team, we’re really excited to see what he can do with the program,” said Emily Allan, Brock’s associate sports director. “Matt knows our players and knows our program. He will provide a seamless transition for the men, and we believe he is a great fit.”
Last summer, Ragogna was an assistant coach with Team Ontario’ under-16 boys team which won a gold medal at the national.
“I started my journey as a coach in house league learning from the president of Rapids, Beth Schulz, who has had a major impact on both my volleyball pathway and life,” said Ragogna. “Working with one of the largest clubs in Ontario provides opportunities for quality information sharing and interactions between coaches and we have numerous high-performance teams that compete in the top divisions and tiers consistently.”
He’s hoping to improve on Brock’s 5-12 record from last year.
“I’m extremely confident in a promising roster that we have this upcoming season. We have a good core of young and experienced athletes as well as some high-level recruits joining our squad this season,” he said. “This is a team that was competing with top teams in the OUA consistently throughout the season and can expect on contending across the OUA.
A ground breaking ceremony for Brock’s Zone Fitness Centre expansion will be held Wednesday at 10 a.m.
Built in 2001, the existing Zone was constructed when Brock’s enrolment was significantly lower than it is today. It is the smallest of any Ontario university.
When it first opened, students had to purchase memberships to use the space, but now all Brock students have access to the fitness centre through the Brock University Students’ Union’s Student Life fee. It will be funded through a $17-per-credit fee for all full- and part-time undergraduate students over a period of five years, starting in September 2020 when the expansion is completed.
Students voted in favour of funding the project last year. The Zone will triple in size to 15,500 square feet from 4,300 square feet.