Looking Forward to 2024 with MCCC Athletics



As we head into a New Year, let’s look ahead at what there is to look forward to in 2024 for MCCC Athletics.


Men’s basketball will compete for a spot in the Region 19 playoffs.  The team just missed out on the playoffs last season.  Sophomore Izaiah Johnson (Burlington, NJ/Burlington City) could come close to scoring his 1,000th point in two seasons and is something to watch for as the Vikings season winds down.


In the spring, five MCCC sports will get underway: baseball, softball, men's lacrosse, men's tennis and women's tennis. 


The softball team will play on a new turf field.  Last year’s team went 40-10.  Though the Vikings return only four players from last year’s team, they return two All-Conference players, Maya Patel (Burlington, NJ/Burlington Township) and Shea Krebs (Robbinsville, NJ/Robbinsville HS).  Krebs also earned All-Region 19 honors.  Patel earned All-Conference honors in 2023 after hitting 20 home runs and hitting .420 on the season.  Patel also had 86 RBIs, 71 hits and a .888 slugging percentage.  Krebs went 18-4 for the Vikings last spring and had 123 strikeouts in 109.1 innings pitched.  Infielder Cierra Acevedo (Hamilton, NJ/Hamilton West) also returns.  Acevedo hit .416 last spring and finished with 74 hits, 51 RBIs and 7 triples, which was fourth best in the nation.  Catcher Abby Bell (Hightstown, NJ/Hightstown HS) is also back for the Vikings.  Bell hit .379 last spring with a .565 slugging percentage.


Baseball will look to improve on Head Coach Russ Stupienski’s first season when the Vikings finished just below .500.  The Vikings return infielder Joe Gmitter (Hamilton, NJ/Steinert) and outfielder Torin McKenzie (Hamilton, NJ/Nottingham), two of the Vikings top hitters last season.  Pitchers Joe Dimino (Millstone, NJ/Allentown HS), Matteo Gravano (Palmyra, NJ/Palmyra), Vince Mazzilli (Bordentown, NJ/Bordentown Regional), Justin McKnight (Toms River, NJ/New Egypt HS) and Ryan Mignogna (Ewing, NJ/Notre Dame) all return this season.  The returning sophomores along with a mix of freshman and transfers will look to lead the Vikings into the postseason this spring. 


MCCC men’s lacrosse will play on the newly redone turf field under first year Head Coach Ben Whitcraft.  The Vikings won the Region 19 Championship last spring and will look to repeat and advance to the NJCAA National Championship.  Mercer returns All-Region players Izzy Miranda (Tampa, FL/Tampa Catholic) and Braden Travaglini (Berlin, NJ/Eastern Regional).  Miranda won 67 of 100 faceoffs last season, which was 10th best in the nation.  Travaglini scored 16 goals last season and helped control the midfield for the Vikings.  Sophomore attacker Jack Kalinowski (Yardley, PA/Pennsbury) will also be back for the Vikings.  Kalinowski scored 36 goals and had 12 assists last season.


Women’s tennis is looking to compete again this spring at the NJCAA Division I National Championship and improve on their 25th place finish last season.  The Vikings return their top player Valeria Vargas (Valencia, Venezuela/Instituto Santa Cruz) along with a group of talented newcomers.


Men’s tennis is aiming to win the Region 19 Championship and qualify for the NJCAA Division III National Championship.  The coaches are optimistic the Vikings can have a strong season and compete both in Region 19 and nationally.


In June, MCCC will induct its fourth Athletic Hall of Fame class.  The ceremony will take place on June 1st at the Princeton Marriott.


In fall of 2024, Vikings women’s soccer will try to avenge their 2023 loss in the Region 19 Championship.  The Vikings only have three sophomore players and should return four All-Region performers: Laura Kucharz (Singen, Germany/Freidrich Wohler Gymnasium), Fiona Madigan (Dublin, Ireland/Fingal Community College), Annika Maringer (Asperg, Germany/Gymnasium IB) and Celina Oliveira (Villa Praia, Portugal/Escola Basica e Secoudario Do Vale Do Ancura).


Men’s soccer will try to improve upon last fall’s success which included the Region 19 Championship and a trip to the Northeast District Championship.  The Vikings lost 0-3 in the title game and were one win short of reaching the NJCAA Division II National Championship.


The Vikings will led by Athletic Director Eric Grundman, who began in this role in mid-November.  Grundman will look to continue the tradition and success of MCCC sports.


And MCCC women's basketball will be back in 2024-2025 and welcome newly hired Head Coach Bob Fusik, who had a great deal of success at Trenton Catholic Academy.


There is a lot to look forward to in 2024.  There was so much success on the athletic courts and fields in 2023 and we can’t wait to see what lies ahead in 2024!  Go Vikings!


For the latest on the Vikings' sports teams, visit: https://www.mccc.edu/athletics_home.shtml



Softball pitcher Shea Krebs had 123 strikeouts last season



Men's lacrosse player Braden Travaglini scored 16 goals last spring



  Men's basketball player Izaiah Johnson scored over 500 points last season



Baseball player Torin McKenzie is one of the Vikings top returning hitters



  Women's tennis player Valeria Vargas played 1st Singles and Doubles for the Vikings



Men's tennis player Jack Wolfarth returns from last year's team



  Women's soccer player Fiona Madigan earned All-Region 19 Honors this fall



  Men's soccer players Noah Bauer and Lesedi Hlabeli are two of the team's top returning offensive players


  MCCC Athletic Director Eric Grundman began at MCCC in November



  Newly appointed Women's Basketball Coach Bob Fusik



MCCC Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2024 Inductees John Pietrowski and Stu Foulks with members from earlier Hall of Fame Classes