The Lenoir-Rhyne Men's Soccer Team suffered a tough 2-1 at Mars Hill on Wednesday night. Tonight marked the first time since 2014 that the Lions earned a victory over LR.
The Bears grabbed an early advantage when Florian Simon fired a penalty kick past the keeper to give LR the 1-0 lead. Simon's shot beat the keeper high for his second goal of the season.
In the 22nd minute, the Lions found the equalizer when Adnan Saltagic controlled a rebound and found the back of the net for his first goal of the year.
The game would remain tied until the 62nd minute when Mars Hill's Carlo Pere tapped in a free kick for the game-winner.
Ruben Morillas led LR with three shots in the game, the final of which came in the closing seconds but sailed just wide.
LR held a 12-7 advantage in shots on the night and also finished with a 6-1 lead in corner kicks.
Mars Hill earned three yellow cards in the match and had 13 fouls, compared to nine from the Bears.
The loss drops LR to .500 overall and in South Atlantic Conference play.
LR returns to action on Saturday afternoon when they travel to Newberry for a 3:30 p.m. match.
The Lenoir-Rhyne Women’s Soccer Team completed a second half comeback by scoring the final three goals of the game to grab a 4-2 road victory at Mars Hill on Wednesday night. Four different Bears scored in the contest and Abbie Brown finished with a score and a pair of assists.
Abigael McGarel put the Bears up 1-0 in the 16th minute as the junior converted a penalty kick to give LR the early advantage.
Mars Hill tied the game less than a minute later and took the lead in the 53rd minute. Claire Neibergall evened the contest with her first goal of the season in the 60th minute.
Taylor Rios found the game-winner off a corner in the 79th minute. Brown assisted on Neibergall’s and Rios’ goals before tallying one of her own in the 87th minute to secure the victory.
LR absolutely dominated the match, recording a 26-3 advantage in shots and a 9-3 lead in shots on goal. The Bears also held a 9-5 advantage in corner kicks in the matchup.
Neibergall, Rios and McGarel all found the back of the net for the first time this season as the Bears scored a season-high four times.
Tonight marks the first time this season that LR has allowed an opponent to score two goals in a game that didn’t go to overtime.
The four goals are the most scored in a game by LR since putting six on the board against USC Aiken on Sept. 2 of last season.
LR's returns to action on Saturday afternoon when they travel to Newberry for a 1 p.m. South Atlantic Conference battle.
Appalachian State cross country runners Phylissa Greeley and Collin Loy have been named Sun Belt Cross Country Runners of the Week.
It marks the fourth time since the Mountaineers joined the Sun Belt in the 2014 season that they have swept both the men’s and women’s awards.
Greeley earns her second Sun Belt Women’s Cross Country Runner of the Week honor of the season after earning the accolade for her fourth place finish at the Covered Bridge Open on Aug. 31.
At the Lenoir-Rhyne Invitational on Thursday, Greeley finished first in a field of 66 runners in a 5k time of 18:05.52. The Mountaineers won the meet with 15 points, taking the top-five spots and posting eight of the top-10 finishers.
Greeley has been the top finisher for the Mountaineers in each of their two meets this season.
Loy earns his first Sun Belt Men’s Cross Country Runner of the Week honor.
At the Lenoir-Rhyne Invitational on Thursday, Loy led the Mountaineers across the tape, finishing second overall in a field of 75 runners in a season-best 8k time of 25:38.18. App State won the eight-team meet with 23 points.
Loy has now posted top-five finishes in both Mountaineer races this season. In the Black and Gold's first meet on Aug. 31, Loy placed fifth overall in 25:43.30.
App State will run next on Sept. 29 at the USC Upstate Open. The race is set to begin at 9 a.m.
Junior Hannah Houston's career night led the Lenoir-Rhyne Volleyball Team to a 3-2 triumph over Mars Hill on Tuesday evening in South Atlantic Conference action. Houston's 17 kills on the night set a career-high for the Bunker Hill grad who also finished with a double-double.
Senior setter Jessica Funk led the Bears with a match-high 48 assists on the evening. The Bears easily topped their season high with 97 digs as a team. The previous high was 71 in a five set win over UNC Pembroke on August 31. Freshman Ashley Hawkins led the squad with a career-high 27 digs.
Angelica Arroyo (13), Taylor Prall (10) and Jaclyn Denny (10) all finished with double figures in kills. Houston (17 kills, 11 digs), Arroyo (13, 11) and Funk (48 assists, 18 digs) all finished with double-doubles in the victory.
Lenoir-Rhyne took sets one and three but dropped sets two and four. The Bears would rally to take the fifth and deciding set by a score of 15-9.
The win snapped a pair of streaks. LR ended its modest three-match losing streak, while Mars Hill saw its four-game winning streak come to a close.
The Bears were swept by Mars Hill in 2017 but avenged those loses with tonight's victory.
Houston's previous career high in kills was 12 against UNC Pembroke on August 31.
The Bears return home to take on Catawba inside Shuford Gymnasium on Friday night at 7 p.m.
Lenoir-Rhyne junior goalkeeper Alexander Langer was selected as the South Atlantic Conference Men's Soccer Defensive Player of the Week as announced by the league this afternoon.
Langer, a native of Stuttgart, Germany, collected two saves to preserve the Bears' 1-0 victory over conference foe, Carson-Newman. Each of the junior's saves was of the diving variety to earn his first career shutout. This is Langer's first Defensive Player of the Week award this season.
The Bears return to action on Wednesday night when they travel to Mars Hill.
App State women's tennis announced a challenging 2018-19 schedule featuring two ACC opponents, eight home matches and the newly-added Sun Belt schedule.
The Mountaineers are coming off their best season in recent memory with an 11-11 mark for their first record of .500 or better since 2012-13. In addition, the Apps won their first-ever Sun Belt Tournament with a win over Texas State, a six-win improvement, which tied for the highest improvement in the conference and landed four student-athletes to postseason all-Sun Belt selections.
Coach Mosley loaded his schedule with 12 of 20 teams from last season boasting a winning mark, while three of schools went to the postseason and two programs winning their respective conference tournaments. Appalachian will play in 10 Sun Belt contests as well with the new Sun Belt slate being added in the first time this season.
"We are working hard and look to continue our improvement from last Spring," head coach Blake Mosley stated. "The fall will start off with the team competing against what we call the "Next Level", which are two ITP Pro Circuit events. We've put together a tough spring schedule because not only do we want to challenge our players, but we also have the belief that we can compete with anyone."
Appalachian opens the year with its fall schedule, beginning in Hilton Head, S.C. this weekend before heading to Charleston, S.C. the following weekend Sept. 28-Oct. 2. The Mountaineers will head to Elon Oct. 6-7 for the Jimmy Powell Invitational. Appalachian will then head to Florence, S.C. from Oct. 12-16. The Mountaineers participate in the ITA Regionals hosted by North Carolina Oct. 18-21. App closes out the fall slate Nov. 2-4 in Denton, Fla.
Opening the spring are back-to-back home matches beginning with a Davidson (Jan. 19) team that finished 16-5 last season before going up against the SoCon Tournament runner-ups, ETSU on Feb. 13. Appalachian will face UNCG on the road three days later on Feb. 16 before traveling to Chapel Hill, N.C. on Feb. 19 to face the defending ACC champions and NCAA quarterfinal participants, North Carolina, who also went 28-4.
The Mountaineers will have a small break until they face UNC Asheville on the road on March 1 followed by a March 3 contest against College of Charleston. For the third match in five days, the Black and Gold makes the trek to Jacksonville, Fla. for a March 7 showdown against last season's Atlantic Sun Tournament winners in North Florida, earning a berth in the NCAA Tournament.
After a March 7 affair against Savannah State on the road, the Apps will play two matches on March 8, going up against North Carolina Central in Durham before traveling to Raleigh to face its second ACC opponent in NC State. The Wolfpack went 17-15 en route to an appearance in the NCAA postseason.
App's Sun Belt opener will take place on the road in Conway on March 13 against Coastal Carolina before making make the trip to Arkansas State on St. Patrick's Day. Six of the final eight matches are home contests, starting with the conference tournament runner-up, South Alabama (March 22), and two days later against Troy (March 24).
The Black and Gold heads to Louisiana to play the Ragin' Cajuns (March 30) and the ensuing day, UL Monroe. App State begins a four-match homestand to close out the regular season on April 5 against Georgia Southern. On April 7, the Black and Gold will host last season's Sun Belt Tournament champion, Georgia State. Closing out the regular season are matchups against UT Arlington (April 12) and Texas State (April 14).
The Sun Belt Championships will be held from April 18-21 in Peachtree City, Ga. for a second straight year.
Wednesday's scheduled match between Appalachian State University men's soccer and Elon has been moved to Wednesday, Oct. 17 at Ted Mackorell Soccer Complex at 7 p.m.
The Mountaineers are off to a 4-1-1 start and will return to action on Saturday at 7 p.m. against UNCG at Ted Mack.
Lenoir-Rhyne University will add five members to its Sports Hall Of Fame as Meredith O’Connor, Scott Walker, Taylor Pugh, Benny Moose and Ben Sheffield make up the Class of 2018.
The Hall Of Fame induction ceremony will be part of Lenoir-Rhyne's Homecoming Weekend and will take place in the P.E. Monroe Auditorium on LR's campus at 11:00 a.m., on Saturday, October 13, 2018.
The five will also be honored during Lenoir-Rhyne's Football Game against Limestone, which begins at 2:00 p.m., at Moretz Stadium.
"It is always a special honor to announce and celebrate a new Hall of Fame Class," said Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics Director Kim Pate. "All five honorees bring tremendous distinction to the LR Sports Hall of Fame and represent another great class of inductees. We look forward to honoring them on October 13."
Meredith O’Connor (Softball)
O’Connor was a two-time South Atlantic Conference Pitcher of the Year (2007, 2008) and a Third Team NFCA All-American in 2007. O’Connor holds Lenoir-Rhyne’s career (916) and single season (327) strikeout records and ranks in the top-five all-time in: games started, complete games, innings pitched, appearances and shutouts. For her career, O’Connor owns a 63-15 record and a 1.47 ERA and led the Bears to three South Atlantic Conference Championships and three NCAA Division II Regional appearances.
Additionally, O’Connor was a two-time NFCA Division II All-South Atlantic Region performer and was named All-Conference three times. In 2008, O’Connor garnered a spot on the Daktronics NCAA Division II South Atlantic Conference All-Region squad. She currently serves as a Registered Nurse and Clinical Supervisor in Charlotte, N.C.
Scott Walker (Football)
Walker was a four-year letterman as a cornerback and wide receiver from 1987-91. A prolific return man, Walker owns the career (2,227) and single season (758) records for kickoff return yards. Walker also owns the career (34.5) and single season (26.2) marks for average kickoff return. In 1988, he led NAIA in kickoff return yardage with 34.5 yards/return and he still owns the record for most kickoff yards in a game (199). He ranks fourth all-time with 1,998 career receiving yards and his 959 yards in a single season ranks fifth in program history.
After amassing 4,788 career yards, Walker would go on to be a free agent with the Houston Oilers and played professionally for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League. Walker has been an educator, coach and administrator in the Lamar County School System for 24 years.
Taylor Pugh (Softball)
A three-time South Atlantic Conference First Team All-Conference outfielder, Pugh owns the career record for most runs scored (201). Pugh ranks in the top-five all-time in a multitude of categories including: at-bats (703), hits (243), total bases (406), sacrifice hits (29) and stolen bases (44). For her career, she held a .346 batting average and hit 32 home runs.
Pugh was named NFCA First Team All-Region on three separate occasions and helped the Bears win three South Atlantic Conference Championships and a SAC Tournament title. She married former LR baseball player Derek Pugh and the couple has three sons (Brooks, Connor and Eli).
Benny Moose (Football/Track and Field)
A dual-sport athlete, Benny Moose played under Hanley Painter from 1966-69 and helped the Bears to a 26-11 record in that span. Moose was a three-time Carolina Conference All-Conference performer and an NAIA All-District Defensive Back in 1967. Moose was a part of three Carolina Conference title teams and was a two-time Lutheran Al-American.
Moose was a Track and Field participant in 1968 and a Cabarrus County Sports Hall of Fame member in football, basketball, baseball and track and field. He married LR graduate Bonnie Wensil Moose and the couple has two children (Bonita and Benjie). Moose has spent 45 years as an educator, coach and administrator.
Ben Sheffield (Football/Track and Field)
The second dual-sport athlete to get inducted, Sheffield sandwiched his athletic career around a two-year service in the army. Sheffield was the team leader in receiving during each of the 1974, 1975 and 1976 seasons. Sheffield was a SAC 8 Football Conference Champion in 1975 and a 12th round draft pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In 1975 and 1976, Sheffield was named: All-Conference, All-District and an Honorable Mention All-American.
In Track and Field, Sheffield was a three-year letterman and a 1975 Carolinas Conference All-Conference performer. In 1995, Sheffield was elected to the USSA Softball Hall of Fame.
Appalachian State volleyball swept past Winthrop 29-27, 29-27, 25-20 to close out its 2018 non-conference slate on Friday afternoon in Greenville, S.C.
The Mountaineers end their non-conference season with an 8-4 mark.
The first two sets were tight, with the Black and Gold winning by identical 29-27 scores. In Set 1, App State lead 16-9 before the Eagles (3-8) stormed back to tie the score at 16-16. With the score tied at 27-27 in the opening set, Appalachian got a kill and service ace from Emma Longley to capture the opening frame. The Mountaineers saved three set points in the second frame and won the final three points of the set, with kills coming from Grace Morrison and Kara Spicer, to build a 2-0 lead.
In Set 3, App State used a 5-0 spurt midway through the frame to build a 15-9 edge. Winthrop would pull within three points at 23-20, before a kill from Longley and a service ace from Spicer closed out the set and clinched the sweep.
Longley paced the Black and Gold with 18 kills, while Victoria Wilform reached double figure kills for the second consecutive contest, tallying 12. Morrison added seven kills and Anna Kincaid chipped in with five kills and four blocks (all block assists).
Reigning Sun Belt Setter of the Week Becky Porter posted her second straight double-double with 38 assists and 14 digs. Emma Reilly recorded a match-high 22 digs, marking the second time this season she has had at least 20 digs in a contest.
The Mountaineers tallied 49 kills and eight service aces in the win.
Appalachian State will return to action on Sept. 21 and Sept. 22 during the opening weekend of Sun Belt play. On Sept. 21, App State will play at Georgia Southern at 6:30 p.m. and will take on Georgia State in Atlanta on Sept. 22 at 7 p.m.
Appalachian State University field hockey (4-4, 0-1 MAC) suffered a 1-0 setback to Ohio in its opening Mid-American Conference game of 2018.
The Mountaineers shut down the Bobcats' offense in the first half, taking a 0-0 scoreline into the break. Junior goalkeeper Rachel Gaines made a save on an Ohio (2-4, 1-0) penalty stroke early in the half. She finished the period with three saves.
The Bobcats broke the scoreless tie with a goal from Jillian Shive in the 50th minute. The Black and Gold applied pressure in the second half, outshooting the Bobcats 6-5.
With less than five minutes remaining, head coach Meghan Dawson called a timeout and pulled Gaines. Freshman Friederike Stegen produced a goal-scoring opportunity in the game's final minute, but Ohio goalkeeper Alex Pennington denied Stegen's chance.
Sophomore Veerle Van Heertum led the team with four shots, two of which ended up on goal. Stegen recorded two shots, while junior Ali Williams and sophomore Meghan Smart notched one shot each.
Gaines finished the game with six saves, making three in each half.
The Mountaineers return home to Adcock Field Thursday when they host MAC opponent Longwood at 6:30 p.m.
East Rutherford: 34
South Caldwell: 50
R-S Central: 32
West Lincoln: 48
East Burke: 0
South Fork Athletic Conference:
Lake Norman Charter: 0
Fred T. Foard: 3
St. Stephens: 1
East Burke: 0
South Caldwell: 3
North Lincoln: 2
The Lenoir-Rhyne Cross Country team hosted the Lenoir-Rhyne Invitational at Southside Park on Thursday evening. The women ran to a second place finish, while the men took home fourth.
The women trailed only Division I Appalachian State in the meet. The Bears finished ahead of Carson-Newman, USC Upstate, Tusculum and Lees-McRae in their home meet. Domtila Kiplagat was the top pacing Bear, finishing the 5k course in a time of 18:45.54. Following Kiplagat was Faith Faller who finished in 14th win a time of 19:26.75. Coming in just two seconds later was Kylie Dahlberg who came in 15th. Caroline Hillard placed in the top-20 and Paiton Fair and Brooke Zeman also posted solid times.
The men's team was led by a stellar run by junior Josh Adkins who came in 13th place with a time of 26:06.80. Right on Adkins' heels was teammate Jayden Hefner who finished in 14th and ran the 8k course in 26:10.97. Petar Ivackovic placed 24th for the Bears, running a time of 26:44.34 and Corbin Boyles finished just 1.7 seconds later.
The Bears return to action on September 28 when they compete in the Queens Invitational at 4:30 p.m.
In addition, the Appalachian State men's cross country team took first place at the Lenoir-Rhyne Invitational on Thursday evening. The meet was originally scheduled for Friday evening, but was moved up a day due to weather forecasts associated with Hurricane Florence.
App State finished with 23 points in the meet for first place. Tusculum was second with 73 points and USC Upstate was third with 93 points.
"We looked to maintain a pack and then press during the final two miles, which is exactly what we did," said head cross country coach Michael Curcio. "To come off of a workout on Tuesday and have six runners post 8k times of under 26 minutes is something to build on."
The Mountaineers had seven runners finish in the top-10 in the meet. Collin Loy finished second overall in 25:38.18 and Michael Flanagan was right behind in third place in 25:41.34.
Ryan Brown placed fifth overall with a time of 25:53.24, Dakota Mendenhall was sixth in 25:54.12 and Gable Dershem was seventh in 25:56.27.
Isaac Benz claimed eighth place in 25:58.44 and Zachary Mercer was 10th with a time of 26:04.12.
App State will be off next weekend and will compete again at the USC Upstate Invitational on Sept. 29 at 9 a.m.
1. Appalachian State - 23
2. Tusculum - 73
3. USC Upstate - 94
4. Lenoir-Rhyne - 96
5. Montreat - 125
6. Lees-McRae - 141
7. Carson-Newman - 172
8. Patrick Henry CC - 251
NEWTON, N.C. -- Appalachian State women's cross country claimed the top five spots and eight of the top-10 overall finishers at the Lenoir-Rhyne Invitational on Thursday evening. The meet, which was originally scheduled for Friday evening, was moved up a day due to weather projections of Hurricane Florence.
The Mountaineers captured the meet with 15 points. Host Lenoir-Rhyne was second with 62 points and Carson-Newman was third with 88 points.
"Due to the weather situation, we were able to go to Lenoir-Rhyne and compete tonight," said head cross country coach Michael Curcio. "It was two days earlier than we anticipated, but we were pleased with our results after training for meets that were scheduled for later in the week."
Leading App State across the finish line for the second consecutive race was Phylissa Greeley, who finished first overall in 18:05.52. Samantha Kolor was second with a time of 18:18.73 and Katelyn Butler was third in 18:23.30.
Emily Fedders finished fourth with a time of 18:27.10 and Izzy Evely rounded out the top-five with a time of 18:31.24.
Also posting top-10 finishes were Elisa Sargent (seventh in 18:32.69), Sarah Hajnos (eighth in 18:41.54) and Megan Scannell (10th in 18:51.13).
The Mountaineers will compete next at the USC Upstate Invitational on Sept. 29. The race is set to begin at 9 a.m.
1. Appalachian State - 15
2. Lenoir-Rhyne - 62
3. Carson-Newman - 88
4. USC Upstate - 88
5. Tusculum - 146
6. Lees-McRae - 173
Emma Longley, Victoria Wilform and Kara Spicer each tallied 15 or more kills as Appalachian State volleyball posted a 25-18, 20-25, 25-21, 25-22 win at Furman on Thursday evening.
Longley finished with a match-high 17 kills, while Wilform notched a career-high 16 kills and Spicer recorded 15 kills. It marks the first time the Mountaineers (7-4) have had three players register 15 or more kills in a contest since Sept. 9, 2017 against George Washington, when Lexi Kohut (19), Melissa McMath (17) and Spicer (17) all had over 15 kills.
App State opened up the contest strong, building an early 10-4 lead on a kill by Wilform. Furman (4-6) got no closer than four points the rest of the way as the Black and Gold took the opener 25-18.
After the Paladins captured the second set 25-20, the Mountaineers jumped out to a 11-7 lead in Set 3. Furman battled back to tie the score at 19-19, before a kill by Anna Kincaid and an attack error allowed App State to open a 21-19 edge. Following a point by the Paladins, Appalachian won four of the final points, capped off by a Wilform kill, to clinch the set 25-21 and open a 2-1 lead.
The fourth set saw a 3-0 run give the Mountaineers a 13-11 advantage midway through the frame. Furman answered and took a 17-15 lead, but the Black and Gold came right back with three straight points to take a 18-17 lead. The Paladins responded with three straight points, only to see App State grab the following three points to take a 21-20 advantage. Following a Furman point, the Mountaineers captured four of the final five points to clinch the set 25-21 and close out the 3-1 victory.
Reigning Sun Belt Setter of the Week Becky Porter recorded her team leading third double-double of the season with a match-high 52 assists and a season-best 14 digs. She also added five block assists.
Emma Reilly reached double figure digs for the eighth time in the last nine contests with a team-best 15. Sydney Farthing chipped in with 11 digs.
App State recorded 63 kills, marking the third time this season the Mountaineers have posted over 60 kills in a match. The Black and Gold also hit .300 in the victory, marking the second time the Apps have had a hitting percentage of .300 or better on the season.
Appalachian State will have a quick turnaround and will take on Winthrop at noon on Friday in a neutral site contest in Greenville, S.C.
The Lenoir-Rhyne volleyball team fell in three sets to preseason South Atlantic Conference favorite Wingate on Thursday evening by the score of 3-0. The game was originally scheduled to take place on Friday evening but was rescheduled due to the upcoming weather conditions.
For the second straight match, Hannah Houston led the Bears in kills. The junior finished the game with seven kills and added three blocks and nine digs.
Sophomore Madison Asher had a strong match for LR, finishing with six kills and a team-high .300 hitting percentage.
Wingate held a .319 to .064 edge in hitting percentage in the contest and a 62-39 advantage in digs.
The Bulldogs were led by 10 kills from Hannah Givens.
Wingate is on a 10 game winning streak to start the 2018 season. The Bulldogs were picked to finish first in the SAC preseason coaches poll.
The Bulldogs hit .500 as a team in the first set.
After winning seven straight to open the season, LR has dropped three straight.
The Bears return to action on Tuesday at 7 p.m. when they continue SAC play at Mars Hill.
The Lenoir-Rhyne football team (2-1, 1-0 SAC) cruised to a 59-27 victory over Mars Hill (0-3, 0-1 SAC) in the Bears home opener on Thursday afternoon. The 59 points scored was the most in a game since scoring 62 against Alderson Broaddus on Nov. 9, 2013.
The Bears scored three times in the first quarter to open up a 21-point lead on the Lions and never looked back. Jaquay Mitchell scored twice in the opening quarter, once on a seven-yard run and again on a 16-yard pass.
Grayson Willingham was ultra-efficient, going 8-for-10 for 154 yards and four touchdowns all in the first half before giving way to Cal Morris who played the final 30 minutes.
Xzavion Huff, Dareke Young, Mitchell and Kenny Carter each had a rushing touchdown in the victory. T.J. Smith, Drake Starks, Mitchell and Ryan Carter all caught TDs for the Bears explosive offense.
Craig Rucker had a standout game for the Lions, catching 10 balls for 132 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
The Bears have scored over 50 points in each of the last two games. LR put a 51-spot on the board against North Greenville last Saturday. The last time LR scored over 50 points in consecutive games was 2011.
First-year Head Coach Drew Cronic has led LR to back-to-back wins, the first time that has happened since winning three straight in 2015.
The Bears rushed for 305 yards as a team on 52 rushes. The 468 total yards is actually the lowest total in a game for the Bears in 2018.
This marks the first time LR has defeated Mars Hill since 2015.
LR will travel to preseason South Atlantic Conference favorite Wingate next Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.
Appalachian State wrestling head coach JohnMark Bentley announced Thursday that Ryan LeBlanc has been promoted to co-head assistant coach.
LeBlanc, who arrived in Boone 2016, and Josh Roosa, who joined the Mountaineers’ program in 2015, are both co-head assistant coaches as full-time members of Bentley’s staff. The staff also includes volunteer assistant Dominic Parisi.
With all four coaches together for the last two seasons, App State has won the last two of its three straight Southern Conference titles and posted a 14-0 league record. The Mountaineers went 7-0 against SoCon competition during the 2017-18 season, won the league tournament to secure a SoCon sweep and had four wrestlers compete at the 2018 NCAA Championships with a young roster that featured only two returning starters in the same weight class from the previous year.
“The experience my first two years at App State has been above and beyond what I could have even imagined,” LeBlanc said. “I’m extremely thankful to Coach Bentley and the administration for this opportunity to keep working with our great student-athletes. I look forward to this new role.”
LeBlanc posted 103 career wins as a college wrestler at Indiana, where he was a three-time academic All-American, and he received his master’s degree from the State University of New York at Cortland in 2016. He was on SUNY-Courtland’s coaching staff for two seasons before heading to Boone.
Highlighted by a matchup against ACC foe Clemson, five home contests and a Sun Belt schedule featuring seven opponents, first-year App State men's tennis head coach Craig Schwartz announced the 2019 spring schedule.
The Mountaineers will have a tough schedule as 16 of 23 opponents posted a winning record in 2018 and combined for a .564 winning percentage. Appalachian will face three conference champions and NCAA Tournament participants. For his first season, coach Schwartz is getting the Mountaineers ready for the newly-added schedule.
"I think we have a very competitive schedule that will help prepare us for the conference portion of the schedule," Schwartz stated. "It's an exciting time in the Sun Belt to be playing a conference slate for the first time. We will continue to work hard and strive towards our ultimate goal of a league championship!"
Appalachian's start to the campaign doesn't get easy as its season opener on Jan. 19 is in Johnson City against reigning SoCon Tournament champions and NCAA Tournament program, ETSU. The Mountaineers follow that up with a Jan. 26 matchup against Clemson on the road. App State will play a doubleheader against host, Elon at 9 a.m. on Jan. 28 before facing NC A&T three hours at 12 p.m.
Two weeks later, Appalachian will head to Greenville, N.C. for two contests in as many days facing Richmond on Feb. 9 before ending the weekend on the next day going up against an ECU team that went a solid 22-5 last season. Furman awaits Appalachian 13 days later on Feb. 23 in the first of two matches that weekend as App will face UNCA in Asheville on the following day.
The Mountaineers then start its annual spring break tour three matches in five days, taking on Stetson (March 3), Hampton (March 5), Valparaiso (March 7). Appalachian could play another contest on the 5th and 7th.
Coming back from Florida, App will host Southern Mississippi in its home opener on March 12. App has been a tough out at home, boasting a 9-4 mark at home over the past two seasons. After a matchup with Winthrop on March 16, the Mountaineers will make the trek to Mobile a week later for a showdown against defending Sun Belt Tournament champions, South Alabama. App State's and Troy will meet a day later on March 24.
Three straight home matches round out the month of March with UNCG (3/26), Louisiana (3/29) and UTA (3/31) invading the High Country. App stunned then-No. 2 seed Louisiana in last season's Sun Belt Tournament in a thrilling 4-3 win.
Appalachian will return to action next weekend at the Elon Invitational Sept. 21-23.
Saturday’s home-opening football game against Southern Miss will not be played because of increasing concerns related to Hurricane Florence, and several Appalachian State Athletics events planned for this weekend have also been rescheduled.
The following home sports events are being rescheduled:
- Women’s soccer’s Sun Belt opener vs. South Alabama, originally scheduled for Friday, has been rescheduled for Sunday, Oct. 14 (time TBD).
- Women’s soccer’s match vs. Little Rock, originally scheduled for Sunday, has been rescheduled for Sunday, Oct. 28 at 1 p.m.
- The men’s soccer match vs. Bradley, originally scheduled for Sunday, is being postponed to a yet-to-be-determined date.
Hall of Fame Celebration
The Appalachian State University Athletics Hall of Fame celebration has been moved to Nov. 17.
The Hall of Fame induction breakfast will begin at 8:30 a.m. that day, and the on-field ceremony will occur during the 2:30 p.m. football game against Georgia State.
The location for the event is still being finalized. Contact Virginia Falck at email@example.com or 828-262-3109 for more details as they become available or to purchase tickets.
The members of the 44th Hall of Fame class are, in alphabetical order, Mark Fee (wrestling, 1999-2003), Anna Freeman Healy (women's basketball, 2009-13), Wes Hobson (baseball, 2007-10), Corey Lynch (football, 2003-07), Marques Murrell (football, 2003-06) and D.J. Thompson (men's basketball, 2003-07).
Football Alumni Tailgate
Next weekend, the football alumni tailgate affiliated with the 10-year-reunion of the 2008 football team that won a Southern Conference championship will begin two hours before the Mountaineers face Gardner-Webb in a 3:30 p.m. home game Sept. 22 at Kidd Brewer Stadium. For more details on that event, contact Ken Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 828-262-7876
Other Team Reunions and Events
An alumni event for App State Men's and Women's Tennis, a gathering for App State Wrestling and a reunion celebrating the 50-year-anniversary of the 1968 team coached by Carl Messere may also be rescheduled.