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Tuesday, 25 October 2016 16:31

High School Volleyball Playoff Pairings Released

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The North Carolina High School Athletic Association volleyball championships field has been set and first round pairings announced for the tournament. First round play begins tomorrow, Wednesday October 26th at the higher seed.

First round matchups and seeding for teams in the Hickory Metro include:


Maiden (22-0, W1) vs. Parkwood (9-10-0, MW16)
Draughn (17-5, W3) vs. Trinity (11-11, MW14)
East Burke (17-5, W7) vs. Randleman (14-8, W7)
Newton-Conover (10-10, W15) at Lake Norman Charter (17-1, MW2)
Bandys (8-11, W16) at Wheatmore (21-0, MW1)


Fred T. Foard (15-6, W9) at Statesville (16-5, MW8)
Hickory (15-7, W4) vs. Ledford Senior (10-8, MW13)
St. Stephens (11-11, W14) at North Iredell (17-2, MW3)


South Caldwell (9-10, W16) at Ronald Reagan (21-1, MW1)
Alexander Central (7-13, W6) vs. East Forsyth (12-10, MW11)


To see the full statewide playoff brackets, download the attachment below.

Senior Jane Cline (Cornelius, N.C./Charlotte Catholic) earned Sun Belt Offensive Player of Week honors for her performance in the Appalachian State University women’s soccer wins this weekend, the league announced on Tuesday afternoon.

“I’m so happy for Jane,” head coach Sarah Strickland said. “This is a well-deserved honor and truly is recognition not just for Jane but for our entire offense. To begin and end the season with offensive player of the week awards, it’s pretty incredible and I’m grateful for all of those that supported Jane’s nomination.”


The Mountaineers headed into this past weekend needing two wins in order to clinch a Sun Belt tournament berth and Cline stepped up in her final games at home, scoring three goals (two game-winning goals) to push Appalachian State past UL Lafayette and regular-season Sun Belt champions South Alabama.


Cline’s goal against UL Lafayette came in the 36th minute during brutal weather conditions when she received the ball at the top of the box from Morgan Mosack (Charlotte, N.C./Providence Day) on the left side. Cline turned and fired it to the top left corner to give the Mountaineers a 1-0 lead.


Sunday’s Senior Day matchup with South Alabama would prove to be a wild back-and-forth affair, featuring a combined seven goals in two overtimes. After the Jaguars put themselves up 1-0 in the first minute of action, Cline broke free in the 3rd minute where Jackie Nieradka (Kernersville, N.C./East Forsyth) was able to flick the ball forward. The goalkeeper came out to meet Cline one-on-one but with a move to the right side was able to knock the ball into an empty net to equalize the game.


Then, 107 minutes later and the Mountaineers found themselves heading toward a tie at the end of the second overtime. But then, with the clock winding down, Cline once again broke free forward and Nieradka once again placed a great ball ahead where Cline was able to score the golden goal with 15 seconds remaining.


Cline’s effort this weekend put her at 11 goals for the year, which is tied for first all-time in program history for a single season, while she also set a new program high for shots in a season (84). She’s also now second in program history for points in a season (24). Heading into the tournament, Cline currently leads the Sun Belt in shots, points, goals and game-winning goals (five).


Appalachian State women’s soccer will carry a three-match win streak (four victories in last five) into an off week before it heads to Foley, Ala. for its Sun Belt tournament first round opponent, UL Lafayette. The game is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 2 at 5 p.m. ET and all Sun Belt tournament games will be broadcast on ESPN3 and available on the WatchESPN app.

Northwestern Conference:
Hibriten: 7
St. Stephens: 0


Hickory: 3
Freedom: 1


Patton: 5
South Caldwell: 3


Watauga: 2
Fred T. Foard: 1


South Mountain Athletic Conference:
East Burke: 3

East Rutherford: 1


Southern District 7:
Bunker Hill: 6
West Lincoln: 2


Newton-Conover: 7
Maiden: 0


West Caldwell: 5
Bandys: 1

Appalachian State freshman defensive back Clifton Duck has been named the Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Week following his two-interception performance in the Mountaineers’ 37-19 win over Idaho on Saturday.


Duck returned his first interception 44 yards for a touchdown and added a second pick as Idaho tried to rally in the fourth quarter. His touchdown came in a crucial spot and was the turning point in the game. With Idaho on the move in a 13-6 game early in the third, true freshman picked off Vandal’s quarterback Matt Linehan and raced 44 yards down the sideline to push the App lead to 20-6.


Duck is tied for third nationally with four interceptions and also had picks against Old Dominion and Akron this season. App is seventh nationally as a team with 12 interceptions.


The Mountaineers have a short week before traveling to Georgia Southern on Thursday night for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff in Statesboro on ESPNU.

Hannah Craver (Winston-Salem, N.C./Reagan) led all Mountaineers as Appalachian State University women’s golf finished second in the Winthrop Invitational on Sunday. The Mountaineers finished with a tournament score of 624 (+48), just 12 strokes off first-place Winthrop and had three golfers in the top 10.


Appalachian State finished up the fall slate of tournaments by shooting 316 in the first round before carding an impressive 308 in day two to finish out the event.


Craver shot back-to-back 76s to finish tied for fourth on the day, while Savanna Wood (Boone, N.C./Watauga) and Emily Stinson (Charlotte, N.C./Ardrey Kell) finished tied with each other at ninth with 157 total points over the two days.


Joliana Elias (Jamestown, N.C./Penn-Griffin School of Arts) finished just two strokes back from them, finishing with 159 (tied-13th) after shooting an 81 and 78. Annika Winebarger (State Road, N.C./Elkin (Catawba)) finished tied-27th after carding an 86 and 78 for a tournament score of 164 as well.


Playing as individuals for the Mountaineers, Melany Chong and Patricia Thompson (Granite Falls, N.C./South Caldwell) rounded out Appalachian’s impact on the tournament. Chong finished with a tournament score of 170 after shooting 85s (tied-37th) while Thompson finished one stroke back from her at 171 (40th) after shooting an 88 in round one and an 83 in round two


The Winthrop Invitational concludes the fall season for the Appalachian State women's golf team.

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association Women’s Dual Team Tennis Championships field has been set and first round pairings announced for the tournament. First round play begins tomorrow, Tuesday, October 25th at the higher seed.


First round matchups and seeding for teams in the Hickory Metro include:


Maiden (16-0-0, W1) vs. West Davidson (8-4-0, MW8)

East Burke (6-2-0, W3) vs. Surry Central (12-6-0, MW6)


Concord (12-1-0, MW2) vs. Freedom (7-3-0, W7)

Central Davidson (13-3-0, MW3) vs. Hickory (9-4-0, W6)


Northwest Guilford (15-0-0, MW1) vs. South Caldwell (9-3-0, W8)


To see the full statewide playoff brackets, download the attachment below.

With 15 seconds left in the second overtime, senior Jane Cline (Cornelius, N.C./Charlotte Catholic) slotted the go-ahead goal to give Appalachian State University women’s soccer the 4-3 victory over South Alabama in a Sunday afternoon thriller on Senior Day at the Ted Mackorell Soccer Complex.


“Senior Day is hard because it’s hard a thing to know that it’s the last time that they’ll get to play at home and there was a lot of pressure too as there have been some points this year that we didn’t get that I thought we deserved,” head coach Sarah Strickland said. “There was a lot of pressure on this game too for us to be guaranteed to be in the Sun Belt tournament, which is something that they obviously wanted. It was a lot going into it. It was an emotional day even though we try to minimize the emotion and just let them play loose and play free but I just thought the girls played so well.”


Strickland continued, “Our team for some reason, when we go down, we play better and I don’t know why that’s the case and I don’t like it, but them going down 1-0 made them say, ‘no, no, this is not how this is going to go down today.’ It was just a will kind of thing, they were going to will us to victory no matter what it took.”


With the win, the Mountaineers (9-7-2, 4-4-2 Sun Belt) clinch a berth in the 2016 Sun Belt Championship Tournament in Foley, Ala., while the Jaguars (12-5-1, 7-4 Sun Belt) continue to fight for the top of the conference standings.


The back-and-forth affair began from the first whistle, with both teams battling hard to own possession. With South Alabama wanting to be the outright champion of the league and Appalachian State wanting to get into the tournament, the stage was set for an instant classic.


The Jaguars put the Black and Gold on their heels early, when Steffi Hardy scored in the first minute off of a corner set piece to go up one. The Mountaineers responded quickly though, as senior Jackie Nieradka (Kernersville, N.C./East Forsyth) found a streaking Cline who moved past the keeper and fired it home to equalize the game.


Then, in the ninth minute, App State committed a penalty in the box to give South Alabama a PK to allow them to go up 2-1. Appalachian would tie the game again in the 26th minute when freshman Maggie Hanusek (Cumming, Ga./Lambert) bent a beautiful ball into the uprights from 15 yards out on the left side of the field just 25 seconds after being subbed in.


With the game knotted up at halftime, the second 90 was basically a new game for each teams, but the Mountaineers came out of the gates feeling the momentum from the Hanusek equalizer. Redshirt sophomore Erin Settle (Mooresville, N.C./Mooresville) then put App State up 3-2 when senior Jenn Bass (Burlington, N.C./Williams (Clemson)) found her cutting to the back corner of the net. Bass placed the ball right on Settle so that all she had to do was touch it in and the goal would be sealed.


The game seemed all but in App’s favor until a handball call gave the Jaguars a free kick right outside the box. South Alabama’s Jemma Purfield nailed the ball through the upper left corner to once again knot the game up in the 89th minute at 3-3.


The Mountaineers found themselves in a familiar place going to overtime against South Alabama. The same position the two teams were in during the 2015 Sun Belt Championship semifinals. But this time, the ending would be different.


After a shotless first overtime period, Nieradka found her senior teammate once more on the last effort attack with the time counting down, as Cline was able to scoot past the final defender to go one-on-one with the goalkeeper. Cline moved out right to find the angle and ripped the ball through the right side of the net to give Appalachian State the win with just 15 seconds left in the period.


The Mountaineers used a total team effort on Sunday afternoon to get the result that they needed in order to clinch a spot in the postseason. Leading the offensive attack was Cline, who finished with seven shots total and five on goal. Behind her was Hanusek who finished with four shots (one on goal) while Settle and Sarah Peatross (Winston-Salem, N.C./Mount Tabor) had three shots each.


Morgan Mosack (Charlotte, N.C./Providence Day), Lindsey Tully (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Catholic) and Nieradka all finished with two shots apiece while Kelly Flanders (Huntersville, N.C./Hopewell) had one shot on goal that was a near-miss.


Sam Steyl (Charlotte, N.C./Ardrey Kell) played the entire 109:45 for the Black and Gold between the frames, making four saves while facing 18 shots total on the day.


Cline’s two goals give her 11 on the season and tie her first all-time in total goals in a season with Casey Cleary (2005). The goals also push Cline’s career total to 27, ranking now second all-time behind Cleary as well.


Prior to the game, Appalachian State women’s soccer recognized its seven seniors for their achievements and contributions in their careers at App: Phenix Durham (Waxhaw, N.C./Cuthbertson (Lees-McRae)), Brie Bahlmann (Vernon Hills, Ill./Vernon Hills), Aubrey Fletcher (Berryville, Va./Clark County), Carrie Taylor (Winston-Salem, N.C./Mount Tabor), Cline, Nieradka, and Bass.


Appalachian State University women’s soccer will play UL Lafayette in the quarterfinals of the 2016 Sun Belt Championship tournament on Wednesday, Nov. 2 in Foley, Ala., the league announced on Sunday evening.


The match will kick off at 5 p.m. ET and will be broadcast by ESPN3 and available on the WatchESPN app.


The Mountaineers jumped up into the No. 4 seed after winning four of their last five matches, including three straight to finish the season. Appalachian State secured its future by downing the top-ranked South Alabama Jaguars on Sunday afternoon 4-3 in double overtime.


The Black and Gold just recently played the Ragin’ Cajuns on Friday, Oct. 21, getting a 2-0 shutout in Boone.


2016 Sun Belt Conference Soccer Championship Seeds
1. South Alabama - 21 pts., 7-3-0
2. Coastal Carolina - 20 pts., 6-2-2
3. Little Rock - 19 pts., 6-3-1
4. Appalachian State - 14 pts., 4-4-2*
5. UL Lafayette - 14 pts., 4-4-2
6. UL Monroe - 14 pts., 4-4-2
7. Arkansas State - 13 pts., 4-5-1
8. Troy - 11 pts., 3-5-2


2016 Women’s Soccer Championship Seeds
Wednesday, November 2 (First Round)
M1 - 11 a.m. ET – No. 2 Coastal Carolina vs. No. 7 Arkansas State
M2 - 2 p.m. ET – No. 3 Little Rock vs. No. 6 UL Monroe
M3 - 5 p.m. ET – No. 4 Appalachian State vs. No. 5 UL Lafayette
M4 - 8 p.m. ET – No. 1 South Alabama vs. No. 8 Troy


Friday, November 4 (Semifinals)
M5 - 5 p.m. ET – Match 1 Winner vs. Match 2 Winner
M6 - 8 p.m. ET – Match 3 Winner vs. Match 4 Winner


Sunday, November 6 (Championship Match)
M7 - 2 p.m. ET – Match 5 Winner vs. Match 6 Winner

All matches will be broadcast live on ESPN3


* The Sun Belt Conference regarding the three-way tie for the No. 4 seed: Appalachian State, UL Lafayette and UL Monroe each finished the regular season tied with 14 points. Using the three-way tiebreaker, and comparing the points earned in the matches played amongst the tied teams, Appalachian State earned six points - having defeated both UL Lafayette and UL Monroe - thus earning the No. 4 seed in the tournament. UL Lafayette and UL Monroe then proceed to a two-team tiebreaker, where UL Lafayette earned the No. 5 seed by defeating UL Monroe head-to-head earlier this season.

Appalachian State University volleyball couldn’t build off the momentum of its first Sun Belt victory on Friday and lost its eighth conference match of the season 3-1 (23-25, 17-25, 25-15, 16-25) to UL Lafayette on Sunday afternoon.


The Mountaineers (3-19, 1-8 Sun Belt) were led offensively by outside hitter Melissa McMath (Lexington, N.C./Central Davidson) who tallied a team-high 14 kills and finished with a .312 hit percentage.


Emma Longley (Raleigh, N.C./Cardinal Gibbons) finished just shy of having double-digit kills and collected nine. Offensively, Amanda Krahl (Pearland, Texas/St. Agnes Academy) finished with 35 assists.


Defensively, a trio of Mountaineers collected double-digit digs. Longley and Krahl finished with 13 and 11, respectively, and Kennedy Wilson (Avon, Ind./Avon) led the team with 17.


Midway through the opening set and the score knotted at 13-13, the Ragin’ Cajuns (8-16, 4-5 Sun Belt) went on a 6-0 run to open things up and take a 19-13 lead. However, the Mountaineers would battle back and use a 7-1 run to knot the score at 20-20.

Appalachian used an ace from Olivia Reed (Gainesville, Fla./Buchholz) and kills from Ashton Gregory (Yadkinville, N.C./Starmount/Furman) and McMath - combined with five errors from the Cajuns.


UL Lafayette would prevail late with a 25-23 set win.


With momentum carrying over from the opening set, the Cajuns got out to a quick 8-3 lead in the second. The Apps would close the gap and tie the score at 10-10 with help from Gregory and McMath.


Even after tying the score, the Cajuns would push its lead to as many as seven and took a 22-15 lead and would fend off Appalachian for a 25-17 set win and a 2-0 lead in the match.


Appalachian battled back in a strong way in the third set trying to fend off a potential sweep. The Black and Gold built up a four point lead, 12-8, using back-to-back kills from Longley and McMath. The Apps pushed its lead to six on two occasions with the last coming at 21-15.


The Mountaineers finished the set on a 6-0 run from 19-15 using kills from Jenna Talbert (Orange City, Fla./University) and Longley for a 25-15 set win.

Unfortunately, the Apps couldn’t take advantage of winning the third set and dropped the fourth set 25-16 to drop the match 3-1. The Mountaineers closed a deficit to two points at 14-12, but the Cajuns were able to fend off the attack from Appalachian.


The Mountaineers will return to action on Friday, Oct. 28 at Troy. First serve is set for 7 p.m. ET.

Appalachian State University men’s soccer was unable to come back from a last-second, first-half goal, dropping a 1-0 decision to Georgia State on Saturday evening at the Ted Mackorell Soccer Complex.


“Tonight was a tough result,” head coach Jason O’Keefe said. “Credit Georgia State for they did what they needed to do to get a result. We will get back to work tomorrow and we’ll get ready for two nonconference games and try to continue to learn from these experiences.”


The team honored its six seniors prior to the game, recognizing Stephen Chapman (Greensboro, N.C./Northwest Guilford), Donovan Japp (Oakridge, N.C./Northwest Guilford), Jordan Melia (Manchester, England/Rivington & Blackrod), Ben Steen (Mooresville, N.C./Lake Norman), Keegan Tanaka (Austin, Texas/James Bowie) and Jaron Bradley (Davidson, N.C./Hough (UNC Asheville)).


The Mountaineers (4-7-3, 1-2-1 Sun Belt) dropped a backbreaking goal with 19 seconds left in the first half when the Panthers’ (10-6, 2-1 Sun Belt) Hannes Burmeister fired one from the left side after making a break toward the ball.


The battle was mostly over the middle as both teams tried to find a mistake in the each other’s defense. The first shot of the game wouldn’t come for almost 29 minutes.


Aside from the early goal, the teams matched up well in the attack. GSU held the slight 7-6 advantage over Appalachian, but the Black and Gold were held without a shot on goal on the evening.


Leading the Mountaineers attack were seniors Melia Chapman. Melia had three shots on the night while Chapman had two. Rounding out the attack was another senior Steen who had a high kick off of a set piece early in the second half.


The Mountaineers return to action when they move to face Campbell on Tuesday, Oct. 25. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

The Lenoir-Rhyne Men’s Soccer Team (10-4-2, 6-3-1) was game but fell to Wingate (13-0, 10-0), 1-0, Saturday night in a South Atlantic Conference match at the Moretz Sports – Athletic Complex. The Bulldogs are the top-ranked team in NCAA Division II.


The Bulldogs’ Aksel Juul (Newcastle, ENGLAND) scored in the 88th minute of the match as Wingate remained perfect on the year. The Bulldogs also clinched at least a share of their third consecutive league regular season championship.


Wingate’s Nate Evans (Greenville, N.C.) was credited with the assist and the Bulldogs remained the only NCAA Division II this year unbeaten and untied.


Lenoir-Rhyne was 6-0-1 in its previous seven matches before falling to Wingate while the Bulldogs held a 13-4 advantage in shots taken.


Wingate’s Pablo Jara (Santiago, CHILE) earned the shutout victory after making one save while junior Zach King (Altamonte Springs, Fla.) suffered the loss despite a pair of stops and allowing just one score.

In the most current NCAA Division II Men’s Soccer Southeast Regional Rankings, Lenoir-Rhyne is fifth and Wingate is ranked second.


In their final regular season matches on the year, Lenoir-Rhyne faces Newberry in Newberry, S.C., next Saturday, October 29, at 3:30 p.m., in a conference contest .

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