For the third-straight week, an Appalachian State University football standout is the Sun Belt Conference’s Offensive Player of the Week, as running back Marcus Cox (Dacula, Ga./Dacula) has received the award for the second time, the Sun Belt office announced on Monday morning.
Cox’s latest honor comes on the strength of his 229-yard rushing performance in Saturday’s 37-32 victory at three-time-defending Sun Belt champion Arkansas State.
The sophomore’s 229 yards came on a career-high 40 carries, which were the third-most in Appalachian State history and the most by a Mountaineer since Damon Scott toted the ball 42 times in a win over Chattanooga in 1996. The 229 rushing yards were the 13th-highest total in school history.
Cox had two touchdown runs (one and 14 yards), added two receptions for 54 yards and averaged 5.7 yards per rush and 6.7 yards per touch in the win over Arkansas State. He took over the game in the third quarter, when he accounted for 139 of Appalachian’s 176 yards in the period to help the Mountaineers turn a 20-13 halftime deficit into a 27-20 lead.
The 200-yard rushing effort is Cox’s second in three games and the third of his 22-game career. He rushed for a career-high 250 yards against Georgia State on Nov. 1 and had 215 yards on the ground in last season’s finale versus Western Carolina.
Cox, who has six 100-yard games this season and 12 in his career, upped his season rushing total to 1,142 yards on Saturday to become the first running back in Appalachian State history to rush for 1,000 yards as a freshman and sophomore. Quarterback Armanti Edwards (2006-07) is the only other Mountaineer to accomplish the feat.
The Sun Belt honor is Cox’s second, following the one he received after his 250-yard effort against Georgia State. Last week, App State quarterback Taylor Lamb (Calhoun, Ga./Calhoun) was the Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Week after throwing for 276 yards and two touchdowns in a 31-29 win over UL Monroe.
Winners of four-straight, Cox and the Mountaineers travel to Sun Belt power UL Lafayette (7-3, 6-0 Sun Belt) on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. ET at Cajun Field in Lafayette, La.
The Lenoir-Rhyne Volleyball Team (22-9) has earned a berth in the NCAA Division II Southeast Region Tournament and will face Armstrong State (28-2) in the quarterfinals on Thursday at Cuddy Arena in Wingate, N.C.
Lenoir-Rhyne, the seventh seed in the region, is making its third appearance in the NCAA Division II National Tournament. The Bears also made the postseason in 2004 and 2012.
Second-seeded Armstrong State is ranked No. 20 in the nation and won both the Peach Belt Conference Regular Season and Tournament Championships. The two teams met in the season opener in Charlotte, N.C., on Friday, September 5, with the Pirates prevailing in three sets.
Lenoir-Rhyne is led this year by senior outside hitter Haley Rhyne (Statesville, N.C.), a three-time All-South Atlantic Conference honoree (2012-14). Rhyne is second on the team in kills this year with 290 to go along with 115 blocks while junior setter Briana Gottberg (Mooresville, N.C.) has 1,145 assists and 323 digs.
Middle blocker Brooke Redmond (Statesville, N.C.) earned league freshman-of-the-year honors for the Bears. Redmond leads the team in kills (317) and is second in digs (327).
Wingate (31-2), ranked No. 12 in NCAA Division II, will serve as the host school and the top seed. The Bulldogs won the SAC Regular Season and Tournament Championships in 2014 and have advanced to the Elite Eight three of the last four seasons.
2014 NCAA Division II Southeast Region
November 20-22 – Wingate, N.C.
Thursday, November 20 – QUARTERFINALS
Match One – No. 3 USC Aiken (21-8) vs. No. 6 Carson-Newman (26-6), Noon
Match Two – No. 2 Armstrong State (28-2) vs. No. 7 Lenoir-Rhyne (22-9), 2:30 p.m.
Match Three – No. 4 GRU Augusta (26-8) vs. No. 5 Anderson (25-8), 5:00 p.m.
Match Four – No. 8 Erskine (21-8) at No. 1 Wingate (31-2), 7:30 p.m.
Friday, November 21 – SEMIFINALS
Match Five – Match One winner vs. Match Two winner, 5:00 p.m.
Match Six – Match Three winner vs. Match Four winner, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, November 22 – FINALS
Match Seven – Match Five winner vs. Match Six winner, 5:00 p.m.
After dropping matches to CSU Bakersfield and Illinois on Friday, Appalachian State University Wrestling saw five Mountaineers place at the Road Runner Open on Sunday in Fresno.
Dylan Cottrell (Spencer, W.Va./Roane County) continued his red hot start to the season and remained unbeaten on the year. Cottrell recieved a first round bye followed by a second round decision win over Stanford’s Josh Lauderdale. Cottrell breezed through the quarterfinal with a major decision victory against Bakerfield’s AJ Fierro. A tie breaker victory in the semifinal sent the 149 defending champion to the final. In the Final, Cottell won a 10-7 decision over Kyle Langenderfer (Illinois) to earn his second-straight Road Runner Open title.
Coming off of two victories at the tri-dual on Friday, heavyweight Denzel Dejournette (Winston-Salem, N.C./R.J. Reynolds) continued his hot streak at the Road Runner Open. Dejournette won his opening round matchup with a 19-4 tech fall of Bakersfield’s Steven Wood followed by a hard fought 5-4 decision against Chad Lopez of Illinois. In the quarterfinal, Dejournette pinned Sam Alnassiri at the 6:05 minute mark. Dejournette then moved on to the final after a tie breaker victory in the semifinal. The Winston-Salem native pinned Brooks Black (Illinois) en route to claiming first place.
In the 125 bracket, Dominic Parisi (Concord, N.C./Jay M. Robinson) cruised through the first two rounds with back-to-back pins. Parisi continued the dominant start to his tournament with a major decision again Yoshito Funakoshi (Cal Poly) in the quarterfinal. Oregon State’s Ronnie Besser ended Parisi’s run to first place with a 9-5 decision in the semifinal. In the consolation bracket, Parisi again was dominant, winning by major decision and then pinning Funakoshi to claim third place.
Michael Longo (Corona, Calif./Santiago) recieved a first round bye before pinning Austin Solari (Grand Canyon) at the 4:39 mark in the second round. In the quarterfinal, Longo was defeated by Nick Lawrence (Purdue) via a 7-1 decision. Longo won his next three matches in the consolation bracket to earn a spot in the third place match. UNC’s Troy Heilmann edged Longo in a close 7-5 decision, leaving the California native in fourth place at 141.
After a first round bye in the 165 bracket, redshirt freshman Nick Kee (Laurinburg, N.C./Scotland) won his opening match against Matt Nora (Illinois) with a 10-5 decision. Kee then dropped a 5-1 decision the following round to Jim Wilson (Stanford). The Laurinburg, N.C. native earned three-straight decision victories to have a chance for third place. Purdue’s Patrick Robinson pinned Kee 3:41 into the bout, leaving Kee in fourth place.
At 133, Vito Pasone (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./E.L. Meyers) and Jacob Grigg (Gastonia, N.C./East Gaston) eached added one victory in the championship bracket. Nick Vetell (Trinity, N.C./Trinity) recorded two victories in the 184 bracket before dropping a quarterfinal decision to Taylor Meeks (Oregon State).
Javon Johnson (Holly Springs, N.C./Holly Springs), Zack Strickland (Muncy, Pa./Muncy), Collin Johnson (Dallas, N.C./North Gaston), Kacee Hutchinson (Candler, N.C./Enka), Marcus Johnson (Mohnton, Pa./Governor Mifflin), and Tyler Radford (Marion, N.C./McDowell) all wrestled two matches, but did not record any wins.
Forrest Przybysz (Jefferson, Ga./Jefferson) sustained an injury in his opening match and was unable to continue.
The Mountaineers are back in action next Sunday in Philadelphia for the Keystone Classic.
Fresh off its fourth perfect regular season in school history, the third-ranked Lenoir-Rhyne Football Team (11-0) has earned the top seed in Super Region 2 and will host an NCAA Division II Second Round Playoff game on Saturday, November 29, at Moretz Stadium.
The Bears will face the winner of a first round playoff contest between fourth-seeded North Alabama (9-1) and fifth-seeded Valdosta State (8-2), which takes place this Saturday in Florence, Ala.
North Alabama is ranked No. 15 in NCAA Division II while Valdosta State is ranked 25th in country. Lenoir-Rhyne defeated North Alabama, 42-39, in last year's national quarterfinals.
Delta State (9-1), the second seed in the region and 13th-ranked team in the nation, also earned a bye and will play either third-seeded Tuskegee (9-2) or sixth-seeded West Georgia (9-2) in its second round home playoff game.
Lenoir-Rhyne earned a berth in last year's NCAA Division II Championship game and enters the playoffs winners of 24 of their last 25 games including 13 straight games at Moretz Stadium.
Lenoir-Rhyne has won the past four South Atlantic Conference Regular Season Championships and rank first in the nation in rushing offense at 415.5 yards per game.
The NCAA Division II National Championship game will take place on Saturday, December 20, 2014, at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan.
Tickets are $15.00 for general admission and $10.00 for students with proper identification and will be on sale beginning Monday at Noon in the Shuford Memorial Gymnasium lobby. PEF/Bears Club members can begin purchasing reserve tickets ($20.00) on Monday as well.
2014 NCAA Division II Football Playoffs
Super Region No. 2
FIRST ROUND - Saturday, November 22, 2014
No. 6 West Georgia (9-2) at No. 3 Tuskegee (9-2)
No. 5 Valdosta State (8-2) at No. 4 North Alabama (9-1)
SECOND ROUND - Saturday, November 29, 2014
No. 6 West Georgia/No. 3 Tuskegee winner at No. 2 Delta State (9-1)
No. 5 Valdosta State/No. 4 North Alabama winner at No. 1 Lenoir-Rhyne (11-0)
The Lenoir-Rhyne Women's Soccer Team (16-3-3) advanced to the NCAA Division II Southeast Region Championship after holding a 4-3 edge over North Georgia (17-4-2) in penalty kicks Sunday afternoon in the second round at the Moretz Sports - Athletic Complex.
The match between the Bears and Nighthawks officially ended in a 2-2 tie after two overtimes. Lenoir-Rhyne is the second seed in the region while North Georgia was seeded third.
Lenoir-Rhyne will face fourth-ranked and top-seeded Columbus State (19-1-1) on Friday, November 21, in the regional finals. The match will be played at one of the South Region's remaining teams: Rollins or Saint Leo. Columbus State defeated Wingate at home by a 1-0 score in its second round playoff match.
Lenoir-Rhyne was able rally from a 2-0 deficit to force the tie and eventually move on to the next round on penalty kicks.
Junior All-American midfielder Garcelle Alequine (Wilmington, Del.) tied the score at two in the 65th minute for the Bears on a shot from about 20 yards out. The goal was Alequine's team-leading 14th of the year.
Lenoir-Rhyne freshman defender Dylan Bedell (Chapel Hill, N.C.) started the rally for the Bears with a goal late in the first half. Junior defender Amber Madriaga (Wailuku, Hawaii) was credited with the assist.
North Georgia, ranked No. 14 in NCAA Division II, took control early with goals by Mollie Arrendale (Atlanta, Ga.) and Jacy Ramey (Buford, Ga.) in the first 13 minutes of action but Lenoir-Rhyne was able to come back.
The Bears earned a berth in the regional finals for the third time in five years but the first time since 2011. Lenoir-Rhyne is ranked No. 20 in the nation and is 12-0-2 in its last 14 matches.
Lenoir-Rhyne sophomore goalkeeper Andrea Leano (San Diego, Calif.) played the final 88 minutes for the Bears and held North Georgia scoreless to go along with four saves. The Saints' goalkeeper, Mallory Sayre (Snellville, Ga.), stopped two shots as well.
Appalachian State University volleyball fell to UL Monroe on Sunday afternoon, dropping the match in the fifth set which featured scores of 25-21, 22-25, 19-25, 25-21 and 13-15.
The Mountaineers (19-9, 9-9 Sun Belt) have lost four of their six five-set matches this season, falling to the tenth-place Warhawks (9-22, 3-15) and giving them just their third conference win of year.
The Mountaineers got the early lead in the first set, making the score 6-2 but the Warhawks began to work their way back, tying the score a 12. The Mountaineers would go on a 7-2 run, finding kills from Emily Corrigan and Jess Keller to lead, 19-14.
The Apps would close out the first, scoring the last three points of the set to win 25-21.
The second set would begin the same but this time UL Monroe would have the early 6-2 lead. From there, Appalachian took control, tying the match at 11. The Warhawks would score four-straight points, but the Mountaineers responded with four-straight points of their own, not allowing UL Monroe to get too far ahead.
Appalachian went on a 5-1 run but still only led the Warhawks by two points as UL Monroe went on a 7-2 run of their own to win the set 25-22 and tie the match 1-1.
The third set was another close one as each team took the lead several times. UL Monroe would finally take a steady lead with a score of 10-7 but they would not be able to shake Appalachian, who continued to trail by no more than three points.
It would not be until a kill from Lauren Gray put the Apps down just 16-14 that the Warhawks came alive, scoring three-straight points for a 19-14 lead. The Warhawks scored five of the last six points of the set to take it 25-19.
Appalachian immediately dominated the fourth set, jumping out to a 6-1 lead. The Warhawks would score four-straight points but it did not deter the Mountaineers, who went on a 6-3 run to lead 12-8.
The Mountaineers continued to find points, never letting UL Monroe within less than three points to take a comfortable 25-21 victory in the fourth set and tie the match, 2-2.
Things would look good for the Apps in the fifth set as they took the first lead and maintained it, for a 10-7 lead on UL Monroe. With just five points left until victory, the Mountaineers fell apart as the Warhawks went on a 7-1 run to lead 14-11.
The Mountaineers attempted to come back, finding a kill from Jacqui Spurgeon to put them down by just one point, but the Warhawks got the last kill, taking the set 15-13 and winning the match 3-2.
Keller and Gray led the Mountaineers on offense with 22 and 20 kills, respectively. Paige Brown had 59 assists and 17 digs in the loss, while Meghan Mahoney recorded 20 digs to lead the Apps on defense, Kati Stammen followed with 19 digs.
The Warhawks were led by Hope Pawlik's 20 kills and Bayleigh Hoffman's match-high 61 assists.
The Mountaineers hit .190 on the day while UL Monroe recorded a .226 hitting percentage.
The Apps return to action when they take on Texas State at home on Thursday, Nov. 20.
The Francis Marion Men's Basketball Team (1-1) defeated Lenoir-Rhyne (0-2), 61-53, Saturday evening in the South Atlantic Conference/Peach Belt Conference Challenge at Goodman Gymnasium on the campus of Catawba College.
The Patriots' Detrek Browning (Columbia, S.C.) led all scorers with 25 points while David Jerome (Kissimmee, Fla.) finished with a double-double - 14 points and 11 rebounds - as Francis Marion picked up its first victory of the season.
Lenoir-Rhyne junior guard Will Perry (Wake Forest, N.C.) scored a team-high 22 points but was the lone player to score in double figures for the Bears, who committed 20 turnovers in the setback.
The Bears were down by as many as 15 points in the first half and trailed by a 29-18 margin at intermission.
A lay-up by Perry cut the margin to 49-47 with 2:43 remaining in the game, but Francis Marion responded with seven straight points to put the contest out of reach. The Patriots won despite shooting just 33 percent (19-of-57) for the game.
Lenoir-Rhyne junior forward Rob Noyes (Morganton, N.C.) added eight points and 10 rebounds in the losing effort as well.
Lenoir-Rhyne opens South Atlantic Conference play on Wednesday at 8:00 p.m., against Queens in Charlotte, N.C.
The Wingate University Volleyball Team (30-2) earned its 10th consecutive trip to the South Atlantic Conference Tournament Championship finals after downing Lenoir-Rhyne (22-9), 3-2, in the semifinals Saturday evening at Shuford Memorial Gymnasium.
The Bulldogs, ranked No. 12 in NCAA Division II, defeated the Bears by scores of 25-23, 25-20 and 25-15. The championship match is scheduled for Sunday and will pit top-seeded Wingate versus third-seeded Anderson (25-7) beginning at 3:00 p.m. Lenoir-Rhyne was the fifth seed in the tournament.
The Bulldogs were led by Shelly Stumpff (Iowa City, Iowa) and Abby Saehler (Iowa City, Iowa) with 10 kills each while Alison Cooke (Davidson, N.C.) added 36 assists and nine digs in the victory.
Lenoir-Rhyne senior outside hitter Haley Rhyne (Statesville, N.C.), a first-team all-league honoree, finished with a team-high seven kills and 10 digs while junior setter Briana Gottberg (Mooresville, N.C.) added 24 assists and eight digs in the setback.
Lenoir-Rhyne hit just .096 for the match as the Bulldogs defeated the Bears for the third time this season.
Lenoir-Rhyne, the sixth-ranked team in this week’s NCAA Division II Southeast Region Poll, will see if it earns a berth in the national postseason tournament. The pairings are scheduled to be announced on Sunday at 10:00 p.m.
Opportunistic on offense and strong defense helped lift Newton-Conover to a 2-0 victory over Kill Devil Hills First Flight in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association state 2-A men's soccer championship at Dail Soccer Field at North Carolina State University on a cold Saturday night.
First Flight controlled the ball in midfield for good portions of the game but couldn’t get much going in the final third against a strong Newton-Conover defense, while the Red Devils took advantage of their scoring opportunities.
Freshman forward Francisco Tapia, who was named the championship Most Valuable Player, put the Red Devils on the board in the 19th minute when he blistered a shot to the back of the net for a 1-0 advantage.
Then in the 51st minute, on a restart from about 35 yards out on the left side, Alan Esperiella served it into the box and senior forward Douglas Palma headed it home for a 2-0 N-C lead.
Goalkeeper Jacob Miller notched the shutout in goal, the 18th of the year for the Red Devils as N-C conceded only 15 goals all season.
Newton-Conover had eight shots, five of which were on goal, while First Flight had six total shots and two on goal. The Nighthawks had three corner kicks to two for the Red Devils.
The Red Devils finished the season on a 24-match winning streak and closed the campaign with a 26-1 mark, with the only blemish an early-season loss to Statesville. First Flight suffered its only loss against 24 wins and one tie and had an 18-match winning streak snapped.
First Flight played in its second consecutive NCHSAA men’s soccer championship after losing 2-1 to Salisbury in the 2013 final. Newton-Conover was back in the finals for the first time since 2007, when the Red Devils won the 2-A state title.
The Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance and the city of Raleigh served as primary host city sponsors for this championship, and Time Warner Cable SportsChannel was the presenting sponsor.
NORTH CAROLINA HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION
2014 STATE MEN’S SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIPS
Dail Soccer Field, Raleigh
Newton-Conover 1 1 -- 2
Kill Devil Hills First Flight 0 0 -- 0
19th minute N-C—Francisco Tapia
51st minute N-C--Douglas Palma (Alan Esperiella)
Marcus Cox (Dacula, Ga./Dacula) ran for 229 yards and two touchdowns and Appalachian State University football dominated three-time-defending Sun Belt Conference champion Arkansas State for much of the game before holding on for a 37-32 victory on Saturday afternoon at Centennial Bank Stadium.
Appalachian State (5-5, 4-2 Sun Belt) overcame an early 20-6 deficit with 31-straight points to pull even with Arkansas State (6-4, 4-2 Sun Belt) for third place in the Sun Belt standings.
After Arkansas State took a 20-6 lead midway through the second quarter, the Mountaineers dominated the action for the next two-plus periods. In a 33-minute span from the 7:10 mark of the second quarter until Appalachian took a 37-20 lead on by Bentlee Critcher’s (South Daytona, Fla./Warner Christian Academy) 24-yard field goal with 4:10 to go in the ballgame, the Mountaineers outgained A-State, 400-43.
The spurt began with App State driving 86 yards only to fumble into the end zone for a touchback. However, instead of that being a game-defining miscue, it only served as the precursor to an avalanche that saw the Mountaineers score on five-straight possessions (four touchdowns and a field goal) while limiting the Red Wolves’ vaunted offense to just two first downs.
Holding a 17-point lead, Appalachian State seemingly clinched the win when it stopped the Red Wolves on fourth down from the Mountaineers’ eight yard line with 2:33 left in the game. However, on the very next play, Appalachian lost its second fumble of the game and A-State cut the lead to 37-26 one play later. The Red Wolves missed their second extra point of the game following the 10-yard touchdown pass from Fredi Knighten to Darion Griswold.
Things got interesting when Arkansas State recovered the ensuing onside kick, drove 53 yards in four plays and scored on a nine-yard pass from Knighten to Johnston White. Down by five points, the Red Wolves went for two but Knighten’s pass fell harmlessly to the ground, leaving the Mountaineers with a 37-32 advantage with 1:31 left on the clock.
Malachi Jones (Roswell, Ga./Central Gwinnett) recovered A-State’s next onside kick attempt but Appalachian State failed to pick up what would have been a game-clinching first down and punted back to the Red Wolves with 22 seconds remaining.
Arkansas State picked up 21 yards on its first play after the punt but threw two-straight incomplete passes to set up the final snap of the ballgame from its own 41 yard line. The Red Wolves attempted to navigate their way to the end zone with a short pass and a series of laterals but App State defensive end Ronald Blair (Greensboro, Ga./Greene County) intercepted the second pitch attempt to seal the win.
Despite allowing Arkansas State to pick up 146 yards in the final 4:02, the Mountaineers still outgained the Red Wolves by a whopping 549-314 margin. Appalachian also held huge advantages in rushing yards (294-167), passing yards (255-147), first downs (29-14), time of possession (41:46-18:14) and third-down conversions (7-of-15 to 0-of-11).
Arkansas State’s 314 yards were 147 fewer than it averaged coming into the game while Appalachian State’s 549 yards were 179 more than A-State’s defense had allowed on average. The Red Wolves came into the afternoon with the Sun Belt’s second-ranked offense and third-ranked defense.
Cox led the dominant performance with his second 200-yard game in the last three contests. The sophomore Doak Walker Award candidate had a career-high 40 carries and added 54 yards on two receptions.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Taylor Lamb (Calhoun, Ga./Calhoun) also had a big day, completing 14-of-22 passes without an interception for 255 yards and two touchdowns.
Seven different Mountaineers caught passes, led by Montez McGuire (Beech Island, S.C./North Augusta), who had four catches for 55 yards and a touchdown, and Simms McElfresh (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Christian), who had three receptions for 57 yards. For the second-straight week, true freshman Shaedon Meadors (Duncan, S.C./Byrnes) made an amazing one-handed catch, this time hauling it in for a 24-yard touchdown.
Defensively, safety Doug Middleton (Winston-Salem, N.C./Parkland) led Appalachian with nine solo tackles. Blair and linebacker Kennan Gilchrist (Abbeville, S.C./Abbeville) chipped in with five stops apiece. All three of the Mountaineers’ leading tacklers recorded a tackle for loss and Blair added two quarterback hurries.
Appalachian State, which has won four-straight games for the first time since Sept. 22-Oct. 13, 2012, looks to keep the streak alive next week when it plays its final road game of the season at longtime Sun Belt power UL Lafayette (6-3, 5-0 Sun Belt prior to Saturday night’s game at UL Monroe). Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. ET at Cajun Field in Lafayette, La.
NOTES: Cox’s 229-yard performance is good for the 13th-highest single-game rushing total in Appalachian State history … his 40 carries were the third-most in Appalachian history and the most since Damon Scott toted the ball 42 times in a 154-yard effort against Chattanooga in 1996 … Cox finished the day with 1,142 rushing yards this season, becoming the first running back in Appalachian State history to surpass the 1,000-yard mark as a freshman and sophomore … quarterback Armanti Edwards is the only other Mountaineer to ever accomplish the feat (2006-07) … the 200-yard game was the third of Cox’s career – he ran for a career-high 250 yards against Georgia State on Nov. 1 and had 215 yards in last year’s season finale against Western Carolina … Arkansas State lost at home for the first time this season (4-1) and only the third time in its last 23 home games … A-State lost a Sun Belt game for only the fifth time in the last four seasons (24-5) … prior to Saturday, the Red Wolves had scored at least 40 points in four-straight games and had surrendered 14 points or less in four of their last six contests … Appalachian State won for the first time in school history when playing west of the Mississippi River … the Mountaineers are now 1-10 all-time on the left side of the Mississippi.