Sports (1050)

App State’s Shaun Jolly was named the Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Week on Monday.

A sophomore cornerback from Stone Mountain, Ga., Jolly intercepted two passes and set another career high by breaking up three more in No. 22 App State’s 56-27 win at Georgia State on Saturday night. His 30-yard interception return for a touchdown broke a 21-all tie with 2:18 remaining in the first half, and his second interception less than 90 seconds later set up the touchdown that allowed the Mountaineers to take a 35-21 lead into halftime.

With five interceptions this season, Jolly is tied for fourth place nationally and first place in the Sun Belt. He also returned an interception for a touchdown against Coastal Carolina, and he’s tied for the national lead as one of six players with two pick-six scores.

With Jolly totaling five passes defended against Georgia State, he helped the Mountaineers limit the Panthers to 140 yards of offense on 42 plays in the final three quarters of the game. During the 49-0 run that turned a 21-7 deficit into a 56-21 lead, App State forced seven three-and-outs in nine defensive possessions, and Jolly’s second interception occurred on one of the other two possessions.

Appalachian State freshman setter Sam Bickley has been tabbed as Sun Belt Volleyball Setter of the Week.

It marks the first Setter of the Week honor for Bickley. She also has been named Sun Belt Freshman of the Week twice this season on Sept. 30 and Oct. 7.

In a pair of App State victories this weekend, Bickley dished out 94 assists (10.44 a/s), to go along with nine kills (1.00 k/s) and 13 digs (1.44 d/s).

In a 3-1 win over South Alabama on Friday, she dished out 50 assists, five kills and seven digs. She added 44 assists, four kills and six digs in 3-2 triumph over Troy on Sunday.

Bickley is one of three players in the conference to have over 1,100 assists this season, totaling 1,115. She currently ranks fourth in the league in assists per set, averaging 10.23.

The Mountaineers concluded the regular season with 13-16 and a 9-7 record in Sun Belt play. App State is seeded sixth in the Sun Belt Tournament and opens play Thursday against seventh seed UT Arlington at 8:30 p.m. EST in San Marcos, Texas.

Sunday, 17 November 2019 22:53

Lenoir-Rhyne's Neal Named SAC Elite 20

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Lenoir-Rhyne tight end Will Neal was honored as the 2019 SAC Football Elite 20 Award winner on Saturday (Nov. 16). This marks the second consecutive year an LR football player earned the honor as Ronnie Clifton was awarded the Elite 20 last year.

This award honors the student-athlete with the top cumulative grade-point average (based on a minimum of 48 credit hours) in each of the league's 20 team championship sports.

Neal, a sophomore from Charlotte, N.C., has a 3.883 GPA while majoring in Management.

Appalachian State volleyball has earned the No. 6 seed for the 2019 Sun Belt Volleyball Tournament.

The Mountaineers will battle seventh seed UT Arlington in the First Round on Thursday at 8:30 p.m. EST on ESPN+. The winner will advance to the Second Round on Friday and play third seed South Alabama on Friday at 8:30 p.m. EST.

All matches for the tournament will played in Strahan Arena on the campus of Texas State and will be broadcast on ESPN+.

Texas State earned the top seed in the tournament with a 14-2 conference mark, with Coastal Carolina seeded second after going 13-3 in Sun Belt play.

Semifinal matches will be played on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. EST and 6 p.m. EST, with the championship set for Nov. 24 at 2 p.m. EST.

App State and UT Arlington met once this year in Boone, with the Mavericks prevailing 3-0 on Oct. 25.

The Mountaineers finished the regular season with a 13-16 overall record and 9-7 in Sun Belt play. App State enters the Sun Belt tournament on a four-match winning streak after defeating South Alabama 3-1 on Friday and Troy 3-2 on Sunday.

Thursday, November 21
Match 1 - No. 8 Arkansas State vs. No. 5 Louisiana (ESPN+), 6 p.m.
Match 2 - No. 7 UTA vs. No. 6 Appalachian State (ESPN+), 8:30 p.m.

Friday, November 22
Match 3 - Match 1 Winner vs. No. 4 Troy (ESPN+), 6 p.m.
Match 4 - Match 2 Winner vs. No. 3 South Alabama (ESPN+), 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, November 23
Match 5 - Match 3 Winner at No. 1 Texas State (ESPN+), 3:30 p.m.
Match 6 - Match 4 Winner vs. No. 2 Coastal Carolina (ESPN+), 6 p.m.

Sunday, November 24
Match 7 - Match 5 Winner vs. Match 6 Winner (ESPN+), 2 p.m.

All Times are Eastern and Subject to Change

Championship Seeds and Conference Records
1. Texas State (14-2)
2. Coastal Carolina (13-3)
3. South Alabama (11-5)
4. Troy (10-6)
5. Louisiana (10-6)
6. Appalachian State (9-7)
7. UTA (8-8)
8. Arkansas State (7-9)

Troy earned the No. 4 seed over Louisiana by virtue of its 3-1 win over the Louisiana on Oct. 12.

The Lenoir-Rhyne Football Team earned the No. 2 seed in Super Regional 2 and will host No. 7 seed Miles in the opening round of the NCAA Division II NCAA Playoffs on Saturday at Moretz Stadium. Game time will be announced on Monday.

The Bears are 11-0 for just the third time in program history and have won 21 straight regular season games and 13 straight home games. LR has won back-to-back South Atlantic Conference Championships and are advancing to the NCAA Playoffs for the fifth time in team history.

Lenoir-Rhyne owns a 6-4 record in the NCAA Playoffs and advanced to the NCAA National Championship game in 2013 where they fell to Northwest Missouri St. This will be the first all-time meeting between LR and Miles.

Should the Bears defeat Miles in the opening round, they would play the winner of No. 3 seed Bowie State and No. 6 seed Carson-Newman.

The link to purchase tickets online is here.

Tickets will be on sale Monday through Friday in the lobby of Shuford Gymnasium or by phone at 828-328-7116 from 9 am - 5 pm each day. Tickets can also be bought at the gate on the day of the game.

Bears Club season ticket holders will have the first right to buy their same reserved seats until Tuesday at 5 pm by e-mail, phone, or in person. At that time, these seats will be released to the public. Reserved seating will not be available to the public online or in person until this time.

STUDENTS/YOUTH/SENIORS (college students with an ID/high school age or younger/seniors 65&up): $4

LR Athletics will provide one free ticket for each LR Student with their ID. LR Student tickets may be picked up at the game but they can also be picked up in the Shuford Gym lobby throughout the week in advance (preferred). Guests of LR students must pay listed price.

The President's Office will provide one free ticket for each faculty/staff member with their ID. LR Faculty/Staff tickets may be picked up at the game but they can also be picked up in the Shuford Gym lobby throughout the week in advance (preferred). Guests of LR Faculty/Staff must pay listed price.

Parking is not affected by this being a playoff game. Bears Club parking passes are still accepted for the practice field with weather permitting and the Bears Club Hospitality Pavilion will be open to Bears Club members depending on their level of giving.

1) Valdosta St.
2) Lenoir-Rhyne
3) Bowie State
4) Wingate
5) West Florida
6) Carson-Newman
7) Miles

Appalachian State women's basketball suffered a 92-50 setback to No. 6 South Carolina on Sunday afternoon in Colonial Life Arena.

Ashley Polacek led the team with a season-high 13 points on 5-of-11 shooting with three rebounds. Lainey Gosnell poured in a season-best 12 points on five buckets. The pair hit all five trifectas for the Black and Gold.

Pre Stanley rounded out the leading scorers with nine points. Bayley Plummer tallied a team-high six boards, while Brooke Bigott tallied a pair of assists to lead the team.

Appalachian had its hands full with the SEC Preseason favorites and a South Carolina team that brought in the top recruiting class in 2019.

The Gamecocks hit 17 of their first 25 shots into the first 12 minutes of the game to take a commanding lead and never looked back.

Despite the setback, Appalachian improved in the second half by scoring 41 of its points in the third and fourth quarters while outscoring USC, 41-39.

App State will look for its first win on Friday at 6:30 p.m against Gardner-Webb in the home opener at the Holmes Center.

Sunday, 17 November 2019 22:13

L-R Men's Basketball Suffers First Loss of Season

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The Lenoir-Rhyne Men's Basketball Team dropped its first game of the season, a 75-68 decision to Lander on Saturday evening. The game was the home opener for LR who shot just 35.4 percent from the field on the night.

The Bears shot just 29 percent from the field in the second half and 31 percent from long range in the game. LR was also outrebounded by the Bearcats by a final count of 46-29.

R.J. Gunn finished with a team-high 18 points and added eight boards. Darius Simmons came off the bench to score 15 points and Mason Hawks had 12 points.

Hawks scored all of his points from long range as the junior went 4-for-7 from deep. The rest of the Bears shot just 5-for-22 from distance.

Lander connected on 45.6 percent of their field goals and four of their starting five scored in double figures. Elijah Alston recorded a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds and Deon Berrien came off the bench to score 17 points and add eight boards.

Davion Bradford had four steals for LR.

This is only the ninth all-time meeting between the two programs with Lander owning a 6-3 advantage.

The Bears are now 1-1 against the Peach Belt after previously defeating Young Harris.

This is the only non-conference home game for LR all season.

Lenoir-Rhyne is 3-1 on the season. The Bears return to action on Wednesday night when they travel to Clayton State.

Jonathan Millner and Cary Miller won individual titles at the Wolfpack Open on Sunday in NC State's Carmichael Gym.

Miller and teammate Michael Burchell both advanced to the heavyweight final, with Miller prevailing via a medical forfeit. Millner overcame a big early deficit before recording a 16-8 decision against unattached Virginia Tech wrestler Bryce Adonian in the 149-pound final.

Millner fell behind 6-0 in the first 33 seconds and trailed 8-4 early in the second period. He scored the last 12 points, using an escape, a takedown and a pair of two-point near falls to lead 11-8 at the end of the second period. He also won a title in comeback fashion last weekend, taking first at the Mountaineer Invitational in Boone.

The Wolfpack Open runner-up at 174 pounds, Thomas Flitz reached the final with an 8-6 victory by decision against 13th-ranked Daniel Bullard of NC State. Unattached Virginia wrestler Robert Patrick won 9-6 in the final.

Against Bullard, Flitz got an early takedown and moved ahead 6-3 with a four-point near fall in the second period. He took a 7-6 lead with an escape that followed a Bullard takedown late in the second period and, while possessing a riding-time advantage of just under a minute, started the third period in the bottom position. Flitz secured another point on his escape with 1:17 remaining and held Bullard scoreless the rest of the way.

In all, App State wrestlers had seven semifinal matches against wrestlers from ninth-ranked NC State, and Matt Zovistoski (157 pounds) had a strong showing in a 3-2 loss to No. 1 Hayden Hidlay. They were tied 1-1 entering the third period, and the top-ranked Hidlay had a tiebreaking takedown with 47 seconds left. Zovistoski's escape with 38 seconds left gave him a chance to go for a late takedown, but Hidlay didn't allow one.

Miller's 5-0 day began with two pins, a 4-1 decision and a 14-0 major decision. Burchell advanced to the final with two pins and a 10-6 decision against unattached NC State wrestler Owen Trephan.

Zovistoski (4-1), Codi Russell (4-1 at 133 pounds), Bradley Irwin (4-1 at 141 pounds) and Paul Carson (4-1 with two pins at 197 pounds) all won third-place matches. Irwin's victories included a pin, a technical fall, a major decision and a 7-1 decision (in the third-place match).

Carson Smith (125 pounds), Christian Beach (165 pounds) and Barrett Blakely (174 pounds) were fourth in their weight classes. Anthony Brito went 6-1 at 141 pounds to claim fifth place, while Will Formato (4-2 at 165 pounds) and Julian Gorring (3-2 at 184 pounds) had sixth-place finishes.

149: Jonathan Millner
HWT: Cary Miller

2nd place
174: Thomas Flitz
HWT: Michael Burchell

3rd place
133: Codi Russell
141: Bradley Irwin
157: Matt Zovistoski
197: Paul Carson

4th place
125: Carson Smith
165: Christian Beach
174: Barrett Blakely

5th place
141: Anthony Brito

6th place
165: Will Formato
184: Julian Gorring

The Lenoir-Rhyne Football Team scored the final 42 points of the game in a 49-3 thrashing of Catawba on Saturday afternoon. With the win, the Bears closed out the regular season unblemished and ran their South Atlantic Conference winning streak to 15 games. In addition, LR claimed back-to-back SAC Championships.

Seven different players found the end zone for the Bears with five of those scores coming on the ground. On the day, LR ran for 300 yards and grinded out 57 rushing attempts.

Grayson Willingham continued his efficient play, going 8-for-11 for 129 yards and two touchdowns. Over the past two games, Willingham has thrown 5 TDs and zero interceptions while going 20-for-27.

Ameen Stevens led the Bears in rushing, finishing with 71 yards on 15 carries and his 12th rushing score of the year. Ryan Carter, Tre Luttrell, Joshua Stewart and Willingham all found the end zone on the ground.

Drake Starks hauled in a 43-yard touchdown pass and Demarius Hampton had three catches for 46 yards. Deondre Lester caught an 18-yard touchdown pass, his first career touchdown reception.

Jaquan Artis had two tackles for loss and a sack on the day and Clayton Horn had a sack and a forced fumble. Javoris Smith and Yannis N'Guetta had interceptions for LR with N'Guetta recording a 35-yard return on his pick.

The Bears allowed just eight first downs on the day and held Catawba to 44 yards rushing on 21 attempts. In the passing game, the Indians went just 15-for-26 for 130 yards. LR outgained Catawba 451-174.

The Bears dominated time of possession, controlling the ball for 36 minutes.

This was the 99th all-time meeting between the two programs which is the fifth most-played rivalry in all of Division II. The first game took place in 1907.

The only other team to post back-to-back undefeated seasons in SAC play was Lenoir-Rhyne in 2013 and 2014. No other team in the league has been able to accomplish that feat since Carson-Newman did so in 1998 and 1999.

Catawba finished winless in league play and ended the season on a nine-game losing streak.

The Bears are 11-0 overall, 8-0 in the South Atlantic Conference.

Sunday, 17 November 2019 21:40

Appalachian State Volleyball Wins Fourth Straight

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Appalachian State volleyball extended its winning streak to four straight with a 3-2 (25-22, 13-25, 23-25, 25-17, 15-12) victory over Troy in its regular season finale on Senior Day.

Prior to the start of the match, App State (13-16, 9-7 SBC) honored Emma Longley and Sydney Farthing for their contributions to the program. Longley finished with a match-high 22 kills on a .326 hitting percentage and eight digs, while moving into seventh place in program history in career kills with the 1,310th of her career. Farthing tallied six digs and three service aces in the win.

Kara Spicer added 11 kills on a .320 hitting mark. Grace Morrison had seven kills and Lexi Kohut had five kills.

Sam Bickley dished out 44 assists to go along with six digs, while Emma Reilly finished with a match-high 17 digs. Grace Kinsch chipped in with eight digs for the Mountaineers.

The opening frame featured nine ties and six lead changes. App State opened a 21-17 lead late, only to see Troy (21-8, 10-6 SBC) answer back with five straight points to take a 22-21 lead. From there, the Black and Gold used a service error, a pair of kills from Spicer and a service ace from Farthing to win the opening frame 25-22.

The Trojans took a commanding 10-3 lead in the second set and knotted the match at a set apiece with a 25-13 victory in Set 2. Troy then went in front 2-1 with a tight 25-23 victory in the third set.

In the fourth stanza, the Mountaineers scored four consecutive points to open a 15-9 advantage. Troy pulled within three points at 18-15, but the Mountaineers scored five consecutive points to take a 23-15 lead. App State went on to win the set 25-17 and force a fifth and deciding set.

The Black and Gold jumped out to a 4-1 lead early in the fifth frame, only to see Troy respond with five of the next six points to take a 6-5 advantage. With the score knotted at 7-7, the Mountaineers used a pair of Trojan attack errors to take a 9-7 lead. App State pushed its lead to 14-10, but the Trojans scored the next two points to make the score 14-12. Longley clinched the set and victory with a kill to give the Mountaineers their fourth straight win.

The Mountaineers finished with 55 kills and hit .195, while the Trojans tallied 64 kills and hit .250.

App State will shift its focus to the Sun Belt Tournament. The Mountaineers open play in the tournament on Thursday at a time and against a team that has yet to be announced.

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