Sports (297)

The Lenoir-Rhyne Football Team rose three spots in the rankings to No. 19 in this week’s AFCA NCAA Division II National Top 25 Coaches Poll. AFCA is the American Football Coaches Association.

The Bears are 4-1 on the year and 2-0 in South Atlantic Conference play after defeating Carson-Newman by a 52-17 score last Saturday in the 2015 home opener at Moretz Stadium.

Lenoir-Rhyne senior slotback Kristaan Ivory (Los Angeles, Calif.) and senior B-Back Michael Patrick (Atlanta, Ga.) each scored three touchdowns in the Bears’ fourth straight victory over the Eagles.

Lenoir-Rhyne, the top-ranked rushing team in NCAA Division II at 433.6 yards per game, finished with 434 yards on the ground while Patrick led the squad in rushing with a career-high 177 yards. In addition, the Bears won their 22nd consecutive league regular season contest.

The Bears’ defense also limited the Eagles’ high-powered offense to just 274 total yards including 178 on the ground to go along with a pair of sacks.

Lenoir-Rhyne faces the University of Faith this Saturday afternoon at Moretz Stadium beginning at 2:00 p.m. The Bears’ Homecoming opponent – Wingate (5-0, 2-0) – is ranked No. 23 in the nation. The two teams meet on Saturday, October 17, at Noon at Moretz Stadium.

2015 AFCA NCAA Division II
National Top 25 Coaches Poll
Week 5 - October 5

1. Minnesota State Mankato (30) 5-0
2. West Georgia (2) 5-0
3. Northwest Missouri State 5-0
4. Ferris State (Mich.) 4-0
5. Sioux Falls (S.D.) 5-0
6. North Alabama 4-0
7. Colorado State-Pueblo 4-1
8. Colorado School of Mines 5-0
9. Ashland (Ohio) 5-0
10. Shepherd (W.Va.) 4-0
11. Humboldt State (Calif.) 4-0
12. Midwestern State (Texas) 5-0
13. Pittsburg State (Kan.) 4-1
14. Michigan Tech 4-0
15. Texas A&M-Commerce 4-1
16. Angelo State (Texas) 4-1
17. Delta State (Miss.) 4-1
18. Emporia State (Kan.) 5-0
19. Lenoir-Rhyne (N.C.) 4-1
20. Ouchita Baptist (Ark.) 4-1
21. Valdosta State (Ga.) 3-1
22. Harding (Ark.) 4-1
23. Wingate (N.C.) 5-0
24. Grand Valley State (Mich.) 4-1
25. Minnesota-Duluth 3-2

Others Receiving Votes: Tuskegee (Ala.), 34; North Carolina-Pembroke, 24; Slippery Rock (Pa.), 23; Fort Hays St. (Kan.), 17; Colorado Mesa, 13; Henderson St. (Ark.), 10; Charleston (W.Va.), 9; Bowie St. (Md.), 8; Concord (W.Va.), 8; East Central (Okla.), 8; Virginia Union, 5; Central Missouri, 4; Florida Tech, 4; Indianapolis (Ind.), 3; West Texas A&M, 3; Washburn (Kan.), 2; Arkansas Tech, 1; Bloomsburg (Pa.), 1; Findlay (Ohio), 1.

Appalachian State University women’s soccer played its third rainy home match in a row in Sunday versus Texas State at Ted Mackorell Soccer Complex. The Mountaineers (6-3-3) snapped the Bobcats (8-3) league-high seven-match winning streak with a dominating 5-0 victory.

“I am so proud of everyone. They were all outstanding today,” said head coach Sarah Strickland. “That was the best I have ever seen our team play. We did a great job capitalizing on chances and finishing them off. I am very proud of the group as a whole.”

The Mountaineers were in control of the from the early stages of the game. Sam Childress (Kernersville, N.C./East Forsyth) started the scoring for the Apps in the 15th minute. Jane Cline (Cornelius, N.C./Charlotte Catholic) found Childress who slotted the opening goal into the right side of net.

Minutes before the break, Merlin Beckwith (Rochester Hills, Mich./Rochester Adams) passed to Sarah Moon (Cornelius, N.C./W.A. Hough) at the top of the eighteen-yard box. Moon took a touch and fired a shot towards the bottom-left corner. The shot bounced off the post and into the goal. It was Moon’s first career goal.

The Bobcats nearly got a goal back a minute later, but Megan Roberson (Kernersville, N.C./East Forsyth) made one of her three saves in the first half.

The Mountaineers quickly picked up where they left off in the first half. Appalachian was awarded a free kick 25-yards out from goal. Beckwith stepped up and launched a shot that sailed into the top-left corner of the goal past the outstretched arm of the Bobcat goalie.

Seven minutes later, Lindsey Tully (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Catholic) played a long pass the Cline. Cline beat the keeper on the dribble and was able to slot the ball into the empty net. The Apps final goal came in the 80th minute when Kat Greer (Cayce, S.C./Brookland Cayce) found Kate Ward (Atlanta, Ga. (St. Pius X Catholic) in the box. Ward finished into the right side of the net. The goal was Ward’s first of the year.

All 22 fit and eligible Mountaineers saw action during the game. The five goals were the most scored by the Apps since October 25, 2013 when they scored nine against The Citadel.

“Texas State is a very good team. They were on a seven-match win streak,” said Strickland. “Sometimes the adversity of travel and time changes can affect your game-day routine and it can be hard to adjust. No discredit to Texas State, I just think we played really well.”

The Mountaineers start a four-match road trip on Friday at defending champion South Alabama. Kickoff is set for 8:00 p.m.

Appalachian State University men’s soccer traveled to the peach state for its first Sun Belt Conference match of the season. Georgia State scored three second half goals to deny App State its first conference points of the season, as the Mountaineers lost 3-0.

The Mountaineers (3-5, 0-1 Sun Belt) fought through a scoreless first half in rainy conditions. Raheem Somersall (Basseterre, St. Kitts/Southern School of Energy and Sustainability), Cooper Coughlin (Suwanee, Ga./Lambert), and Mason McCarter (Shelby, N.C./Shelby) all had shots saved by the GSU goalkeeper in the first 45 minutes. Three of the Mountaineers’ five shots were on target.

The Panthers (5-3) got on the board quickly after the restart, scoring in the 52nd minute. Max Hemmings headed in a cross from Eddie Wilding. GSU added another header goal in the 73rd minute when Conor Acheson converted a cross from Liam Fitzsimmons.

Georgia State put the game out of reach with a final goal in the 79th minute when Rashid Alarape beat Mountaineer goalkeeper Paul West (Apex, N.C./Apex). The assist was credited to Wilding.

Appalachian recorded 11 shots during the game but all three of the shots on goal came in the first half.

The Mountaineers return home for an instate match up versus against UNC Asheville on Tuesday. Game time is set for 7:00 p.m. at Ted Mackorell Soccer Complex.

Sunday, 04 October 2015 22:26

Appalachian State Volleyball Sweeps UL Lafayette

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Appalachian State University volleyball won its eighth consecutive match and earned its fifth sweep in seven matches and its third-straight sweep in a 3-0 rout of UL Lafayette on Saturday.

“What a great weekend for App State volleyball. UL Lafayette came out aggressively tonight, but we responded with some great play on our side,” said head coach Matt Ginipro. “Our passers did a phenomenal job tonight which led to us siding out at 77%. When we play our style of volleyball, we are very tough to beat and the third set showed that. That set was very fun to watch from the bench.”

The Mountaineers (12-4, 5-0 Sun Belt) remained unbeaten in Sun Belt play and won its fifth match within the conference in dominating fashion at the Ragin’ Cajuns. With a 9-8 lead early in the opening set, App State created some breathing room with kills from Ashton Gregory (Yadkinville, N.C./Starmount/Furman) and Jess Keller (Swarthmore, Pa./Strath Haven), in addition to, errors from the Ragin’ Cajuns to build a 13-9 advantage.

App State created an 18-13 lead and matched UL Lafayette’s points until the Ragin’ Cajuns brought their deficit to within two points at 23-21. Keller got two kills to end the set for Appalachian at 25-22.

Much like the first set, App State built a small advantage and maintained it throughout the majority of the set. At 13-11, the Black and Gold began to make its run. A kill from Emily Corrigan (Johns Creek, Ga./Chattahoochee) and three kills from Keller staked App State to a 19-14 lead, which led to a Ragin’ Cajun timeout.

Maintaining its advantage over UL Lafayette, App State extended its lead in the match to 2-0 when kills from Corrigan and Keller, combined with multiple service and attack errors from the Ragin’ Cajuns ended the second set at 25-18 in favor of the Mountaineers.

Tied at 6-6 in the third set, the Mountaineers put together an amazing 14-0 run to seemingly put the set and the match out of reach for the Ragin’ Cajuns. Spanning two UL Lafayette timeouts, three kills from Courtney Sullivan (Commerce Township, Mich./Walled Lake Northern/UNCG) two kills from Keller and a kill from Cassidy Stephenson (Wilmington, N.C./Hoggard) combined with eight Ragin’ Cajun errors propelled the Apps to a 20-6 advantage.

Kills from Keller, Sullivan, Corrigan and a kill from Gregory to finished the set at 25-9 and match 3-0. Paige Brown (Overland Park, Kan./St. James Academy) was back at it for the Mountaineers and contributed 40 assists on the night - putting her at 3,829 career assists and just 579 away from breaking the all-time program record. Brown also earned her eighth double-double of the season with 14 digs. Also with double-digit digs was Meghan Mahoney (Leawood, Kan./Blue Valley) who finished with 13.

Keller led the team with 18 kills, while Corrigan finished with 16 kills and a team-high .469 hitting percentage. As a team, the Mountaineers hit a great .361, while holding UL Lafayette to just .155.

The Mountaineers return to the court on Friday, October 9 when they host Little Rock at 6:30 p.m. from the Holmes Center. They will play again on Saturday, Oct. 10 and host UT Arlington, which is also slated for a 6:30 p.m. first serve.

Sunday, 04 October 2015 22:24

L-R Men's Soccer Drops Conference Match at Queens

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The Queens Men’s Soccer Team (3-6, 1-4) won its first South Atlantic Conference match of the season with a 4-1 triumph over Lenoir-Rhyne (5-3-1, 2-2) Saturday afternoon on the Royals’ home field.

Queens, which also snapped a five-match losing streak, scored three goals in the first half including two by Corey Brown (Toronto, Ontario, CANADA) in the victory.

Brown’s goals were unassisted and came in the 13th and 34th minutes, respectively. In addition, Brown assisted on the Royals’ third goal at the 37:05 mark of the first half when Austin Huddy (Fort Mill, S.C.) headed in a corner kick for a 3-0 advantage entering intermission.

Lenoir-Rhyne got on the board when sophomore midfielder Leon Mueller-Wiesen (Munich, GERMANY) finished off a corner kick in the 55th minute. The goal was Mueller-Wiesen’s third of the season but the Bears couldn’t get any closer.

Queens’ Marc-Kevin Schwenk (Berlin, GERMANY) rounded out the scoring late in the contest while Ben Wallace (Beaufort, S.C.) played the first half in goal and earned the win. Wallace made a pair of saves.

Lenoir-Rhyne sophomore goalkeeper Zach King (Altamonte Springs, Fla.) suffered the loss despite making three saves. The shots were also even at 12 apiece.

In the next round of South Atlantic Conference matches on Wednesday, Lenoir-Rhyne returns home to host Mars Hill at 7:30 p.m.

Behind a slew of big plays in all three phases of the game, Appalachian State University football earned a workman-like 31-13 homecoming victory over Wyoming on Saturday at water-logged Kidd Brewer Stadium.

Appalachian State (3-1) got all the scoring it would need in the first 4:55 of the ballgame, as it took a 14-0 lead on Marcus Cox’s (Dacula, Ga./Dacula) 59-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage and Latrell Gibbs’ (Kennesaw, Ga./North Cobb) 91-yard interception return seven snaps later.

However, the Mountaineers’ biggest play of the game likely came on a six-yard run by their kicker with less than 30 seconds to go in the first half.

Despite the Mountaineers’ early 14-0 advantage, Wyoming dominated the action for much of the first half, holding the ball for 21:58 and cutting App State’s lead to 14-7 on a two-yard touchdown run by Brian Hill early in the second period.

The Cowboys were threatening to tie the ballgame late in the second quarter when they took over deep in Appalachian territory after an interception. However, on fourth-and-one from the Mountaineers’ 20 yard line, linebacker Osvaldo Sombo (Matthews, N.C./Butler) recovered a fumble by Wyoming quarterback Cameron Coffman to stall the scoring threat.

Thanks primarily to a 38-yard pass from Taylor Lamb (Calhoun, Ga./Calhoun) to Shaedon Meadors (Duncan, S.C./Byrnes), Appalachian State drove 54 yards in three plays to the Wyoming 24-yard line but appeared to settle for a field goal when Zach Matics (Jacksonville, N.C./Southwest-Onslow) lined up for a field goal on fourth-and-five with 24 seconds to go in the half.

However, after a timeout, Appalachian rolled the dice and came away with perhaps its biggest play of the season to date.

Still lined up for a field goal, holder Bentlee Critcher (South Daytona, Fla./Warner Christian Academy) took the snap and rolled right. He was stopped in the backfield by two Wyoming defenders but as he was going to the ground, he tossed an option pitch to Matics, who picked up six yards for the first down on the perfectly executed fake field goal.

On the very next play, the gamble paid dividends, as Lamb threw a beautiful pass to Simms McElfresh (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Christian) in the corner of the end zone for an 18-yard touchdown that gave the Mountaineers a commanding 21-7 halftime lead.

After a taxing first half, it was all Appalachian State after the break. The Mountaineers stretched their advantage to 28-7 on Lamb’s nine-yard touchdown run on its first possession of the second half and made it 31-7 on Matics’ career-long 51-yard field goal with 3:06 to go in the ballgame. Wyoming (0-5) scored the final points of the game on an eight-yard touchdown pass from Coffman to Josh Tapscott with 44 seconds remaining but botched the snap on the extra-point attempt to account for the final margin.

While Appalachian controlled the scoreboard from the outset, Wyoming held the statistical advantage throughout the afternoon. The Cowboys outgained the Mountaineers, 373-314, including a 155-65 advantage through the air, but the most glaring edges came in time of possession (37:54-22:06) and total plays (70-46). App State ran fewer than 50 plays in a contest for the first time since it had just 44 snaps in its 16-15 victory over Furman on Oct. 12, 2002 (the famous “Miracle on the Mountain” game).

However, the Mountaineers made the most of their 46 snaps, averaging 6.8 yards per play (compared to 5.3 for Wyoming) and picked up 10 yards or more seven times.

As has been the case for much of the last two-plus seasons, Cox led the way for Appalachian State, rushing for a season-high 178 yards on just 15 carries (11.9 avg.). The 100-yard effort was his seventh-straight and 18th in 28 career games. In the process, the junior became the sixth student-athlete in school history to reach the 3,000-yard rushing plateau, upping his career total to 3,154 yards.

Appalachian State’s defense also proved to be opportunistic with three takeaways, four sacks (for 43 yards) and 10 tackles for loss (for 58 yards). The defense’s big-play proficiency overcame a 208-yard effort on the ground by Hill, who became the first player to rush for 200 yards against the Mountaineers since Chattanooga’s Eldra Buckley went for 210 yards all the way back on Oct. 29, 2005.

Linebacker John Law (Atlanta, Ga./Grady) led the way defensively with 13 tackles, two-and-a-half tackles for loss and a sack. Gibbs had five stops to go along with his 91-yard interception return, which was the fifth-longest in school history and the first INT return for a touchdown by a Mountaineer since Doug Middleton (Winston-Salem, N.C./Parkland) had a 52-yard return for a score against Campbell on Sept. 6 of last season. Gibbs’ interception was his fourth in four games this season.

Appalachian State opens Sun Belt Conference play next Saturday when it travels Atlanta to face Georgia State (1-3). Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. at the Georgia Dome.

NOTES: A steady, and sometimes heavy, rain fell throughout the game as part of a deluge that had dumped 15-plus inches of rain on the High Country over the past 10 days ... Appalachian State moved to 39-13-2 all-time in homecoming games played at Kidd Brewer Stadium but snapped a two-game skid in homecoming contests ... the Mountaineers scored on their first offensive play for the third time in their last 11 games ... Cox’s seven-straight 100-yard rushing games are two shy of the school record of nine-straight compiled by John Settle in 1986 ... his 18-career 100-yard rushing efforts are tied for fourth in program history with Armanti Edwards (2006-09) ... Settle holds the school record with 22 rushing games in his career (1983-86) ... Appalachian won for the ninth time in 10 games and claimed its fifth-straight home victory ... the game was App State’s first-ever non-conference home game versus an NCAA Division I FBS opponent ... the win was the Mountaineers’ first-ever over an opponent from the Mountain West Conference.

Appalachian State University women’s cross country placed three runners in the top 10 and turned in a team score of 47 to take first place out of a 13-team field at the USC Upstate Invitational on Saturday morning.

“I’m very proud of the effort that the girls put forth this morning,” said head coach Michael Curcio. We were able to win this meet without our top runner (Tristin Van Ord (Chapel Hill, N.C/Chapel Hill)). With her out, a couple of seniors in Brittany Williams (Simpsonville, S.C./Maudlin) and Shelby Howell (Wilmington, N.C./New Hanover) stepped up in a big way and so did freshman standout, Ann Sekutowski (Waukesha, Wis./Kettle Moraine).”

The Mountaineers improved upon a third-place finish in this event last year and as mentioned above, did it without top runner and three-time Sun Belt Conference Student-Athlete of the Week, Van Ord. The team’s effort was spearheaded by redshirt sophomore Natalie Kile (Canton, Ga./Blessed Trinity Catholic) who crossed the finish line in fourth with time of 18:42.12 amongst a field of 124.

Close behind Kile were both Williams in seventh (18:51.64) and the freshman Sekutowski in ninth (18:55.55). App State’s effort was rounded out by Howell in 13th (19:07.28) and Torre Moser (Cary, N.C./Apex) right behind her in 14th (19:10.32).

In the team standings, the rest of the top five was made up by High Point (48), Florida Gulf Coast (79), Liberty (82), and Western Carolina (131).

Appalachian State is off for two weeks before the Wake Forest Open on Friday, Oct. 16, which is set to begin at 6 p.m. in Kernersville, N.C.

Saturday, 03 October 2015 23:35

App State Men's Cross Country Finishes Second

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Appalachian State University men’s cross country took second place at the USC Upstate Invite on Saturday morning and was once again led by Michael Ellis (Winston-Salem, N.C./Mt. Tabor), who finished in fourth place out of 115 competitors.

“The men were led by Michael (Ellis) again,” said head coach Michael Curcio. “After him was Kyle McFoy (Newark, Del./The Tatnall School) who is starting to round into shape and that’s good to see with how important he is to the team. Andrew Vandenberg (Boone, N.C./Watauga) continued to perform well and he was pushed along by both Chris Anderson (Greensboro, N.C./UNC-Charlotte/Westchester Country Day) and Evan Laratta (Angiers, N.C./LaSalle/Quince Orchard).”

The Mountaineers finished in fourth place in this event last season and the redshirt sophomore Ellis was out to change that this time around. The three-time Sun Belt Conference Student-Athlete of the Week was the top male to finish for App State for the third time in as many events and did so with a time of 25:40.89.

After Ellis was McFoy in seventh (26:03.02) and the final three Apps to score also finished in the top 16. Those three included Vandenberg in 12th (26:19.83), Anderson in 13th (26:22.85) and Laratta in 16th (26:27.61).

The only team to beat Appalachian State (52 points) was High Point (28) while the three through five spots were occupied by Liberty (75), USC Upstate (118) and Florida Gulf Coast (136).

The Mountaineers are off for two weeks before the Wake Forest Open on Friday, Oct. 16, which is set to begin at 6 p.m. in Kernersville, N.C.

Saturday, 03 October 2015 23:26

Lenoir-Rhyne Women's Soccer Falls to Queens

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The Lenoir-Rhyne Women’s Soccer Team (6-3, 3-2) suffered a 1-0 loss to Queens (4-5-1, 2-2) Saturday afternoon in a South Atlantic Conference match on the road.

The Royals scored the lone goal of the contest in the 57th minute when Charlotte Ring (Scherwin, GERMANY) tapped in a misplay by the Bears’ goalkeeper. The goal was Ring’s third of the season.

Lenoir-Rhyne lost despite holding a 15-6 advantage in shots taken. Queens’ goalkeeper, Tori Danchak (Coral Springs, Fla.), earned the shutout in goal after stopping seven shots on the afternoon.

The Bears’ goalkeeper, junior Andrea Leano (San Diego, Calif.), took the loss. Freshman goalkeeper Logan Sterling (Colfax, N.C.) made two saves for Lenoir-Rhyne as well.

Lenoir-Rhyne returns home to face Mars Hill in a South Atlantic Conference match on Wednesday at 5:00 p.m., at the Moretz Sports – Athletic Complex.

Saturday, 03 October 2015 23:17

Lenoir-Rhyne Football Easily Handle Carson-Newman

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The Lenoir-Rhyne Football Team (4-1, 2-0), ranked No. 22 in NCAA Division II, opened the home portion of its schedule with a rousing, 52-17 victory over Carson-Newman (3-2, 1-2) Saturday afternoon in a South Atlantic Conference game at wet and windy Moretz Stadium.

Lenoir-Rhyne senior B-Back Michael Patrick (Atlanta, Ga.) and slotback Kristaan Ivory (Los Angeles, Calif.) both scored three touchdowns as the Bears increased their winning streak in conference regular season games to 22.

Patrick rushed for a career-high 177 yards and three scores including a 30-yard scamper as time ran out in the first half to give the Bears a 16-3 advantage at intermission.

Carson-Newman couldn’t get within 13 points the rest of the way as the Bears answered every call. Patrick added touchdown runs of five and 31 yards in the second half, respectively, as Lenoir-Rhyne rushed for 434 yards on the day.

The Eagles’ quarterback De’Andre Thomas (Milledgeville, Ga.) scored from three yards out midway through the third quarter but the Bears pulled away with three straight touchdowns to turn the contest into a rout.

Ivory returned a kickoff 97 yards for a score and finished with 187 all-purpose yards while sophomore quarterback Evin Sims (Greenwood, S.C.) added 100 yards on the ground and a score in the victory.

On defense, the Bears recorded a pair of sacks while junior linebacker Tanner Robinson (Melbourne, Fla.) finished with a game-high 16 tackles. Lenoir-Rhyne also limited Carson-Newman to just 274 yards of total offense.

Carson-Newman’s Damian Baker (Columbus, Miss.) also rushed for 100 yards and Xavier McFadden (Rock Hill, S.C.) and Brandon Staton (Barnwell, S.C.) added 11 tackles each in the losing effort.

Lenoir-Rhyne hosts the University of Faith next Saturday beginning at 2:00 p.m., at Moretz Stadium.