Sports (663)

Saturday, 08 April 2017 20:36

App's Bentley Nets Three Year Contract

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Appalachian State director of athletics Doug Gillin announced a new three-year contract for Appalachian State wrestling head coach JohnMark Bentley on Friday. The new three-year deal begins on July 1, 2017 and runs through July 30, 2020.

“I am excited that JohnMark Bentley will remain the leader of our wrestling program,” Gillin said. “The growth and success of the program under JohnMark in both the Southern Conference and at the national level continues to be impressive.

On top of all of the success on the mat, I am especially proud of the commitment that our wrestling program makes to campus and community involvement as well as its work in the classroom,” Gillin continued. “I’m thankful to Coach Bentley for his continued commitment to Appalachian State and am thrilled that he and his family will remain a part of the Appalachian family.”

A three-time Southern Conference Coach of the Year, Bentley has been at the helm of Appalachian State wrestling for the past nine years, guiding them to three SoCon regular season championships and one SoCon Tournament championship.

“Appalachian is a very special place to me and my family,” Bentley said. “I am excited to continue the work of growing the App State wrestling tradition.”

The Mountaineers are coming off back-to-back historic seasons, garnering the team’s first national ranking in the USA Today/NWCA poll at No. 23 in 2015-16 and then pushing that further in 2016-17 by climbing all the way up to No. 20 in the country. In the national rankings, App State also reached No. 16 this season in InterMat while also making No. 6 in the newly formed NWCA/National Duals Selection Committee Mid-Major Top 20 Poll.

Appalachian has gone 13-1 in the SoCon the previous two seasons and won 22 of 27 dual matches for exceptional recent dominance in the mid-majors, downing five Power 5 programs and two top-25 teams. In back-to-back years, the Black and Gold have been selected to participate in the NWCA National Duals, which pits the nation’s top wrestling programs against Big Ten teams each year. This year, Boone and wrestling home Varsity Gym played host to the big stage, welcoming Indiana University to the mountain to cap off the season.

Under Bentley’s tutelage, Mountaineer wrestling has had three NCAA All-Americans, a SoCon Tournament Most Outstanding Wrestler, two SoCon Freshmen of the Year, four SoCon Wrestlers of the Year, 10 wrestlers named SoCon all-freshmen, 18 named SoCon all-conference and 17 SoCon Champions.

Lenoir-Rhyne University’s Abbey Hartsell has been named the 2017 South Atlantic Conference Women’s Golfer Of The Year, league officials announced today as part of its annual honors.

Hartsell, a sophomore from Taylorsville, N.C., has the league’s lowest scoring average so far this year (75.70 strokes per round).

In addition, Hartsell has won two events this year – the Tusculum Fall Classic (Sept. 26-27) and Patsy Rendleman Invitational (Oct. 10-11) – and posted four top-five finishes overall. Hartsell also posted the lowest round of any league player this year: a 68 (-4) at the Patsy Rendleman Invitational in Salisbury, N.C.

Hartsell, the 2016 SAC Freshman Of The Year and the championship runner-up last spring, is the first Lenoir-Rhyne player to earn women’s golfer-of-the-year accolades since All-American Meghan Jolly in 2002.

The 2017 South Atlantic Conference Championship is scheduled for Sunday, April 9, through Tuesday, April 11, at the Link Hills Country Club in Greeneville, Tenn.

2017 All-South Atlantic Conference

Women’s Golf Teams


Abbey Hartsell, Lenoir-Rhyne

Elizabeth England, Carson-Newman

Ciara Ratana, Tusculum

Kate Hill, Anderson

Natalie Pleyerova, Queens


Katie Tomassoni, Tusculum

Diana McDonald, Wingate

Cristina Casanella, Wingate

Angela Luna, Coker

Tiffany Elam, Anderson


Reagan Greene, Lincoln Memorial

Mikaela Hadaway, Wingate

Taylor Hayes, Carson-Newman

Katie Kasper, Wingate

Laura Nunez, Wingate


Abbey Hartsell, Lenoir-Rhyne


Kate Hill, Anderson


Erin Thorne, Wingate

The Lenoir-Rhyne Men's Tennis Team (10-8, 3-5) fell to Wingate (13-3, 8-1) by a 6-3 score Thursday afternoon in a South Atlantic Conference match at Hickory High School.

The Bulldogs are ranked No. 42 in NCAA Division II. The match began on Wednesday but was halted due to rain and thunderstorms.

Despite the loss, sophomore Hamed Gandouz (Hammam Sousse, TUNISIA) earned a victory at first singles while sophomore Alex Crespo Sanchez (Valencia, SPAIN) and freshman Tales Miranda (Sao Paulo, BRAZIL) prevailed at No. 3 doubles for the Bears.

Lenoir-Rhyne travels to Anderson, S.C., to take on Anderson in a league match Saturday afternoon at 1:00 p.m., while Wingate plays Coker in Hartsville, S.C., on Saturday at 1:00 p.m., as well.

NCAA Division II Men's Tennis Final
#42 Wingate 6, Lenoir-Rhyne 3
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Hickory, N.C. (Hickory High School)

Singles competition:
1. Hamed Gandouz (LR) def. Filippo Pezzoli (WU), 6-2, 6-3
2. Daniel Belsito (WU) def. Tomas Hons (LR), 6-1, 6-0
3. Shane O'Dea (LR) def. Theo Dessacs (WU), 6-2, 6-0
4. Josh DuToit (WU) def. Alex Ayguavives (LR), 6-2, 6-3
5. Amir Zari (WU) def. Tales Miranda (LR), 3-6, 6-0, 6-2
6. Nicholas Oliveira (WU) def. Alex Crespo Sanchez (LR), 1-6, 6-2, 6-3

Doubles competition:
1. Daniel Belsito/Josh DuToit (WU) def. Tomas Hons/Shane O'Dea (LR), 8-1
2. Amir Zari/Tyler Schofer (WU) def. Hamed Gandouz/Alex Ayguavives (LR), 8-4
3. Alex Crespo Sanchez/Tales Miranda (LR) def. Duncan Addison/Theo Dessacs (WU), 8-5

The Lenoir-Rhyne Women's Tennis Team (8-10) lost to Wingate (13-2, 9-0) by a 7-2 score Thursday afternoon in a South Atlantic Conference match at Hickory High School.

The Bulldogs, ranked No. 33 in NCAA Division II, remained in sole possession of first place in the league standings while the contest was completed over two days.

Lenoir-Rhyne did earn victories at No. 2 and No. 4 singles courtesy of sophomores Marta Escanero Funes (Guardamar Del Segura, SPAIN) and Emily Murchland (Mount Victoria, NEW ZEALAND) despite the loss.

In the next round of South Atlantic Conference games on Saturday beginning at 1:00 p.m., Lenoir-Rhyne travels to Anderson, S.C., to face Anderson while Wingate plays on the road against Coker.

NCAA Division II Women's Tennis Final
No. 33 Wingate 7, Lenoir-Rhyne 2
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Hickory, N.C. (Hickory High School)

Singles competition:
1. Claudia De Andreis (WU) def. Iulia Ponomareva (LR), 6-2, 6-1
2. Marta Escanero Funes (LR) def. Andrea Ternera (WU), 2-6, 6-4, 7-5
3. Elena Pellegrini (WU) def. Sara Kalkenova (LR), 6-2, 6-2
4. Emily Murchland (LR) def. Oroma Womeodu (WU), 9-7
5. Layla Tanik (WU) def. Sophia Aguilar di Camillo (LR), 6-0, 6-0
6. Sydney Homan (WU) def. Taylor Fredrickson (LR), 8-1

Doubles competition:
1. Oroma Womeodu/Maria Garcia (WU) def. Iulia Ponomareva/Sara Kalkenova (LR), 8-1
2. Andrea Ternera/Sydney Homan (WU) def. Emily Murchland/Taylor Fredrickson (LR), 8-2
3. Claudia De Andreis/Layla Tanik (WU) def. Marta Escanero Funes/Sophia Aguilar di Camillo (LR), 8-2

Records: Wingate (13-2, 9-0 SAC), Lenoir-Rhyne (8-10, 2-6 SAC)

Alexander Central: 10
Patton: 0

Draughn: 10
McDowell: 7

Lincoln Charter: 11
Bandys: 10

Northwestern Conference:
South Caldwell: 29
Hickory: 0

Southern District 7:
Bandys: 7
St. Stephens: 0

West Caldwell: 12
Newton-Conover: 3

North Piedmont Conference:
North Lincoln: 2
Alexander Central: 1

Northwestern Conference:
Watauga: 9
Freedom: 0

South Mountain Athletic Conference:
Burns: 2
East Burke: 1

Southern District 7:
Lincolnton: 3
Bandys: 0

Maiden: 4
West Caldwell: 3

The Hickory Crawdads lost their season opener to the Greensboro Grasshoppers on the road Thursday night, 14-4. The Grasshoppers jumped out to a 7-1 lead after two innings and coasted from there.

Anderson Tejeda led the offense for the Crawdads. The shortstop went one-for-three with two runs scored and hit the Crawdads first home run of the season in the third inning. Ti'Quan Forbes alsoed added a home run, a two run shot, in the fourth inning.

Jonathan Hernandez took the loss on the mound for the Crawdads, pitching only two innings allowing seven runs on seven hits, striking out three and walking three.

The Crawdads stay in Greensboro through Sunday. Hickory travels to Columbia for a three game series against the Fireflys on Monday. The Crawdads first home game of the season at L.P. Frans Stadium will be Thursday against Kannapolis.

A total of 19 student-athletes from North Carolina High School Athletic Association member schools will be honored for their outstanding sportsmanship as winners of “Heart of a Champion” recognition.

The sportsmanship recognition is part of the program offered by the NCHSAA Student Services Division and is sponsored by the North Carolina Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company. Mark Dreibelbis, NCHSAA assistant commissioner, and Director of Sports, Championships and Student Services, Chiquana Dancy, administer the program.

Each of the NCHSAA member schools had the opportunity to nominate one male and one female student-athlete for the recognition. The students must have participated in at least one varsity sport or activity, including cheerleading, during the 2016-17 school year, have not been ejected from any contest, and must have demonstrated outstanding citizenship and sportsmanship during their high school careers.

The students filled out an application questionnaire and then a school official, such as the principal or athletic director, also provided an evaluation.

The students will be honored Saturday at a luncheon at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel-RDU. The award and luncheon is sponsored by NC Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company.

"We are continuing our emphasis on sportsmanship and the important lessons high school athletics teach,” said NCHSAA Commissioner Que Tucker. "We are proud of the achievements of this select group of student-athletes, both on and off the field."

North Carolina Farm Bureau Heart of a Champion 2016-17 Honorees:
Regan Allen, North Iredell - Nominated by Robert Thompson
Nyilah Anderson, C.E. Jordan - Nominated by Erik Zakrzewski
Jacqueline Blabon, West Rowan - Nominated by Todd Bell
Emily Childers, North Wilkes - Nominated by Michael Greene
Ryan Darden, High Point Central - Nominated by Daniel Villa
Lauren Dulin, High Point Central - Nominated by Daniel Villa
Grant Gibson, Mallard Creek - Nominated by Amy Foster
Samara Gibson, Corinth Holders - Nominated by Peter Clark
Toliy Givens, Lincoln Charter - Nominated by Joshua Williams
Wilson Hoyle, IV, C.E. Jordan - Nominated by Aaron Brown
Henderson Lentz, North Rowan - Nominated by Ben Hampton
Luke Miles, North Wilkes - Nominated by Candace Dillin
Meredith Mize, John A. Holmes - Nominated by Wes Mattera
Samantha Pritchard, North Rowan - Nominated by Ben Hampton
Callista Rice, North Buncombe - Nominated by Barry Owens
Robert Sipes, North Iredell - Nominated by Robert Thompson
Jessica Utter, A.C. Reynolds - Nominated by Ashley Green
Railey White, Maiden - Nominated by Jessica Frye
Samuel Williams, South Iredell - Nominated by Stacy Davis and Bobby Deal

Wednesday, 05 April 2017 20:08

Lenoir-Rhyne Baseball Game Called Due to Weather

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The Lenoir-Rhyne Baseball Team's home game with Tusculum, scheduled for today (Wednesday) at 6:00 p.m., has been called off due to heavy rain and thunderstorms.  No make-up date has been set.  Lenoir-Rhyne returns to South Atlantic Conference play this Friday at home against Wingate beginning at 6:00 p.m.

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